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"If you blame Jose for not being here, blame me," La Russa tells the multitudes. "I said, 'See you at the news conference. You have to be there.' Jose always does the opposite of what I tell him to do."
Big laughs—but the fact is, nobody told Canseco about the press conference. We know this because we were with Canseco from the time he left Cleveland to the time he checked into his room in Chicago at 2:30 in the morning. La Russa never said anything to him about the press conference, nor did A's public relations manager Jay Alves, who didn't know Jose was supposed to be there.
"Doesn't matter," says Canseco. "I'll get blamed anyway."
Jose Canseco is about to sign a five-year, $23.5 million contract with the Athletics. It's a Tuesday night, and a press conference has been scheduled for Wednesday morning.
"Hey, Hosey," says Frank Ciensczyk, the A's equipment manager. "Hurry up. Mr. [Sandy] Alderson [the Oakland general manager] wants to see you."
Canseco gives that industrial-strength grin.
"Probably needs help bringing in the wheelbarrow."
Jose Canseco is messing up this bad-boy thing. He hasn't been on the wrong side of a station-house door in months. Too bad. He was starting to make people remember Joe Pepitone. Canseco is the guy who (inhale) was ticketed for driving 120 mph in Miami; rang up four citations in one day in Phoenix; was arrested and convicted of carrying a loaded semiautomatic pistol on university property at UC San Francisco; was with a man who had been detained at various times for carrying steroids, large amounts of cash and a gun through airports; and was vilified for no-showing at a card show and then at a banquet during the winter after the '88 season (exhale). But lately, not so much as a parking ticket. Very dull.
Jose Canseco, what's the fastest you've ever gone?
Canseco looks deeply hurt.