Canseco: Ordonez claim was payback
Former slugger says call to Magglio was for 'investment'
DETROIT -- Jose Canseco told a Detroit radio station that he included Magglio Ordonez in his latest book, "Vindicated," only after The New York Times ran a story suggesting he had tried to extort money from Ordonez. He also said he had tried to reach Ordonez about what he called an investment opportunity.
Canseco appeared with host Frank Beckmann on WJR on Wednesday and repeated his accusation that he injected Ordonez with steroids while they were teammates on the 2001 White Sox. However, he suggested that he didn't originally plan to include it in the book.
"He was a very, very, very late addition to my book because of what he did with that article," Canseco told Beckmann. "He would've never been in my book if he would've just not done anything at all, or not written [anything] or had this article somehow placed in the newspaper about me. That was ridiculous."
A January report in the Times cited Major League Baseball sources saying that Canseco approached Ordonez offering to keep his name out of the book if Ordonez helped finance a film project Canseco was pursuing. The report went on to say that Ordonez contacted the Tigers, who contacted Major League Baseball, but that Ordonez chose not to press charges.
When Beckmann asked Canseco why he was going to leave Ordonez out, Canseco said, "Because I didn't need any more players to justify my position. But he basically slit his own throat."
When Beckmann suggested Canseco vindictively put him in the book, Canseco said, "Just as he vindictively said to the media, or indirectly said to the media, or somehow fixed this to say I was trying to extort money from him. Are you kidding me? That's ridiculous."
The book appeared in stores last week. In a chapter near the end of the book, Canseco claims that Ordonez asked him about steroids, and then describes a conversation and the ensuing injection.
Ordonez has declined comment on Canseco's book.
Though Canseco has previously denied contacting Ordonez about the book, he told Beckmann that he had tried to reach Ordonez.
"I tried to contact Magglio and his agent and a few other people for an opportunity for an investment," Canseco said. "I called them constantly. No one ever returned my phone call. Now, the next thing I hear in the paper is that I'm trying to extort money from Magglio Ordonez."
The interview ended abruptly when Beckmann brought up Ordonez's statistics in the years leading up to Canseco's season with him and asked why there wasn't a significant increase in performance.
"Are you calling me a liar?" Canseco asked. "Are you calling me a liar? Later."
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.