Canseco returns to reality (TV, that is)

You, too, can spend a day with Jose

The Kickoff

March 30, 2007|By PETER SCHMUCK

If you miss Jose Canseco - and, really, who doesn't at this point? - for the small fee of $9.99 and airfare to Los Angeles, you can compete for a chance to spend a dream day with Jose and possibly win one of his prized baseball possessions.

Even better, the whole thing will be captured by camera crews for a new reality show starring Jose and the handful of fans who come up with the most imaginative and outrageous ideas for their day with the Prince of Performance Enhancement.

My first reaction to this was that Jose had reached a pathetic new low, which is no small task.

My second reaction was: "Do I still have a PayPal account?"

This is too good to pass up. I can think of a bunch of great ways to spend a day with Jose, and only one of them involves me, him and Mark McGwire in the world's largest restroom stall.

I read the fine print at JoseCanseco.com, and there isn't one word about respected sports journalists being ineligible to vie for the chance to own the diamond-encrusted 40/40 ring he wears to commemorate the year he became the first guy to hit 40 homers and steal 40 bases in a season.

Can't you just see me sitting in some cocktail lounge tapping that baby on the bar:

Random floozy: "Gee, that's a great-looking ring. What's the 40/40 stand for ... are you the first guy to eat 40 bags of Doritos and 40 jars of microwaveable cheese dip in the same sitting?"

Me: "Wow, I've lost 25 pounds and I can't even get any respect in my own imagination."

Actually, I hate it when athletes are forced to put their most prized mementos up for sale, so I'm happy Jose is offering up the ring instead of his steroid paraphernalia. It was either that or the autographed Bronson Pinchot bobblehead doll he won during his season on The Surreal Life.

The reality show will allow the contestants who come up with the best activities to surprise Jose at his "maginificant LA home" (I'm pretty sure they meant "magnificent," but who spells anymore?) and whisk him away for the day. I'm guessing it'll be a little like my all-time favorite syndicated show - Blind Date - except the Jacuzzi scenes will look like they were directed by Federico Fellini.

I'm still deciding whether to plunk down my $9.99, but my dream day with Jose would start on the San Diego Freeway headed south. We'd cross the Mexican border and check out some of the great pharmacies in Tijuana. Then we'd head back up to Orange County and stop by Big Mac's place to play a game of anabolic Twister. I'm feeling buff already.

Of course, they'll never choose me, not after the way I torched Jose at his Dodgertown spring tryout a few years ago. That was the day he announced he was writing a book about steroids. We all laughed - well, all of us except Mac and Rafael Palmeiro and basically a whole generation of soiled baseball players.

We're not laughing anymore. Jose's accusations seemed fantastic when Juiced hit the bookstores, particularly the account of him squeezing into that infamous restroom stall with a youthful McGwire at the Oakland Coliseum. Some of them still stretch the limits of credulity, but much more of Canseco's book has been proved right than has been proved wrong since it was published two years ago.

Nevertheless, he remains a baseball pariah, clinging to the edge of celebrity after once being one of the most recognizable superstars in professional sports.

I really can't explain why I've never been to his Web site before. I'm a regular visitor to TerrellOwens.com and BarryBonds.com, but they're both a lot slicker than Jose's site. Bonds' site streams highlights of his historic home runs and Owens' has its own hip-hop soundtrack.

JoseCanseco.com is pretty simple. There's a come-on for the reality show and a small fan section, but it's basically a place where Canseco can sell stuff, including several of his championship rings and autographed copies of his tell-all best seller. I guess I can't fault him for that, but I don't know about charging people $9.99 for the privilege of helping him write the script for his reality pilot.

Who am I kidding?

Autographed copy of Juiced? $39.95.

Already read it.

His 1989 World Series ring? $17,500.

I don't wear jewelry.

Ten bucks for a chance to spend a whole day bouncing fungo fly balls off Jose's head on VH1?

Priceless.

peter.schmuck@baltsun.com

Listen to Peter Schmuck on WBAL (1090 AM) at noon on Saturdays and Sundays.

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