Well...I'm afraid (is "afraid" the right word?) that I might have uncovered some potential shenanigans prior to the Yuma Scorpions-Lake County Fielders game Thursday night.
Follow me on this one.
For a couple of months, I had been working with Scorpions general manager Jose Melendez on possibly getting an interview with the team's player/manager Jose Canseco.
I know, I know, I've been burned by Canseco before (kinda), but based on the emails I was exchanging with Melendez...this interview appeared like it was going to happen.
Then...I got this email.
Canseco has a prior commitment tonight that I wasn't aware. He is in Chicago area at a fundraiser event. I hope he can be there by gametime.
Uh oh...that's not good. Dude is the only reason that my group convoyed to Zion, Illinois to watch baseball in a dusty parking lot behind a CVS Pharmacy.
But then genius struck.
Why not go get some beverages and hotdogs and stake out the team clubhouse (it's a mobile trailer set up just past the leftfield bleachers really) and wait for the slugger. I mean...we HAD to be the only cats that knew Jose Canseco wasn't there yet, right?
We approached the trail..er, "clubhouse" and then it happened. The door opens and out of it emerges OZZIE Canseco.
Wearing his brother's number 33 jersey.
We were dumbfounded...shocked really. But there he was, Ozzie Canseco, just trotting to the field, casually gesturing to fans that were there to see his brother, the 1988 American League MVP.
So...I emailed Melendez. I had to.
Is Ozzie wearing Jose's 33 tonight? Looks like it. Hmmm.
Lol. Don't tell me that. He is number 32.
To which I responded.
Ozzie is wearing 33.
And then it hit me. Jose was, more than likely, NOT going to make it to Zion at all. And since he is playing the "Bingo Long" role when it comes to this team of "Travelling All Stars" (former Major Leaguers Joey Gathright and Willy Aybar also play for Yuma)...brother Ozzie was going to stop in and assume the part.
By wearing number 33. And again, it wouldn't be the first time the twins pulled this sort of thing.
A few minutes later, here comes Ozzie, heading back to the team "clubhouse" SANS 33 JERSEY (check out the video below...sorry for the quality). About a minute later he emerges again, this time with the number 32, his number, on his back.
He cheerfully greeted some fans (including my band of misfits), laughing "I'm not Jose" and signed some autographs.
And then...the next email from Melendez came to my phone.
Who is wearing 32?
So, I'm asking you, fans of The Hall...did I blow the roof off some halfbaked scheme by the Canseco Brothers? Were they trying to pull a fast one on the unsuspecting fans of the Lake County Fielders?
Honestly...I'm not sure. And frankly, based on the number of people taking pictures of Ozzie Canseco with their phones...it would've worked.
I'll leave you with this...Ozzie Canseco actually seems like a decent guy and I've got mad respect for the guy after seeing him out there doing his thing and seemingly picking up the pieces his brother appears to be leaving behind.