By Matt Noonan
The Worcester Tornadoes, an independent baseball team, announced on Friday that they’ve signed former Boston Red Sox and MLB slugger Jose Canseco to a one-year contract.
“From a baseball standpoint, we lost two of the best power hitters in our league. We lost Chris Colabello to the [Minnesota] Twins organization, we lost Mark Minicozzi to Quebec in our league, and that’s a serious drop off, that’s right-handed power hitting and Jose Canseco, why not give him a chance and see what he’s got,” Tornadoes GM Jorg Bassiacos said on Friday morning. “If it helps sell a few tickets, there’s no harm in that either.”
Canseco, who hasn’t been involved with a Major League team since 2001, had originally planned to play in the Mexican League this spring, but those plans were derailed after he refused to take a doping test.
“He’s very excited [about the season]. He has a true appreciation for Boston, he has true appreciation for the fans of New England, who’re in his words, ‘savvy baseball people,’” added Bassicos. “If you perform, you’re going to be embraced, and I think that’s a very accurate statement.”
The former MLB slugger played 17 seasons in the big leagues, two of them with Boston, and ended his career with 1,877 hits, 1,407 RBIs, 462 home runs, and 340 doubles.
“The buzz has been palpable, the phones have been ringing off the hook here in the front office, and I think it’s great. I think it’s great for us, I think it helps us tell a great story,” said Bassicos.
“I think giving Jose an opportunity to showcase what he can do, as well as us an opportunity to tell a story of really turning this around is a good story.”
Canseco and the Tornadoes will begin their 2012 schedule at Newark on Thursday, May 17, and will play their home opener on Monday, May 21, against Quebec.
Worcester hasn’t won a CanAm League title since 2005, and will attempt to end their seven-year drought this season, too.
For more information on this particular acquisition – please check out the Tornadoes press releases by CLICKING HERE.