Canseco put World Series ring for sale on Web site

Updated: February 22, 2005, 10:42 AM ET
By Darren Rovell | ESPN.com

If Jose Canseco is in need of some money, he isn't doing a great job these days of hiding it.

Jose Canseco
Canseco

Among the items for sale on his Web site are autographed copies of his new book "Juiced" for $58 and an autographed White Sox game jersey for $749.95. Canseco also put his 2000 New York Yankees World Series ring up for purchase.

The ring, with 22 major diamonds and 34.5 grams of gold, was on sale for $40,000 but was removed from the site Monday.

The New York Post reported Tuesday that a California collector purchased the ring, but attempts by ESPN.com to confirm the sale late Monday were unsuccessful.

E-mails directed to the site's webmaster were not returned.

Ring selling isn't something new in the Canseco family. Canseco sold his 1986 American League Rookie of the Year ring for $5,100, while his twin brother Ozzie sold his 1990 American League Championship ring for $6,000.

"He's sold his trophies, his World Series rings, sold everything that had true meaning to the average baseball player," Oakland A's teammate Dave Stewart told the Tri-Valley Herald. "He did that because he never really liked the game."

Canseco's book had an initial run of 150,000 copies, though it is not clear how many have sold or if there will be an additional printing. The book has been among Amazon.com's Top 20 bestsellers for two weeks, but was not listed among the New York Times Top 35 bestselling books on the paper's hardcover non-fiction list Sunday.

According to reports in the Berkshire Eagle and Lowell (Mass.) Sun, Canseco owes $32,793 in taxes to the state of Massachusetts. But his agent said the slugger was not delinquent in his payments and the misunderstanding was due to the fact the accounting firm that handled Canseco's taxes did not file an income-tax return.

At this point, Canseco doesn't need money to defend himself against any libel suits. Players named as steroid users in the book -- including Mark McGwire, Ivan Rodriguez and Juan Gonzalez -- all denied the claims, but none of them has filed lawsuits.

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Wilson Alvarez, who played in Tampa Bay with Canseco, said he considered suing the slugger after he named Wilson as a steroid user, but said filing a lawsuit would be a waste of time.

"I'll just let it go," Alvarez said.

When the Yankees claimed Canseco off waivers in August 2000, manager Joe Torre said the team's interest in Canseco left him "stunned" and "surprised." Canseco earned the World Series ring after playing in only 37 games. He had one at-bat in the World Series against the New York Mets and struck out.

Mike Greenwell, the runner-up to Canseco for the 1988 American League MVP award, said earlier this week that he should be granted the award because Canseco cheated. But claiming the actual award would be complicated since Canseco reportedly sold it for $30,000.

Darren Rovell, who covers sports business for ESPN.com, can be reached at darren.rovell@espn3.com.

Darren Rovell | email

ESPN.com Sports Business reporter

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