Investigators talk to Canseco; slugger to meet with MLB again later

4/3/2008 - MLB

Major League Baseball investigators cornered Jose Canseco on Wednesday.

In New York for a signing for his new book "Vindicated," Canseco had an impromptu meeting with baseball officials.

Florida Today and USA Today reported that the meeting took place in a bookstore bathroom. The New York Post reported that the meeting took place in the green room of the bookstore, not the bathroom.

An unnamed source told USA Today that MLB investigators sought out Canseco as they would any person who claims to have knowledge of steroid use in the sport.

However, baseball officials never approached Canseco after his first book, "Juiced," was published. In that book, Canseco called himself the "Godfather" of steroids in baseball and identified several players who he claimed used steroids.

"We asked them, 'Why now? Why not two years ago? Why so long?'" Canseco's attorney, Robert Saunooke, told the New York Daily News. "They said, 'Those are valid questions.'"

Saunooke said that Canseco agreed to meet with MLB officials again after his book tour is finished.

"I've got goose bumps, I'm in shock," Saunooke told Florida Today about the meeting.

In his new book, Canseco says he introduced Alex Rodriguez to a steroid dealer.

Saunooke told the Daily News that he wasn't sure of baseball's motivation to talk to Canseco now.

"It does raise a lot of questions. Is it the A-Rod allegations? Do they want to know who Max [the alleged steroid dealer whom Canseco allegedly introduced to A-Rod] is? What if they want to know who Max is -- so they can get to Max and go after A-Rod, because they believe Jose over A-Rod? I don't know what this will translate into. No clue."

Canseco said he is willing to cooperate with baseball investigators but echoed his attorney's questions on the timing of MLB's interest.

"They could have reached out to me before I wrote my first book," he told Florida Today. "They could have solved this issue easily. They could have reached out to me after my first book when, ironically, they reached after me after my second book. I don't really know what to make of it. I don't know what their motives are. I'm definitely willing to help them out as much as possible and we'll find out how it turns out."

Canseco's first book was a big reason why Congress got involved with the problem of steroids in baseball, which in turn inspired commissioner Bud Selig to hire former Sen. George Mitchell to produce his report on performance-enhancing drugs in the sport.

The Mitchell report suggested that MLB form a special branch to investigate steroid use in the sport. It was that newly formed branch that talked to Canseco on Wednesday.

Saunooke has an idea how Canseco could contribute to the new branch.

"Maybe they could make him the commissioner of steroids," he said jokingly to Florida Today.