Report: Feds ask Canseco if he sought money from Ordonez

Updated: May 6, 2008, 4:34 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Jose Canseco's lawyer said federal investigators who questioned the former major leaguer last month about Roger Clemens also asked him whether he had asked major league players to invest in a movie project, according to The New York Times.

Canseco's lawyer, Greg S. Emerson, said the questions were raised during a meeting with federal investigators prompted by the Justice Department's perjury investigation of Clemens, according to the report.

Emerson said he was troubled when federal investigator Jeff Novitzky said he had heard that Canseco had approached a number of ballplayers about investing in the movie project at the same time that he was still working on "Vindicated," his second book about performance-enhancing drugs in baseball.

Emerson said those questions left him concerned that investigators may be declaring "open season on the messenger," according to the Times.

"I don't know if that is happening, but that is what it looks like is happening and I don't like that one bit," he said, according to the report.

Emerson said Novitzky asked Canseco whether he had sought money from Tigers outfielder Magglio Ordonez. Emerson said Canseco denied seeking money from any players in connection with his two books, according to the Times.

Last year, the Times reported that Major League Baseball and the agent for Ordonez had informed federal agents that Canseco had asked Ordonez to invest in the movie project in return for Ordonez not being included in "Vindicated." But federal investigators did not open a case on the allegations, as Ordonez did not want to pursue it.

In the book, published this year, Canseco alleged that he injected Ordonez with steroids and human growth hormone.

Ordonez declined to comment for its story, the Times reported.

Emerson said Canseco isn't popular with players because of his two books, according to the report. "And the issue now is having to deal with people making up allegations like [Ordonez] did that [Novitzky] and the other investigators have to look into."

Canseco, in a meeting April 22 with federal investigators, reaffirmed that Clemens did not attend a party at his house that has become a focal point of the federal perjury investigation of Clemens.

The 1998 party at Canseco's home became an issue because Brian McNamee, Clemens' former trainer, has said Clemens spoke with Canseco and soon afterward approached the trainer about using performance-enhancing drugs.

Clemens says he did not attend the party, and Canseco corroborated that in an affidavit to Congress. Canseco stood by that affidavit during his interview.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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