*** For those of you who live near Tampa, Jose will be signing autographs
at the Trop Wednesday night from 5 - 7:30. ***
For all the details of Wednesday's event and even a mention of Jose twin,
Ozzie, check out the latest news below.
I'm headed to Tampa for a long weekend starting Wednesday, but I won't be
getting in until after the event at the Trop. Figures. I am planning on
attending Saturday's game against Boston thought - if any of you will be
there and would like to get together, let me know.
I added a few new photos and a video clip to my site this weekend. I
didn't get a chance to scan all my pictures from the Home Run Derby, but I
will the next time I am home (in 2 weeks). I also scanned my January
AllAdvantage check ($348). I earned an impressive $437 in February, thanks
in part to all of you who have signed up under me. I hope you are all
earning lots of money too. To those of you who still haven't signed up,
check out http://www.canseconet.com/getpaid.htm
to find out how you too can
get paid for doing your usual web surfing.
Take it easy,
From FOX Sports News:
Improving the offense
Devil Rays make off-season improvements to offense
By Kevin Kennedy
No team did more to improve its offense this off-season than the Tampa Bay
Devil Rays. Of course, the fact that they play in one of baseball's
toughest division meant that they had to get some help. But let's take a
look at how much this team has improved and what it all means for the
Leading off will be the newly acquired Gerald Williams. He proved at the
end of last season with the Atlanta Braves that he could handle the leadoff
role. Backing him up will be speedy second baseman Miguel Cairo. He doesn't
supply a lot of pop, but can get on base and is a real pest when he is there.
The heart of the order features four sluggers of the superstar variety.
Vinny Castilla left baseball's best hitters park in Colorado for the second
best in Tampa Bay. Backing him up will be Jose Canseco. When healthy he is
one of the best power hitters in the game. Of course keeping him healthy is
the trick. Next up is first baseman Fred McGriff who was reborn in 1999.
The quartet of sluggers is rounded out by free-agent acquisition Greg
Vaughn, who proved his 50 homer outburst in San Diego was no fluke by
smashing 45 last season with the Reds.
The rest of the order will be filled out by a catching platoon of Mike
DiFelice and John Flaherty, youngsters Jose Guillen and Bubba Trammell in
right and light- hitting shortstop Kevin Stocker.
This bench will be pretty well stocked, as veteran hitter Dave Martinez
will lead the reserves, along with two platoon players that will be sitting....
From the Sporting News:
...Health is always mentioned in the same sentence as home runs when it
comes to Canseco. The designated hitter reported to camp five days behind
the rest of the position players, but said his back is completely healthy.
Canseco's upper body actually appears bigger, but Canseco spent the
majority of his offseason working on strengthening his hamstrings. He hopes
the increased leg work will help support his back and keep him in the
lineup for a full season. He added eight pounds of muscle to his legs, and
at 255 pounds, said he is as strong as he has ever been.
Canseco was leading the majors with 31 homers before having back surgery on
July 11. Canseco, who has been routinely late for camp throughout his
career, said he reported ahead of his normal schedule. However, he was held
out of the first weekend of exhibition games to get used to live pitching.
Canseco was able to return for the last 35 games of the 1999 season, but
his power was sapped by a hand injury he said is now fully healed. Because
of the injury, Canseco finished the season using an interlocking golf grip
on his bat.
As usual, the flamboyant Canseco did not shy away from bold predictions
once he reported. He said he sees the Devil Rays finishing the season 20
games above .500, and thinks 600 career home runs are a reasonable goal. If
he stays healthy, of course. . . .
From the St. Petersburg Times:
FACE IN THE CROWD: Sluggers Jose Canseco, Vinny Castilla, Fred McGriff and
Greg Vaughn were assembled for their first group photo Friday morning, when
an unlikely addition popped his head into the picture -- catcher
MikeDiFelice. "It's the only way I'll get any credit as a power hitter,
I've got to make my own opportunity," DiFelice said. "By the time I'm 60 or
so, no one will remember and they'll say I was a power hitter too."
DAY OF REST: A sellout crowd is expected for today's game against Atlanta,
but most of the Rays stars won't be there. Among those scheduled for just a
pregame workout are Canseco, Vaughn, McGriff, Castilla, John Flaherty, Dave
Martinez, Gerald Williams, Miguel Cairo and Kevin Stocker.
From the Tampa Tribune:
Devil Rays Notebook
By Bob Chick, Bill Chastain
Big Four on hold: Don't look for any of the Big Four - Greg Vaughn, Vinny
Castilla, Fred McGriff or Jose Canseco - in the lineup today when the Rays
face the Braves. All four will take early hitting at Huggins-Stengel Field
this morning at 10 and be done for the day. ... Rothschild expects Canseco,
a late arrival to camp, to see his first action sometime next week. He
wants to make sure Canseco is ready to swing.
From Fox Sports:
No way, Jose
Canseco expects to hit 50-60 homers for Devil Rays
By Bob Nightengale
Does anyone really believe that Jose Canseco will hit 60 homers this year,
as he promises if he stays healthy?
Does anyone really believe the Tampa Bay Devil Rays have improved enough to
win 90 games, as Canseco predicts?
And can we have whatever Canseco is drinking these days that makes him zany
enough to make these outlandish comments?
"I feel great right now," Canseco says. "If I were to stay in this
condition the whole year, I'll definitely hit 50-60 homers. There's no ifs,
buts about that."
Oh, and how will the ballclub fare?
"I definitely don't see us right now being a .500 ballclub," he says. "I
definitely see us at least 20 games above .500 right now."
Uh, that means at least a 91-71 record in the American League East.
Does that mean they're set?
"I'd really concentrate now on pitching," Canseco says. "I think we have
plenty of offense, but we've also seen in the past the Seattle Mariners
have an explosive offense but couldn't win. Let's spend some money and some
time getting some pitching."
You mean like Brad Radke of the Twins?
"Radke, great," he says. "If we can acquire him, teams better watch out.
It's as simple as that. Get one more blue-chip starter. It'll be incredible.
We've already got one section taken care of. We need to look at another one."
Considering the Devil Rays' payroll has leaped from $37 million to $60
million, the team had better contend. If not, they'd better at least start
drawing some fans.
"If we can't get the fans out there now, it's going to be ridiculous,"
Canseco says. "This is as exciting a ballclub as you're going to get.
You're going to see a lot of power, a lot of excitement, a lot of balls
hitting off those rafters. Batting practice is going to be very exciting.
"And the most important thing is that we have a chance to win. We're
putting a team together to win - not to just contend, not to just field a
team. We want to win it all. It's as simple as that."
The Devil Rays not only need to win, but win in a hurry. If the team
doesn't improve and there is no significant increase in attendance, it could be
looking for a new home.
"It falls right smack on us, and we have to go out there and win the fans
over,'' Devil Rays closer Roberto Hernandez says. "You win the fans by
winning. No gimmicks, just winning baseball. You put out a winning product
and they come out."
The Devil Rays will be much improved this year. They should be a .500 team
and, at best, maybe win 85 games.
The $60 million question is whether anyone in the Tampa area will care.
CANSECO, CASTILLA, McGRIFF, VAUGHN AND BOGGS TO APPEAR MARCH 8 AT HIT SHOW
St. Petersburg, FL-- Devil Rays designated hitter Jose Canseco, third
baseman Vinny Castilla, infielder Fred McGriff, outfielder Greg Vaughn,
special assistant to the GM Wade Boggs, and others will be appearing at Hit
Show Premiere 2000 slated for Wednesday, March 8 at Tropicana Field..
The event runs from 5-8 p.m. The Rays have "tagged" the 1,000 best seats
still available for full and mini-seaon ticket plans for the 2000 season.
In addition, fans can purchase individual game tickets. Full 81-game season
ticket plans can be purchased for as little as $399.
For more information call 888-FAN-RAYS or in Pinellas call 727-825-3250, or
fill out an online form (www.devilray.com) to receive more information.
From the St. Petersburg Times:
(regarding the top of the lineup)
..."The first and second guys are very important," Canseco said. "If they
can do their job, that's what we're going to rely on. I don't think there's
any question the big boppers -- Fred, Castilla, Vaughn and myself -- are
going to do our job. "I think we need to get those first and second guys
consistently on. That's going to be the key to our lineup, I think. If they
can do that, we're going to have some big innings."
From the St. Petersburg Times:
SIGN THEM UP
Canseco, Vinny Castilla, Fred McGriff and Greg Vaughn will sign autographs
5:30-7 p.m. Wednesday at Tropicana Field as part of a season-ticket sales
event. Juan Guzman, Steve Trachsel, Gerald Williams, and special assistants
Wade Boggs and Frank Howard are scheduled to appear. Gates open at 5.
The top-three choices in the team-run contest to name the sluggers in the
middle of the batting order:
3) Hit Squad
2) Fearsome Foursome
1) Bayside Bashers
From the Toronto Sun
Devil Rays figure to have wild year
By BOB ELLIOTT -- Sun Sports
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Those lights in the Blue Jays' rear-view mirror are
Rather than strictly looking ahead at the Red Sox in the AL wild-card race,
as they have done the previous two seasons, the Jays will have to also look
over their shoulders.
The Devil Rays are no longer known only for their six-colour logo.
To sluggers Jose Canseco and Fred McGriff, Devil Rays GM Chuck LaMarr added
Colorado third baseman Vinny Castilla via trade and then signed Reds
free-agent outfielder Greg Vaughn.
"We have better power than Toronto, but they have better pitching and the
defence is close," Canseco said. "Overall, we have a better all-round team
Maybe they should be better than the Jays, as Devil Rays management bumped
the team payroll from $37 million US in 1999 to a whopping $62 million US.
Labatt, which gave the Jays a team payroll of $50 million in 1999, has
given them $53 million US to operate this season.
"We're right there with Boston," Canseco said. "The Yankees are probably
going to have the best record in our league. We don't have their depth."
From the St. Petersburg Times:
CANSECO WATCH: Jose Canseco has been taking batting practice regularly and
could see his first game action Tuesday against Texas. ... Twin brother
Ozzie Canseco, who last played in the majors in 1993, spoke with Rays
officials Sunday in hopes of landing a minor-league contract.
From the Tampa Tribune:
This and that: Jose Canseco has yet to play in a spring game. When asked
when he will make his 2000 debut, the Rays' slugger teased: ``July. That
way I won't have a problem around the All-Star Game.'' Canseco went on the
disabled list and had back surgery prior to the 1999 All-Star Game. ...
Canseconet.com - The Jose Canseco Site