Canseco wants to sign with St. Paul Saints

The St. Paul Saints minor league baseball team is known for its crazy promotions. Jose Canseco wants in on the fun.

Canseco, the 48-year-old former Major League slugger who has admitted to steroids use, campaigned on Twitter throughout the day Friday for the Saints to give him a look.

Canseco (@JoseCanseco) sent several tweets to his nearly half million followers, including: “the @stpaulsaints are world class marketeers. Help me come up with some other promo nights that can help them draw. ideas? #cansainto.”

Canseco’s Twitter spree likely stems from a story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune in which columnist Jim Souhan met with Canseco in Texas.

This isn’t the first time Canseco has lobbied on Twitter for teams to sign him. But given the Saints’ penchant for wacky antics to draw fans to the stadium — they held events such as Atheist Night last year, among others — he may be knocking on the right door.

Even at 48, Canseco still believes he can play the game for an independent team like the Saints.

“I eat right. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, none of that crazy stuff,” Canseco told the Star Tribune. “I love sports. I love baseball. Having good genetics doesn’t hurt.”

So is there interest from the Saints? Not yet, said Derek Sharrer, the team’s general manager and executive vice president. But the Saints are certainly intrigued by Canseco’s campaign.

“The best I can tell you is we’re in the middle of the process of putting our roster together,” Sharrer said Friday. “Would we consider it? Sure. But we’re pretty early on in the process. Specific to Jose, this is the first we’ve heard of his interest.”

Canseco remained active on Twitter Friday in pleading his case, tweeting things like, “I am going to just launch massive bombs” and “i would pump up the economy in st. paul.”

Sharrer said he was aware of Canseco’s Twitter campaign.

“As you can imagine, we’re caught a little bit cold on it,” Sharrer said. “We weren’t aware of Jose’s interest to play for the Saints. It’s always nice to hear that we’re a desirable place to play.”

The Saints have previously signed players who may have served more as a publicity stunt than as an actual member of the roster. It remains to be seen which of those categories Canseco would fall under if the Saints were to indeed add him to their roster.

In 1996, the Saints brought Dave Stevens aboard despite having no legs. While he didn’t make the roster, it fulfilled a lifelong dream for him. One year later, the Saints signed Ila Borders, the first woman to earn a college baseball scholarship. She pitched in seven games as a reliever.

“When we brought Ila Borders on board, we had every intention of her — and she did — deliver as a pitcher for us,” Sharrer said. “In a perfect world, if we brought someone on in hopes that there would be a media bump from bringing them on, they would also be a contributor to our roster. That would definitely be considered in it. It wouldn’t be purely one or the other.”

Canseco spent 17 seasons in the major leagues with seven different teams. He broke onto the scene with Oakland, and he and Mark McGwire teamed up to become the Bash Brothers.

In 1988, Canseco hit an American League-best 42 homers and drove in 124 runs. Three years later, he again led the AL in home runs with 44. In 1998 with Toronto, Canseco hit a career-high 46 home runs and finished his career with 462 homers.

His last year in the majors was 2001 with the Chicago White Sox. Since then, Canseco has tried to keep his career going by playing for several minor league teams, most recently in 2012 with the Worcester Tornadoes of the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball.

If he had his way, Canseco would suit up once again, this time in a St. Paul Saints uniform.

“hey @stpaulsaints i would give my left — to play for you guys,” Canseco tweeted. “i will swing a bat until the day i die it is all i ever wanted to do since before i can remember it is who i am and who i was and who i will.”

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