Canseco swings and likely misses in Dodgers tryout
By Wire services
Published March 2, 2004
VERO BEACH - Jose Canseco better hope the book he claims to be writing is more successful than his performance in an open tryout with the Dodgers.
Canseco probably wrote his final chapter at Monday's workout, looking nothing like the slugger who intimidated opposing pitchers in the late 1980s and '90s.
"I think he swung the bat good, he hit a couple of balls good," former Dodgers manager Tom Lasorda said.
Now a senior vice president with the team, Lasorda seemed to realize he was being overly kind.
"He thought that coming out here and hitting off these guys wouldn't be too much to do," he said.
Matt Slater, Dodgers director of professional scouting, said he expected one or two of the 108 players who attended the workout would be signed, with a decision announced today.
Slater said Canseco was told several days ago there was a 99 percent chance the team wouldn't sign him.
"This is probably going to be my last attempt - see you in the movies," Canseco told reporters afterward.
"It could have gone better - technique's a little off," the onetime Devil Ray said. "I wish I had a little more time to get ready. I'm not going to hold my breath on it."
Now 39, Canseco, who has 462 career homers, last played in the majors in 2001.
PRIOR OUT AT LEAST 5 DAYS: The Cubs' Mark Prior, an 18-game winner in his first full major-league season last year, will miss five to 10 days of spring training with an inflamed right Achilles' tendon. He first felt the soreness in September when he helped the team into the playoffs, going 10-1 over the final two months of the season. "There is no real timetable on it," Prior said. "As long as I can get on the hill a few times and see some hitters in game situations, I feel like that's all I need."
OWNER QUESTIONS A-ROD TRADE: Giants owner Peter Magowan thinks the trade that sent Alex Rodriguez to the Yankees is bad for the game. "In terms of competitive balance it is not good for baseball," Magowan said. "The Rodriguez trade moves us back to where we're escaping."
VALENTINE URGES TOUGHER STANCE: Former Mets manager Bobby Valentine thinks baseball and its owners need to be more aggressive in combating steroid use. Baseball conducted random tests last season for steroids, and 5 percent to 7 percent were positive. That triggered a clause in the labor agreement allowing players to be punished. "If the league is going to bring the hammer down on this they better admit they made a huge mistake," Valentine said. "When I was a manager there was no advice given to the players." Valentine is back for his second stint with the Lotte Marines of Japan's Pacific League.
MARINERS: After one season in left, Randy Winn is moving to centerfield, but it's nothing new. That's where he spent most of his career - in the minors and with the Devil Rays - before arriving in Seattle last season. "The biggest difference when you move is just getting used to the guys playing next to you," he said.