Jose Canseco offers advice to Mayor Rob Ford
Former baseball slugger tells Toronto mayor to stop drug use, issues open challenge to current Blue Jays
Former home run king and Blue Jay slugger Jose Canseco once considered running for mayor of Toronto. But on a promotional visit to the city on Friday, Canseco only offered political advice.
"Stop using drugs," he said, addressing the allegations Mayor Rob Ford has been caught on video smoking crack-cocaine. "Just so you know."
Canseco, speaking from the patio of Belly Buster Submarines, a sandwich shop on King Street West, didn’t think much of the recent drug accusations.
"I’ve got allegations of steroid use. So what?" he said.
Canseco had previously admitted to steroid use in his 2005 autobiography, Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big.
Canseco’s interest Toronto municipal politics started in late 2012 when he announced on Twitter he would be running for mayor. He abandoned his unofficial candidacy when he learned the citizenship rules for the position: the mayor of Toronto must be Canadian.
Canseco, who was born in Cuba but is an American citizen, asked restaurant patrons at Belly Busters on Friday about gaining citizenship in Canada
He admitted he would be reluctant to move from his current home, in Las Vegas, Nev.
"How am I going to run this city from Las Vegas?" Canseco asked the crowd of around 10 people who arrived early to meet him.
Home run challenge
A former Major League MVP and member of the elite 40-40 club (at least 40 home runs and 40 stolen bases in one season), Canseco earned fame as a member of the Bash Brothers with Mark McGuire when the two played for the Oakland Athletics in the late-80s.
Both players were stung by admissions of steroid use later in their careers, and Canseco strung together a long list of arrests, including for domestic violence.
Lately though Canseco is more known for publicity stunts, like appearing on NBC's Celebrity Apprentice and charity boxing matches.
After all that, Canseco still wants to talk about home runs. He challenged anyone on the current roster of the Toronto Blue Jays to a home run hitting contest at the Rogers Centre, which he still refers to by its original stadium name, SkyDome.
"I can still hit a baseball well over 500 feet, and a softball 570 feet. So I’m willing to challenge anyone at the Skydome to do that," he said.
"Any human being alive I will take them in a home run hitting competition and wipe the floor with them, even at almost 50 years old. Guaranteed."