Here we go again...
Baseball, steroids, slander, and extortion all in one sentence leads to one person: Jose Canseco. He once again has shown no regard for the unwritten code of silence, calling out names of others for steroid use. Regardless of his motives, Canseco has thrown out allegations and most have held validity to a degree.
A new story has surfaced over the last 24 hrs and seems to be no different in regards to Canseco's motive—money. But this time there's something extra. The New York Times broke a story recently that has Jose Canseco allegedly extorting former teammate from the 2001 White Sox, Magglio Ordonez. It is said that through a third party Canseco offered to clear Ordonez of mention in a new book he is writing if Ordonez invested money into a movie project promoted by Canseco. The motive again is again fairly black and white, but like Canseco's past outings the question is the validity.
One would assume, from what we know thus far, that this is true. If Canseco's allegations of steroid usage by Ordonez were absolutely false he would be facing some probable repercussion from a legal standpoint, namely slander.
Any player could have worked a slander defense if they knew they hadn't used. Most players have not gone this route for the simple reason that more digging would be done and in most cases the allegations were true. The new allegations on Ordonez add a new aspect to this though: extortion.
The Hobb's act defines extortion as "the obtaining of property from another, with his consent, induced by wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence, or fear, or under color of official right." (18 U.S.C.S. 1951(b)(2)) The penalty of extortion varies and is usually determined on a case by case basis, but it can be heavy.
Having said that, you have to ask yourself why Canseco would take a risk like this if he did not know with some degree of certainty that his allegation was valid. Another question that has been asked of the accused is, if your're innocent, why not file a case for slander, or in this case slander and extortion? Ordonez apparently had done so, but then called off any investigation.
Allegedly Ordonez asked the FBI to open an informal investigation, but when the time came to go after Conseco he declined. Declined? A man is going after you character and any type of legacy and you are going to decline? Ordonez was quoted as saying, "I didn't want to press charges against him. I don't want anymore problems. I don't understand why he is trying to put me down." Conseco was asked of the allegations and replied "absolutly not" in regards to requesting money.
Hmmm...this looks pretty familiar.
As in cases from before, Canseco's morals and motives appear to be just as they are. I think the accusations on Ordonez look to be equally obvious. As mentioned earlier, standing on roof tops proclaiming innocence and filing charges brings on further digging for truth. Ordonez not choosing to continue probably closes the case in the court of public opinion...Guilty.
"I don't want anymore problems." Yes, I bet you don't and further digging in all probability will bring just that.
So once again with Canseco's complete disregard for the brotherhood of former teammates it seems the newest name has dropped. In this steroid era you simply do not need to be proven guilty in a court of law. If you decline to seek a court of law in fear of what may be discovered it appears obvious who is telling the truth.
Ninety-nine percent of the time, if it looks like a rat and smells like a rat it is one. Canseco may be defined as just that by many in a society that tends to look down on snitches. Even as a young child you are taught that you should never tattle-tale on others.
Unfortunately for any teammate of Canseco's, tattling doesn't seem to be a concern if the price is right.