The Yuma Scorpions, according to a report by the Yuma Sun, have hired both Jose and Ozzie Canseco prior to the beginning of the North American League's inaugural season. Jose will serve as the manager and twin brother Ozzie will function as both the bench and hitting coach. Both Cansecos will also play on the field.
The Scorpions are hoping to generate some buzz in the Spanish-speaking community of Yuma with this move. According to the report, league president Keven Outcalt had this to say about Canseco: "He'll attract not only Latin players, but work with the diverse community in Yuma as well. We expect Jose not only to do very well managing the team but also in the community."
Jose Canseco was a formidable slugger during his time in Major League Baseball and he became baseball's first 40 home run, 40 stolen-base player in 1988. Outside of the MLB, he has previously played for the Newark Bears of the Atlanta League and the Long Beach Armada of the Golden Baseball League. His minor league career did not end without controversy though. He was sued for $250,000 by the Armada following his departure from the club in 2006.
Whether or not this turns out to be a good move, you have to admire the guts of this Yuma franchise. After disappointing seasons in 2009 and 2010 and amidst rumors of a possible relocation, the Scorpions have decided to make a bold move to turn the tides and win over some fans. So far, so good: the Scorpions have already drawn attention with this hiring.
This is just the beginning though. The Scorpions could really change their past fortune if Canseco can connect with the community and deliver on the field. Of course, the franchise could just as easily go south if Canseco decides instead to pursue the same mischief that got him sued by the Long Beach Armada. We'll have to wait and see.
Bravo, Yuma Scorpions. You have my attention.