Jose Canseco has never been had a problem speaking his mind and commanding an audience’s attention. Now he’ll get the opportunity to do it regularly after NBC Sports California hired the former Oakland A’s slugger as an on-air analyst for A’s Pregame Live and A’s Postgame Live.
“I’ve got quite a bit of experience. I’ve pretty much been there, done all of that whether it’s on or off the field,” Canseco said. “I think the fans can expect the truth — an honest opinion, honest analysis — and hopefully in some shape or form we expand the fan base.”
The 1988 American League MVP and first player in major league baseball history to hit 40 homers and steal 40 bases in the same season, Canseco’s baseball accomplishments provide him with instant credibility to local viewers. He was one of the league’s most popular players, a member of the “Bash Brothers”, and a leader who played a vital role in the Athletics advancing to four consecutive World Series, winning it all in 1989 in a four game sweep against Oakland’s cross town rivals, the San Francisco Giants.
“I pulled his rookie baseball card out of packs, watched him play countless games in person at the Coliseum,” said Brodie Brazil, host for A’s Pregame and Postgame Live. “It still hasn’t sunk in that we’ve added one of the Bash Brothers to our core of analysts. The kid and adult in me are both pretty stoked.”
After 17 big league seasons and 462 home runs, Canseco retired. He became a magnet for the media after his career due to writing the controversial tell-all book “Juiced”, which shed light on how widespread steroid use was throughout the major leagues.
Although he earned the scorn of baseball players, executives, owners, and league officials following the book’s release, he’s been vindicated in the years that have followed, as the league has been forced to investigate itself and introduce stricter testing, leading to the suspensions of many active ball players.
“It’s kind of a double-edged sword,” he said of writing “Juiced.” “It made the game better because it made the game look at what was going on internally. On the other end, because I wrote the book and went up against Major League Baseball, I got excommunicated.”
Canseco has seen the highs and lows of major league baseball, and can draw on numerous experiences to relate to today’s game. He’s also comfortable expressing his views, and has a strong connection to the Oakland fan base, which should make him an attractive commodity during Athletics pre and post-game shows. One thing is for certain, they’ll instantly become more interesting with him contributing.
“It’s the first time I’ve gotten the opportunity to do something like this,” Canseco said. “Maybe fans would like to hear what my thoughts are, how things can be fixed or made better for the Oakland A’s.”