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Original Issue

Immaterial Guy

The now-it-can-be-told story of how Jose Canseco struck out with Madonna

The woman is so busy. She has the movie and the music and the traveling and the press conferences and the openings and the dancing and the money and the houses and the workouts and...the phone rings. How can she remember every little thing that happens to her?


"Who is this?"

"How's my Material Girl?"

"Who is this?"

"You know who this is. Your favorite rightfielder...."


"Mr. Forty-Forty."

"I don't go out with anyone over 40. Except Warren Beatty. Who is this?"


"Oh say what?"

"Jose. J-O-S-E. Jose."

"I don't know any Jose."

"Jose. We had dinner. Jose.... This is a hint. Jose Can...."


"Jose Can...."

"I didn't meet any Jose in Cannes, Not that I can remember."

"Jose Canseco. A photographer from the New York Post took my picture when I left your apartment building. All the papers wrote about it. I'm the baseball player. I was showing you how I hit for power. I rolled up that copy of Vogue in your living room. I swung the copy of Vogue and hit the little balled-up piece of paper you threw to me. It bounced off the big window overlooking Central Park. A shot."

"I'm sorry. I don't remember."

"I was joking with you. I told you the only color for your hair that you haven't tried is white. I said you should dye your hair white and you'd look like Sparky Anderson."

"Sparky who?"

"I told you that, being close to you, I hadn't felt so excited since I faced Roger Clemens and he was throwing heat at me on the black. Which is the truth, by the way."

"Heat on the black."

"Jose. You have to remember."

"I don't know any Jose."

"I told you that when you came to Miami I'd take you out in my car. I fill it with special rocket fuel. We'll do 200 miles an hour around the curves, playing your music as loud as we can."

"I don't go out with race car drivers. That's a rule that I have. The foreign ones don't speak English, and the American ones all wear caps advertising chewing tobacco. Not my style."

"I'm not a race car driver. I'm a baseball player."

"The only baseball player I know is Kevin Costner, and he's a dweeb."

"No, I'm a real baseball player. I play for the A's."

"The Haze? It sounds like a rock group. Was that Jimi Hendrix's group?"

"The Oakland A's. We were world champions two years ago. We would have won last year, too, except I was hurt."

"I don't know much about baseball."

"I told you that we could be the Couple of the '90s, bigger than Jane Fonda and Ted Turner. We would be the modern Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe."

"A lot of people have told me that I look like Marilyn. Before I stopped bleaching my hair, of course...."

"I told you that you looked like Marilyn. You do."

"Well, at least that's better than that Sparky What's-His-Name."

"I told you that when I got back to New York maybe we could go out to this sports bar I know and drink some beers and watch some games on television and maybe play a little Pop-a-Shot. I get coupons for being on those dugout interview shows during rain delays."

"Dugout interviews? Is that like the National Enquirer? I don't do those any more. Those people have dug out more stuff about my life than I want dug out. The helicopters at my wedding to Sean were the worst. What a scene."

"No, no, the dugout is a place. In baseball. You sit in the dugout and some man points a microphone in your lace, and then afterwards you get the coupons for the free meals and stuff at the sports bar."

"I don't do sports bars, thank you."

"Well, it doesn't have to be a sports bar. We can do the clubs. I have money. We can do the clubs. I'll pay."

"I don't do clubs with people I don't know."

"You do know me! I'm Jose! I'm Jose Canseco! Little kids stand in line for hours and pay for my autograph. Grown men copy down my words about all subjects and put them in the newspapers. I'm rich. I'm famous. I'm absolutely now."

"And your name is Jose?"



"Michael Jackson, if you call me one more time with these tricks of yours, I'm never going to talk to you again. You're such a kidder. I fell for it the time you called and said you were Lauren Bacall. I fell for it the time you said you were Nancy Reagan. I'm not falling now. No way, Jose."


"Ciao, Michael. Better luck next time."