Jose Canseco

Jose Canseco’s Finger Fell Off in a Poker Game?

Former Major League Baseball star Jose Canseco has not had the easiest time of it since retiring from the game about a decade ago (his last MLB season was 2001, but he has tried to hang on a while longer in independent leagues). He has had a number of legal issues and financial problems, but those may pale in comparison to what happened to him on October 28th. He shot off his own finger.

We hear about these things happening, but it is still surprising that anybody can be so careless. He was cleaning his gun on that fateful day and like many people, he failed to make sure the weapon was not loaded. There apparently was, in fact, a round in the gun and it discharged, taking Canseco’s middle finger on his left hand right off. His fiancée, model Laila Knight, rushed him to the hospital where doctors reattached the digit, though Canseco was warned that he might not have full use of it ever again. jose canseco baseball card 2

Most of us would naturally be extremely upset if we lost a finger, especially if we did it to ourselves. Canseco was even more distraught about it, imagining how much worse it could have been. Of course, he was fortunate that no other part of his body was in the way of the bullet, but for Canseco, that wasn’t even it. Knight was in the room with him. She could have been a casualty of his carelessness. Canseco has said that as much as his predicament is awful, the silver lining is that his fiancée was not hurt.

Moving along, Canseco sent out the oddest tweets a week ago:

“Dam [sic] I was playing in a poker tournament last night and something crazy happened to my finger that I shot off and they put back on. I knew something crazy was going to happen with this dam [sic] finger cause it felt like it was falling off.”

And that was it. What was crazy? It felt like it was falling off? What’s going on? And how am I shoehorning this story onto a poker news site when it is barely even tangentially related to poker?

Over two and a half hours later, Canseco lifted the suspense, explaining what happened:

Ok well I might as well tell you. I was playing in a poker tournament last night and my finger fell off. Someone took a video of it. My finger should has been amputated from the beginning. It was very loose with no bone to connect it. It was also smelling really bad. This guy called my agent and sold him the video of my finger falling off. It looks kinda funny. Lol. I want to see the video I haven’t even seen it yet.

A few minutes later, “Dammm I thought the guy was funny meaning kidding just saw the video. OMG”

The lesson that we seemed to learn from this was that we need to be wary of what we are stacking after we scoop a pot. That, and now there might be another reason why the guy next to you smells bad.

The poker and sports worlds (which, depending on your point of view, could be one in the same) have had some fun with this story. Canseco, known to do most anything for attention and money since his retirement, is an easy target. It’s unfortunate that he had the accident with his finger, but he seems to be laughing at himself, so we’ve been joining in the fun. He even tweeted that he might put the finger up for bids on eBay.

But as goofy and fun as this saga has been, we have all been had. The finger falling off in a poker game story was a hoax. TMZ, the media outlet that can dig up anything, reached out to Jose Canseco about the supposed video, but when he could not produce it, he had to eventually admit he was just pulling a prank on the interwebs. It appears that a finger did fall off at the poker table, but it was not Canseco’s – it was just a fake finger he bought in a Halloween store. Apparently, he saw the finger in the store and the prank came to mind, so he decided to have a little fun. The real finger, the one that had the quick meeting with a bullet, is still attached.

Jose Canseco was one of baseball’s premiere sluggers from the mid-1980’s to early 1990’s, though even after his short window of dominance, he still enjoyed success in the game for a number of years. Of particular note, he became the first member of baseball’s 40/40 club in 1988, showing a rare combination of speed and power when he hit 42 homers and stole 40 bases en route to winning the MVP award. After his career was over, he admitted that his prodigious moonshots were aided by steroids and in his book, Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant ‘Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big, he claimed to have aided teammates in their steroid administration and said that most players were on performance enhancing drugs.


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