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A’s all-time great sees a bright future for the team in Vegas

Count one of the franchise’s all-time great players as one who believes the Oakland Athletics will thrive in Las Vegas.

Jose Canseco, who spent the first eight years of his career playing for the A’s, says there is no question the region will support Major League Baseball.

“I think that was tested already with the hockey team, quite successful, and the football team, quite successful,” Canseco said. “So I think it’s already been tested that Las Vegas can handle major league-type environment teams.”

The relocation, which is moving through the process with Major League Baseball, is necessary for the franchise, he said.

“The Oakland A’s definitely need a new start,” said Canseco, who ended his career in 2001 with 462 career home runs. “I think the A’s are going to get a big fan base, not just from the locals, but from L.A., California, Arizona.”

He expects a honeymoon period for the team whenever it arrives, particularly when the new stadium is built on the Strip at the Tropicana site.

“Especially at the very beginning you know what happens. You build a new stadium, people will come,” he said. “I think you’re going to be amazed the first couple years, the A’s are going to be very highly supported because of the new environment, new team.”

But any lasting success will come down to putting a quality product on the field, he believes.

“Eventually what’s going to sustain that is the Oakland A’s have to win,” he says.

Canseco, 59, hinted he might be interested in helping the A’s after they make the move.

“I do have a relationship with them,” he said of the franchise. “But maybe I can establish more of an everyday, physical relationship. I am a physical individual, still in great shape. I’d love to go out there on a daily basis and help the Oakland A’s in any which way or shape possible, instructing, being on the field, whatever combination my physicality enables me to do.”

That teaching aspect will be on display this weekend when Canseco is part of a group of MLB alumni hosting a youth baseball clinic Saturday from 9 a.m. at Faith Lutheran High School. The former players will instruct youngsters for three hours at the clinic, which is free and open to the public. All of the spots for youth players have been reserved.

Greg Robertson covers golf for the Review-Journal. Reach him at grobertson@reviewjournal.com.

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