Following a brief pregame ceremony on August 12, Rodriguez donned the Yankee pinstripes for one final time as a player, contributing an RBI double in the first inning to help his team win. While he never reached the record-shattering heights that once seemed attainable, the slugger still finished with numbers that rank among the best ever in several categories, including home runs (696), RBIs (2,086), hits (3,115) and runs (2,021). Along with his three MVP awards, he won two Gold Gloves for his fielding prowess and was selected for 14 All-Star Games.
Many players love to pick the brain of Reds first baseman Joey Votto , who is generally regarded as perhaps the smartest hitter in the game. On a podcast recently, Votto talked about how he came into this year devoted to the task of cutting down on his strikeouts. Votto had racked up 135 strikeouts in 2015 and 120 in 2016, and in his effort to reduce that this year, Votto decided to cut down on his swing as he got deeper into the count -- choking up a little more after one strike, and even more on two-strike counts. At times, Votto seems to wield his bat like a tennis player at the net, volleying pitches foul just to stay alive.
Which made Canseco’s second benefactor — Mike Wallace — all the more important. John Hamlin, a producer at 60 Minutes , had gotten a tip about Canseco’s book from a friend at another network. (The friend couldn’t act on it because his employer was a Major League Baseball rights holder.) Hamlin began calling baseball people and confirming the details. Almost no one would talk on the record, but they suggested that Canseco’s account was true. One of the few allegations Hamlin couldn’t verify was Canseco’s insistence that Roger Clemens was juicing.