Rodriguez, still revving as if it were noon, walks into his den and pops a highlight tape into his VCR. A coffee-table book about Joe Montana is so worn that its cover curls perpetually open. Rodriguez is a voracious reader whose tastes run to the motivational tomes of Pat Riley and Anthony Robbins. The tape begins with a title, Alex Rodriguez. Hitting. 1996. Sitting on a kitchen chair turned backward, he faces the big-screen TV with his chin resting on his crossed arms atop the chair back. His eyes, like his house, are aglow. He is alone with his perfect, edited self. Every pitch is a swing. Every swing is a hit.