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Whaddaya Say, JOSE?
Rick Reilly
August 20, 1990
A's slugger Jose Canseco has been burned by the spotlight, but he's way too big to hide from it
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August 20, 1990

Whaddaya Say, Jose?

A's slugger Jose Canseco has been burned by the spotlight, but he's way too big to hide from it

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"Fifty-five, man," he says.

Jose Canseco gets advice from people you wouldn't believe.

"He really appears on the edge of getting in some serious trouble," Denny McLain told the San Francisco Chronicle in May 1989.

Denny McLain?

Vida Blue said, "He needs to sell that car and buy a Volvo. It looks like a crack dealer's car."

Vida Blue?

Jose Canseco didn't start playing baseball until he was 12. He never collected baseball cards, and he didn't grow up saying novenas to Teddy Ballgame and Stan the Man. As such, he has no qualms about making baseball squirm. An effective way to do that is to rip Babe Ruth.

"Babe Ruth used to use a 60-ounce bat," Canseco says. "That tells you all you need to know about the pitching then. You couldn't take a 60-ounce bat up to the plate today."

And then..."I was watching some old films of Ruth, and you know what he did? He stepped up twice during a pitch and hit a ball out. How fast could the pitches have been coming?"

Last season, when Canseco became the first player to break the 40-40 barrier, someone asked Mickey Mantle if he could have done it. Mantle replied that yes, had he known people were going to make such a big deal of it, he would have done it a few times. Canseco was galled.

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