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Wednesday, February 16, 2005
Updated: February 17, 8:58 AM ET
And the real facts are ...

By Jeff Merron
Page 2

Whatever Jose Canseco's reputation is, he may or may not be telling the truth in "Juiced." Vague accusations and unverifiable assertions abound. But once in a while, Canseco writes things that can be factually checked.

So is the book, as Canseco's attorney, Robert Saunooke, told Mike and Mike on ESPN radio, "100 percent" accurate. Is Jose a "very reliable" and "very credible" writer?

Let's have a look ...

On his rookie season (1986):

Jose Canseco
Jose Canseco back in his heyday with the A's.

Canseco didn't hit a home run in Detroit in 1986. Or in Kansas City, for that matter. So what "they" told him about hitting a homer in every ballpark as a rookie was wrong, even if you take into account his 1985 September callup.

According to Retrosheet, Jose went 4-for-8 (three singles and a triple) in three games against Terrell in 1986. That monster shot? Canseco is probably remembering Mark McGwire's first major league homer, a colossal 450-foot blast off Terrell in Detroit on August 25.

* * * * *

On Bret Boone:

This conversation almost certainly didn't take place.

The Mariners and Angels played five spring training games in 2001.

On Friday, March 2, the Angels beat the Mariners, 5-2. Jose went 0-for-2 as a DH, and did not reach base.

On Friday, March 9, the Mariners beat the Angels, 8-3. Canseco struck out twice in two at-bats. Boone did not play.

On Sunday, March 11, the Angels beat the Mariners, 5-4. Neither Canseco or Boone played.

On Monday, March 12, a Mariners split-squad beat an Angels split squad, 4-2. Canseco did not play.

On Tuesday, March 27, the Mariners beat the Angels, 15-2. Canseco did not play.

In spring training 2001, Canseco hit only one double in 39 at bats. He did not steal a base.

* * * * *

On the 2000 Subway Series against the Mets:

As Rob Neyer pointed out, there was no Game 6 of the 2000 World Series.

Canseco batted for Cone in Game 4, and it was an important at-bat in a close game. The Yankees led 3-2 with two on and two out when Jose did strike out looking, on a 2-2 pitch.

That's a detail most players wouldn't want to be fuzzy about.

* * * * *

On breaking through to the majors:

Here's how "closed" baseball was in 1982, the year which he is writing about: 29 Puerto Ricans and 33 Dominicans played in the majors that season. That's 62 players -- I stopped counting after that -- breaking the "impossible" barriers.

Among those 62: Jose Cruz, two-time All-Star; Sixto Lezcano, 1979 Gold Glover; Willie Hernandez, the 1984 AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner.

* * * * *

More on his rookie season:

Canseco did have an 0-for-40 run that began on Aug. 8, 108 games into the season, but coming back from the All-Star break, he went 2-for-4 in his first game, and 7-for-37 in the first 10 games following the break.