NEW YORK—After the records of players who used performance-enhancing drugs are carefully removed, statistics provided by the Elias Sports Bureau indicate that lifetime .255 hitter Craig Counsell was the best player of the past 15 years. "If you judge them on the basis of pure physical ability, you're left with Craig Counsell," said ESB representative Patrick Wondolowski, adding that Counsell's 35 career home runs narrowly beat out Quinton McCracken's 21 and pitcher Glendon Rusch's three. Upon hearing the news, broadcaster Bob Uecker lauded the Brewers utilityman as "one of the best I ever saw, if we're talking about those who I can say without a doubt never took steroids. He came this close to stealing a base off of Ivan Rodriguez, and I swear I heard him foul tip a Roger Clemens fastball. The kid could flat-out steroid-free play. One time he was playing third base and he caught a Rafael Palmeiro line drive—just caught it, right in his mitt." When asked about his Hall of Fame chances, Counsell dodged the question by asking if anyone had a few bucks so he could go buy a sandwich.
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.