YES, MIKE GREENWELL is bitter about 1988, but when he talks about it, he doesn't start with the fact that he was the runner-up in the American League MVP voting to Jose Canseco, who has since admitted to steroid use. He starts with the Boston Globe reporter who called him a hick. "I was from the country, and I wore jeans and a cowboy hat," says Greenwell, who was born in Louisville. "And someone said I was so dumb I had named my son Bo because I couldn't spell Bob." As Greenwell tells the story, he's looking out on a 15,000-square-foot riverside plot in Fort Myers, Fla., where he is the general contractor on a multimillion dollar dream home for him and his wife, Tracy. It will have ponds, indoor water fountains and an infinity-edge pool. "For a dumb country boy," says Greenwell, 44, with a chuckle, "I've done O.K."
He may be building his trophy house, but Greenwell is still missing one vital piece of hardware: that 1988 AL MVP award. "I understand why guys were doing steroids, and I don't blame anyone; heck, I even thought about doing them," says Greenwell, who hit .325 with 119 RBIs in '88. "But I think Jose should give [the award] to me." Greenwell is realistic, though. He isn't putting up a mantel in his new house in expectation that the trophy will come his way anytime soon.