Selena Roberts Doesn't Really Have a Reliable Track Record
Whether or not anything - or everything - Roberts writes about Alex Rodriguez in her character assassination book is true, there seems to be a certain number of people (PeteAbe, for one) who are calling anyone who questions anything Roberts presents as "blind" or "homers" or being "in the tank."
The always excellent ShysterBall has a great piece on Roberts, and her history of smearing for only A-Rod but other athletes.
I strongly recommend reading it, as it details how Roberts pulled a Nancy Grace and buried the Duke Lacrosse players who were falsely accused of rape in the press, and when it was revealed that they were innocent, essentially continued to bury them rather than admit she was wrong.
I'm sure the initial leak of the steroid test was sent to Roberts because people had read her hatchet jobs in the past, and figured she'd bury Rodriguez (come on, why else would only his name of 104 surface?). Rather than print that report in the paper, she decided to cash in - cha-ching - and write a full book about it. How best to flesh out the book? Well, you're going to need to find more things to assassinate his character with.
Does Roberts reveal any sources, or back up any of her claims? No, of course not.
She sets up targets and continues to fire, regardless of evidence to the contrary.
ShysterBall also reminds us that this isn't the first time that Roberts has gone after A-Rod either, as is evidenced by her hatchet job from 2007.
Again, I strongly suggest you read the ShysterBall article. It's a great bit of work to get you thinking that things printed in black on white aren't always so black and white. Whether or not A-Rod is a jerk or a liar or a cheater isn't so much the point as where Roberts tries to mix in her own opinions frequently in with facts to present a completely slanted picture.
Update: Roberts explains the pitch tipping. If you didn't think her evidence was flimsy before....
Roberts explains that Rodriguez (then a shortstop) was tipping pitches too early. Normally a shortstop will let his teammates know what pitch is coming or the location
of said pitch so they can adjust their defense accordingly. She goes through a complete explanation for most of the "evidence" of how Rodriguez tipped pitches. Well, he's supposed to. Jeter does it. It's how you let your teammates know what to expect.
She's claiming Rodriguez tipped too early. And as evidence:
At least one teammate in a very gentle way did say, "Hey, you might be tipping a little too soon out there." But one player trying to be diplomatic told me that he said, "I think you're tipping a little too soon," and the response from Alex was, "What are you talking about?" I don't think Alex was irritated at the player; I think he felt that he had been scrutinized too closely, that someone else was trying to tell him how to do his job.One guy says "hey, you might be tipping too soon" and Alex says "what do you mean?" BAM! There's your gotcha moment!
Also, here are some reactions from former teammates:
Both (Doug) Glanville and (R.A.) Dickey were reluctant to believe the allegations, which are a part of Selena Roberts' forthcoming book "A-Rod," until further information is made available, but neither could be sure that it didn't happen either. "I certainly didn't know or see anything like that," said Glanville. "Obviously if that's true that would be insane. I don't remember hearing anything about that when I was there. Of course it would be egregious and unforgivable."
"From personal experience, I can tell you I've seen nothing or heard nothing that would support any chapter in that book that says that," said Dickey. "Then again, it's not so far outside the realm of possibility where you could dismiss it because obviously it could happen. It's mind-boggling."
Not to (Shane) Spencer. The journeyman outfielder said that while he never saw or heard of other players doing that, he wouldn't have been surprised if Rodriguez wasn't the only one doing so. "I'm sure it does happen. There are friends of friends. I'm sure there are catchers out there that have told guys what's coming. Hopefully it didn't happen [in Texas] and hopefully it didn't happen that often."
The allegations, which were first made public in a New York Daily News story on Thursday, are in Roberts' book, which will be released on Monday. In a phone interview with SI.com, Roberts said that over the course of a couple years, some people with the Rangers began to detect a pattern whereby Rodriguez would appear to be giving away pitch type and location to hitters, always middle infielders who would then be able to repay him in kind when he was at the plate, with his body movement. According to Roberts' sources, "If it was a changeup, he would twist his glove hand. To indicate a slider, he would sweep the dirt in front of him and he would bend in the direction of where the pitch was going to be, inside or outside." Roberts' sources stressed that this only occurred in games that had long since been decided and was done for "slump insurance. You can count on your buddy to help break you out of your slump. There was no intent to throw a game or change the outcome."
That explanation wasn't sufficient for Glanville or Dickey, who said "There's no situation that would ever justify him doing that on any level. That's somebody's ERA that's somebody's livelihood, that's somebody trying to provide for their family. I'm holding on to the belief that it's not true. No one with a conscience could do that. Blows me away."
Dickey does, however, have first-hand knowledge of Rodriguez's involvement with calling pitches. "My first year there (2001) there were a couple of games where he called the pitches from shortstop or helped the catcher called pitches, in a couple of my starts I know he did that," he said. "Einar Diaz was our catcher and Alex did that on occasion on a couple of my starts. I never knew it until after the fact but he helped [our] catcher out a couple times. But as far as giving away pitches I couldn't speak with any amount of knowledge on that subject."
Labels: a-rod, douchebag, mediots, peteabe, selena roberts
posted by Mr. Faded Glory @ 8:23 AM