Roberts book to be even worse

Whose arm helps the team, and whose hurts it?
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In one of the more even-keeled looks at the way the Alex Rodriguez PED story developed over the last few weeks, The New York Observer follows the reporting trail. While Selena Roberts broke the story, she was battling her former coworkers at The Times for the scoop, and it seemed just a matter of time before some news outlet broke the story.

The piece he assigned was not in fact this one: It was to revisit whether he actually fit in as a Yankee, and go over the last two seasons in which Mr. Rodriguez has been romantically linked to a stripper, subsequently divorced, and then linked, romantically again, to super-cougar Madonna…

There was plenty of material for a write-around. But as Ms. Roberts dug deeper into the story, she started hearing more and more credible information about Mr. Rodriguez’s use of steroids. And so a magazine piece that anyone could have written became, because of careful reporting, a nice, sharp, clean news break.

It was not a fast bit of work. David Hirshey, the executive editor at Harper, an imprint at HarperCollins, remembers the call he got from Ms. Roberts’ agent, Mark Reiter. “Mark told me about four months ago that Selena was deep in an investigative piece on A-Rod and she would probably need three issues of Sports Illustrated to tell it all,” said Mr. Hirshey. “And that there’d be a lot of great stuff left over.”

[snip]

Meanwhile, across town on Eighth Avenue, the loss was especially painful. The Times had been chasing the A-Rod story. “We were working on it for many weeks,” said Tom Jolly, the paper’s sports editor. “It’s a story whenever there’s smoke around A-Rod for a period of time, and we were chasing that smoke.”

Say what you will about Ms. Roberts’ opining during the Duke Lacrosse debacle, but this story was uncovered through some good old investigative journalism. Whether or not it needed to or should have been published is a debate I will leave up to you.

The kicker though isn’t the way this story unfolded. Rather, it’s what is going to happen next.

“The book is still a work in progress,” said her book editor [David] Hirshey. “I assure you she has more drug revelations as well as other news. Not everything that Selena has on A-Rod’s steroid participation has come out yet.

That’s the part that worries me as a baseball fan and a Yankee fan. At this point, it doesn’t really matter what further allegations Roberts’ book may hold. She could tell me that A-Rod took estrogen while riding on a purple unicorn, and I couldn’t care less. A-Rod’s reputation is in tatters, and what he did in the past — as Mark McGwire once said — doesn’t really matter anymore.

But as someone who wants to see the Yankees win and do well this year, the last thing this team needs is a mid-May publication of a book slamming A-Rod. That is, however, what awaits. Oh, how I long for the days of just last week when The Yankee Years was the worst thing surrounding this team. It is, as Derek said yesterday, always something around here.

Whose arm helps the team, and whose hurts it?
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  • UWS

    I can hardly wait.

    /shoots self

    • jsbrendog

      ::head explodes::

      • Mike Pop

        There is only one way to fix this and I know you know what I mean.

  • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

    So if Selig is going to punish Rodriguez, doesn’t that mean he has to do the same for Pettitte and Palmiero?

    And, holy overreaction, Batman @ Roy Oswalt.

    • Chris

      and Bonds, and everyone else in the Mitchell report…

    • UWS

      Don’t forget the Giambino.

    • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Defending the position that someone who broke a rule should not be punished is tough, but I agree, this is ridiculous. I’m pretty averse to bitching about media/public biases, but the reaction to the A-Rod/Steroids issue really has been unfair. Just looking at the punishment question in particular, in the past the response has always been a very reasonable and prudent “we’re not going to punish people for something they did years ago, we’re going to test for those things now and make sure they don’t happen from here on out.” All of a sudden things are very different when A-Rod’s involved, though.

      I think there’s a larger issue here that I hope MLB wakes up and addresses – If they have an interest in uncovering who used PEDs in the past (which, personally, I think is ok as an objective if the point is to use that information in an effort to stem PED use in the future and not in an effort to go on some sort of ex post facto witch-hunt), I think they need to encourage people to come forward and tell their stories (whether in private or in public), and nobody’s going to participate in that process if they are faced with punishment for their participation. In fact, I’d go as far as proposing that they offer amnesty to players/others who come forward with information. But, at the same time, they can and should be very tough with penalties for any future infractions. They need to remember the goal – ensuring the public that everything possible is being done to keep the game clean/fair/set an example for kids/whatever. Punishing people for what they did 5-10 years ago does not accomplish that goal. Getting those people to talk and come clean, and then punishing future offenders, does.

    • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      And, holy overreaction, Batman @ Roy Oswalt.

      re: Oswalt’s moronic bleating about possibly losing games/money because guys on steroids got hits off of him… I wonder if Roy ever pondered the possibility that he won some games thanks to PED use by his teammates, and that maybe those wins helped him make money. I guess that would be silly though, it’s not like there’s ever been anyone on the Astros who might have been using steroids. (***sarcasm alert***)

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

        That was the very first thing I thought of.

        • steve (different one)

          i will patiently wait for Oswalt to give back his 2005 World Series share which was largely gained with the help of Clemens and Pettitte.

          the losing team still gets a decent chunk of change, right?

    • frits

      F*ck Selig, the grandstanding little prick.

      Honestly. He created this monster. He should resign.

  • Andy

    I’m sorry, but I hate the national media. Pretty much all of it, and not just in sports. They flat out suck. I’m sorry, but I have to rant, especially after hearing “good old investigative reporting.” What, the investigative reporting where reporters stalk people and invade their privacy for a cheap story that doesn’t do anything but harm, vendetta reporting that’s aim is to destroy a fellow human being? The type of good old investigative reporting that led Diane Sawyer into Appallachia for “two years” to come to the conclusion that people there have no teeth because they drink Mountain Dew? The type of good old investigative reporting that broke the story of Brittany Spears having a mental breakdown, with pictures of her cutting her hair (or shots of her cooch)? And worst of all, they are all self-rigtheous, like they are doing us all a big favor, saving the country from not knowing all the sordid details of some ball player’s life. Give me an f-ing break. They are as blood sucking, money grubbing, and attention seeking as any other profession in the country, except they’re self-righteous, and have a forum in which to promote themselves and their ideas. F-U Selena Roberts, when ARod comes to the plate at any game I’m at, I’m giving him a standing F-ing O, just for you…

    • p

      I think you’re on to something andy. If I can get tickets to opening day you can be sure as sh*t ill be on my feet giving arod a Jeterian ovation the first time he comes up to bat. Imagine the look on her face when yankee stadium gives this guy shes worked so hard to smear a fu*kin standing O as a big eff you to her. I’m sure there are other people who feel this way maybe we could spread the word through blogdome and get something goin. You gotta think arod would be even more likely to have a monster year if he knew most yankee fans stand behind him and have forgiven him.

      • Andy

        I’m with ya.

      • LiveFromNewYork

        I will be at Opening Day. I will be cheering him.

      • SmittDogg

        I’ll be yelling my ass off for him.

        • Scott of 3 Kids Tickets

          Until he f*cks up worse/again? Because he will. This what he does and why he’s a cancer.

          -Scott

          Believe me, I want the Yankees to do well and for him to have an MVP year – but he still needs to go. There’s no “I” in team, but there is an “I” in A-Roid. This steroid thing is just one sypthom of the bigger problem.

          • Jack

            This what he does and why he’s a cancer.

            What else has he done?

          • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

            Why does he “need to go?” What would getting rid of A-Rod accomplish for the Yankees? The only thing I can think of is that it would make them a worse baseball team.

            • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

              I go back and forth on this issue. There is no doubt that it would be hard, if not impossible, to overcome the lost offensive production.

              But I also firmly believe that the constant A Rod circus hurts the team.

              It’s not an issue, though. Nine years and $250 million mean he is not going anywhere.

              • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

                No, it would be impossible.

                Aside from the steroids, what circus behavior has their been on A-Rod’s part that is baseball related?

                • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

                  Because of the media, everything is baseball related, because it all finds its way into the clubhouse.

                  But, the “ha” incident in Toronto and the ball slap on Arroyo both happened on the field.

                • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

                  And if it wasn’t A-Rod who did the “ha” thing, no one would’ve made a big deal. The ball slap was stupid, but short lived. The majority of the press A-Rod gets is because of his personal life, and that’s not right. If he wants to go bone Madonna, fine, I don’t care. There’s no need for it to be backpage news.

                • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

                  Matt, to be clear, I agree with you that nobody should give a crap about who A Rod is sleeping with.

                  But I do think that A Rod is responsible for knowing what world he lives in.

                  And I think his approach to his life, which, to me, seems like he needs attention, hurts the teams he plays on.

                • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

                  I would disagree with his life choices hurting his team. I don’t think the Yankees missed the playoffs last year because of A-Rod’s off the field antics. They missed the playoffs because the pitching sucked when the hitting was good and the hitting sucked when the pitching was good.

                  (This is so much more interesting than studying for my Feminist theory exam)

                • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

                  No, of course. I agree, Matt. A Rod is not the one single reason that anything happens, bad or good.

                  I’m not going apocalyptic with this. I’m not saying that the Yanks can’t win with A Rod. I’m just really saying two things. First, I think his need for attention and bad judgment, on and off the field, hurts his team, which takes away (too much, in my opinion) from what he offers with his bat. Second, I don’t enjoy rooting for him. It is a lot more fun to root for Derek, Mo, Jorge, Hideki, Joba, CC, Tex, Wang, etc.

                  If you don’t like feminist theory, why take the class? The classic answer is to meet girls, right? Ha ha.

                • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

                  Eh, I don’t think it outweighs his bat, IMO. I mean, everyone has shit they bring to the ball game no matter what they say about dropping it all when they get to the park and it seems like A-Rod does alright for himself despite all his personal business.

                  I find it just as fun rooting for a dude who could break the HR record as I do for those guys.

                • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

                  Each fan has to make that call for him/herself.

                  Personally, when A Rod opted out, I was happy. (Again, the timing of the release of that info was not a coincidence, if you ask me.) And when I was in a cab going home from the airport (I had been out of the ocuntry) and heard on the radio that the Yanks had reconsidered and were signing A Rod to a 10-year deal, I was majorly bummed.

                  But he is here, he’s a key to the Yanks’ success, and I hope he has a productive year.

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

            So you’re saying he’s a cancer because the New York sports media has this obsession with making him look bad. Outside of the steroids — which is actually an Issue with a capital I — his “cancerous behavior” has included having a lady friend in Toronto and dating Madonna and having a wife who wears a “fuck you” shirt in Yankee Stadium. None of that has anything to do with baseball or being a clubhouse cancer and everything to do with a tabloid media mentality in the New York sports pages.

            • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

              Ben, you are 100 percent correct that the NY tabloid press exaggerates A Rod’s slip-ups. I agree. He’s a marked man.

              But, you have to admit that A Rod does a lousy job of recognizing what his situation is and acting accordingly. He is not the only player under scrutiny in New York.

              I think the fact that he fins himself in the center ring of the circus all the time is not a coincidence. On some level, he wants to be there. And I think his egomania/selfishness/insecurity/need for attention (call it what you want) hurts the team.

              • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

                To tell you the truth, it seems to me that the players don’t read the papers but just respond to the reporters. So when Jeter got annoyed on Monday, eh got annoyed at people asking him so many questions and not at what they were writing. If A-Rod’s behavior causes problems or distractions, it’s simply because they’re pesky in the clubhouse. I think the idea of a media-generated clubhouse cancer is a whole lot different than someone who doesn’t show up to play everyday. Say what you will about A-Rod’s off-field antics, he shows up everyday.

                • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

                  Except the post-season, right! (Sorry, I had to say that.)

                  No, I’m not suggesting that A Rod doesn’t work hard, or that he takes at-bats or games off. Not at all.

                  I do think his need for attention/inability to recognize his situation (again, however you want to frame it) affects his teammates negatively, and some of them don’t like him for it.

                  I just feel like my fellow Yankee fans give him a pass in a way we would never allow a Red Sox or Mets player off the hook.

                  I consider myself a fair guy, so if one of my guys is someone I don’t like rooting for, I say it. I didnt’ like rooting for Randy Johnson. I didn’t like rooting for Kevin Brown. And I’ve never liked rooting for A Rod. So when he puts himself in the middle of a media controversy, I’m not going to defend him. And I’m not going to shoot the messenger.

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            There’s no “I” in team, but there is an “I” in A-Roid.

            Luckily, that’s not his real nickname. That’s just some juvenile, pedantic, uncreative New York Postian quasi-nickname you made up for him.

            His real nickname is ARod. And, there’s no I in ARod.

    • jeremy

      Evidence that the media is out to tear down anyone it can for readership, to stir controversey that isn’t there and to give the public 26 inches on anything that isn’t newsworthy, look at what Selena Roberts initial assignment was, that led her to the breaking of this story:

      The piece he assigned was not in fact this one: It was to revisit whether he actually fit in as a Yankee, and go over the last two seasons in which Mr. Rodriguez has been romantically linked to a stripper, subsequently divorced, and then linked, romantically again, to super-cougar Madonna…

      I mean, aren’t there topics more relevant to a sports publication? Haven’t we been beaten to death with the clubhouse chemistry crap at this point? Shouldn’t this type of assignment be reserved for TMZ or Page Six of the Post? The fact that it led to. what is a meaningful revelation is not important. It is just evidence of the direction of the media, and book authorship in this country.

      A journalist, or serious writer, with a shred of ethics and purpose, who is approachhed by an editor with such a topic, should have furrowed their brow and remarked “Really? Madonna? Can’t we do better than that?” But I guess knowing that her tawdry expose, which no doubt takes liberties, is just around the corner, she took the assignment with enthusiasm. I’m just glad we didn’t have to read that piece, unfortunately a 300 page version of it is but months away.

    • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

      I will probably be at the third (I think) game of the year, and I will do the same thing I always do when A Rod comes to the plate: give him a half-hearted clap. Because since he got here, I have not enjoyed rooting for him. I do, because he’s on my team, and I want my team to win, but I don’t enjoy it.

      I refuse to defend the Britney/Paris direction the news has taken, and I certainly agree that whether a player has taken steroids is not as important as the economy or the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (nice job, Washington Post, using your presidential press conference question to ask Obama about A Rod! *heavy sarcasm*).

      But I can’t stand the “kill the messenger” attacks on Roberts. She didn’t brak any laws (A Rod’s charges were disputed by the police departments involved). She just reported a story. A story, I might add, that would have gone nowhere if A Rod hadn’t done the thing he is accused of doing.

      The bottom line is that A Rod keeps putting himself in situations where he is at the center of attention. This is just the latest example. Roberts didn’t shoot the steroids into his butt.

    • Don

      Preach on, brother!!!

      I could not agree more.

      • Don

        Actually I was referring to this…

        I’m sorry, but I hate the national media. Pretty much all of it, and not just in sports. They flat out suck. I’m sorry, but I have to rant, especially after hearing “good old investigative reporting.” What, the investigative reporting where reporters stalk people and invade their privacy for a cheap story that doesn’t do anything but harm, vendetta reporting that’s aim is to destroy a fellow human being? The type of good old investigative reporting that led Diane Sawyer into Appallachia for “two years” to come to the conclusion that people there have no teeth because they drink Mountain Dew? The type of good old investigative reporting that broke the story of Brittany Spears having a mental breakdown, with pictures of her cutting her hair (or shots of her cooch)? And worst of all, they are all self-rigtheous, like they are doing us all a big favor, saving the country from not knowing all the sordid details of some ball player’s life. Give me an f-ing break. They are as blood sucking, money grubbing, and attention seeking as any other profession in the country, except they’re self-righteous, and have a forum in which to promote themselves and their ideas.

  • http://www.supertangas.com The man with 33 fingers

    AROD should pay someone to investigate Selena and then write a book about all the poor choices she has made in her life.

    • JohnnyC

      Oh, I’m sure everyone would be up in arms over HER privacy being violated. Still, if ARod’s anything like Joe Torre, he’ll get Tom Verducci to work on retaliatory book. And Verducci will do it…for the payday.

  • A.D.

    My guess is there will be some interesting stuff in the book, but more on steroids probably not so interesting. Maybe he’s taken it for longer than he said he has confessed to, but knowing this book is coming, there isn’t much reason to come half clean.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Yeah, I’m guessing all the juicy PED details have already been leaked. Tough to keep that kind of stuff under wraps.

  • pat

    Stay tuned for Selena Roberts’ next groundbreaking works of literature- Jesus Christ, Heck of a Guy and Adolph Hitler: What a Dick.

    • Andy

      i love these posts, i am laughing my ass off here at work…

      • pat

        Future investigative books planned for Ms. Selena Roberts:
        Paul Bunyan; Really Freakin Tall
        The Incredible Hulk; Prone to Violent Outbursts
        Jolly Green Giant: Motherf*&%#% ‘s GREEN!!!
        Smokey the Bear: Ursine Forest Creature Adamantly Opposed to Forest Fires
        Bernie Madoff Didn’t Invest Your Life Savings In a Manner to Which You’re Accustomed
        Jaws; Bloodthirsty Killing Machine or Common Housecat?
        Ghandi; He Had a Good Reason For Being Really Skinny and it Wasn’t Atkins
        Barak Obama: Could He Be Americas First Black President?
        Mother Theresa; Saint or Hard Partying Soroity Sl*t? You Be the Judge.
        Richard Nixon; In His Opinion Was He Was A Crook?
        Manhattan; Native Americans Would Probably Like to Renegotiate The Terms of That Agreement
        Travis Henry; Abstinate?
        Commenter pat from RAB; Does He Ever Post Anything Useful or Even Relevant?

        The last one will be the shortest and consist solely of the word No.

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Awesome post, pat. That was both useful and relevant.

    • Count Zero

      That actually made me laugh out loud.

  • WhizzoTheWize

    You can only burn a house down once.

    This book, no matter how tawdry, is redundant.

    I like Arod even more today than yesterday.

    Selena who?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      It’s funny: In the eyes of many she’ll succeed in making A-Rod look like a victim of an overzealous and vindictive reporter. Good work, Selena.

      • Count Zero

        I agree and would point out that this would appear to have been part of Boras’ strategy from jump — witness the fact that Alex tried to portray her as a stalker in the Gammons interview.

        It was actually a pretty clever PR strategy on their part and I think it was at least partly successful as a growing number of people who were hitherto A-Rod-ambivalent seem to be moving towards his side in the whole thing. The fact that so many reporters have come out and defended Roberts’ integrity, told us how nice she is, etc., etc. is clearly a “circle the wagons” move on their part and an acknowledgment that the strategy is working.

    • Steve S

      Could be an issue if it comes out he juiced beyond 2004. This is astounding, people are acting as if this whole steroid thing is a brand new issue. I feel bad for Arod (as much as you can feel bad for a millionaire baseball player), people are just fascinated by him. I guess I understand it, the guy is an ultimate talent with a lot of vulnerabilities which in the past were never really exposed in sports back in the day. I never bought into the chemistry/team concepts of the late 90’s teams but they were as vanilla as they come. They had no true standout player (in as much as Rivera is not an every day player) and Jeter, to his credit has managed to keep it clean. I think the media has some kind of magnetic draw to superstar players. All they want is to keep putting him on the spot. It makes you wonder if Mickey Mantle or Babe Ruth could function in this environment/era. I just don’t think so anymore. Its almost a visceral disdain for this guy.

  • SmittDogg

    She’s gonna come up with some stuff about how he’s a tortured soul, drag up some stories about how he was the odd guy out in high school, even when he was a two-sport star, and never felt comfortable in his own skin. I wouldn’t be surprised if some mention of someone thinking he’s homosexual is included in there, prompting even more questions. The whole thing is ridiculous. I can’t imagine anyone being that interested in his backstory enough to buy this book. We already know he’s self-conscious and is overly concerned with how others think of him. Other than that, unless he’s killed a bunch of people, or was touched as a kid, what other revelation could people possibly care about? Would you buy a book “revealing” that T.O. is egotistical? No, because you already know that. Would you even buy a book explaining why Tom Cruise is into Scientology? No, you already know he’s batshit insane. So why write a book about Alex telling us all what we already know: He’s a great hitter, flawed human being, who hasn’t always had what he has now, and is struggling to deal with it.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    Main stream media fails to understand why people are turning from it in droves. It’s the hyperbolic hand wringing and finger pointing over little crap, making celebrities out of people who don’t deserve a second in the spotlight and letting people who have done horrible things just skate away.

    Main stream media needs to assess the way it does things and change it. And it’s about the story reporting, not just the medium.

    From the “holograms” on CNN on Election Night to some tool on CBS in NYC this morning doing the “weather report” from 33,000 feet aboard a Virgin US plane (CBS: THE FIRST TIME A BROADCAST HAS BEEN SENT FROM AN AIRPLANE! viewers: You can’t see crap from 33k feet you morons. Other than that insert crickets here.), the mainstream media has turned into hokey pablum for the uninitiated.

    This whole steroid thing is just more reason why they are a giant FAIL.

  • PapelBum the Closer

    Kirk Ridomsky on WFAN..

  • Chris

    How could Roberts have 4 independent sources that have knowledge of the list of players that tested positive, and not be able to get a single name other than A-Rod?

    • jsbrendog

      she probABLY DIDNT WANT ANY OTHER NAMES. sorry. caps lock. too lazy to erase it

      • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

        Are you seriously suggesting that if someone gave Roberts other names on the list, she wouldn’t print them? No way.

        • UWS

          I’m pretty sure she said as much already. Someone offered her the whole list and she said no thanks.

          • Nady Nation

            Really? Do you have a link? I never heard this.

            • UWS

              It was in the threads the last few days. Someone help me out here…

              • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

                Without a link/cite, I’m totally not buying it.

                • UWS

                  I believe it was during an interview with the MLB Network that she said it. I don’t have time to search through the threads to find where it was mentioned. It’s up to you to buy it or not.

  • Rich

    Put Selena Roberts’s life under similar scrutiny. I think it would reveal some interesting facts about the depths “journalists” will sink go to in order to get a story at any cost. It would also provide context.

    If I was A-Rod I would hire a team of PIs to do that it.

  • http://www.RunningLocal@wordpress.com Bob@RunningLocal

    Harper has already changed the name of the book– it’s now A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez; I guess they thought that Hit & Run might be a bit too descriptive of Ms. Robert’s style of journalism. I wrote about it at my blog today, along with the new Strawberry book, Robbie Alomar & Miguel Tejada. http://www.RunningLocal.wordpress.com

  • barry

    What next they’re going to nail A-Rod to the cross for marijuana? This woman should go jump off a cliff. I couldn’t give a shit what an athlete does, who he does, whatever on his own fucking time, as long as he shows up and suits up. For all I care A-Rod could be tripping acid every game, as long as it translates into a 950-1050 OPS then who gives a fuck.

  • Bo

    Her credibility is ZERO after the Duke fiasco. She couldn’t even utter an apology to those kids she tried to ruin.

  • Doug

    I have zero respect for her entire profession.

    But she specifically should have been taken out back and shot a long time ago.

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