As the fallout from yesterday’s less-than-shocking A-Rod revelations continues to die before the end of the 24-hour cycle, Selena Roberts and her publishers are quickly jumping on the bandwagon. With A-Rod’s rehab going better than expected, The Times reports that Roberts’ book will hit newstands on Monday, over a week before its original street date.
At this point, it’s tough to know what to make of this book. First, it was going to be printed in April around Opening Day. Then A-Rod got injured, and Roberts’ publishers announced the book would hit on May 13, two days before A-Rod was due to be activated. Now that Daily News reporters have spilled the beans — the rather unsubstantiated and hearsay-based beans — and now that A-Rod is set to start a rehab assignment soon, the publishers are again pushing the book forward to preempt A-Rod’s return from the DL and any more leaks. That sounds as sincere as A-Rod is.
Anyway, the A-Rod story never stops. After the jump, a round-up of the day’s news and notes.
One of Selena Roberts’ more out-there accusations seems to be that A-Rod had a massive growth spurt between the ages of 15 and 18 due to steroid use. While Sports Illustrated searches for someone to explain puberty to Roberts, both Doug Mientkiewicz and A-Rod’s high school coach highly doubt the accuracy of the story.
“From my perspective, it would be 99.9% impossible for us not to know,” Mientkiewicz said, who called Roberts out on her use of anonymous sources. “You’re basically accusing every kid that’s gone through puberty that they’re on steroids too, huh?”
Perhaps the more sticky issue in the Roberts book will be her discussion on tipping pitches. Roberts sat down for a Q-and-A on the topic. Her responses are a bit of a mess:
If it was a changeup, sources say, he would twist his glove hand. To indicate a slider, he would allegedly 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. I don’t know that it’s easy to decode. You’re talking about people who see a player on an every-day basis, day after day, year after year. I don’t know that it would be at all obvious to people who are watching or to a television audience. These are people who would know how to detect when things don’t feel right.
I don’t really know what she’s trying to say. She goes back and forth on whether or not anyone would be able to pick up something, and considering that MLB has all of these games on video, it will be really easy to find out soon enough. David Pinto is skeptical, and A-Rod’s former teammates sound non-committal about the whole thing. Shane Spencer said he heard rumors; R.A. Dickey would be disappointed; and Doug Glanville finds it hard to believe no one would have figured out or reported on a pitch-tipping scandal at the time. Michael Young, A-Rod’s double-play partner in Texas, says the allegations are “ridiculous” and doesn’t believe them. I’ll take his word for it over some anonymous source with an obvious vendetta against A-Rod.
In the end, it all boils down to Bud Selig. Baseball’s commissioner refused to comment, but sources near Selig told The Times that Roberts’ book and A-Rod’s closed-door confession don’t jibe. Based on some tenuous statements in the book, Selig may open up an investigation into A-Rod on anything from steroid use to the pitch-tipping allegations.
In the end, though, Joe Girardi’s words will carry the day. The book seems, he said to The Times, like “he-said, she-said kind of stuff. We’re going to move on.”
My bold prediction is that Bud Selig will look bad, try to stammer through some sort of proclamation and then drop it. The book will make waves on Monday and be forgotten by the time May is through. Now, we too, barring any concrete news developments, will move on.