Roberts refuses to help as MLB digs into A-Rod

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When it comes to Selena Roberts and Alex Rodriguez, baseball writers have largely taken two sides. On the one side are many traditional print journalists such as Peter Abraham, and, to a lesser extent, Joel Sherman who have taken everything Roberts has reported as true no matter how tenuous her sources or qualifying statements are. On the other hand are bloggers such as us and Shysterball’s Craig Calcaterra who are more skeptical of Roberts’ sources and see a lot of players on the record denying Roberts’ accusations.

That divide will only grow deeper today as the baseball world awakes to the news that Major League Baseball is investigating A-Rod’s drug use and that Selena Roberts, for what are admittedly very valid journalistic reasons, will not cooperate. “I said that as a journalist, I cover MLB, and cooperating with them on this would be a conflict of interest, and he said that he understood the position that I am in,” Roberts said to Times reporter Michael S. Schmidt this weekend.

Schmidt had a few details about the MLB investigation into A-Rod. So far, the Commissioner’s Office is looking only into the allegations of drug use beyond the 2001-2003 period. The pitch-tipping inquiries will have to wait, but more on that in a few paragraphs. Schmidt reports on the investigations:

Major League Baseball is investigating the accuracy of statements by Alex Rodriguez about his use of performance-enhancing drugs, according to people within baseball who were briefed on the matter.

Investigators have contacted several of Rodriguez’s associates to determine whether he used performance-enhancing drugs for a longer time than he has admitted, the people said. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to be identified discussing a continuing investigation.

They said that the investigation began shortly after Rodriguez met with investigators March 1 in Tampa, Fla., because they had questions about the consistency of his statements at the meeting…Questions about the truthfulness of Rodriguez’s statements were heightened among baseball officials last week after details of a new book about Rodriguez were reported by several news media outlets. The book…asserts that Rodriguez used several different steroids under the supervision of Presinal and had human growth hormone in his possession when he played for the Yankees in 2004. In 2005, the book also says, Rodriguez was mocked by teammates who suspected that he was using drugs.

Schmidt goes more in detail on what Bud Selig can and cannot do as Commissioner. The Times scribe notes that Selig, lacking subpoena power, cannot compel testimony from anyone, and if Roberts won’t give up her anonymous sources, baseball is going to have a tough time uncovering concrete evidence.

Now, it will be really easy for the public to demonize Roberts yet again over this decision. In fact, her reliance on anonymous sources is exactly why reporters tend to believe her and others don’t. In today’s media, reporters depend upon their anonymous sources, and reporters are loathe to believe that others’ anonymous sources would be lying.

Yet, as more and more players step forward on the record, it sounds as though Roberts’ sources were less than reliable. As Shysterball detailed on Friday and as I discussed then as well, more players have been coming out vehemently denying the Roberts’ allegations.

In the end, baseball has to investigate to look good for Congress, and Roberts shouldn’t give up her sources any time soon. But for the rest of us, this scandal is just another story in the long line of blows to Bud Selig’s reputation and Roberts’ credibility. The tide has turned on the steroid issue, and while A-Rod will hear boos, the sport should be looking forward to a drug-free era instead of looking back while relying on a book with seemingly less evidence than some J.F.K. conspiracy theorists.

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Horne, Norton both return from shoulder surgery
A secondary ticket market correction
  • BigBlueAL

    I think ARod was the 2nd gun man on the grassy knoll.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      There was no Lee Harvey Oswald actually. It was just A-Rod, tipping pitches.

      • http://www.retire21.org Mike R. – Retire 21

        Back and to the left means slider.

      • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

        Oswald was actually taking a shot at Jeter.

  • Lawrence

    Talking with people who used to hate Arod, lots of them are starting to tell me that they don’t hate him as much anymore, and more people are realizing that a huge proportion of players used them and he is not being treated fairly.

    Honestly he is obviously just a very weird guy, and just because he has a 300m dollar contract doesn’t give the media a right to relentlessly harass him. None of these same reporters are looking into Selig and the rest of MLB’s complicity in all this, instead we just hear Arod all the goddamn time.

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

      Agreed. There’s no denying that A-Rod’s a weird dude, and that using PED’s was wrong and he’s a cheat, but at some point the witch hunt crosses the line.

      MLB, A-Rod, everyone needs to move forward, not focus on the past.

      • seanc

        I second the “moving forward.” Like Jeter said “not everyone was doing it” during that time. We all know A-rod did it, named other people did it, and a HOST of unknown other people did it. THe big part is moving on from the “steroid era.” I. for one, want nothing more than for people to focus on the present state of baseball, but there are MANY that WILL NOT let the 1990s/early 2000’s out of their mind, which continues to the witch hunt we see today.

        A-Rod admitted to using steroids, and if people wish to push the matter I’m sure they will find more dirt. This other wife-cheating, low-tipping at hooters nonsense should not even be an issue. I don’t care what players do off the field unless it impacts them on the field… There may be fault in my logic, but I am just tired of the biggest issue on the Yankees’ team being A-rod’s activities off the field.

  • pj

    now thats what i call a headline.
    a big thank you to RAB for being the best Yankees FAN blog.

  • Jeremy Russell

    Where is that list of the 103 other players?

    If I were Bud Selig, I would find that list.
    I would then hold a national television press conference and announce every single name on the list. When I was finished I would then go back to my office and be prepared to lose my job. But at least I went down in a blaze of glory.

    WHERE IS THE LIST????????????????

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      I’m pretty certain that Sen. Joe McCarthy is holding onto it.

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

      What would that accomplish?

      And the list is supposed to be anonymous, which is why the union agreed to ithe testing in the first place. If Selig get a hold of the list and held a press conference like that, the union would own MLB because of all lawsuits.

      • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

        “What would that accomplish?”

        -Smearing Baseball with yet another scandal
        -Set off another round of Congressional hearings by grandstanding politicians
        -Tick off the Union with a CBA coming up soon

        But it would make the knee-jerk A-Rod supporters feel better, since according to them the whole world should bend to suit Alex’s needs. Brilliant.

      • Jeremy Russell

        CLEARLY the list was not anonymous. The list will come out one day. Wait and see.
        And only then will all of this become a moot point. Because everyone is going to be on the list.

  • touchtoneterriost

    How can we just move forward.103 names of people who cheated illegally are still out there.Isn’t the fact that if Pettitte didn’t get caught this site would have been saying:

    “Hey A-Rod wishes he was a true non-Cheating Yankee like Pettitte”

    And he would have kept that secret and never tell.We need to know everything so we can move forward…..the more allegations the less we can try to look to the future

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      That is some of the most circular logic I’ve ever heard. I don’t mean the facetiously, but how can say “We need to know everything so we can move forward…..the more allegations the less we can try to look to the future” with a straight face? Do you really care that much what someone did six years ago? Does it really impact the ability of the game to move forward?

      • radnom

        Eh, I see what he means a little bit.

        If Selena Roberts, of all people, was able to get access to the list, you have to figure that at some point this list is going to get out – be it 5 months or 5 years down the road.

        Assuming that this is going to happen at some point, and that the current testing policy is effective (which I think it is), the release of that information is the last road block to getting PED’s out of major focus in terms of baseball.

  • Rich

    The way people view Alex reveals more about their personal psychology than it does about his steroid use.

    It’s not like he hasn’t paid a price. His reputation and his achievements have been tarnished forever in the minds of most of the public, including the baseball writers who hold the decision on whether or not to vote him into the HoF.

    Yet the haters will never be satisfied because no matter how much they dump on him, they still have to look in the mirror every day, and face (or try to avoid) the psychological issues that skew the way they view him.

    • radnom

      What?

      I’m an Arod fan, but I have no sympathy for anyone “paying the price of having their reputation tarnished” for using PED’s, be it Arod, Bonds, Clemens or whoever.

      Boo hoo, your legacy is ruined? Maybe you shouldn’t have cheated in the first place. I’m still not going to say they don’t deserve anything else just because they are feeling bad about how they are viewed. That comes as a risk with cheating.

      • Rich

        Huh?

        I have no idea what gave you the impression that I think anyone should have any sympathy for him.

        My point is simply that he has paid a price for his cheating, which should be enough for the haters. That it isn’t reveals more about them than him.

        Carry on.

        • ranger11

          This is true. There is a repressive element to these haters. I can almost envision them wearing Puritan hats and pinning a scarlet S to Arod.

          • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

            Dismissing his critics as ‘haters’ is convenient and I’m sure it makes you feel better, but it only serves to distract from Alex’s own guilt in these matters.

            Have you noticed the drama surrounding Alex never stops? Yet somehow, according to you, this is everyone else’s fault?

            • ranger11

              No, it’s my fault.

    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

      Thanks, that was enlightening. Always good to hear from the Amateur Psychologist community.

  • inman

    yawn…another yawn…. please mr rodriguez – help the yankees offense.

  • Anthony

    It doesn’t strike me as odd that this blog has no journalistic reputation.

    You have to admit the fact that if this story was about David Ortiz you would dancing in the aisles.

    It’s absurd to try to defend Alex Rodriguez at this point. Guilty or not, the guy has been a bad omen for the team since he arrived and, I can’t believe I’m saying this, I agree with Curt Schilling; the guy is bush league.

    I personally pray that he get’s caught tipping pitches so he can become banned from the league for cheating and the Yankees can tear up his contract.

    Imagine having almost $300 of non-cheating money back. Imagine what we could do with an extra $30 mil a year.

    He is the exact opposite of everything the late 90’s yankees were. Those players were champions this guy, is a self-serving, cheating, liar who deserves to be banned from the game.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      Your ad hominem attacks on A-Rod’s character aside, what does this mean:

      It doesn’t strike me as odd that this blog has no journalistic reputation.

      Just because the three of us haven’t worked for newspapers or in print media doesn’t mean we have no journalistic reputation or training in the field.

      • Anthony

        Your article is clearly biased because you are a fan of the team. The only place bias is allowed in an ethical newspaper is the opinion section and it’s clearly labeled as opinion. To try and pass off what you just posted as a “news report” is shameful.

        I noticed the nice “YES” logo on the site as well.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

          That’s a rather black-and-white view of journalism that some might call naive. Have you read what PeteAbe has been saying about this? Do you call that objective journalism?

          Anyway, how can you say that this is even anything close to this supposed ethical newspaper standard you have anyway? It’s a blog. That, in and of itself, means it’s opinion based. You’re the way reading some objective standard into it, and that is an objective standard that simply doesn’t exist in news reporting anyway. It never has, and it never will. Just ask Walter Lippmann.

          • Anthony

            “Just because the three of us haven’t worked for newspapers or in print media doesn’t mean we have no journalistic reputation or training in the field.”
            ———–
            Who wrote this? I didn’t.

            • radnom

              You have to look at the medium – blogs are much different than articles.

              You can’t deny Pete Abraham is a good journalist (he doesn’t know squat about baseball..but I digress). Just take a look at the difference between his articles and his blog posts. He is one of the most biased bloggers out there but manages to completely take that out when writing in a newspaper setting. If you are going to complain that a blog is “opinion based”…..well then I really don’t know what to tell you.

              I actually don’t agree with the general view of this blog when the new broke that Arod used. There was too much apologizing and excusing making, in my opinion, including a posting of a grossly inaccurate article which Joe later admitted to me he was a little too quick in defending Arod. That being said, I think the authors of this site have done a good job being consistent on the stance, and have largely not demonized PED users, or ANY off the field issues FOR ANYONE. Sure they might defend Arod a little harder, but thats cause he rolls with our crew, you gotta expect that.

              • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

                Anthony doesn’t seem to understand the role that blogs play in the world of media. Even in “real journalism” there is the news sections and the editorial pieces. Everyone doesn’t have to be the AP Wire. Boring, boilerplate, down the middle, just the facts journalists who never take a side on anything. If they were, no one would bother reading them.

                Think of Blogs (and talk radio shows) as the editorial section and it will start to make more sense.

                • Anthony

                  I completely understand the role of blogs. Once again I didn’t post this:

                  “Just because the three of us haven’t worked for newspapers or in print media doesn’t mean we have no journalistic reputation or training in the field.”
                  ———–

                  To me that statement seems to suggest that the writers of this site are holding themselves to the rules of ethical journalism. I merely was pointing out that fact and my sense of astonishment that anyone is defending A-Rod at this point.

                  I understand “defending your own guy,” but to quote Buddy Rich,

                  “This guy…this guy is not my kind of guy.”

    • http://www.freewebs.com/ps3tf2/ Double-J

      Please go back to LoHud. Kthxbye.

  • Clare

    Good point on the media divide about Roberts. Here’s a really good article from a mainstream media source about why Roberts should be viewed skeptically:

    http://www.kansascity.com/spor.....75681.html

    • AlexNYC

      Thanks for the article.

    • RustyJohn

      How is this a “really good article”? The author states there is a plot on the part of white America to keep down black and Latino athletes. The author then, in the next sentence, says he doesn’t think this is a conspiracy, so I guess he means it is a subconscious plot. Funny how he mentions Roberts’ article on the Duke case just before that statement since that involved white players. The author then says the common theme is the black/latino players and the Duke players are easy targets. Okay…yeah…

      Speaking of the Duke case, the author claims Roberts “led the media charge”. Funny but I recall two op-ed pieces on the Duke matter, a case that was in the public eye and frequently discussed in the media for months. I tend to consider myself fairly well informed but never recognized Selena Roberts’ name until the ARod-steroid issue earlier this spring. If anyone “led the media charge” against the Duke players it was Mike Nifong, the prosecutor. But, to listen to the chatter the past week, you’d think Roberts concocted the allegations herself, drugged the accuser and slept with Mike Nifong in an effort to get him to press charges.

      The phrase “ad hominem attacks” has been thrown about here and on other blogs to describe arguments made by the opposition. Funny how this phrase is used by those who, with no personal knowledge of the facts, claim a journalist with 20+ years experience is a hack, cheat, liar, incompetent, or has an ax to grind against ARod. The basis of these allegations appear to be 1) the Duke article and 2) the use of anonymous sources.

      We do not know those who are the sources, the number of sources, and the depth of evidence provided to her. For all we know there can be a dozen people coming forward with these allegations. Doug Mientkiewicz may not have seen ARod use roids in high school, but how do we know that Roberts did not speak to other players on the team who did or people who supplied him with steroids? The same may hold true with the pitch tipping allegations which, are so bizarre, makes one think twice about why someone would make it up.

      If Roberts is a hack, liar, cheat or incompetent, can someone kindly present something (other than one or two Duke editorials written before the evidence of the players’ innocence was public) she wrote over the past 20 years that would support that argument?

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

        Rusty: I think you’re conflating a few things here.

        I said “ad hominem attacks” in the context of defending RAB from someone and not in describing what Selena Roberts is doing. I’d also like to defend the three of us when you write, “Funny how this phrase is used by those who, with no personal knowledge of the facts, claim a journalist with 20+ years experience is a hack, cheat, liar, incompetent, or has an ax to grind against ARod.”

        I don’t think Roberts is being a cheat or a liar and I don’t think she’s incompetent. We could debate whether she’s being a hack for days.

        What I don’t see is how her book should be taken as the gospel right now. If you look at Game of Shadows, it was based on leaked Grand Jury testimony. That testimony may have been attained through anonymous sources, but it was sworn, under penalty of perjury, to be the truth. Roberts’ reporting is based on anonymous sources, and the problem with anonymous sources is that they can be unreliable.

        So, yes, it’s very possible that Roberts used her judgment to decide that these anonymous sources were reliable, but it’s also possible that all of the people who say on the record that A-Rod didn’t do these things are telling the truth too. We just won’t know.

        In a court, Rodriguez would be innocent until proven beyond a reasonable doubt to be guilty. So far, nothing I’ve read about Roberts’ book, outside of the list of failed drug tests, meets that standard.

        • RustyJohn

          My apologies because I should have clarified- It was not my intent to make it appear I was claiming you or the other authors of the blog thought Roberts was a hack, incompetent, etc- that was a statement reserved for some of those commenting on this blog (and other blogs like Pete’s). So I should have phrased that more clearly.

          As for the evidence, trust me, I’ve lost cases with less evidence.

          • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

            “As for the evidence, trust me, I’ve lost cases with less evidence.”

            That may apply to Selig’s investigation, but for the most part Alex is being tried in the court of public opinion, and getting killed.

          • Zack

            So a guy you went to school with 20 years ago can say something to a reporter, not under oath, about you so it must be true?

            What if the guy hated Arod (not farfetched)? What if he was teh back up SS with a grudge? What if ARod stole his girl? What if he didn’t even talk to Arod once in high school?

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

          Ben – Just FYI, I’m pretty sure he was referring to a couple of conversations between me and him that occurred in this thread, a few days ago.

          I don’t want to get into this conversation again, but since I’m pretty sure RustyJohn is referring to that other thread I’ll repeat again that all I said in my original comment was that “I think you’d be wrong to dismiss off-hand the argument that Roberts lost some credibility due to her work on that story.” I didn’t call her anything close to ‘a hack, a liar, a cheat or an incompetent reporter.’

          RustyJohn – I assume you were referring to me with your comments since I don’t think you’ve had this conversation with anyone else in the comments here at RAB. If I’m wrong, my bad. If I’m right, please re-read our conversation. I think you pretty substantially misrepresent my comments on this topic.

      • cult of basebaal
  • ranger11

    It just sucks what has happened to Abraham’s blog. Is he having life issues or something? Arod is no prize, but this constant negativity about everything to do with the Yankees is ridiculous. There is a Gossage clip on Youtube that is so dead on about sensationalistic journalists and the fans that follow them. I knocked his blog from my bookmarks after being there for the past five years or so. Baseball is supposed to be fun. I mean, if Arod gets suspended or whatever, fine. But, give it a rest already!

  • Tony

    Abraham is brings the perspective of a journalist to the issue. The perspective I see here and in the comments is completely different. To a journalist, who understands that “anonymous source” doesn’t mean “Selena Roberts’ ass,” the stuff said so often by the masses is laughable.

    Here’s another one: ever think Peter Abraham’s issues with ARod might be valid since… he actually deals with him, and DOES hear what people say off the record? I have very seldomly heard the people with access even attempt to defend Rodriguez as anything but a baseball player. We can argue all night about how much it matters, but it’s pretty damn clear that he’s a detriment to the team in every other way imaginable. My Yankees fandom doesn’t come along with a free pass for everyone wearing the laundry to do whatever the hell he wants. I don’t feel any need whatsoever to blindly defend the man’s actions, and I don’t know why anyone else does either.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      I think you raise some valid points.

      It’s really tough for me to put into words our A-Rod position. It does come across as “defending” him in a way, but I’d really rather not defend him. I don’t like defending him; I don’t like defending any caught cheaters (and, yes, that includes Andy Pettitte).

      But at this point, our attitude toward A-Rod or Bonds or anyone really is just to advocate for moving on. Baseball isn’t helping itself by holding investigations into what some players may or may not have done 5-10 years ago. We get it — baseball players cheated. I’d rather just see some sort of blanket program and the same commitment to cleaning up the sport now as we see to this witch hunt that continues four years after Game of Shadows.

      • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

        But Ben, the latest allegations of pitch-tipping have nothing to do with Steroids, and yet you’re still arguing on his behalf.

        While your own position may be more nuanced as you say, the published pieces have been consistently pro-Alex from both you and Mike, with only brief mentions of his own culpability here and there. As a player I understand there’s a lot to like, and as a Yankee fan I understand wanting to brush aside anything that doesn’t involve performance. But Alex as a teammate and person is a non-stop slow motion train wreck, and exposing that was the whole point of Selena Robert’s book. The flaws of super rich, super talented, high profile sports stars make for good fodder for book sales.

        • Zack

          If ARod was tipping pitches athen WHO was giving him pitches back?
          Jeter? Nomar? Tejada? It could only be SS or 2B
          Why did she write Alex’s name but not his partners in crime?

          Although I hate listeing to WEEI, Lou Merloni made a good point: Everything we hear is that no one in baseball likes ARod, so why would they help him to hurt their team? You can’t have it both ways. (paraphrase)

          • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

            She probably doesn’t have the other names. It’s not exactly in their own interest to expose themselves, and without knowing the nature of her sources we don’t know how those conversations went.

            Don’t forget, she’s writing a book on Alex. She likely came up with sorts of info that wasn’t included in the book for a variety of reasons or was excluded by her editor.

            • Zack

              So ARod was close enough with other star players to help them cheat, but now they’re turning on him? If she spoke to them then she knows who they are.

              Adding those names would only help her book. Dropping Jeter, Tejada, Nomar, Ripken, Vizquel, or any other star only HELPS her book.

              • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

                A likely explanation would be they were single sourced, and the Alex stuff was quadruple sourced. You can publish something with multiple sources with a major book house. Something that has one source will either be excluded or couched in fuzzy language.

                • Zack

                  You can use whatever excuse you want, but I believe if you have information then you release all of it, not just the parts that help you sell books. Not releasing it is just a cover up.

                  There’s no way her sources only said, “Alex tipped pitches and he got pitches tipped back” And if they did and that’s all she has, then that’s crap. Either release the names of all parties involved or dont mention it at all.

                • Zack

                  I’m not saying release her sources, I’m saying release the names of the players who Alex helped and who helped Alex.

                • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

                  You’re too mindlessly entrenched in your position to argue with. For your own sake, prepare to be horribly disappointed when these charges are eventually proven beyond any doubt. Or to be mocked for living in a dreamworld where everyone else is always wrong and Alex is always right.

                • Zack

                  How can they be proven beyond any doubt without the names of other players?

    • ranger11

      As a Yankee fan, there is nothing that we can do that he is on the team. Should we root against him when he comes up to bat? Hope that he fails and in the the process the team? I do not defend his actions at all. There just has to be an endpoint to this story. It just goes on and on. It’s just not that interesting to me anymore. Abraham just harps and harps on this same story to, in my opinion, the detriment of his blog. He treated Girardi derisively last year also. Okay, we get rid of Arod. Then we deal with Girardi. Then Jeter can’t make the plays at short anymore and Posada is slow as all hell. Jeez, when does it all end. This is supposed to be fun and a diversion. If I want to know how everything and everybody sucks I’ll just watch Fox News or CNN on an hourly basis.

    • Rich

      Ham brings the perspective of a rabid A-Rod hater who will construe any ambiguous fact in the light most unfavorable to A-Rod. True journalism requires objectivity, which neither Ham, nor Roberts, have on this issue.

      Anonymous sources lack sufficient credibility to have their allegations treated with anything less than the most searching skepticism because there is no way to assess the truth or falsity of their claims, nor the basis of knowledge for making them.

      Similarly, off the record comments should also be treated with skepticism for the same reasons.

      Alex cheated. It’s impossible to deny that. The point that some of us are making is that for the most part, the reporting on the issue lacks context because Alex was on of probably hundreds of players that did steroids, in an era when Selig, the owners, the GMs, the MLBPA, and the clean players were willfully bind to the conduct.

      That’s reality.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

        Rich! You’re killing me. It’s bad enough I’m studying for what promises to be a killer Admin exam, but by writing this — “construe any ambiguous fact in the light most unfavorable to A-Rod” — you’re going to give me Chevron nightmares tonight.

        • Rich

          Heh. Sorry. I’m out for the night. Good luck.

      • RustyJohn

        An anonymous source isn’t anonymous to the reporter- the reporter can verify the allegations made with other sources or independent evidence and a reporter isn’t going to write a story based on a single source. That’s the whole point of “reporting”.

        I guess that whole Watergate thing was untrue because the source Deepthroat was anonymous (up until a couple of years ago- then when I found out who he was, I finally believed it. No way I was going to trust that Woodward and Bernstein- I read an opinion piece by Bernstein four years earlier that I disagreed with so there was no way any of his reporting could be trusted.)

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

          I replied to you above on a few other matters.

          • RustyJohn

            In case you missed my response above…

            “My apologies because I should have clarified- It was not my intent to make it appear I was claiming you or the other authors of the blog thought Roberts was a hack, incompetent, etc- that was a statement reserved for some of those commenting on this blog (and other blogs like Pete’s). So I should have phrased that more clearly.”

        • ranger11

          Is this as bad as Watergate?

          • RustyJohn

            No, it isn’t and it further makes my point. If anonymous sources are good enough to be used against the president of the USA, they ought to be okay to publish for a 3rd baseman.

            • ranger11

              I have no problem with stuff being published. I just don’t think that this issue warrants the hysteria it has in certain quarters. I’m not trying to be trivial but, “Let’s Play Ball!’

              • RustyJohn

                Oh I would completely agree that in the grand scheme of things the coming collapse of the US dollar, weapons of mass destruction and what I’m going to eat for dinner tomorrow are more pressing concerns in my mind than what ARod did 15 years ago. That being said, it just offends me to read claims that the person who wrote the book is either making it all up or doesn’t have the skills of a freshman journalist.

      • RustyJohn

        By the way, explain to me again why Roberts has no objectivity?

      • Tony

        “Anonymous sources lack sufficient credibility to have their allegations treated with anything less than the most searching skepticism because there is no way to assess the truth or falsity of their claims, nor the basis of knowledge for making them.
        Similarly, off the record comments should also be treated with skepticism for the same reasons.”

        This isn’t true. Newspapers and magazines care about their reputations and DEFINITELY care about their pocketbooks, meaning that anonymous source isn’t some random guy with no knowledge of the situation. Things aren’t printed unless they are independently collected from several credible people. You act like this is coming out of a high school cafeteria.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

          Jayson Blair says hello.

          I think Rich is being harsh, but rightly so. There is a firm set of media analysts who hate — hate — anonymous sourcing because it require far more trust than most people are willing to give reporters. It essentially makes news reporting into a fight over credibility. If I have one anonymous source that says one thing and four on-the-record sources that say the other after the fact, who do you believe?

          Anonymity allows people who may have other agendas to hide their identity and true purpose for leaking information (or spreading disinformation).

          • RustyJohn

            This is exactly the difference between reporting and blogging- on a blog, or in blog comments, I can make a claim or statement anonymously that no one can verify. However, a reporter is there to verify and to ensure there are multiple sources and supporting evidence. Any reporter that would take someone’s statement on face value without doing either of those things wouldn’t make it past high school journalism.

            You, as a reader of the article, may think the story has little if any air of truthfulness because the source is anonymous, but that does not mean the story has not been thoroughly researched, confirmed and verified.

            • NaOH

              RustyJohn, you’ve brought a lot of good points to this discussion. I would advise a touch of caution, though. Whether intentionally or not on your part, you may be inadvertently framing the discussion in a way that does not apply here. Namely, the parameters (legal, ethical, etc.) which guide journalism do not apply in this case since Roberts’ book is just an unauthorized biography.

              • RustyJohn

                I would find it hard to believe that a journalist wouldn’t want to keep their day job and lose all credibility built up over 20+ years by not verifying the claims made.

                • NaOH

                  You may find it hard to believe that she would risk her credibility, but that’s just a presumption on your part. For all I know (and on this issue I know very little), her motives may have simply been money or a grudge against Rodriguez. I am not accusing her of anything, nor am I presuming anything about the research that went into this book.

                  All I’m saying is that the rules which guide journalism don’t apply in this case (a biography), so framing her work around such standards is misleading, especially for those who are not as well versed in the law as you are.

                • Tony

                  Libel laws do apply here, and I’m pretty sure neither Selena Roberts nor HarperCollins is interested in losing a multi-million dollar lawsuit.

                • NaOH

                  Exactly. But Ms. Roberts’ work is frequently being framed as a piece of journalism, but this book is not journalism, it’s a biography.

    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

      Bingo. Well said.

  • you’re being played

    I enjoy the blog, but the Selena Roberts bashing is getting tiresome. The only reason baseball might be in a position to “move on” from the steroids controversy is because of the reporting of aggressive journalists like her. At every step in this story, there has been massive resistance from everyone in the baseball establishment – players, owners, beat writers, and fans.

    This “outrage” against Roberts has the same motivation as the knee-jerk reaction everyone had when there were whispers that McGwire might be using, when Canseco came out with his first book, when Congress decided to investigate. Then, as now, the objections from baseball (“Canseco is a sleazeball trying to make a buck,” “Steve Wilstein is tarnishing an American hero,” “Congress should have better things to do” etc etc) have sought to blame the messenger in order to obscure the message.

    Don’t kid yourself. No one wants the truth about drugs in baseball to come out (fans included, especially those already “tired of the story”). Everyone will keep lying (including fans, to themselves) unless absolutely forced, by the reporting of these nasty journalists, to admit the ugly truth about their favorite players and their favorite pastime. No wonder people hate reporters.

    • http://www.freewebs.com/ps3tf2/ Double-J

      I enjoy the blog, but the Selena Roberts A-Rod bashing is getting tiresome. The only reason baseball might be in a position to “investigate” the steroids controversy is because of the need to seem like they did their due diligence. At every step in this story, there has been massive resistance to think logically from everyone in the media – ESPN, Peter Abraham, idiot LoHud bloggers, and ignorant fans.

      This “outrage” against Roberts A-Rod has the same motivation as the knee-jerk reaction everyone had when there were whispers that the Duke lacrosse team members were guilty of rape. Then, as now, the objections from rational, logical people have sought to question the messenger in order to obscure the message discover the truth…

      Don’t kid yourself. No one wants the truth cares about drugs in baseball anymore. Everyone will keep hyperbolizing (including fans, to themselves) unless absolutely forced, by the logical folks like those at RAB, to admit the ugly truth about their favorite players stop acting like irrational idiots and blithely following the foaming A-Rod hate. No wonder people hate LoHud.

      ISWYDT.

      And I don’t even really *like* A-Rod.

      • http://www.freewebs.com/ps3tf2/ Double-J

        Apparently, it doesn’t like the strikethrough tags. Must be ? It’s not even thought that shows up in the HTML preview.

  • Eric

    If this weren’t about anything other than money… we would all know the other 103 names on that list. Roberts is all about money and fame with this book. Good for her… but I’m not buying it (literally and figuratively).

    If this were objective reporting on ANYONE’S part… we would know the other 103 names. If SOMEONE didn’t have a vendetta against arod, then we would know all 104 names… his wouldn’t be singled out.

    That leaves 2 possibilities:
    1. Someone with knowledge of the list has a vendetta against arod and leaked only his name.
    2. Roberts wanted only the big time name to be leaked.

    • Tony

      Or Roberts has to get the same names from the same list from 3 different people to run it in Sports Illustrated. This process isn’t as simple as some seem to think it is. I can guarantee you she doesn’t actually have the list, because it would be a PDF file on SI.com right now if she did.

      Sorry to tell you, but nobody cares enough about say… Jay Gibbons (for example) to risk their job multiple times to read, memorize, and leak his name from a sealed document in a federal court. Nobody cares AND the same thing would have to happen over and over again. It’s a little different for the highest-paid player in baseball.

      • Eric

        Tony,

        Give me a break. Media has changed with the evolution of blogs and the internet. The reason Arod was outed was not because “someone was afraid of risking their job”. it’s all about money for Roberts. If this were responsible journalism “just trying to reveal the truth” then a little more investigative reporting would have taken place. This is about nothing other than money for this broad.

    • LiveFromNewYork

      Absolutely. She only wanted the biggest fish she could get.

  • BigBlueAL

    Im just tired of all this steroids talk. Really who cares anymore. Why cant it be like the NFL where arguably the best defensive player in the league gets suspended for using steroids, Shawn Merriman, and nobody gives a shit. Same with a veteran leader of the World Champion Patriots in Rodney Harrison. Where are the people saying those SB titles were tainted??? Heck many old players have gone on record saying the 70’s Steelers basically were the first team to use steroids like crazy and nobody gives a shit.

    I appreciate that baseball is held to a higher standard than the NFL but really enough is enough. The season has started and lets just worry about the actual games being played. Im not referring to RAB because it is news and has to be covered, Im just talking about the national media in general. Lets just move on and enjoy the actual games being played….

  • Steve B Ball

    I guess that this p.o.s. Roberts has written the book out of the goodness of her heart.
    I’m sure she just wants to uncover what a bad guy A-Rod is……………….. PLEASE what crap, she is just another
    bullsh*t writer looking for a very good payday!
    I will not read it and certainly wouldn’t buy it………why should I Charmins is a lot cheaper

  • LiveFromNewYork

    I think that people object to witch hunts no matter the subject or the person being hunted. They go along at first and then it gets to be too much.

    I think that peole hope that if they were being raked over the coals with little or no evidence or anonymous sources, that someone would say ENOUGH! on their behalf. I know I do.

    So for Arod from me: ENOUGH!

    • Zack

      Good point.
      If someone has real proof, like a test or grand jury testimony, then fine show it. But “reports” from a former high school teammate that probably hasnt talk to Alex in 20 yers? Come on

  • josh

    i dont like what arod stands for especially when compared to the yankees from the mid 90’s -2000. let us not forget that roger clemens waqs a part of 2 of those championships and has proven to be the same kind of jerk as arod though. the arod smear is getting so ridiculous. if he was part of tipping pitches then there were other players involved too, not saying its right at all but he is getting crucified for being part of something that is so much bigger than even him ( just like the streroid thing) this roberts characterseems to have nothing better to do than rip atheletes. what kind of journalistic integrity does she have? ask duke lacrosse. i mean, she is right about arod but it is apparent that she reports about atheletes as if they are the scum of the earth. the guy did juice when A LOT of guys were doing it – i dont care what derek jeter says- put an asterik next to the records if you want –who cares! at some point we should realize that the man is a human being, maybe a bad human being, but not that bad. give this whole thing a break

    • Zack

      I agree Josh. If he was tipping pitches then WHO was getting pitches from him and WHO was giving it to him? Lets see ALL the facts, not just the part that makes Alex look bad (he can do that by himself, he doesnt need help from others)

  • V

    All I know, is a part of me lets out a little cheer every time a newspaper goes under.

    ‘Journalists’ today are an epic fail, as a whole. From the financial journalists who merely parrot cheery news, ignoring fundamental failures, to the tabloid smearjobs that have overtaken entertainment and sports.

  • Pingback: MLB Investigating A-Rod

  • http://yankees.lhblogs.com Pete Abraham

    Just like all the players “vehemently” denied steroids were a problem for years. Only they were.

    I don’t know Selena Roberts beyond saying hello in passing. But she was exactly right about Alex’s positive drug test in February, which earns her the benefit of the doubt about what she is writing now.

    Rumors of Alex having used steroids in h.s. have been around for a long time. If she was able to shed new light on this, that’s to her credit.

    Meanwhile, Alex has admitted to using an unknown drug administered by his cousin/driver for three years. Three years. Knowing that, is it really such a stretch to think he used when he was with the Yankees? Or in high school? By his own words, he did things when he was “young and stupid.”

    As for the pitch tipping, Alex was allowed by the permissive Tom Hicks to call pitches while he was in Texas. Nobody denies that. Alex is also well known for currying favor with star players from other teams. It’s really not a stretch, again, to imagine him calling pitches he knows his buddies can handle in return for them tipping him off.

    This is a player for whom statistics are the goal. If you would be willing to gain an edge by injecting drugs for three years, getting somebody to tell you a fastball is coming would seem like no big deal.

    I have no idea whether Selena Roberts is right or wrong. But she has earned the benefit of the doubt and Alex has not.

    • Zack

      So if you’re right about one thing you cannot be questioned in any other comments you make?

      With no false test or testimony underoath she has not shed any light on Alex’s high school years.

      Stars from other teams like ARod? So that means OTHER stars are cheating – I how Roberts listed every one of their names in her book.

    • DSFC

      Really,Pete? She gets the benefit of the doubt from that? The fact that she was monstrously wrong in the Duke case (and will neither admit it nor apologize for it) doesn’t cast an enormous amount of doubt on both her credibility as well as her ability to report without clear animus towards a subject? And if this isn’t a simple hatchet job on a superstar because of the fame and money that she’ll reap, why didn’t she go digging for the rest of the names on that list? Why single out Alex Rodriguez? Is taking steroids and tipping poorly at Hooters now considered to be on a par with slandering innocent men? DESTROYING THEIR REPUTATIONS IN THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS NEWSPAPER IN THE COUNTRY FOR THE MOST HEINOUS OF CRIMES????? Crimes of which they were innocent? I don’t like ARod much, but I’d rather have 100 ARods out there than one Selena Roberts. And, sorry, but while the steroids accusations are believable, the pitch tipping thing is patently absurd. Who are her sources? If they’re the other alleged conspirators, let them come forward publicly and face equal scrutiny. If they weren’t involved, how exactly did they come by this information? Did they somehow figure out something that Buck Showalter – one of the sharpest, most intense managers around – didn’t notice? It’s not like Buck’s a buddy of Alex Rodriguez and out to protect him.

      But then again, your professional credibility went out the window when you went trolling at NoMaas under a pseudonym, so I don’t know why I’d be surprised.

    • Steve B Ball

      you must be another loser beat writer

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

        Must we fling insults every time Pete comes on here to state his case? Pete does his job and does it well. The insults are unnecessary.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      I think it’s okay for someone to give her the benefit of the doubt because of her past reporting on the steroids list, but I personally don’t apply it to the pitch tipping. It might be true. It might not. But there’s no hard evidence like the steroids list in this case, at least not yet.

      Just because she was accurate in one regard does not necessarily mean she was in another. You say benefit of the doubt because of past accuracy, I say I’ll believe it when I see some evidence. That can include video, or it can be the commiserating players coming forward (and therefore damning themselves). Until then, the skepticist in me will know that he easily could have done this, but the fan in me will not make a big deal about it until we have something a bit more concrete than her anonymous sources.

      (And I understand anonymous sources are integral for investigative journalism, but would that evidence hold up in a court of law? I’m not the resident law student here, but I would think not. However, the anonymous sources might lead to a deeper investigation which does bring courtroom proof.)

      • josh

        maybe because he is so good he is the face of baseball and when we realize that baseballs face (like his) is not perfect that he has to bear the brunt of it. maybe that makes it fair but i dont think it is. there are others out there who did it. that does not make it right but at the same time it doesnt make him any more wrong than the others. as far as giving roberts the benefit of the doubt because she was right about the juice, that is nonsense. she was wrong about duke so should we have never believed anything she said after that? now that she is right about one thing everything she says thereafter is gold – no way. anyway, i really dont think it is that big a deal about the pitch tipping to be quite honest. athletes all over the world in every forumn are doing PED’s – that doesnt mean they are not wrong but lets not go crazy and try to ruin their lives for it.

    • Summer

      She was exactly wrong about the Duke lacrosse players, and then refused to concede that she was wrong even in the face of evidence. But I guess we’re all just supposed to ignore that and give her the benefit of the doubt because she was right about A-Rod doing steroids.

      And just to be clear, I’m not an A-Rod supporter like you accuse everyone who disagrees with you on your blog of being (which I find rude and completely unprofessional). A-Rod is a liar and a cheater, and the revelation that he may have lied and that he may have cheated longer than he has admitted wouldn’t surprise me. But to me there is a difference between good investigative journalism and citing “anonymous” sources left and right, or presenting your speculation as fact. And by the way, speaking of bad journalism, why do you not hesitate to post anything that presents A-Rod in a bad light, but neglect to post quotes from former players who refute — on the record, omg!! — Roberts’ accusations?

  • Rob S.

    I fail to see how any anonymous source could have any credibility. At worst you are lying or have something to hide yourself (or simply don’t exist). At best you have no problem trashing someone elses reputation as long as you don’t have to withstand any scrutiny thus making you a coward. Either way you don’t earn any credibility with me. I blame the media for this whole culture where anyone can accuse anyone else of anything and it’s accepted as gospel. Guilty until proven innocent. Let’s not forget about the 103 other players who tested positive and are getting a free pass while A-Rod takes all the heat. This whole thing has been a witchhunt and I wonder how a person like Selena Roberts sleeps at night trying to destroy another person’s life to make a buck.

  • Zack

    Talking about a failed drug test is one thing – if it’s not true it can be proven.

    Talking about tipping pitches or hs steroids is another- no matter what ARod does he cannot prove he is innocent. A high school teammate accused him of cheating, another high school teammate, Doug Mientkiewicz, said he didn’t.

    But can we get a copy of his receit from Hooters so we can see how much he tipped if he paid by credit card? Or does the waitress still have the bills Arod left at the table, lets lift some fingerprints off of them.

  • Tony

    I would absolutely love to see the comments on a post that simply lays out the facts of the Duke case.

  • YankeeScribe

    Even veteran newspaper reporters get duped by anonymous sources:

    “Despite Los Angeles Times reporter Chuck Philips’ claims that he always double- and triple-checks his anonymous sources when researching his articles, a report by the Smoking Gun Web site released on Wednesday (March 26) claims that the veteran reporter was duped by a now-incarcerated “audacious swindler” and “accomplished document forger” while researching his recent story allegedly tying Sean “Diddy” Combs and the Notorious B.I.G. to the 1994 shooting of Tupac Shakur.”

    http://www.mtv.com/news/articl.....2pac.jhtml

    I’m not saying that all reports relying on anonymous sources should be dismissed. There just needs to be enough verifiable facts for the report to be treated as gospel.

    Another problem with Ms. Roberts’ reporting is that in her crusade against A-Rod, she’s overlooked some even bigger stories. For example, if she has evidence that A-Rod was using steroids in high school, why stop at A-Rod? Why not do high school sports some justice by investigating and exposing the overall extent of steroid use by high school athletes?

    If she has access to a list of major league players who failed drug tests, why focus on just one?

    If she has evidence of A-Rod tipping off pitches, why doesn’t she name other players involved?

    Roberts comes across as a reporter who set out to write a book smearing A-Rod. If she had already concluded that A-Rod is a prick before she started her investigative reporting, it’s not a stretch that she might have cherry-picked some sources and ignored evidence that didn’t support her conclusion.

    • Tony

      “I’m not saying that all reports relying on anonymous sources should be dismissed. There just needs to be enough verifiable facts for the report to be treated as gospel.”

      How about the fact that he has already admitted to one OMFGWHOISTHISCRAZYVINDICTIVEHACK accusation already? I don’t even care about the HS steroids stuff because his original explanation was so preposterous that I assume he has needle in his ass right now. The pitch-tipping is what bothers me from this book, and I’m sure that’s going to get interesting in the coming weeks.

      • YankeeScribe

        I have doubts about the pitch tipping and the HS steroids things. If her accusations are based on verified info, she would name names. Who did A-Rod tip-off pitches to? Who helped A-Rod do steroids in HS? It seems cowardly on Roberts’ part to make accusations without giving enough info to confirm the accusations or atleast helping the MLB investigate them.

        As for A-Rod, he can’t prove a negative. Even if most of Roberts’ accusations aren’t true, he’s guilty in the court of public opinion…

  • Rod

    Selena Roberts is a hack who could easily bolster her pitch tipping claims with some video evidence. This isn’t the 1940s were MLB would destroy game footage, you would think someone with a history of covering the game would be able to do such basic fact checking. Maybe she might have tried to corroborate a source or two.

    She writes from an editorial standpoint and makes the “facts” fit her narrative and her fixation on A-Rod and her behavior during the Duke case make me think she suffers from penis envy due to unresolved daddy issues.

  • Drew

    On tipping pitches— Selena Roberts’ book implies ARod was betraying his own teammate’s pitches to an opponent so that later, when ARod came to bat, that opponent might reciprocate by betraying pitches to ARod?? That’s a VERY serious accusation. Imagine you are that pitcher (who was laughed outta the pros for giving up hits/HRs/ERs/etc.) …ARod betrays you and makes millions…and you’re demoted.

    Thats one serious allegation.

    Now Selena Roberts wont give full details to MLB to “protect her sources”???!!! Meanwhile she’ll make millions off this book of SLANDER??

    She’s a reporter making her living off of sports reporting, yet she makes these accusations that harm the integrity of baseball and its players but makes no effort to clean things up, to help MLB clean things up, or to completely expose those responsible (except ARod because that helps her sell books).

    This is irresponsible and partial journalism and MLB should not let this go.

    MLB’s lawyers need to jump on this and file a SLANDER LAWSUIT immediately…tell her to put up or shut up… either find out this is true and go after ARod or (more likely) find out its untrue and take every cent back she ever made from baseball reporting.

    No matter what happens, KEEP HER AWAY FROM BASEBALL—because no matter what happens, MLB and its fans can’t trust her to tell the truth unless she can make a buck first.