All the best third basemen have daddy issues

Could Andy Pettitte win 300?
Tonight's game rained out

arodcover When Selena Roberts broke the story in February that A-Rod was one of the 104 names on the supposedly anonymous list of steroid users, we quickly learned that she did so while in the process of researching a book about the Yanks’ enigmatic superstar. For months, as the book’s release date moved around to accommodate A-Rod’s stint on the disabled list, we wondered what shocking revelations the book would hold.

In the end, the answer ended up being “not very much.” Short on sources and new information, A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez comes across as a faux-amateur psychologist’s examination of A-Rod’s supposed daddy issues. It features some allegations about pitch-tipping that have been refuted on the record by numerous teammates of Alex’s, and Roberts attempts to portray A-Rod as guilty by association because he lived in Miami at the same time that other, more famous people who used steroids were there as well. As the low sales numbers have shown, a flimsy, anonymously sourced and poorly written book that reveals more about A-Rod’s tendencies to undertip at Hooter’s shouldn’t and won’t receive much attention.

By now, we all know the meat of Roberts’ allegations. Somehow, she was able to uncover the fact that A-Rod’s name was on a list of failed drug tests. The list was supposed to be anonymous, but as she details, players had to sign their names next to their sample number. Generally protective of its interests and members, the Players’ Union dropped the ball big time.

But beyond the steroid revelations, confirmed by A-Rod, nothing else in Roberts’ book holds much water. She alleges pitch tipping but can’t back it up through on-the-record sources or statistical analysis. She notes that when A-Rod was in high school, he may have trained at the same gym as other known steroid users. Well, based on the way some guys at my gym look, so have I. She hints at PED use by noting A-Rod’s growth spurt between 15 and 18 without acknowledging that crazy little thing called puberty.

As the attention moves to A-Rod on the field, we hear the same tales of A-Rod as Joe Torre and Tom Verducci told in The Yankee Years. In fact, Roberts relies on Torre’s book as one of her sources for much of the under-the-table Yankee criticism of A-Rod. She says that A-Rod always felt the need to compete, that he slept around with women, that his teammates regarded him as a phony off the field and a superstar on it. Again, she offers up nothing new.

At times, though, Roberts puts on her reporter’s cap and digs into A-Rod’s past life. She talks to his former wife Cynthia and the dad who walked out when A-Rod was just 10 years old. In fact, it is this dad whom Roberts blames for A-Rod’s downfall. All of A-Rod’s shenanigans — from steroids to the Boras-driven effort to land him two record-setting contracts to the off-field behavior — are the result of A-Rod’s daddy issues. Dr. Freud Roberts is not, and even in the age of pop sociology/psychology, she can’t hold a candle to the Malcolm Gladwells of the world.

In the end, the book is a big zero, and Roberts has been roundly taken to task for it as in this interview on WFAN. If it accomplishes anything, it will rally fans around A-Rod while confirming for others what they already know. It is, in a phrase, a great big nothing.

If you really want to read this thin biography, you can find A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez on Amazon. Using that link nets us a few bucks, but if I were you, I’d just save my money.

Could Andy Pettitte win 300?
Tonight's game rained out
  • Jake H

    This review sums up what I’ve heard from others. Reporters have said the book lacked a lot but never went at Roberts. I wonder if she gets another book deal since this one looks like it’s not going to do well.

  • Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    I went to the Borders in the Time Warner Center last week with a friend.

    I believe that book was on the bargain table.

  • Johnny

    All the best third basemen have daddy issues

    weird, so do the best one-night stands.

    • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

      fan-frickin-tastic post.


  • Joe R

    Honestly forgot this book was even out there. Damn winning is great.

    • afromnj

      I second that!!

  • Januz

    I have never liked “reporters” (And I use that term very loosely when describing her) whose entire purpose of writting a book is to do a hatchet job on their subject, without regard to accuracy and the truth. Her account of the Duke “Rape Case” was a horrible example of this.
    The only way to counter Ms. Roberts is to ignore her, whenever she rears her ugly head, and eventually she will stop getting million dollar advances, and go away.

  • steve s

    Nice analysis. Hopefully Roberts fades away as she proved herself to be a rank opportunist with highly questionable ethics. I thought Arod should have sued her to both jerk her around a bit and more importantly obtain the name of the deep throat that leaked his name as he was truly damaged by this leak but I guess having it just go away as it has works for him too.

    • GG

      I hope he does a little bit down the road, it would be really cool if he has planned to all along, but wanted to wait till the book was hard to find so that it wouldnt help her do well off of it!

  • Big Mike

    It doesn’t look promising for the game tonight.

    I keep checking the Yankee website for updates, but nothing new since 2:30.

    Hopefully they call it early.

    • I Remember Celerino Sanchez

      They called it. Rained out. No reschedule date yet.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    I hate an unnamed this or an anonymous that…

    I’m glad the book is tanking.

  • GG

    Of course the book is tanking, I hope Roberts career tanks with it, its disengeniuous to just throw allegations around with no regard for the way it might impact peoples lives.

    In other news did anyone see this on MLBTR:
    John Smoltz told Heyman that he once turned down $53MM from the Yankees to sign with the Braves for $30MM.

    I had no idea about that, pretty interesting.

    • NHYankee62

      Good for him. I hope he’s happy with one ring instead of four.

      I seem to remember Maddux turning down alot more from the Yankees to sign with the Braves as well.

  • JohnC

    Game has been postponed via PetAbe. No makeup announced yet.

    • GG


  • NJY

    Game cancelled already.. F’in brutal, really wanted to see Price and CC

  • Ace

    If the book is so bad, why even review it? You’re just bringing more attention to it and as ‘they’ say ‘any publicity is good publicity.’

  • Joba to the Pen


    Not surpised Smoltz turned down money to the Yankees.He like Maddux were probaly scared of the AL East.Maddux did say he thought he’s style of pitching was more for the NL(AKA not a strikeout pitching style).

    It’s gonna be a sad day when A-Rod passes Reggie and Babe Ruth on the all-time homerun list.What’s more sad is people will cheer for him when he does it.

    • UWS

      Yes, I’m sure Jayson Stark will be there, mourning the baseball history that A-Rod raped and murdered.


    • Moshe Mandel

      It is gonna be a sad day when Joba wins the 2011 Cy Young award. Then you are going to be forced to find a new, equally amusing screen name.

      • Steve H


  • Brendan

    Why would anyone mention this book anymore? I think it was already proven to be a work of a hack with an agenda. Why rehash it? We that bored today?

    • Joseph Pawlikowski

      Why would you comment on this post? You that bored today?

  • JP

    Seriously, how many of these “untold story of the seedy underbelly of (insert name of athlete/sport/political figure)” are really successful? Success is a moving target, I guess, but I can’t think of a book like this that was successful in the sense that it was acclaimed as an important, credible book.

    • johnny

      The Bad Guys Won, by Jeff Pearlman(I think thats his name) was pretty awesome.

      I like to think Girardi got up in front of the club in spring training and said “we’re going to dominate.” like davey johnson, but I doubt it.

  • NHYankee62

    Nice review. My thanks for being honest about Roberts intentions to simply try to make $ at Arod’s expense. I appreciate you guys at RAB for calling it the way it is. As you may have seen from some of my brief posts here, I tend to have pretty strong opinions :)

    However, I appreciate that you guys are Yankee fans who seem to genuinely want the team and all of its players to succeed. This is in stark contrast to that guy over at some other big name blog who has now turned into a tabloid writer attacking Arod every chance he gets.

    Finally, my sincerest apologies for having to suffer through reading that book, Benjamin. Thanks for taking one for the team!

  • donttradecano

    I like the way boomer and carton attacked her in that clip.

  • mick

    Roberts=yellow journalism

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