High schoolers and bench pressing

I haven’t learned a thing about weight lifting since they stopped running Charles Atlas ads in the back of comic books so I’m way out of my league when it comes to the plausibility of A-Rod’s bench pressing exploits as described in Selena Roberts’ new book. Shawn Hoffman at Squawking Baseball knows his way around a gym, however, and he thinks it’s totally believable that Rodriguez could go from a 100 to a 300 pound press in the time that he did.

I link, you decide, and then Selena Roberts can tell us all that her side of things is “irrefutable.”

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  1. Total said...

    So, not going to dispute the facts in Roberts’ book, but only going to link to those “news” items that do?  Excellent.

  2. Craig Calcaterra said...

    Total:  see, if I were to dispute that fact myself, I’d be talking out of my ass because, as I admit, I know nothing about weight lifting. By linking to someone who at least purports to have some credibility on the particular subject, I’m pointing readers to a better source that they might not have otherwise seen.  That, by the way, is one of the points of blogging.

    And I never said I wouldn’t dispute Roberts’ facts. I have said that I haven’t read her book and thus can’t really dispute any facts.  I’ve admitted in comments here that I know, to date, of no facts she has gotten wrong with respect to Roberts.  I’ve also said that I may not care about many of the particular facts surrounding this book and Rodriguez because my greater concern is her habit to make moral judgments about her subjects which don’t flow from the facts she reports, even if they are true.

    That said, if her facts are disputed by someone with some credibility (say, Michael Young or Doug Minkiewicz) or some particular insight (say, the Squawking Baseball post) you bet your bippy I’m going to link to it.

  3. Sara K said...

    Craig, Selena Roberts is a journalist who is known for her professionalism, so I say look to her for an example.  Include as many counter-claims to your premise as she does for hers.  Sounds fair to me.  wink

  4. Daniel said...

    Sara K,
    Wrong. Selena Roberts is known for her blatant disregard for the truth. Here’s what Durham-in-Wonderland, the leading blog on the Duke Lacrosse scandal had to say about Roberts bad reporting on the Duke. 

    Selena, “why should anyone believe anything you write about A-Rod? After all, if you saw fit to print false items in one high-profile case—false items that you have refused to correct—what’s to say you might be willing to print false items in another high-profile case?” http://durhamwonderland.blogspot.com/2009/05/selena-roberts-journalistic-credibility.html

  5. Sara K said...

    Sorry, Daniel – forgot to post the /snark alert.  For more fun reading, check out this link, from the comments on JoePoz’s “Tip Sheet” post:


    After Costas’s softballs to Roberts last night, it’s nice to know that there are “legitimate” journalists that disapprove and are up-front about it.

  6. Adam said...

    From personal experience:
    As a high school freshman I bench pressed 185 pounds doing the half-way down business.  So it was probably a 135 full bench press.  My sophmore year I was maxing out at 315.  Combine that with the fact that A-rod is a genetic freak, it is not so ridiculous. 

    Also, the 6 month time frame from the former teammate was likely exaggerated.  I consider this last piece of evidence irrefutable even though I have no proof whatsoever.

  7. Sara K said...

    TLA, that’s a tough question, because Roberts’ history makes accepting what she says as truth exceedingly difficult.

    And if what she says is true, I still have problems with the content. The most disturbing allegation is the pitch-tipping, which, according to Roberts, occurred as an agreement between players. Well, which ones? How am I supposed to believe that ARod had an agreement when she (or her anonymous source) isn’t able to name the people he had an agreement with? And if she knows who else was involved, why the omission?

    If what she is saying is absolutely true, we have a flaky athlete who cheated, and we have a journalist who suppresses or ignores or fails to identify some relevant facts and who dwells on some irrelevant ones. In terms of their respective professions, it doesn’t seem to me like one is significantly more upright than the other (maybe we can get a zealous reporter to probe into Roberts’ life, to make it more of a fair comparison?). 

    I am personally more offeded by Roberts, if for no other reason than communication/rhetoric is my line and I feel very strongly about the responsibility to communicate clearly, accurately, and in good faith. I am also irritated by the hypocrisy inherent in what she is doing. Like the man she accuses, Roberts herself has played fast and loose with the rules of her profession and the public trust, and while doing so, she has postured as a voice of virtue. There have been many requests for her to come clean, and she has refused to do so. Yes, ARod cheated and cheating is a bad thing, but at least he didn’t go about pointing the finger at others who commit the same sins (as far as I know, anyway – do correct me if I am wrong).

  8. TLA said...

    Question for the commenters: 

    For the sake of argument, if we accept everything that is written in the book as true, who makes your skin crawl more?  Arod or Selena?

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