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Friday, May 01, 2009
File under “Interesting”Selena Roberts' allegations about A-Rod tipping pitches to the opposition hinge on the observations of his Ranger teammates. Interesting to note, however, that two of Alex Rodriguez's teammates with the Rangers are calling the allegations "ridiculous" and "b.s.":
Michael Young played just the other side of second from Alex Rodriguez, so he'd probably notice any funny business between A-Rod and opposing hitters.
Jeff Brantley is more emphatic:
Chris Russo: “It says here in the excerpts [of the book] today [in the New York Daily News], that the opposing team, in a blowout game, a friendly [player] would tell A-Rod what pitch was coming to help break him out of a slump. How about that?”
Maybe it's hard to see what A-Rod is doing when you're playing next to him and thus not watching him like Young, or when you're way out in the bullpen like Brantley was. But they're certainly on the record here. I eagerly anticipate hearing from Roberts' sources about this, assuming there are ever any names attached.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 2:41pm
Vegas Watch said...
Selena Roberts’ reporting is irrefutable, she said so herself. I’m not sure why you’re even bothering to refute it…and attaching names to the sources!? Foolish, really.
Posted 05/01 at 02:48 PM
You know what is unbelievable about this, who thinks Arod has any friends? He is hyper-competitive with little of no personality. How many friends does he have on the other team who would do this type of stuff?
Posted 05/01 at 03:03 PM
Has Roberts been proven wrong about anything so far?
Posted 05/01 at 03:09 PM
Craig Calcaterra said...
Total—she’s the one making the case here. It’s her burden to prove that she’s right, and we won’t know if she’s carried it until her book comes out and we can all read and assess it.
On a macro level, however, she has been proven to have an unwavering disdain for Alex Rodriguez (see her NYT reporting on A-Rod between 2005 and the present) and a reckless disregard for the facts on the ground when imposing her moral judgments (see the Duke Lacrosse case).
Posted 05/01 at 03:24 PM
So how long before Law & Order does an episode about the young female reporter with an axe to grind turning up dead and an embattered sports star the most likely suspect?
(spoiler alert: the super-Agent with a God complex did it)
Posted 05/01 at 03:26 PM
Isn’t it time to offficially relegate this entire book/story/debacle to the trash can?
Posted 05/01 at 03:29 PM
Well as Ms. Roberts anonymous source, I saw A-Rod giving away pitches to the opposing hitters. It was very obvious for anyone who knows what to look for.
Now granted, I “may” have been drinking, and I “may” have lost one of my shoes (I think in a bet), and I “may” not have actually been at the game, but rather watched it on TV, which “may” have been off at the time.
And the only reason I’m anonymous, is because I can’t remember who I am. But I definitely know what I saw. It’s all very clear to me. And players wouldn’t be able to tell the tip-offs because they were telepathic.
Posted 05/01 at 03:29 PM
Sara K said...
The beauty of it is that there’s a ready-made defense - “of course ballplayers are going to deny cheating in this form, as it amounts to throwing a game and could get them banned for life.” Now, we watchers would assume that it’s extraordinarily unlkely that an arrangement like this could occur without having caught the notice (and subsequent lockerroom beating) from the victimized teammates, but who are we?
Posted 05/01 at 04:01 PM
“she’s the one making the case here. It’s her burden to prove that she’s right, and we won’t know if she’s carried it until her book comes out and we can all read and assess it”
I understand that she’s the one making the case. I’m asking if, in previous cases where she broke new facts, she’s been shown to be wrong.
The Duke Lacrosse case was an embarrassment for her, as is her general disdain for A-Rod, but that (as you yourself pointed out) is not the same thing as her being wrong in the facts that she herself brings forward.
Posted 05/01 at 04:02 PM
Craig Calcaterra said...
Total—point taken. Answer: I know of no instance where she simply blew the facts.
Posted 05/01 at 04:05 PM
To be fair, ARod’s system could have been a bit more secretive than someone on his team might have noticed. Remember, you make signs so that the dumbest on your team can understand them but the smartest on the other team cannot. In this instance, his team was the other team. I don’t know what it would have been, but his signals could have escaped the notice of his teammates.
Posted 05/01 at 04:13 PM
I’d be interested to hear what Pudge has to say. If A-Rod was really tipping pitches, Pudge is the one who would have noticed.
Posted 05/01 at 04:38 PM
Sara K said...
And another thing…If Roberts’ informant knew that Rodriguez had a deal with certain players to swap pitch tipping, what do we make of the fact that the other players aren’t named? Either the informant is saying that he *knows* ARod did it but he doesn’t know who he did it with, which seems like a serious credibility issue, or that the informant/Roberts/both know who the other players are and aren’t saying, which would seem to make this an ARod witchhunt.
Any other scenarios to explain this…?
Posted 05/01 at 04:53 PM
In a 12-1 game, a SS who has a former teammate at the plate might lay back on a groundball and let the guy get an infield hit when he’s in a slump.
A batter gets brushed back and the pitcher doesn’t retalitate, a SS might let a runner score from 3rd by laying back in a blow out.
It can happen, it has happend, and it will happen again.
Tipping pitches to let guys get hits is in the realm of the Black Sox and Pete Rose. It’s cheating. It’s throwing games. It’s unethical and illegal.
Is that what she’s claiming? Game fixing? That’s a serious charge and that takes a lot of chutzpha. I want to see some proof and not just heresay. Of course, she’s never ben good at that.
And who/when/where? Unsubstantiated claims are just that.
I’m not an A-Rod fan, but it would take a lot more than some hack crying game-fixing to get me to believe it.
Posted 05/01 at 04:54 PM
susan mullen said...
Re: Selena Roberts’ facts. A blog called The Yankees Republic mentions how she deduced the Duke players were guilty (even after they were proved innocent). Her proof was “irrefutable (jock) culture” of “misogyny, racial animus and athlete entitlement” and fans who were the “khaki pants crowd of SAT wonder kids.” As the blogger notes, though she said evidence was ‘irrefutable’ she didn’t cite any of it. He notes her NY Times article, “Closing Case will not mean Closure at Duke,” 3/25/07. On 3/31/06 she writes of Duke University, “virtuous on the outside, debauched on the inside.” This was a statement of fact by Roberts which might have been true if Roberts had been right in her thesis. But her thesis (that they were guilty) did not prove true. She apparently wanted it to be that way. Or her bosses wanted it that way. In any case, the word ‘respected’ should never be used to describe a person who has freely chosen to go into Roberts’ line of work. (Blogger’s post entitled, “Selena Roberts’ Poison Pen: An Inoculation.”
Posted 05/01 at 05:12 PM
I find it EXTREMLY hard to believe that a player would get away with this at the Major League level. Someone would be bound to say something at some point. Period. With all the scrutiny these players are under, it seems virtually impossible that no one would pick up on this during the time he played in Texas. Constantly on television, thousands of fans, the fact that eyes are always on A-Rod. If that’s truly the case, there should be plenty of evidence on video showing some consistent actions that he takes in the blowout games when specific players are up. But given the closeness in the clubhouses, etc. how could pitchers never hear about this from other players?
Posted 05/01 at 05:28 PM
Lots of Joe Morgan-types here. You’re supposed to read the book before you criticize it or question it’s claims.
All we have are excerpts, and we could be missing quite a bit.
I know Roberts has a dubious track record with the Duke lacrosse story, but that doesn’t mean she’s incapable of reporting. She has a career as a reporter, so she must have done something right along the way to get where she is.
What really bothers me though are the responses from Brantley. His answers just too insistent to be taken seriously.
Posted 05/01 at 06:49 PM
You know who else has a pretty poor track record? Who actually has blown facts? A-Rod.
A-Rod told Katie Couric that he never used ‘roids. Lie.
A-Rod told Peter Gammons that Selena Roberts had been thrown out of his apartment building. Lie.
A-Rod told Gammons that Roberts had been kicked off the U of Miami campus. Lie.
A-Rod told Gammons that he had “the paper” proving all of this. He didn’t. Lie.
If I have to choose between believing Selena Roberts and believing A-Rod, I know who I’m choosing.
Posted 05/01 at 08:58 PM
Craig Calcaterra said...
Ben—I’ve never once disputed that A-Rod is a liar. And in fact, if you read my posts, you’ll also see that I’ve never called Selena Roberts a liar.
The point is that A-Rod can be a liar and still not be worthy of the hit pieces she has already written about him and whatever this book is going to turn out to be. The point is that Roberts can be 100% accurate about every distinct fact yet still commit an act of slanted, hateful, and irresponsible journalism. Writers do it all the time.
Life is more complicated that a true and false test.
Posted 05/01 at 09:03 PM
The rules of reporting for a newspaper for anonymous sources would be verified by at least 2 other independent sources and the editor would have confirmed them as well- ala Watergate-
Posted 05/01 at 09:48 PM