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Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Selena and A-RodI'm not sure what to make of Alex Rodriguez's claim that Selena Roberts "stalked" him in the leadup to this weekend's story, but it's certainly the case that Rodriguez has been in Roberts' sights for a long time. Let's take the wayback machine to December 7, 2007, when Roberts ran a hatchet job on A-Rod in the pages of the New York Times.
For those of you too busy or too lazy to click the link, the upshot was that Roberts snooped around A-Rod's Miami business and charitable interests and found some mildly unflattering things. The article itself, however, was full of over-the-top bombast and even distortion, all of which made Roberts' disdain for Rodriguez abundantly clear.
Like I said, it doesn't detract from the current story, which appears to be straight up and factual, but it certainly should put us on guard for what Roberts writes in order to capitalize on this big scoop. Like, say, the A-Rod book she has written and which will soon be published.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 9:30am
Based on its history, shouldn’t we be on-guard for anything from the NY Times in the first place?
Posted 02/10 at 10:50 AM
Unfortunately journalistic integrity has been adversely effected by the mass influx of media outlets (most electronic) and while many of these new news portals have allowed the media access to the electronic reader an equal or greater number have lowered the standards of news to a point that rumor, gossip and innuendo are being presented as fact.
While the NY Times is a traditinal media outlet and while the erosion of principles may have been introduced by some less than ethical media outlets the effect seems to be a lower bar for all forms of media to slide under.
Posted 02/10 at 11:06 AM
Selena Roberts has developed something of a track record as a practitioner of the hatchet job. Her commentary with regard to the Duke lacrosse case certainly didn’t help her reputation or that of the NY Times. She may have broken this story (which is a pretty big deal), but I don’t believe she has anything to offer in terms of additional commentary on this matter given her pre-existing animus toward A-Rod and most professional athletes.
Posted 02/10 at 11:20 AM
Roberts’ previous anti-ARod commentary kind of cheapens what is an otherwise great piece of reporting in this steroid story, which is the way it should be. Most big time reporters have some built-in biases based on their experiences or connections, which is something we should keep in mind as we ridicule Heyman for his Boras connections.
(I don’t particularly like Heyman, but the idea that he’s the only guy who’s a mouthpiece for an agent, front office, player, or league is an affront to common sense.)
Posted 02/10 at 11:32 AM
I think Roberts’ reporting on the issue has been a bit unusual, to say the least, and intentionally self-promoting. Confronting Rodriguez in the weight room at the University of Miami seems over-the-top and melodramatic. I’m sure he avoided inquiries to speak with her, but it seems like she was more concerned with getting a “Got-cha!” moment where she revealed that SI had credible sources alleging that he had tested positive and A-Rod reacted.
Roberts was pretty egregious in her writing on the Duke lacrosse case, although many people in journalism acted like idiots in that case (see John Feinstein as a prominent example). For more detail on Roberts’ and the Duke lacrosse case, K.C. Johnson’s blog has some good summaries, including this one:
Posted 02/10 at 12:28 PM
Keith Law said...
Craig, that’s not even her earliest hatchet job on A-Rod. The morning after the Red Sox beat the Rockies in a World Series that did not actually involve Alex Rodriguez, Roberts’ column was about ... Alex Rodriguez!
Posted 02/10 at 12:45 PM
This reminds me of the Jim Gray flogging that occurred after he cornered Pete Rose, yeah we all have our opinion of Pete Rose, but we don’t like it when reporters corner our childhood heros. I don’t give a lick for ARod, always hated him b/c he’s a Yankee and egomaniac. But he’s just a ballplayer, this is just a game, and as much as he’s let little kids down, don’t shove it in my kid’s face please.
Posted 02/10 at 02:47 PM
and a month before the article Keith Law linked to she offered this look at the “poser” A-rod.
Posted 02/10 at 02:49 PM
Charles Kitchen said...
Posted 02/10 at 05:25 PM
“Craig, that’s not even her earliest hatchet job on A-Rod. The morning after the Red Sox beat the Rockies in a World Series that did not actually involve Alex Rodriguez, Roberts’ column was about ... Alex Rodriguez!
What? The night after the Red Sox won the World Series she wrote an article about A-Rod? SHOCKING!
OH YEAH - HE OPTED OUT OF HIS CONTRACT THAT NIGHT
Posted 02/10 at 09:33 PM
“Too be fair, it is hard to blame Roberts for writing about A-rod. An agent made a bid for media attention, and Roberts obliged. Sure, the story should have been about the world series and nothing else, but that is not her fault.”
How is that? She was writing for a NY paper. Im sure they had a story or two or three about the Sox winning the series that day, but SOMEONE had to write an A-Rod story that day. Its not like they could ignore it. The marquee player on the marquee team just became a free agent. The reason Roberts kept getting the call is because she’s an expert on all things A-Rod - that’s why she’s writing a book on him. She’s been covering him for a while.
...and I highly doubt that’s the real Keith Law. He does post a few places around the net, baseballthinkfactory for one, and he’s usually not so thoughtless. My money says its some college kid from jersey wearing a stained A-Rod t-shirt and eating a day old pizza.
Posted 02/10 at 09:39 PM
Craig Calcaterra said...
That was the real Keith Law. Unless the kid eating the day old pizza stole his IP address.
Posted 02/10 at 09:42 PM
charles kitchen said...
sorry for not being clear. the story th day after the world series should have been about the world series. it was not. that was because of a rod and his agent deciding to opt out. so there should not have been anything about arod to write that day.
Posted 02/10 at 10:36 PM