In light of the Roberts allegations, Major League Baseball is investigating Alex Rodriguez for post-2003 drug use:
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.
Roberts was apparently asked on Friday to cooperate with the investigation but declined to, citing conflict of interest. My assumption is that, per standard journalistic practice, she is not willing to reveal her sources, which is probably what MLB is interested in.
And guess what? I’m fine with that. That’s how journalists roll. They can’t expect anyone to ever talk with them if they go promising anonymity and then break it simply because someone asks. Baseball doesn’t have the power to subpoena anyone and Roberts doesn’t have to talk with them. And just to be clear, this is an entirely different deal than Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada faced; they were being asked to reveal a source to law enforcement in the course of a criminal investigation of the very transmission of the source’s information to the authors. That’s the kind of situation where the source-revealing rubber usually hits the road. For everything I’ve said about Roberts so far, I am squarely on her side in her refusal to tell MLB who she talked to.
The larger question in my mind, of course, is why she granted everyone anonymity for everything in the first place, but that horse has already left the barn.
Implications: Absent someone coming forward and talking to MLB, Rodriguez won’t be disciplined for any 2003-steroid use for lack of evidence. After all, as the NYT piece notes, anything baseball does to A-Rod has to stand up to an appeal to an arbitrator, and arbitrators have higher standards than Selena Roberts’ editors when it comes to steroid allegations. The article also notes that MLB is not yet looking at the pitch tipping thing which, frankly, I find much more interesting.
Hat tip to River Ave. Blues, who was all over this first and who is of like mind on the matter.