The Fisking of Roberts has begun

A little over 48 hours since the book’s release, and people are starting to pick the nits. I’m not sure I care about the “was he in Milwaukee or was he in Detroit” kind of nits that hell of a lot, but if there are tons and tons of them, it suggests that the commercial motive that led to the rush to get this book out far outweighed any pretense of good, accurate reporting and the development of the themes Roberts has pretended to care about so much.

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Comments

  1. Lisa Swan/Subway Squawkers said...

    Craig, I found a bunch of errors and oversights in the book as well, and I wrote about them in my blog’s review of the book:

    * She distorts his playoff performance by completely leaving out his Seattle games, the 2004 ALDS, and the first three games of the 2004 ALCS. Roberts mocks him for “doing nothing” against the Red Sox in Game 4, but that was the game where he hit a two-run homer to put the team ahead.

    * She criticizes him for not doing enough for charity, but then leaves out mentioning that he gave $200,000 to fund teen mental health services for the Children’s Aid Society, although she does mention how she spoke to the group about how he was in therapy.

    * With the exception of his family, Roberts avoids interviewing most pro-A-Rod sources. This is especially glaring when it comes to Doug Mientkiewicz, who could have provided insight for both high school and the Yankees.

    * She doesn’t have one single on-the-record quote on the pitch-tipping. Why didn’t she ask Buck Showalter or Tom Hicks or Chad Curtis, all of whom are featured in the book, about the charges?

  2. Richard in Dallas said...

    All I can say about any of this mess is that I wish a better writer, one who is more thorough and with a better reputation, was the one who found out these things about A-Rod and wrote a book.  We are not talking about a man of exemplary character here.  If there is more bad behavior than has been chronicled by papparazzi, and it in any way affects the outcome of games or the performance of himself or other players, I am glad it’s coming out, and I hope he pays the appropriate price for it.  The thing most missing from the society of today vs. the society of yesteryear (when baseball was king), is INTEGRITY.  Blatant disregard for integrity will bring the world we live in to an end, and Earth will become a dead planet.  THINK about that statement before you go firing off a half-cocked rebuttal.  Why not start saving the planet by restoring integrity to a high profile sport like baseball?  By whatever means needed?  It might be contagious.  And I know, Craig, that that would put a dent into your business, but it’s what the world needs….. universal integrity!
    Call me pollyanna or whatever, but how nice would it be if you could trust everybody you met, without any reasonable fear of getting screwed by them?  OK, forget everybody you meet.  Just start with a team mate….

  3. Greg Simons said...

    Richard – I’m certainly not going to argue against your wish that everyone had more integrity.  All of us certainly could use more, and it would be a very welcome change.

    However, to say that society or baseball had integrity in the past is, well, false.  Baseball has had cheaters, game throwers, racists, drunkards, adulterers, etc. from the very beginning.  “(R)estoring integrity to a high profile sport like baseball” would require integrity to have been present at some point in the past.

  4. David said...

    Richard,

    You wrote, “I wish a better writer, one who is more thorough and with a better reputation, was the one who found out these things about A-Rod and wrote a book….

    In saying this, you’re stipulating that everything this woman – a proven liar – says is true.  The whole point of the suspicions about the book is that they’re possibly – and very probably – not true. 

    You seem – like many others – bizarrely fixated on the personalities of Rodriguez and Roberts.  Here’s the deal: you don’t know either of them, and you never, ever will.  So just eliminate the character of these people – which you’re ignorant of – from the discussion.  What that leaves us with is information and a search for the truth.

    Selena Roberts is a proven liar as a journalist.  In the book, she makes outrageous claims and offers no substantive data to support them.  It would be like if I said, “Sources tell me that Richard in Dallas is a child molestor.”  Yeah?  What sources?  You can’t just make outrageous accusations with flimsy evidence.  (Well, obviously you can, Roberts did it, so what I mean to say is that you can’t make outrageous accusations with flimsy evidence and have those accusations be taken as the truth.)

    The book accuses A-Rod of doing something which, by the rules of the game, would have him banned immediately and in perpetuity.  His professional career – and hundreds of millions of dollars – would be gone. 

    If somebody makes outrageous accusations against you – calling you a murderer or child molestor – don’t you expect others to give you the benefit of the doubt until they get, ya know, evidence?

  5. Richard in Dallas said...

    David,

    I DO know these things about ARod;

    He cheated on his wife – there is photographic evidence and a divorce as proof.

    He DID use PED’s by his own admission.

    The fact that he admitted to the second item would lead me to believe that he is trying to gain credibility through the back door, so that we would believe him when he says that he didn’t participate in pitch tipping.

    Consider the person in posession of the credit card of a person that’s been murdered.  He will freely admit to using the credit card knowing it wasn’t his, but SWEAR that he didn’t kill the rightful owner!  Take the smaller rap to try to make the investigator believe that he’s honest, and then deny the larger crime.  Has ANYONE considered that angle before?

    Greg,

    You’re right, there HAVE been those types in baseball in the past.  The difference between then and now is, that then, when they were discovered, they were dealt with swiftly and harshly (Black Sox).  Now, we shake our fingers and say “don’t do that again” (104 positive PED tests).  I’m not saying we should ban for life anyone who scuffs a ball or corks a bat, but ANYONE that commits an action that will improve the lot of their opponent SHOULD be gone forever, as well as anyone that does something like using PEDs that would put pressure on others to put their own life at risk in order just to keep up.  If you don’t believe that PEDs are that dangerous, scroll through a search of old SI covers and look for Lyle Alzado…

  6. Richard in Dallas said...

    Lisa,

    Three quick comments about the points you make:

    Anyone that makes a big deal about donating LESS THAN ONE PERCENT of their salary, especially a salary that could support a family in decadence for 3 or 4 generations, should be absolutely ASHAMED by their miserly ways.

    And as for not interviewing anyone that is pro-A-Rod, did you ever take into consideration that she couldn’t FIND anyone that fit that bill?

    As for stats, do you know what his BA is with RISP in the post season?

    Nuff Said

  7. Richard in Dallas said...

    MJ,

    1-Not merely using a divorce paper.  You seem to have ignored the photographic proof part of my statement.

    2&3-Meant to be considered together, 3 as an argument in support of 2.  When looked at in that context, you may not agree, but you must see my point.

    4-WHAT proof was there that Joe Jackson tanked his efforts to help lose games in 1919?  And you can add “spits on the ball” to “scuffs a ball or corks a bat”.  And exactly how many people died as a result of a Gaylord Perry pitch?  Lyle Alzado is, indeed, dead due to steroids.

    5-a 30 point defecit in BA is not what I’d call comparable, especially in a much smaller sample.  Apparently, “Capt. Jetes” was able to get his teams further into the fall WITHOUT A-Roid than he was WITH him.  And wherever he has left, his previous team has always shown vast immediate improvement (see 2004 Rangers vs 2003 Rangers). Not that those numbers have anything to do with what makes him a less than desireable team mate…..

  8. Greg Simons said...

    David,

    “gay men like you,” “my little purse-swinging friend,” “Ugly Woman,” “huge moles on her nose,” “gelatinous double chin.”

    Seriously?  You’re going to drag the discourse down to that level?  I disagree with much of what Richard says, and I doubt much of what Selena Roberts claims, but these childish insults are totally unnecessary.

  9. David said...

    Greg,

    Well, I was kind of writing under the assumption that nobody would actually read it.

    Seriously, though: the poster I was addressing was disparaging A-Rod with no evidence other than Ugly Woman’s completely unsubstantiated claims.  He was calling Buck Showalter and Michael Young and Jeff Brantley incompetent fools.  He was making inane claims about the dangers of steroids, cultivating a culture of anxiety and stupidity. 

    He was making character attacks on A-Rod despite the fact that he’s never met him and never will. 

    So I was just trying to stand up for A-Rod, baseball, and the rest of those fellas. 

    Also….I think it’s a safe assumption on my part that, proportionally, gay men have a much greater interest in a stranger’s sex life than do straight men.  So I was just playing the percentages.

  10. Craig Calcaterra said...

    David—

    I haven’t had time to read the comments this morning or else I would have said something earlier, but that level of discourse will NOT be tolerated around here.

    I have deleted your previous comment because I don’t want that junk polluting up this space.  Make any argument you want, but I will not abide that sort of offensive, ad hominem garbage to stand.

  11. David said...

    What did I do?  Selena Roberts does have moles on her nose that even TV makeup can’t hide.  She does have a jiggly double-chin.  Sure, calling these traits “ugly” might be a subjective judgment on my part, but I think if we were to take a survey, it’d become a majority opinion.

    When I think of Selena Roberts, I think of a cartoon that appeared at Slate.com when the rape hoax was first made.  The cartoon was a caricature showing the Duke lacrosse players as satanic, predatory animals prodding a co-ed in the rear end with their lacrosse sticks. 

    This woman perpetuated a horrible, horrible lie (and there are many other rape hoaxes and malicious prosecutions going on right now, too) and has yet to even vaguely apologize. 

    If I run around and call you a child molestor and a murderer with little-to-no evidence, and your later on proven innocent, and I didn’t emphatically apologize….I hope others would viciously attack me, too.

    And I’m just so sick of the idiocy about steroids.  There’s so much stupid paranoia – like the people who say that smoking weed makes you a psychotic murderer – that, I mean, anybody who uses that as a premise of their argument immediately has their credibility fizzled away.

    Also: A-Rod is totally innocent of Selena Robert’s latest-and-greatest false libelous attacks.  If somebody is going to accuse A-Rod of doing something which would (a) cost him the rest of his career, as he’d be banned from baseball for life, and (b) cite the fact that he’s a healthy heterosexual man who actually – Gasp! – sleeps with women! as the foundation of their attacks, then that individual, too, warrants a little insult here or there.  (And, yeah, I can’t imagine straight men actually giving a damn about A-Rod’s sex life.)

  12. Craig Calcaterra said...

    David—don’t play coy with me. You were attacking people based on your presumptions about sexual orientation. That’s not acceptable, and you know it. Or at least now you do.

  13. David said...

    You consider calling somebody gay an attack?  What!?!? 

    Hey, I don’t judge people based upon their sexual orientation.  I mean, there’s nothing wrong with women and gay men gossiping about A-Rod’s sex life.  I just don’t think that the fact that A-Rod is obviously a ladies’ man and sleeps with gorgeous women is relevant when somebody’s trying to construct an argument that he should be banned from baseball for life and lose hundreds of millions of dollars. 

    When I think of the “men” who talk about A-Rod’s sex life, I’m reminded of the men who get all outraged and red-faced when they hear that some teenager slept with his hot teacher: every single male in the history of hot teachers has fantasized about that.  It’s all such idiotic, fake outrage. 

    But whatever.  God Bless America, Support The Troops, These Colors Don’t Run, A-Rod’s Evil, etc., etc., etc.

    (And for the record, I was teasing in that first paragraph.  I’m not genuinely accusing you of being anti-gay or anything.)

  14. Richard in Dallas said...

    David,

    “Also: A-Rod is totally innocent of Selena Robert’s latest-and-greatest false libelous attacks”

    On what do you base this statement?  What is the evidence?

    “He was making character attacks on A-Rod despite the fact that he’s never met him and never will.”

    Actually, I have.  I live in Dallas, remember?  That’s where the Rangers play, in case you didn’t know, and I attend a lot of the events at the Ballpark where players are made to be accessible.  Have for years.  And my impression of him was that he is a cold, distant, egotistical person that doesn’t really give a damn about anyone but himself. 

    “And I’m just so sick of the idiocy about steroids.  There’s so much stupid paranoia “

    I have a son that plays at a VERY high level of baseball, and with the right amount of hard work and good fortune, he’ll be thrown into that mix sometime in the next few years.  I DO NOT want him to feel that he HAS to do something that is bad for him and has a risk of killing him just so he’ll be able to keep the playing field level.  Like I said in my original post – do some research on Lyle Alzado.  And, as an aside, what do you think was a contributing factor (being careful not to say “cause”) of Jason Giambi’s tumor in his head?

    YES, he sleeps with women, and I’m happy for him for that.  I honestly don’t care about his sex life one bit.  The Issue I have is with his integrity, in that he was sleeping with women OTHER THAN his wife!  If you don’t get that, fine.  I think the vast majority of the people that can read DO get it.  Ask the person that reads to you!

  15. Greg Simons said...

    Great, now I have to defend David – a little.

    “‘Also: A-Rod is totally innocent of Selena Robert’s latest-and-greatest false libelous attacks’”

    “On what do you base this statement?  What is the evidence?”

    Richard, it is completely unnecessary to provide evidence that A-Rod is innocent.  Remember, we go by the standard of innocent until proven guilty, and the burden of proof rests on the prosecution.

    Maybe you’ve seen/read enough to decide in your mind that he’s guilty of all charges, but I don’t see how an jury would find A-Rod guilty of any of these accusations, since they’re based on anonymous sources.  An accused person has the right to face those accusing him, and A-Rod is being denied this right.

    I know this isn’t a legal trial, merely a trial in the court of public opinion, but taking Selena Roberts at her word – with some brief personal encounters mixed in – seems to me to be far too little to prosecute someone.

    Did he do much of what is reported to be in the book (no, I haven’t read it myself)?  Probably. 

    Did he tip pitches?  Somebody needs to bring some pretty solid evidence for me to buy that one.  As a poster said somewhere else in the last few days, all his Ranger games are on film somewhere.  Let someone review them all and find the tip pitching, then I’ll buy it.

  16. David said...

    Richard:

    What do I base A-Rod’s innocence off of?

    1. Every single credible person who’s been asked about it has said it’s “total crap” or a variant thereof.  Michael Young, Buck Showalter, Doug Glanville, Jeff Brantley….who am I missing?

    2. The statistical research shows that A-Rod’s performance was worse in blowout games than in tight games (despite the fact that he’d be hitting against the bullpen mop-up men in many of those situations!)

    3. If the accusations were true, all Jabba the Hu-….I mean, Selena Roberts, would have to do is look at the videotape (or even the stats).  The fact that she did neither suggests she is either making up her accusations out of whole cloth (hey, she did show affection for women who make false accusations!) or else she took the word of somebody who was less than credible.

    You live in Dallas so you hang out with A-Rod?  I live in Detroit and I’ve never even seen Brandon Inge or Bob Seger or Kid Rock or anybody else.  What the heck does your city have to do with anything?

    Sorry, but I don’t believe you.

    As far as your son and his T-Ball league, well, best of luck to him and all.  But the fact of the matter is that there is no causation established between HGH and health effects.  And doctors are prescribing testosterone to pathetic American men every day (because they have low “T-levels”) and yet you show no concern for them.  Are you saying that Brian Roberts is going to get cancer?  How come Andy Pettitte hasn’t gotten the big C yet?  My uncle has cancer….are you saying he used steroids?

    For that matter….explain to me what a steroid is.

    And if you’re truly concerned with chemicals harming people, I suggest you look into the horrors that alcohol, Prozac, and Ritalin have caused in countless people. 

    I can find millions of people who ate cheeseburgers and died.  Does that mean that you want the government to imprison everybody who sells or eats a cheeseburger?

    All the steroid hysteria is fake outrage cultivated by impotent, pathetic American men who need Viagra to love women and Prozac to smile and so they need to desperately denigrate men who are better than them to feel masculine.  There are so many muscle and metabolism boosters that are not classified as “steroids” that nobody cares about, and yet I don’t see ESPN and MLB.com breathlessly talking about them.  My brother played low-level NCAA football and, between high school and college, grew from a lean tight end to friggin’ the Incredible Hulk.  And now he’s back to a healthy, lean young man.  He didn’t use “steroids” by any legal term (and, by the way, the chemicals classified as steroids change by the week) but he used chemicals that had a profound effect on his body. 

    In short, A-Rod is innocent, Selena Roberts has lied yet again, and I don’t believe for a second that your outrage or concern about “steroids” is sincere.  I think it’s all phony bullsh—.

    And for the record, MLB Inc. loves all the steroid talk.  That’s why they relentless put every rumor on the front page of MLB.com.  That’s why they put Selena Roberts on their prime time, flagship Sunday evening program on the MLB network.  That’s why the intentionally leak stories like Paul Byrd’s HGH use when it will get maximum attention.  (Tigers pitcher Nate Robertson unequivocally said that the only way that confidential medical data could be released was if MLB did it intentionally.) 

    I’m sick of this phony, fake outrage.  Knock it off. 

    (And by the way….I still don’t care that A-Rod sleeps with women.  And, ya know, it looks kind of pathetic when a grown man talks about that.)

  17. David said...

    Awesome.

    Columnist Jason Whitlock tears proven-liar Selena Roberts’s credibility apart:

    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/9542614/Bio-hazard:-A-Rod-author-has-credibility-issues

    The best quote:

    ”“You give people a litmus test, Jim,” she said. “You say to them, you go back to them over and over again and you say, ‘Is it consistent what they’re saying to me? Have they changed at all? Do they have a credibility issue? Is there anything in their past that might make me wary of this person?’ “

    You see, Selena Roberts thinks like me. Is there anything in her past that would make me wary of her allegations against A-Rod?”

  18. Richard in Dallas said...

    David,

    If I were truly the suspicious kind, I would be of the opinion that your raging against me were somehow chemically induced.  There is no point arguing with you any further about any of this.

    As for my son’s “T-Ball League”, I invite you to leave the scenic beauty of Detroit and come to Beautiful Sunny Dallas and stand in the batter’s box one time with my son on the bump.  I promise I won’t tell him to throw a spitball, mostly because, at 15, he can only get a spitball up to about 82MPH.  I’d MUCH rather see you look at three straight 88MPH strikes….

  19. David said...

    Richard,

    Sorry, dude, but there was no rage in my posts, just an indignant smirk about your sad lies and inane arguments. 

    For the record, unlike every pathetic white American male, I actually don’t believe in Viagra or the rest of the creepy drugs you phonies love.

    And why are you talking to me about your son?  It was already pathetic when you were gossiping about A-Rod’s sex life, now you’re shoehorning comments about your son’s supposed athletic prowess into comments with a total stranger? 

    Be a man.  Stop living vicariously through others and stop your pathetic lies about A-Rod. 

    Pathetic.

  20. dlf said...

    Craig ~ As someone whose been following your writing since you were a mere poster on Mac’s BravesJournal, I’m glad to see that you are getting wider circulation and more readers.  Damn shame the quality of the conversation has sunk to such abominable levels.

  21. MJ said...

    @ Richard

    He cheated on his wife – there is photographic evidence and a divorce as proof.

    No one, in the history of divorce, has ever lied during the proceedings.  ever.  yes he may have, and may have even admitted it, but merely using a divorce paper as proof of something is as trustworthy as Ms Roberts.

    The fact that he admitted to the second item would lead me to believe that he is trying to gain credibility through the back door, so that we would believe him when he says that he didn’t participate in pitch tipping.

    One has absolutely nothing to do with another.  Just because you lie about one thing, doesn’t mean you aren’t telling the truth about something that has nothing to do with the first subject.  Bill Clinton lied about a blowjob.  If he was trying to convince you that eating healthy prolonged your life, would you automatically assume he’s “trying to gain credibility” by denying it?

    Consider the person in posession of the credit card of a person that’s been murdered.  He will freely admit to using the credit card knowing it wasn’t his, but SWEAR that he didn’t kill the rightful owner!  Take the smaller rap to try to make the investigator believe that he’s honest, and then deny the larger crime

    First, you watch way too much Law and Order, then again so do I.  Second, WTF does this have to do with Arod?  How about, maybe he (Arod) didn’t do it?

    You’re right, there HAVE been those types in baseball in the past.  The difference between then and now is, that then, when they were discovered, they were dealt with swiftly and harshly (Black Sox).  Now, we shake our fingers and say “don’t do that again” (104 positive PED tests).  I’m not saying we should ban for life anyone who scuffs a ball or corks a bat, but ANYONE that commits an action that will improve the lot of their opponent SHOULD be gone forever, as well as anyone that does something like using PEDs that would put pressure on others to put their own life at risk in order just to keep up.  If you don’t believe that PEDs are that dangerous, scroll through a search of old SI covers and look for Lyle Alzado…

    The other difference is there was proof of their misdeeds where we only have the word of an “anonymous” source vs teammates/coaches/etc denying these allegations. 

    As for swift punishments, you mean like Gaylord Perry?  The Hall of Famer who admitted throwing an illegal pitch. One that was outlawed because it was killing people?

    Call me a cynic, but I think killing someone on the other team with an illegal action is far worse than using PEDs.

    As for stats, do you know what his BA is with RISP in the post season?

    Do you know since you brought it up?  His career post numbers are .279/.361/.483 in 39 games.  Seems very comparable to Cap’t Jetes .309/.377/.469 in 123 games.

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