The big story today, of course, is that news of the details of Selena Roberts' book on Alex Rodriguez are out. The book contains all sorts of unflattering revelations on the superstar, ranging from him allegedly using steroids in high school, to tipping off the opposition on pitches, to only tipping 15% at Hooters.
But I'm not really concerned about the book hurting Alex Rodriguez or the Yankees long-term. Here's why:
* Nothing shocks with A-Rod anymore: Alex has already "shattered the Tyson Zone," as Bill Simmons wrote about him earlier this month, "when an athlete's life turns so bizarre you become numb to any twist in his story." Dude has already been publicly humiliated in every sort of way, some of which, like kissing himself in that Details photo shoot, he willingly agreed to. A-Rod is a really weird guy. We all know that already. No need to pick up a book to tell me that.
* What about the other 103?: The biggest revelation of Roberts' career was her scoop this spring that A-Rod used steroids, along with the news there was a list of 104 players who tested positive for performance enhancing drug use in 2003. Yet neither she, nor anybody else in the media, ever bothered to reveal anything about the other players using steroids. It seems like such a double standard that even Curt Schilling, not exactly a fan of A-Rod, has called for the names to come out. Yet the names still haven't been revealed. Why is that?
* We already know he's a cheater: Roberts' most shocking revelation - that A-Rod used steroids at all - already came out this spring. While it seems like hearing that Alex allegedly was juicing in high school - or as a Yankee - should be a stunner, I don't know if it will be, given that his legacy is already tainted. It's like if a wife catches her husband cheating, he says it was only with one woman, and then she later finds out that he did it with others. Nothing will shock as much as the first time. And, as the cliche goes, once a cheater, always a cheater, like the way that Joslyn Morse wasn't the only woman Alex cheated on with his wife.
* An athlete is an insatiable hedonist? You don't say!: I found it amusing that Roberts' publisher is marketing the book promising breathless revelations about A-Rod's "insatiable hedonism" and "deviant personal life." Newsflash - many, many athletes cheat on their spouses. True, they might not be hooking up with high-profile stars like Madonna, but they're messing around. Is Roberts - or any other sportswriter - planning on writing about their extracurricular activities? Doubtful. Besides, Roberts is supposed to be a sportswriter. Why is she even delving into this gossipy material in the first place?
* 15% is a lousy tip?: Again, Roberts is a sportwriter, yet she's delving into Page Six material with this book's revelation that A-Rod was hated by Hooters girls for "only" tipping 15%. I mean, really. Writing about athletes' tipping, like how Scottie Pippen's nickname among waitstaff is Scottie Ain't Tippin', is standard stuff - for gossip writers, that is. Not for sportswriters. And A-Rod's tip, while not overly generous, isn't ridiculously cheap, either. I would question his judgment more in going to Hooters in the first place than the tip - their food is pretty weak - but that's me!
* A-Rod, an object of sympathy? It's possible!: Joe Torre's nasty book, "The Yankee Years," set out to make Alex the villain of the tome, with tons of petty comments and unflattering revelations. Yet the book is so mean-spirited, it only makes you feel sorry for Alex. That's what I think will happen with Selena Roberts' book on A-Rod. It's not just one-sided, it's a book that had its publication date pushed back to coincide with Alex's return from the disabled list. Even if you think A-Rod is a bad guy, is his life really worth all these negative pages?
* So much for the clubhouse code: While I don't think this book will ultimately hurt A-Rod - his legacy is damaged already - the one thing I do think can cause problems - at least temporarily - in the clubhouse is this: The book reveals that some of his own teammates cooperated with Roberts with some of the nastier revelations, like him being called "b*tch t*ts" in the clubhouse. It's bad enough that too many Yankee players who should know better - like Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada - cooperated with the Torre book. The fact that some of A-Rod's teammates cooperated with Roberts' book is pretty terrible. Tell me, how does telling tales about your teammate to a reporter help the team win? A-Rod is a paranoid guy, but just because he's paranoid doesn't mean that people - including his own teammates - aren't really out to get him!
* The Yanks need Alex more than ever: For once in his life, A-Rod has good timing. Him being on the disabled list has reminded fans that, really, this team is better off with him than without him. Contrary to some journalists' suggestion that the Yanks would take off without that A-lbatross holding them down, the team has seemed sluggish and weak without A-Rod. For once, fans actually miss the guy. Instead of being treated like a pariah, I think A-Rod will get the biggest standing ovation of the year when he returns. And I think the overkill of this book could actually help him become, for once, an object of sympathy.
What do you think about A-Rod? Leave us a comment!