Thursday, April 30, 2009

Why A-Rod shouldn't worry too much about Selena Roberts' book

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!


Alvarito said...
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Alvaro Fernandez Ravelo said...
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Alvaro Fernandez Ravelo said...

A long time ago objectivity was lost in journalism. So called journalists and media only care about what sells.

Where is the rest of the list of the players that in 2003 used steroids? Is there a George Mitchell veil in here?

A-Rod is a distraction but he is not even close to a Terrell Owens, Plaxico Burress, et al.

Lastly, the Yankees having all the Giambi ballyhoo should've known better and include a clause that voids the contracts if steroids are known to have been used. Wonder if any team or player had that type of clause ...

Anonymous said...

I agree with a lot of your points. As Joel Sherman of the Post says, this may be the best timing possible for this book to come out. But the one thing I disagree with here is that the news that A-Rod was (allegedly) taking steroids since high school is no big deal because he's already been outed as a user.

IF people believed that he used only for a few years in Texas, then his overall baseball legacy could still be seen as somewhat legit, and his Hall of Fame chances not destroyed. "After all," many did say, "he didn't really need the drugs. He was already such a great hitter. Look at how he did in Seattle. So the drugs didn't really make him, like it did for a guy like McGwire." If the perception of him changes to that he was using since high school, well then all that goes away.

Plus, it does make you wonder about how he's going to be in the future, if his power for all these years was due to drugs he might not be able to take any longer.

So I think this is not a trivial problem.

The tipping at Hooters news -- now that just seems to hurt the reporter's credibility more than A-Rod's. The tipping other players about pitches, on the other hand, well if that turns out to be verified, which I doubt, that could be a real problem for how A-Rod is seen around the league and in his clubhouse.

The other thing is, A-Rod is so fragile mentally, I really worry about his being able to cope with all this, even if the timing is as good as it can be. I've really never seen an athlete like him.

Uncle Mike said...

Well, Lisa, I learned something by reading your post today. Hooters has mediocre food. I can't say I'm surprised, since all the photos of their restaurants seem to suggest that food isn't their priority.

But defending Alex Rodriguez has got to stop. He is not worth defending.

I worked in a restaurant once. I know how hard waitstaff work. (I also know some of them look pretty good even in formalwear, and they don't need to wear Hooters "clothing.") For the $275 Million Man to be a weak tipper is inexcusable.

But it's what kind of teammate he is that really matters. And if he was tipping off opponents, willingly, then what I've been saying about him is truer beyond what I'd previously imagined: He is not worth it and needs to be cut loose.

So the question becomes: "Would I rather lose without A-Rod than win with him?" No, I'd rather win than lose. But I'd rather lose without A-Rod than lose with him, and I don't believe the Yankees will ever win a Pennant with him. He can't be trusted as a player, he can't be trusted as a teammate, and he can't be trusted as a human being.

I know that athletes have been hedonists before. Babe Ruth made even Mickey Mantle look like a Trappist monk. But they earned their teammates' trust, and even their brotherly love. Joe Namath may have wasted some of his talent on non-game nights, but he still gave the world one game that can never be forgotten or underestimated.

Plaxico Burress screwed up big-time, but there are still teammates who stand up for him, because he not only helped them on the path to becoming winners, but made the catch to clinch it. I'm not sure I'd want him on my team, but I understand why they would. Same with Michael Strahan and his refusal to go to training camp and his messy personal life: When the time came to be a New York Giant, he became (cliche alert) a giant among men.

And while the man bragged about certain feats of his, we have never heard, even 10 years after his death, about Wilt Chamberlain mistreating a woman. Reggie Jackson, who appears to have been a ladies man as a Yankee (he was divorced, not married, at the time), was totally discreet. We never heard about who he was dating. Derek Jeter? We've heard several names, but we've never heard seamy details. (Despite some Yankee-haters' fantasies about, to put it politely, getting a certain actress sick.)

There is one noticable difference: The attention. Even those who craved it, like Reggie, knew how to handle it. Alex doesn't. He wants the perks but not the responsibilities.

We should be talking about how the Yankee bats are waking up, and about how solid Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain were on the mound the last two nights. Instead, we're talking about the Yankees' biggest problem. Because of A-Rod, we can't even enjoy winning when it comes.

Anonymous said...


I agree with most of your points regarding the upcoming Selena Roberts book. First of all it was supposed to come out on or near opening day at the new Yankee stadium then when it was announced that he was going to have surgery and be out for a while the book release date was "postponed". For what, to include "new information". We all know the real reason why it was pushed back so it could help sales of the book when he came back to the Yankees.


There is really nothing more Alex can do that can make Yankee fans cringe(well, I kind think of some but let's not go there). We get it, the dude's got some many issues that Dr.Phil start crying himself.

Uncle Mike is right in saying that he is no longer defensible. But as the saying goes he may be an a****** but he's OUR a****** .

So this 6-7 week hiatus will help him got his mind straight.He's brought alot of this on himself but enough is enough. And shame on those teamates,opponents and the "esteemed" former Yankee manager who saw fit to make a quick buck or have taken a perverse pleasure in revealing dirt about him to the media. As a great man once said, "He who is without sin, cast the first stone."

So what happens now? I say lets move forward; it's the only way to go. There is nothing he can do about the past, so it's in Alex's (and Yankee fans')best interest to hope hes does well once he is deemed fit to return to the team.

Because if you think, Cody Ransom, Angel Berroa and Pena are the answer at 3rd and in the line-up you are sorely mistaken.

Just play the game hard and keep it moving.

She-Fan said...

Everybody says what a crack investigative reporter Roberts is, and yet the Hooters tipping thing is just silly. Who cares. As others have said, A-Rod needs to silence his critics by playing well. He'll never have his reputation back, but winning a championship wouldn't hurt.

"Nutball Gazette" said...

We are getting to the point that this is overkill, Oh I got a kick out of you using asterisks to make your points.

The Emperor said...

Another disgusting attempt at making a buck at A-Rod's expense.

Issues like this will never go away unless enough people make a conscious effort to not encourage these journalists by getting hooked into discussions like this.

In other words, if you're sick and tired of all this nonsense, stop feeding into it by commenting about it. I know A-Rod brings these issues upon himself, but if everyone ignores it, it will eventually subside. Just gotta fight the urge to add fuel to the fire.

The Emperor said...

And where is Symphony with her beautiful Superchick megaphone???

NAM said...

Enought is enough. Let the Yankees play ball and let the fans decided to love them or hate them. Although, I may be in the minority, but I think tipping habits say a lot about a person.

Ryan O said...

so when can I expect a review of the book, Lisa? :)

Jonmouk71 said...

Hey I heard A-Rod leaves at least 18% at Applebee's because he likes the riblets but only 14% at TGIF because they won't valet park......

Jonmouk71 said...

Oh, and David Wright eats only Denny's Grand Slam breakfast (and leaves no tip) because it's the only time that "David Wright" and "Grand Slam" will ever be seen in the same sentence this year.....

The Emperor said...


I just found out that A-Rod went to a Japanese restaurant and DIDN'T burp!! Hence, the chef was highly insulted because he felt Alex hated his food.

Selena Roberts, where are you???

Anonymous said...

The tipping pitches allegation sounds farcical. There are obviously ex-teammates from Texas who relished the opportunity to take shots at him, but I'll bet those sources remain anonymous. As to the high-school steroids allegations, he was a skinny kid at nineteen.

Selena "BullCrapDurham" Roberts is making a career out of cashing in on the make-believe.

Uncle Mike said...

A-Rod went to Outback but his tip was down under 12 percent.

A-Rod went to McDonald's and ordered off the Dollar Menu.

A-Rod went to Taco Bell and everybody got sick -- but it wasn't due to the food!

And, of course, A-Rod went to the concession stand at the new Yankee Stadium and said, "Now THAT is a lot of money!" Okay, that time he was right.

Anonymous said...

2 quick points, I worked as a server/bartender for many of my early years while in highschool and college. 15% is fair for most, not for someone like arod. we used to say that you can learn alot about a person by the way they tip.

Secondly, Hooter's has really good food, as far as bar food goes. there is nothing better than a big plate of wings and a pitcher of beer while watching games with the wife at hooters!

Anonymous said...

"And where is Symphony with her beautiful Superchick megaphone???"

Hey, a Hooters girl wants to get paid for her body but she's too afraid to take it all off.

The best part of all this - the Hooters stuff. Serves them right for working at a place that serves greasy $15 platters. What? He's supposed to pay your rent?

And personal rant: I'm constantly amazed that though SOME wait staff KNOW they get paid nothing they STILL give you bad service and have the NERVE to expect a better than average tip.

Anywho, her book has to have more than the Daily News in terms of fact.

He doesn't get the benefit of the doubt. He's lied before. I just can't get up in arms over this crap all the time. I've moved on and even though I love baseball I'm not into stat and records. Maybe thats why none of it matters to me.

Roger 9 said...

Only two things concern me about F-Rod.First,he cheated and tried to cover it up with lies before fessing up and second he is not a clutch player. With him your team can win by a score of 12 to 4 instead of 10 to4,or lose 11 to 6 rather than 11 to 4.
And what team that he has ever played for ever won it all?

Anonymous said...

"And what team that he has ever played for ever won it all?"

An athlete that never won it all...thats a long and distinguished list right there.

Anonymous said...

Hooter's has really good food...

Now that's REALLY FUNNY !!!!

Uncle Mike said...

KM says Hooters "has really good food." Who needs a nurse to check his medication now, "young man"?

Alvaro Fernandez Ravelo said...

The Economist has a new index to measure the economy and it's called the A-Rod Tipping Index. Look for it in the next issue.
So character is now being measured by tipping habits? Get real!
Only if I had a happy ending at Hooters would I tip more than 15%. That food is pure poison to the heart.
By the way, how come nobody has criticized A-Rod for his DIET habits for eating at Hooters?

Subway Squawkers said...

Forget about A-Rod. The big Squawker reader debate seems to be: Hooters - delicious or not?

Angel said...

"2 quick points, I worked as a server/bartender for many of my early years while in highschool and college. 15% is fair for most, not for someone like arod. we used to say that you can learn alot about a person by the way they tip."I do NOT get this at all. The ONLY reason that its "not fair for someone like ARod is because his salary is common knowledge and people think that he's a gravy train. What about the guy that makes a 10 million a year, that no one knows makes that much who only tips 15%? Its not any different at all. What IF,(big stretch, I know) she was just a crappy waitress, or crappy on that particular night?

Secondly, Hooter's has really good food, as far as bar food goes. there is nothing better than a big plate of wings and a pitcher of beer while watching games with the wife at hooters!

Thats a matter of opinion, though. Personally, I think they're bland, overpriced and the girls at the one here look like horses. Well-endowed, over-tanned horses, but horses nevertheless. :)

Kincaid said...

I've always found a lot of the stuff people throw against A-Rod distasteful, and I think it is unfair that he is so singled out for scrutiny on so many things. People seem to take delight in hating the guy. I am pretty upset by all of the baseball-related stuff, and it really bothers me and makes it hard for me to root for the guy anymore (I'm not a Yankee fan, but as a fan of baseball, when this guy emerged as potentially one of the all-time greats, it was hard not to appreciate and root for). I think it's finally reached a point where I'm no longer in any way a fan of the guy on the field. I find myself less inclined to challenge the other stuff, because with everything he's done and lied about, I wonder if it's even worth it. But I still don't think he deserves to have his life picked apart like this, and I still get upset when fans mercilessly rip into the guy with things that aren't relevant or that are not even true, and when anyone who points out that this stuff might be uncalled for gets ripped as an apologist.

I think it's unfortunate that this book seems to get so deeply into that level of gossip. I think some of the more serious baseball-related allegations should still be taken seriously, but I wish they would have been presented in a more professional manner, if what is being said about the book is all true.

And, of course, I would still take A-Rod on my team without hesitation. He's still a great player.

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