Sunday, May 3, 2009

Call me skeptical on the whole 'A-Rod is being investigated by MLB' thing

Some news while waiting for the Yankees to play: Alex Rodriguez may have that $300 million contract to keep him warm at night, but he's supposedly being investigated by MLB on whether he used performance-enhancing drugs, according to today's New York Times.

And - surprise! - Selena Roberts is the only named source saying that this investigation is happening. Good thing she doesn't have a conflict of interest in trying to gin up an 'A-Rod in trouble' story in order to sell books or something.

According to the Times:

On Friday, an investigator asked Roberts if she would cooperate with baseball’s inquiry. Roberts said she would not.

“I said that as a journalist, I cover M.L.B., and cooperating with them on this would be a conflict of interest, and he said that he understood the position that I am in,” Roberts, a senior writer for Sports Illustrated and a former reporter and columnist for The New York Times, said Saturday in a telephone interview.
What I find fascinating is that although this investigation allegedly started after A-Rod met with MLB March 1, we didn't hear a peep about it until Roberts' book release. The timing of this revelation is suspicious, to say the least.

And Roberts' explanation is an interesting one. Usually, when a reporter refuses to reveal a source, it's because it could put the person in danger. Not here.

Besides, isn't it a conflict of interest, given her own logic and the fact that she covers MLB, that she admitted she knows the list of all 104 players who tested positive for steroid use, and has only revealed one name? That doesn't seem very ethical or fair to me.

Or how about the ethics of Roberts accusing A-Rod of tipping pitches to the opposition, even though not only does she keep her sources anonymous, but she also won't reveal Alex's alleged co-conspirators, or even specificpossible games this

I have my doubts that anything will be done to A-Rod, though, unless somebody is willing to go on the record and say they saw him juicing. Conjecture and anonymous rumors may be suitable for Selena Roberts' book, but the players' union would never stand for Alex being punished without real documentation.

You don't have to like Alex to wonder about whether Roberts is telling the truth here. To lie on national radio, as Selena did on the Dan Patrick Show, and claim that she didn't discuss A-Rod's personal life and extramarital affairs, when it turns out she has done just that in vivid detail, is astonishing.

Jason Whitlock, the iconoclastic sportswriter, takes down Roberts today in his Kansas City Star column (thanks to one of our readers for the tip):

The national media anti-snitching campaign is twice as pervasive and effective as anything put together by the Bloods, Crips and LAPD. For the most part, we refuse to squeal on each other.

Roberts’ book is a long-winded blog. Why it’s being treated as an unimpeachable piece of journalism can only be explained by the cushy position she’s been handed by The New York Times, ESPN and Sports Illustrated and the unchallenged institutional bias found within the elite sports media institutions.

Like the Duke lacrosse players, the elite media have decided that Alex Rodriguez is fair game for abuse. Rules of fairness do not apply.

I agree with Whitlock's column on everything except the "long-winded blog" slam. A blogger would never be able to get away with such sloppy sourcing and logic as Roberts has!

What do you think? Leave us a comment!


"Nutball Gazette" said...

I saw that Roberts will not cooperate with MLB on any investigation of A-Rod

My Take..Everyone knows how much I hate a-Rod, but
If Roberts will not cooperate I cannot see how MLB can do anything. The Players Union will not stand for it, And A-Rod may be able to Sue MLB if they suspend him without conclusive proof.

She-Fan said...

If Selena Roberts isn't cooperating (big surprise) then Selig won't be able to unearth her "anonymous sources" and this will go nowhere, which is where I would like it to go!

LadyBlue said...

Nothing is probably going to come from this so-called MLB investigation. Her "sources" are probably the voices in her head.

I'm sorry, I'm just sick of this whole thing and that woman.

Anonymous said...

I really can't stand A-Rod, and as unfair as all this may be, he's brought all this upon himself for his self-absorption, narcissism, and propensity to lie and act like a total phony. I think Hank Steinbrenner made a HUGE blunder bringing him back, especially at that kind of money, bidding against no one. BUT, given that he's on the team, I want him to perform well.

That all said, I think this book finally coming out is a relief for him. With all the speculation of how devastating it was going to be, it turns out there's really nothing there (at least, if the leaks thus far have gotten to all the key points). Selena may be 100% right with her various allegations, and she was already right about the steroids in Texas, but the evidence she is going on is incredibly weak, almost embarrassingly so. And although my one knock on Lisa is that she's been way too defensive about A-Rod over the years (along with the flip-side of resenting the treatment of Jeter and the old guard, to the point of obsession), she's absolutely right in her criticisms of Selena Roberts. Lisa's logic in ripping apart the whole weightlifting in high school nonsense was the best I've seen, and I wish more media folks would do likewise.

Bottom line is that A-Rod should be sighing in relief. If the initial reports about what's in the book are accurate, this book may be full of sound and fury but it signifies nothing.

Alvaro Fernandez Ravelo said...

Journalism died a long time ago ... nobody challenges anything anymore. The networks, ESPN, SI and NY Times are more like Perez Hilton.
What was really sickening was to see Red Sox Minister of Disinformation Peter Gammons tell how much Bud Selig really cares about the integrity of the game ... get real!
Investigations like this, as well as the Red Sox George Mitchell report, are VERY biased, to say the least.
It's like McCarthyism all over again.

Lisa Swan said...

Guess what just arrived on my doorstep - my own review copy of "A-Rod"!

Just flipped through to the acknowledgements section - Yankee-related names who were interviewed for the book include Brian Cashman, Joe Torre, Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield, Buck Showalter, and Steve Swindal. There are 19 (!) anonymous sources.

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