First things first, I have not read the book. My thoughts are based purely on the news that has been released this morning and is in the previous posting.
I am skeptical. The sole purpose of this book is for Sports Illustrated writer Selena Roberts to make money. Period. This is not an autobiography or a biography meant to chronicle history. Its not a documentary designed to inform the public of a subject or issue. It is 100% for money.
In fact, the release date of the book has been changed several times in order to capitalize on getting the most amount of headlines and publicity. It went from an April release to a May 12 release conspicuously after A-Rod got injured and was going to be out until sometime in May.
I think its clear that we all need to take this story with a large grain of salt. Despite the fact that she has never been “wrong,” there are apparently a lot of anonymous sources – which means people who spoke are worried about backlash. And the only backlash they can be worried about is a slander or libel lawsuit from A-Rod. If they are worried about libel or slander, that means they are either a.) lying or b.) have no evidence to back up their allegations.
Although Roberts quotes a lot of “anonymous sources,” I must point out that she is widely considered to be a reliable source of information. Everything she had initially alleged about Rodriguez failing a test in 2003 turned out to be true and several commentators and writers, including ESPN’s Buster Olney, have vouched for her professionalism and accuracy.
But I still think she is only in it for the money. This book will sell a lot of copies due to the publicity and Roberts will most likely make millions. Or at least hundreds-of-thousands of dollars.
That being said, I just don’t buy most of the allegations. Too many of them are unsubstantiated and can be explained other ways.
I also put on nearly 15-20 pounds from sophomore to junior years of high school and I was not using steroids nor was I doing very much weight lifting. I also grew from 5′ 4″ (shorter then Chris) to 5′ 8″ virtually over the summer. I went from a substitute varsity soccer player to an everyday starter. That spring, I took off 4 seconds from my 400 hurdles time and nearly 8 seconds from my 400 meter time. For those of you not familiar with track, those drops are HUGE. I went from a slow underclassman to one of the fastest guys in the league (15 schools) in one year.
I am also having a hard time buying the allegation that A-Rod was tipping pitches until I know who said it. The person who said it refused to be named and must have an agenda. Period. If its true, name the players he helped and helped him tip pitches. Otherwise, the guy is lying. Because if he knew it was happening, he must have known at least one other player who benefited from it.
Finally, the allegation he used PEDs as a Yankee – I could really care less. If its true, big friggin’ deal – everyone was doing it. Assuming he was, I guarantee it was only HGH and it was not for long. Rodriguez is not stupid – he knew if he was using steroids it would be caught in a test. After Barry Bonds and former Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Jason Grimsley were vilified in the press and it was found that someone could track who ordered HGH, I guarantee he stopped using it after that.
My point is we need to remember where this information is coming from and that much of it seems to be unsubstantiated. That doesn’t mean its not true – any of this is likely to be true – but while it can be explained by other things, or is too unsubstantiated we need to take it with a grain of salt until we learn more.
After this, my biggest concern is hoping the Yankees hold off on A-Rod returning until this all blows over – that way the publicity does not ruin the Yankees team chemistry.