Via the MLB official website:
The author of a new book on Alex Rodriguez said Sunday night that she believes Rodriguez used performance-enhancing substances during his time with the Yankees. Rodriguez has said his use of banned substances happened only when he played for the Texas Rangers.
Selena Roberts, who also co-authored the Sports Illustrated piece that led to Rodriguez’s admission of steroid use in February, told MLB Network in an interview with Bob Costas that her reporting has led her to conclude that his usage of PEDs was not limited to his time with Texas.
I had a chance to catch this MLB Network “exclusive” when it aired live at 7 pm ET this evening.
It was interesting to hear Roberts share that most of what she is reporting in the book was derived via “links” and “associations” in the absence of a smoking gun – while at the same time saying that, to date, A-Rod has provided a “threadbare acknowledgment” of his PED usage. Related, while it’s somewhat clear, now, that Roberts provides very little attribution in her book, she claims that she applied the same “litmus test” in vetting out her sources as when she reported that Rodriguez used PEDs in Texas – which Alex later confirmed, himself.
There’s enough stuff here on each side of the fence to keep both the A-Rod supporters and Roberts believers busy on this debate for a while. And, for good measure, in the post-interview recap, MLB Network reporter Tom Verducci reminded us that there have been many major stories in the history of journalism that have been broken via the utilization of unnamed sources.
Yet, what I found most interesting about this whole event was that the MLB Network – which is the official voice of Major League Baseball – elected to have a one-hour “special presentation” devoted to interviewing Selena Roberts on the eve of her new book coming out on Alex Rodriguez. We’ve come a long way from 1970, haven’t we? Somehow, I don’t see (then) MLB commissioner Bowie Kuhn giving Jim Bouton a one-hour special to promote Ball Four the day before its release date.
Alex Rodriguez is supposed to be one of the crown jewels of Major League Baseball, right? After all, MLBAM hosts a website devoted to A-Rod, no?
Do you think, if, Selena Roberts had written a book which disclosed that American Idol was a fake and/or cheat, that the FOX Network would give her a one-hour special to basically pitch the work? Probably not – even with FOX’s rep to do anything for ratings. So, why would baseball support someone who’s trying to knock one of their assets down several pegs?
Sure, maybe the MLB Network is just trying to make a case that they’re an independent media source. You know, like how MLB.com puts that closing tag of “This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs” at the end of its reports. Yeah, maybe that’s it…
Or, is Major League Baseball so ticked with the A-Rod circus and the alleged acts therein that they’ll do anything to help support a case against him? Heck, for all we know, the Yankees could have urged baseball to support Roberts – with the hope that her book will enable baseball to uncover something on Rodriguez which will allow New York to void A-Rod’s contract (which now looks like a huge burden to the Yankees in the years 2013 through 2017 – if not sooner).
What did you think of the MLB interview of Selena Roberts today and the choice of baseball to air it?