• Wild Thought: Was Roberts Book On A-Rod Baseball’s Version Of Geraldo Rivera Breaking Into Al Capone’s Vault?

    Posted by on May 14th, 2009 · Comments (12)

    Today’s wild thought is a quick one: Is it just me, or, has the buzz around the Selena Roberts book on Alex Rodriguez come and gone, in a flash, making about as much noise as an A-Rod post-season At Bat?

    Comments on Wild Thought: Was Roberts Book On A-Rod Baseball’s Version Of Geraldo Rivera Breaking Into Al Capone’s Vault?

    1. MJ
      May 14th, 2009 | 10:27 am

      Certainly seems that way. I think most people were breathlessly (sp?) awaiting the book, only to find that most of it was based on hearsay evidence. Generally speaking, I think people were expecting such sordid tales and revelations that the reaction was “wait, that’s all there is?”

      Personally, I’m happy, only because I think the book was a transparent act of “Hate-Roddism” beyond the very relevant steroids revelations. Delving into one’s personal life in such a way beyond the scope of baseball is just kind of cheesy and classless.

      Having said all that, the book will get a second wind once (if?) MLB announces any results to their investigation of the pitch-tipping allegations or any further PED knowledge that might come to light. The book is on life support now but it’s not dead yet.

    2. JOM
      May 14th, 2009 | 11:07 am

      I don’t think she can hide from the damage that the Duke affair did to her credibility as a “journalist.” (quotes intended)

    3. May 14th, 2009 | 11:22 am

      Steve, as somebody who has read and reviewed the book, I am not the least bit surprised it is a flop. Here’s why I think it is:

      * It’s poorly sourced (she uses 19 anonymous sources, doesn’t interview people who might say anything positive on A-Rod, and does not even use footnotes or endnotes to explain where any of her stuff came from.)

      * It alternates between pettiness and psychobabble. A-Rod “only” tipped 15% at Hooters? That’s better than what Chipper Jones did with the Hooters waitress! And too many times Roberts tries to write like she knows what A-Rod’s thinking.

      * Her most explosive charges are that A-Rod used steroids in high school, although she doesn’t say what he took or how he did it (the Ferris Bueller passing out at 31 Flavors rumor is better sourced) and the pitch-tipping charges – where there’s no co-conspirator, stats, photo evidence, or games named, and where she doesn’t ask a single source on the record about the pitch-tipping revelation. Not even Buck Showalter or Tom Hicks or Chad Curtis, who were on the record sources for the book.

      * If you like A-Rod, you’re not going to buy the book. If you don’t like A-Rod, you’ve already heard all the “good stuff,” such as it is, in the articles written about the book. And if you’re a baseball fan, you will learn absolutely nothing about Alex’s approach to the game or anything else baseball-related. She literally spends more time on him going to Hooters than she does on the three MVPs.

      * The Duke lacrosse thing. That case didn’t matter on the SI cover story, as she had the goods that A-Rod failed that drug test. This book is based on hearsay and her personal credibility, and it fails on that account. And the fact that she still won’t admit to doing anything wrong on Duke Lacrosse – or even acknowledge the players’ innocence – hurts her bigtime.

    4. MJ
      May 14th, 2009 | 11:30 am

      the Ferris Bueller passing out at 31 Flavors rumor is better sourced
      ——–
      LOL!!! :-D

      By that, I assume you mean “My best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night.”

      I love that movie.

    5. May 14th, 2009 | 11:44 am

      Two fellow members of the press – Murray Chass and Pete Abraham (neither of whom can reasonably described as being A-Rod’s camp on just about anything) – both shredded the book.

      Abraham called it a 300+ page column about what Roberts “thinks” rather than what she “knows,” and Chass went further calling it a “journalistic abomination.”

      It’s currently selling at #163 on Amazon, which without any knowledge about book sales, strikes me as curiously low for a book that hit the shelves so recently.

      I think in the end, beyond what was unveiled in the SI story, there’s just not any there there.

    6. MJ
      May 14th, 2009 | 11:52 am

      Chass went further calling it a “journalistic abomination.”
      ——–
      To me, that carries weight since they were colleagues at the NY Times and probably know eachother well. Then again, who knows if Murray has an axe to grind with Selena.

      In any case, the PED revelation was the big part of the story and the rest of the book ultimately amounted to not much.

    7. Evan3457
      May 14th, 2009 | 11:59 am

      Can I briefly interrupt this thread to say again that unless the “pitch-tip” charge is proven true, I still don’t care about any of this?

      No?

      Darn.

      Or, to put it another way; Selena who?

    8. MJ
      May 14th, 2009 | 12:05 pm

      @ Evan3457:
      I don’t care about any of this either.

    9. May 14th, 2009 | 2:00 pm

      @MJ

      Here’s the full column… it’s pretty good: http://www.murraychass.com/?p=700

      On a related note, even as criticism mounts for this particular work of reporting, let’s not condemn all anonymous sourcing.

      Sometimes its very important for a variety of reasons (says the guy who just put two anonymous quotes in his story today). It protects people, its spices stories, it allows frank discussions – it can be a valuable tool. But it can also be misused. A rivet gun is a valuable tool, but you wouldn’t fix a shelf in your house with it.

    10. May 14th, 2009 | 9:53 pm

      @ sean mcnally: “On a related note, even as criticism mounts for this particular work of reporting, let’s not condemn all anonymous sourcing.”

      I see your point about anonymous sources when we’re talking about serious matters. But giving Selena Roberts the scoop that A-Rod’s teammates called him b*tch t*ts? Not so much. ;)

    11. May 15th, 2009 | 9:42 am

      @ lisaswan: “I see your point about anonymous sources when we’re talking about serious matters. But giving Selena Roberts the scoop that A-Rod’s teammates called him b*tch t*ts? Not so much. ;)”

      I can’t believe you don’t think A-Rod need for a manssiere isn’t a serious matter?

    12. Sicilian Lou
      May 15th, 2009 | 10:29 am

      Just another layer of Journalistic B.S,, justifying her existence.. If this chick was a lawyer she would be barred for her Antics and Malice reporting..

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