Pitch tipping has been around baseball since the Giants won the pennant in 1951, at the very least, and probably a lot longer than that. The twist in the case of
If true, that borders somewhere between nuts and sick.
It's interesting stuff, of course. But, believe it or not, this book, which will be released Monday, four of five days before Rodriguez is scheduled to return from the disabled list, may be a big relief to Rodriguez.
The New York
The pitch-tipping stuff may be the most damning allegation in the book. And as far as that goes, I see him skating.
The thing Rodriguez has going for him in the case of the pitch-tipping allegation, and virtually everything else in Roberts' book, is plausible deniability. Unlike with Roberts'
Denying comes easily to A-Rod, almost as easy hitting homers or turning a double play. So he's almost safe at home.
I congratulate my esteemed colleague Roberts for coming up with this tasty morsel (and seemingly everything else A-Rod has allegedly done wrong in his fascinating life). She's about the best reporter I've ever worked with, and she's certainly risen to the top of Rodriguez's "hates to face'' list. But unlike last time, A-Rod isn't going to have to jet off to some island to mull his choices about how to handle things, and there isn't going to be a staged national interview or press conference. This time, it looks like A-Rod will survive.
A member of the Rangers I called yesterday was unaware of A-Rod's alleged involvement in pitch tipping. That person did confirm the long-held belief that Rodriguez frequently was calling the pitches for their own pitchers -- "You know, he thinks he invented baseball,'' the person said -- so that might at least explain why he knew which pitches were coming.
But that doesn't prove the veracity of the allegation, either. And unlike in the case of A-Rod's failed drug test, there doesn't seem to be a compelling reason Rodriguez has to admit it now. Unlike with the failed drug test, there's no paperwork, no reasonable concern about Congress getting involved and no real reason for A-Rod to remember it that way.
Rodriguez's big problem when Roberts broke the story of A-Rod failing baseball's 2003 survey steroid test is that he understood how ugly things could get when a player of his stature lies about steroids. He saw it firsthand with
Though Roberts' book is unflattering to A-Rod, the big bombshells are already out. The book contains some serious steroid allegations, and as with the failed steroid test, they rely on unnamed sources. The difference here is that the new drug charges don't involve anything quite as vital as a failed steroid test, and there doesn't seem to be a scenario where A-Rod will be forced to answer to any of it.
One allegation involves an unnamed person saying his high school coach's son told someone Rodriguez took steroids back in high school. Another involves someone with the Yankees saying they saw Rodriguez and the already-implicated ex-Yankee
Another allegation involves players supposedly noticing physical changes in 2005, including the emergence of "b---- t---.'' I do recall a year where Rodriguez got round (though I couldn't find anyone Thursday who recalled the "b---- t---'' nickname.) This will undoubtedly draw snickers but probably isn't something that will necessitate further investigation.
There are also speculative quotes in the book from Canseco regarding Rodriguez's alleged high school steroid use. And while Canseco's steroid batting average is pretty good, let's not give him too much credit. Canseco did sign a false sworn federal affidavit that Clemens wasn't at a party at Canseco's house (that was a key detail in trainer
Rodriguez initially denied comment about the Roberts book after his workout in Tampa Thursday. But if he does say anything, it may be to remind folks that he's passed all the steroid tests since 2004 (there is no test for HGH, of course). The rest he can either deny or ignore.
The classy Angels privately decided they are going to do what they can to honor the memory of
The Angels players and staff quietly held a memorial for Adenhart last week in an effort to honor the well-liked pitcher. They also have been reminding themselves they have a job to do, which is to fulfill nearly everyone's expectation to win the AL West, a job made more difficult by injuries to starting pitchers
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