MLB Investigating A-Rod

In light of the Roberts allegations, Major League Baseball is investigating Alex Rodriguez for post-2003 drug use:

Major League Baseball is investigating the accuracy of statements by Alex Rodriguez about his use of performance-enhancing drugs, according to people within baseball who were briefed on the matter. Investigators have contacted several of Rodriguez’s associates to determine whether he used performance-enhancing drugs for a longer time than he has admitted, the people said.

Roberts was apparently asked on Friday to cooperate with the investigation but declined to, citing conflict of interest. My assumption is that, per standard journalistic practice, she is not willing to reveal her sources, which is probably what MLB is interested in.

And guess what? I’m fine with that. That’s how journalists roll. They can’t expect anyone to ever talk with them if they go promising anonymity and then break it simply because someone asks. Baseball doesn’t have the power to subpoena anyone and Roberts doesn’t have to talk with them. And just to be clear, this is an entirely different deal than Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada faced; they were being asked to reveal a source to law enforcement in the course of a criminal investigation of the very transmission of the source’s information to the authors. That’s the kind of situation where the source-revealing rubber usually hits the road. For everything I’ve said about Roberts so far, I am squarely on her side in her refusal to tell MLB who she talked to.

The larger question in my mind, of course, is why she granted everyone anonymity for everything in the first place, but that horse has already left the barn.

Implications: Absent someone coming forward and talking to MLB, Rodriguez won’t be disciplined for any 2003-steroid use for lack of evidence. After all, as the NYT piece notes, anything baseball does to A-Rod has to stand up to an appeal to an arbitrator, and arbitrators have higher standards than Selena Roberts’ editors when it comes to steroid allegations. The article also notes that MLB is not yet looking at the pitch tipping thing which, frankly, I find much more interesting.

Hat tip to River Ave. Blues, who was all over this first and who is of like mind on the matter.


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Wooden U. Lykteneau
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Wooden U. Lykteneau

But the more important question that nobody seems to be asking is “Why?”

What will it prove if MLB determines A-Rod lied about his steroid use…

…that he’s a liar? Duh. We already know that.

…that PED use is more prevalent than the Mitchell Report indicated? Really. Did the sun rise in the East this morning?

…that MLB has to “look good for Congress?” As if steroid abuse is a top priority these days, or that there’s not another election for 18 months.

Sara K
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Sara K

Amen, Woody. The debate over whether Roberts information is accurate obscures the question of what the value of the information is in the first place. It doesn’t do anyone any good (aside from Roberts, natch) to detail the indiscretions of a single player, unless somehow it leads to some broader insight about the state of the sport.

Dan Whitney
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Dan Whitney
I agree with both Wooden and Sara. This whole convoluted investigation won’t yield anything meaningful or interesting. Everyone knows (or, rather, assumes) that Rodriguez used steroids and many find it hard to believe that he kept it confined to just his Texas years, with no dabbling before and no peer pressure in the Yankee clubhouse. I’m not typically an advocate of sweeping something like this under the rug, but what can baseball possibly gain from this production? It will be nothing but bad press no matter what they find. If they determine that the claims are false, nobody will believe… Read more »
res wright
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res wright
Would it be meaningless to investigate someone for armed robbery unless the investigation told us something about crime in general? Come on, now. It’s perfectly obvious why MLB would investigate Alex Rodriguez. Baseball has always looked pretty complicit in the steroids scandal—from the way the league studiously looked the other way as players got huge and records got shattered and obvious juicers got financially rewarded beyond their wildest dreams, and the faux surprise and outrage when the stories started to be broken, to the largely cosmetic Mitchell report, a lot of critics have had a solid basis to blast MLB… Read more »
David
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David
RE: “Why”? Because MLB loves steroid talk the same way that celebrity publicists love dating rumors.  It stimulates public interest and provokes arguments.  During the 2007 playoffs, when MLB leaked Paul Byrd’s HGH use, Tigers pitcher Nate Robertson was being interviewed on a radio station (as their guest playoff analyst).  He said, in no uncertain terms, that the only possible way that their tests and private medical data could ever be revealed was if MLB leaked it intentionally.  So, MLB is leaking all this stuff intentionally and we can infer that they do so to drum up publicity. This “reporter”… Read more »
David
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David
Can somebody please show me any shred of evidence that any of these accusations are true?  The evidence, as I understand it, is this: 1) He used in high school because he was bigger as a senior than as a freshman.  As Doug Mientkiewicz said….so every kid that hits puberty is on steroids?  (He has also come out and said that the accusations are complete B.S.) 2) “He used in New York because….why?” “Well….uh, funny you should ask….like….just because we wish he had, okay?!?  Stop asking questions!” 3) “What’s your evidence he tipped pitches?” “Well, look at those Rangers’ pitchers’… Read more »
Sara K
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Sara K
Res – “Would it be meaningless to investigate someone for armed robbery unless the investigation told us something about crime in general?” The leap from steroid use in baseball to violent crime is a bit much, but if it’s your analogy of choice… Clearly, we want to capture someone who is a threat to human life.  But say we catch the guy, investigate him, and publish a definitive list of all the crimes he has committed. Have we learned anything that will help us prevent others from becoming violent criminals? I’m not saying that it isn’t worth catching one criminal… Read more »
David
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David

Sara K,

When you check out the book, let us know what’s in it, because judging by its anemic advance sales, you’re going to be the only one reading it.

The book’s accusations are, in all probability, bogus.  They’re extremely dubious on their face, and then we have no evidence at all to back them up.

But that’s okay….I’m sure she dug up some salacious rumors about what women ARod has screwed from all the time she spent camped out on his front lawn before the cops had her removed.

Sara K
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Sara K

David –

This is a conundrum.  I really do want to know what is in it, so we can see how close varying lines of speculation come to the reality (the reality in the book, not actual, you know, *reality*).  The problem is that I don’t want to put money in Roberts’ pocket, so it is extremely unlikely that I will buy the book myself. I’m at an impasse.  What to do?

David
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David
SK, For the record, the parts of the books that have come out actually are the reality of the book.  The NY ‘Daily News’ was given an advance copy by the book’s publisher (standard industry practice, like an advance movie screening) and so, unless they’re holding something back (which would be a first), there’s nothing more to it.  “Is that all?”  Yeah.  It probably is. What are you to do instead?  Ya know those magazines at the grocery store checkout?  ‘Examiner’, ‘Globe’, and all those?  They’re probably more accurate than this and they’re definitely more sincere: at least they don’t… Read more »
David
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David

MLB thinks that steroids are so tragic and awful, right? 

Well, right now on MLB.com’s front page they’re advertising a prime-time interview with the author of the book (the cheerleader of the Duke lacrosse lynch mob) on their flagship Sunday program.

Yeah, but MLB doesn’t like steroids.  Right.

Steroids is the best thing to happen to MLB Inc. since taxpayer-financed stadiums.

res wright
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res wright
“Two “quick” things – What do you think MLB gains by knowing all of Alex’s indiscretions, assuming that no new names are brought to light? In other words, how does this book serve to advance the cause of ridding the sport of PEDs?  “ You are still mixing and matching two completely different things—a book by a reporter who isn’t even cooperating with MLB and the subsequent report that MLB is investigating Alex Rodriguez. You should stop doing that, because they really are unaligned. Talk about the book, and the investigation, on their individual merits—don’t use one to attack the… Read more »
res wright
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res wright
“I’m not saying that it isn’t worth catching one criminal if we can’t catch them all. “ Well, if it’s not what you’re saying now, good. It sort of *is* what you said, though. You know, “It doesn’t do anyone any good (aside from Roberts, natch) to detail the indiscretions of a single player, unless somehow it leads to some broader insight about the state of the sport. ” That’s pretty much what I was calling out. “I’m saying that the goals “catch this criminal” and “reduce violent crime” are not equal, and that seeing the first as just one… Read more »
Sara K
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Sara K

I bring up what good it does for baseball simply because without that, I am at a loss to see any redeeming value to the book. Roberts would probably describe her work as important; I’m just trying to figure out in what way it’s important.

And it is enlightening for me, a Midwesterner, to learn that reporters for the New York Times don’t really sway the opinions people might have about athletes who play in New York.  A false assumption on my part, apparently.

Jake
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Jake

Sara K said…

I don’t want to put money in Roberts’ pocket, so it is extremely unlikely that I will buy the book myself. I’m at an impasse.  What to do?

there’s always Abbie Hoffman…

Sara K
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Sara K
Res, I disagree with the interpretation of my post that you open with here, but I only have a few minutes before I have to take my kid to school, so it’ll have to wait.  Two “quick” things – What do you think MLB gains by knowing all of Alex’s indiscretions, assuming that no new names are brought to light? In other words, how does this book serve to advance the cause of ridding the sport of PEDs?  Second, I agree with your penultimate paragraph (I got to use the word “penultimate” in a non-Monty Python related instance! Whee!!).  I… Read more »
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