On the other hand, at least the new book released today, A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez, presents no evidence that Our Man is obsessed with adopting Cambodian babies alongside Angelina Jolie. So praise the heavens for that.
As you probably heard from noted literary critic Joe Girardi, publication of Selena Roberts' hot new tome was moved up to today, May 4, because of public clamoring and, well, the publisher's interest of selling as many books as possible.
While Girardi bitched and moaned about it, the rest of us could do the same about the Yankees manager for expediting his expected publication date of a New York lineup card with Alex Rodriguez's name on it. Once not planned until later this summer, Rodriguez's rehab has progressed quickly enough so as to align the stars for this serendipitous occasion: Now, he and the book will hit the charts within mere days of each other.
Beautiful. Wasn't life so much more enjoyable while A-Rod was away getting his hip fixed, or his stories straight, or wherever he was?
As for the book, there are no more steroids bombshells. Yeah, there's the stuff from anonymous sources making Roberts' case that A-Rod became ripped from steroids as far back as high school, and that he may have continued to work with HGH into his Yankee Years. It's interesting, juicy, tawdry stuff. But the bombshell came back in February when Roberts first reported the story that Rodriguez had failed a steroid test back in 2003. That's when Rodriguez fell hard from grace. Now it's just a matter of how far the fall is.
Rodriguez already having been revealed as a cheat and a liar, the book would be more satisfying if it contained another smoking gun extending Rodriguez's performance-enhancing drugs era. While Roberts presents extensive anonymous sources and much circumstantial evidence, however, there is no smoking gun.
What we do know is that, on this particular subject, Roberts has a whopping lead over A-Rod in the credibility department. So while it is utterly believable that he gulped steroids at 16 or to suspect that he used HGH in Yankee pinstripes, A-Rod does not produce proof positive -- which places it alongside so much else in the Steroid Era. We suspect this, we think that, but we just cannot know for sure.
Frankly, the sexiest news to emerge is the book's charges that A-Rod tipped friendly opposing batters as to what pitches were coming next in blowouts when he was with the Rangers, expecting the same in return from them. That's the part that should especially get the attention of the Commissioner's Office because that strikes at the very heart of the competition.
The lasting lesson from the 1919 World Series is that if the games are fixed, the sport is ruined. These charges, if true, may not have affected the outcome of games, but they damn sure chip away at the credibility of parts of games, rendering them less authentic and leading perilously close to the point of no return.
Aside from that, the book spends much of its time psychoanalyzing Rodriguez. Roberts is a very sharp woman with keen insights and a graceful pen. She finds meaning in small detail and paints an even creepier portrait than the A-Rod narrative to date has done. There is plenty of material to mine, and the hard hat and miner's lamp suits her well. A-Rod long ago became the emperor with no clothes. Read A-Rod, and Our Man is laid even more bare by the time Roberts finishes with him.
In the end, despite word that the Commissioner's Office is cranking up for another investigation into A-Rod's PED usage, my guess is that this book will prove more valuable to fans in opposing cities than it will to investigators. I mean, if the Balco study Game of Shadows, published in 2006, didn't aid baseball in suspending Barry Bonds and preventing him from swiping Hank Aaron's all-time home run record in 2007, it's difficult to see Bud Selig and Co. producing a book report now that culminates with an A-Rod suspension.
But wow, if A-Rod is coming to a ballpark near you this summer -- attention, Fenway Park denizens -- this book is rich with material for hecklers. The weird Madonna obsession, the divorce from Cynthia, the swingers' clubs and strip joints ... ugh.
Anybody who viewed those Details magazine photos this spring picturing Rodriguez kissing himself in the mirror knows that this is one twisted individual. I mean, what grown man do you know who would do that, ever, either in private or for a photo shoot? Kiss himself in a mirror?
This is one strange and bizarre dude, and what the Yankees are about to gain with his bat in the lineup, they're also about to gain tenfold paparazzi.
As for Girardi, he should worry about managing.
"I get tired of answering these questions," he said Sunday at Yankee Stadium.
Yeah, well, ask Joe Torre about that. It's part of the gig managing the circus that is the Yankees. You wanted the job? It comes whole, not in small, digestible pieces.
Besides, nobody forced the Yankees to re-sign this guy after he arrogantly opted out of his contract during Game 4 of the 2007 World Series, anyway. You make your bed, you lie in it. Don't start whining now.