Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
May 1, 2009
BASEBALL: Anonymous Tip

Color me skeptical that A-Rod with the Rangers was tipping pitches for his friends among opposing middle infielders. I'm not saying it's not true, but first of all the sourcing is anonymous - I continue to be skeptical of anonymously sourced reports. Second of all, the article notes that infielders do this routinely to tip each other off, so it's totally impossible to rebut this and entirely possible that A-Rod was misinterpreted.

That said, if this report is true, this is worse than anything Pete Rose ever did. You don't throw at bats, no matter the score.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 10:31 AM | Baseball 2009 | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0)

Selena Roberts may be a good writer, but she's not a good journalist. She obviously got her instruction in biased reporting at the New York Times, and it seems that SI is happy to have her continue in that tradition.

Posted by: Duke Lacrosse Fan at May 1, 2009 11:16 AM

I am not surprised by this at all, and I bet it's a hell of a lot more widespread than you think. Dog days of summer, meaningless games, these guys can justify it to themselves very easily.

Posted by: SJGMoney at May 1, 2009 12:31 PM

I agree with SJGMOney. (Although I agree with Duke as well about Roberts' creds.) I wouldn't be surprised at all if this happens especially in blow out games. Thank about it. A win is a win and a loss is a loss. Players are paid based mainly on their individual performance, not team performance. If they can figure out a way to go 2-5 in a blowout instead of going 1-5, why wouldn't they scheme to help one another in this way? It would be very easy to do.

Posted by: per14 at May 1, 2009 1:32 PM

The reaction to this strikes me as a little overblown, assuming it was actually confined to blowout games. Anyone who read "The Glory Of Their Times" probably remembers Sam Crawford talking about how when Walter Johnson had a comfortable lead in games against the Tigers, Walter's catcher would whisper "Walter likes you today, Sam," and Crawford would then tee off on the batting practice caliber pitch that followed (much to Ty Cobb's annoyance, as The Big Train made him work for all *his* hits). I don't remember reading about anyone agitating to have Crawford or--god forbid--Walter Johnson tossed out of the Hall of Fame for that little transgression against playing hard at all times. If A-Rod sinned here, it's mostly in screwing the pitchers who were his teammates, and maybe the owners of the players on other teams who benefited by having their hitting stats fluffed up marginally (really, how many hits per opponent are we talking about here--one or two per player per year?).

Posted by: M. Scott Eiland at May 1, 2009 8:13 PM

Pretty hard to maintain enthusiasm and play hard over the course of 162 games, especially when you are rewarded or punished for your own performance and not that of the team. The team's performance only matters in the second season.

Posted by: Jim Linnane at May 2, 2009 7:23 AM

I never played pro ball, but it is extremely hard to believe this sort of thing is going on without a pitcher going after a teammate who tips his pitches.

Posted by: largebill at May 3, 2009 7:42 AM

Help explains why you can count on him to hit 3 run bombs in the 8th inning of 12-3 games. He's been the master of that his whole career. When the going gets soft, A-Rod gets going.

Posted by: jim at May 3, 2009 2:51 PM

What makes the story hard to believe is that, to be effective, it would require a slew of middle infielders on other teams to cooperate. No one it seems like A-Rod. Why would they want to help him? And, if that many people knew, surely someone would have blown the story before now.

Posted by: Magrooder at May 3, 2009 4:59 PM

If it were true wouldn't A-Rod's pitcher teammate be throwing a beanball at A-Rod at third base when the bases are empty--like immediately after a pitch A-Rod tipped to an opposing batter that was hit for a home run? What is Selena Roberts smoking? This sophomoric story does not hold water.

Posted by: Yetijuice at May 3, 2009 11:23 PM

Remember, this allegedly happened in 2001-2003 when A-Rod wasn't the monster he's become today. I think he was a lot more popular around the league then than he is now. And if this happened, it probably wasn't a league-wide conspiracy. Probably just him and a couple of other guys. Who could I see doing this? Well, looking at those years in the AL, a few names stick out from the AL West: Bret Boone and Miggy Tejada.

I doubt it happened but I wouldn't be surprised if it were true.

Posted by: per14 at May 4, 2009 9:09 AM
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