On Monday, the New York Times' Harvey Araton said this:
Monday, I was told by a Major League Baseball source, who requested anonymity because he was unauthorized to speak on the subject, that Selig was taking the book allegations "very seriously" and would act "without question" if corroborating information were unearthed.
There will be no sacred culprits anymore, the person said. Of course, good luck in getting A-Rod's teammates or former teammates to divulge anything more than their names, social security numbers and on-base percentages.
Well, one former A-Rod teammate is offering something more than that, at least with respect to pitch-tipping. Indeed, he's offering some larger and useful insight. And what's more, he's doing it in the very pages of Araton's New York Times. Take it away Doug Glanville:
Although I have never heard such a rumor about Alex, this may be one of the most egregious charges one can make against a player, and a rare one at that. Should a player know that someone in his own dugout is helping the opposing team, I would venture to say that all-out Armageddon would ensue. Imagine if a pitcher knew that his pitches were being given away to the opposing hitter by his own teammate no less. This spy would have to watch his back.
How would this scheme have been missed for Alex's entire career? We all know that every time he plays, the camera zooms in on him. Opposing teams watch him obsessively, studying film endlessly. The "A-Rod cam" is on full tilt all the time. So, over a period of years, did the best in the business, the brightest analysts and teammates, miss that he was doing this for his roommate from the year before, or maybe for his cousin's favorite player? Or did they know it but were afraid to come forward? Is it possible that all of these experts had their heads in the sand?
Having read Glanville's Op-Ed pieces over the past year, all of which come off thoughtful, mannered and polite, my gut tells me that Glanville is playing a tad coy, and that these are rhetorical questions, asked so that he does not have to come right out and say that both his current (Araton) and former (Roberts) New York Times colleagues are full of it.
Either way, I have obtained and am currently reading the Roberts book. The pitch tipping stuff shows up on pages 118-121. The allegations are less than compelling, and the sources, as so many others in the book, are unnamed, referred to only as "a former Ranger" or "former teammates." With Glanville on the record, that makes at least three former teammates who have come out by name to cast doubt on the tipping accusation. None of these guys proclaim to be friends of Alex Rodriguez. It's telling.
But not conclusive, of course, and as of now, I suppose this allegation has to remain in the realm of he-said/she-said. But, and pardon the phrase, if more and more Rangers come out casting doubt on these allegations, won't we reach a tipping point where Roberts' claim is transformed from the speculative to the fictitious?