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Thursday, April 30, 2009

A-Rod, Steroid-Mania Victim?

Certainly that's the case that Shysterball makes:
What I do care about -- and the reason I have quoted all of this stuff by and about Selena Roberts -- is the culture of character assassination that has become inextricably linked to the subject of steroids in baseball. Every big name who has tested positive has not only been branded a cheater by the media, but a dirty cheater with evil and chicanery in his heart. Every assertion of innocence -- even to subordinate allegations -- has been met with scorn. In addition to censuring players under the rules of baseball, the media (and the public at large following the media's lead) has further demanded that high-profile steroids users be ostracized, and that the historical record be expunged, as best it can be, of their very existence. It has been a shameful few years in this regard, and I hope and pray that one day some semblance of perspective on the subject of performance enhancing drugs in baseball prevails. But we're certainly not there yet.

Enter Selena Roberts. The same Selena Roberts who has already demonstrated a clear interest in making Alex Rodriguez into a villain. The same Selena Roberts who smeared the Duke lacrosse players. Even if we concede that she gets the facts right in her upcoming book, can we have any faith that she presents them with even a semblance of balance, as opposed to surrounding them with innuendo, rumor, conjecture, and false sanctimony?
There's plenty of reasons to dislike A-Rod; the Roberts book includes allegations, far more damning if true, of A-Rod tipping opposing hitters in blowouts, with the unspoken quid pro quo being similar returns for him in blowouts for his team, the better to pad his own stats. But Roberts' prior work indicates an unwillingness to back off from a hysterical story likely to sell copy. That's not just shoddy, that's libelous.

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