Ordinarily, I’d fine David Roth a week’s CSTB salary for revealing the contents of an otherwise confidential e-mail, but in this instance, everything’s worked just fine. Mr. Roth considered the pitch-tipping allegations leveled at Alex Rodriguez in Selena Roberts’ forthcoming tome “Bitch Tits : The Story Of A Boy Who Tried Too Hard” , and while I’m hesitant to question Ms. Roberts’ credibility, I did wonder, “who are these mysterious opponents he™s buddies with?. As it turns out Joe Posnaski — prone to a little more genuine research than your channel-flipping editor — attempted to find out the same thing.
For the scheme to be true and for it to work ” and the idea was that A-Rod would use some basic signals to let the batter on the other team know what pitch was coming and roughly which way it was coming ” I figure it would mostly have to be against players in the American League West. That just seems logical to me: Those are the players the Rangers played most, the players that A-Rod figured to be most comfortable with, the players who would offer the biggest payback.
American League West middle infielders facing the Texas Rangers from 2001 to 2003: Hit .309/.375/.558. They banged 44 homers and drove in 184 RBIs in 281 games.
And the two real middle infield stars ” Miguel Tejada and Bret Boone? Tejada hit .347/.406/.613 in 57 games against Texas. He hit 17 home runs.
Bret Boone hit .315/.386/.570 in 58 games against Texas. He hit 14 home runs.
Those numbers for Boone and Tejada, just as examples, would not PRECLUDE us from believing that there was something going on. Take Tejada. He was a great player those three years ¦ but those numbers are off the chart. I mean, 17 homers in 57 games ¦ yikes. But when did those homers come? Were any in the blowout games we are talking about here?
Posnaski cites a number of fishy examples (“June 30, 2001: Tejada hit three homers in 15-4 victory. One of those homers came in the 9th with Rangers up 14-4”), confessing the sum total adds up to “inconclusive. But interesting.” The only conclusion the K.C. scribe can comfortably come to? “If A-Rod was really betraying his pitchers by tipping pitches then he™s taken A-Fraud to another level. If he was not, then this is a smear job by some unnamed sources who are lower than low.”