From Neil Best:
Russo: (reading from the NY Daily News article) “’In one shocking disclosure, the book accuses A-Rod of “pitch tipping” when he was with the Rangers – letting a friendly opponent at the plate know which pitch was coming in lopsided games.’”
Brantley: “That did not happen. There’s no way that happens.”
Russo: “So there’s no way A-Rod could tip off a friendly opponent batting against Jeff Brantley in a blowout game one way or the other? That could not have occurred?”
Brantley: “Now, I’m not going to say that he couldn’t do it but I’m telling you he did not do it.”
Russo: (reading from the NY Daily News) “’Rodriguez expected players he helped would do the same for him when he was having an off night and needed to get his batting average up and it would not affect the outcome of the game.’ You’re saying that is not accurate?”
Brantley: “No way. No way.”
Hmmm. Maybe Brantley just missed the boat here? Let’s hear from Michael Young:
Michael Young played just the other side of second from Alex Rodriguez, so he’d probably notice any funny business between A-Rod and opposing hitters.
And Young’s take on allegations that A-Rod occasionally tipped pitches in lost causes?
Ah, ok, it must be from Shane Spencer:
“It was brought up. I overheard it but not from specific people,” said Spencer, now a coach with the high Class-A Lake Elsinore (Calif.) Storm. “I think I overheard it in our clubhouse, but that team was really split up — a bunch of groups of threes and fours. It wasn’t a real close clubhouse and guys start talking especially when you’re getting your butt kicked everyday. I remember hearing that.”
Wow, that is pretty definitive. In the same article, R.A. Dickey and Doug Glanville both say that they never heard anything about it. Spencer himself said the following:
“If we had noticed it, it would have been handled, in house with the players not with the coaching staff, personally with him first as friends and teammates and if it became a problem we’d have to bring the team in,” said Spencer. But that never came up. If I saw that it wasn’t going to fly.”
All three players emphatically state that if they had noticed it going on, they would have promptly put an end to it. Yet nothing ever happened regarding it, possibly because the allegations are false. Brantley and Young certainly think so. Do you think if there were really rumblings about this, tough guy Buck Showalter would have allowed it to continue. I’m sorry, but as the testimonials leak in, it seems that Roberts pulled this one out of a hat, or at best out of innuendo and whispers with no basis in fact. How this book went to press as a journalistic exercise is beyond me.
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