The book Selena Roberts did on Alex Rodriguez has largely been discredited. But the tabloid-style book did raise questions when she alleged that A-Rod tipped pitches to opponents in lopsided games while a member of the Rangers.
The Inside Corner sports blog of D Magazine examined the issue and the research that Roberts did not. Evan Grant, a former Rangers beat writer, wrote the following:
Miguel Tejada, then with Oakland, hit .350 overall against the Rangers, but jumped to .472 when the margin was at least five runs either way. He had nine homers in 36 at-bats when the margin was at least five. Rodriguez, who hit .284 against Oakland overall, hit .333 when the score was five or greater.
Seattle’s Carlos Guillen, a teammate of Rodriguez’s for three seasons with the Mariners, went from .307 to .318. in “out of hand” situations. Rodriguez, however, jumped from .264 to .391 against the Mariners in those situations.
Rangers manager Ron Washington, who was with Oakland at the time, was once called to a staff meeting because an A’s coach suspected Tejada was tipping pitches to opponents.
Washington did not believe it and still doesn’t. It’s a matter of personal interpretation whether those statistics are damning or not. But it is worth noting that Alex is one of those hitters who wants to know what is coming. He watches video endlessly to try and educate himself about what pitch a pitcher will throw him in certain situations.
Some hitting coaches have said it almost becomes a weakness because Alex can get frozen by a breaking pitch when he is looking for a fastball. Other hitters, such as Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano, focus more on themselves and their ability to react to whatever pitch is thrown.
There are two schools of thought. Some hitters like playing the guessing game, others just want to wait and react. Alex always has been an advocate of preparation and you certainly can’t question his accomplishments, at least in terms of the statistics he has amassed.
Tejada, like Rodriguez, is an admitted PED user. He lied to Congress about it and copped a plea when he was accused of perjury. Would players who cheat by using PEDs also be willing to cheat by telling each other what was coming?
That’s a question we will probably never get an answer to. But the research Grant did certainly is interesting.