- Baseball commissioner Bud Selig said Thursday he will withhold comment about any possible disciplinary action against Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez until he has read A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez, a soon-to-be published book that details how Rodriguez tipped opposing hitters about what pitches were coming.
"I'm not going to respond until I see the book," Selig told SI.com. "I just heard about it."
When asked in general if giving pitches to an opposing team would subject a player to possible disciplinary action for striking at the integrity of the game and violating a contractual obligation to the "high standards of fair play," Selig maintained his refusal to comment in detail. "I need to see the book and go over it," the commissioner said. "I need to see the book, for goodness sake."
The book, as first reported by the New York Daily News, claims Rodriguez, while playing shortstop for the Texas Rangers, tipped opposing batters about what pitches were coming in lopsided games. Rodriguez, according to the book, tipped those players so they could reciprocate and provide him with what pitches were coming in one-sided games so that he could pad his batting statistics.
One: Prove it.
Two: I'm not near my books, so I can't offer an examples. But the oral histories are loaded with examples of pitch-tipping. Usually it's the catcher telling the batter what's coming next -- just like in Bull Durham -- but sometimes it's the pitcher telling the batter, and I don't suppose that A-Rod would be the first fielder to tip the batter, either. Usually it's a favor to the batter -- to get him out of a slump, or help him hit his 500th home run, or whatever -- with no expected reciprocation.
It's all one of a piece, though. And when it's an old story, everyone smiles and laughs and finds it all just so amusing. When it's Alex Rodriguez, we ask the Commissioner what's going to be done about it. I actually lean toward doing something about it -- again, if you can prove it -- but once again I'm struck by the double-standard.