The cowardice of Joe Girardi

fasano

So today Joe Girardi, manager of the New York Yankees, predictably ripped the upcoming ARod biography, written by Selena Roberts. “I have some issues with it, that it’s interesting how the book date got moved up now,” Girardi said, “and I get tired of answering these questions. I don’t understand why someone would write a book like this anyway, and some people may not care to hear that but I don’t understand.

“There’s things in my life that I’m not proud of, that I’ve done,” he said. “I wouldn’t want my kids to have to deal with it. You know, I tell my kids that daddy makes mistakes. I do, and I apologize for them. I say ‘Daddy’s not perfect.’ It’s not necessarily something that I would want them to read about all the time and to be the focus. This man wants to be a father, too.”

I understand where Girardi is coming from. I really do. That being said, I am soooooo sick and soooooo tired of the long-voiceless baseball people remaining completely mum and seemingly indifferent when it comes to the usage of PHD, then defending those who cheated. You feel bad for ARod? How about feeling bad for the players who lost work/income/a lifestyle because they chose not to cheat, while men like Rodriguez did? How about speaking up for them, instead of following the bulls— code of defending your “guys,” whether they’re worthy or not? Seriously, where the hell was Girardi’s voice when it concerned his peers seeking out an unfair edge? You have every right to slam the media. But it’s often the easiest thing to do.

After this column ran three days ago, I received much angry mail—mainly fans telling me I was just trying to help Selena sell books. Truthfully, while I like and respect Roberts, I have no stake in how her sales turn out. What I do have a stake in is baseball becoming a clean game. To me, that means calling out as many of the cheaters as possible; making it clear that, if you choose to use PHD, you will be caught.

Lastly, Girardi questioned why Selena would write such a book—and I find that silly. Why’d she write a book? Because ARod is a huge national figure, and we know little about him. If these guys want the praise and the endorsements and the hoopla, well, we should then be allowed to tell the truth. Whether it’s ugly or not.

** PS: All that said, I found Jason Whitlock’s column on Selena to be an interesting take. Whenever SI.com readers e-mail me about Selena, they almost always mention the Duke thing. I agree with Jason—we in the media are waaaaay too easy on one another.

3 thoughts on “The cowardice of Joe Girardi”

  1. because steroids is the single reason for anyone’s success, and if fasano was a terrible person he would have cheated and slugged 50 homers and made $100 million.

  2. Why not go after the marginal players who took steroids then as well?

    If you think Sal Fasano lost his job because A-Rod took steroids, you are way off base. The stars, the A-Rods, would have been productive major league players regardless if they used PEDs or not.

    What about the fourth outfielders and backup catchers? They were the ones who probably benefited the most from using drugs.

    Also, how can you say for sure that Fasano never took PEDs? We really just don’t know in regards to ANY player, since it was such a part of the MLB culture.

    You may stick up for your replacement-level amigos who you like, but the bottom lime is your argument is overplayed.

    In regards to Roberts, her columns on the Duke case were indefensible.

    K.C. Johnson today:

    “A question I would like to see asked of Roberts. “Since your book on A-Rod relies so heavily on anonymous sources, to test its credibility we must test your credibility. Given that, in writing, you falsely (a) claimed that authorities were accusing the Duke lacrosse players of a “hate crime”; (b) stated that Crystal Mangum was “treated at a hospital for vaginal and anal injuries consistent with sexual assault and rape”; and (c) charged of the players that “none have come forward to reveal an eyewitness account,” why should anyone believe anything you write about A-Rod? After all, if you saw fit to print false items in one high-profile case–false items that you have refused to correct–what’s to say you might be willing to print false items in another high-profile case?”]

    Today, Selena Roberts’ exposé of Alex Rodriguez hits the bookstores. We already know that Rodriguez is a bald-faced liar with what could charitably be described as a host of other character flaws. But what about Roberts? In a recent interview with the MLB Network’s Bob Costas, Roberts affirmed that her obligation as a journalist was to “find the truth.” And, according to Harry Stein, she told ESPN Radio that she and her co-author “buttoned up every single hole to make sure to be absolutely right . . . It’s like being in court–once you say something, you can’t just strike it.”

    It’s not clear when Roberts adopted this definition of journalism: her writing on the Duke case demonstrated an aversion to, rather than a quest for, the truth. Nor has she in any way acknowledged the myriad errors in her Duke coverage. Indeed, she has done the opposite, most spectacularly in a 2008 interview with The Big Lead, in which she blatantly misrepresented her guilt-presuming 2006 columns on the case.”

    Essentially, after her biased take on the Duke injustice, she has about as much credibility as Jayson Blair when it comes to providing stories with unnamed sources.

    I wrote a column about this today. http://mvn.com/aroundthemajors/2009/05/questions-about-a-rod-book.html

    I know you’re friends with Roberts. I get that. But when it comes to analysis, there is no room for subjective feelings/friendships.

    Objectively, Selena Roberts, your friend or not, has a poor track record in attacking athletes, and should be held accountable for it.

    The fact that she was not fired for her work in the Duke case–while not surprising given the Times’ liberal slant–was stunning, and says a lot about why newspapers are floundering daily. Writers on the Internet provide a checks and balances system, often times providing better analysis for free.

    In any other profession, to be as terrible as Roberts was during the Duke case, you get fired. Every day and twice on Fridays.

    You can defend her, as a friend, but her argument about the Duke case being about more than a crime does not pass the laugh test. Innocent men could have gone to jail for most of their lives over a transparent lie. And Roberts now claims that the only reason she devoted so much column space to the topic is because of the culture, because they had a stripper party like the majority of male college student athletes do at some point.

    I would not be surprised to see–and, granted, she did get the A-Rod story right at first–this book be the rise and collapse of her career if more of her claims, as in the Duke case, are proven to be false. The eyes of the world are on her.

    As for as Girardi, he is not a coward; you are, for defending your friend, your “guy,” rather than taking her to task like any unbiased journalist would have.

    Thank goodness that Jason Whitlock has the nerve to speak truth to power. I wish I could say the same for you.

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