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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good not Great
The new A-Rod book by Selena Roberts is an interesting, quick read that pretty much smears Rodriguez in every way imaginable. The reader will learn somethings about Alex Rodriguez's personality they may or may not have known before that pretty much sums up his "me-first behavior". I enjoyed the book and read it in 2 days so it's a pretty fast read.
Published on June 24, 2009 by JS

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38 of 47 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Feature Article Stretched into a Book
This book, if it were to be written at all, would have been far better in someone else's hands. Selena Roberts' treatment of Alex Rodriguez is superficial at best and biased at worst.

If you dislike the Yankees or dislike players that sign long-term contracts for great sums of money, then you'll probably enjoy this book. If you're fairly neutral on both fronts...
Published on May 22, 2009 by mw1817


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38 of 47 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Feature Article Stretched into a Book, May 22, 2009
By 
mw1817 (Buffalo, NY USA) - See all my reviews
This book, if it were to be written at all, would have been far better in someone else's hands. Selena Roberts' treatment of Alex Rodriguez is superficial at best and biased at worst.

If you dislike the Yankees or dislike players that sign long-term contracts for great sums of money, then you'll probably enjoy this book. If you're fairly neutral on both fronts (as I am), then this book won't cast a very long shadow upon your life.

There are two main problems with the book. First, it's abundantly clear that Selena Roberts personally dislikes Alex Rodriguez. She's certainly entitled to feel this way, but this should not come through in a book that is supposed to be the product of serious journalism. Second (and this is connected with the first) Rodriguez's use of steroids is this book's raison d'etre. It's as though Roberts said to herself, "Yes! We caught him using banned substances, now I can write that book."

The rather superficial picture of Rodriguez we get is of a guy who will do anything to win, including making use of stolen signs and performance enhancing drugs. Why does he do this? Roberts lacks the gravitas to tell us. Rodriguez's dad left when he was 10 years old and he was understandably affected by this. But beyond needing approval from others and missing his dad while growing up, how exactly did it affect him? We're never told. Roberts' failure in this regard shouldn't come as a surprise. Her bibliography is mostly composed of magazine and newspaper articles with comparatively few interviews.

Nearly everything in the book is told through the prism of Rodriguez's use of steroids or is only mentioned because it relates directly to steroids. For instance, we're told of Rodriguez's strong desire to win a championship and almost obsessive work habits. Yet when the subject of the 2004 ALCS arises---the closet Rodriguez ever got to the World Series---we're given a total of about two paragraphs. Wait a minute. How did he feel about the Yankees' historic collapse? What about his individual performance? Surely this must have made a deep impression on him. But Roberts doesn't see fit to probe such a significant moment any deeper, even though this book only happens to be a biography of the man.

If you've followed the major events in Rodriguez's career up to this point you're not going to learn anything new or interesting from Roberts' book. What she's given us is nothing more than a drawn out and forgettable feature article.
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77 of 103 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dislike A-Rod only a little more than Selena Roberts, May 4, 2009
By 
J. Wells (Hartford, CO) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
As a Red Sox fan, I've been giddy about this book coming out. I just wish it had been written by somebody other than Selena Roberts. This is the woman who convicted the Duke lacrosse team in column after column and when it came out that she had used a column in one of the world's most prominent newspapers to heap scorn on three innocent college kid's, she couldn't even admit she was wrong, much less issue an apology.

Even with her past, I was interested to read the book in the hopes that she would do some real reporting and have some real facts to back up the sordid stories. It turns out that we knew most of what she had hard core evidence to prove months ago, and the rest comes from anonymous sources and pure speculation. Given her past history of making up facts in order to sell a story, I'm a little leery.

If you're a baseball fan, I would suggest reading it. If nothing else it's pretty juicy gossip for your bathroom reading time. If you're looking for well-researched facts and good investigative journalism, keep looking. This is the National Enquirer of sports books. Sure it might be true. Some of it actually seems probable. But who knows if it's really true or not? Unfortunately, Ms. Roberts' past reputation and the lack of hard evidence presented in this book cannot answer that question.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tabloid Trash, May 27, 2009
I'll kick myself for paying good money to read this junk. A bunch of hearsay from nameless people with no facts to back it up. Initially figured it would be as detailed as the book on Bonds. Shoulda waited for media reviews instead of buying it right away. Many facts are being refuted publicly by some former teammates and managers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Shallow interpretation of a shallow man, June 29, 2009
I will confess up front - I am not an Alex Rodriguez fan. Having been a lifelong sports fan, I love baseball. However, I also am one of those annoying people who feel that by paying players astronomical salaries, it is tarnishing the reputation of the game, and leading more and more players to find sources of quick enhancements (i.e., steroids) to help them excel at the game and have an edge to get to the next tax bracket.

That said, I think Selena Roberts had some interesting points. I'm sure it is difficult enough being a female sports journalist without attempting a stark portrait of the highest paid player in the game. However, I thought she interjected her own thoughts and persona far too much. I didn't need to see the "character" Selena Roberts show up at A-Rod's house, and hear how she interviewed his father. Those were somewhat amateurish scenes that a professional writer should be far beyond. With that, I thought she quoted too heavily from Jose Canseco's "Juiced." If I had wanted to know what he thought about A-Rod and steroid use in MLB, I would have purchased his book - but since I don't care what he has to say, I really didn't like having those longer passages from his book quoted.

I know this book has come under criticism as not having enough sources, and I can see where that might be a problem. However, I did think that she spoke to and named several people who seemed to know Alex very well who were willing to go on the record to speak to his alleged steroid use and his philandering behavior.

In the end, the book dragged on too long at parts, and wasn't nearly the scathing criticism I thought it would be. Roberts shows sympathy for the man in some respects (boy abandoned early on by adored father), but doesn't make the extra effort to delve beneath the surface and show the true man he has become. Maybe she's saving more for a follow up book that goes beneath the surface.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Hatchet Job Deluxe, July 2, 2009
By 
Selena Roberts has an agenda. This book is not journalism. This is a sophomoric example of bush league writing and unmerciful hatchet journalism. It repeats itself over and over, and if Roberts had given each of her ARod examples one or two times, the book would have been no longer than a feature article in Sports Illustrated. This is shoddy journalism, poorly written, and it reeks of an agenda. Did ARod spurn her romantic overtures? Did he put her in her place? Who knows what really happened. All I know is that I've spent my reading life staying away from trash like this book, and now I know why.

I am not an Alex Rodriguez fan. In fact, I think he deserves all of the bad press he gets. I live in the Seattle area, and the treatment he dished out to Seattle Mariner fans was disrespectful and ugly. He lied to Seattle fans and he did it without regret. He could have told us the truth when he opted to leave a team that was on the verge of greatness so that he could make an absurd amount of money. All of us would have understood, but he chose to lie. That's okay, at least on one level, but it was totally unnecessary. We are an educated bunch up here in the Northwest (not much to do during the winter and early spring except read), and we would have easily understood his intentions. Nonetheless, liar that he proved to be, steroid popper that he appears to be, and less than spectacular ball player that he is, he didn't deserve this book.

A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez says more about Selena Roberts than it does about Alex Rodriquez. He is under no obligation to talk to her. He owes her nothing. She, obviously, owes him nothing. I understand that this book is not selling well. I don't doubt it. It is not well written, it reeks of hatred, and it is repetitious. Each chapter is a re-write of the previous chapter. All of the inside information is oft repeated without any attribution. It appeared to me that the only time she directly refers to a source is when the source came from an outside publication. Jose Canseco's two books are a standard source. A few interviews with Ranger's owner Hicks. But the bulk of the investigative information comes from unnamed sources. Too many. Far too many. The book has no credibility. For all we know, she made it up.

I'm also a bit weary about hearing how Rodriguez is the best ball player in baseball history. Such rubbish. He's a clutch choker. The greatest ball players of all time don't consistently choke; they find a way to prevail. A-Rod has spent his career choking when the chips were on the line. Oh, sure, he has performed during a regular season games, but his play-off stats are laughable.

And this book is laughable. I suggest you stay away from this trash.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the purchase, May 31, 2009
Poor journalism- I don't think Selena Roberts was able to find anything of substance, and least not enough for a novel(take the best 4 pages and it would have been a just okay SI article- the rest could be featured excepts in the "Star" gossip rag). So I'm left with a bunch of empty filler. It's a waste of money, and I'm disappointed in myself for buying it. With al of the buildup, I expected something worthwhile, but it seemed really empty hearsay/gossip kind of stuff. I hope she made good money on this, because the shoddy journalism has diminished her credibility as a reporter in my eyes. I can't see how this would help her career.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Arod, March 17, 2013
This review is from: A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez (Paperback)
The author at times goes out of her way to connect a seemingly unrelated story back to steroids and it is clear throughout that she has an agenda against Arod.

With that being said, the book is an easy read (finished in one day) and if nothing else does a fine job at articulating the reasons, aside from steroids, that many Yankee fans like myself can't stand Alex Rodriguez.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Pseudo-Biography Mixed with Personal Bias, June 24, 2009
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Let me first state that I don't have any preconceived opinion on A-Rod. He's a great baseball player for a team that I'm not a fan of. It seems many are writing negative reviews simply because they are Yankee fans and don't want to see their star player trashed in a book. I write this as an impartial fan of baseball.

The biography aspect of the book was interesting. Alex had a rough life early on and struggled through poverty and having a Father who abandoned him at a vulnerable age. Many of the people he encountered helped shape him and make him into the ballplayer we see today. To me, it's always interesting to see how a superstar athlete like A-Rod was shaped.

Unfortunately, the book doesn't tackle enough of that. And when it does, it quickly uses it to point out flaws in his character. There are a lot of assumptions Roberts makes in the book as well. She tries to tie aspects of his childhood to his personality today. His Father's abandonment to his desire to be accepted. His growth spurts in high school to steroids. Anonymous sources that state he tipped pitches to opponenets. Many of these assumptions are not sourced well (if at all) and come from people who may or may not have known A-Rod well. It comes across like an amateur psychologist and not an in-depth expose.

Which brings me to the biggest problem I have with the book. It reads like something written by a bitter ex-girlfriend and not an impartial, investigative reporter. While we all have character flaws, Roberts drives home every one of Alex's in excruciating detail. Even things that Alex has done in his life that would appear positive (charities for instance) are bashed as self-serving interests. By reading this book, it would appear that Alex Rodriguez could do nothing right in the mind of Selena Roberts.

Now I know her journalistic integrity has been brought into question following the Duke Lacrosse case. I will give her credit though for being the reporter who broke the steroid story on A-Rod. She has clearly done her research and contacted countless people who have come in contact with Rodriguez in his life. I do believe that some of the facts presented are probably true. But I also believe that some of the stories in the book were fabricated by sources with an axe to grind with Rodriguez.

It's an easy read and I guess something you may want to check out if A-Rod is a figure you are interested in. You'll gain some information about the guy, but probably won't change your opinion one way or the other. It comes across as an amateurish attempt to write a book like Game of Shadows. Despite her thorough reporting at times, Roberts seems more interested in turning the reader against A-Rod then allowing us to form an opinion on our own.

Overall, it's more tabloid than investigative journalism in my mind. That's not a defense of A-Rod, but a knock on the constant use of anonymous sources and stupid assumptions (for instance the Rangers ERA being higher because A-Rod was tipping pitches). If you're into that stuff, you'll like it. If you're looking for something more journalistic, wait till one of the more respected sports writers puts together a book chronicling his life.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Selena Roberts, August 6, 2010
In 2004, MLB players were asked to be tested for any performance-enhancing drugs. All players were told that the information collected will be kept confidential, which is why the Player's Association agreed to have players take the test. However, since then, all this information has been leaked out wild, so MLB broke it's promise on keeping the test results confidential. We shouldn't know if Alex took steroids or not, it was confidential information that the public wasn't supposed to know until that Selena Roberts and those 4 sources that leaked everything out into the wild

This also brings me to Selena Roberts. [...] reporters Selena Roberts and David Epstein broke out the story February 2009. They leaked out information they weren't supposed to, and in my opinion, both of them should have lost their jobs and got fined. In that same year, Selena Roberts wrote a book called "A-rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez." I read the book, and I have to say, why would you say something like this to another person. This book shouldn't have ever been sold, written, nor should Selena Roberts still have her job. What am I saying? This book is completely one-sided and biased against A-Rod. I'm sorry, but Selena Roberts is a class A jackass.

Final thing: A-Rod did this to help his team. That's all he ever wanted, was to help his team win a World Series. I've never seen that much determination from a player before, and even before A-Rod took steroids, he was still a great player. I bet you all the money in the world Selena Roberts will never be able to do what A-Rod did for his team.

PS: This book that Selena Roberts wrote, is as if she said to herself: "Yes! I get to write a book about how A-Rod sucks!" It is clear Selena Roberts personally dislikes Alex, but if she does, she should have kept it to herself.

This book is all one-sided, and if your reading this Ms. Roberts: You SUCK at this, go get a life, and stop bashing A-Rod. YOU SUCK, YOU CAN'T WRITE, NOBODY WOULD WANT GET YOUR BOOK IF THEY WERE SANE
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14 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An Insult to Journalism, May 4, 2009
It really is an indictment of modern journalism that a book like this could ever even make it to the printing press. In what plays like an intense zeal to blame Alex Rodriguez for seemingly everything from global warming to the current economic crisis, AROD: THE MANY LIVES OF ALEX RODRIGUEZ completely alienates the reader and manages to arouse feelings of pity and indignation for the subject as a backlash to its sleazy tabloid journalism. Making the reader side with Rodriguez in the face of unfair treatment is no small feat, considering his $275 million contract and at times clueless narcissism. Nevertheless, that is exactly what happens as the result of a litany offenses, both petty and outrageous, Selena Roberts lays at Rodriguez's feet without any shred of documented evidence.

Among the more bizarre and/or trite claims contained in the book: Rodriguez wore his Yankee cap to a strip club; he asked a clubhouse attendant to put toothpaste on his toothbrush; he's clumsy with pickup lines; and he's reviled at Hooters because he only tips 15%. Reading these accusations, one half expects to be informed next that Rodriguez is also guilty of using Canadian quarters in vending machines and has been known to leave the toilet seat up on occasion! Of course, Roberts offers no verifiable sources for any of these capital offenses. She does, however, use these handful of trifling, unsubstantiated episodes to engage in pop psychology of the worst kind, inferring fantastic, sweeping generalizations about Rodriguez's psyche -- and even what he was thinking or feeling at a given moment! -- without the benefit of professional psychological insight and as if a third-person omniscient narrator. It is qualities like that which give this book the distinct air of fiction.

More seriously, though, Roberts charges that Rodriguez used steroids in high school and tipped pitches to opposing players when he was on the Texas Rangers as a means of "slump protection." That these claims are uncorroborated and predicated solely on the proverbial "anonymous source" is reason enough to view them skeptically. That the allegations have been strongly refuted by first-hand, on the record sources like Michael Young, Buck Showalter, Doug Mientkiewicz, and Rich Hofman (Rodriguez's high school coach at Westminster Christian) is reason enough to be wholly disbelieving. But that Roberts actually argues that there is "irrefutable" proof that Rodriguez used steroids in high school because he put 25 pounds on in a 6-month period between his sophomore and junior years -- conveniently overlooking the biological fact of puberty -- is reason enough to treat this book and its whoppers with contempt.

Roberts' has a notorious reputation stemming from her abominable coverage of the Duke lacrosse scandal while a reporter at the New York Times, and based on the garbage she produced here, not much has changed. In light of the author's shoddy journalism, the complete absence of documented evidence, the singular reliance on uncorroborated, unsubstantiated anonymous sources, and the strong public refutations by a number of prominent, well-respected first-hand sources, this spurious book amounts to nothing more than gutter journalism of the worst-kind and properly belongs next to the National Enquirer.
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A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez
A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez by Selena Roberts (Paperback - February 23, 2010)
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