Skip to content

The Daily News claims that A-Rod is scared and paranoid … and they know, how?

Feb 5, 2013, 8:25 AM EDT

Alex Rodriguez Getty Getty Images

I generally have no problem with anonymous source reporting. Anonymous sources often make it possible for reporters to get stories they otherwise wouldn’t get. The entire trade rumor circuit which, no matter what you think about it, is extremely popular among readers, is based on it.  Bigger, important news often hinges on anonymity because people are sharing information which could get them fired. Or worse.  It’s a necessary part of journalism and anyone who dismisses a story merely because it’s sourced anonymously is being foolish.

That said, there are limits to what can and can’t be sourced anonymously. For example, you have to give the reader some sense of what kind of source the person is so as to give them at least some confidence that the information you’re imparting is legitimate as opposed to 100% pure, unadulterated baloney.

For example, “a government source” is more useful than merely saying “a source.” A “source who has examined the documents/microfilm/offer/whatever” is useful. A “source close to [notable person]” is a bit more vague, but it’s something.  All of it beats saying “a source.”

In contrast, if your anonymous source seems impossible — like, there’s no immediately plausible person saying x, y, z who would know, that’s a big problem. If your story makes a savvy reader focus way more on where the information could possibly be coming from than the information itself, that’s likewise a problem.

With that I give you the latest from Daily News. A paper which has, thus far, embarrassed itself repeatedly since last Tuesday’s revelations about the A-Rod/Biogenesis story:

Alex Rodriguez is taking his wildest swing yet in his fight against steroid allegations: The Yankees and MLB are conspiring to push him out of the game. Sources say the embattled Yankee star is “scared” that bigger forces are at work to try to discredit him and sink his career … “He’s scared, because he thinks this is so unbelievably false, and he’s wondering who could be behind this … He thinks something could be going on larger than anyone might think.”

The person quoted thusly is repeatedly identified as “a source.” There is no sense if this is a friend of A-Rod’s, a business associate or anything. There is no information imparted which even suggests to the reader that the source might have some access and insight into A-Rod’s psyche. This could just as easily be a hot dog vendor speculating about what A-Rod might feel as it could be a confidant.

And in this story, from this source, that truly matters. It matters because the information here paints A-Rod in a negative (indeed paranoid) light. This after a week’s worth of the Daily News more or less transcribing highly implausible “the Yankees are going to dump A-Rod” talking points from the Yankees front office with almost zero critical analysis at all. And, of course, a decade’s worth of trying to slam and humiliate Rodriguez at every possible opportunity.

In short, the Daily News has done nothing to warrant the benefit of the doubt here. Its sources are incredibly thin. This latest story conveniently serves to bolster the Daily News’ “A-Rod is done as a Yankee” narrative. Given the peculiarly inside vibe to this — and the fact that no one truly close to A-Rod would be a likely Daily News source give its treatment of him over the years — it is damn nigh impossible to imagine who on Earth could be the Daily News’ “source.”

But is it true? I suppose the beauty of the way this story is written is that we have no way of knowing and no way of checking.  But therein also likes the very best reason to question this story coming from this outlet.

Latest Posts
  1. A lost Red Sox World Series ring leads to some good things for a Yankees fan

    Jul 28, 2014, 5:03 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 4.43.30 PM AP

    Do the right thing and good things happen. Not always, but here, yes.

  2. Yankees designate Jeff Francis for assignment

    Jul 28, 2014, 4:46 PM EDT

    Colorado Rockies v Chicago Cubs Getty Images

    Two weeks ago the Yankees acquired Jeff Francis from the A’s as a roster reinforcement, but now they’ve designated the journeyman left-hander for assignment.

  3. So maybe Cole Hamels is available after all

    Jul 28, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    cole hamels getty Getty Images

    After a couple months worth of reports that Cole Hamels is not on the market . . . maybe he’s on the market.

  4. Rays activate Joel Peralta, designate Erik Bedard for assignment

    Jul 28, 2014, 3:45 PM EDT

    Joel Peralta AP

    Bedard was demoted from the rotation to the bullpen three weeks ago, but has barely pitched since then and at age 35 could be nearing the end of the line.

  5. Andrelton Simmons made another incredible play

    Jul 28, 2014, 3:15 PM EDT

    andrelton simmons getty Getty Images

    At this point I’m almost convinced that the ground balls are purposely doing strange things just to test the limits of what Simmons is capable of.

  6. Dodgers acquire Darwin Barney from Cubs

    Jul 28, 2014, 2:44 PM EDT

    Darwin Barney Getty Getty Images

    Last week the Cubs designated infielder Darwin Barney for assignment and now Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports that they’re close to trading him to the Dodgers.

  7. Oswaldo Arcia Bo Jackson’d his bat after a strikeout

    Jul 28, 2014, 1:51 PM EDT

    Oswaldo Arcia AP

    Twins outfielder Oswaldo Arcia was unhappy about striking out yesterday against the White Sox, so he snapped his bat over his knee, Bo Jackson-style.

  8. Ray Rice is awful, but let’s not pretend baseball has a great record on domestic violence

    Jul 28, 2014, 1:39 PM EDT

    Milton Bradley angry

    The NFL weighed in on domestic violence and concluded “eh, no big deal.” MLB has tended to avoid the matter altogether.

  9. Jason Heyward leaves game with back injury

    Jul 28, 2014, 1:18 PM EDT

    Jason Heyward Getty Getty Images

    Braves right fielder Jason Heyward left this afternoon’s game what the team is calling lower back soreness.

  10. Phillies release Tony Gwynn Jr.

    Jul 28, 2014, 12:46 PM EDT

    tony gwynn jr. getty Getty Images

    Gwynn had a brief run as a regular for the Padres and Dodgers, but he profiles strictly as a backup outfielder at this point and at age 31 will likely have to prove himself at Triple-A for a while after hitting just .163 in 67 games for the Phillies.

  11. “If The Boss Was Still Alive” Watch: George Steinbrenner was absent from Joe Torre’s Hall of Fame speech

    Jul 28, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 11.55.47 AM

    Soon we’ll be praying to Steinbrenner before every meal and thanking him for all that He has bestowed upon us.

  12. Before and after: Dmitri Young lost a TON of weight

    Jul 28, 2014, 11:50 AM EDT

    John McDonnell / TWP and via @Nationals) John McDonnell / TWP and via @Nationals)

    During his 13-year MLB career Dmitri Young was one of the largest players in baseball, often struggling with his weight while being listed at 6-foot-2, 295 pounds.

  13. Ubaldo Jimenez set to begin rehab assignment (again)

    Jul 28, 2014, 11:19 AM EDT

    Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees Getty Images

    Ubaldo Jimenez was scratched from his scheduled minor-league rehab start last week, but now the Orioles right-hander is slated to start Tuesday at Triple-A as he comes back from an ankle injury.

  14. Bill Simmons’ depressing take on “Bull Durham”

    Jul 28, 2014, 11:08 AM EDT

    Bull Durham

    Sportswriting’s biggest star around reduces one of the most interesting and well-drawn female characters in all of sports movies to “a tramp.”

  15. Rangers drawing lots of trade interest in Alex Rios

    Jul 28, 2014, 10:47 AM EDT

    Alex Rios AP AP

    With an MLB-worst 41-64 record the Rangers are obviously looking to sell at the trade deadline and right fielder Alex Rios seems likely to be moved before July 31.

  16. Felix Doubront tells the Red Sox: Start me or trade me

    Jul 28, 2014, 10:15 AM EDT

    World Series - Boston Red Sox v St Louis Cardinals - Game Four Getty Images

    First baseman/outfielder Mike Carp has asked the Red Sox for a trade and apparently left-hander Felix Doubront wouldn’t mind leaving Boston either.

  17. Must-click link: do fans care more about the hot stove than the game action?

    Jul 28, 2014, 9:46 AM EDT

    Click Here large

    Kids once grew up wanting to be star athletes. Now they grow up wanting to be GMs.

  18. Rich Gossage would purge all of the modern home run records if he were in charge

    Jul 28, 2014, 9:17 AM EDT

    Gossage

    And his reaction to PED users in the Hall of Fame? “Are you f***ing kidding me?”

Featured video

Three legends off to Cooperstown
Top 10 MLB Player Searches