A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez

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9780061791642: A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez is the highest-paid player in the history of baseball, a once-in-a-generation talent poised to break many of the sport's most hallowed records. In 2007 he became the youngest player, at 32, ever to hit 500 home runs, solidifying his status as the greatest player in the modern game, and months later he signed a contract that would keep him with the Yankees through the end of his career.

His reputation changed drastically in February 2009 when Selena Roberts broke the news in Sports Illustrated that A-Rod had used performance-enhancing drugs during his 2003 MVP season with the Texas Rangers. Her report prompted a contrite Rodriguez to admit illegal drug use during his 2001–2003 seasons with the Rangers, who had signed him to the most expensive contract in Major League Baseball history.

Although he admitted to three seasons of steroid use, the man teammates call "A-Fraud" was still hiding the truth. In the first definitive biography of Alex Rodriguez, Roberts assembles the strands of a bizarre and extraordinary life: from his boyhood in New York and the Dominican Republic through his near-mythic high school career and fast track to the big leagues, the whole of A-Rod's career mirrors the rise and fall of the steroid generation.

Roberts goes beyond the sensational headlines, probing A-Rod's childhood to reveal a man torn by obligation to his family and the pull of his insatiable hedonism, a conflict--epitomized by his relationship with Madonna and devotion to Kabbalah--that led to the end of his six-year marriage. Roberts sheds new light on A-Rod's abuse of performance-enhancing drugs, a practice he appears to have begun as early as high school and that extended into his Yankee years. She chronicles his secretive real estate deals, gets inside the negotiations for his latest record-breaking contract with the Yankees, and examines the insecurities that compel him to seek support from a motivational guru before every game.

In A-Rod, Roberts captures baseball's greatest player as a tragic figure in pinstripes: the man once considered the clean exception of the steroid generation revealed as an unmistakable product of its greed and dissolution.

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About the Author:

Selena Roberts, formerly a columnist for the New York Times, is a senior writer for Sports Illustrated. She lives in Connecticut.

From AudioFile:

The author examines the career and personal life--or, more appropriately, lives--of Alex Rodriguez, one of baseball's greatest players--with the stats to prove it. The book's main assertion--that Rodriguez was a regular steroids user--is overshadowed by the theme of narcissism. A-Rod's selfishness comes across as a way of life. L.J. Ganser always establishes a consistent tone in his narrations--whether he's delivering a novel or a nonfiction investigative piece like this. Here he maintains a steady, interested tone--almost, yet not quite, bewildered--as he details Rodriguez's steroid use, relationships, and calculated public relations efforts. Fans will glean insights as the author reveals a man whose need for acceptance dominates his life. M.B. © AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine

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