One Last Time, With Feeling: A-Fraud
Back in 2004 - in the couple months between leaving the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and joining the Dallas Observer - I got word that A-Rod twice frequented the Dallas swingers' club, Iniquity. At the time of his clandestine visits, then-wife Cynthia was pregnant, home, clueless.
For a guy who boasted a milk-n-cookies image, he was apparently all about MILFs-n-nookie.
So, naturally, I wrote a first draft of the story and called for a response from A-Rod and his agent, Scott Boras. Though I hadn't technically started at the Observer, the expose was theoretically going to be my cover debut.
Boras, however, threatened to sue. Because, he said, it was a lie. "Impossible," was his characterization. I knew I was right. Though I wasn't at the club, I had interviews and signed affadavits from people who were there both nights. Who saw, met and even talked with A-Rod.
The Observer, however, was scared. And, I admit, I didn't have the money or the moxie to prove I was right by diving into a legal fight as freelancer vs. baseball's biggest agent. So I leaked parts of the story on my old personal blog - R.I.P. richiewhitt.com - only to have Boras immediately send another threat to take it down. Or else.
Grudgingly, regrettably, I caved.
In 2007 I blogged about A-Rod's indiscretions on Unfair Park.
But now, backed by Sports Illustrated, bolstered by A-Rod's pattern of behavior and certain that Dallas is firmly established as a saucy Swingtown, writer Selena Roberts' new book - A-Rod - is trumpeting supposed new revelations about the Yankee's 2004 visits to a swingers club in Dallas called, you guessed it, Iniquity.
"The guy's not the biggest genius in the world. I guess the cat's out of the bag on that," Iniquity owner Rick Reid tells the New York Post in response to excerpts from Roberts' book. "We ask our members to dress down, don't call attention to yourself, and he showed up with a bright, white Yankees ball cap on."
When Roberts' new book details A-Rod demanding a Rangers' clubhouse staffer to put toothpaste on his toothbrush, tipping opposing batters to incoming pitches and how she has "irrefutable" evidence that Rodriguez used steroids in high school because, well, he got stronger over a summer, I'm dubious.
But when the book A-Rod details the Yankee slugger being a long-time swinger with roots in Dallas, believe it.
Some of us have known for five years.