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Young unaware of A-Rod tipping pitches

Young unaware of A-Rod tipping pitches

SEATTLE -- The Rangers knew Alex Rodriguez had confessed to using steroids during his three years in Texas. That part, they thought, was behind them.

The latest accusations are possibly bigger than performance enhancing drugs, and this one they are finding hard to believe. According to "A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez," a book released Monday and written by Sports Illustrated writer Selena Roberts, Rodriguez was tipping pitches to opposing hitters during certain situations while with the Rangers.

Infielder Michael Young and hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo -- the two current Rangers who were closest to Rodriguez during his time in Texas -- both insist they saw nothing like that taking place.

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"As far as I know, nothing like that ever came down," said Young, who was Rodriguez's double-play partner for three years. "I was 40 feet away from him for three years and never saw that.

"Nowadays when it comes to Alex, everybody seems to have an opinion, baseless or otherwise. So the fact that there are accusations is not surprising. But this one kind of shocked me."

The book suggests that Rodriguez tipped pitches to opposing infielders in the hopes that they would return the favor.

"I don't know how something like that would even get started. I have no idea how something like that would happen," Young said. "That kind of thing never entered my mind. I have no idea how that would work. There's no way I could think of another guy who would want to do that. It doesn't make any sense to me."

According to the book: "Before the Texas pitcher's windup, Alex, with his left arm hanging by his side, would twist his glove back and forth as if turning a dial on a safe's lock. Then the hitter knew: a changeup was on the way. Alex would also sweep dirt with his cleat to tip a slider to a batter."

Roberts wrote that few Rangers knew what was going on, but those who did know were infuriated by it. Aiding an opponent at the expense of your own teammates is a serious accusation.

"I never saw that," Jaramillo said. "I don't know how you would do that. I don't think that went on. I think all that stuff is overblown."

Rodriguez signed a 10-year, $252 million contract with the Rangers in December of 2000. He spent three years with the Rangers and hit .305 with 382 runs scored, 156 home runs and 395 RBIs. After winning the American League Most Valuable Player Award in 2003, he was traded to the Yankees for Alfonso Soriano and Joaquin Arias just before the beginning of Spring Training.

"I thought we had a good relationship," Jaramillo said. "We hit it off early because he wanted to hit. He worked hard. He was one of the hardest working guys on the team. That's why he is as good as he is. During his time in the cage, the clubhouse or on the field, he was very focused. He had three great years and went on."

Rodriguez and Young remain close friends. Young has been one of his most staunch defenders over the past several months, as one accusation after another has surfaced about Rodriguez. Young said there is one of aspect of the book that bothers him.

"The fact that there are so many unnamed people, that's the most disturbing thing," Young said. "I haven't read the book, but it seems to me there are a lot of unnamed people. That's the most annoying thing. Either say it or don't say it."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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