In a press release masquerading as a news article, the Associated Press reports that "A-Rod," the unauthorized book about Alex Rodriguez will hit stores on May 13th. According to author Selena Roberts' publishers, er, the AP, Roberts needed more time to finish the book.
That's funny, since the book was moved up from a May release to a mid-April release. That change was because news of A-Rod's steroid use leaked out, followed by the slugger's admission that he used the drugs. Perhaps Roberts is interviewing experts about the artistic value of A-Rod's mirror-kissing pictures from Details magazine, because there's little other reason why a book that was ready would suddenly get pushed back.
Except for that pesky little hip surgery that Rodriguez had in March, of course. That means that he isn't going to be playing in mid-April. If he's not playing, Harper Collins, the book's publisher, doesn't get yards of free marketing from Yankee beat writers asking A-Rod about the book.
There's nothing particularly sinister about that plan. It's what any smart publisher would do, and it's a pretty useless bit of PR to make it seem like there's another motivation for the delay. The only part that's interesting is that the AP would just push the word out there without making one mention of the surgery that's keeping the book's subject out of the limelight until right around the time the book gets released.
Of course, the whole thing could just be a hedge against more Rodriguez scandal. He could be converting to Scientology as you read this or may finally be ready to admit that he was the guy singing on Milli Vanilli's hits from the 90's. If the latter comes true, they'll probably change the name of the book to "A-Rod: Blame it on the Rain" and we'd all be richer for it.
Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.