A-Rod Book Claims Slugger Juiced In School

New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez addresses the media after arriving at George Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla., Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2009. AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Baseball star Alex Rodriguez may have been using steroids when he was a highly touted high school player and was suspected of using performance-enhancers while playing for the New York Yankees, according to a soon-to-be-released book.

The Daily News reported in Thursday's edition that Sports Illustrated writer Selena Roberts' upcoming book "A-Rod" offers an unflattering portrait of the MVP slugger as a needy personality who wanted his ego stroked constantly.

The paper doesn't say how it obtained a copy of the Harper Collins book, scheduled to be released on May 12.

A high school teammate of A-Rod's told Roberts that the future No. 1 draft pick was on steroids as a prep player and his coach knew it - an allegation the coach, Rich Hoffman, denied.

Rodriguez has admitted to using performance-enhancers while with the Texas Rangers but insists he gave up the habit when he was traded to the Yankees in 2004.

In the book, however, an unnamed major leaguer is quoted as saying A-Rod and former Yankees pitcher Kevin Brown, who was named in the Mitchell Report, were seen together with human growth hormone - or HGH - in 2004.

The book also goes on to say that two anonymous Yankees said they believed A-Rod was using banned substances based on visual side effects, and that a clubhouse staffer said management had a suspicion that that the third baseman may have been doping.

Among the other allegations reportedly made in the book:

  • Teammates nicknamed A-Rod "b***h t**s" in 2005 after showing up for spring training with round pectorals. The condition, called gynecomastia, can be caused by anabolic steroids, according to Roberts.

  • A-Rod sometimes tipped pitches to opponents when the game was out of reach, in hopes that they would return the favor if he was struggling during subsequent matchups.

  • A-Rod was not popular among "Hooters" waitresses, who he tipped just the minimum 15 percent.

    Rodriguez was not available for comment Thursday morning. He was expected to play in an extended spring training intrasquad game Thursday in Tampa, Florida.
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