Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

Was Alex Rodriguez 'A-Fraud,' behind his back or not?

(Credit: Watchdog)

As a member of the small but growing fraternity of people who have read "The Yankee Years," I feel an obligation to note inconsistencies in what Joe Torre says in promotional interviews and what he and Tom Verducci wrote in the book itself.

For example . . . Here's Torre on Larry King's show Friday night, from the complete transcript on our Final Score blog:

"The A-Fraud thing was more of a joking type thing. I know Larry Bowa used to take him out to hit ground balls after he had a -- maybe a bad night or had made an error. And he says, 'Who is it today, is it A-Rod or A-Fraud,' you know?

"And it was right there in front of him. It wasn't like anything was said behind his back."

Here's the relevant passage from page 245 of the book, in Verducci's words, approved by Torre:

Back in 2004, at first Rodriguez did his best to try to fit into the Yankee culture - his cloying, B-grade actor best. He slathered on the polish. People in the clubhouse, including teammates and support personnel, were calling him "A-Fraud" behind his back.

Hmm. Maybe it was behind Rodriguez' back in '04 and to his face in later years. Torre can clear things up during his five more scheduled interviews Tuesday and Wednesday.

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