Closing thoughts from Alex’s Big Apple circus

Plenty to go off here as we close up shop at George M. Steinbrenner Field, a few hours after Alex Rodriguez completed his 33-minute news conference downstairs in the left-field picnic area.

You’re going to read harsh reviews, but the first thing to note is that a good portion of the audience considered A-Rod’s performance all right, considering the circumstances. He’s not going to get ‘speech of the year’ honors — look, he’s not the most polished guy in this setting — but he also didn’t botch this.

Clearly he’s not ready to open the vault to everything and anything he did in 2001, 2002 and 2003. We know a little more now than we did in the morning, and as I said before, he is most certainly not in a court of law. The questions are still going to keep coming and it’s up to him if he wants to field them.

“I may have to answer for the rest of my career,” Rodriguez said. “That’s the position I’ve put myself in.”

I still find it a curious explanation that he would put something in his body for 18 months without having express knowledge of what it was doing for him, and it’s dubious that he didn’t think or know they were steroids. Brian Cashman bristled at that later.

“I like the fact more that when he carries it that he was stupid, more than young and naïve,” Cashman said. “It was stupid. It was a bad decision that may cost him on so many levels. He understands that and he’s dealing with it now. We’re all going to be moving with him during this process. He’s suffering, the Yankees are suffering.”

But that aside … Rodriguez was not alone in that era, which he called “loosey goosey” in the ESPN interview. Maybe it will come back that the majority of big leaguers were using from 2001-03, and that’s just something that Hall of Fame voters will have to deal with when Rodriguez’s name comes up for candidacy about 14 years into the future.

There will be, as Rodriguez said, debates and questions about everything he did in Texas. The course of action the Yankees are most concerned with right now is getting – as Cashman said – Humpty Dumpty back together again and putting him on that wall.

“I really hope that, through this crisis, we are going to become closer than ever,” Rodriguez said. “I think that’s going to happen. I owe an apology not only to my teammates and the whole organization, but every fan throughout the world that is a fan of baseball.”

46 Comments

There’s something wrong with this A-Rod picture, folks. I’m not excusing his “youthful” mistake, but believe he shouldn’t take the only hit for the other guys who tested positive in 2003. Names were supposed to be withheld during this initital sweep that would determine whether or not there was a serious problem requiring strict testing with penalties. How come only A-Rod’s name has surfaced? Me thinks the commissioner has some ‘splainin’ to do. What say you?

Ol’ Beck in West Virginia

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Alex Roidriguez reportedly hired a public relations firm to help him manage this mess. What he needs is a good defense lawyer to help him as the federal boys aren’t going to let a little thing like felony drug trafficing pass. Just think all the Drug Lords have to do is just let the cousins of famous baseball players import drugs and it will all be forgotten. Think again. This guy isn’t going to prison, unless the investigation brings further damaging things out like him possibly delivering it to other players. Here is a hypothetical scenario. If i were the best overall player in baseball would it be possible for my own teammates to approach me and ask hey man what is your workout routine and what are you doing because i want to be successful like you. Will you help me? And i say do you really want to know and are you willing to do it and not say anything if i tell you? The other player says yes and i say hey talk to my cousin he can help you?????

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A solid campaign with no more off field related headlines that leads to number 27 is about the only thing Alex can do to win over New York. He doesn’t need a good season, he needs an historical season.
- Rosh
http://roshkoch.mlblogs.com

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a7989: “I can’t believe Yankee fans will root against the uniform.”

Well, that’s what they’ve done to A-Rod for most of his time here. And it’ll be worse this year until he manages to produce big time in the clutch, which I hope he will. Of course, trophy no. 27 would help immensely in that regard.

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RGK,

Thanks for the link. After reading the article, with Bryan’s appropriate attributions, you can take from the blog that Bryan, himself, wasn’t reporting about Alex’s positive test, but rather Bryan was reporting that SI wrote an article claiming that Alex had tested positive.

Let’s take a look:

“Alex Rodriguez tested positive for two anabolic steroids during his 2003 American League MVP season with the Texas Rangers, four sources independently told Sports Illustrated in a report published online Saturday.

“Rodriguez’s name appeared on a list of 104 players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball’s 2003 survey testing, SI said. He reportedly tested positive for testosterone and an anabolic steroid called Primobolan while playing for Texas.”

This takes us back to the truth: before we convict Alex in our minds, we need to take into account the facts. So far, all we can truly go on is his admissions of guilt because the Sports Illustrated article is based around four unnamed sources who, if they exist, broke the law and will be held accountable, and a player, who was never named in the Mitchell Report, who claims Gene Orza tipped him off.

Furthermore, we have absolutely zero evidence that Alex was tipped off anyway. We’re just trying to connect dots to paint the worst possible scenario. Even if Orzo DID tip off the unnamed player in the Mitchell Report, tha does not mean Alex was also tipped off.Beware the dangers of out of control speculation. You’ll end up playing pinata and taking some blind, wild swings hoping to make candy come out of somewhere

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Robert,

I hope so too. I mean, the majority of Yankee fans will support him, some may dslike him as a person but I can’t believe Yankee fans will root against the uniform. And opposing fans weren’t giving him standing ovations anyway. Sure, things will be worse now, but now he has something to prove.

Then again, he’s had something to prove every October for a while now and look how that’s turned out. So this could really go both ways.

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RK,
When Alex got the much smaller Jeter monkey off his back in 2007 he had a monster year. How about a ring this time?

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BP,
Have you seen Montero hit yet? Are you staying at the Bay Harbor? Answer direct if you want!

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What I am hoping is that with a monkey off of his back, Alex will start to perform with less stress. I know that is most unlikely, but if Alex plays to his potential, he will be a big part in winning the 2009 World Series.

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Bryan,
Where did you find out that Testosterone and Primoblan were the drugs he tested positive for?

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BP,
Thanks for that link. I was thinking Jeter might call “to get it all out now!” So we’ll get more in small doses. Next news may be the Balco trial.

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What the Yankees REALLY need to be focusing on is winning another World Series ….How about multiple ones !!!!!!! Can you say DYNASTY cause the Yankees are 2 players away from having one but they WON’T pull the trigger !!!!!! Sign Manny Ramirez and trade the GIANTS or PADRES for either Cain/Lincecum or Peavy and you will have a DYNASTY . PULL THE TRIGGER and get er done . GO YANKS !!!!!!!

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RK,
Those are the drugs Bryan reported.
RRR,
I’d like to forget it all too! If I was one of the 103, especially being a much lower talent than A-Rod, I would have “come out” by Feb 10th!!!

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Has anyone thought that the reason A-Rod is so vague and closed mouth about his situation is because he doesnt care what people think . There are 103 other people who tested positive …why is he the only one who has to face the music . Why does he have to tell when noone else does. As for PED’s im sick of hearing about them . ALL athletes take something to enhance theyre perormance ..legal or illegal . Its not the substance that enhances PERFORMANCE . It might enhance strength but performance is NOT involved . If it were and there are 103 more people on that list then why didnt ALL 103 of them have the same PERFORMANCE as A-Rod . Get off his case and let these guys move on . Is Tommy John surgery performance enhancing ? They didnt have that surgery back in the day . So does every pitcher whos had that surgery….do their stats NOT count . Just get over it and MOVE ON !!!!!!!!!!

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How do we know for certain that Testosterone and Primoblan are what he came up positive for? Have you seen the report? Let’s not jump to conclusions.

I’m not advocating for what we know he has done. I’m not saying he is innocent. But I am saying we need to stick to facts, not speculation.

Am I the only one excited to see how the line up shapes out? Any reports on the Swisher/Nady and Gardner/Melky competitions? Oh man, I am so excited for baseball.

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http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/spring2009/news/story?id=3916487
Jeter speaks

Robert, Aussie B should be in again.

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A-Rod’s drugs=Testosterone and Primobolan (Methenolone Acetate).

Again I don’t know how any male does NOT test positive for testosterone and is there any wiggle room on a drug NOT available by prescription (no FDA approval?)

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I’ll make at least one bus/subway trip this year to see the new stadium. Most likely a mid-week day game. Maybe some BB regulars can meet? LOL!

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If A-Rod admitted that his cousin obtained the “energy-boosting” drugs legally in the DR beginning in 2001, then it’s possible that this cousin may have had access to those drugs before 2001, and possibly during or before a-Rod’s employment with the Seattle Mariners from 1994 to 2001.

And if A-Rod’s cousin had access to those drugs before 2001, then, perhaps, A-Rod had access to those drugs as well before 2001.

Only time will tell when A-Rod actually began using those energy-boosting drugs. And until that day happens, this story will never go away.

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Good to hear about Cervelli. His defense is solid and he has hit for average but not power. Damn, he would be so close to ready if he had a full year in 2008!!!

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No, I will take the kids at some point to see the new stadium.

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Cervelli was hitting deep balls in BP.

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BP,
Do you have tickets for all of the games? FYI it’s snowing in NJ!!!

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OBoy I’m in!!!
From what I’ve read every player is doing well except Cervelli has an upper respiratory infection. I wish the same on Elliott Johnson and Joe Madden!!!

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Ok Bryan, let’s move on. How about a nice warm report from Steinbrenner field? How’s the team looking? How’s Posada’s arm? Wang’s foot? Mo’s shoulder? Has Tex launched any yet? Any surprises in camp yet? Come on man! It’s cold and it’s supposed to snow tonight. I need some warmth!

By rcngolf99 on February 18, 2009 12:54 PM
I am not Bryan but I can tell you Sui seems to be running well. Posada they seem to be limiting in my opinion, giving more work to the other catchers. Wang was throwing but like Hughes was struggling with fielding. I didn’t see them everyday like Bryan does.

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I will not buy anything written by or produced by SI. I will not go to their website and read articles there either. They will not receive ad revenue from this one reader. I will not buy the books of their reporters. SI is the supermarket tabloid of sports. I am done with them.

Their irresponsible journalism not only defames individuals and puts black eyes on professional sports, but also protects the names of those breaking the law.

They have no respect for the field of journalism. The swimsuit issue is a prime example of that. SI is only interested in making money at the exploitation of other people.

As far as Gene Orza goes, who has the evidence that he tipped off players? Has a player come forward with that information? Has someone from the Player’s Union stepped forward with it? Who was it?

Wild accusations from unnamed sources if unproven is libel. For all we know, those four anonymous sources of theirs who claim Alex’s name is on the list do not exist and this article is nothing short of sensationalism.

For all we know, they took a pot shot at Alex and it stuck. they got lucky. Alex came clean. He didn’t have to. He opened up and got it out there. He got the monkey off of his back. Now there is another monkey that is floating around.

There are still too many holes in this story. The problem with journalism in this country is how the balance between honesty and marketing has become uneven. This debacle is precise proof of just that.

Selena Roberts needs to apologize to Alex, Baseball, Fans, and the Field of Journalism for her illegitimate journalism. She needs to include that apology in her defamatory book that has been so conveniently pushed for release sooner.

http://roshkoch.mlblogs.com

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Ok Bryan, let’s move on. How about a nice warm report from Steinbrenner field? How’s the team looking? How’s Posada’s arm? Wang’s foot? Mo’s shoulder? Has Tex launched any yet? Any surprises in camp yet? Come on man! It’s cold and it’s supposed to snow tonight. I need some warmth!

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And i’m getting pretty sick of reading and listening to the talking heads say “Well, it was ok, but what ELSE isn’t he telling us…” or “What else is there?” WTF do you want him to do? Stand up there and say “Ok, you throw out some PED names and I’ll admit to using them. Ok. Go. Gammons? Stark? Olney?”

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Bud Selig trying to cover his A&&:
“The reason I’m so frustrated is, if you look at our whole body of work, I think we’ve come farther than anyone ever dreamed possible,” he said, adding, “I honestly don’t know how anyone could have done more than we’ve already done.”

Really Bud? Couldn’t have done more? Oh I don’t know, maybe use the Olympics as a guide to doing more? Even the NFL has a testing policy. What about mandatory testing? You had Mac shooting up in 1998 but it took 5 more YEARS before you decided to test? Stop being a jerk.

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i can only hope that A-Rod can pull it all together…he is known for his sensitivity…and i hope i’m wrong but i feel in my gut that PED’s have been a much bigger part of A-Rod life and overall success than he has chosen to reveal…because he will probably be under more scrutiny than ever…between the MLB and investigative reporters…if it turns out he took HGH or is taking HGH…something they are currently not testing for in the MLB…but may begin to in the near future…this would probably ruin him…that revelation might truly bring his numbers way down…the mental stress in combination of not having that chemical edge could be devastating…and even though he has tested negative for HGH in blood test it is something he knew he would be tested for and will be tested for in the World Baseball Classic…so up until this point he could possibly take HGH at certain times and not test positive…but this could backfire if they develop a urine test for it and go back and retest his urine or impose stringent random blood testing in the near future…if so another senerio i fear is he totally stops taking PED’s which i believe he has taken after 2003 and he begins to become and aging athelete for 9 long years with the Yankees…which could make him the biggest sports bust in History…i say this because when i look at him and i listen to him…i just don’t trust anything he is saying and i feel the worse is yet to come…i am sorry he is out there by himself…because it really magnifies who he really is…it would be a good time for the other 103 names to come out to take some heat off him…so he can at least not be the sole focus of all the media and the booing he is almost guaranteed to suffer in away ballparks…and that he might suffer at Yankee Stadium if his numbers are mere mortal…i really hope my gut feeling is wrong…and he wins the MVP and the Yankees win the World Series…

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The feds may view his “cousin” as a drug dealer illegal importing Steroids into this country.

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I wonder if the feds are tapping Arod’s calls and if he has spoken to his “cousin”. The feds may ask Arod if anyone can verify his story, as in his “cousin”.

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Took me 2 hours to log in.

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1. The constant “I was young, stupid, didn’t go to college?” He was in the majors, for what, 7, 8 years? by the time 2001 came around? Was he trying to say that people who didn’t go to college are stupid and use illegal drugs?

Tell you what about this one: Alex needs to give that a rest. He was 25, 26, 27 and 28 those years – certainly old enough to know that injecting steroids into his body wasn’t completely on the up and up. By the way, there’s plenty of college kids who would love to be making $252 million and be the best in the world at their profession by age 25.

By bombersbeat on February 18, 2009 7:33 AM
2 scenerios: Either he smacks Papelbum around continuously and this goes away or he struggles and it satys with him.

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I have to say that Alex is not the best in dealing issues with the media and you can notice that he has a hard time trying to get himself to be understood right. I saw a cautious but true statement and I believe he did not used PED’s after 2003 season. The fact that he continued to put the numbers he did after 2003 makes me realize that whatever he used was good enough to trigger a drug test but I have my doubts about what it actually did to his performance/power in hitting. Interesting enough, I read an article a couple of days ago comparing the numbers he putted while in Texas based on the @ bats he had and I found out that according to that stat he has been able to put better numbers in NY [W/o PED’s] than he did in Texas [W/ PED’s]. And I’m not talking about the HR quantity but the frequency on what he hit them. What makes me sick is the fact that reporters and journalist across the nations are trying to rip this guy apart, MLB Network only talks about Alex, c’mon the guy made a mistake, so did Pettitte, Giambi, etc… why do we have to make this one bigger, I turn on the TV and Alex is on, same thing with the radio, I don’t understand why investing millions of dollars in a brand new sports network to talk only about one guy.
I’m excited with the new NYY acquisitions this off season but at the same time I feel so distracted, I want to hear baseball and stop the A-Rod thing for god sake.
Another thing and probably what bothers me the most is the stupid question every single reporter is asking “How long you thing this will last?”… Well I got that answer for you – AS LONG AS YOU KEEP BRING IT UP – of course it won’t go away if you all keep talking about it and blaming the guy for not revealing his cousin name, c’mon he is trying to move on, let him do it…

If you have time check out this article just to get a different view.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/cliff_corcoran/02/13/corcoran.arod/?eref=sircrc

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It was all he could say. He couldn’t come out and say ‘I was determined to get the home run record by whatever means necessary.’

I don’t know, maybe I’m just a cynic now but personally I don’t believe this version, I didn’t believe Pettite’s, and I haven’t believed anyone’s confession. Part of it is most likely true, but we didn’t get the whole truth and nothing but the truth. And we never will. That goes for everything; this A Rod confession, the Steroid Era, hell it goes for life in general.

Okay. I’m done with philosophy. I just want to see some baseball. Go Yankees 2009

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1. The constant “I was young, stupid, didn’t go to college?” He was in the majors, for what, 7, 8 years? by the time 2001 came around? Was he trying to say that people who didn’t go to college are stupid and use illegal drugs?

Tell you what about this one: Alex needs to give that a rest. He was 25, 26, 27 and 28 those years – certainly old enough to know that injecting steroids into his body wasn’t completely on the up and up. By the way, there’s plenty of college kids who would love to be making $252 million and be the best in the world at their profession by age 25.

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gdkunze:

Nailed it, buddy. I was so disgusted w/the guys at MLB for not asking those same questions of Selena Roberts. They lost my respect. But here are 2 things that are not that far-fetched:

1) The other 103 names will come out. Every major news org in the world is after that list.

2) If the list was sealed under some sort of federal protection, someone may actually see jail time for leaking sealed, confidential records. (In that case, if Selena Roberts doesn’t give up her sources she’ll be the one doing time.)

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Purchase of product in Dominican Republic was LEGAL
Use of product 2001/2003 was NOT ILLEGAL in MLB
A-Rod one of 104 volunteers for MLB ANONYMOUS Test
Why,after players trust, has MLB NOT INVESTIGATED Leak
Who & Why was A-Rod singled out
Why have Print & TV Sports Newscasters not mentioned the
above Facts & asked the above questions ?
I’ll tell you why….They were too busy getting two boards
and three nails rather than doing their job………

Gary – Manhatten

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Alex made a mistake and he is sorry for it and I guess for the rest of his life. But, as they say, it is not the no. of times we fall, but, the no. of times we stand up and try to be better than before. The Good Lord would love that and I hope he becomes a better person than before. To all of us, who would like to see Alex fall, remember, that he is human, like us, after all.

God bless you Alex and the Yankees! Now I have no doubt that we will be the 2009 WS champs.

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When you listen to Mike Francesa you don’t get the solid gold knowledge that a beat writer like Bryan Hoch provides. My only problem with the so called press conference/circus sideshow is the following statement: ” I didn’t think they were steriods” Come On !! What did you think they were: M&M’s? Flinstones Chewables? Gummi Bears? Alex, you just got done winning an MVP award in Texas and we are suppossed to believe that you are still naive, stupid or dumb enough not to realize what you are putting in your body?

Alex also mentioned the “fresh start” and “judging me from this point in my career forward” does this mean that the great stat collector no longer considers his current stats valid?

The problem with the drug issue is this: until you catch and “out” everybody the game remains tainted. Are we all suppossed to believe that Brady Anderson magically hit 50 home runs one year by simply saying his prayers and eating his vitamins? Brady is still “innocent” in the eyes of the law but any baseball fan with a half a brain realizes that those stats are not real….he just has simply not been caught.

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Bryan – I curious on your take, as Yankees writer:

1. The constant “I was young, stupid, didn’t go to college?” He was in the majors, for what, 7, 8 years? by the time 2001 came around? Was he trying to say that people who didn’t go to college are stupid and use illegal drugs?

2. I was very disturbed to hear about where the drugs came from. It is illegal to bring drugs in from another country – you or I could be arrested if we got caught bringing drugs into the country; whether we “bought” them in a store or not.

3. I don’t know the laws in Texas, but where I live in Massachusetts you can only get needles for injecting drugs by prescription. Where did he get the needles? Can you buy them off the counter in Texas? Or were they obtained illegally also?

4. My greatest concern – will his story change again tomorrow?

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com

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Thanks for your second paragraph, Bryan. From listening to Mike Francessa and to Michael Kay’s radio show, I got the impression that he DID botch it. Good to read another perspective.
http://thisfanslife.mlblogs.com

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