Hello, all. I’m back after a week in the unpaid-journalism hinterland, and it’s a pleasure to rejoin you.
Today’s question is an obvious one, as the biggest story in sports is about Alex Rodriguez. He’ll meet the media in a 1:30 p.m. press conference that is, quite literally, taking place under a tent at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. Insert your own “circus” reference here.
A-Rod has a chance today. Not to put the steroid story completely behind him because, let’s face it, that isn’t going to happen. He is the best player in the game and he admitted that his accomplishments aren’t clean. That’s not something you wipe off in a day or even two or three.
But A-Rod can do himself, and the Yankees, a lot of good today. He’s got a ton of advisers, people who are supposed to tell him what to do to make himself look the best in the public eye. And today, that means coming clean. Here are the questions that weren’t asked by Peter Gammons on ESPN a week ago, but almost surely will be (or should be) today:
1. When, exactly, have you taken PEDs in your life? What years and for how long?
2. Who gave them to you on each occasion?
3. How is it possible that you are incredibly careful about what food you eat, among other things, yet you don’t remember what substances you ingested when you were taking PEDs?
4. Do you believe you cheated?
These are just the top few that come to mind. What questions would you ask? Let’s see what Carp is looking for today and then be sure to check back throughout the day for reviews of A-Rod’s performance.
Welcome back, Sam. We missed you. A lot has happened since you were gone, as you may have surmised.
As for A-Roid, I’m not sure what questions need to be asked, because I’m sure a lot of the good ones won’t be answered. A-Rod is going to lie when he has to lie, and he’s going to dance around some of those “none-of-your-business” questions. Frankly, when somebody asks “did you take the steroids orally or have them injected into your $252 million butt?” I don’t blame A-Roid if he says, “none of your business.”
And what good is it for him to answer silly questions like that? He’s not going to tell us where he got the drugs, or from whom, and he’s not going to implicate anybody else in any way. He’s not going to tell us which of his former or current teammates were on the stuff. And when he’s asked if he used the ‘roids or the HGH before or since the admitted ’01-03 period, he’s going to say “No” even if he has and/or still is using.
There is nothing A-Roid can say today that’s going to convince me he is not still using an undetectable drug, and today I am more firmly convinced that the usage is probably as rampant as ever, only now guys have smartened up to the point where they won’t get caught anymore.
And, frankly, I am quite tired of hearing how the Yankees have his back, and I think this whole idea of teammates showing up to support Rordiguez is a feeble attempt at intimidation. Also, I fully expect some idiotic questions, because this press conference is going to include media foofs from all walks, including news magazines, celeb shows, etc. It would have been better for A-Rod to do two press conferences, one for the actual baseball writers and one for everybody else. One where important, intelligent questions could be asked, and another that could have rivaled Super Bowl Media Day.
2:35 p.m., Sam says:
First reaction to A-Rod’s meeting with the press? Mine was more of a feeling of incompleteness. Did A-Rod come clean? I guess so, but I think he also made some statements that were pretty unbelievable.
The notion that A-Rod was injected twice a month for three years by his “cousin” and was a) OK with that; b) unsure that he was doing anything wrong; and c) unclear on whether it was actually helping his performance seems borderline ridiculous. What was your first reaction?
Part of me wants to believe A-Rod, to feel sorry for him, to buy his excuse that he was young and stupid, and mostly that he will, moving forward, make an attempt to “make the world a better place” by being involved in anti-drug programs.
I really do want to believe that. But for some reason, I give no credence to anything this guy says because he has proven to be such a louse when he leaves the baseball field, because of how he has treated his wife and family, how he couldn’t get out of the all-star game soon enough, how he pretty much takes the low road every time he reaches a fork.
He sounds sincere. Now he has to show me. And I’m not sure he can ever convince me that he’s clean and that he has changed in any way.
Also, Sam, I don’t know if you saw a classic letter from a reader in one of the New York papers this weekend. I’ll paraphrase because I don’t have it word for word, but it went: “I’m no doctor, but apparently steroids stop working on Oct. 1.”
You know, too, Sam, that this isn’t over. The cousin is now going to be checked out by all those investigative reporting teams. That’s just the start.
3:05 p.m., Sam says:
That’s the thing – he alway messes things up. The idea behind this whole press conference was for A-Rod to address the issue and, hopefully, make strides to putting it behind him so the Yankees wouldn’t be distracted by it. Instead, Rodriguez added to his story – something he seems to do a lot, which is a curious practice for a guy who says he wants to be truthful – and created another layer to the whole scenario. Now there is going to be a mad rush to find out who this cousin is, where, exactly, A-Rod bought the drugs and who he talked to about it while it was going on. There’s also going to be investigation into A-Rod’s claim that he “dabbled” with amphetamines and “Ripped Fuel” while in Seattle, since amphetamines are now banned by MLB as well.
In other words, if A-Rod was hoping to start putting this issue behind him, he failed miserably.