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A-Rod is Guilty... of a Lot of Things
Monday, February 09, 2009
After 48 hours of hiding/panicking/praying to his Jeter shrine, A-Rod took to the airwaves today to publicly address the steroid allegations that surfaced over the weekend. Some sort of comment on the issue was imminent - "talk to the Players Union" can't fly for long, especially with Spring Training just days away - but I actually wasn't expecting the mea culpa to come so soon (perhaps he saw me apologize to Jose Canseco earlier today and was inspired?). I suppose he decided to rev up the Damage Control Train sooner rather than later, and sat down with ESPN nice guy Peter Gammons this afternoon.

Gammons may have the well-deserved reputation of being a genuinely friendly guy, but he didn't go easy on A-Rod. There was no friendly small talk in this sit-down: Gammons went straight for the obvious questions and got A-Rod to not only admit to using steroids but to divulge some of the details behind his actions. A-Rod first confirmed that he had indeed used performance enhancing drugs throughout his tenure in Texas (2001-2003), a much longer time than I would have guessed. Since hearing the news on Saturday, I had somehow assuaged my disappointment by convincing myself while the allegations were probably true, perhaps it was a one-time or short-lived experimentation with the juice; it honestly hadn't really occured to me that this may have been an ongoing indescretion. Unfortunately, I was wrong (again!), as A-Rod told Gammons that he first began using the drugs when he got to Texas in 2001 thanks the immense amount of pressure he felt he was under:
"When I arrived in Texas in 2001, I felt an enormous amount of pressure. I felt like I had all the weight of the world on top of me, and I needed to perform -- and perform at a high level -- every day."
He apologized repeatedly, of course, and proclaimed that he's been drug-free ever since (it is true that a pre-WBC drug test in 2006 came up clean). He said he's since proved to himself that he doesn't need any drugs to be a great player, and even said he felt "proud" of himself for coming clean (6 years later) and wants to show kids that honesty is the best policy (6 years later).

He went on to explain that he fell into the "everybody is doing it" trap and attempted to play up his naivety at the time:
"It was such a loosey-goosey era; I'm guilty for a lot of things. I'm guilty of being negligent, naïve, not asking all the right questions. To be quite honest, I don't know exactly what substance I was guilty of using."
Normally I would scoff here and roll my eyes at the thought that a person could be dumb enough to not know what drugs he was cheating with, but I'd say there's a decent chance A-Rod was oblivious to the specifics at the time. He's not a very smart guy, folks.

By the time the interview was over, A-Rod had apologized and made it clear that it hadn't happened since 2003 and wouldn't happen again. He seemed sincere and remorseful, actually coming across more pitiful than cheater. I almost felt bad for him.

But then I realized that he'd cheated for three years, then lied about it for six. I honestly have not yet been able to determine whether I can forgive and forget. There's no doubt that A-Rod, like Bonds, would be amazing with or without the steroids, so my opinion of him as a talented athlete has not actually changed. In fact, if it had been a matter of ONE season of usage, I think I could chalk it up to the era and the pressure and I'd be over it. It's the fact that it went on for three seasons that has me hesitant to say what I planned on writing once he apologized, which was something along the lines of "let's give A-Rod the same courtesy we gave Pettitte and forgive him, focus on what he's accomplished without the steroids, blah blah blah."

Not yet.

Labels: , , ,

posted by Yankees Chick @ Monday, February 09, 2009  
6 Comments:
  • At 12:21 AM, Anonymous Chris said…

    Here's what I think the bottomline should be for all Yankee fans, and I'm not condoning what A-Rod did, but he is a Yankee. Just like with Pettitte last year, I'm going to root for the guy because he's on my team and I want my team to win. I can certainly understand the anger from some fans, but I guess when I'm perfect that's the day I'll condemn other people for doing dumb things. I wish A-Rod hadn't cheated, I wish he hadn't lied, but as Brian McNamee would say, it is what it is. Time to move on, lets hope the guy does well so that the Yankees can win another championship because no matter how well the other guys on this team play, we're going to have to count on A-Rod to drive in runs. He's still the big gun in the middle of the order. Unfortunately he's just made life for himself even more difficult. It's amazing that he just can't keep himself out of the headlines for once.

     
  • At 6:32 AM, Blogger YankeeFiend23 said…

    Can they PLEASE just release all the names, all the evidence, get it all out so we can move on. Having player after player leaked out overtime is going to kill the game in the long run. We all know there are many players that have. As much as the public overlooks players that haven't been caught yet, we all agree there were/are plenty. Why not just get it over and done with. Olympians, cyclists, swimmers, baseball players, coming soon:football players, boxers and so on.... We live in a world were cheaters thrive, why should out sports be any different right?

    Dude, I am so disen-fucking-chanted with sports right now.

     
  • At 1:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm pretty sure it was you vid that made the difference for him.
    Do the next one in a g-string and pasties, and your little cell will be flooded with texts from him. You'll probably have to change your number (or not.)
    Gammons didn't ask some questions I would have liked him to, (Needle or oral? Somebody put him on a program? Conseco? Ever notice ARod don't like him much? did he lad the poor boy into evil?)
    I'm not really incredibly surprised that ARod used. I'll never be surprised to hear anybody did again.
    We know what we need to know. PED's werre an epidmic for that time, and it bites. Now, if they concentrate on the testing and other preventions, we can move on. I don't think another list of names is going to make any difference. ALL ther right ones won't be on it, any more than they were on Mitchell's list.
    As to what seems to be the biggest criticism of the interview, being a casualty of the 60's myself, I know what a "Here--try this!" culture is like. (And that team was a who's who of the Juiced Generation)
    I think he souldget some credit for not throwing a bunch of guys under the bus.
    From now, I'd rather read boxscores than bullshit.

    Joe

     
  • At 1:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "But then I realized that he'd cheated for three years, then lied about it for six. I honestly have not yet been able to determine whether I can forgive and forget. "

    Can you name more than 1 name that's admitted to using PED's without getting caught?
    And that one name leaves a pretty evil taste.

    Joe

     
  • At 7:45 PM, Blogger Tom said…

    We've got to get behind the guy. He's going to get enough crap from the rest of baseball, we've got to have his back.

    Hell, Bonds was celebrated in San Fransisco. If we want to win, we're going to have to root for this guy.

     
  • At 10:45 AM, Anonymous dino said…

    this whole thing is ridiculous....a guy used steroids in what is known as the "steroid era" and people are shocked and appalled and gotta talk about it non stop and break down every syllable he says...youd think he shot someone in cold blood and is on trial for murder.....so he cheated, so did countless other players in the history of baseball....in the time from 1900-1920's games were fixed all the time, not just the 1919 world series, it was common place that players threw games for money......players in the 50's and 60's used amphetamine's to get over hangovers.....scuffed balls, spitters......as long as this game has been around, players of every era have been trying to do anything possible to get an advantage...it just so happens we live in a technological and advanced science era...im sure there are hundreds of players from the past if playing today would used roids if they felt it would give them some sort of advantage on the field....the reason people make a big deal about this is becasue our culture in America is obsessed with drug prohibition. people get appalled about someone using roids or michael phelps smoking weed, but nobody has a problem with someone drinking all the booze they want, while alcohol is far more dangerous than weed and probably is just as bad for u as steroids.

     
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