Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wednesday's A-Rod Opinions

Since each day there is so much about A-Rod I'll just leave it all it one post for you guys to read.

- Hank Steinbrenner supports Alex 100%:
Asked what he thought of the A-Rod situation, Hank said: "Not much, just we support him and we're going to do everything we can to make his season a successful one, to help him do that ... I'm not angry at him at all and I support him 100 percent."

Steinbrenner said the Yankees' braintrust did not consider seeking to void Rodriguez's 10-year, $275-million contract, a step they reportedly contemplated when Jason Giambi made his tacit admission of steroid use in 2005.

"No, we didn't get into anything like that," he said.
He also said,
"I'm not going to comment on anything that can be twisted around, which happens obviously in the media," he said. "So basically it's no comment except for the fact that I support him and I'm personally not angry at all."
- Here's what Brian Cashman had to say about the A-Rod steroid scandal.

For the third time since 2005, the Yankees will open spring training with one of their players being dogged by questions about the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Cashman said the Yankees have a responsibility to “be there for the tough times” with players, and he stressed that this was one of those times.

“Unfortunately, we’ve been in this situation with Andy Pettitte and Jason Giambi,” Cashman said. “There’s going to be a lot of negatives that come with this. There’s also going to be positives in terms of having some light shed on things. The circumstances are what they are. We’ll deal with it.”

As much as Cashman hopes that Rodriguez is immune to the commotion and produces, he expected the steroid tag to cling to him.

“This will be a long process,” Cashman said. “It was a long way for Jason Giambi. I don’t know if it ever really went away. Maybe it wasn’t as loud. It was very loud and then it got softer, but there were always rumblings about it. There always will be.

“Ultimately, Alex has the responsibility for it,” Cashman said. “He will have to deal with it in many forms throughout his career and even post-career. That’s why yesterday was such an important step for him to acknowledge whatever mistakes have been made in the past.”

- onders if A-Rod is really off steroids.
Alex Rodriguez's ability to convince steroid experts - not to mention the public - that he long ago swore off performance-enhancing drugs not only could prove to be a Ruthian challenge, but also irrelevant.

Given the loopholes constantly found in testing, from the development of stealth steroids not yet decoded by screening labs to matters of timing and athletes' tricks of manipulation, negative test results do not necessarily guarantee an athlete is clean. Former world champion sprinter Kelli White, as just one example, testified at a 2005 congressional hearing that she passed 17 screenings while using the designer drug THG and masking agents provided her by BALCO founder Victor Conte.

So when former weightlifter and steroid expert Terry Todd hears Rodriguez's claim that he discontinued juicing before he signed with the Yankees in 2004, Todd's reaction is, "Anytime anyone says something like that to me, I'm always very skeptical."
Not only does Todd believe Rodriguez "damn sure could have been taking testosterone all this time," by getting drug-guru advice on taking amounts just small enough not to trigger a positive test (since testosterone is found naturally in the body), but he also believes Rodriguez still could be benefiting from steroid use from six years ago.
- A day after calling A-Rod's admission a "short-term win," Wallace Matthews says A-Rod "should apologize for his sorry performance."
He said, in all mock solemnity, "I know the consequences," when in fact, it should have taken all his self-control to keep from laughing right in Peter Gammons' face.

Oh, he knows the consequences, all right. There aren't any.

For all the cries of witch hunt and the idea of athletes as victims being expressed by ballplayers, their agents and their many apologists, not a single player has lost a job because of an admission of steroid use.

Not a single player's career has been hurt by using steroids. On the contrary, many great careers were made and many obscenely inflated paychecks earned solely because of them.

Still, nearly a decade after the "witch hunt" began, the only guy to go to jail is Greg Anderson, a personal trainer with an unshakable loyalty to Bonds.

That's why it has become laughable to hear the expressions of sympathy and support for poor, besieged A-Rod coming from all corners of the baseball universe, with the exception of the one inhabited by Derek Jeter.

He's being lauded for his honesty (huh?), his courage (say what?), and his ability to face down the adversity, which of course is totally of his own making. One baseball commentator even commended A-Rod for "going on national television to answer the questions," as if being given a forum to tell your self-serving story to millions of gullible viewers was some sort of hardship rather than a priceless luxury.
- Mike Lupica says A-Rod was trying to convince future Hall of Fame voters during Monday's apology.

What Rodriguez was really doing on Monday was this:

Laying out his own defense brief for his own Hall of Fame credentials, at the beginning of a trial that could last as long as 15 years. That part of it was absolutely brilliant, even if Rodriguez's performance fell short, like a ball to the warning track.

By the time his name is on the Hall of Fame ballot, in 2024 or 2025 - about the time poor Tom Hicks will make the last of his back-end payments on Rodriguez's original contract with the Rangers - there will be a whole new generation of voters. Rodriguez was talking to them on Monday as much as anybody else, basically asking them to throw out what he did in Texas like it was this week's recycling. Asking people at the same time to give him a fresh start on Opening Day. Why? Because he wants a fresh start, that's why. And Rodriguez is used to getting what he wants by now.

OK, that should be it for today.


Anonymous said...

Check out Rob Neyer's blog on According to it looks like A-Rod might not have had as much of an enhanced preformance as most would think. If that is true makes you really wonder why he did it.

Greg Cohen said...

That's very interesting. I still think steroids help the players that use them. But apparently they didn't help A-Rod that much.

The really sad part about him, and Bonds for that matter, is that they had no reason to do it. They were both two of the great players. First-ballot HOF'ers before roids. Now, they're just considered two of the many cheaters of the steroid era.

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