Blog Entry

A-Rod: Circle the date

Posted on: February 15, 2009 4:07 pm
Edited on: February 15, 2009 5:22 pm

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees are bracing for Alex Rodriguez's arrival, expecting him to report on Tuesday and -- they anticipate -- hold a news conference that day.

Because their first full-squad workout is scheduled for Wednesday, and because they know know the A-Rod/steroids story will loom over them all season, they're hoping he can at least clear the air somewhat so they can hold Wednesday's workout in relative peace.

"Let me tell you, I'm really looking forward to getting beyond Tuesday," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said following Sunday's workout, comparing the A-Rod situation with last year's Andy Pettitte scenario. "I think (the story) will linger a little bit, I think like Andy's did in a sense, and maybe to a little larger magnitude just becasue people stay around for a little bit.

"Everyone can't stay around forever. There's other stories in the world -- hopefully fairly quickly."

Last spring, Pettitte, who had admitted using human growth hormone after he was named in the Mitchell Report, was one of the biggest of those stories. And in a scene depressingly familiar with what is expected to transpire when A-Rod arrives, the Yankees hosted a press conference with Pettitte at the microphone that was part confessional, part apology and part therapy.

With A-Rod, the club has not scheduled anything official yet, but Tuesday is reporting day for position players. Girardi, general manager Brian Cashman, Pettitte, catcher Jorge Posada and shortstop Derek Jeter -- and likely others -- plan to attend A-Rod's session as a show of support. Cashman said Sunday that several players have asked when it is.

"He's dealing with the problem," said Cashman, who has spoken with A-Rod multiple times since the third baseman admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs from 2001-2003. "He's trying to address it in the most honest way he can. His conversation with ESPN was an important first step."

Even though Rodriguez has yet to arrive, the story threatened to overshadow even the reporting of two marquee free agent pitchers on Friday, CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett. And so many other things are near afterthoughts.

As pitchers and catchers worked out for a second day Sunday, Chien-Ming Wang was back in uniform after missing half a season last year with a broken foot. Catcher Jorge Posada continued his throwing program after playing in a career-low 51 games last season because of a shoulder in need of surgery. Prospect Phil Hughes tried to regain his balance after last year's dismal flop.

And yet, even with little national media presence on Sunday, Girardi fielded nearly as many questions about Rodriguez as anything else following the workout.

"I will be there," Girardi said in response to a query regarding the spring's most anticipated news conference. "I support him. We understand he's going through a difficult time. I supported Andy last year. It's my job."

Girardi also said he thinks the symbolism of teammates attending is important.

"I think it shows the unity of the club," he said. "And I think that's real important. I think it's important for teammates to back teammates, and they're there for each other, and they know during difficult times they can lean on each other.

"Because, you know what? There's going to be something else that comes up this year that's difficult maybe for a player to get through."

Acknowledging that this undoubtedly is an uncomfortable time for Rodriguez -- "I think it probably would be uncomfortable for anyone" -- Girardi said he intends to speak with A-Rod upon the third baseman's arrival in Tampa just to gauge how he's feeling.

The manager also said he expects to monitor A-Rod all season.

"Only time will tell how he's handling it," Girardi said. "It could be that he's managing to handle it great. Who knows where we go from Tuesday. It's something I'll watch carefully."

Former manager Joe Torre, in his book The Yankee Years, noted that Rodriguez was the type of personality that needs constant approval, constant attention, day-to-day.

Asked whether that was his observation during his rookie season at the helm of the Yanks in 2008, Girardi said, "I have no personally felt that way with Alex. All players, including myself, need a pat on the back because it's a game of failure.

"I think all of us need to hear, 'Job well done', whether when you're working from your boss, or a son from a father."

As Girardi said of Tuesday, "It's a start. There are still things he's going to have to deal with during the course of the season, but it's a start. This is another step in a process."


Since: Jul 23, 2007
Posted on: February 16, 2009 3:47 pm

A-Rod: Circle the date


Very well said... A-Rod regretted that he was caught..and when he went after Selena Roberts he must of not asked for Modanna's advise on that one.

Pitiful, but it further reaffirms, money does not buy brains...what a nit.wit..a fraud for sure.

btw were you a Wisc grad and marry a Minn gopherette?

Since: Nov 17, 2007
Posted on: February 16, 2009 12:45 pm

A-Rod: Circle the date

I love watching and reading about baseball, I wish I could read about more diverse articles on this website about it. 104 "secret" names, but one is leaked to the public? Seven or eight MLB articles to click on under the top tab for MLB on the CBS Website, but five are on Alex? Last year the Phillies played the Rays, but no one cares? I'd love to read more about them. I assume most writers for CBS can only do what their boss approve of them to write about, I assume they don't all get free rein to pick their topics of interest, so "to the bosses" , can we branch out? I cheer for the Yankees, but baseball life will continue even when they don't win, and they haven't won the big season ending prize in several years. If they really are the only professional MLB team, the only one to spend millions unsuccessfully, the only ones to sign free agents, the only ones to erect a new stadium, the only ones to win 90+ ball games multiple years in a row (OK, grant me a "mulligan" on that one, because of 2008!), the only ones with injuries, the only ones with drug issues, the only one with "steroid" associated to their name, the only ones making poor choices, the only one with scandal, then let them have it. If this is not true, can I open up this site and read about other baseball stories?

I'm sorry to see any sport, any team, or any reputation get tainted but life has consequences. Professionals are strong people who want to be successful and decision making can sometimes be clouded by personal gains, and national and/or worldwide fame. Let's hear more about the hard worker who is playing the game, the team that rises above their expectations, special stories of success. Perhaps a "boring" opinion, but an honest one. Play ball!


Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: February 16, 2009 11:05 am

A-Rod: Circle the date

What does that mean to say that "its being flourished"?  That makes no sense to me.  Do you mean encouraged?  Or that it flourished under the non-watchful eye of Selig?  Those are different things.  Obviously, the fact that A-Rod chose to lie about taking steroids meant that he knew it was cheating the game.  Whether an idiot commissioner decides to turn a blind eye or not is irrelevant.  A-Rod (as did all of the others) knew he was cheating otherwise he would have had no reason to lie about it. 

Since: Jan 15, 2009
Posted on: February 16, 2009 8:56 am

A-Rod: Circle the date

There is the well known joke that the great thing about golf is that it's like sex in that you don't have to be

good at it to enjoy it.It is a very hard game to become highly skilled at ,but when compared to the endeavor

of hitting a baseball thrown by a major league pitcher it pales considerably.In part due to the fact that the

first shot on each hole is either from a tee or a lie of the "hitter's" choosing.The difficulty of  successive

shots depends on "where" he hits it.Also any witnesses must be silent by tradition,certainly no harassment

is tolerated until after the shot.How does this compare to the baseball hitter ? He is fair game to anybody

in earshot with a mouth.He must maintain the same level,or higher level of concentration as the golfer to hit

his "shot". If he wants the really "big bucks" he must not only be proficient at hitting the thrown ball,but hit

it hard enough to "park" it an acceptable percentage of the time......So how bad is it for a hitter who is facing

a "juiced" pitcher to afford himself the same privilege ? Now we can say "it is against the law",but not in past

years.I think we need to be careful that our hypocrisy does not exceed our corruption in our righteous indigna-

tion toward this "bygone cheating".


Since: Sep 4, 2008
Posted on: February 16, 2009 5:12 am

A-Rod: Circle the date

Umm.....why is it different for an athelete to be taking prescription medications illegally (which is a FELONY) from the rest of the people in this country? Breaking laws are breaking laws.

I also disgree that it's NOT cheating MLB or any other sport. MLB is a ruined sport. Just watch the attendance totals this year.

Football will be investigated soon enough.....

Since: Oct 22, 2006
Posted on: February 16, 2009 5:11 am

A-Rod: Circle the date

Scott, It ain't A-Rod no more. It's A-ROID.

Since: Apr 28, 2008
Posted on: February 16, 2009 4:58 am

A-Rod: Circle the date

It's not cheating the game if it's not illegal in the MLB and if its being flourished the way it silently was by Selig and Co.

Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: February 16, 2009 12:02 am

A-Rod: Circle the date

Can we please stop with the A-Rod did the right thing stuff?  He cheated the game and then flatly lied about taking steroids until word leaked that he had failed at least one test.  At that point he met with his PR machine and decided to hope for the Pettitte/Giambi treatment.  Even as he admitted what was already old news (and we have no idea whether he admitted everything or only part of the story) he made up several ludicrous (and shockingly easy to debunk) lies about the SI reporter who outed him.  Nowhere in this story is he doing the right thing.  I do agree that it is unfair that he is the only one outed - I believe the 103 others should also face the music, but just because it is unfair to A-Rod relative to the others doesn't mean it is unfair to him.  To the highest paid goes the most scrutiny. 

Since: Dec 22, 2008
Posted on: February 15, 2009 10:19 pm

A-Rod: Circle the date

I Love it that Jeter, Mariano, and other players are throwing their support behind A Rod and going to attend his press conference. A Rod did the right thing coming out and just admitting his steroid use. Look whats happened to Bonds and Clemens for lying about it; Clemens gets humiliated on Capitol Hill and Bonds is on his way to a federal prison. I just wish we could find out the other 103 names on this list that Sports Illustrated's writers worked so hard to link A Rod to.

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