So it seems our protagonist has returned from the Bahamas and is huddling with Scott Boras to determine his next step. There would seem to be three options:
1. Admit it, apologize and try to move on. It worked like a charm for Andy Pettitte.
2. Deny it and fight. This didn’t work for Roger Clemens.
3. Refuse direct comment, citing legal reasons. Pretend to be the victim.
Unfortunately, Rodriguez will likely chose the third option. Boras is adept at trying to spin a story with his version of the truth. Given all the tangents and shadows that have dogged baseball’s drug-testing efforts over the years, this won’t be difficult. The MLBPA would be willing partners in this effort.
But that way would be perilous, both for Rodriguez and the Yankees. It would keep the story alive all season and only encourage further investigation. Barry Bonds tried to duck the punches and now he’s on trial. You know there is some publicity seeking Congressman out there just dying to drag Rodriguez before the cameras.
Yankee fans forgave Jason Giambi and Andy Pettitte and would do the same for Rodriguez. But not commenting would turn even supporters against him. It would be a tacit admission of guilt without the contrition.
Somebody with a firm voice — Hal Steinbrenner? — needs to tell Rodriguez to act swiftly and surely and allow the Yankees to get on with their season. The question is whether Rodriguez will listen.
The next post will be about baseball, promise.