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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Is the upside a huge season?

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Feb 09, 2009 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

I finally escaped my hotel room for a few minutes and while out in the fresh air (it’s a lovely 61 in Tampa), it occurred to me that A-Rod is probably going to have a huge season.

Think about it. He literally can’t get booed any louder than he does already, so the idea that he’ll somehow be tortured by fans is ludicrous. He’s past an ugly breakup and divorce. He’ll have Mark Teixeira hitting either in front of him or behind him. He also has this dark secret out in the open. In theory, he can just play baseball and stop worrying about what everybody thinks.

Personal goals of any sort are meaningless at this point for him. The only solution he has is to lead the Yankees back to the World Series. He’s a few big October hits away from Yankee fans not caring what he did. Fans from the other teams didn’t like him anyway.

The Bill James Handbook projected him for a .961 OPS, 42 jacks and 115 RBI. But if he went .325/.425/.625 with 45 homers and 140 RBI, would you be surprised? I wouldn’t.

For Joe Girardi and Kevin Long, the motivational speech is an easy one. The whole world knows what you did, now go show them what you can really do.

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181 Responses to “Is the upside a huge season?”

  1. Al from BK February 9th, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    Right on Pete! I posted in the last thread A-rod will come up with one of his odd year monster seasons.

  2. TheChuckKnoblog February 9th, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    Pete I dont really think that is the case here. With all of the things that are happing to him: the divorce and this steroid scandal will really hurt A-Rod’s already fragile mind. If anything I don’t think A-Rod will underperform but saying that he will rise up from all of this is quite a statement. Alex has never been good under pressure (playoffs) and this is going to be a whole lot of pressure.

    (Pete we never meant to offend you, I just think you could have answered our email)

  3. NJ in Tampa February 9th, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    Welcome to nice, warm Tampa. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if A-Rod had a huge year. The guy is such a headcase, I doubt this can hurt him any more than everything else. Look what he did after clearing his conscience about the Jeter thing.

  4. Betsy February 9th, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    I wouldn’t be surprised. Also, as opposed to 2006, it appears that Alex is going to have the support of his teammates. I can’t emphasize how important that is. I don’t have faith that the Yankee fans will be supportive of him. As it is, I thought they unfairly booed the guy for every misstep on the field; A-Rod is expected to be perfect. I hate to break it to Yankee fans, but he isn’t – no one is. In any case, with the team behind him, at least the clubhouse can be his sanctuary. If it’s true that the interview today has lifted the burden from Alex’s shoulders, then yes – I could see him having a great year. What he really just needs is thicker skin.

  5. Patrick February 9th, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    I wouldn’t be surprised either.

    If you are still online Pete I have a question. You have intimated a few times that there are drugs out there that can be obtained by people who have a lot of money and are smart about it. Do you think that A-rod is still taking some sort of banned substance?

    Because if he is indeed clean and can put up those kinds of numbers I think all this debate about hall of fame or no hall of fame is moot.

  6. CENTRAL CT YANKEE February 9th, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    Guaranteed he wins the MVP…and the writers who vote him MVP will also be the ones trying to keep him out of The Hall

  7. anonymous February 9th, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    good job pete for covering up for earlier arod bashing

  8. Patrick February 9th, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    I don’t understand why everyone keeps talking about how sensitive A-rod is. Michael Kay even said that he is “emotionally fragile.” The dude has been booed for YEARS and he continues to put up insane numbers. He is obviously a very image-conscious person but when it comes to baseball I think he has shown an amazing ability to focus and forget about outside pressures.

  9. Betsy February 9th, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    Pete, do you think the Yankees will have some sort of Q and A session like with Andy, where they make it clear that the media will have this one shot to get their questions out of the way? I think this is the route they need to go – this should be a time of excitement and hope. More importantly, the Yankees need to be able to focus on having a productive spring training without all these distractions.

    I can’t WAIT until CC and AJ come strolling into camp- this is the kind of thing I want to talk about. I want to talk about Tex and how he, CC and AJ will mesh with the others (very well, I think). I want to talk baseball, darnit! I’m OD’d on steroids.

  10. AROD fan February 9th, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    the best contribution from a pro sports writer since friday!

    go yankees!

  11. TheChuckKnoblog February 10th, 2009 at 12:00 am

    @ Patrick

    The guy says stuff like this:”The reality is there’s been a change in the relationship of 14 years and, hopefully, we can just put it behind us. You go from sleeping over at somebody’s house five days a week, and now you don’t sleep over. It’s just not that big of a deal.”

    He is not exactly a steel fist of manliness

    In the interview he also seems to be wearing a lot of makeup and lip gloss

    or maybe it was the lighting.

  12. Kettle February 10th, 2009 at 12:01 am

    Pete
    With all your negative comments regarding A-rod, I find this post to be disingenuous. I know you always hide behind your excuse that you want a “good story” but you barely disguise your antipathy towards A-rod. Whether it is citing cherry-picked bogus stats or deducing a mental deficiency based on the choice of hair color, you have have shown a shocking inability to remain even remotely unbiased toward A-rod. Considering your affinity for cheaters (Belichick) and liars (Calhoun), I would have expected you to give A-rod the benefit of the doubt once he expressed these same characteristics you appear to hold dear. Either way, it would behoove you to stay the course with your A-rod negativity. Any deviation would just be pandering to your audience.

  13. tampayank February 10th, 2009 at 12:02 am

    No one is perfect, AROD looked very human today. I’m rooting for him to reach that lifelong dream of a World Series championship with a couple big hits in October.

  14. Phil February 10th, 2009 at 12:05 am

    This could draw the team much closer, especially given the addition of the good clubhouse guys they added like CC, Tex and Swisher. The hypocrisy of ARod’s accusers will not be lost on the players.

  15. James February 10th, 2009 at 12:06 am

    The flipside to it all being out in the open is of course that a slow start or bad first half will start all kinds of finger pointing. In the end, it’s probably a wash.

  16. dave February 10th, 2009 at 12:12 am

    THERE IS THE PETE I KNOW AND ADMIRE. Good post. Finally, a positive spin on the arod situation. It only took you the entire time up until this post but it was worth the wait. I said something very similar to what you just said in my comments yesterday. He has a lot more motivation now that he may feel the need to prove himself all over again and a motivated alex is a very dangerous alex. You can say roids helped him between 2001 and 2003 but you can also say arlighton helped him more than NY to his homeruns. His avg and obp are not all that far off between texas and NY.

    And i believe if you just compared Texas to NY leave seattle completely out than he may actually prove to be an even player in NY which is a nice feeling. He may have a hit a few more homeruns per at bat but his avg and obp have went up here as has his mvp total. One also has to continually point out the fact that his two best seasons came in his first season and in 1997 – both of which he was far removed from the rangers and both of which I seriously doubt he was doing roids. He was not doing them his first year in baseball as he was tiny and more of a hitter for ridiculous avg was what made him amazing that year. Again, in 2007, it is highly unlike he was on something as if he was doing something then it would be reasonable to have to assume he is still on that substance so if you dont believe he is currently on roids, his two best seasons were both likely clean.

    I love how the mlbpa gave us a play by play as to all the gritty details involving the illegal government subpeonas (is anyone really surprised that they confiscated it illegally and still have yet to give it back) but where is the play by play regarding how roberts got access to this info or how this info went from a sealed document to whichever journalist is the first to ask for a name shall get it? Is no reported even slightly curious to investigate this? I guess it follows the whole roids thing – you cant just have one creative sports journalist, its either everyone has the idea or no one I guess. There is not so much ambition to diverge from the pack in this field I can tell. Anyway, I am sure that the events leading up to roberts getting her hands on arods name Im sure are quite interesting and an investigative report into the matter would sell a ton of papers im sure if it is half as interesting as most people would venture to say it is.

  17. Andrew February 10th, 2009 at 12:13 am

    My sentiments exactly, Pete!

  18. Nick in SF February 10th, 2009 at 12:15 am

    I just saw the Steve Philips “Brittney Spears” comment for the first time. I admit it, I was wrong about Philips; he *can* get stupider.

  19. Lorenzo February 10th, 2009 at 12:17 am

    I think AROD is going to blow the league up this year… I think with him coming out with this omission. He now has something to prove to everyone in the league, everyone in the media, and everyone of those HOF voters. With the omission we know he is going to get tested numerous times. So when he post a .341 avg with 47 hr and 152 RBIs… He is going to prove to everyone that he IS the that good of a player and didnt need to take anything.

  20. Christina February 10th, 2009 at 12:17 am

    All I have to say after reading this post is, 3 WEEKS TIL I AM IN THAT BEAUTIFUL TAMPa WEATHER!!!! I am so sick of the cold! Hello yankeees!

  21. TOS February 10th, 2009 at 12:18 am

    Ugh. Arod has been here five years now, and now suddenly after this latest misstep he’s going to “lead” the Yankees to the World Series?

    He’s not a leader, he never has been, he never will be. No World Series champion has ever needed Arod’s “leadership” to get them to the World Series. Those three years in Texas “culture” while he was juicing away resulted in three last place finished.

    If the Yankees do win a World Series in the next nine years, I will put money down that it will be in spite of Arod and not because of him. He’ll always put up his pretty numbers, but just like his personality they’re mostly empty.

  22. m February 10th, 2009 at 12:24 am

    I think that A-rod will be humbled by the whole experience.

    I found this comment (nod to Kepler) very telling:

    “His legacy, now, is gone,” one Yankees official said of Rodriguez, speaking on condition of anonymity because the organization had no public comment. “He’ll just play it out. Now he’s a worker. Do your job, collect your paycheck and when you’re finished playing, go away. That’s what it is.”

    I think the legacy part is TBD. But this official seems to see Alex as a worker ant. Not the queen (no pun or inference intended) ant. Just one of the guys, no one’s going to cater to or elevate Alex anymore.

    This makes sense and with the new guys coming in, it’s the perfect time for Alex to take a step back visibility wise. People will ooh and ahh over the 3 new shiny toys and reacquaint themselves with Chien Ming “I am so an ace!” Wang and Joba da hut.

    One thing is clear, it will take a lot miraculous reversal of fortune for this to become “Alex’s team” like so many here had craved.

  23. Rebecca-Optimist Prime...Staying to Write the Story February 10th, 2009 at 12:24 am

    I’ll have whatever Pete’s smoking.

  24. gmen21 February 10th, 2009 at 12:25 am

    Boston fans will love this —-

    “I was stupid, I was an idiot, all these things and I think New Yorkers can probably relate with that.” – A-Rod

    lol.

  25. GreenBeret7 February 10th, 2009 at 12:26 am

    TOS
    February 10th, 2009 at 12:18 am
    Ugh. Arod has been here five years now, and now suddenly after this latest misstep he’s going to “lead” the Yankees to the World Series?

    He’s not a leader, he never has been, he never will be. No World Series champion has ever needed Arod’s “leadership” to get them to the World Series. Those three years in Texas “culture” while he was juicing away resulted in three last place finished.

    If the Yankees do win a World Series in the next nine years, I will put money down that it will be in spite of Arod and not because of him. He’ll always put up his pretty numbers, but just like his personality they’re mostly empty.

    ————————————————————

    Just by reading this, it’s obvious that nobody ever told you that you made any sense, otherwise, you wouldn’t have written such drivel.

  26. Corey February 10th, 2009 at 12:27 am

    Almost time to buy that MLB.TV Premium package….new features this year too and $10 cheaper! :]

  27. JoeyA February 10th, 2009 at 12:27 am

    Rebecca, it would be contrary to your name to not share Pete’s opinion in the matter.

    I hope, for both Alex’s sake and the Yankees’, you are right Pete.

  28. m February 10th, 2009 at 12:33 am

    Gee, walking into the clubhouse after the first game will be like walking into a candy (red bull?) store for Pete & the gang. Who the heck do you talk to first, Pete?

  29. george February 10th, 2009 at 12:34 am

    any other player & a .961 OPS would be the ceiling, not the bottom.

  30. Baseball Beat February 10th, 2009 at 12:35 am

    Going through the channels and I see on my guide Yankeeography is on YES. The info said Alex Rodriguez. Of course it wasn’t the Yankeeography of A-Rod, but of Yogi Berra instead. Don’t think that was a programming error.

    On another note, glad to see you back Pete. I wish I was in Tampa and not cold Albany.

  31. eamon February 10th, 2009 at 12:35 am

    food for thought…suppose this story comes out about derek jeter or mariano rivera, how does the media react? just doesnt seem right that we discuss the emotional state of a player, were just fans who root for these players on the field (and hope off-field issues arent a problem). clearly those issues became a problem but in spite of arod’s mishaps here’s hoping (as a yankees fan) that he has an awesome year and yankees win the series, bc like it or not he’s a good baseball player who can definitely help us in that goal.

  32. m February 10th, 2009 at 12:39 am

    You know who’s laughing his butt off right now? Trot Nixon. Sure he’s a fringe player, but he whacked Alex pretty good about his “working out” comment.

    Unless of course, Trot’s on the list, too.

    So none of the 104 know they’re on the list? Only Alex got a quasi-warning?

  33. pat February 10th, 2009 at 12:40 am

    “One thing is clear, it will take a lot miraculous reversal of fortune for this to become “Alex’s team” like so many here had craved.”

    No disrespect to Jeter or A-Rod but I think it being anyones team has been part of the problem. Varitek and Posednik are both captains but does anyone say it’s Jason or Scott’s team?

    25+ guys pulling together wins championships.

  34. m February 10th, 2009 at 12:45 am

    pat,

    So true, so true. But people here assumed that this would become Alex’s team because he’ll be the last one standing, etc. But I never felt he’d be a leader after Jeter’s gone. It would be one of the younger guys.

    But people pronounced that it would be Alex’s team.

  35. Sean Serritella February 10th, 2009 at 12:48 am

    What if the steroids made A-Rod have monster seasons to begin with? What if he’s not able to have a monster season because he’s off of steroids?

  36. dave February 10th, 2009 at 12:48 am

    Woops I meant to delete those first three lines and the F word in the second to last sentence but it didnt delete sorry about that.

  37. bruce February 10th, 2009 at 12:51 am

    Very well stated Peter, my thoughts exactly.

  38. Pel (I'm witcha, Alex! Selena Roberts moonlights as a cat burglar!) February 10th, 2009 at 12:52 am

    >What if the steroids made A-Rod have monster seasons to begin with?
    >What if he’s not able to have a monster season because he’s off of steroids?

    Carl Pavano will become a saint and receive the key to the city.

  39. dave February 10th, 2009 at 12:52 am

    sean,

    That wouldnt make a lick of sense. if he stopped in 2003, that means he has won two mvps without being on roids. Why would he all of a sudden drop off a cliff when he has already proven he can do it?? ANd there is no way he could have said what he said today with a straight face on tv and lied – that would be career suicide. If he did that and someone found out about it, his life would be donee/over. He cant take a risk that big right now. There is no point in doing something like that. The rewards done match the risk. So why wouldnt you believe that he was done in 03?

  40. no.27 February 10th, 2009 at 12:52 am

    I thought A-Rod was going to have a great season anyway. He always has great seasons. If he’s lying and still takes PEDs, they are PEDs that can’t be tested for and he’ll probably still take them. If he’s really off the PEDs, then he could reproduce his 2007 numbers.

    Having a great pitching staff is going to ease the need to score tons of runs and Teixiera is the most talented hitter he’s ever been in a lineup with. He’s a competitive guy, and I’m sure he’s looking forward to getting on the field and forcing baseball to give him another MVP trophy, win a ring, and the WS MVP will be the icing on his cake. That should let Gammons and any other idiot that didn’t want to vote him into the Hall know that he’s going whether they like it or not.

  41. Al from BK February 10th, 2009 at 12:53 am

    “What if the steroids made A-Rod have monster seasons to begin with? What if he’s not able to have a monster season because he’s off of steroids?”

    See A-Rod’s 40/40 season with the Mariners. If he is telling the truth he had some huge seasons in Seattle without roids.

  42. Charlie Fountaine February 10th, 2009 at 12:54 am

    “What if the steroids made A-Rod have monster seasons to begin with? What if he’s not able to have a monster season because he’s off of steroids?”

    Um, hello? MLB has implemented steroid testing for the past five seasons. How is this fact lost on some people?

  43. no.27 February 10th, 2009 at 12:55 am

    “What if the steroids made A-Rod have monster seasons to begin with? What if he’s not able to have a monster season because he’s off of steroids?”

    What he did 2007 was one of the best offensive seasons anyone has ever had. He hasn’t tested positive for steroids since 2003.

  44. WangFan88 February 10th, 2009 at 1:02 am

    “He literally can’t get booed any louder than he does already”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAA
    AHAHAHHAHAHAA
    HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAA

    My God, you have no idea what he’s in store for this season.

  45. #9 February 10th, 2009 at 1:06 am

    “…so the idea that he’ll somehow be tortured by fans is ludicrous.”

    Your forgetting the biggest factor:

    Arod is his own worst enemy. He ultimately creates the pressure on him.

    I’m no psychologist but I think whatever goes on in Arod’s mind and what is reality are 2 very different things.

    Like Bonds – he is most likely delusional and narcissistic… and he’ll never see past these traits.

  46. Boston Dave February 10th, 2009 at 1:07 am

    “I know Rodriguez lied a couple of years back when Katie Couric asked him if he had ever used the juice, but I’m not going to hold that against him. That was the same as asking him if he had ever cheated on his wife. Or asking elected officials if they’re atheists. People don’t answer those questions honestly unless they are under oath or confronted with the evidence against them. Even then, they try to wriggle out of it because if you admit it, you’re dead.”

    http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/29102174/

  47. pat February 10th, 2009 at 1:09 am

    “Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat who sits on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which brought Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire and other baseball players to Capitol Hill in recent years, said he favored a congressional hearing with Rodriguez and Players Association chief operating officer Gene Orza.

    “He is in a confessing mode, so maybe he needs to put his apology into some meaningful action by cooperating with the committee so we can see if there are things we need to reopen to make sure baseball is doing all that it can to rid itself of this kind of practice,” Cummings told Newsday last night”

    Seriously? Do we really need this? Have him send everyone on the committee an autographed ball and call it a day.

  48. Boston Dave February 10th, 2009 at 1:09 am

    FYI,

    the link I posted above is for another decent article by someone who is not an A-Rod fan but is trying to be unbiased

  49. AROD fan February 10th, 2009 at 1:13 am

    2001-2003 A-Rod was the highest paid player in the game. Why was he taking steroids that were detectable?? it’s fishy.

    Has anyone noticed that Grey Goose Vodka somehow is involved in every player scandal? Does Grey Goose have an exclusive on sports star scandals?

  50. Boston Dave February 10th, 2009 at 1:15 am

    “Get over it. The numbers aren’t as sacred as everyone says they are. The Lords of Baseball have fiddled with the rules, the ball, the pitcher’s mound and everything else it could over the years to first boost offense and then pitching and then offense again. This has been going on since the live ball was introduced in order to give Babe Ruth an advantage he hardly needed.”

  51. dave February 10th, 2009 at 1:18 am

    wangfan,

    tHE FUNNY PART about it is these are supposedly yankee fans booiing their own best player and they actually somehow think that is the right thing to do like booing arod will somehow help the yankees win completely ignoring the fact that arod is the yankees and their booing could directly result in the yankees losing the game. I mean is it really worth booing arod if you are helping the yankees lose and demoralizing the team in one way or another? I think those people should find a new team to root for next year. And the funny thing is, if he wins the world series, everyones mouth will zip up real quick. I bet no one will boo arod for bringing a world series trophy back to NY. And thas why fans that boo arod will NEVER be true yankee fans.

  52. CaptainsCorner February 10th, 2009 at 1:33 am

    I don’t think people realize what he has coming to him next season. He will have about the same pressure because he will want to prove he can hit the same now that everyone knows he did roids. He got booed mostly in Boston and Texas, but now it will be 100 times worse in every city but especially those. People left Giambi alone after awhile because people like him…they don’t like Arod.

    I think it should start with Arod not playing in the WBC. He should be with the team where they can watch the media around him. He should be around Girardi, Posada and Pettitte and other players who will support him. They need to make sure his mind is ok going into the season. The WBC is not necessary and he will be surrounded and probably need security. He needs to be cuddled under the Yankees eyes.

  53. G. Love February 10th, 2009 at 1:34 am

    I had said on Saturday the worst thing to happen to MLB was the movie Field of Dreams. All that James Earl Jones waxing poetic about the game led a lot of us to believe these guys were Gods and the game was this pure divine thing.

    I think what I’m coming to terms with is that this isn’t just an era, it’s baseball.

    It doesn’t go back 10 years or 15 years or 20 years (when McGwire and Canseco were bashing in Oakland together).

    I think this goes back to when players started using amphetamines to get up for a game after a long night out or for the 2nd game of a double header.

    You want to write an important article Pete?

    Write and research the article that sets the timeline for when amphetamines first started popping up in the game.

    Were they using them in the 60′s? The 50′s?

    I don’t know.

    My point is these guys have used pharmaceuticals to give them advantages long before 1994.

    What I’m finally coming to terms with is that’s the game I love to watch and follow and support with my dollars.

    Right now I don’t feel great about it since I bought into the myth. I feel dirty right now.

    Hopefully, once the games start I can start to fall back in love with it since right now I’m upset about what happened this weekend.

    For me, Arod was the straw that broke the camels back.

    I just wanted to believe one of these guys were clean.

    Much like Arod I was stupid and naive.

    Oh well.

  54. PittsburghYankeeFan February 10th, 2009 at 1:40 am

    What that idiot Elijah Cummings should do is convene a hearing as to why the 4th amendment can be so flagrantly violated by the FBI and Federal prosecutors. Bring some real justice in.

    Maybe Obama will weigh in and cancel all of this nonsense–he does have the power by the way, and the guy seems like a real sports fan.

    Hey, Elijah, how about looking into that pork product called a stimulus bill? Oh, too busy asking about steroids in baseball? Gee–sorry I interrupted.

  55. Boston Dave February 10th, 2009 at 1:46 am

    Four anonymous sources have informed me that Elijah Cummings has been spending his time watching The Surreal Life with Jose Canseco.

  56. AROD fan February 10th, 2009 at 1:48 am

    ok, time to get back to the SIGN MANNY NOW movement!!

    That’s the perfect distraction from the A-rod BS!

  57. PittsburghYankeeFan February 10th, 2009 at 1:50 am

    With this confession, its over. The other 103 guys can thank their lucky stars ARod took the heat. There is a lot of love for ARod in MLB tonight–more than he ever had before.

    There were PEDs and advantages in every era. Gosh, for the first 70-80 years black players couldn’t even play in the majors. What era was truly clean? None of them.

    Baseball still remains the greatest game for me. I am willing to give all the guys who own up to it a pass. Let it go, and let them have their records. Most of the time, the PEDs had nothing to do with them–it was likely a placebo effect at best.

    Pete, stop torturing yourself and stop torturing your fans on this blog. You either love the game, or you don’t. One thing you must realize, being with them every day, is that these guys are ballplayers, not brain surgeons. They are generally amazingly physically talented people, coddled since the age of 8 in little league. They are only human.

    Give it a rest. Forgive him for this, and leave him alone over it. Abuse him as much as you want for everything else.

  58. AROD fan February 10th, 2009 at 1:55 am

    The other 103 guys can thank their lucky stars ARod took the heat. There is a lot of love for ARod in MLB tonight—more than he ever had before.

    nice point
    the other points were all good, too!

  59. GreenBeret7 February 10th, 2009 at 1:56 am

    Amphetamines were in use since the ’20s. In 1960, Jim Brosnan wrote a book about it’s use in the ’50s. The book was called “The Long Season”.

  60. AROD fan February 10th, 2009 at 1:57 am

    why aren’t my ————————————————-
    printing? there was supposed to be a space after teh quote!

  61. Phil February 10th, 2009 at 2:26 am

    ARod could have thrown a lot of other Rangers under the bus today but he didn’t.

  62. Clare February 10th, 2009 at 3:08 am

    He very carefully avoided throwing anyone under the bus, he didn’t even blame the union for their monumental screwups. He also said nice things about Torre even though Torre betrayed him.

  63. Client78 February 10th, 2009 at 3:44 am

    Well to be honesty, I wouldn’t be surprised if arod ends up going crazy and lives his rest of his days in a mental ward. I somehow had more respect for alex a year ago than I had for jeter who I don’t like still. They both arrogant and selfish in their own ways, however I soured on alex when i started reading six page articles about him and that thing called a recording artist… The whole thing about the wife and the little daughter rubbed me the wrong way..

  64. nyyfaninlaaland February 10th, 2009 at 3:45 am

    Has it occurred to anyone here moaning and groaning about government violations of A-Rod’s 4th Amendment rights – and by the way, let’s give the hard working members of the media at least a day to try to investigate the offshoots of this story; it isn’t going to go away tomorrow – that the source of the leak may not be in the employ of the government at all? It could be someone in the Union, or MLB. So all this waxing about the 4th Amendment – which I’ll concede seems to have been sorely stretched if not broken in this case – might not have anything to do with the story itself.

    And those who seem to want to excoriate the media for using illegally appropriated info for this story should remember the value of a free press working on more important issues than A-Rod’s steroid use that can also be covered up by the veneer of the legal system or government obfuscation and classification but needs be viewed in the light of day.

    It’s sad when our heroes are taken down a peg. As G Love said above, it makes us feel naive and stupid. Let’s not forget though, that what we love is a beautiful but imperfect game, played by imperfect people but often with pure passion and beauty. Perhaps it’s just a reminder that the truly beautiful isn’t perfect – the big and small flaws are part of what make it so.

    Try to sell that one when you pick out your next diamond.

  65. Client78 February 10th, 2009 at 3:46 am

    Thank god we have players like Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain that we can root for….

  66. Evan February 10th, 2009 at 3:51 am

    Hey guys, me and my friend just started a blog and I just wrote an original article on Alex and the steroid issue in baseball. Check it out if you have a chance and tell me what you think!!!

    foamfingers.blogspot.com

  67. Wang IS Taiwan February 10th, 2009 at 5:31 am

    Pete,

    That will hold true IF he’s not still taking PEDs that aren’t currently detectable.

    Let’s hope he’s not, but I have my doubts.

  68. Ham Fighters February 10th, 2009 at 7:00 am

    how anybody can accept somebody apologizing and using the word honest over and over when it is totally obvious that he’s lying through his teeth i just dont get. that sorry interview was a complete insult to any intelligent person.

    the press is already tearing his story up and every press story covering his ‘apology’ mentions how unbelievable his story is. the daily news says that gnc never carried the items he tested positive for, roberts is tearing up his accusations.

    how does anybody belive he didnt know what he took?
    how can anybody accpet his lame excuse that he was ‘lying to himself’ during the couric interview? (like he forgot he had ever used ped’s)

    i cant accept a guy lying to me while ‘coming clean’

    in my mind this seals him permanently as a peson with no integrety and a complete inability to be honest to anybody at any time.

  69. Doreen February 10th, 2009 at 7:05 am

    Morning Everyone -

    So I woke up thinking about this. I think that’s not good, generally, since it does not really have any bearing on my life. :)

    Anyway, I am choosing to believe ARod’s overall story, and to accept that the apology is sincere. At the same time, there were aspects of the telling that I would have questions about. I am willing, choosing, to think that in some cases, ARod did not want to end up implicating other players or say more than was absolutely necessary, to do some damage control. It does not surprise me that over the weekend a strategy was put in place for dealing with this and that it could perhaps come off as disingenuous.

    He could not have lied here. That was not an option for him – I mean lied about taking banned substances. His representatives were, and I hope he was, aware of the way different players have handled this situation. ARod was the beneficiary of some test cases here. He gave more information than any of the others, though the information given was not perfect.

    I hope he follows through on what he says about doing something “real,” to help kids. I hope he is and stays clean. As for his “legacy,” well, time will tell. But perhaps a player should not be worried about his legacy at 25 years old, no matter how good he is. Perhaps he, and others can learn that much. You play for the day, not for the ages.

    I thought that toward the end of that interview he looked truly relieved. As I say, I choose to believe the overall tenor of the interview.

    As for “loving or hating” ARod. For me, it’s neither. I think he’s a talented ballplayer that I like to watch and that I root for because he’s a Yankee. I think he’s done and said some dumb things and I’m glad he’s not my husband or brother or son. What I “hate” is the piling on of negativity on this guy as if he’s some sort of demon.

    Pete obviously has his issues with ARod, and since Pete’s job puts him contact with him, I have to believe Pete has his valid reasons for the way he feels and while I don’t always like what Pete writes, I do respect his position.

    One thing Pete is correct about for sure: ARod absolutely inspires a lot of writing! :)

  70. Doreen February 10th, 2009 at 7:14 am

    Ham Fighters -

    I am not trying to convince you otherwise. I only want to say, there was no way he was going to “out” himself on 60 Minutes. However, even given then, I think he could have said, when she asked him if he was ever tempted, he could have given an inch there. But how do you do that without saying something like, yeah, it was all around and sometimes you wonder about it, without making matters worse – for the other players and the league? The steroids situation in baseball is a mess, a total mess.

    Perhaps a mistake for many people was to think ARod was really any different than anyone else. But for his talent, he is not. In fact, it could be said he is even more insecure than most. How insecure he must have been to decide to dabble, to not trust his own talent at that point.

    Anyway, I don’t think I’m not intelligent for choosing to believe most of his story or for choosing to accept the apology – isn’t that what people wanted? Is there a risk that I may be shown to have been gullible, that at some point we’ll find out more? Yes, there is.

  71. Drive 4-5 February 10th, 2009 at 7:15 am

    Boston Dave
    February 10th, 2009 at 1:07 am

    http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/29102174/

    Thanks for the link to a balanced article about the A Rod situation. It’s the kind of article that wont get much play in the NY media,especially the tabloids. It almost restores my faith that not all writers are out for blood.

  72. Laura - Standing behind Alex! February 10th, 2009 at 7:22 am

    What’s working against Alex is that before, only *some* of the fans were booing him at the stadium. Now, there will be even more fans booing. Not to worry. Baseball fans are very fickle. Once he starts winning us games, hitting important jacks – they will change their tune. That is until he grounds into an untimely DP.

  73. Giuseppe Franco February 10th, 2009 at 7:22 am

    When it comes to A-Rod, the haters will scrutinize his confession and continue to hate the guy.

    Supporters of A-Rod will give him the benefit of the doubt, accept his apology, and move on.

    Not a whole lot has changed since he first donned the pinstripes in 2004.

  74. Ham Fighters February 10th, 2009 at 7:23 am

    very simple doreen, 60 minutes was piggybacking on the mitchell report and wanted to interview him about PED’s (essentially to hole him up as the ‘clean’ hitter)

    what he should have done is gotten on a plane to the bahamas and told katie he was out of the country.

  75. Ham Fighters February 10th, 2009 at 7:25 am

    doreen, very simple, cbs wanted to interview him about steroids and the mitchell report. alex should have done exactly what he did thursday and hope the first flight out of the country and tell katie he was unavailable.

    instead he chose to do the interview and crow about how he was always in a dominant position in baseball.

  76. Mike February 10th, 2009 at 7:29 am

    Liars Lie.

    Why does everyone believe him that he hasn’t taken anything since 2003? That is a very convenient explanation, considering MLB can’t suspend him because they didn’t take action until 2004. Take a look at 2007, his infamous opt-out contract year. There is no way he was clean that year. He does NOT get the benefit of the doubt folks.

  77. Giuseppe Franco February 10th, 2009 at 7:31 am

    I’m guessing Ham Fighters wasn’t a big fan of A-Rod even before this report came out.

    Okay, we get it. You don’t like the guy. But save the moral outrage rants.

  78. Ham Fighters February 10th, 2009 at 7:32 am

    thats exactly my point, there are at least 10 blatant lies in his statement. on top of that, he confirmed that he cheated and lied over and over in the past.

    so if we know he lied in the past and we know he’s lying now, why would anybody believe he stopped.

    o and lets not forget that ozra tipped him about a test in sept 2004. i am not going to believe anything from aan obvious liar when he’s obviously lying to me.

    the term ‘born liar’ has gone out of fashion but it fits arod to a t.

  79. BBFan February 10th, 2009 at 7:35 am

    “Fans from the other teams didn’t like him anyway.”

    Really?
    Who gets the most votes from fans across the country for All start selections every year across the country?
    If you do not know the answer it is A-Rod.

  80. BBFan February 10th, 2009 at 7:41 am

    “Pete
    With all your negative comments regarding A-rod, I find this post to be disingenuous. I know you always hide behind your excuse that you want a “good story” but you barely disguise your antipathy towards A-rod. Whether it is citing cherry-picked bogus stats or deducing a mental deficiency based on the choice of hair color, you have have shown a shocking inability to remain even remotely unbiased toward A-rod. Considering your affinity for cheaters (Belichick) and liars (Calhoun), I would have expected you to give A-rod the benefit of the doubt once he expressed these same characteristics you appear to hold dear. Either way, it would behoove you to stay the course with your A-rod negativity. Any deviation would just be pandering to your audience.”

    As much as I liked Pete’s entry, I fully agree with the above assessment. It is only a matter of time before Pete starts ridiculing A-Rod and Girardi.

  81. Ham Fighters February 10th, 2009 at 7:44 am

    pete, you have to allow for the possibility that he will have a terrible season b/c hes been using steroids up to last year and will fall apart if he comes off now.

    of course, if was still using last year, why would he stop now…

  82. Doreen February 10th, 2009 at 7:46 am

    Ham Fighters -

    Not really so simple.

    At the time no one thought he’d done any steroids. No one. His PR firm included. If he doesn’t do that interview, what is the first thing everyone is going to think? Even if all they came up with was ARod didn’t want to be bothered to comment on the Mitchell investigation – it was going to come down to, why? Does he have something to hide himself? He was certainly behind the 8-ball, because, oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.

    From the day he first ingested a steroid, he put himself on a path of doubt. Whether it was self-doubt or doubt from outside himself.

    But I do believe that people can turn their lives around if they make that choice. And perhaps it’s just a glimmer of hope, and perhaps, as I said, I will turn out to be Dopey Doreen on this, but I always feel like you need to find that glimmer of hope.

  83. 86w183 February 10th, 2009 at 7:47 am

    What Alex did was what he had to do… get this thing over with in terms of “did he or didn’t he”. Now he has to figure out how to best go forward.

    If the dimwits in Congress have nthing better to do than hold a hearing he should go, but he won’t get the puff questions Peter Gammons threw at him.

    I think the level of booing at the Stadium will depend on how he plays, but on the road it may depend more on whether the other 103 or significant numbers of them are “outed” in one way or another. If dozens of popular, active players are brought into this I think fans will get numb to it.

    It’s also important for ARod and for the game that “Commissioner for Life” Baby Doc Selig come out and accept the fact that everyone associated with the game shares responsibility for this embarrassing era.

    Keep in mind that 104 tested positive in 2003 with some warning, which stands to reason that there were many more who stopped soon enough to test negative. Plus they couldn’t test recent retirees so the number of guys taking PEDs in 2003 was probably a good bit larger than 104.

    I actually believe the story that he was told he may or may not have tested positive. Orza probably gave that vague warning/update to star players so they still had plausible deniability. No one gives a dman what Jason Grimsley did, but they sure care about ARod.

  84. Ham Fighters February 10th, 2009 at 7:51 am

    doreen, players turn down interviews all the time. if the player says he’s unavailable, 60 minutes isnt going to check his alibi, they are just going to get the next person on the list.

    the fact is he did the interview knowing that he would be held up as the ‘clean’ guy vs. all those dirty guys in the mitchel report and he jumped in with both feet and claimed that title for himself, knowing he was lying the whole time.

  85. Doreen February 10th, 2009 at 7:54 am

    Ham Fighters -

    You’re going to look at it from one side, me the other. We could go on all day, right? :)

  86. Doreen February 10th, 2009 at 7:57 am

    Plus -

    The Mitchell Report was one topic. The other was his opt-out and re-signing with the Yankees. I’m sure he wanted to spin that in a positive light, no? Get his side out there with regard to that fiasco. I guess he figured he could take his chances on the Mitchell Report stuff.

  87. Ham Fighters February 10th, 2009 at 8:02 am

    look, im still gonna root for the guy in the games, in that way nothing has changed. i didnt want the guy in the first place, didnt want him re-signed after the opt out but hes on my team and he isnt a murderer or anything, so i root for him.

    but dont lie to me when you say your are being sincere and honest. i have alot more contempt for him as a person now than i did even yesterday morning.

    as for those who say i would never have accepted anything he said, you are flat wrong. i said right from the start that i hoped he would come clean, put this all behind him and have a great year.

    when it was announced that he had copped to using steroids yesterday afternoon i posted
    something like ‘yeah alex thank you’ in all caps i was so happy. so dont put me in with those who would never have accepted any apology from him, i was very happy he was coming clean and hopefull of putting this and alot of other crap behind him permanently.

    then i watched and my jaw hit the floor. lies upon lies upon more lies. unbelievable. when the crap finally hit the fan, and he finally had a shot to come clean and be honest, he chose to lie, decieve, cover up, shift blame and attack the reporter.

    very sad really. what a lost person he is.

  88. MaineYankee February 10th, 2009 at 8:07 am

    I have’nt read all the posts so someone may have already said this.

    Gammons was on Mike & Mike. He spoke well of ARod and how he was during the interview. He said he was suprised as to the extent of what he admitted to. He said he felt that he was being honest.

    No matter how ARod handled this he will be torn appart. I do’nt excuse him for taking steroids, but I feel that the union and MLB did a severe disservice to the players that were allowed to be exposed while we know that others are not being outed. If someone that was supposed to be representing me allowed me to be hung out like that would be a major issue for me.

  89. Ham Fighters February 10th, 2009 at 8:10 am

    c’mon he knew the opt out was a big subject but he knew damn well the focus was going to be the mitchell report.
    in any case he sure knew he was going to be asked about his own use of PED’s. so he chose to go on and not only lie about not using, but to crow about how dominant he is and how he never needed them.

    this is the definition of hubris. (Overbearing pride or presumption)

  90. Tarheelyank February 10th, 2009 at 8:10 am

    Jim Kaat
    On MLB last night said he doesn’t blame Alex and he would have been first in line to get an edge. He also said he blames MLB and the players union.

    Verducci was transparently bitter.

  91. SJ44 February 10th, 2009 at 8:17 am

    Ham really, get over yourself.

    Because he didn’t give you the answers you wanted doesn’t mean he lied.

    He was NEVER going to tell who gave him the drugs. You don’t volunteer that information with the Feds listening to every word you say.

    He’s also not going to be specific, at least right now, as to what he took for the same reasons as above.

    He has to skirt very carefully so as to not embroil himself in a federal investigation.

    And NOBODY, not a single athlete alive, is EVER going to cop to using PED’s before a positive test comes out.

    Its polyanna to think someone will.

    The bottom line is, he gave an interview in which he admitted more re: his use of PED’s than any athlete EVER has.

    Its not even close.

    Does that make him a hero? No.

    What it makes is a logical first step in what will be a 9 year quest to restore his name and dignity.

    That’s all any of us are saying who are supportive of him.

  92. Doreen February 10th, 2009 at 8:22 am

    Also, I just wanted to say, with regard to his going into a diatribe against Selena Roberts – he seemed to me to be talking about her trying to dig up that he started using steroids as a student athlete – that’s when that came up. Perhaps I misheard, but I don’t think I did. And I don’t recall him last night placing blame anywhere but on himself.

  93. MaineYankee February 10th, 2009 at 8:24 am

    Ham Fighters

    We get it that you really do’nt like ARod. I ca’nt believe that you would own up to something as serios as this unless you absolutly had to.

    Would you have the same moral outrage if it was Jeter, Posada or Mo. I highly doubt it.

    I guess judging from some of your comments that you have never lied.

  94. SJ44 February 10th, 2009 at 8:25 am

    Tarheelyank,

    That’s the difference (Kaat v. Verducci) between those that played the game and those that didn’t.

    People don’t realize the pull of PED’s and how competitive these guys are.

    I think the disconnect some members of the media have with current and former players on this issue is they don’t realize the pull/peer pressure that takes place in professional sports.

    Its all wrapped up in money, success, fame, insecurity, all of those issues.

    It takes a very strong and grounded person to resist the tempation. It really does.

    Sometimes, instead of being so “hurt” (especially over something they have no control over), I wish the media would dig deeper and ask “why” guys do it.

    Why does the best player on the planet feel the need to do it in order to compete? THAT’S the story. The story that he used is not the story.

    You want to “help kids”, that constant line of attack many use when discussing this issue, write a story about WHY guys do it. Guys who did it are better off being more forthcoming about that than ratting out steroid dealers.

    In the long run, they will help more kids if they talk about that than just being a rat.

    It isn’t just about the money. Its about dealing with the insecurities they feel in competition.

    Its a culture that has had a locked grip on sports for the last 20 years.

    If you want to begin breaking the grip, you can’t kill those who come forward. You have to encourage them to talk even more about it.

    Its the only way kids and their families will truly understand what’s happening in sports today.

  95. SJ44 February 10th, 2009 at 8:32 am

    Doreen,

    Here’s my deal about Selena Roberts and Arod.

    She’s writing an unauthorized bio about him. Its not going to be flattering to say the least.

    Some of the methods in which she is gathering information for her book are dubious at best.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I find it to be a joke she isn’t introduced in her TV/Radio segments as someone writing an unauthorized bio on Arod.

    Its deceptive to the audience.

    Everybody in the business KNOWS she is writing a book on him.

    If we are big on fessin’ up, have that in the intro of her when she talks about Arod. It will give what she says about him some balance.

    I’m not naive enough to think it was a “coincidence” Selena Roberts was given the info he failed a drug test in 2003.

    There are no coincidences here. Whoever gave her the info knew she was writing an unflattering book on Arod. It all ties together.

    She is just not some random “intrepid reporter” who “stumbled” on this info.

    It was a planned, coordinated leak to give the person who has an axe to grind against Arod info to nail him.

    Unfortunately for Arod, that info was available because he screwed up big time.

    That said, she is no innocent in this. Not by a long shot.

  96. ZOLTAN February 10th, 2009 at 8:33 am

    I AGREE WITH PETE, HE’S MORE DANGEROUS RIGHT NOW, HE IS GOING TO SHOW EVERYBODY WHAT HE CAN DO, WHAT HE DID WAS STUPID BECAUSE HE HAS THE SKILLS TO BE A HALL OF FAMER, BUT IS TOO LATE NOW, BUT TALKIN ABOUT THIS COMING SEASON, I BELIEVE THAT HE IS GOING TO BE A DIFERENT PLAYER, HE HAS NOTHING TO LOSE, FOR HIM THERE IS NOTHING TO BE AFRAID OF. I THINK HE’S GOING TO BE ANOTHER A-ROD.

  97. MaineYankee February 10th, 2009 at 8:41 am

    SJ44

    The problem I have with Selena Roberts and her book is that iit was’nt for the betterment of the game. It just makes it morre obvious that it was personal. I’m bothered by many of these writers for singling out individual players rather than dealing with the overall problem.

  98. Richard C February 10th, 2009 at 8:44 am

    Nice post PAbe.

    My prayer for Arod is that he finds peace of mind this year, in his life and in his game. In a way that allows his natural abilities to come forth and shine to their full potential, all the way thru to the end of October!!

  99. John in Ohio February 10th, 2009 at 8:49 am

    My prayer for A-Rod is that he goes the other way with pitches on the outside corner and starts driving them into the right field seats again.

  100. MaineYankee February 10th, 2009 at 8:50 am

    Even if the other 103 names do come out it really won’t expose all of the players that did steroids. Someone made a good point the other day asking how they would deal with it if it came out that someone in the Hall Of Fame did steroids. I’m not sure there is any good solution to this problem. We know players used steriods, the union protected them and MLB ignored the problem. They need to find a way to deal with this era and then show they learned from it and move on. No matter how they spin it, it happened.

  101. 86w183 February 10th, 2009 at 8:52 am

    There has been testing since 2004, that’s what makes his claim of stopping in 2003 believeable. He also had a blood test for the WBC in 2006 which could have detected HGH use, though I don’t know if the did test for that.

    Is it time to put Baby Doc Selig’s picture on milk cartons? He has to be lost, right? Maybe he’s still not ready to accept his role and the role of all associated with the game for this era. 104 guys tested positive and we know about one. Since there was ample warning before the first round of “base” testing ist’s safe to assume even more were using in 2003, plus you have those who took PEDs prior to 2003 but were no longer active and thus weren’t tested.

  102. Gary February 10th, 2009 at 9:06 am

    The crowd noise, signs, loudmouthed accusers, etc. will not bother Alex in 2009 whatsoever. He’s been dealing with most of it since he was a Seattle Mariner.
    It’s the nervy faction of the media that just must continue to pry and get that one quote that they think will further their careers as an exclusive.
    I can’t picture the host of this blog being one of those but there are NYC and other city media wolves that will step all over each other’s feet ready to jam a microphone down A-Rod’s throat.
    Yankees Media Relations Director Jason Zillo will need to set the ground rules before the position players report on Feb. 18 to prevent a bonafide circus.

  103. Tarheelyank February 10th, 2009 at 9:15 am

    Well said SJ

    The man had a 250 million dollar contract. For Alex it wasn’t about the money. The failure of MLB and the union is the sub plot.

    I was shocked with Verducci. He has such obvious disdain for Alex, that frankly makes me not want to read his book.

    I wrote early yesterday that this was the best thing that could have happened. I believe it now, more then ever.

  104. Zorin February 10th, 2009 at 9:15 am

    I want to see the other 103 names. For good or bad, get them out to the ppl!

  105. Bill February 10th, 2009 at 9:49 am

    If there is one thing I’ve learned about ARod its that the drama never ends with this guy. Whether it be his relationship with Jeter, his inability to come through in key situations, his marriage problems, his off the field relationships (Madonna), him saying something stupid, fans booing him, and now performance enhancing drugs.

    Sure he’s gotten that off his back, but things aren’t going to come easy now. This one is going to haunt him for a long time.

  106. Hola February 10th, 2009 at 10:00 am

    It should haunt the other 103 guys on that list too.

  107. Tank February 10th, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    I am an A-Rod defender. Does anyone else think, to show the ultimate sign of humility and regret, should Alex voluntarily relinquish his 03 MVP award? Just a thought. I think that would send a huge ripple through baseball. I don’t think Selig has the testicular fortitude to strip A-Rod of that MVP.

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