Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Inital thoughts on ARod

Just a few thoughts after watching the interview of Alex Rodriguez last night - and reading some reactions today....

1. He claims he didn't know what he was taking - and tries to make it sound like he bought it a GNC. As far as I know, the products for which he tested positive aren't available at the corner store - and I believe they are all injectible. Also, Yankee beat reporter Peter Abraham says on his LoHud Blog:
Rodriguez also denied knowing what substances he took. This is the same player who literally brings his own food to the clubhouse every day. So for three years, he injected drugs into his body without knowing what they were?
Interesting point.

2. Alex was confronted by SI writer Selena Roberts on Thursday with the allegations. He declined to comment. By the time the story broke on Saturday, he was "out of the country." Clearly, his agent Scott Boras locked him up somewhere to coach him. There were many times in the interview when he fell back on cliched lines ("the truth will set you free," his worry for "the kids"), to the point that he appeared to be reading cue cards or relying on rote memorization. Most of his responses sounded like they were from a standard public relations text book. Add to that the fact that Peter Gammons was clearly reading from a set of questions, with no follow-ups, and you wonder how much of this was rehearsed.

3. What is Scott Boras' role in all this? Has he encouraged his clients to use?

4. Going after Selena Roberts was a low-class mistake. There is an impulse to shoot the messenger,sure, but Alex alleged several incidents of stalking which resulted in police involvement. Roberts was able to quickly produce documentation to refute his charges. I now read that Roberts is expanding her story to book length - and there are hints on the interwebs that the book will expose Alex's sexual preferences. His attack makes me wonder if she's got some other dirt on him - and he's trying to launch the first attack.

5. Peter Gammons. Kind of a sad performance from "the Commisioner." He had several opportunities to dig deeper, to ask pertinent follow-up questions (like with the rant on Ms Roberts), but Gammo didn't go for the kill. I read today that he admitted to Deadspin that he should have delved deeper on that one. But still, he was pretty soft on Alex.

6. What about the other 103 names on the list? If I were one of those guys, I would be coming clean today - while everyone else is still focused on ARod. It would be pretty easy to hide in all that fallout.

7. On the positive side, this might open up the Hall of Fame to some deserving, clean players. It sure makes Jim Rice's election look even bigger!

8. Finally, I love Sean Casey. I grew fond of him last year when he was the Red Sox, and his debut on the MLB Network yesterday was terrific. Not only did he look very hot in his suit and tie, but he had some great insights as a player who was never a superstar, one who just worked hard every day he played. Harold Reynolds pointed out that Casey could have done PEDs and extended his career a few more years - but stayed clean. I think (hope) that probably 80% of MLB players are also clean - how it must disgust them to see someone with so much talent as ARod (and Bonds and Clemens, for that matter) feel that they had to boost themselves artificially. Wasn't enough for them to be so good? Why did they feel they had to blow everyone else out of the water? They were in a place that millions - I mean, millions - of fans would love to be - playing professional sports, playing a little kid's game and getting paid uber-bucks. They seemed to be living our dream - and now their selfishness, their egos, have brought them down.

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