Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Alex Rodriguez Hits Ground Rule Double at Press Conference

Alex Rodriguez did not quite produce the strength necessary to hit a home run during this afternoon’s highly publicized press conference.

However, he came a lot closer than many analysts and journalists had speculated.

While appearing on networks such as ESPN and YES, Alex read a prepared written statement before answering questions.

A-Rod began by acknowledging how intensely nervous he was, but one of the most telling images of the afternoon occurred before Rodriguez ever opened his mouth.

The cameras panned over to the Yankee players that were in attendance for support, and the lens was barely wide enough to capture the entire group.

Virtually every single member of the Yankees’ roster and organization was present, including new arrivals and those who use interpreters for their own interviews. It was a truly powerful moment, and one that Rodriguez seemed moved by.

In his prepared statement, Rodriguez stated that he “has to earn trust back,” but that he is confident in his future efforts to reacquire that luxury.

He went on to clarify the source of the steroids. A-Rod claimed that his cousin had introduced him to a substance sold in the Dominican Republic used to vastly boost energy levels during workouts.

Though he would not give specifics about his motivations, aside from naivety and curiosity, he did clarify aspects of the use itself.

Rodriguez attested to being directly injected with the substance at least twice a month, and that he felt a defined boost in energy as a result.

However, he did downgrade the effects in saying that it “is 50% mental,” and that “if you believe it will make you better, it probably will.” He was partially attributing the drug’s benefits to a placebo effect.

A-Rod earned a lot of credibility and respect among reporters by confessing to the use of a recently banned amphetamine during his time in Seattle.

This was a substance not banned until recent years, and represented an admission that Alex easily could have withheld. His candid response to the question asked of him was a big step in the right direction toward reacquiring his lost trust.

Possibly the most contrite message of the press conference was delivered toward his teammates. Having to stop at once point due to his emotions, Rodriguez apologized and stated that this would “have been impossible without you all here.”

A-Rod went on to assure his teammates that 2009 would “be the best season of our lives,” and that this “was the perfect opportunity for him to become a better teammate.” He feels that the team will come through the crisis as a closer family than ever before.

Rodriguez also showed maturity in refusing to deflect the blame onto others, or even toward recovery from an injury like his teammate Andy Pettitte did.

He took all of the blame solely onto his shoulders, and even resisted the urge to blame the culture in Texas for his problems. He stated a clear message that it was not where he played, nor who he played with; it was him that was responsible.

It is to be expected that all of the intimate details were not going to be released, and that some answers would be vague and somewhat enigmatic. That being said, A-Rod did much better than anticipated in answering the bevy of questions thrown at him.

Rodriguez’s press conference went a long way in repairing his image and showing true remorse by the presence of Don Hooten. He has agreed to form an anti-steroid partnership with Don, a man whose family was torn apart by the steroid use and ultimate death of his son Taylor.

A-Rod has admitted his mistakes, and is ready to move on. He hopes that he can put this all behind him, and return to a focus on baseball. Of course the New York and national media outlets will never allow this to happen.

He ended the conference with expressing his desires to be ‘judged from this point forward.”

It remains to be seen if what was said today was the whole truth, or if there are more chapters of his steroid story waiting to be written.

Either way, A-Rod managed to hit one in the stands today while in front of the microphone. We will pretend that we didn’t watch it bounce over the wall.


  1. Wow, pretty low expectations. I suppose you are fine pretending that he didn't know what he was injecting into his body for years? and I suppose you think it's fine that he said it didn't do anything to benefit him but he took it for three years anyways?

    And I'm not even worried about his supposed cousin who may or may not even exist.

    I'll admit I wasn't expecting much more than this, but ground rule double makes it sound like he nearly hit it out. Which he did not come close to doing.

  2. I am not at all fine with all of the answers that he gave, or necessarily believe that he is giving the entire truth. I would be just as naive to believe that now as believing that he never was a user before this report was released.

    The point of the article was that he did give details about his use, gave a further admission of using a substance currently illegal in MLB during his Seattle days, and has teamed up with a father who tragically lost a son to steroids.

    He is going to use this negativity in a positive way, and give his time and effort to prevent the children that look up to him from making the same mistakes that he did.

    Regardless of whether this is simply to save face, Alex had a more successful and candid press conference than ANY outed steroid user before him. Even his former teammates Pettitte and Giambi were much less open and honest, with Giambi never saying what he apologized for and Andy saying he only used HGH a few times.

    For that, i absolutely give Alex credit. Everyone would like him to give a minute by minute chronological recollection of what happened. The truth is, Alex was more open than anyone who has been in his position before.


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