Is it just me, or, does “A-Rod Presser” just seem like two words that go together so easily? Anywho, I just had a chance to watch the entire press conference down in Tampa today and here are my thoughts.
As far as A-Rod’s opening comments, where he read off the script…well…that sure seemed insincere. And, that 37-second pause at the end, when he thanked his teammates…yikes…I haven’t seen acting that bad since…how’s this for irony: Take your pick, either Madonna as Breathless Mahoney in Dick Tracy or Madonna as Amber in Swept Away. Hang a Golden Raspberry on that puppy for Alex, for sure.
Now, in the Q&A session, I thought A-Rod did a little better. But, he did not directly answer some questions. And, I’m sure the Study Of Face Recognition people are going to have a field day with some of his answers today. On the bright side, major props to Bruce Beck, Hannah Storm, Anthony McCarron, Jack Curry, Joel Sherman, Bob Klapisch and George King for asking some of the questions that fans wanted to see asked.
For one thing, A-Rod beat the “young, stupid, naive” excuse drum hard and heavy this afternoon. Say, when Rodriguez was in Texas, didn’t he consult with owner Tom Hicks on personnel moves and also have some say with his manager in terms of line-up construction? (I’m pretty sure on the former and think the latter went on until Buck Showalter came along.) That doesn’t sound like tasks that would be associated with someone who was “young, stupid, naive” – does it?
The biggest thing that came out of the Q&A, for me, was the excuse that Alex offered up to the question regarding why he didn’t mention the “cousin” thing during his interview with Peter Gammons. A-Rod said something along the lines of wanting to be “truthful” and not “factual” in that interview. Huh? There’s a difference? Well, maybe Rodriguez meant to say that he didn’t want to get into the details in the Gammons thing…
Staying on this for a minute more, A-Rod then said that he didn’t bring up the “cousin” thing during the Gammons interview because he didn’t remember it well and it wasn’t until later that it all started to come back to him. (Or, something like that.) Once again…huh? Let me get this straight: You tell the cousin to go to the Dominican Republic and to buy the drugs. (Alex confirmed this today.) And, then, as per Rodriguez this afternoon, for six-month periods, for three years in a row, you have the cousin inject you with a needle two to three times a month, in order to deploy these smuggled and illegal substances into your body, and you can’t remember that five years later? Really?
Com’on Alex. That’s a lie. If you want to tell me that you can’t remember what you had for lunch last Wednesday, I can buy that. If you want to tell me that you can’t remember the name of your first grade teacher, I won’t fight you on that either. But, I have to think that you would always remember having a family member and non-licensed person injecting you with black-market drugs, twelve times a year, for three years in a row, when it was just five years ago. How do you forget something like that?
In the end, for many Yankees fans – at least from what I’m hearing – none of this matters. They’re not interested in hearing any more about this and they’re quick to dismiss it as not being important today.
To me, this is interesting. Actually, I recently met someone who quickly disclosed to me that they are a raving fan of a recent former U.S. President. When talking about him, they went on and on about what a great leader he was, etc. From listening to them, it was clear that, even today, they would be willing to walk off a cliff, or walk through hell in a gasoline suit, for him.
After witnessing this full-court genuflecting gush for a bit, I was tempted to ask them: “Hey, wasn’t that the same guy who, while in office, inserted a stogie into the punani of a girl who was young enough to be his daughter?” But, I knew that would have been an exercise in futility – because this person would have come back with things like “It didn’t have anything to do with his leadership skills” and/or “That was a bum rap” and/or “It was a mistake and everyone makes mistakes.” (You could just tell that nothing was going to get in the way of their devotion to this former President.)
And, that’s where I believe a lot of Yankees fans are today – with respect to this A-Rod/PED issue. It was a mistake…he’s getting a bum rap (because the test results were not supposed to be released and/or he was not the only one doing it)…it doesn’t have anything to do with his skills (and production) now. As such, it doesn’t matter what happened today at the press conference – or what anyone thinks about it.
And, while I may not agree with this, I do respect the rights of those who want to feel that way. (Nonetheless, I also wonder if they would be feeling the same way if it was Curt Schilling and not Alex Rodriguez who was in this spot now.) Moving right along…
Perhaps the most important thing to come out of today was this statement from A-Rod: “The only thing I ask of this group today and the American people is to judge me from this day forward.”
Sure, why not? O.K., Alex, the clock starts…now. Good luck.