• Commentary On The A-Rod Presser Today

    Posted by on February 18th, 2009 · Comments (13)

    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.

    Comments on Commentary On The A-Rod Presser Today

    1. Rich M
      February 18th, 2009 | 12:57 am

      When is it enough? All last week we heard reporters say he needs to say what he took, when he took it, and where he got it from. Today he answered those questions. What more to you need to know? What will it accomplish? Well I will tell you, Nothing! He admitted what he did, which is more than any other PED user, lets move on. Crucifying Alex is not going to do anything. I am sure right now there is a hoard of “investigative journalists” flying to the D.R. to find his cousin. Just let it go, it’s not going to accomplish anything!

    2. YankCrank
      February 18th, 2009 | 9:03 am

      It’s exactly how you put it Steve, very similar to politics. Hard-core Republicans and Dems, for the most part, continuously back their party leaders in any situation and under any circumstance. A-Rod is our man, a Yankee, wearing the Yankee brand for the past five years and the next nine, and we’re going to back him and want all of this to move forward. If this was David Ortiz i’d most likely act in a similar way I did to Bonds, which is very reminiscent of “take the record away.” It’s extremely hypocritical, but I can be honest. When it comes to our Yankees i’ve wanted it to boil over, and when it’s come to other players i’ve acted very differently.

    3. clintfsu813
      February 18th, 2009 | 9:58 am

      I’ve wanted it to boil over regardless of who it was. If it comes out that Ortiz took PED’s..i’ll say who cares, move on. And Steve..if you could use Punani every once in a while, I would be a very happy camper…I spit my coffee all over the keyboard with that one!

    4. Raf
      February 18th, 2009 | 10:00 am

      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.
      ————–
      I would. My stance has been fairly consistent WRT this issue.

      As anyone who has read “Ball Four” knows, drugs have been around baseball for quite some time. According to Tom House, steroids have been around since the 60′s.

      AFAIK, baseball did not have a policy against steroids, so they were open game. Therefore, players that were juicing, were doing nothing wrong within the framework of baseball.

      There’s also the fact that it really hasn’t been proven that these drugs have an effect.

      The cheating angle is overblown. There have always been players who cheated, Gaylord Perry built a career on “spitballing.” We’ve heard stories about scuffing balls, corking bats, moving fences in and out, tailoring the grounds to benefit the home team, etc, etc, etc.

      Is it about integrity of the numbers? Ok, fine, then we’ll need have to have asterisks for pre 1961 (154 vs 162 game seasons), pre 1947 (color line), post 1968 (lowering of the pitchers mound), post 1973 (DH added), so on and so forth…

      Anyway, back to Rodriguez. Had he failed a test yesterday, fine, have at him. Tar and feather him, whatever. But to get at him for failing a test some 6 years ago, before penalties were implemented is a bit ridiculous, in my opinion.

    5. clintfsu813
      February 18th, 2009 | 10:29 am

      I agree completely Raf..unfortunately someone will argue with those points, regardless of how much sense it makes!

    6. Evan3457
      February 18th, 2009 | 11:31 am

      A-Rod shouldn’t have said anything about this. Ever.
      (this is a recording…click!)

    7. YankCrank
      February 18th, 2009 | 11:52 am

      Idk if you’re joking or not Evan, but if you’re serious, i’ll have to disagree with you.

      Did his statements fully make sense? No, did everything he say start to raise more questions? Of course. But if he was silent and didn’t address it, it would have caused a humongous shitstorm of never-ending question and coverage. The guys who haven’t fully addressed it, Sosa or McGwire, are removed from the game and can hide from the media. A-Rod has nine more years in baseball, nine more years with the Yankees, and if he didn’t address it like he did it would have caused an even larger distraction for A-Rod and the team.

      It’ll still be a distraction, but the fact he addressed it means it has a chance to boil over as time moves on. He also said more than any other accused player has said, and presented more private information. These will, over time, earn him some points. Staying silent would have been a terrible situation for he and the Yankees.

    8. butchie22
      February 18th, 2009 | 11:58 am

      It’ll still be a distraction, but the fact he addressed it means it has a chance to boil over as time moves on. He also said more than any other accused player has said, and presented more private information. These will, over time, earn him some points. Staying silent would have been a terrible situation for he and the Yankees. Quote from Crank

      I agree with that no matter how I feel about Arod/Aclod/Aroid.Shutting up about this would have been extremely stupid given that this would have been a line of questioning all season long. NOW he’s nipped it in the bud so to speak……

    9. Evan3457
      February 18th, 2009 | 12:48 pm

      It wouldn’t have been stupid at all, provided he told his teammates to say whatever they want about it, whatever they need to in order to make their lives easier, to throw him under the bus if they feel they need to.

      In a little while, having no story to write, the media would’ve had to move on. Their investigations into what he’s done would continue, but without help from him. He should be polite, and simply say, “no comment” about it. He should definitely answer any question on any topic not related to it. If a writer tries to barb him with a loaded question, just say, “no comment”. No comment the story to death.

      There’s very little chance of a prosecution, and almost no chance of him facing a suspension in the absence of a positive test in the future.

      And the story would inevitably die, no matter what dirt is dug up in the future. The public would become bored with every new story with the same headline “A-Rod is a dirtbag, and here’s why”.

      My reading of A-Rod’s personality is that he’s too weak to do this, especially the “throw me under the bus” part. So the modified limited hangouts will be repeated with every new revelation, and they will all be transparently false, and they will avail Alez nothing.

      And then, finally, long after everyone is exhausted and every mention of this topic is so painful for everyone that they want to smash their own skull in with a hammer just to not hear about this anymore, some grownup close to A-Rod will stage an intervention and say, “Hey, stupid, shut up about this, you keep making it worse for yourself.” And they’ll have finally come to the right answer.

      When you’re standing in a deep hole, the first rule is to stop digging. Or: quit while you’re behind.

    10. YankCrank
      February 18th, 2009 | 12:54 pm

      butchie, this is the first time we’ve ever agreed on something, and i like it.

    11. YankCrank
      February 18th, 2009 | 1:30 pm

      It wouldn’t have been stupid at all, provided he told his teammates to say whatever they want about it, whatever they need to in order to make their lives easier, to throw him under the bus if they feel they need to.
      ——

      That’s involving your teammates, where they get daily questions about A-Rod because he didn’t address the matter personally, making the situation a much larger distraction to the team than it needs to be.

      If a writer tries to barb him with a loaded question, just say, “no comment”. No comment the story to death.
      ——

      Terrible idea. McGwire, in his own way, dodged his issue with comment similar to “no comment” and his legacy is not only ruined, but he is perceived as a coward to the public and especially the press. A-Rod showed balls and admitted it, the public can respect and empathize with that.

      And the story would inevitably die, no matter what dirt is dug up in the future.
      —–

      If he dodged the story with no comment, the story would never die. Every journalist would take it personally and dig up every little dirt that they have on him and make it public, from his steroid use to if he accidentally drives one mph over the speed limit. They’d bury him.

      Evan, I don’t mean to slam your theory and if it seems like i’m being mean, that’s not my intention in any way. But some of the most expensive and most skilled pr firms were working for A-Rod during this whole fiasco, and even though thy didn’t make him come out pristine and looking clean, they pointed him in the right direction. The goal was to admit fault, spill a little more beans than any other admitted user has, and take all the fault in hopes that, for the next 9 years and the years after that until he’s HOF eligible, he can have enough people forgive him to get into the Hall. If he dodged every question with a no comment, and disrespected the fans, the game and the media with those no comment answers, his chances at the Hall would be 0%.

    12. Evan3457
      February 18th, 2009 | 6:20 pm

      Until the Veterans’ Committee votes him in anyway, or the first truly courageous Hall of Famer comes out and admits he used PED, and refuses to resign from the Hall.

      ==============================
      Look, his chances of making the Hall are nearly 0% right now. He may be in self-denial about that, but with every changed story, with every additional drip of information that he dispenses, he becomes less credible, and a bigger laughingstock.

      Stop giving the media material, and they will be FORCED to move on to something or somebody else.
      ==================================
      McGwire did not keep silent; he basically attempted what A-Rod is attempting now, without the admission he did “something”. He tried the “partial limited hangout”, and is being silently crucified for it, still.
      ==================================
      A-Rod has two choices: come totally clean, right now, and risk investigation by law enforcement and prosecution, plus give away his entire career record, or shut up, forever, about it. Partial limited hangout is death by 1000 cuts.

    13. February 25th, 2009 | 10:59 pm

      [...] February 18th, A-Rod said: “The only thing I ask of this group today and the American people is to judge me from this day [...]

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