FanDuel - WFBC

February 17, 2009

A-Rod from a Yankee view: From the Yankees Web site: Alex Rodriguez speaks.

posted by jjzucal to baseball at 03:51 PM - 78 comments

You know, all satire of my previous posts on this subject aside for the moment, I am this close to feeling like performance enhancing drugs aren't really that big a deal. Maybe I've just been reading too much Will Leitch.

posted by Joey Michaels at 05:28 PM on February 17

I'm already past that point. I don't discount Bonds and McGwire, and I will not discount Rodriguez. I think having bat speed and control matters more than muscle.

posted by jjzucal at 06:08 PM on February 17

"Calling it "a stupid mistake" and blaming his actions on being young and nave, Rodriguez said he used only while playing for the Texas Rangers from 2001-03."

So he became young and nave six years after his MLB debut? Did he get hit in the head or something?

posted by Mr Bismarck at 06:50 PM on February 17

So he became young and nave six years after his MLB debut? Did he get hit in the head or something?

Regardless of the whole steroids the A-Rod story is pretty interesting because of laughers like that.

I loved the 30 second emotional pause that was devoid of emotion, and it's interesting that the drug test was positive, not that he failed the drug test.

So very carefully worded. Image above everything.

posted by justgary at 08:30 PM on February 17

What's better is A-Rod referring to he and his cousin's actions as "amateur hour," that they both did not know what they were doing. Are you kidding me?

posted by jjzucal at 08:33 PM on February 17

Was it just me, or did A-Rod's odd smirk during his 30 second "emotional pause" seem very, very out of place? It was a bit unnerving to me. My initial gut reaction is to think that he believes that this is all a game, and that even now we're all simpletons who buy his story lock, stock, and barrel.

That may not be the case, but nonetheless, it was weird.

posted by brainofdtrain at 08:45 PM on February 17

Boli is very mild stuff, which I guess is why he went through no observable physical changes. roids

posted by Landis at 09:06 PM on February 17

A-Rod doesn't have a genuine bone in his body. This whole scripted press conference was such crap. Everyone knows how much he cares about his body and image. We are supposed to believe that he would take injections for years without questioning what it was, and without knowing if it helped his performance at all.

posted by bperk at 09:12 PM on February 17

I think having bat speed and control matters more than muscle.

So what if you already have the bat speed and the control and then you artificially add muscle?

Like, say, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and McGuire?

posted by jeremias at 10:18 PM on February 17

Boli is very mild stuff, which I guess is why he went through no observable physical changes that's what admitted to taking.

Jayson Stark:

His friends told him the truth would set him free. But is that what Alex Rodriguez told Tuesday?

The truth? The whole truth? And nothing but the truth?

Ehhhhh it didn't feel that way.

posted by justgary at 11:24 PM on February 17

Is it bad that reading Jayson Stark's article had me laughing the whole time? It really doesn't bother me that he used steroids- I just assume most of them do. But, one of the praises heaped on A-Rod was that he came out and "told the truth; admitted to his mistakes. What a man," to which I could partially see the point. Now, I'm not so sure anymore. Definitely some clear discrepancies between what he told Gammons and the reporters today. This is also striking:

[...]Or heading for the local chemistry lab to find some scientist who could tell us whether it's possible for a guy to take "boli," then test positive for both Primobolan and testosterone (which, from initial appearances, it isn't).

posted by jmd82 at 11:51 PM on February 17

Stark, Heyman, Keown, and all the other guys getting front page billing with their criticisms all make me laugh. Nothing is ever good enough for these guys. I won't pretend to say that I believe ARod is being 100% truthful, but it seems like all the articles so far are just reaching for ways to go after him.

I guess he brings it on himself. He and Jeter are about as scripted as they come, but are a great example of the right and wrong ways to do it. Jeter gives canned answers and is often evasive, but he's good at it, acts appropriately, and says the right thing. ARod reads from an actual typed script (and poorly), hires consultants, tries twice as hard, but still looks like an idiot. So it's natural that people are going to continue to mock and attack him even though he really has gone and given us more information about steroids than anyone other than Canseco.

What's funny to me is that people are comparing him unfavorably to Pettitte even though I believe that ARod has been far more truthful than Andy ever was in his lame admission of guilt. It's just that he has worked so hard to craft this image that he feels the need to save, yet that image is what is working against him. He ought to have just used this as an excuse to make a clean break, act natural, and be himself, even if it meant becoming a WWF-style heel. He'd be better off. People hate him either way. I'd rather be hated for being an asshole than hated for being pathetic. Something tells me he'd screw that up too though.

posted by Bernreuther at 12:01 AM on February 18

Stark, Heyman, Keown, and all the other guys getting front page billing with their criticisms all make me laugh. Nothing is ever good enough for these guys.

Stark gave a list of reason why it 'wasn't good enough'. Either they're good points, or they're not. When you say they make you laugh, it would be nice to hear something to back it up. Where is Stark being unreasonable?

It seems (almost everywhere) that the only response to criticism of A-Rod is 'everyone hates him'.

posted by justgary at 02:25 AM on February 18

A-Rod is a damaged person. He appears to genuinely have no social skills. I've spent a lot of time hating on the guy - and, let's face it, he plays for the Yankees so I am sort of required to hate him just on principle - but, you know, hating him is sort of like hating George Costanza. He can't help being a dick - its his nature - and he will never be able to recognize that he is a dick - because that's also part of his nature. As a result, he's doubly cursed because he's both incapable of doing the right thing in any given circumstance and he's also incapable of recognizing when somebody else does the right thing.

I've sort of stopped hating him as much since I realized this. Its one thing for somebody to be a total dick by choice. Its another thing to have been born into rampant dickery.

posted by Joey Michaels at 04:37 AM on February 18

Jeter gives canned answers and is often evasive, but he's good at it, acts appropriately, and says the right thing. ARod reads from an actual typed script (and poorly), hires consultants, tries twice as hard, but still looks like an idiot

When asked a question, Jeter will just keep talking on & on without basically answering the question. A-Rod on the other hand will answer the question but continues to makes himself look absolutely silly in doing so because he just doesn't come across as being genuine.

He sure can hit the ball though...except in October.

posted by BornIcon at 08:53 AM on February 18

What's funny to me is that people are comparing him unfavorably to Pettitte even though I believe that ARod has been far more truthful than Andy ever was in his lame admission of guilt.

It's clear that lied in the press conferences. We have some low frickin' standards for being "truthful" from athletes.

posted by jmd82 at 08:54 AM on February 18

So it's natural that people are going to continue to mock and attack him even though he really has gone and given us more information about steroids than anyone other than Canseco.

Only if you believe A Rod is now telling the truth. I can't believe he took 72 injections of a drug over three years and has no idea if he did it right or how it helped him.

For the rest of my comment, I am pausing for 38 seconds overcome with emotion and/or gas, and then thanking everyone on SportsFilter.

posted by rcade at 11:02 AM on February 18

One of my cats gakked up a hairball last night. In that act, I heard more truth told than in all of A-Rod's "admissions". His expressions of remorse seem to be more from having been exposed than they are about genuine contrition for his actions. Had he come forward in 2003 - 2004 and said what he is saying now, he would have been quite believed and likely forgiven by all but the most rabid haters. Unfortunately, he chose to remain silent, even lying about it, until he was finally exposed. Even putting aside my Red Sox fan's obvious bias, I cannot help but call "fraud" on this one.

posted by Howard_T at 11:55 AM on February 18

Gary, there are plenty of legit criticisms. I hate him too. But I'm finding that a lot of the inconsistencies people are harping on are insignificant. No story is going to be perfect, and no athlete (except Canseco) to this point has been 100% forthcoming. They'll admit to only what they have to without worry of getting caught.

I think the biggest problem I have with the criticisms is that even people like Posnanski have said things to the effect of "Why should we believe that he stopped in 2003?" as if that's some outrageous hole in his story. I think that's the most believable part! Of course he stopped then. So did most everyone else - they were finally going to test and punish people.

I also don't like that people seem to think he should've given up his cousin. That's an unreasonable expectation.

Finally, I tend to believe, based on the experiences of gym acquaintances, that something acquired in the Dominican could be a random mishmash of more than one substance and/or improperly labeled. It's easy to say he's lying because a few reporters asked a few experts if they've heard of it by name and they hadn't, but there are thousands of shady curiously-named steroids on the markets down there and in Mexico. Hell, I know people that have smuggled unlabeled gear in from Mexico after having guessed at the content based on the animal shape that was on the sticker on the bottle. It's very unscientific.

(Now, on the flip side: Much like with Pettitte, I don't believe he's being truthful about his regimen - one shot every 2 weeks does nothing, and a continuous 3 year cycle is irresponsible; I don't believe he didn't deliberately plan to take testosterone and primobolan; I don't believe that he was being that naive or felt any more pressure due to the contract than he did when breaking in as a #1 pick.)

It's not that I think he's a saint, or even that he's being unfairly attacked - I just think many of the attacks focus on unrealistic expectations and some are there just because it's the fun thing to do. Being the best player in the game, a social dunce, and getting caught juicing means you're going to get attacked more than anyone else. It goes with the territory. But even while still being evasive and abrasive, he has given us more than anyone else so far, and most of the complaints people have about it are about details that don't really make that much of a difference, in my opinion.

That said, I'd still have handled it differently. One of these days I really hope someone personable gets caught and simply rolls up his sleeves and takes questions til there aren't any more. I really thought Giambi would've been a great guy to do this (and maybe after he retires he will) but his lawyers muzzled him in 05. I want someone to stand up and say the following:

- I took testosterone, primobolan, _____, _____, and other substances in 12 week periods for a span of 3 years early in my career - I recovered from these cycles using women's fertility drugs - Sorry, but I will not give up my source. This is about me. - I did one cycle in the offseason during a strength building phase when I worked mostly with weights - I did another cycle late in the season as I started to wear down from the volume of games, the travel, and the heat - While on cycle, I felt more confident, got better sleep, and hit better - After a cycle, I felt terrible for a few weeks, but I tried to time it so that this wouldn't cause a slump in my play - I would say it was worth it because I played better, helped my team, and helped myself, but I would not have done the same, and did not since 2004, if there was testing in place. - No, I do not believe I was cheating, as it was implicitly encouraged and had no consequences - Yes, I believe that anyone caught after 2004 is cheating and should be punished - Yes, of course I am only talking about this because I got caught! Do you really think anyone would just stand up and say "oh, hey, I used a bunch of steroids" while they're still playing without being exposed? - I do believe it's unfair that baseball players take so much more heat from this than other sports, but then again, I understand it because of how late the game was to the testing party. - No, I don't resent the reporter that exposed me, as he was just doing his job, but yeah, I really wish he hadn't. - In my estimation, the steroid cycles added X number of home runs, X number of extra hits/bases, but mostly confidence, comfort, and a feeling of physical well-being - The side effects for me were ___, ____, and ____ . - Would I do it again? YES, if they weren't testing. Now? No. Not worth the risks. - I think testing is a good thing. It eliminates temptation and means we have obvious penalties if we're caught. It can help to keep kids safe, because kids are not educated or mature enough to use steroids safely, nor do they need them at that age with all that natural testosterone floating around. They're not necessary for anyone, as I myself have seen in my training and play since stopping - hard work trumps everything - but if there is no punishment or discouragement people will still use anything to get an edge. It's human nature. Baseball has done the right thing by implementing the testing measures they have now, and going forward there shouldn't be any problems. What happened happened, it was part of the game, and while it sucks that I got caught, I guess it's good to have a chance to provide some information about it in the hopes that maybe others who used will not be judged so negatively. - (stays until there are no more questions to be asked)

Obviously that's an unrealistic expectation. But I'll continue to hope for it. How refreshing would that kind of honesty be? It'd be awesome. Maybe it'd even change the minds of a few of the voters who are selectively blackballing users from the Hall. I know I for one would love to get those kinds of details and a legitimate account of what kind of benefits were seen from it.

I just don't think it is realistic to think anyone would give that kind of info up. If Giambi didn't, and players under oath didn't, it's hard for me to believe that ARod should have. But that's what everyone wanted, and I think even then we'd still be getting columns today about how it wasn't good enough.

posted by Bernreuther at 03:52 PM on February 18

Bernreuther, the expectation he set up for himself was that he was going to be completely honest. So, it isn't the media's unrealistic expectations, it was his own. He could have said I'll be as honest as I can. A-Rod had several choices before him, he could be completely honest, pretend to be honest, or evade. He chose to pretend to be honest, and that is the least honorable choice.

I would be surprised if any athlete would ever be able to give a recitation so completely on their steroid use because these users aren't exactly the sharpest tool in the shed.

posted by bperk at 04:28 PM on February 18

That's true. You can go back in the archives here to when I used to post a lot more to learn that I believe that steroids can be used responsibly and safely and that they're not the evil things most people would have us believe... but the fact is, they are dangerous when you don't know what you're doing. And a lot of people don't. I have no problem with a person who works hard all the time, does research, and decides that a cycle might push them through a plateau to the next level, but most people who use steroids do so out of laziness. They look for the easy way out. To me, that IS cheating. And I suppose that, combined with the fact that like most substances they are dangerous when used incorrectly, is a very strong argument in favor of outlawing them from sports and life. It's kind of sad, really, that someone whose body and talents are their sole source of income would use the stuff without doing any actual research, but most of these guys aren't the sharpest knives in the drawer. (If they were, they'd know better than to hire morons like Brian McNamee, judging from what I've seen and heard of his training regimens. Seems he's no more effective than a random chump a a Globo Gym.)

That's another discussion though. I buy that excuse from Jeremy Giambi and a lot of impressionable young rookies, but I'm actually with you guys in that I don't really buy it from ARod. He is known to meticulously plan and chart his diet, from what I've read, so it makes very little sense that he'd just try something on a hunch.

posted by Bernreuther at 05:16 PM on February 18

He is known to meticulously plan and chart his diet, from what I've read, so it makes very little sense that he'd just try something on a hunch.

Thank you for bringing that up. Last night, while listening to the radio on my way home. Bill Simmons said that his observations of A-Rod was that he has always treated his body like the proverbial temple. So, there's no way I would believe that for 3 years, A-Rod would use anything not knowing what it was, if it was being used correctly, if it was working, having someone administer it (that wasn't a physician- of sorts). There are just too many questions that were only halfway answered or not at all. He's still lying. And right now, I agree with those who would have preferred him take the McGwire approach, rather than act like we're stupid enough to believe him at this point.

Bern, while I don't necessarily agree with your stance of steroids and the correct/safe usage being okay, I do understand the motivation that the players had to use. But come clean already, and I direct that at all the players, not just A-Rod. At this point, what is the worst that would happen? The shock and awe is gone, no one would really be surprised. Just do it. Yes we can.

posted by BoKnows at 06:05 PM on February 18

This entire spectacle gets more and more ridiculous, and all the people doing the criticizing of A-Rod telling the truth or not crack me up. You sit behind your computer keyboards judging people who don't automatically come clean with every aspect of their life just because Matt Lauer or Katie Couric or whatever jackass reporter asks questions of them. I'd love to see how any of you would handle having your every move and word picked apart and examined by millions of people, when the vast majority of you (and those millions) probably live various lies each and every day of your own lives (the only difference being the public doesn't really give a damn about you). Granted, A-Rod brought this stuff on himself, but we live in a society where people cheat on wives, taxes, weekend golf games, etc., and how many of these people are standing in front of reporters or cameras, or even their own friends and loved-ones, and screaming the truth about their own transgressions at the top of their lungs? A-Rod earned millions of dollars because because he can run, catch, and hit. He's been in the public eye since he was a teenager. But whether people like it or not, jealousy about what he does for a living and how much he makes DOES make people hate him, and most people can't even speak the truth when it comes to admitting they are happy when a guy like him falls flat on his face. Face it, the guy isn't smart! Don't expect him to be, and quit acting so surprised he screws up on an on-going basis. But I'd love to really, truly know which of you people used A-Rod's current situation to walk up to every person you've been untruthful to, whether it be you spouse, friends, co-workers, etc. and came clean with everything. I'm assuming the number would round out to be about zero. Quit acting like you're any different than A-Rod when it gets right down to it. Like the saying about "Those who live in glass houses" goes, take a long look at yourselves.

posted by dyams at 06:57 PM on February 18

Right, so your stance is since no one is perfect, we should all just turn a blind eye to others imperfections and since lying happens each day, we should just accept it as the social norm?

posted by BoKnows at 07:22 PM on February 18

I never said anything about "Turning a blind eye" because that's the exact opposite of what has taken place with A-Rod, and to a lesser extent all possible steroid users/abusers. Your comment about lying basically being a "social norm," though, is actually really accurate. Regardless of the situation, people tend to lie in order to protect themselves, or at the very least, tell half-truths. Again, I'll use the example of a person cheating on their spouse. When their cheating is found out, what do they do? At first they probably deny it. Then, when they absolutely can't deny it anymore, they will admit it, but to what extent? Do they say, "Yes, I cheated" and then automatically go into a complete rundown of each and every tryst they every had with the other person, going into explicit detail regarding every single act they did with each other? Generally not. It's usually tell part of the truth, hoping that will be enough, and then they can go on with their life. I just see very few people ever just completely spilling their guts about all exact details of their lie. Bill Clinton didn't tell the complete truth, for all I know, but he was only the President of the United States and leader of the free world. A-Rod, a guy who plays a game with a bat and ball for a living, has to live to a higher standard than everyone else? I don't buy it. He admitted he used steroids, so let it go. It's over. He cheated. Either accept him or don't, whatever. I just don't accept a flawed individual such as A-Rod owes everyone the truth more than any other human. All I ask is to look back on your own life, to your own lies, to who those lies have been to, and whether or not you actually told the entire truth when you were supposedly telling the truth. Don't hold others accountable to standards you yourself aren't capable of keeping.

posted by dyams at 08:08 PM on February 18

You know nothing about my standards, nor is it the subject matter here. While you may be trying to make a comparison, it just is not going to work. I am not IN the public eye. I do not have millions of dollars invested in me. I do not have an unknown number of kids (willingly or unwillingly) idolizing the way I play a game. I did not do an interview on national TV saying "I'm not guilty" of the offense in question here. Whether we like it or not, condone it or not, baseball players (or athletes in general) are some young people's example for who they want to be and how they want to achieve their goals. So, right now in baseball, all that kids know is A) steroids will help and B) if you get caught, you can just lie about it until it fades away. Now, to prevent the athlete-as-role-model discussion - keep in mind that there are a lot of kids whose parents are incapable of providing and instilling values, or they are not there at all. (So, in short, I do think that parents should be the role models for their kids but that just isn't completely possible all the time. So kids do look to the big name athletes as role models.) But ultimately, I do agree that the social norm is to lie and see how far minimal truth will get you, but that doesn't mean I have to like it or keep quiet about it.

posted by BoKnows at 08:30 PM on February 18

BoKnows, I for one would love it if everyone just came clean. Part of this is because I'm intensely curious about how and what people used and how it helped, but part of it is because I would hope it'd give us all more information so that we'd stop unfairly crucifying a few guys while turning a blind eye to dozens of others just because they were fortunate enough not to get caught. Maybe that's me just being a fan of Mark McGwire talking now though.

But people won't come clean unless they're caught, and I don't think that we should hold that against anyone. While there are many flaws with the argument that "everyone else would do it/is doing it/did it so what's the difference" in general, I do think it can be legitimately applied to the suggestion that ARod is a fraud for only coming clean once he got caught. That's one of the biggest criticisms in all these articles: that it's not genuine, he's not really sorry he used, he's only sorry he got caught." Well no shit. That's the way we all work. I'm all for admitting a bias against ARod based on his extreme social awkwardness, but let's lay off him on that count, because truly, we'd all be the same. Nobody is going to just walk up and start publicly confessing to their many sins in the past for no reason. I agree - you don't have to like it; but it's still unreasonable to expect more. Especially from such a known phony.

By the way, I apologize for my long bullet point hypothetical interview coming out garbled. It looked OK in the live preview but I never looked at it once published to notice that the line breaks were lost so that I could've edited. Now it's even tougher to get through my post. Sorry.

posted by Bernreuther at 08:43 PM on February 18

You're right, I don't know anything about your standards personally, Bo. For all I know you may actually be someone who has never told a lie. I just think we're getting closer and closer to living in a society in which sports stars aren't held in as high regard by kids as they were years ago. Constant, 24/7 media barrages have proven to my own children, for example, that a hell of a lot of high-paid athletes are nothing but flawed human beings who have a specific talent. They see athletes lying, cheating, getting arrested, divorcing, having affairs, fathering illegitimate children, abusing women, murdering, doing drugs, getting DWIs, fighting, etc. And these, they are smart enough to realize, are only the ones who get caught. In other words, they are the exact same as people in the general public, the ones who are moms, dads, brothers, sisters, everyone. A-Rod used steroids, wasn't honest about it initially, and now has admitted he used them. Stop expecting more of the truth and move on. And please, give kids these days a bit more credit with regards to their understanding what is right and wrong. And if you don't think they know the difference, get out there yourself and teach them. Don't expect more of famous athletes just because their paychecks are bigger than mine and yours.

posted by dyams at 08:57 PM on February 18

I agree with almost all of that, dyams. But one thing still lingers with me. Obviously, the drugs are ahead of the testing, so it's entirely possible that PEDs of some sort will remain in sports from now on. So, kids now know, that in order to even get to the show, they will most likely have to use something to get that edge, or to achieve that next level. In a lot of cases, being "clean" seems to be a disadvantage. To me, that is sickening. So, I could go out, and tell all the kids I know what is and what isn't, but it doesn't matter, because it's becoming more and more obvious that talent alone=nothing, but talent + steroids=zillions of dollars.

And like I said prior, if he had taken the McGwire method to this, I would be content with calling him a liar once, and being done with it. But he, himself, chose to be the poster boy for clean baseball players, then got caught, lied about it, made ridiculous accusations about the reporter, then lied again - all the while using words like "honestly" and phrases like "to be quite honest". At this point, he's a joke and a liar, and each time he decides to publicly embarrass himself, I will most certainly voice my opinion of him.

posted by BoKnows at 09:15 PM on February 18

Gene Wojciechowski's garbage article (which is of course the ESPN cover story right now) is a good example of the stuff I was talking about. Wrapping "cousin" and "boli" in quotes and pretending not to know what he was admitting to (recycling the Giambi taunts of 05) are about par for the course for him. The logic that he obviously can't be believed about the cousin or the timeline, even in the face of his passed blood test for the last WBC and passing MLB's testing is poor.

But you know what?

His stupid 2008-2017 proposal actually isn't bad.

It's dumb to just throw all of his stats to this point out, but he does give the 2022 BBWAA voters a decent template: Even if you're the biggest anti-steroid crusader there is, just use his last ten years, the ones we can reasonably conclude are clean. If he puts up ten HOF-worthy years, plays to the level of his contract, well damn. There wouldn't be a single good argument against him.

I can't believe I just said something nice about that moron.

BoKnows, there will always be kids who make dumb decisions just like there will always be people who find ways to cheat at the pro level. That'd happen regardless of what has been going on in baseball. One good thing to come out of the steroid era is that it coincides with an era of players simply hitting the weights and working out more. Even without steroids, someone who works hard, especially at that age, is going to have a HUGE advantage. I have seen teenagers do some freakish things in the past few years. The few schools with legitimate strength coaches end up producing kids with incredible strength and a big leg up on their competition. They're arguably better off than a pro who used steroids is, relative to the competition. The key teaching point is that with hard work and 1200ng/dL natural testosterone coursing through their 16 year old bodies, incredible things are possible without chemical assistance. If there's testing and punishment in place and kids are working hard, they'll turn out just fine. Seeing an athlete get caught and embarassed isn't going to make them more likely to use. Seeing an unregulated and unpoliced sport with obvious use and no consequences likely would, though. In that regard, MLB has done a great job. They were late to the party, but they're doing fine now.

posted by Bernreuther at 11:44 PM on February 18

Bernreuther, thanks for your lengthy response. It gets tiring hearing the constant barrage of accusations that if you're critical of A-Rod you hate him, wish you were him, or wish you made his money. I'm sure some are, and bad news sells papers, but it's nonsense to paint everyone with that broad brush, and it seems to be done a lot here.

I actually agree with much of what you said, though I find the discrepancies more glaring, the story more unbelievable. I thought Arod would do better than previous players because he's seen how being silent, telling half the truth, hasn't gone well for others. But it looks like even with past lessons he's incapable of coming off favorably.

Cashman himself said the same thing.

"The one thing he could have said was the fact he chose to do this to make himself better ... at what he does on the baseball field," Cashman said. "That's the truth.

"I don't think Alex is very good at communicating ... whether it's about talking about your game and the impact you had on it after hitting a home run or if he had a tough game at the park, let the team down."

"Anybody that's been in that clubhouse when he's trying to talk about success or failure on the baseball diamond knows that is something he is not very good at."

Joe Posnanski, who thought it better that players come clean, now thinks Mark McGwire had the right idea.

Elsewhere:

Arod confuses the experts.

Bad Arod.

Bad Arod.

Good Arod.

posted by justgary at 12:03 AM on February 19

I hope my comments haven't been construed as hating A-Rod or being jealous of his accomplishments or paycheck, because I don't and am not.

From some, all I hear regarding steroids is get over it or deal with it, to the tune that since it is so widespread, it should just be a given. I just don't have that level of acceptance with this one. I grew up watching Ozzie Smith, Willie McGee, Tommy Herr, Jack Clark, Vince Coleman and Keith Hernandez. Whitey Ball. I was one that idolized those guys and knew that regardless of HR ability, there was a way to play the game, and muscle growth didn't matter. Now, all that has changed, and with youngsters of my own, I don't think they can ever enjoy the game the way I did. All they hear/read/see is juiced up players lying through their teeth on national TV. Anyone have a way-back machine?

posted by BoKnows at 12:24 AM on February 19

You sit behind your computer keyboards judging people who don't automatically come clean with every aspect of their life just because Matt Lauer or Katie Couric or whatever jackass reporter asks questions of them.

That's not what happened here, Dyams. Alex Rodriguez chose to do a sit-down interview with Katie Couric in 2007, as the steroid controversy in baseball was raging against Barry Bonds and other stars, and knew he'd be asked about steroids. He chose to lie and embellish his own squeaky-clean reputation and set himself apart from the cheaters.

That's a lot more than not coming clean with every aspect of his life to nosy reporters. A Rod's an ass. Every one of us in this discussion could be a meth-addicted wifebeater who cheats at golf and strongarms grannies for pocket change, and A Rod would still be an ass.

posted by rcade at 10:53 AM on February 19

I don't shop at GNC or any other supplement store, so I don't know, but are there really INJECTABLE supplements that are sold over the counter? I thought everything was pills or powders.

posted by Shotput at 02:59 PM on February 19

A Rod's an ass. Every one of us in this discussion could be a meth-addicted wifebeater who cheats at golf and strongarms grannies for pocket change, and A Rod would still be an ass.

That's fine. Just realize he has a great deal of company in the "ass" department. I have made many mistakes and poor decisions in my life, too, so I refuse to hold a baseball player, of all things, to a higher standard.

posted by dyams at 03:44 PM on February 19

I have made many mistakes and poor decisions in my life, too, so I refuse to hold a baseball player, of all things, to a higher standard.

Expecting someone who says I am going to be totally honest to actually be honest is not a high standard, not even for us little folks. You can easily meet it by not telling anyone that you plan on being totally honest. It is remarkably easy to do. And, we are talking about ARod's professional, not personal, life here. You have no right to privacy in your professional life, or at least I don't. My boss can grill me about any professional decision I make or any action I take. Unfortunately for ARod, he answers to many more people than I do.

posted by bperk at 04:14 PM on February 19

That's fine. Just realize he has a great deal of company in the "ass" department. I have made many mistakes and poor decisions in my life, too, so I refuse to hold a baseball player, of all things, to a higher standard.

Why? They're afforded incomprehensible things because they're a star and a celebrity; why wouldn't that same celebrity be used against them when they deceive the general public?

Celebrity is wonderful when you're good but awful when you're bad. A-Rod used his celebrity to book a show with Katie Couric to tell millions of people he was clean; he lied to every person watching.

In real life, if someone lies to me, I'm pissed off at them and I don't trust them, at least for a while. He's done that but on the scale of millions of people. They have every right to be pissed off at him and to stop trusting what he says. If he wants to repair that relationship, he can do what every regular joe does; apologize and go out and show that it was a mistake.

Those who expect forgiveness rarely get it. Those who earn it usually do.

posted by dfleming at 07:11 PM on February 19

Why is it I get the impression lying to Katie Couric is worse than lying to Congress?

Honestly, I just get confused because one person will post they don't hold A-Rod's celebrity and millions against him, or that doesn't change their impression of what he says or the mistakes he makes. Then the next person will post that he has to live by different standards than the rest of the world because he's famous. And being "honest" and being "totally honest," as I've tried to allude to before, are two totally different things. Again, the guy has admitted he used illegal, banned substances. Now he's not being truthful until he tells every single detail in a manner that satisfies each and every person, whether it's a fan, writer, major league baseball, etc? Very few people in any walk of life are held to that strict a standard of truth. They tell just enough of the truth to get whoever is hounding them off their back. And this also brings me back to the need to make public the names of the other hundred (or whatever) names on this list. They shouldn't be afforded this protection when A-Rod had his name leaked and trashed. Publish every single name and demand they tell the truth about every aspect of their steroid involvement, let them be labeled at "cheaters," and "liars" and have Selig point his boney finger at them (and of course, not at himself). The steroid issue in baseball stinks, but this witch hunt that only harasses certain players and not the others who are guilty stinks just as bad.

posted by dyams at 08:27 PM on February 19

dyams, it sounds as though you're arguing for Moral Relativism. You're welcome to it, but the problem with it is it would do away with message boards, gossiping about one's neighbors and judging others from within glass houses. In short, it would make life boring up until the point someone splits your head with an axe because that's just how they roll and who are you to judge anyway?

Sorry to be a crank about it, but whenever there's a Moral Outrage story, someone wanders in late and takes the Contrarian position because all the good stances are gone and there's nothing original left to say. I'd rather we add to the feature list of Sportsfilter 3.0 a boilerplate comment posting once a thread hits 20 comments and 5+ mentions of "steroids", "women's rights", "dog fighting", "testicular strangulation", "Jane Eyre", "The Works of Jim Varney from 1986-1988 inclusive", "Dream Theater's best album" or anything else worth arguing about.

posted by yerfatma at 08:38 PM on February 19

So are you saying that A-Rod is honest, just not totally honest? The definition of honest is: free from fraud or deception - which he is not. And we know he's not totally honest either. Maybe he's told half-truths (a statement that is only partly true, esp. one intended to deceive, evade blame, or the like - which sounds like what he is doing), but no, honest is not the right word. Ironically though, that's the word he chose to use over and over. He's admitted little, and most of what he's admitted to are lies.

I agree with releasing all the names. 100%. I'm with you there, but like I said in a previous thread, I'm not just going to forget the known guilty party.

Did ARod lie to just Katie Couric? Or did he lie to every single person watching? How about all his teammates? MLB? You can't expect a guy to go on National TV, spew a bunch of lies and then call it okay solely because their was only one other person in the room.

Honestly, I just get confused because one person will post they don't hold A-Rod's celebrity and millions against him, or that doesn't change their impression of what he says or the mistakes he makes. Then the next person will post that he has to live by different standards than the rest of the world because he's famous.

Apples and oranges. But I like the use of the word honestly, and honestly, I believe you.

posted by BoKnows at 08:52 PM on February 19

Why is it I get the impression lying to Katie Couric is worse than lying to Congress?

He lied to everyone who is a baseball fan. None of us give a fuck about Katie Couric. He voluntarily chose to lie to the general public to make himself look good.

Very few people in any walk of life are held to that strict a standard of truth.

You've got to be kidding me. Doctors, lawyers, professors, religious leaders, politicians, celebrities....need I go on?

posted by dfleming at 09:03 PM on February 19

...but whenever there's a Moral Outrage story, someone wanders in late and takes the Contrarian position because all the good stances are gone and there's nothing original left to say.

There has been three threads here about ARod in the last ten days. He has done two prevalent interviews since - one with Gammons, the other a Yankees press conference. All the newspapers, websites and the like have been discussing nothing but this story. Prepare to read like opinions and differing ones, but to judge opinions based on who has the ability to sit at a computer all day and those who don't, doesn't mean that the latter's stance has any less merit than the former.

posted by BoKnows at 09:17 PM on February 19

Very few people in any walk of life are held to that strict a standard of truth.

You've got to be kidding me. Doctors, lawyers, professors, religious leaders, politicians, celebrities....need I go on?

Really?

Politicians are held to the truth? Bill Clinton? "I did not have sexual relations with that girl." Did that guy ever come out to the world and tell every detail about the Monica Lewinski affair, or his other affairs? Kids may not wear Bill Clinton jerseys around, but I still think he had a fairly prominent standing in the world.

Pastors who have inappropriate sexual relationships with young boys? After they've been found to be guilty of such behaviors do they give a vivid description of every single detail of every single time they were with the child (children) in question, and I mean the absolute, 100 percent truth?

Lawyers? My god, please! Half of the lawyers in the world could be told the truth by their client during their first meeting, that they (the client) went out and killed somebody in cold-blood, but they (the lawyer) still go out and try to convince a jury it never happened and that his/her client is innocent. Is that being held to the truth?

I could probably go on and on, but I guess I just don't understand your point. And yerfatma, I agree that without this type of issue to take the stance I'm running down with my posts that sites like Sportsfilter and such wouldn't exist, I just think it's overkill how people have beat the dead horse for so long about A-Rod being a fucking jerk, an ass, an idiot, a liar, a cheater, but still almost seem to think he's going to change or something. He's a moron who knows how to play baseball and lied about this issue. Eventually I think people would get sick of piling on him. It's almost like baiting and torturing a mentally challenged person. Some sick people almost seem to get a thrill out it, and it's time to leave it alone. He lied, he cheated, he's a moronic asshole. We get it!

posted by dyams at 10:19 PM on February 19

It's only been ten days, dyams. And he himself keeps fueling the fire. You could refrain from the thread yourself as well, you know.

posted by BoKnows at 10:22 PM on February 19

Did that guy ever come out to the world and tell every detail about the Monica Lewinski affair, or his other affairs? Kids may not wear Bill Clinton jerseys around, but I still think he had a fairly prominent standing in the world.

The media tore him apart. It was all the western world talked about for months. Were you dead or just blind and deaf?

Pastors who have inappropriate sexual relationships with young boys? After they've been found to be guilty of such behaviors do they give a vivid description of every single detail of every single time they were with the child (children) in question, and I mean the absolute, 100 percent truth?

The media tore them apart. It, again, was all we talked about for months.

Half of the lawyers in the world could be told the truth by their client during their first meeting, that they (the client) went out and killed somebody in cold-blood, but they (the lawyer) still go out and try to convince a jury it never happened and that his/her client is innocent. Is that being held to the truth?

They're bound by law to uphold the attorney/client privilege. Law. They lose their job if they don't do it.

The fact that the majority of us look at all lawyers as scum shows just how pervasive that stereotype is. We hold lawyers, those dirty liars, accountable for the very laws we hold them to. So yes, they're held to a moral standard that we don't even legally allow. Huzzah!

The media rakes everyone in an elevated position over the coals for their discretions. Eliot Spitzer did what ordinary Americans do every day and he was roasted for weeks for it. Blagojevich's crime isn't really all that unique (although his timing was awful) and he'll never recover from it. Pete Rose still can't get any respect around baseball for what he did. Lance Armstrong didn't even do anything and he's treated like mud in the media.

Need I go on or do you really think that A-Rod's a unique case of people in elevated positions being held to a higher standard?

Why do we do it? They're given privileges in society based on the idea that they're deserving based on a set of rules. A-Rod violated that and we feel deceived. Is his deceiving us worse than JC Romero? Yes, because he was given more by society by nature of his (what we thought were) natural abilities to play baseball. He took all the compensation (money, glory, power, status and opportunity) and didn't live up to his end of the bargain. Did he know this when he shot up? Yes, otherwise he'd not have lied to us when he went on TV to tell us he hadn't cheated.

He agreed to the celebrity social contract which holds them to a higher standard by taking all that he was offered. If he didn't think he could live up to it, he could've refused at any time but he didn't.

posted by dfleming at 11:22 PM on February 19

So many comments, and MLB Commissioner Selig can't even rate a mention.

I hope Mark Teixeira is taking notes on how Rodriguez is handling this.

posted by Newbie Walker at 02:33 AM on February 20

And now it is only going to get worse. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3920425&campaign=rss&source=ESPNHeadlines

posted by gfinsf at 02:58 AM on February 20

I wonder what would happen if the Catholic Church had a list of 100 priests who behaved illegally and inappropriately and decided to only let one name leak out, then proceeded to pile on only him? It's wrong, and eventually there will be legal action taken because of it. It would be nice if at least a quarter of that unnamed list would come out on their own and volunteer the truth, but I'm sure they'll be allowed (that's the part that bothers me) to go on living their lie.

posted by dyams at 06:27 AM on February 20

So now we've got Bill Clinton and the Catholic Church on the list of Things to Be Corrected Before dyams Will Let Us Discuss A-Rod. If you want to discuss everything but A-Rod, perhaps this isn't the place to do it. If you're trying to tell us people are hypocrites and inconsistent in their application of morality, it's not quite the news flash you're hoping.

judge opinions based on who has the ability to sit at a computer all day and those who don't

Not what I'm saying. I'm saying the "Let he who throws stones" argument usually shows up in the comments after the pro and con sides have been taken.

posted by yerfatma at 07:15 AM on February 20

It's almost like baiting and torturing a mentally challenged person. Some sick people almost seem to get a thrill out it, and it's time to leave it alone.

Dude. A Rod's a poor mistreated special-ed kid and we're sick people getting our jollies tormenting him? I appreciate the contrarian take on the situation, but we're getting into Chris Crocker territory here.

posted by rcade at 07:57 AM on February 20

It would be nice if at least a quarter of that unnamed list would come out on their own and volunteer the truth, but I'm sure they'll be allowed (that's the part that bothers me) to go on living their lie.

So, you think it's realistic to expect unnamed players to volunteer information on what they did but you don't think it's realistic to expect A-Rod to volunteer information on what he did? How's that work?

posted by dfleming at 09:40 AM on February 20

Uh-oh.

posted by justgary at 12:08 PM on February 20

Every one of us in this discussion could be a meth-addicted wifebeater who cheats at golf and strongarms grannies for pocket change

Wait, that stuff is bad?

"Dream Theater's best album"

There have been discussions about this stuff here? Damn, I'm sorry I disappeared for a few years.

(For the record, I'm partial to Images and Words, but that's largely because it's the first CD I ever owned after years of being way behind technology.)

And now it is only going to get worse.

I don't know. I guess some people will pounce on his use of the words "over the counter" as having implied that it's legal, but it's pretty well known that to get steroids, you go to a foreign country like Mexico or the DR, walk into a store, and they hand it to you, legal or not. It's all "underground market" there. Getting it over the border, not acquiring it, is the hard part. I don't think the written law in the DR is going to make people think of this as any worse.

Now, Gary's link... if that shady guy ever gets linked to the new steroid alternatives... Look out.

posted by Bernreuther at 01:05 PM on February 20

So, you think it's realistic to expect unnamed players to volunteer information on what they did but you don't think it's realistic to expect A-Rod to volunteer information on what he did? How's that work?

Were players even notified that they were on the list? I would think that the supposed anonymity of the test would prevent them from knowing if they tested positive. I wouldn't think that everyone would come forward though if they might be on the list. I wouldn't have expected A-Rod to come forward either. I think it is terrible that this list got out, and I hope no other names are released. It is a huge violation of their privacy that this list even exists.

posted by bperk at 01:21 PM on February 20

Berneuther,

I would have to go with Falling into Inifinity for Dream Theater, although i know i am the only one to think this (the members of dream theater included).

Oh, and A-Rod's in trouble.

posted by brainofdtrain at 01:21 PM on February 20

Yeah, you're definitely the first person I've heard say that. I think that album sounds almost like 80s radio music. I still listen to it of course. Might go put it in now, actually.

posted by Bernreuther at 01:37 PM on February 20

I have this sinking feeling that with the newest link from Gary we might see this whole A-Rod scandal spiral downward farther than any of us would have hoped. Hopefully A-Rod is right that baseball is a lot bigger than him, b/c he might be going down in flames permanently.

posted by brainofdtrain at 01:38 PM on February 20

I was wondering what it would take for baseball to go all Kennesaw Mountain Landis and issue a lifetime ban against an active player to remove the black mark of steroids. Is that not possible anymore because of the money in the game? Shoeless Joe got even more of a raw deal if today's miscreant players are too big to ban.

posted by rcade at 01:57 PM on February 20

So now we've got Bill Clinton and the Catholic Church on the list of Things to Be Corrected Before dyams Will Let Us Discuss A-Rod.

Did I not let you discuss A-Rod yerfatma? Offer up something for discussion regarding A-Rod. I've seen a few comments from you and you haven't really said anything about it. You've only lectured me about my own feelings with regards to the topic. I haven't tried to put down anyones opinion or to put a halt to the topic itself. I've merely tried to make the point that no amount of truth is ever going to be enough when it comes to A-Rod. My other examples, from politicians to lawyers, were only meant to back up my point we will only ever get a small segment of the truth from famous, public, well-compensated individuals, and no amount of supposed-truths will ever be enough. I remember when the Mitchell Report was completed, and Congress had it's hearings, they said they didn't think baseball should start going after these guys based on all this stuff, because that would be after-the-fact and really solve nothing. And that's what's going on. And I'm sorry to keep harping on this issue, but just because the other 100 or so names haven't been publicized, does that make them any less guilty? Shouldn't they be expected to come out, right now, on their own, in an effort to get down to the truth and to hopefully ensure this issue is corrected and doesn't happen again? Of course they should. How does anyone know that other players who have chimed in with their opinions on steroids haven't tested positive? They are currently sitting back right now scared to death because they see what's coming down on A-Rod now. If baseball wasn't so worried about pointing fingers and passing blame, they'd allow all these players immunity to give full disclosure about the subject without the fear of retaliation. Maybe then the game could get past this whole mess. But they just can't do it. And in the meantime, many others are hiding in the wings, too gutless to come out and admit they used banned substances also. As long as that's the case, I don't see them as any better or less shameful than A-Rod. A fairly interesting point was also made on ESPN this morning regarding how so many of yesterday's baseball stars and Hall of Famers are quick to dismiss records of this era and it's players, yet they had greenies and other drugs to help them keep their edge, and some of the other records from baseball history were set when blacks and minorities weren't even allowed to play the game. It seems many eras of the game have shameful issues they dealt with in the wrong way, and steroids is just the issue of recent history.

posted by dyams at 06:41 PM on February 20

Not what I'm saying. I'm saying the "Let he who throws stones" argument usually shows up in the comments after the pro and con sides have been taken.

My apologies. The middle of the thread was kinda loosey-goosey, I wasn't sure which way that was going.

tried to make the point that no amount of truth is ever going to be enough when it comes to A-Rod.

dyams, why do you consider that truth comes in multiple forms? Either it's the truth or it's not. Just because other big name, prestigious people do it, doesn't make it right. And usually, their truth is never enough, because all to often, it's not the truth at all. A-Rod has proven that to all of us in a matter of two weeks and he just keeps lying again and again.

posted by BoKnows at 08:09 PM on February 20

Taken from Gary's post: In addition to A-Rod, Presinal has worked with some of the game's biggest stars: Juan Gonzalez, Pedro Martinez, David Ortiz, Vladimir Guerrero, Bartolo Colon, Miguel Tejada, Adrian Beltre, Moises Alou, Jose Guillen, Ervin Santana, Ruben Sierra, Francisco Cordero, Jose Mesa and Juan Guzman, among others Okay, so now we seem to have 14 of the players on the list. Not that a single one of those surprises me.

Wow, this if going to get ugly.

posted by dviking at 09:00 PM on February 20

Ortiz surprises me. He's been pretty outspoken against steroids here lately. You'd think if he were guilty he wouldn't want to draw too much attention to himself. And now I may know why Alou flipped out so hard on Bartman. Roid rage.

posted by BoKnows at 09:02 PM on February 20

A-Rod lied about ever using them, someone leaked the fact he had a positive test in the past, then he admitted that yes, he used them. That's really all the truth I need to know, but it seems others need more of the truth. Who was it with, who was he with, when did he do it, how many times did he do it, etc. He's forever labeled a liar and a cheat, so I'd just like to see the questions and investigating stopped. It helps nothing and solves nothing, no more than McGwire, Bonds, Sosa, Palmiero, Tejada, and so on. I'm all for releasing every name and kicking them all out of baseball and out of the record books, the Hall of Fame, whatever. Test every player, every week, all year around if that's what it's going to take. Take charge of the game, at long last, and move on. A story about every stupid fucking question A-Rod screws up helps not-at-all. And if I'm not mistaken, wasn't it Ortiz who was one of A-Rod's biggest critics just a few weeks ago? Get rid of them all, and you'll finally send the ultimate message and stop this bullshit "hunt for the truth." It's only meant to sell newspapers and increase website traffic.

posted by dyams at 09:12 PM on February 20

Get rid of them all, and you'll finally send the ultimate message and stop this bullshit "hunt for the truth."

I doubt those expelled players would be happy with that knowing that all the facts are not on the table. Nor would be MLBPA. Why is accurate and complete information such a bad thing? I'm not okay with bullshit and lies. Letting the players walk or letting them play without further questioning will also solve nothing.

posted by BoKnows at 09:37 PM on February 20

And if I'm not mistaken, wasn't it Ortiz who was one of A-Rod's biggest critics just a few weeks ago?

Which will mean something if it comes out ortiz failed a test like A-Rod did.

He'll look foolish, just like A-Rod did after the Couric interview.

posted by justgary at 09:41 PM on February 20

Papi is savvy enough that he could say something to the effect of "sure, I did in the past, but that doesn't mean I can't support stiffer penalties now, as they'll put us all on a level playing field and end all the questions" and it'd be forgotten in a day. I know I'd buy that.

(Plus he's on the Sox so ESPN would just bury the headline anyway.)

posted by Bernreuther at 09:59 PM on February 20

No, he'd look like a fool.

I'm aware of the whole 'espn hates us' victimhood thing yankee fans have going on but this would be big. Not saying he wouldn't get a better deal than A-Rod though. I mean, everyone loves big papi, amirite?

posted by justgary at 10:06 PM on February 20

I haven't tried to put down anyones opinion or to put a halt to the topic itself.

all the people doing the criticizing of A-Rod telling the truth or not crack me up. You sit behind your computer keyboards judging people who don't automatically come clean with every aspect of their life just because Matt Lauer or Katie Couric or whatever jackass reporter asks questions of them. I'd love to see how any of you would handle having your every move and word picked apart and examined by millions of people

I'd hate to see when you do decide to put a halt to things.

Offer up something for discussion regarding A-Rod

Ok, he's a lying dope who's obsessed with being on a poster. Except everyone's said what I thought, mainly Joey Michaels, so I just didn't offer my opinion. I know that's a crazy thing to do on the Internets, but I didn't think I had anything additional to offer, so I just read everyone else's stuff until you started your sermon.

posted by yerfatma at 11:07 PM on February 20

Ortiz:

This place, where he work at, is a facility that is like five minutes away from my house [in the Dominican Republic]. So, it's like an Olympic place, where everybody go and hit, run, do all their work in, and that's like in the middle of everybody's house. So we all go there and work out. [pause] He's a good trainer. He's the guy that know how to teach -- he teach you how to train, how to get your body ready to go. You know, but besides that, I have no idea about this.

posted by justgary at 11:18 PM on February 20

My guess is that the steroid issue in baseball will remain a murky unresolved mess for years, and evidence of abuse will come out with the constant drip-drip-drip that turns a scandal into a Category 5 shitstorm. Even with testing, players will either know how to beat it or think they know, leading to new stories of new abuses of new drugs, and just like in cycling, the stink never really washes off.

Still, though, I'm ready for the first spring training games to begin. This is the Rangers' year.

posted by rcade at 12:34 AM on February 21

I mean, everyone loves big papi, amirite?

Well, I'm a Yankee fan and I like the guy (except when he comes up to the plate against us in big spots of course).

I'm not sure what that article tells us. It's just a bunch of quotes and an insinuation that we can't believe anything, whether it's talk or even current testing. I don't necessarily believe Ortiz is and has been 100% clean either but that's not exactly what I'd call quality journalism.

RCade, my guess is that evidence of USE will come out for years. And reporters will toss about the term ABuse and imply that any use at all is abusive and evil and irresponsible and everyone will make it out to be worse than it seems. It's not. Guys like Canseco and early Giambi used irresponsibly, abused the drugs, and likely did permanent damage to their bodies. But probably 80% of the users did so safely. I guess that's just a pet peeve of mine as a semi steroid advocate, but I think people are way too eager to use the word abuse.

That said, I think you're right - this will drag on for years - no matter how solid the MLB testing plan is, there will always be a drug that stays ahead of the curve, just like the stuff that is used in every other sport, and surely those who aren't careful or who are unlucky will get exposed - not for failing tests, but due to their purchasing habits or trainers or something else linking them. And it's quite likely that MLB athletes will take more shit for it than NFL, olympic, cycling, or otherwise, regardless of what MLB has done with their testing program. To me, that's not fair. At this point, regardless of one's opinion on the legality, usefulness, and legitimacy of steroids, it's fair to say that a large portion of athletes in all sports have tried, if not habitually used, the stuff, and it's only fair to punish whoever was caught after testing standards and enforcement were put in place. MLB just happened to be very late to the party. And while I think that the testing plans are relatively solid and anyone who tests positive for a banned substance is pretty much retarded, I don't expect the amount of players willing to try the next maskable or non-testable substance to go down in any sport. When millions of dollars are at stake, even the noblest among us will be tempted to experiment and/or regularly use things that might give them an edge. I'm apparently in the minority on this, but I don't really see that as a bad thing; I see it as a fact of life.

posted by Bernreuther at 03:15 AM on February 21

Another article about Presinal from ESPN in Feb 2007. I'll be the first to say that ESPN piles on or sensationalizes a story to drum up a controversy, but I don't think there's anything irresponsible here. There's one paragraph (right before he describes the actual contents of Gonzalez's bag) I don't like, but in general it's a pretty balanced article that seems to imply that if not for Gonzalez's issues with that flight, this guy would have a fine reputation as a trainer to Dominican athletes. It's not as if MLB was picking on him when they banned individual trainers. Several players, including the Balco guys, Clemens (which at the time was no big deal), hell even Kevin Brown (I think) had his own guy. Giambi is the one I remember most, I think he had a post-Balco trainer/good friend who was no longer allowed to come around due to that rule. Point is, plenty of guys had personal trainers who were banned from locker rooms, which I think is fair and no big deal.

Surely more info will be revealed about this guy now that they're on to his 2007 association with ARod, but so far, I'm not convinced it's the issue some people seem to think it is. To me he just sounds like a better than average physical therapist who was in the right place at the right time to attract a really famous client... Do good things for one famous player and it's easy to attract many more. This is how Tim Grover got famous among NBA players despite not having any real clue at first...

posted by Bernreuther at 03:37 AM on February 21

I'd hate to see when you do decide to put a halt to things.

Still don't get how my comments were meant to put a halt to anything. This is basically a thread dealing with someone lying, and my point was practically everyone in the world lies to protect themselves. It's human nature. While I understand there wouldn't be any sites such as this without people passing on their judgments regarding sports stars (A-Rod, in this case), I think people still need to try putting themselves in A-Rod's flawed shoes. He made choices in an attempt to become, and stay the highest-paid baseball player in the world. He accomplished that. He also accomplished it while baseball was choosing to turn the other way regarding the issue (steroids and PEDs). When the shit ultimately hit the fan and players began getting ripped apart for these terrible decisions, he made an attempt to salvage his image, which involved lying. I don't condone any of his decisions, but I can admit I've gotten caught in my share of ridiculous lies in my lifetime, and when caught, sometimes I've only offered bits and pieces of the truth in an effort to protect myself from further shame. Many of the individuals who post here believe A-Rod, being in the public eye, needs to act differently, especially when he seems to bring the attention to himself by choice. My point has been that regardless of who he is, he's still a human being; a flawed human being, in many ways (like a lot of us). I just think if people are expecting athletes, any athletes, a great deal of whom are not too bright, to make good decisions, they will be greatly disappointed. All these thoughts were not meant to stifle anyone from giving their own opinions, only to add my take on lying in general. If anyone felt I was trying to halt a discussion, I apologize (and do respect others right to their opinions).

posted by dyams at 10:45 AM on February 21

Tough to disagree with any of that, and I find it hard to fault athletes who are nearing the end of their careers and try drugs to keep themselves in the game. Not that that applies here.

posted by yerfatma at 02:52 PM on February 21

Yerfatma, that's why if Bonds wasn't an asshole I'd give him a pass. Actually I already do give him a pass on the steroid use.

I started to feel myself losing strength and speed and recovery ability, plus started getting hurt more, at age 28. If I was a pro athlete I'm sure I would have started feeling the temptations around then. A trainer at my gym and I had a conversation a while back agreeing that there are ways to use steroids safely and responsibly, but he was opposed to anyone ever using them before age 30, especially in the teens and early 20s. Kids have enough testosterone already. With hard work and the right programs and diets they can make amazing progress. Pro athletes can too, since they have nothing to do other than sleep, eat, and train. But when you hit 30, your body starts slipping. And you're used to a higher standard that all of a sudden you can't meet. Judging from my own experiences at 28-29, I can only imagine how bad it gets five years from now. I'm no pro athlete but I could see that depressing me and driving me to the needle.

Another reason I find it hard to fault them, even ARod, as summed up nicely by Bill James to Joe Posnanski:

In 36 words: 1) Baseball allowed a situation to develop in which it was in the self-interest of players to use steroids. 2) Now we are very angry with people because they did what the system rewarded them for doing.

posted by Bernreuther at 04:34 AM on February 22

Ok. Maybe Arods just far dumber than I was giving him credit for.

posted by justgary at 04:50 PM on February 26

posted by BoKnows at 07:51 PM on February 26

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