This article appeared today at Bornintoit.com.
The whole world now knows that Alex Rodriguez offered an "apology" for the fact that he was outed last weekend by Sports Illustrated magazine as one of the 104 players who failed a steroid test back in 2003.
Slappy had no choice but take the apology route last Monday.
He and his "handlers" obviously saw what has happened to such players linked with PEDs as Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Roger Clemens. Their reputations have been destroyed by their either blanket denials or lame "excuses." A-Rod knew he couldn't deny, deny, deny. He's in the beginnings of a 10-year deal with New York, and if he went the other route he'd have reporters haunting him every day about his continued denials.
I watched the entire interview with Peter Gammons on Monday. And once again, Slappy came off as phony and insincere as ever.
If he had just said, "I used steroids and I'm sorry I did" he would have been better off. It was the majority of the sitdown with Peter Gammons that left me scratching my head. Does he really expect anyone to believe all of his steroid use took place only in Texas between 2001 and 2003? That he had this great "epiphany" during that 2003 season and simply stopped? And I also found it interesting that he said nothing about who or where he got the steroids from. He alluded several times to "GNC", the nutrition center, but what A-Rod took can't be found there. He tested positive for Primobolin, a hardcore steroid that is illegal in the United States.
Overall, this was not a hard-hitting interview by Gammons. Too often he seemed to lead A-Rod. It is suspected that A-Rod picked Gammons because he has always been sympathetic towards him, and that the MLB Network would not have been as lenient. (This isn't to blame Gammons too harshly, as there might have been parameters to the interview that Gammons might not have been allowed to violate.)
And I really can't believe Slappy when he says he didn't know exactly what he was putting into his body (aka the Bonds/Sheffield defense). Athletes like him know precisely what they put in their systems, and Rodriguez has always had a rep for his long and tough workouts. So he would just inject himself with any old thing without knowing the side effects or consequences? Give me a break.
He was further into fantasyland when he said that after the steroid test he was told by the Players Association that he "may or may not have failed the steroid test." Does he really expect us to believe that he went nearly six years without knowing whether he flunked it or not? And it wasn't until SI reporter Selena Roberts saw him in Miami last week that he finally knew he failed? Come on.
And the hatchet job he did on Ms. Roberts was really disgusting, as he tried to paint her as some kind of sick stalker trying to break into his house. He flung allegations at her that just weren't true. On a day when Slappy's trying to get some sympathy and save his Hall of Fame career, he comes off like a bully to a reporter who is just trying to do her job.
A-Rod went the "sympathy" path last Monday because he has an awful lot to lose, and he looked like he was trying to put out a five-alarm fire with a garden hose. Andy Pettitte and Jason Giambi could apologize for their steroid use and move on, but they had far less to lose (they are not future Hall of Famers). He may have just seen any chance at the hall sail right out the window. The Yankees are stuck with him the next nine seasons, and if he does approach Barry Bonds' tainted home run record, it will be another joyless ride for the American baseball fan.
If Rodriguez should make it to Cooperstown one day, there are three words that should adorn his plaque, and no one should ever forget them: "ADMITTED STEROID USER." This admission will dog him not just the rest of his career, but the rest of his life. As the New York Post had in their headline of Tuesday: "LIAR. CHEAT."
The Yankees will stand by him, but they have no choice in the matter. Ripping him in public makes no sense, as it would make an inflammed situation that much worse. Privately their front office must be seething, but they will put up the brave front for their team's sake. New York is still on the hook for $270 million and anyone suggesting the Yankees cut Slappy to protect the franchise's reputation doesn't have a clue what they are talking about.
Many have applauded Rodriguez for his "honesty," but face facts. He wouldn't have done it if he hadn't been outed last Saturday. It wasn't A-Rod's guilty conscience that led to this, it was Slappy's pathetic attempt to try and save face. It didn't work at all. He's a cheater, and shouldn't get any sympathy for just admitting the plain truth.
And also remember, there are 103 other players who flunked that infamous steroid test. It's interesting that no other names came out with A-Rod, but with Barry Bonds' perjury trial set to set next month, the names might be coming to light. And, as much as I love to see A-Rod and the Yankees squirming over this, odds are there are some Red Sox players who are on it as well. How many is anyone's guess. (It averages out to 3-4 per team.)
But you have to believe if they are all aware of their steroid test failure (and you have to think they do know, despite A-Rod's statement about it), all 103 are really nervous about the list coming to light. It will ruin their careers, just like it did Alex Rodriguez last Saturday afternoon.