A-Rod is sorry -- sorry he got caught

February, 9, 2009
Have you seen the interview? (Congrats to Mr. Gammons, by the way.)

I've watched it a couple of dozen times now, and I have to say, things don't start out too well for Mr. Rodriguez. Not when Mr. Gammons' first question is, "What's the truth?"

    When I arrived in Texas in 2001, I felt an enormous amount of pressure. I felt like I had all the weight of the world on top of me, and I needed to perform, and perform at a high level every day.

    Back then, it was a different culture. It was very loose. I was young. I was stupid. I was naive. And I wanted to prove to everyone that, you know, I was worth, you know, being one of the greatest players of all time.

    And I did take a banned substance. And, you know, for that I am very sorry and deeply regretful. And although it was the culture back then, and Major League Baseball overall, um … was very … I'm just, I just feel that, um … You know, I'm just sorry. I'm sorry for that time. I'm sorry to my fans. I'm sorry for my fans in Texas. It wasn't until then that I thought about a substance of any kind, and since then, I've proved to myself and to everyone that I don't need any of that.

If you're not trained, reciting a script is terribly difficult for most people. I tried it once. I tried to memorize a 250-word commentary about baseball and failed miserably. And in this clip, you can see exactly where Alex Rodriguez loses track of his place in the script. You see those ellipses up there? That's where A-Rod forgot what was he was supposed to say next. So instead, he paused, got a little verklempt and returned to his No. 1 talking point: He's really, really sorry.

Sure. He's sorry he got caught. Everyone's sorry when he's caught. But you're really sorry only if you think that what you did was wrong, and I don't believe that any of these guys really believe they did anything wrong. A different culture five years ago? The culture today is exactly the same as it was five years ago. The only thing that has changed is the penalty for failing a drug test. If you want to know the culture, look no further than the ridiculous percentage of players who have a doctor's note that allows them to take stimulants (under the guise of controlling their ADHD or whatever).

The culture is exactly what it's always been: If you ain't cheating, you're not trying. And it ain't cheating if you don't get caught. Rodriguez tried, and now he's been caught. The next step is damage control, full of apologies and admissions of youth and stupidity. (And, of course, it's obvious that he's now a mature and thoughtful adult.)

Asked whether the steroid use took place only from 2001 through 2003, Rodriguez responded, "That's pretty accurate, yes."

Pretty accurate? So maybe there was a little bit in 2000? What about 2004, and maybe just a dabbling in 2007?

And when Gammons asked him which drugs he used, there came this whopper: "Peter, that's the thing. I mean, again, it was such a loosey-goosey era. I'm guilty for a lot of things. I'm guilty for being arrogant, of being naive, not asking all the right questions. To be quite honest, I don't know exactly what substance I was guilty of using."

Rodriguez -- earning $25 million and surrounded by a bevy of agents, advisers, trainers and God knows who else -- didn't bother knowing which drugs he was using? For (at least) three years? He's obsessed with his performance … and yet, for three years he'll stick any old thing into his body without a thought?

Please. I understand the public relations angle of this thing. But now you're just insulting our intelligence. Alex, I forgive you. But I would feel better about it if you'd told us the truth, just this once. Other guys were doing it, and nobody was getting caught, and you were just one of them.

If you ain't cheating …


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