The new alerts started flowing into my inbox at 1:46 this afternoon, and my jaw dropped.

A-Rod admits to using performance-enhancing drugs‏


My immediate reaction was, Well kudos to him for admitting it! ... I felt an oddly-shaped weight lifted off my shoulders -- a far differently shaped weight than the one A-Rod felt, I'm sure.

And tonight when I arrived home, I turned on Sportscenter, sort of by accident -- so many different things had happened since the A-Rod news broke that I’d almost forgotten about it … But there he was deep in his interview with Peter Gammons, followed with ESPN folks analyzing every line of his admission and how it will affect the rest of his career. "I was young, I was stupid, I was naive," Alex said.

Even after soaking in most of the interview, I still say: Kudos to Alex. I don’t for a second condone his use of a banned substance, but I have the utmost respect for the way he sat down with Gammons and laid it all on the table … And my gut says, Hey, if he really, as he claims, has been clean since 2003 and he stays that way, and he continues to put up great numbers -- than yeah, he deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame.

In the 48 hours since the Sports Illustrated story broke, A-Rod gave us more than Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Roger Clemens have given us in years. Even more than Jason Giambi, who apologized but never told us what he was apologizing for.

My hope is that A-Rod’s admission paves the way for the rest of these guys -- especially McGwire, who’s been living in a sad cocoon -- to finally tell us the truth.

Some good reads ...
a The full transcript
a A-Rod Backs Stimulus, Says Economy Needs Shot in Arm
a Why single out A-Rod?
a Apology by a Yankees Star Becomes a Rite of Spring
a Result for Rodriguez Revives Testing Controversy


Matt and Lynne said...

Honestly, his admission was pretty weak. He was a victim of his naivete, he was a victim of the "climate," of the Sports Illustrated reporter, of his contract, etc. Gammons really let him off the hook. He never followed up, never challenged him. The most obvious question was: Why should we believe you now?
You lied to us months ago, so why are you telling the truth now?
And what made you stop all the sudden if you were having this success?

Gammons says: how long was it until you realized what you were doing was illegal? ARod says 'At the time, there was no legal or illegal.' In the U.S. the substances you were taking were illegal. But Gammons doesn't challenge him. Doesn't point out his inconsistencies. He just leads him to, well, do you want to talk to kids?

Gammons might have also asked: Who else was doing this? How many of your teammates? How many players are using something else?
Are you using Human Growth Hormone?


Horns! said...

I do agree with you that Gammons could have asked some more probing questions.

But I think there's also something to be said of treading lightly when you've got the admission. In that scenario I'd hate to ask a tough a question and risk having him walk off.

Besides, I think A-Rod made it pretty clear he wasn't going to talk about anyone but himself and I'd be willing to bet more details come out in follow-up interviews.

Matt and Lynne said...

I think (and this is my speculation) A-Rod thinks he's close to being done with these questions. He told his story, got it off his chest and now that's over. Whew.

Gammons is a great baseball guy for stories, but those questions were very weak. I don't think A-Rod would have walked because he looks worse if he does. Like he can't take the heat.
Or...if you are worried...get the softballs out first. And at least interrupt him when he's not making sense.

Did you notice A-Rod never said "steroids"? I wonder if that was because some feds might be interested in illegal drugs coming across state lines? I don't know what the statute of limitations on this is, however. 10 years is long time.

Will I still go to baseball games? You bet. Am I disillusioned? About baseball, no. About these guys ability to ever tell the truth or finally step outside of the locker room culture, yes.