I caught almost all of the A-Rod interview and alternated between amazement and empathy.
I would start with the empathy. There was something incredibly sad about this interview. It was like you could see A-Rod realizes what this means for his future and would do anything in the world to change it, but he also knows he can’t.
I found the section where he accused Selena Roberts of breaking into his house fascinating. He claims to have a police report and if he does then she should be fired from Sports Illustrated. Now, if he doesn’t have a police report, what the hell is he thinking because that will only make him look worse?
I wish Alex didn’t say things like the stuff he said about Washington Heights. A-Rod talked about he was born in Washington Heights and would really like to get involved with the kids there. When I hear that I wonder, why haven’t you before this? A-Rod could probably throw a baseball from Yankee Stadium to Washington Heights and he has spent five years in the Bronx. If he wanted to help those kids, he could have long before this, don’t pretend to care now to make your image look better.
I find the whole concept of forgiveness odd. Does A-Rod owe us as fans an apology? I don’t think so, I think it goes beyond a singular player to the entire sport. The owners and the players defrauded us for years. If anyone is going to apologize, I would like to hear it from Selig and Fehr.
That being said, I find it very hard to reconcile A-Rod’s statements today with his Katie Couric interview from December 2007. That was conducted after the Mitchell Report dropped and included A-Rod denying ever using any PED’s. Why did he agree to that interview in the first place if he was going to lie? To me, the only answer is that he did it because he assumed he would get away with the lie.
How do you handle his admission of steroid use in years other than 2003? On one hand, he didn’t have to do that because he is only accused of failing a test in 2003. On the other hand, by saying he did it while at Texas he is almost like a doctor taking a diseased limb off a patient. It’s basically, look at my record from 1995-2000 and then 2004-present and I am clean. Throw the other stuff out, 158 home runs, etc., and A-Rod is betting he has enough to be a Hall of Famer someday. It’s a pretty smart approach because it gives voters some wiggle rooom. If A-Rod hits 800 home runs and voters believe his story they can say I am voting for a guy who hit over 600 home runs while clean.
Along those lines, A-Rod needs to do a little more prep. It’s probably not the best idea to hold up being 20-years old and finishing 2nd to Juan Gonzalez in the MVP race as evidence that you were clean.
Why did Gammons start asking questions about Torre’s book when he didn’t follow up on half the steroids questions? And A-Rod handled those brilliantly.
You know the only thing I think someone like A-Rod could do here is say to the interviewer, "Take a blood sample right here. I will pee in a cup right here. Test it for whatever you want, save the samples and keep testing them over the years as the science gets better. You will not find anything illegal in my samples." That is about the only way you could ever give him the benefit of the doubt. And that’s the problem with all of this. Is there anything you can see right now that you can honestly say is naturally done on a baseball diamond? I think that is where Curt Schilling is dead right, there are 103 names out there. There is HGH and other crap out there, until we know that those are being tested how do we know the game is clean?
And this is a baseball-wide problem. 100 years from now someone is going to open the record books and wonder why all these guys near the top of these lists are also not in the Hall of Fame. Somebody in the game needs to think about that and come up with an answer. Maybe we create a wing of the Hall of Fame for players from say 1988 and on? I don’t have any great ideas, but I know that baseball is damaging its history by ignoring the problem.
And finally, where is Gene Orza right now? The allegation that he was tipping off players about steroids tests now moves front and center. A-Rod said his peace, you can choose to believe him or not believe him, but Orza is next and he needs to speak up.