Meet the Press, Yankee style …

So tomorrow afternoon Alex Rodriguez will arrive in Tampa for his first day of spring training and hold a press conference to address the whole steroid mess. According to Yankee manager Joe Girardi and several members of the team, players plan on literally standing by ARod during the session as a show of support for a fallen ballplayer.

My reaction: Gimme a friggin’ break.

There are many things I like about covering professional athletes. The thing I loathe, however, is this whole “Code” thing; the “We’ve got your back, no matter what” bullshit that has greatly aided in bringing down the game. Ever since we first learned of steroids in baseball, ballplayers have been compelled by the code of moronic brotherhood to back their peers, reason and crime be damned. So what if ARod was cheating? So what is ARod is a two-faced fool? He’s a Yankee, and Yankee Pride means … blah, blah, blah. It makes me think of Jason Giambi’s “I did something bad, and I apologize for whatever that bad might have been” press conference of several years ago, when George Steinbrenner issued a statement praising the first baseman’s strength and courage. Only in baseball’s fantasy world …

My absolute favorite twist is how, at some point yesterday, ARod called Selena Roberts to apologize for telling ESPN’s Peter Gammons that she had stalked him and broken into his house. In other words, during his supposedly “coming clean” session, Rodriguez flat-out lied. This wasn’t a misunderstanding or a slight fib. This was a pure, 100% lie. He said someone stalked him out and broke into his home, and that he possessed the written proof. It was, ahem, not true.

Lie.

Frankly, were I a Yankee, I wouldn’t stand within 100 feet of Rodriguez. Not because he used steroids. No, because he is a fraud; a full-of-crap buffoon who, in his need to be viewed as Mr. Perfect, has become as transparently trustworthy as a street-corner peddler.

2 thoughts on “Meet the Press, Yankee style …”

  1. Here is what confuses me about this. When Rodriguez made false statements about Selena Roberts, I read posts by you (here on this blog), by Joe Posnanski (on his blog), Peter King and Tom Verducci (both on Sports Illustrated’s website. King’s was in this week’s Monday Morning Quarterback, Page 3), defend Selena Roberts. In each case, her skill as a reporter was part of the defense, you going so far as to describe her as a ‘top-flight reporter’ in your “I’m Alex Rodriguez, and I’m a fool” post.

    Yet commenters in that same post linked to articles by Roberts, and posts discussing said articles, which suggest that is not an accurate assessment of her abilities, at least judging by past articles on Rodriguez and the Duke lacrosse case.

    Yes, Rodriguez lied, and he should get hammered for that (and he has, as far as I can tell). Still, when I see sportswriters, including yourself, trying to provide glowing testimonials to Roberts’ skill and character as a defense against A-Rod, when those skills and character seem to be in question, I wonder what the difference is between what you’re doing, and what you’re blasting the other ballplayers for doing. Aren’t you also following some sort of “Code”, defending a fellow sportswriter, even though she has also screwed up?

    I mean, Posnanski says she did an impeccably reported, thoroughly sourced job, but shouldn’t part of that be, “Well sure, this time”, much the same way A-Rod only admitted to using PEDs now, rather than back when he supposedly stopped using them. It feels like ignoring whatever would make it harder to defend the person in question.

    I don’t mean to come off as attacking (if I am). I’m kind of frustrated with all the talk about PEDs in baseball, so it’s probably coming through, I really am curious as to the difference you would see there. Is it because A-Rod did something illegal, and poor reporting is not a crime (though there was talk of libel with the Duke case, wasn’t there, and that’s a crime. I don’t know)?

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