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.
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.