Alex Rodriguez met with nearly 200 members of the media this afternoon. I watched a video of his six-minute opening statement. He read it as though he was seeing the pages for the first time, stumbling over phrases and pausing in the wrong spots.
Some of the text (and my comments):
... [I]n the years 2001, 2002 and 2003, I experimented with a banned substance that eventually triggered a positive test. [Note that I didn't fail a drug test, the substance triggered a positive result].
In September 2004, I had a meeting with Gene Orza. During that meeting, he explained to me that I had been among the players from which people might conclude that I had tested positive ... [or] might not have actually tested positive. ... [Thanks for that info, Gene!]
Going back to 2001, my cousin started telling me about a substance that you could purchase over the counter in the DR known in the streets as Boley or Bole. It was his understanding it would give me a dramatic energy boost and was otherwise harmless. My cousin and I - one more ignorant than the other - decided it was a good idea to start taking it. My cousin would administer it to me, but neither of us knew how to use it properly, proving just how ignorant we both were. It was at this point we decided to take it twice a month for about six months during the 2001, 2002 and 2003 season. We consulted no one and had no good reason to base that decision. It was pretty evident that we didn't know what we were doing.
[I had signed a $252 million contract, so why should I bother to do even one minute of research about this over-the-counter stuff (that had to be smuggled into the US) that I don't even know the actual name of? I'll just get my cousin, who isn't sure how to administer this stuff, which I don't think is steroids anyway, to inject me with it for at least six months. I was young and stupid -- and young. Sure, I had been playing in the majors for parts of seven years, but I was just a formerly poor kid who hadn't gone to college. And it's all GNC's fault.]
It sounds like the Q&A session -- during which reporters were not allowed to ask follow-up questions -- was a train wreck (something about how if you believe in it, water can be as beneficial as steroids?). If anyone sees a video or transcript, let me know.
His opening statement ended with: "And to my teammates ..." Rodriguez then paused for 38 seconds (!!!) in an obvious, and quite pathetic, attempt to force himself to become overcome with emotion ... alas, no tears or even mild lip-quivering were forthcoming, so he took a swig of bottled water, leaned forward and said, quietly, "... thank you".