February 9, 2009

Rodriguez Admits To Steroid Use

Alex Rodriguez has admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs "for a period of time" while playing for the Texas Rangers (2001-03).

He told ESPN's Peter Gammons, in an interview that will likely be broadcast this evening:
I did take a banned substance, and for that, I am very sorry and deeply regretful.

When I arrived in Texas in 2001, I felt an enormous amount of pressure. I felt all the weight of the world on top of me to perform at a high level every day. I was young, I was stupid, I was naive. I wanted to prove to everyone that I was worth being one of the greatest players of all time.

I just feel that -- I'm sorry. I'm sorry for that time, I'm sorry to my fans. I'm sorry to my fans in Texas. It wasn't until then that I thought about substances of any kind. Since then, I've proved to myself and to everyone that I don't need any of that. It was such a loosey-goosey era, I'm guilty for a lot of things. I'm guilty of being negligent, not asking all the right questions.

59 comments:

Zenslinger said...

Smart guy. This was the way to go: right up front, immediate, no (real) qualifications to the apology.

Benjamin said...

"I've proved to myself and to everyone that I don't need any of that."

You and what credibility, blue lips.

L-girl said...

Yes, he followed the best advice. Short term fallout but long-term fan forgiveness.

seawolvesfan said...

hes now even more of a deuche to me. glad we didnt trade for me

tim said...

"I've proved to myself and to everyone that I don't need any of that."

Apparently so. I can slap the ball out of a glove without taking HGH too!

L-girl said...

I can slap the ball out of a glove without taking HGH too!

That's a keeper.

accudart said...

He did the best thing he could do. The post (A-Hole) just isn't right....but I still love it. A-Fraud sure does have a lot of nicknames.

Jere said...

"Short term fallout but long-term fan forgiveness."

But the premise of the asterisk-holding fans was "we don't want cheaters breaking our coveted records." So does forgiveness equal "it's okay to break records" or will there be as big a campaign to stop his records from counting as there was for Bonds? We'll see how committed people are to their premise.

9casey said...

Zenslinger said...
Smart guy. This was the way to go: right up front,


Really, how about that interview in 07 where he denies it till the cows came home......Up front, he's a freakin loser...

Couls someone clear something up for me,,,,Schilling and a lot of the media are screaming about the other 103 names.......If there is 103 more who were the guys in the Mitchell Report....

L-girl said...

But the premise of the asterisk-holding fans was "we don't want cheaters breaking our coveted records." So does forgiveness equal "it's okay to break records" or will there be as big a campaign to stop his records from counting as there was for Bonds?

Neither. I was referring to the discusison in this thread. An apology instead of a denial or trying to shift the blame goes a long way. A-Rod fans will forget the earlier denials. Those that hate him will continue to hate him. Any fuss over records will die down, the fuss that doesn't die down will be ignored.

Zenslinger said...

Zenslinger said...
Smart guy. This was the way to go: right up front,


Really, how about that interview in 07 where he denies it till the cows came home......Up front, he's a freakin loser...


I meant given the situation, it was a smart way to react. As for the lying in the '07 interview, I made a couple observations a couple threads back.

As far as asterisks are concerned, I do think steroid use earn a player's numbers asterisk of sorts, at least in my mind. (I would not argue that the official recordbook should display asterisks.) It's been pointed out that he did average 52 HR a year in Texas, significantly less since.

Having said that, the record books are full of asterisks of all sorts (lil' green one for greenies, maybe?)

9casey said...

For those of you who watched the interview , Who does he keep looking at to the side of him? Anybody know?

He blames his naivity on taking steroids, one substance he took you can't even get in the US......I believe once you fail a PED test you are then tested every month for everything, HGH as well, If they can, and the player pays for it......

andy said...

We can no longer escape the steroids era label. The innocence of baseball is gone. We can't keep harping on it or it will ruin our love for the game eventually. When that whole 104 name list comes out it will have dire consequences. Schilling wants it to come out because he is clean and wants into the HOF. I don't think he needs the help but he is guaranteed in if there are 10 great pitchers on that list. This whole we have all the secrets and will leak them at our convenience bullshit game is unprofessional.

L-girl said...

The innocence of baseball is gone.

Andy, you said you weren't being sarcastic anymore, so I have to wonder, what year is your Wayback Machine set for? 1955?

Innocence of baseball?? Maybe you're being sarcastic even though you swore off the stuff.

* * * *

Baseball is played on planet earth. It is part of the human experience. And so, it is subject to cheating, like all human endeavors. Without the fear of being caught and serious penalties, many (but not all) humans will cheat, especially when money and/or status is at stake.

MLB and the players union let the cheating go on because they profitted from it. Now the bill has come due.

I know everyone knows this. I just don't understand why people are shocked or even surprised.

L-girl said...

Having said that, the record books are full of asterisks of all sorts (lil' green one for greenies, maybe?)

Other asterisks include "never pitched to a black man", "pitched while doctoring the ball was legal", "lively ball era", among others.

We all know that steroids alone will not make a player great. Doug Mirabelli can't stick a needle in his butt and suddenly hit like Manny Ramirez. Mental asterisks can apply to certain numbers, but can steroids really transform a player into something he's not?

andy said...

These 103 I believe are people who were selected somehow back then to participate in a survey where they were to remain anonymous and the samples would be destroyed. The Mitchell report was maybe partly based on that survey but targeted actual players specifically and because they were focused on so few they made more gains into destroying them.

Sarcastic not really. Common thinking out there says that steroids is a huge game ender for a lot of people. People were just now forgiving baseball for the strike and then the mitchell crap. No we have the re-virginization of the game being deflowered again. It's the loss of the current innocence.

The Black Sox and Pete Rose once made gambling the big deal breaker. I am sure there were other eras ruined by something or other. That's all I really meant.

andy said...

And to the point that steroids don't add talent I see both sides kinda. If a guy can attain more bat speed then his long fly outs turn into homers. His bloop outs in the shallows turn into bloop hits. His line drives become much harder to grab so he gets more hits. More doubles at Fenway off the wall that would be outs even in Fenway.

On the other hand you have to be able to see the ball and all that to put wood on it for the roids to work for you. That is not acquired through steroids. Maybe eating carrots and tomatoes.

Zenslinger said...

Mental asterisks can apply to certain numbers, but can steroids really transform a player into something he's not?

No, but it can make it possible to hit 73 home runs in a single season.

Pepe Lepew said...

I got done participating in a really interesting debate going on at Huffingtonpost.com (about 500 comments and growing). I'd say it's running about 2-to-1 in favour of people being disgusted, fed up ("Throw 'im out of the game" "I'm never watching baseball again"). The other side there's a lot of people defending steroids and saying they aren't that big of a deal and everyone is being too sanctimonious.
I'm kind of in the middle. I do think steroids are a big deal, if no other reason than they have drifted down into high school sports, but at the same time, you can only harp on and crucify people so much for things they did 6 to 8 years ago. at some point, you have to take an approach of fixing the system and moving ahead, not obsessing on the past.

L-girl said...

Sarcastic not really. Common thinking out there says that steroids is a huge game ender for a lot of people.

Where have I heard that before...

People were just now forgiving baseball for the strike

Oh yeah, 1994. Everyone was going to abandon baseball. Except they didn't.

You are serious? People were just now forgiving baseball for the strike? Attendance has been booming for years.

Andy, if you don't like baseball anymore, if the strike and steroids ruins it for you, that's your call. But the strike hasn't been affecting people's interest in the game (as measured in ticket sales, TV viewing, etc.) for many, many years.

L-girl said...

No, but it can make it possible to hit 73 home runs in a single season.

Yes, that's what I meant by certain numbers. A person who is already a very good power hitter can hit way more home runs. Of course there are other factors involved, such as the strike zone.

L-girl said...

The Black Sox and Pete Rose once made gambling the big deal breaker.

What, 80 years apart?

In the 1919 White Sox days, long before the scandal broke, there was hardly any attendance. And fans couldn't even listen to the game on the radio then, so attendance was everything.

Fans already had been turning away from baseball before they found out the WS was fixed. It was definitely a huge shocker - especially since in those days, fans were totally shielded from the seamier side of the sport.

L-girl said...

I wish I could get a count of all the years sportswriters predicted the death of baseball. Baseball, the novel and the theatre are always dying.

andy said...

I am not a sports writer I am just a guy making an observation about how the masses see the game. If that is me being sarcastic I am sorry. I do not believe it is the end. I would like to see more baseball. So if these guys are super humans now lets extend the season. I don't care about the damn controversy other then for the entertainment factor.

andy said...

I guess my acknowledging past crisis's didn't tell you I am fully aware that baseball did not come to an end all those times. I am wanting fans to accept this new issue sooner rather then later so I can see more stories about the dream boat young guys that dominate our infield.

I don't know if I said it right about the strike. People were just getting over it at the start of steroid gate. The official start for me is the actual beginning of the era, the year of the home run contest. I said there were no doubt countless controversies throughout the history of the game. So perhaps the fans were just getting over their hatred of the game, that was apparently only solidified by the Sox scandal and not created by it, when along came another issue. I don't know all the scandals but there have been many. It's cyclical. And the fans will always come back. Baseball fills the sports void during the summer. The world needs baseball.

9casey said...

The steroids thing really sucks....It really does........But I ,myself, will never turn away from baseball......Most likely because I watch in on so many different levels, little leagues, High School, college ,etc....

I beleive Kurkjian said tonight or someone on ESPN said it that they tested over a 1000 ballplayers in 03 and 104 failed the test.....


It's just so surreal that 2 of the most polarizing figuers in sports history, A-Rod and Bonds have been front and center in this mess... That's huge...Imagine if Tiger Woods or Peyton Manning ever tested posiitve....And people will say Bonds and Arod were great before thay did steroids, were they, do we know for sure when they started or finished......Nothing A-Rod does from this point on will ever seem legitmate.....

andy said...

This is what I mean. We just need to accept that most of the greats in recent history were no so without drugs so who cares. You loved watching them, you love to see homers and really good offense. Why let what chemicals they use affect that. Just say who cares and enjoy some more home runs.

redsock said...

The innocence of baseball is gone.

The very LATEST you could say this would have been in 1877.

NL starts up in 1876. Next season, several Louisville players conspire to throw the pennant race and are banned for life.

There's yer innocence.

(Other people would date it to 1869 when the Cincinnati team started drawing salaries. IT'S A BUSINESS!!!one!!2)

L-girl said...

Andy, I got you now. Why can't I ever understand your comments??? I'm sure it's me.

And people will say Bonds and Arod were great before thay did steroids, were they

Yes. Plain and simple, yes. You're thinking Alex Rodriguez was doing steroids at 19, with Seattle?

redsock said...

hes now even more of a deuche to me. glad we didnt trade for me

i think swf has gotten into the liquor cabinet.

redsock said...

I'd say it's running about 2-to-1 in favour of people being disgusted, fed up ("Throw 'im out of the game" "I'm never watching baseball again").

Could a few of these idiots stop buying tickets so I can get some better seats?*











* Tho this really doesn't apply much in Toe-ron-to.

L-girl said...

And the fans will always come back. Baseball fills the sports void during the summer. The world needs baseball.

I sure need it.

Thanks for clarifying. :)

My edit: snow fills the sports void when there is no baseball. Then baseball returns and there is life again.

so I can see more stories about the dream boat young guys that dominate our infield.

This week Allan called a certain someone "Laura's Boy Lars"! I'm like, wait a minute, I'm not done with LBJ yet!

redsock said...

It's been pointed out that he did average 52 HR a year in Texas, significantly less since.

Arlington is a hitters park. What were his home/road dong splits?

I wish I could get a count of all the years sportswriters predicted the death of baseball.

They were sure as shit saying it in the 1910s. I think the actual number is 75,096,223,965.

Yes. Plain and simple, yes. You're thinking Alex Rodriguez was doing steroids at 19, with Seattle?

There have been stories, apparently *well* before this, of him being on some stuff since he signed. Wouldn't surprise me, wouldn't not surprise me.

I can certainly see why after signing for 252, he felt pressure.

L-girl said...

The single worst thing about steroids is how we'll either have to listen to endless moronic blather about it all through games, or watch games on mute. There will be no other escape.

I don't watch ESPN or listen to any sports radio. I hear absolutely zero sports "analysis" outside of games. The onslaught will be horrendous.

redsock said...

Late that season, we saw Lars on TV doing something, and Laura was all "oooooooo, who is that?"

And he reads BOOKS!

L-girl said...

Maybe my personal goal for this season should be to understand Andy's comments. I will make it a project. The Andy Files, starring L-Girl as a confused young (apparently it's fiction) baseball fan trying to make sense of the world through Joy of Sox.

redsock said...

Even if we see the 104, that doesn't mean there isn't another list right behind it. Or that guys who passed those tests weren't taking shit that could not be detected.

Fact is, we got a ton of juiced hitters batting against a ton of juiced pitchers. Play ball!

Who is doing, who is not doing -- 101% impossible to know for sure.

redsock said...

Who is doing, who is not doing -- 101% impossible to know for sure.

And judging from rising attendance and tons of TV/mlbtv viewers, most fans don't give a shit.

Jere said...

"Baseball, the novel and the theatre are always dying."

And Saturday Night Live! And "rock."

"Any fuss over records will die down"

That makes no sense to me. You're telling me as A-Rod reaches 700 home runs, people are going to just be rooting for him to break the record? After "everybody" was specifically rooting for Bonds' record to be broken by a "clean" player? There's no doubt A-Rod's not a clean player, he said so himself.

And I can't believe people (Sean Casey, Harold Reynolds, Jim Kaat, Larry Bowa, etc...) are saying he "manned up" and "came clean" with his apology. In it, he made one excuse after another (I was young and stupid, the culture was different, it was hot in Texas, I don't know what I took or where I got it) and called the person who broke the story a liar and a stalker. And he didn't say the word "steroids" once, I don't think. And this was after someone else gave him a chance to "come clean" and he denied ever have taken steroids.

nixon33 said...

This guy can't get out of his own way.
It's unbelievable... at some point I feel a little sorry for him, even if it is only himself he has to blame.

andy said...

Maybe fans are really cool with the whole roids thing now. maybe they pay top dollar to hopefully see a broken bat out of the park homer. this is the nation of nascar and football. We love extremes. And yes the announcers will be so god awfully annoying. It will be painful for me because I like having the announcers on to make fun of. but now they will just harp on one thing.

tim said...

Fact is, we got a ton of juiced hitters batting against a ton of juiced pitchers. Play ball!

Yup - I say they just legalize it all, steroids, drugs, alcohol - the All-Drug Baseball League. Let's see who can get the best competitive advantage! That guy threw a no hitter on acid, man. I wanna see 250 HR in a season. I'd actually be curious to see how ridiculous it could get if all steroids were allowed.

(none of the preceeding was sarcasm - well it was, but not like an angry sarcasm, an 'i agree with allan' sarcasm - if that makes sense...)

L-girl said...

I have no idea why any of this is illegal anyway. They're all adults. You want to wreck your body in pursuit of happiness, it's your business.

L-girl said...

This guy can't get out of his own way. It's unbelievable... at some point I feel a little sorry for him, even if it is only himself he has to blame.

I have felt that way about him for a long time. I loved him when he played for Seattle (he wast he LBJ of his day), and I've been amazed at how it all imploded. He had everything in front of him, and he's wasted all of it, through his own stupidity and insecurity.

9Casey said earlier that it's surreal that A-Rod and Bonds are at the middle of this - that's how I feel about Alex's whole career now, the whole thing is surreal.

papa sime said...

spot on:
“He claims to be sorry that he used hardcore steroids, but it is obvious that he is only sorry that he got caught. If he was sorry he that he used, he would have admitted it in advance and would not have provided a stone-faced denial to Katie Couric and the American public in 2007 when he claimed he had never used or considered using performance-enhancing drugs. He also would have assisted Congress and Senator Mitchell in their efforts to fix the culture of baseball that he claims led to his cheating. There are obviously many more questions that must be answered.” - U.S. Anti-Doping Agency spokeswoman Erin Hannan.

Benjamin said...

I probably have more sympathy for the players who threw games in the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, because they were basically indentured servants, so it was their only chance for a big payday. If a players want a bigger slice of the owners' pie today, the MLBPA can strike a harder bargain; doping is just stealing (or at least redistributing) from their fellow players.

Andy said...

Schilling will be pissed if America and Canada forgives this guy and most of the others that come from that list. He was really hoping to say I told you so to a lot of people.

accudart said...

I was watching Tony Cornhiser (sp) on PTI last night and he mentioned throwing out the records that we know were from the roids era. I think I agree, at least the Home Run marks. It should be Aaron and Maris as the record holders. I understand this would never happen, but it makes me ill thinking of Bonds owning those marks.

Zenslinger said...

Arlington is a hitters park. What were his home/road dong splits?

First of all, let us agree not to use the term "dong splits" again. The male mind winces at those words.

Secondly, I did a spreadsheet. I am sure that others have already done the analysis, but it was fun and not that complicated to do. Since I'm not much of a stat person, I'm gearing my explanation to the same, so apologies to the sophisticates if it sounds simple minded.

In 2001-2003, A-Rod hit 86 dongs in Arlington and 70 during away games. Conclusion: OK, Arlington's a hitters' park. He averaged an amazing 52 HR a year as a 25-27 year-old shortstop. Handsome, too.

In the four years from 2004-7, he hit 89 HR at Yankee stadium and 84 away, a more human average of 43.25 HR/year. The difference between home and away is marked. The conventional wisdom that the Toilet is not as much of a hitters' park (unless you're a left-handed pull hitter going for the short porch in right, like Ortiz) is vindicated in this sample.

So, we want to apply the ratio of home/away HR's from his Yankee Stadium years to the years in which he's admitted juicing. This will reduce his number (86) of home HRs from 2001-2003. Then we'll take a new per-year average of HRs. Results:

Adjusted 2001-2003 avg HR per year: 48.05
Non-adjusted 2004-2007 avg HR per year: 43.25

On the surface of things, this suggests the juice did some of its "magic".

There are, of course, other factors. One is that he did play a few more games during his Texas years (162, 161, 162) than 2004-7 in New York (avg of 154). Accounting for this would make the conclusions slightly less damning. On the other hand, I did take out 2008 as an atypical year in which he was hurt (he played 138 games and hit 35 HR). But factoring in 2008 would make the numbers even more damning, because he hit 21 of his 35 HR's in New York, which would reduce the effect of Arlington as a hitters' park in comparison.

There's also quibbles against considering the away parks equal in both cases, saying you'd have to adjust for the AL West parks versus the AL East parks. But I ain't going that deep.

Finally, we might have to think about A-Rod's age. I'm under the impression that the best power hitters typically increase their yearly HR totals into their late 20's and early 30's. A-Rod's 25-27 in Texas, 28-31 in New York until '07, but his HR per year went down. This further suggests PED's helped take fly balls over the wall.

I will e-mail my spreadsheet to Allan and anyone else who'd like to see it (it's not exactly pro but I think it's legible).

Zenslinger said...

Whoops. Avg games/year in 2004-2007 was 157, not 154.

Pepe Lepew said...

I probably have more sympathy for the players who threw games in the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, because they were basically indentured servants, so it was their only chance for a big payday. If a players want a bigger slice of the owners' pie today, the MLBPA can strike a harder bargain; doping is just stealing (or at least redistributing) from their fellow players.

Yeah, I just can't feel sorry for A-Rod. I just can't. He's a greedhead, a liar, a drug cheat, an adulterer.
Maybe I need to be a nicer person, but I just can't dredge up the slightest amount of sympathy for the guy.

seawolvesfan said...

"hes now even more of a deuche to me. glad we didnt trade for me

i think swf has gotten into the liquor cabinet."

whats that supposed to mean? on a sidenote somebody actually told me that i looked wasted today...

Jere said...

"9casey said...

For those of you who watched the interview , Who does he keep looking at to the side of him?"

I just read Cynthia was by his side during the interview. So there you go.

L-girl said...

whats that supposed to mean?

I believe it means your original comment was incomprehensible.

L-girl said...

Pepe Lepew, you make an excellent point about players from earlier eras who cheated. They were so exploited and so powerless. Even in the biggest gambling scandal, players' lives were ruined, and the fixers made off with the profits.

I wouldn't expect anyone here to have any sympathy for Alex Rodriguez. I just don't have the kind of player hatred that many fans do (and that I once did). There are players I dislike, but no one I hate the way people hate A-Rod or the way Allan hates Clemens. (Well, few people hate anyone the way Allan hates Clemens!)

And believe me, I don't feel sorry for Rodriguez the way I feel sorry for someone who lost their pension because of unchecked capitalism, or lost their home (or worse) in Hurricane Katrina, for example. Just a little pang at seeing someone so undone.

9casey said...

L-girl said...

I wouldn't expect anyone here to have any sympathy for Alex Rodriguez. I just don't have the kind of player hatred that many fans do (and that I once did). There are players I dislike, but no one I hate the way people hate A-Rod or the way Allan hates Clemens. (Well, few people hate anyone the way Allan hates Clemens!)


I think in the case of A-rod, Clemens and even Bonds..........They hate the perception of the person they are, not the player.......That's why Giambi and Pettite have been given passes, they come of as being good people.......the other 3 do not....

Good people cheat everyday, but when percieved bad people cheat...lookout

Pepe Lepew said...

Pepe Lepew, you make an excellent point about players from earlier eras who cheated. They were so exploited and so powerless. Even in the biggest gambling scandal, players' lives were ruined, and the fixers made off with the profits.

Oh, that one comment about gambling was from Benjamin, not me. I'm just too computer unliterate :) to know how to make those Italics.
You know, the one guy I *did* feel slightly sorry for last year (a couple years ago?) was Ankiel. He sort of got raked over the coals because he got implicated in an HGH ring and at the time he was taking them, baseball had no absolutely rule against them (and perhaps wasn't even aware of them), and I believe -- I don't know this for a fact -- they weren't even lawfully illegal yet. You could argue that perhaps they were ethically wrong, but at the time he took them, I think there was an attitude they were not much more than a supplement.

L-girl said...

Oh yes, so it was.

Do not tell us you can't make italics. Put [i] at the beginning and [/i] at the end, but substitute < > for [ and ].

OR use quotes!

Or just continue to confuse me, like everyone else around here. ;)

L-girl said...

I think in the case of A-rod, Clemens and even Bonds..........They hate the perception of the person they are, not the player

I guess I see that as the same thing. The player is the person.