The stage was set for Alex Rodriguez’s press conference. This could define his career and his legacy. Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman were at the table with him, and many of his teammates were sitting aside from the table where the action began.
Rodriguez explained the basis of the survey and also went into his past. He maintained that this season, his goal is to win a championship with his present team, the New York Yankees. The apology to his teammates never came, as he was welled up with emotion and could only muster a thank you, ending his opening statement. He was able to finish his appreciation and apology to his teammates thanks to an opportunity given by a later question.
The first question asked was whether Alex would have come out without the report. He responded that he didn’t think about that and that it wasn’t important now that he came out to “tell [his] story”.
Was there a benefit to the use? Well, Rodriguez sadi that it was half physical and half mental, but the drugs “certainly gave [him] more energy”. He made it clear in the next question that he was injected with the drugs instead of using pills.
How did A-Rod get involved in this mess? Well, his cousin gave him injections of drugs that were from the Dominican Republic. He referred to it as “bowlie.”
Was what he did cheating? Rodriguez said because he was so unaware of it’s effects, he still doesn’t regard it as cheating.
Did he experiment? Alex specified one substance during his tenure in Seattle. He attributes his use of performance-enhancing steroids many times to his youth and immaturity.
As for Houston Astros ace Roy Oswalt’s stance on his statistics, Rodriguez chose to leave it alone, but was sorry that Roy felt that way. He stood by his ESPN interview and also claimed that he reached out to Selena Roberts and Katie Couric last week concerning their journalistic contact with him.
One question in Spanish asked whether he though that the substances would trigger a positive test result, and Alex said that he again was unaware but didn’t want to be a bad example for children and felt very badly.
Does he want to be tested more to prove a point? Rodriguez likes the settings in place and noted that he had to get tested for his physical and for the World Baseball Classic.
What did Rodriguez mean by the culture in Texas being “loosey-goosey” with steroids? He was referring to the fact that certain regulations weren’t followed there. Rodriguez does claim, however, that he never saw anyone else do it.
Did he shame the game? Well, he made a mistake and he feels badly. If the “evidence falls in his favor,” that’s fine; if not, then he will take his lumps.
Why didn’t get he into his using steroids and his cousin with ESPN? Well, Rodriguez wanted to be “forthright” and get the truth out early.
He never assured that he was telling the truth, but he alluded that it’s his fault, but this is his story.
When asked to describe the first injection, he commented that he felt no regrets at the time and that he’s not sure how much it helped.
Rodriguez couldn’t seem to leave his past; he kept repeating that his first full season and 2007 were his best seasons. He wants to get focused on baseball and leave this all behind. He wants to be a better person in ALL aspects: as a player, a teammate, and a person, which includes his new humanitarian partnership.
The ONLY thing that he asks of the media and the public is that he is judged from today onward as he goes through life and his career.
The press conference seemed cut and dry; Alex gave more insight into his steroid use and from where it originated. Many of his answers included these words: young and immature. It seemed a little coached and scripted, but for a speech like this, maybe that’s what was needed. However, the conference opened the door to more questions doubting his truthfulness and sincerity. So, the question begs to be asked: Will this 2009 season be regarded as his turnaround or as his downfall? Opening Day is just 48 days away…
*Note: I’d like to thank Matt Black for his valued assistance in coverage of the press conference while my network was being sporadic.