Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The ARod Press Conference----A Preview

  • Much ado about nothing:
If you think Alex Rodriguez is going to come out with any kind of unrehearsed, freewheeling and spontaneous response to any question at today's press conference, you can forget it. Here's how this thing's going to go:

  1. The "supportive teammates" will stream out in front of ARod (Derek Jeter will be there, although everyone knows that he'd prefer to be spreadeagled and coated with honey over a pair of warring nests of red ants than be at that press conference) along with manager Joe Girardi and GM Brian Cashman; the Steinbrenners won't be there. Making themselves inconspicuous in the background will be the army of lawyers, PR people and image consultants that ARod has employed, along with ex-wife Cynthia. (Madonna will be at power yoga and unable to attend.)
  2. ARod will give a short statement, adding a bit more flesh to his evasive responses to the softballs Peter Gammons hurled at him, but not saying anything of consequence or, more importantly, to incriminate himself. There will still be a plausible deniability as to the amount of stuff he used, when and from whom he got it. The statement will be rife with contrition and regret and clearly written by someone other than ARod.
  3. He'll take questions from the press, but won't answer them directly; he'll be more forthcoming than he was in the Gammons interview, will defend himself with a smile and repeatedly apologize for lying to the kids of America who look up to him; to his family and friends. Instead of pulling a Roger Clemens and playing the slugging boxer, trying to do battle with those that dare question his integrity and motives, ARod will dance. Rather than bore in as a two-fisted slugger like Roberto Duran, he'll pull a Sugar Ray Leonard; prancing around, answering but not answering; never being specific and sticking to his script. The press will unload on him afterward, saying that he wasn't more upfront and honest than he was in the Gammons interview, just more slick, more polished and more prepared. He'll be ripped in the media and by anonymous teammates for being a poser and this story will continue to be a distraction throughout camp and at least until the season starts.
  • On a more interesting note, I did some in-the-trenches research into ARod's choice of PEDs:
I dug out one of my hardcore steroid books (don't ask): The Underground Steroid Handbook by the late Dan Duchaine and found some interesting (and unintentionally funny considering ARod's image) facts about the drugs he was supposedly taking. Duchaine was known as a steroids "guru" and was unabashed about helping his clients procure and use the drugs correctly and assisting them in passing drug tests when they were using. He also formulated a dieting system somewhat like a souped up version of that Atkins Diet for bodybuilders to lose fat and increase definition. (I suspect relatively strongly that before he died, Duchaine was involved with some major league players; Ken Caminiti advocated a diet that he used during his steroid years with the Padres that sounded eerily close to Duchaine's "high-fat" diet and Duchaine was based not far from San Diego.)
The Underground Steroid Handbook isn't written by a doctor or for medical purposes, but it effectively describes what was once exclusively for bodybuilders and strength athletes and was tacitly allowed to creep into baseball through lax enforcement and the absence of rules prohibiting them. Primobolan is considered, without trying to be humorous, a steroid for those that are afraid to use the real deal PEDs like Winstrol, Sustanon, Deca Durabolin and Dianabol. ARod was never specific about how he took the drugs, but there are the pills and shots and it seemed to be implied that he took shots; the following describes the shots since the pills are predominately used by women, which may or may not exclude ARod. (The book was published in 1989):

This short-acting injectable form of Primabolan has a cult following of competitive bodybuilders in America. It is now only manufactured in Germany . European athletes used to regard Primo Acetate injection to be for children because the dosage is so small.

I don't consider Primo Acetate injection effective for anyone unless used in large doasges. There are other steroids just as safe to use and more effective...

This is a longer acting Primobolan than the Acetate and is usually taken weekly. It is thought to increase muscle size by decreasing muscle density, although this view is held by athletes, not scientists.

It's side effects are less that Deca's; it may not raise blood pressure as much as other injectables. Primabolin Depot in America is an 'I'll try it for a while.' kind of drug.* (*Italics added.)

The very idea of ARod----at age 25; as cautious as he was with his body; and as serious as he was about his place in history----was going to take anything without knowing what it was is ludicrous; it's beyond ludicrous. The information above isn't what you'll get off the internet, but the facts about the drugs, who takes them and why. Those steroids themselves are considered kind of "juice for fairies" who are afraid to take the full step and take the hard core drugs that most everyone else was taking. ARod was never (and presumably never will be) specific about what he was taking, but it's clear from the descriptions of the drugs that it was Primabolan Depot that he was taking and he wanted to try it to see if it worked.
The sickest part is that what he was taking probably didn't help him all that much, if at all; and the conscious choice of taking PEDs with limited side effects (and of course, limited effectiveness) is circumstantial evidence that ARod knew damn well what he was taking and wanted to give it a shot (pardon the pun). Had he stayed clean, his numbers probably would've been at or close to what they were with the drugs; but now ARod's tainted forever even if he was taking "juice for fairies" and even if he does the unthinkable and spills his guts sometime in the near future, nothing's going to change that and he did this to himself and no press conference with the entire Yankees roster standing behind him is going to help him regain what he lost with his stupid insecurities.

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