…. Stampede

Rushing in? Hardly. Stampeding is a more accurate description. Let’s start with the NY Daily News, a newspaper whose reporters are falling all over themselves to prove they are the ones who will save baseball, and, of course, the children:

…. Alex Rodriguez’s teammates have stood behind him through his many controversies since he donned the pinstripes five years ago.
Some former teammates, however, aren’t pulling their punches.

“All I know is, this is sickening to me,” said the player, who requested anonymity. “But also expected.”

Mark Feinsand

A nice slam job, filled with the requisite anonymous quotes. Shameful, to say the least.

…. When the Yankees re-signed Alex Rodriguez in the fall of 2007, they envisioned the “clean” alternative to Barry Bonds – the knight in shining armor who would erase the stain of steroids from the all-time home run record, and they would bask in the glory of it with their brand.

Now that A-Rod’s pursuit looks as counterfeit as Bonds’, they should do what’s best for the organization:

Cut him loose – no matter the cost.

Bill Madden

Yeah, that’s the ticket. It’s really refreshing to hear such understanding.

…. What’s the highest-paid baseball player in history to do when his legacy is on the rocks?

Party in a tropical paradise, of course.

Just hours after the steroid-tainted slugger earned his nickname A-Fraud, Alex Rodriguez was drowning his sorrows with Grey Goose and Red Bull in the VIP area at Aura Nightclub in the Bahamas.

There, the staff takes pride in “treating every guest as a VIP and every VIP as a king.”

A-Rod certainly wasn’t getting the royal treatment back home – or in the Yankees’ front office.

One Yankees official said the team has no intention of coming to the party boy’s defense, and general manager Brian Cashman has not returned reporters’ calls, which is no surprise, the official noted.

“The ball is really in Alex’s court,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Hal and Hank Steinbrenner spent the weekend at the family’s Ocala Horse Farm in Florida and were talking to team President Randy Levine about the debacle, a source said.

Team brass are expected to take the position that A-Rod’s positive steroid test doesn’t affect the team because it took place before he joined the Yanks.
Many fans are out for blood, and highups in the sports world say A-Rod’s status as one of baseball’s elite players is over after the catastrophic exposé nailing him for steroid use in his 2003 MVP season with the Texas Rangers.

Lisa Lucas, George Rush, Mark Feinsand, Samuel Goldsmith

This is a complete smear, all of it made up lies. No self-respecting journalist would attach their name to it, so pay attention. These guys are more likely to be working at 7-11 than a newspaper in a couple of years.

And then, of course, we get Lupica:

…. The real owner of the Yankees isn’t anybody named Steinbrenner, not anymore. The man who really owns the Yankees now, in all the big ways, is Alex Rodriguez. Joe Torre and Derek Jeter and Mo Rivera and Jorge Posada and even Andy Pettitte – they’re the faces of the old Yankees, what the Yankees used to be. A-Rod is what they have become.

The Yankees knew exactly what they were getting when they signed him to the biggest contract in baseball history 15 months ago. And what they were getting, on top of the gaudy numbers and the chance at baseball’s all-time home run record, was the biggest reality series in baseball.

…. “The amazing thing about Alex, isn’t that the Yankees traded for him in the first place. It’s that they re-signed the guy after he walked away from them the way he did.

Because that means they drank the Kool-Aid twice.

I hear people saying Jeter is probably down in Tampa laughing his a– off because of this drug story about Alex. Are you kidding? Jeter’s crying his a– off, because he knows he’s got to spend the rest of his career playing alongside [Rodriguez].”

If you wanted to know who said that to Lupica, you’d have to ask him, because –surprise– he tells us it was an unnamed American League manager. Here’s a question:

If A-Rod is supposed to come clean, as Lupica insisted in yesterday’s tirade, why aren’t any of these people who have so much to say about him:

…. Alex Rodriguez needs to come clean now, about what Sports Illustrated says is a dirty drug test out of his past. He needs to come clean in a way that Barry Bonds never really has and Roger Clemens probably never will, in a way that Mark McGwire did not come clean when he stood in front of Congress and said that he wasn’t there to talk about the past, when that is all anybody wanted him to talk about.

…. Alex Rodriguez has a chance here to say what you wish a lot of guys like him would say in circumstances like this. To stand up. Unless he’s going to go the other way and say that it’s all a lie, say the whole thing is a giant conspiracy against him the way the pathetic Floyd Landis still does.

But if Rodriguez does say this is all a lie, he’d better be telling the truth.

Yep, you read that right. He’s threatening him. And it’s not an idle threat, by the way. There have already been several articles declaring that A-Rod’s chances for the Hall of Fame are over. Here’s just one, by our good friend and moral captain, Bill Madden:

…. Now that it appears he really is “A-Fraud,” Alex Rodriguez can forget about having his run at Barry Bonds’ all-time home run record taken seriously. And, like Bonds, Rodriguez can probably forget the Hall of Fame, too.

I can’t speak for the rest of my brethren in the Baseball Writers Association who are entrusted with deciding which players are worthy of baseball’s highest honor – a bronze plaque in Cooperstown – but if Mark McGwire’s diminished (and diminishing) support on the ballot is any indication, steroid cheats aren’t going to the Hall of Fame unless they’re visiting.

Yeah. And if Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens and Alex Rodriguez aren’t in the Hall of Fame, it isn’t a Hall of Fame, it’s a Hall of Hypocrisy. Maybe we need to figure out a way to test the DNA samples of Mickey Mantle, and Ty Cobb, and Babe Ruth while we’re at it. What a farce.

UPDATE: A-Rod has apologized:

…. His voice shaking at times, Alex Rodriguez met head-on allegations that he tested positive for steroids six years ago, telling ESPN on Monday that he did take performance-enhancing drugs while playing for the Texas Rangers during a three-year period beginning in 2001.

“When I arrived in Texas in 2001, I felt an enormous amount of pressure, felt all the weight of the world on top of me to perform, and perform at a high level every day. Back then, [baseball] was a different culture,” Rodriguez said. “It was very loose. I was young, I was stupid, I was naïve. I wanted to prove to everyone that I was worth being one of the greatest players of all time.

“I did take a banned substance. For that, I am very sorry and deeply regretful.”

UPDATE, Part II: Well, that didn’t take long. Just like Pete Rose, who was promised a full pardon by the BBWAA if he would just finally apologize, A-Rod can’t do enough:

…. He’s really, really sorry.

Sure. He’s sorry he got caught. Everyone’s sorry when he’s caught. But you’re really sorry only if you think that what you did was wrong, and I don’t believe that any of these guys really believe they did anything wrong.

Way to go, Rob. Make sure you keep moving the target.

(Editor’s note) You can find all the links at the NY Daily News Sports page.

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All commentary is the opinion of John J Perricone unless otherwise noted.
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