A-Rod redemption

It’s been a surreal year for Alex Rodriguez. It began with disgrace, as he joined the club of major league players implicated in the never-ending steroids scandal. He was never a fan favorites in New York, and now he had sunk to a new low. His reputation would be forever tarnished.

Yet after watching A-Rod’s postseason performance so far, this may be the best thing that ever happened to him. Last night, A-Rod rose to the occasion again to provide a dramatic home run to save the day for the Yankees in Game 2.

• To be honest, for all his remarkable numbers, A-Rod has never inspired legend quite like a Williams or Ruth, a Bonds or a Mantle. Yet through five postseason games, he now has three home runs that have either tied or put the Yankees ahead. One off Joe Nathan and another off Brian Fuentes, two pretty darn good closers, too. Here’s the reaction from The LoHud Yankees Blog:

• His story of exorcising October demons has almost become old hat. Four times he has been asked the same questions and four times he has continued to repeat what he said in St. Pete. “I know you guys are probably looking for something profound. I’m just in a good place. I’m seeing the ball and I’m hitting it. That’s about it.” Rodriguez now has an RBI in each of the first five postseason games, setting a new Yankee record. Here’s audio from Rodriguez:

• Burnett said he, Phil Hughes, Phil Coke and Joba Chamberlain were in the clubhouse watching the 11th inning unfold. People would never believe the scene they made after Rodriguez hit the tying homer. “We were like little kids,” Burnett said, “jumping around and hugging.”

• In the dugout, Mark Teixeira couldn’t fathom that Rodriguez had done it. Again. “I just kept yelling, ‘He did it again! He did it again!” Teixeira said. “I just couldn’t believe it.”

It’s amazing what a great athlete can do when he just focuses on the job at hand. A-Rod has admitted to being so self-absorbed that he put tremendous pressure on himself. The scandal seems to have forced A-Rod to grow up and develop a more mature approach to the game. If he keeps this up and the Yankees win the World Series, this will be one of the fastest and most dramatic image turnarounds we’ve ever seen in sports.

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Rodriguez had relationship with banned, steroid-linked trainer

Alex Rodriguez’s claim about stopping the use of steroids after 2003 is already being shot full of holes.

According to a report in the New York Daily News, A-Rod has had a long relationship with a man named Angel Presinal, a trainer who has been banned from private areas of every MLB ballpark for being linked to steroids. Apparently Presinal roomed with A-Rod’s now famous cousin, Yuri Sucart, at every hotel Rodriguez went to in 2007. The report also states that Presinal wasn’t around A-Rod in 2008, although Sucart “remained a constant presence.”

In his press conference on Monday, A-Rod claimed that he and Sucart injected each other with steroids in the Dominican Republic from 2001 to 2003. While that might have been the case, the question now becomes: Where did Rodriguez and Sucart get the steroids? And if A-Rod claims he’s been off performance-enhancers since 2003, why would he continue a relationship with Presinal up until 2007? (Assuming the report is true, of course.)

I’m naïve to how athletes go about things when they travel in-season, but I’d have to imagine that not even the best of friends are staying with players at every single hotel like Presinal did in 2007. Again, why did Rodriguez remain close with Presinal after his claimed use of steroids from 2001 to 2003? It’s hard to imagine that a steroid-linked trainer was staying at the same hotel as A-Rod just to fluff his pillows and make sure he had enough clean towels in the bathroom.

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A-Rod Pre-Steroid Training Tapes

Before making it to the big leagues as a star player for the Mariners, Rangers and Yankees, Alex Rodriguez showcased his raw talents for scouts in this pre-steroid training tape for Atom.com. The footage is shocking.

A-Rod Pre-Steroid Training Tapes

And people say that steroids don’t help baseball players that much. This footage should put an end to that debate.

Johnny Damon: ‘A-Rod didn’t murder anyone’

Johnny Damon talked about the Alex Rodriguez steroid situation at a recent press conference and what came out of his mouth was, well, less than intelligent.

Johnny DamonJohnny Damon speaks to the media today in Tampa following A-Rod’s presser: “Yeah he did some bad things. He took a steroid. Definitely do not condone that, at all, but there could be a lot worse things he could have been doing out there. He hasn’t done a crime. So there’s worse things that he could have done but you know I’ve known Alex since he was 15 and he’s always been super nice to me and so I’m going to support him and try help him through this time. (Reporter: Johnny, what would have been worse?) Murdering someone… There’s plenty of things that could be worse than what he did. (Reporter: In your mind, is what he did cheating?) For part time in his career, perhaps, but you know what, the pitchers that were facing him too at the time were doing it.”

In essence, Damon is right – murdering someone is worse than taking steroids. But saying, “you know what, the pitchers that were facing him too at the same time were doing it” is a juvenile argument. Too bad one of the reporters didn’t follow up with, “Well, if Roy Halladay jumped off a bridge, would A-Rod have done it, too?”

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A-Rod speaks, says he and cousin injected each other with over the counter substance

At a press conference on Tuesday, Yankees’ third baseman Alex Rodriguez said in a prepared statement that from 2001 to 2003, he and a cousin used a substance available over the counter in the Dominican Republic and that it was known as “boli.”

“I didn’t think they were steroids,” he said. “That’s again part of being young and stupid. It was over the counter. It was pretty simple.”

“All these years I never thought I did anything wrong.”

He said he wasn’t sure how the drug use helped him, but admitted he had more energy.
Rodriguez said he has not used human growth hormone or any other banned drug since then. He refused to identify his cousin.

The three-time AL MVP and baseball’s highest-paid player spoke at the Yankees’ spring training camp 10 days after Sports Illustrated reported that he tested positive in 2003 for a pair of steroids during baseball’s anonymous survey in 2003. Two days after the story broke, Major League Baseball’s highest-paid player acknowledged that fact in an interview with ESPN.

For years, Rodriguez denied using performance-enhancing drugs. But SI reported he was on a list of 104 players who tested positive during baseball’s 2003 survey. SI identified the drugs causing the positive test as Primobolan and testosterone.

“We consulted no one and had no good reason to base that decision,” he said. “It was pretty evident that we didn’t know what we’re doing.”

Hey, A-Rod’s human – he makes mistakes just like everyone else. But I have a hard time fathoming that he injected something into his body that he believed was just an energy booster.

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