Feb
19

A double standard for A-Rod (and his cousin)

By

Update (2:30 a.m.): Who had 36 hours in the “find A-Rod‘s cousin” pool? Intrepid ESPN.com reporter Amy K. Nelson along with a producer from ESPN Deporters discovered the identity of A-Rod’s anonymous cousin and respectfully left him alone dug up his story. Basically, Yuri Sucart, a Miami resident is indeed the cousin to whom A-Rod referred on Tuesday. According to ESPN’s sources, Sucart has long “lived his life vicariously” through A-Rod and would do the superstar’s bidding.

Now that this once-suspect version of A-Rod’s story has been proven to be true, the media witch hunt continues to look more and more biased against A-Rod.

* * *

I don’t particularly envy Derek Jeter right now. For the last 13 seasons, Derek Jeter has been the face of the New York Yankees, and over the last 15 months, he’s watched as some of the key players who have surrounded him have succumbed to the steroid scandal.

In Dec. 2007, George Mitchell’s incomplete trainwreck of a steroid investigation revealed numerous drug users on the Yanks’ teams from 2000, and Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens took the their fair share of criticism. Three years before that, Jason Giambi apologized to, well, something that we all took to mean steroid use. Meanwhile, Jeter has supposedly led a clean career in an era filled with PED-enhanced ballplayers.

This week, when finally given the chance to speak to the media yet again, the Yankee Captain issued something more than the vanilla statements for which he has become famous. While expressing his support for A-Rod, he also voiced his disappointment.

Beyond this rare showing of an opinion from Jeter, though, was his statement on the way the steroid scandal — and the so-called Steroid Era — has been covered in retrospect. “Everybody wasn’t doing it,” he said to a gaggle of reporters at Steinbrenner Field yesterday afternoon. “That’s the thing that gets irritating. I think it sends the wrong message to baseball fans and kids, saying that everybody was doing it. That’s just not the truth.”

In a way, Jeter’s criticism is one the fans have been leveling at the media this week. The reporters have seemingly gone overboard in their zealous glee surrounding the A-Rod story. For example, take Daily News reporter Mark Feinsand’s lengthy pieces slamming A-Rod here and here.

As with many who cover the Yanks, Feinsand feels that A-Rod’s apologies have been more scripted than real. He feels that the Yanks’ third baseman should, for the good of the game, just take responsibility for what he did without blaming his cousin, his youth, the pressure of fame or anything else. In all fairness to Mark, he has some good points. After all, how sorry can A-Rod really be when he will exit this game having made well over $400 million in salary alone?

It’s not, however, just this reaction to A-Rod that seems so off. Rather, it’s the reaction to A-Rod coupled with the reaction to Andy Pettitte’s HGH admission from last December. Take a read through Feindsand’s piece on Pettitte. “Good for him,” Feinsand wrote, commending Pettitte for owning up to his mistakes and attempting to put the past behind him. Talk about a double standard.

Of course, this may not be an unfair double standard. After all, Andy Pettitte didn’t go live on national TV to tell Katie Couric he never used steroids. But while A-Rod has been just as forthcoming as Pettitte, the media has been ruthless. Maybe they expected A-Rod to be a bigger figure in the game. Maybe everyone is collectively disappointed that A-Rod, when he eclipses Bonds’ home run totals in a few years, will hold a still-tainted record. Whatever the reason, A-Rod is being far more scrutinized than anyone who has so far admitted to drug use.

Meanwhile, over at the Worldwide Leader, Gene Wojchiechowski is ready to start A-Rod’s clock anew beginning today. Sounds good to me.

Categories : STEROIDS!

68 Comments»

  1. Ed says:

    Maybe everyone is collectively disappointed that A-Rod, when he eclipses Bonds’ home run totals in a few years, will hold a still-tainted record.

    That’s it right there. The easy way to deal with Bonds holding the all time record was to say, “Well, A-Rod will pass him soon and the record will be clean again, so let’s not worry about it.” Now there is no easy way out.

  2. Januz says:

    Percecption is what matters. If you are perceived to be a good guy, who made a mistake, and admit to it, the media will cut you a break, that is what happened with Pettitte and to a lesser degree Giambi. On the other hand guys like Bonds, Clemens and Sheffield who are considered not so nice, do not warrent the same treatment.
    In the case of Rodriguez, he was considered by many in the media to be a phony, who used them for his own devices, and now the media is taking their revenge. If he would have said “I did it, x amount of times, end of story, end of discussion”, and kept it moving, and of course, that was the truth, it may have lessened the impact. Instead he blames others like “The culture”, his youth, his cousin, Roberts, and “the pressure of the contract” to name a few. This is what seperates Pettitte from Rodriguez, his trying to blame others for his downfall.

    • John says:

      Well, I think from the beginning, the media has created a somewhat false perception in the eyes of their audience by over-exaggerating his personality as being a phony. He really may not be that bad of a person as the media portrays him as.

    • John says:

      Well he said: “Look, for a week here I’ve been looking at people to blame, and I keep looking at myself at the end of the day.”

      He admits it was his fault and those are his reasons of why and how he did it..just details.

    • Ed says:

      The two largest contracts in the game were both signed by A-Rod.Until about 2 weeks ago, A-Rod was about as much of a lock for the Hall of Fame as a 33 year old active player can be. He was already considered one of the greatest to ever play the game.

      Clemens was a lock for the Hall as well. There was talk of him being one of the greatest pitchers ever.

      If Bonds chose to retire instead of taking steroids, he’d be in the Hall of Fame today. Instead, he loaded up on designer drugs and shattered two of the biggest records in the game.

      Those guys were looked up to. People had a lot of respect for their accomplishments. Now they’re finding out they cheated to get that respect. These guys have changed from All Time Greats to Great Cheaters.

      Pettitte and Giambi have had good careers, but not amazing careers. They don’t hold any records. They won’t be in Hall of Fame conversations. With or without the cheating, they were above average players, no more, no less.

      And then there’s Sheffield, who falls somewhere in between, but is generally known for being an ass, so he gets treated more like the first group than the second.

  3. John says:

    Thank you Ben, these are exactly my sentiments.

    A-rod is in a catch-22. If he reveals more details, he will be bashed and people will say he’s lying as they won’t believe his details (like the cousin and being young and naive which are pretty good reasons). If he does not reveal a lot, he will be bashed and people will still say he’s lying as he’s not telling completely the truth.

    The media just wants to make money out of these Anti-A-rod articles. Not one Yankees writer has supported him. They are messing up the opinions of many fans (though most support him as we PeteAbe explained his entrance to the workouts today).

    The media…What a bunch of [expletive] that is!!!

  4. David says:

    Best. Post. Ever.

    • Dave says:

      Did any really get “his fair share of criticsm?” Compared to arod, it sure doesnt seem like it in hindsight.

      • Ben K. says:

        If you mean Clemens, then yes. If you mean Pettitte, then no. No one doubted Pettitte’s story, and few, if any, were as critical toward Andy as they have been toward Alex.

        • David says:

          But Clemens has never confessed or apologized. Giambi and Pettitte were forgiven in a freaking day. Guys like Brian Roberts were never given any scrutiny. I know A-Rod is the biggest star, but the psychoanalysis going on is ludicrous.

          • Bo says:

            These middle age white sports writers want nothing to do with stars like A-Rod who attack the hallowed records of the immortal Babe Ruth. If it wasnt steroids it would be juiced balls or something else. This all started with Bonds and won’t ever end. They will never be satisfied with any apology.

            • Ed says:

              I hope you’re not serious there… it’s about cheating, no more, no less.

              Before this scandal, the press generally wanted A-Rod to break the home run record. At worst people were neutral on it.

          • Ed says:

            Clemens certainly has his issues here, and doesn’t come off looking good. But McNamee looks like he’s got a few screws lose in his head, and he’s pretty much gotten a free pass from the press through all of this. There’s a limit to how hard you can go after Clemens without taking everything McNamee says at face value. If you do that, you’re leaving yourself wide open to looking like a fool later on.

            Giambi – he suffered a lot of health problems due to steroids. 2004 was hell on him, and it was due to complications from steroids. A lot of letting him off easy is a feeling that he’s already paid a harsh price for his cheating.

            Pettitte – He came claim, his story checks out with the facts. His story was for medical reasons, not for performance, so it’s easier to accept. Then there’s also the fact that while HGH was trendy for a while, it just had a placebo effect. The medical research is showing it doesn’t actually do anything for people who already have normal HGH levels and can actually cause harm.

            Roberts – Well, covering that would involving finding people who care about the Orioles. If you found people who cared enough to be outraged over it, that would be the bigger story.

  5. BillyBall says:

    Jeter is so Classy man. I love our Captain. A-Rod on the other hand is full of crap. Michael Kay, the semi bias Yankee announcer (lol) was spewing his anger and dislike for everything A-Roid today. I couldn’t listen to Francesa anymore, I figured he was just having too much fun bashing A-Roid, so I switched the channel to get a different perspective and there was Kay calling A-Roid a fake and saying he is tainting the clubhouse and the team concept. There is no secret that Cashman cannot stand A-Rod. Girardi also has no love for him but they know they need his bat.

    “The only problem is we had his bat the last five years and he fails much too often in big time spots”.

    I completely agreed with Ian O’Conner prior to this steroid circus coming out that if the Yankees do not win a World Series in the next year or two A-Rod will be gone someway somehow. Do not be surprised if Jeter outlasts A-Rod even though his contract runs up after next season. To the shagrin of many of you on this site who were writing about his (Jete’s) decline and lack of a position, perhaps maybe perhaps the Yankees would be wise to let him walk after 2010. I say to you, the Yankees would be wiser to have not signed the albatross known as A-Rod and maybe perhaps they will be able to trade him sooner than later like my pal Ian O’Conner so astutely professes. To our Captain, stay classy el capitone. The underground Yankee fans will always have your back!

    • Thirty5Thirty6 says:

      Oh captain, my captain.

      Ya. Stay classy. You know, like giving STDs to Jessica Alba.

      Class FAIL.

    • steve (different one) says:

      yes, the “underground” Yankee fans are the Jeter fans.

      what are you talking about?

      Jeter is probably the most popular Yankee of all time.

      and Ian O’Connor is an absolute moron and i am shocked that people are defending both him and Francessa in this thread. shocked.

  6. BillyBall says:

    By the way, please start talking more about one of the greatest Yankees on this site that will certainly make monument park and hopefully be carved in the Mt. Rushmore of Yankees! Jeter, the Captain! A True Yankee, clean, honest, and classy! Stay classy New York!

  7. Rich says:

    From the transcript of Alex’s press conference:

    …I would rather not get into who my cousin is. I am here to stand front and center and take the blame because I am responsible for this. He basically took an instruction from me and felt he was doing something that was going to be helpful not hurtful. So George, I really don’t think that is relevant at this point, his name.

    [snip]

    I blame myself. Look, for a week I’ve been looking at people to blame and I keep looking at myself at the end of the day. I never saw any other player do it and I really didn’t get involved in any conversations or heard anything. This is about me, I’m the one that screwed up and no one else.

    How can anyone reasonable person not conclude that Feinsand’s point is laughably false on its face?

    As for Jeter, I think he handled himself very well, but if he, as a clean player, wants to drive home the point that the non-users have been unfairly tainted by the high profile users, he should lead an effort to pressure the MLBPA to agree to blood tests and perhaps freezing blood samples for future testing in the future when assays become more sophisticated.

    • Pastafarian says:

      Bump (for shear greatness)!

    • Dave says:

      I think the media collectively took the comment that arod made that he didnt think it was necessarily wrong (at the time) and mistook it to mean that he never thought what he did was wrong. But i find it hard to believe they are that stupid considering one, you dont plan and attend a press conference with 200 reporters and apologize for something but not actually admit the thing you are apologizing for was wrong. I mean who says Im sorry without admitting some guilt. Two, he answered the question about taking it as he thought it could potentially be wrong indicating past tense but said numerous other times as you just pointed out that he took full blame but they continue to harp on that one response he made to that question which was referring to the past and NOT the present.

      Also, the media indicated multiple times after the first interview that they couldnt stand how he blamed the culture and the weighty expectations of the contract and that he should just take the blame. Then, the second time he realized that taking responsibility himself was better than excuses and said as many times as he could that he was young and naive or ignorant or stupid. The key words being I was stupid.

      The reporters like feinsand write about how he was not young and he was already 28 but totally miss the original point that he is blaming himself and no one else and that he is calling this decision and terrible decision on his part. Mark also launches into the idea that he was blaming his cousin which is just patently false and he even said those words specifically.

      And mark basically refuses throughout his complaining to actually say what he wanted to hear from arod because the fact is, it didnt matter. He would still be saying this conference was “laughable” no matter what arod did. And feinsand also completely changes his tune from his first article to his second – in his first, it seems like he thought arod did alright and in his second, he take a massively different stance saying after having time to think, he believes that the whole thing was a joke. What did he consult somebody in order to get his opinion straight in between articles? In fact, it is these reports and not arods comments that are the joke.

    • RCK says:

      Yes. I was going to post the exact same thing. A-Rod went out of his way NOT to blame his cousin. He made that very clear.

      The majority of the media has made a choice to interpret all of his words in deeds in the most negative way they possibly can. He cannot win because they continue to move the football. After the ESPN interview he was slammed for not revealing enough details. Now he reveals details, and they claim they’re all “phony” or they go off on him for hiring P.R. consultants. (I mean, really, where would A-Rod have gotten the idea that he needs advice when dealing with the media?) He cannot win, and I wish that he’d stop trying.

    • Ben K. says:

      Thanks. I’ve updated the post with that info.

    • Dave says:

      This is hardly news. From the first day that pettitte was found guilty media and fans alike didnt even blink. The media commended him for being so honest and forthright and the fans largely didnt even care and his injury story and the comment that he only used it once originally all basically stood up pretty well until the story changed that he took it more than once in front of congress. Even then, petttitte was barely criticized.

      Arods story is the polar opposite. He came out and was probably even more honest and candid than pettitte had been. He also never said he only took it for an injury or that he only took it once. And while he did lie about it before hand, name one player that came out and admitted it before their back was against he wall? Not too many especially with the harsh environment the media has decided it is absolutely necessary to preserve even at the expense of their integrity and objectivity as journalists.

      And what is with this double standard? Why is it there? Who created it? I dont get it. Why does the media feel it necessary to put the entire weight on arod? It just doesnt make much sense to the average fan. And I have to say, the media is losing quite a bit of respect and credibility among its readers for taking this sort of ridiculous stance on this subject and their relentlessness to obtain and subsequently criticize every minor detail of this story. It is really a sad state of affairs and at this point, it is more the media than the players that are dragging baseball through this mud.

      The story seems like it will go on forever at this rate and it is already so tiring and annoying. And some of the things that guys like feinsand, lupica, borden and others are saying are just so unnecessarily cruel and filled with such hate and disdain that it is really driving the readers away. Finally, I still find it extremely curious than throughout this mess, the media has presented such a united and consistent front that was all the way to an extreme level while the fans and general public had a far more mixed reaction. And then, the media seems to be defending one another against the fans for being unable to grasp their POV while driving the beaten to death story to all new levels of ridiculousness.

    • Dave says:

      So what do they do now? Arrest him? Isnt there some kind of statute of limitations at play here?

  8. Mike @ NYYU says:

    Cashman made a quote about Rodriguez not being a good communicator, and I can see his point.

    Bottom line is that he got caught, he “fessed” up and apologized.

    Its time the media hounds, like Mike Francesa, get over themselves and move on.

    • Dave says:

      Yea mike F get over himself. We would have better luck trying to bring rid the world of suffering than get Mike F to not be the most conceited person on radio. His arrogance is to the point where it is just shoved right in the listeners face when he speaks like he knows all and the caller can only call in if they agree with every word mike has to say. I am pretty sure it is getting worse as well. i think mad dog while obnoxious may have kept the size of his head in check. I actually fear for Mikes life as I think one day his head will get so big it will explode. I never seen anyone view themselves as highly as that before.

      • ray says:

        yea mike f can be arrogant but this guy knows his stuff…

        • Mike Pop says:

          Mike F does not know his stuff.

        • David says:

          What stuff is that. Eating? He’s incredibly stupid when it comes to all sports.

          • Bo says:

            how does francessa NOT know his stuff? u know theres a reason hes the #1 radio guy in the country.

            • David says:

              He knew his stuff 20 years ago. He’s the typical sports guy who will sing the praise of the gritty white guy. He’s the guy who keeps pushing the Joba to the pen thing harder than anyone. He’s the guy who thinks Torre is god. He’s the guy who thinks Billy Beane wrote Moneyball and thinks sabermetrics shouldn’t exist. So yes. He does not know his stuff. He is a luddite.

            • Jamal G. says:

              Because there are a lot more morons who follow baseball than there are smart people.

            • steve (different one) says:

              how does francessa NOT know his stuff?

              EXHIBIT A: Argues incessantly that Joba needs to be in the bullpen and that the Yankees are idiots for not using him that way

              EXHIBIT B: See Exhibit A

              EXHIBIT C: See Exhibit B

              are you serious?

            • how does francessa NOT know his stuff? u know theres a reason hes the #1 radio guy in the country.

              Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern are the co-titans of the national radio market, and neither of them have ever said one intelligent or mildly useful thought.

              “Knowing your stuff” doesn’t make you a successful radio host. Asshattery and bombastic buffoonery makes you a successful radio host. Francesa “knows” dick about sports. But he’s a smug ass-clown who thinks he knows everything about everything, and that, plus a healthy dose of on-air-conflict (i.e. Russo) is the recipe for a #1 radio talk show.

              But believe me, your kid sister is a better sports analyst than Tubby Mike is.

  9. Kiko Jones says:

    Once you put aside the fact that what A-Rod did was wrong and that he should unequivocally pay the price for his mistake, this saga is a sad travesty on so many levels. (I’m looking at you MLB and MLBPA.) The only way the media would’ve reacted favorably to the A-Rod press conference was if he’d announced his retirement and returned the money he made during his stint in Texas.

    I think reasonable people, no matter how much they may hate A-Rod and/or the Yankees, would agree that whenever maters of this caliber are brought to light and made public, it should be handled in a manner unlike what the vast majority of the media covering this story have shown. Simply put, the likes of Roberts, the commentators on MLB Networks (especially the former players), Fiensand, etc. are a disgrace, and make the hacks that populate political journalism look like upstanding, erudite statesman in comparison.

  10. Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

    “What Will The Braves Do Now?
    By Drew Silva [February 18 at 9:38pm CST]

    Now that the smoke has cleared on this whole Ken Griffey Jr. mess, it seems like a good time to discuss how the Braves will react to missing their mark. It’s pretty clear that the club wants to add a power-hitting lefty.

    Will they step up talks with the Yankees in order to land Nick Swisher? How about Jim Edmonds? The guy hit .256/.369/.568 with 19 home runs and 49 RBI in just 250 at-bats for the Cubs last season, and he still brings a decent glove. Plus, he’d be cheap. Garret Anderson? It seems like most Braves fans around these parts don’t like the man, but his offensive production is solid. Luis Gonzalez? The seemingly forgotten 41-year-old hit .261/.336/.413 in ’08. He’s another inexpensive option.”

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/.....the-b.html

  11. Mike Pop says:

    Man, this sucks. They actually found his cousin. Bitches are grimy.

  12. Bo says:

    The Daily News is a total rag. From Madden saying cut him to Lupica saying he doesn’t tell the truth to Feinsands hate of him it’s becoming comical.

    No wonder newspapers are dying a quick death.

  13. So im curious to see what francessa has to say now that they found the made up cousin.

    Give the Daily News some credit, they did show how easy it was to get the drugs in the DR which would make arods story more believable.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/spo.....ws_-1.html

  14. steve (different one) says:

    After all, Andy Pettitte didn’t go live on national TV to tell Katie Couric he never used steroids.

    this is true, it wasn’t live on TV, but he still blatantly lied about it 2-3 times before the Mitchell report came out.

    • Ed says:

      I don’t think Pettitte really lied. There were a few incorrect reports tying him to steroids, which he denied. Sure, he could have said “I didn’t take steroids, but I did take HGH.” But no one asked about HGH, so he didn’t really lie, just avoided the issue.

      • steve (different one) says:

        Pettitte was “stunned” by the report.

        “I played with Grimsley for a couple of years in New York and had a great relationship with him,” the pitcher said before the Astros’ game.

        “I’ve never used any drugs to enhance my performance in baseball. I don’t know what else to say except to say it’s embarrassing my name would be out there.”

        • steve (different one) says:

          “I’ve never used ANY DRUGS”

          he lied.

          he only came forward when there was hard evidence.

          and when he did, he first admitted to using only once.

          then when more evidence came out, he admitted to using twice.

          in other words, drips and drabs.

          EXACTLY like A-Rod.

          • Ed says:

            I hadn’t caught that exact quote.

            He probably wasn’t lying though, just playing tight with words. He used the HGH to heal an injury. Probably considered it like taking some sort of medicine. Most people wouldn’t call something like antibiotics performance enhancing, so same deal.

            Plus, by the time Pettitte was questioned on his drug use, it was pretty clear that HGH had no benefit and only potential problems when used by people with normal HGH levels, so someone could say “I never used performance enhancing drugs. I did use HGH.” and be correct.

            Slimy, yes. Lying? Maybe, maybe not.

            then when more evidence came out, he admitted to using twice.

            That one’s wrong. There was no evidence on his second usage, he admitted it because he was asked to testify under oath.

            in other words, drips and drabs.

            EXACTLY like A-Rod.

            No disagreement there.

  15. jsbrendog says:

    soooooooooo then how long before the “cousin” writes a book to cash in on the money? or does arod pay him sopme hush money in small untraceable unmarke dblls?

  16. Steve S says:

    I think we have no one to blame but ourselves. The media is only responding to what they believe there is a fan interest in and they love to shout down from the pulpit about athletes because the rest of the year they deify them.

    And all of this is fascinating but its now up to the younger generation of fans to turn away which is what I plan to do. I’m sick of this. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and there is a generational gap that will view what Arod and all these guys did as a mortal sin. I just cant deal with this sanctimonious garbage or these elevated expectations of athletes. They were given athletic talents through the grace of god or the luck of genetics, the same talents didn’t come with integrity, ethics or any other characteristic we would like in our public figures.

    These hallowed records, thats what they are names on a piece of paper and their value is determined by how each individual fan subjectively values them, NOT how Mike Lupica or Mike Francesca value them. Its a game, not a way of life. The media is doing this because they believe there is blood in the water and for that they have lost all their integrity, but the only way we make them understand that is by ignoring all this stuff, impact their bottom line. Stop clicking the links for Arod. Go read Neyer and Klaw who are actually sticking to baseball.

  17. Januz says:

    Enough on Arod, I read an interesting description of the New Yankee Stadium from Cindy Adams of all places:
    “My tombstone may someday read “The first press person in Yankee Stadium’s press box”.
    The new house that Ruth and Steinbrenner built – 1.3 million square feet, $1.5 billion, 10 years in the planning – is still a construction zone. Opens in two months. How I, in a hard hat, toured it will stay as secret as the scoreboard on A-Rod’s off-the-field home runs.

    Architectural Digest bedrooms aren’t as classy as the players’ locker room. Stainless steel rods just to hang their socks. Individual wooden closets. And let it be known my behind sat in Derek Jeter’s space even before his.

    Their can is blue granite. Four urinals, five commodes, enough shower space for 16 naked Yankees with their bats and balls.

    Alongside’s a hydrotherapy blue- and white-tiled area with whirlpools and a Swimex thing wherein the current moves but you don’t and it’s as if you’ve swum 15 laps. Plus a trainers room for massages, rubdowns, X-rays, specialists, first aid and God knows. Plus a doctor’s office. Signs signifying each room are in Yankee pinstripes. Plus, to duck the dreaded press, a hidden super-private dressing room with giant wall mirror and 12 luxury closets. Plus a wall-to-wall mirrored gym (no equipment in it yet) so elegant it looks like a dance studio. Thoughts of Hideki Matsui at a ballet barre ran through my head.

    The players’ 30,000 square feet just for themselves includes a dining suite. Two rooms. One with the handmade Yankee logo rug has couches for lounging, sipping, noshing and TVing. The other, with chafing dishes plus wherewithal to prep individual menus, is a catering hall. I mean, talk of catering!

    Manager Girardi doesn’t rough it, either. Not exactly Mr. Steinbrenner’s 6,000-square-foot office, but how’s a security desk in front, junior closet for Joe’s young son, who wants someday to be a ballplayer, and an anteroom in blue leather where, presumably, younger players may prostrate themselves?

    And the dugout? Please. I mean, please. Heated. Air-conditioned. In the old days it was a fan, so let’s don’t discuss que pasa if a player spit into the wind. As I stood there a pigeon waddled by. And what color was he? Yankee blue. Is that George Steinbrenner a pro or what?

    Now, for the fans. Honoring The Bronx’s Grand Concourse grandeur, a giant, wide, 31,000-square-foot Great Hall. Said Valerie Peltier, managing director of the project and daughter of developer Tishman-Speyer’s Jerry Speyer: “It’s where you’ll meet and greet, buy your programs and peanuts and goodies.” Wheelchair accessible, there are 1,300 doors, 10 ticket kiosks, 16 elevators, 30 stairways, escalators, ramps, concession stands, 1,100 flat high-def TVs everywhere, including in the ladies’ gorgeous johns. I tell you the truth – it was a real pleasure to go.

    Main Gate 4 features the 1923 stadium’s great eagles logo. Inside, a larger than life print of Lou Gehrig making his historic 1939 “luckiest man on the face of the Earth” speech. Through the lobby, you’re right smack facing home plate. Foam-wrapped seats with extra legroom make even rejects from “The Biggest Loser” comfy. Each bears the plate: “Be alert for bats and balls” and has a Pepsi cup holder.

    The Legend seats, with real teak armrests, have everything but Yogi Berra personally on your lap. Order from a menu, and there’s your private dining room with burled wood doors, ultra-suede walls, blue and white Italian marble bars, matching rugs. Special lower-level exits open onto your seats. Also a grab-’n'-go dugout bar where, with pix of DiMaggio and his teammates, you feel you’re actually in a bygone era dugout. And circling the upper tiers? A red- and green-striped electric zipper flashes happy-looking dancing Premio sausages.

    The Suite level rooms. Terrazzo. Marble drink rails. Door numbers bear the same font as the Yankee uniforms. From the YES Network’s double lounge with granite counters, glass tables and pinstriped island base, I could see the el train. It rumbled outside the back of right field.

    The milelong basement service level – telephone room, boiler, storage, etc. – allows only electric vehicles. No gas buggies. All’s politically correct. Barring a hot dog aroma that may waft over 161st Street beginning April 16, the whole place is, as they say, “environmentally harmonious.”

    Besides official specs such as how far is the outfield, how many feet behind home plate, how big’s Monument Park – all of which sports pros will give you when they can get into the joint – there’s a business center, conference center, board room, museum, even a live-in concierge. It’s like NASA.

    Trust me – after they plant those trees outside along the McCombs-Dam approach, lift up the plastic on the carpets, unpack the trophy crates, finish the ceramic floor that looks like wood in the clubhouse, schlep in furniture for the offices, test the senser faucets, take the tarp off the seats, and install hot and cold running broads for some of the players – compared to the new Yankee Stadium, Mumtaz Mahal’s Taj will come off like a cockamamie bungalow.
    There is no question that if HALF of what Adams says is correct, this Stadium will generate even more discussion and controversy (Pro & Con) than Alex Rodriguez. Because it is not only the gold standard in sports facilities, but in construction projects going forward.

  18. Observer283 says:

    A couple of notes on this whole fiasco:

    First, will there be anything more captivating in baseball this year than an A-Rod (A-Roid, if you’re so inclined) at bat?

    I mean think about it. How close to the edge of your seat are you going to be the first time he comes up? I don’t think the feeling will dissipate that much either.

    Second, what if he puts up a season for the ages? I know this is highly unlikely. Rational think says that the age, plus the pressure/distraction, means we should see at least some regression.

    But what if we don’t? What if it all comes together: Selig can’t find an excuse to suspend him, health, luck (like a ridiculously high BABIP), and solid work by the other players surrounding him in the lineup (Damon, Jeter, and Teixeira are always on base; Matsui provides good protection), and he plays very well in the playoffs while leading the Yankees to a WS championship?

    Given that we know he will have to pass a drug test for the WBC, what will that say about our notions of how much PED’s help players? I know the inflated power numbers from the late 90′s say one thing; but a great season by A-Rod would provide another data point.

    What will it say about our notions of him as a player and a person (can’t perform under pressure, weak)?

    I think it would be fascinating. And yes, as a Yankee fan, it would also be awesome.

    But, like I said above, this is likely nothing more than an intriguing but unlikely hypothetical.

  19. btour99 says:

    “I don’t particularly envy Derek Jeter right now.”

    Jeter could be on fire and getting mauled by a polar bear and everyone in the world would still envy him. So he’s got to answer a few tought and unformfortable questions over the course of the season. He’s still one anyone could easily wish to trade places with in a split second.

  20. Folks,

    My biggest issue with Alex’s press conference had nothing to do with his cousin story. It was that after he seemingly took acountability, he uttered lines such as “I didn’t think they were steroids” and “We probably didn’t even use them right” – statments that essentially take away that accountability. He daid he didnt think what he was doing was wrong. Then why hide it? Why not ask a team trainer? It all came off as very scripted, and when he tried to answer questions, he backed off a lot of what he had said before.

    As for the comment that “middle age white sports writers want nothing to do with stars like A-Rod who attack the hallowed records of the immortal Babe Ruth. If it wasnt steroids it would be juiced balls or something else. This all started with Bonds and won’t ever end. They will never be satisfied with any apology” — come on. You think this is racist now? Barry Bonds was one of my favorite players of all time (yes, I grew up rooting for the Giants). Also, I’m 34. Not exactly middle-aged just yet.

    Lastly, the idea that I (or other writers) are basing our opinions on what will make us money is silly. I haven’t — and won’t — make a dime off this ARod story.

    I understand that fans need to blame someone, and if you won’t blame Alex, then the media is the easiest target. But just as you are entitled to your own opinion on the subject, so am I.

    RAB — Keep up the great work as always.

    • Memo says:

      Mark, please spare me. Do you think there is a double standard going on? Have steroids been put into perspective? If Tom House wasn’t lying about taking steroids in the 60s and 70s why does the media continue to perpetuate this myth that this generation alone should bear the burden of steroids?

      And the “kill the messenger” whine is lame. Some of your brethern are full of it. But I guess you haven’t seen or heard any craziness. And unlike too many sports reporters, fans actually have deep analytical skills and we use it when it comes to steroids.

      Any time someone isn’t ready to kill A-Rod and actually discuss other things we’re accused of not blaming Alex. Its not either-or for us, but it obviously is for you one trick ponies with a one-track mind. No wonder you guys can’t get to the root of most issues in sports, you can only handle one thought at a time.

  21. Memo … do you really think that players either discussed steroids with us or left them hanging around in their locker? I began covering baseball in 2001, and I can honestly tell you that I have never seen any evidence with my own eyes other than the changing bodies.

    Of course, the issue blew up after the ’98 season, so I can’t speak for those that covered the game then.

    The reason this will be considered the steroid era is that the most dominiant pitcher, the best home run hitter and the best all-around player have all now been implicated in this scandal, as have five other fould-be Hall of Famers. Sad, but true.

    As for the media hammering this to death, I must point out one thing. For most of us, covering stories like this becomes unbelievably tedious. I would much rather write a baseball story, but these stories have a way of lingering. Is it only because we want to write them? Hardly. For a bunch of people that claim not to care about this story anymore, the traffic on our web site when we discuss A-Rod goes up significantly. People care, whether they want to admit it or not. I had a much better time today writing about Bernie Williams than I did writing about Alex. But when a story is news, I owe it to the readers that DO care about this stuff to write the news.

    Painting all fans with a broad stroke is just as silly as painting all media with one.

  22. Memo says:

    I’ll break it down even more Mark.

    I did not say the media should have known steroids was going on. I said steroids was going on in baseball before these players. And is it the steroids era because the stature of the players not that steroids were being used? I get it then. I like for you guys to be clear on why its called the “Steroids Era.” I personally don’t care if its the best player or the worst, if its about cleaning up the game and educating the kids then you guys should be just as outraged regardless of the player and his talent level.

    I believe you guys, collectively, are not creating an environment that encourages players and everyone involved in baseball to step and say what they did. In fact, I felt players on that list (the other 103) should have come out. I felt they wouldn’t get it as bad because the focus would be on Alex. Now if I could do a PSA I would tell them to hide in the weeds forever. You guys had a chance to really change the way we talked about steroids but you didnt help the situation when you (generally speaking) treated Alex like a child molester.

    This was a time you guys could have said, “Lets really try to figure this out. Why does the best player of this time feel the need to take steroids?” But with that treatment Alex got we’ve pretty much closed the door on such an opportunity. Maybe if these guys weren’t treated like horrible human beings (Bonds and A-Rod, because nice guys Andy and Jason got a pass) then there might be a chance of some more honesty.

    There is a double standard Mark. I don’t for ONE MINUTE believe Andy Pettitte when he said he did HGH twice. His words weren’t picked a part. Jason Giambi and his brother both said they weren’t for sure what they were taking. I don’t recall the cries of them being big fat liars. For all the credit both of those men get they gave the bare minimum. They really gave no more than they had to and they were applauded for it.

    I never said it wasn’t a story. What I am saying is that fans tend to talk about many facets of the steroids problem. And much of what we talk about is legitimate. But we get accused of shifting the blame to the media (instead of the latest player caught). You did it in your first post on here. Why can’t we be given more credit than that Mark? Its like we don’t know anything and we’re gullible because we don’t have a press pass.

    I can believe Alex is responsible for his own choices, feel he is worthy of the consequences he has brought on himself AND STILL notice the double standards and vitriol of the media, the incompetence of MLB, the union and owners, and not think these guys are the slime of the Earth.

    Again, its the ability to notice the many prongs of this issue. We shouldn’t be deemed “message killers”. And for the record, some of the messages that are being spouted need to be killed. Or is there no such thing as bad journalism, bias, and shallow analysis from a sports reporter? I’ve never seen a reporter acknowledge his profession has some duds and bad apples (unless they plagiarize).

  23. Kiko Jones says:

    Good points, Memo. Feinsand’s own paper has a poll where 71% of respondents DO NOT want to hear about this story anymore. Which obviously begs the question, who are they writing it for?

    Right now, to the media it seems the identity of A-Rod’s cousin is more important than the infamous 103; the NY Daily News deemed it necessary to send a reporter to the DR to prove that steroids can be legally obtained over the counter without a prescription there; and Joe Girardi and the YES network should be crapped on because, presumably, they’ll be covering for Alex during the season. (Unlike the former players at the MLB network, right?)

    Hooray for sports journalism!!

    Seriously, these inept hypocrites have proven themselves to be a disgrace, and make the hacks that populate political journalism look like upstanding statesman in comparison.

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