Yankees, MLBPA release A-Rod statements

Open Thread: RAB in Metro
I forgive you, almost

A few hours after A-Rod‘s ESPN interview with Peter Gammons in which he admitted to performance-enhancing substance use from 2001-2003, the Yankees and the MLB Players Association have responded in turn.

The Yankees are standing by their man:

We strongly believe there is no place in baseball for performance enhancing drugs of any type, and we support the efforts of the Commissioner to continually improve the testing process.

We urged Alex to be completely open, honest and forthcoming in addressing his use of performance enhancing drugs. We take him at his word that he was. Although we are disappointed in the mistake he spoke to today, we realize that Alex—like all of us—is a human being not immune to fault.

We speak often about the members of this organization being part of a family, and that is never more true than in times of adversity. Alex took a big step by admitting his mistake, and while there is no condoning the use of performance enhancing drugs, we respect his decision to take accountability for his actions. We support Alex, and we will do everything we can to help him deal with this challenge and prepare for the upcoming season.

The Players Association leaders were more defensive, but they had to be. Their leadership has been accused of ineptitude, negligence and illegal actions. They explain why the anonymous tests were not destroyed and reiterate the claim that Gene Orza has never warned anyone of an impending steroid test. After the jump, their statement.

We are issuing this statement today to respond to two questions that have been raised in the last few days in connection with reports about Alex Rodriguez and the 2003 MLB testing program. First, it has been asked why the results from our 2003 survey tests were not destroyed before they were seized by the government in the spring of 2004. The short answer is that in November, 2003, before that could take place, a grand jury subpoena for program records was issued.

In mid-November 2003, the 2003 survey test results were tabulated and finalized. The MLBPA first received results on Tuesday, November 11. Those results were finalized on Thursday, November 13, and the players were advised by a memo dated Friday, November 14. Promptly thereafter, the first steps were taken to begin the process of destruction of the testing materials and records, as contemplated by the Basic Agreement. On November 19, however, we learned that the government had issued a subpoena. Upon learning this, we concluded, of course, that it would be improper to proceed with the destruction of the materials.

The fact that such a subpoena issued in November 2003 has been part of the public record for more than two years. See, U.S. v. CDT, 473 F3d at 920 (2006), and 513 F3d at 1090 (2008) (both opinions have now been vacated). Other subpoenas followed, including one for all test results.

Over the next several months we attempted to negotiate a resolution of the matter with the United States Attorneys Office for the Northern District of California. During that time we pledged to the government attorneys that the materials would not be destroyed. When the government attorneys refused to withdraw its subpoena for all 2003 test results, we decided to ask a judge to determine to what the government was entitled. See, 473 F3d at 944, and 513 F3d at 1118. On the same day we were filing our papers with the court, the government attorneys obtained a search warrant and they began seizing materials the following day. Pursuant to that search warrant which named only 10 individuals, the government seized records for every baseball player tested under our program, in addition to many records related to testing in other sports, and even records for other (non-sport) business entities.

Later in 2004 three federal district judges in three different judicial districts ruled that the government’s seizures were unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment and ordered the government to return all the materials seized (except for those related to the 10 players listed in the original search warrant). The government appealed and the matter is still pending before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. On December 18, 2008, the case was reargued before an en banc panel of Ninth Circuit judges.

The second question that has been raised in recent days is whether Gene Orza or any other MLBPA official was engaged in improper “tipping” of players about 2004 tests. As we have said before, there was no improper tipping of players. Any allegations that Gene Orza or any other MLBPA official acted improperly are wrong.

These are the pure, unfiltered press releases from two of the major players in this story. I’ll have my reaction and some personal thoughts on A-Rod in a few hours.

Open Thread: RAB in Metro
I forgive you, almost
  • http://nyfaninboston.blogspot.com/ Manimal

    So does this mean we can stop talking about this?

    • http://baseballbeat.wordpress.com/ Baseball Beat

      I hope so

    • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

      What else do you want to talk about? Baseball? Free agents??

      To quote Alex “HA!”

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

        Seriously. What’s more interesting? Where Bobby Abreu won’t be playing or A-Rod? At this point, this is the Yankee news.

        That said, my post tonight should be among our last unless something happens. There is this issue with Selena Roberts’ getting kicked off A-Rod’s property. I’m fairly certain that A-Rod meant that his own security force kicked her off, and that’s a problem. But eh.

        • http://nyfaninboston.blogspot.com/ Manimal

          That’s what I figured but your right about the whole Selena Roberts thing.

        • http://www.YouTube.com/kevyyankees Kevin G.

          Pitchers and catchers report in 5 days…

        • http://liberalmusings.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

          “his own security force”

          $300M FTW.

  • Jay CT

    Orza should be fired. I hope we can stop the discussions now. ARod was fantastic in his interview, came off believeable (although I still doubt he didn’t know what drugs he was putting into his body), and should be commended as the other 103 names on that list will be able to just piggyback ARod. It makes their lives much easier, should their names come out. Regardless, real Yankee fans will still cheer ARod, while the other ones will boo him when hes bad, cheer him when he is good.

    ARod 0-14, 6 K’s — BOOOOOO AFRAUD!!!11!!!1!

    ARod 2/3, HR 3RBI MVP, World Series Champ — YEAH!!!! I HAVE ALWAYS BELIEVED IN YOU!!!

    • http://nyfaninboston.blogspot.com/ Manimal

      Yeah, basically lol.

    • A.D.

      I can believe it in the sense that the trainer, supplier, whatever would just give him whatever, he didn’t need to know specifics, knew it was juice, knew it would help his work-outs, etc.

      • Jay CT

        I just find it hard to believe that someone who is as immersed into their own body as a top flight athlete has to be, and someone who hires a trainer, would not at least know what was going in. By all accounts, ARod is a very intellegent man. I think you raise a valid point, that you pay these guys to do the thinking for you, but I still don’t know of any situation in life in which you would have never heard the word of whatever is getting injected in your “temple.” I hope he has another season where he feels the need to prove it to people… like he did in 2007…

    • Brian Cashman is watching

      Maybe real fans, but how about everywhere else, including certain sports writers:

      ARod 0-14, 6 K’s — He’s nothing without the steroids.

      ARod 2/3, HR 3RBI MVP, World Series Champ — He, and the whole Yankee team, are on steroids still, and are just lying about it.

    • Jay CT

      The last thing that I want to say about this actually involves Pete Abraham. I am usually on his side and often agree with him, but when he wrote today that ARod will “likely chose the third option (offering no comment and ‘Pretend to be the victim’). Boras is adept at trying to spin a story with his version of the truth.” I think if Pete is going to jump at him with an opinion like this, which in my opinion is taking a shot at him, then he should also follow it up with a “D’oh. I was wrong, ARod took the high road and actually admitted it.” I just hate when reporters cannot have the balls to admit publicly when they are wrong, yet they have no problem splashing opinions all over. And Pete, perhaps you can take into account ARod’s age 27 years (I think 25,26,27) spent in Texas, and playing in Arlighton, a hitters paradise, before you go saying how steroids obviously work. Terrible coverage on the whole. Bad day Pete.

  • Rich

    Few people have distinguished themselves during the PED, and that includes Selig, the owners, the GMs, the players, and the media.

    With that in mind, A-Rod’s admission should be sufficient for any reasonable person with an open mind. He could have pulled a Clemens, but he chose to go down a higher, if still imperfect, road.

    The problem is that large segments of the media don’t have an open mind. They have an agenda to bootstrap their careers on the mistakes of others (see Roberts, Selena, as one of many examples).

    • RobC

      I find it had to believe the non athletes in MLB did not know about the steriod culture.
      My question is since it was a problem in other sports in the 70’s and 80’s what took baseball players so long? Any why didnt MLB management see this comming?

  • Mike Pop

    I just hope he has a craazy good season to prove (if he hasn’t already) that he didn’t need steroids to do what he has done.

  • DP

    I have been working a lot/trying to avoid this whole thing. But I don’t understand why people get so outraged about the steroids issue. First of all, how many college kids a year illegally use aderall to study for a test? This helps them get a higher GPA, which helps them get a better job (get paid more). Isn’t that performance enhancing? To make money?

    • kSturnz

      interesting

    • RobC

      Very good point

      I think abuse of controlled stimulants is just as wrong and deserves as much out rage.

      A point one of my professors made in medical school quoting a steriod using athlete “What is the defference between me using steriods and your students drinking more coffee to stay up later and study more. I’ll never be a doctor or a lwyer all I can do is play ball.”
      The problem with steriods is they work. So if one athlete takes them it forces others to take them to keep up.

    • whozat

      No, but that’s different…because…um…they…uh…whatever, everyone does it. Shut up.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    I can’t believe how people just went nuts over this.

    Arod is NOT the brightest bulb and is easily led. I’m sure he weighed his options…lie about it, say nothing, out with the truth.

    He chose the correct path. I hope Yankee fans realize that and that he is integral to the team’s success. And let’s support the guy.

    • Rich

      They need to win #27, and A-Rod has to play a role. The haters will still complain, but almost all Yankee fans will then fall in line.

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    Thing is, once those other 103 names are released–and someone will get their hands on that list sooner or later–this won’t be just about A-Rod and it’ll be a hell of a lot worse.

    • Brian Cashman is watching

      Maybe it is good Alex had his name exposed now. Someone else can headline the list when it comes out.

      • Tom Zig

        yeah hopefully someone on the red sox is on that list. Jeez do they wear teflon or something? Maybe they don’t do PEDs? I don’t know.

  • cheddar

    He should shave his head, grow a goatee (and pay whatever fine management hits him with), trash talk the opposition, give everyone the finger all the time, and celebrate home runs with a six pack. Stone Cold Alex Rodriguez. In a few weeks, everyone would love him.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      And change his name to Reggie Stocker.