metro(click image for a larger view)

That’s the front page of today’s New York edition of Metro, which as you probably already noticed includes a quote from a commenter on this very site. Specifically, they’re quoting this comment from reader JM. While the three of us are certainly honored to appear in the paper – nevermind on the front page – I feel obligated to point out that the quote doesn’t necessarily reflect our opinions of A-Rod, and certainly not the opinions of all of our readers. On the off chance you’re reading this A-Rod, I still love you and am happy you’re a Yankee and will be one for a long time.

Also, thank you to everyone out there who frequents RAB. None of this is possible without you guys, and whether you’re a regular commenter or just a lurker, thank you for helping this fine blogging establishment become what it is. And also thanks to countless people who emailed us or left comments alerting us to the quote. I have to say, this is almost as cool as the time IGWT popped up in the SF chronicle.

Here’s your open thread for the evening. The only local teams in action are the Rangers and Devils, who are playing each other in the Jerz. Anything goes, just be cool.

Categories : Open Thread
Comments (227)

What a difference 64 hours makes. I went to bed Friday night in typical fashion, thanking the Good Lord for making me a Yankee fan, counting down the days until CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett and Mark Teixeira kicked off the new year. But here I am, less than three days later, getting ready to cover an interview in which Alex Rodriguez admits to using performance enchancing drugs. It’s almost like my baseball world has been turned upside down.

As we found out earlier today, A-Rod did in fact take steroids. From what we saw he took full responsibilty and was remorseful for his actions. He admitted to being young, stupid, naive, and giving in to the pressure that surrounds his life. Many people have have been in similar situations before him, but only a few owned up to it like A-Rod did. Love him or hate him, he manned up and did what was right.

ESPN is going to show A-Rod’s full interview with Peter Gammons at 6pm, and I’m going to liveblog it similar to the bits and pieces we saw earlier today. While we already now the principle topic at hand, I think I speak for everyone when I say that I want to see the full interview.


A-Rod PED Interview Liveblog (02/09/2009)
6:00
Hey everyone. Just waiting for this thing to start now.
6:01
Wow, they said the ful interview is over 30 minutes long.
6:02
They’re playing the same clip from earlier right now, where he explained that he did use PEDs.
6:02
[Comment From Mike]
I’m very relieved I guess you could say that he didnt drag this on very long and got it out now before they report
6:03
Yeah, I agree. It’s nice that he came out and dealt with this right away, rather than let it drag on.
6:03
[Comment From Masta Z]
Has Cashman or any Yankees Front Office personnel commented?
6:04
Not that I’m aware of, has anyone heard anything?
6:04
He’s now saying that back then, it was just about wanted to get it, no one really cared where it came from.
6:04
Gammons asked him when he got the wake up call.
6:05
A-Rod said he suffered a serious neck injury in ST back in 2003 and thought he would miss time.
6:05
And he was lying in bed saying “what am I doing to myself.”
6:05
He didn’t want to hurt not just his career, but his quality of life, and wanted to take control of everything.
6:05
He realizes he has millions of fans that won’t look at him the same.
6:06
He said it was pretty prevelant, and started experimenting with stuff that was banned when he got to Texas.
6:06
He realized that what he had was enough, and didn’t need any help, so he stopped.
6:07
And notes that he’s played his best baseball since, winning two MVPs.
6:07
He went back to the ST neck injury, telling himself not to be selfish and there’s no excuse.
6:08
A-Rod said he felt a need to “keep up,” citing the heat in Texas and the need for a boost to play every day.
6:08
He’s said repeatedly that he’s sorry and it’s his fault, and his fans have every right to be pissed. He also said he wants to influence children to do the right thing.
6:09
It feels good, coming out and being competely honest he says.
6:09
He looks like he’s ready to cry, like for real.
6:09
He said he was 100% clean when he came up.
6:10
He points out that 2007 was the best year of his career, and is proud that he did that clean.
6:11
Gammons asked him how big it was in Texas, and A-Rod said it wouldn’t be fair to single out only Texas.
6:11
He said he needed a push to get to the next level.
6:12
He said the first time he 100% knew he failed a test was when the lady from SI talked to him last week.
6:13
He said that Orza called him back in 2004, and he hasn’t heard with anything since. He thought that what he did in Texas wasn’t banned, which is why he said he never took illegal substances in his CBS interview.
6:14
Gammons asked him specifically about the Katie Couric interview. they’re playing the clip.
6:15
He said that at the time he wasn’t being truthful with himself at the time, so how could he be truthful with Katie? He said he’s hear to be truthful today.
6:15
He’s doing this to turn the page and move forward.
6:15
He said explicitly that he hasn’t taken anything since 2004.
6:16
He also guessed he’s been tested about 8 times since then, and even more during his time with the WBC team.
6:16
Wow, he’s pissed at SI.
6:16
He said he’s mad at SI for paying this lady to stalk him.
6:17
She was cited for trying to break into his house last week.
6:17
Wow, he went from upset to livid when talking about her.
6:18
He’s looking forward to a 14 year span after his time with Texas to build his legacy.
6:18
He’s excited to go into ST because he took the gorilla off his back. He’s tired of being stupid and selfish, when the truth needed to come out a long time ago.
6:18
Gammons is asking him about Bonds.
6:19
He feels good about moving forward, and isn’t concerned about how people view him because he can’t control it.
6:20
He’s not mad that the union didn’t destroy the samples when they had the chance. This had to come out regardless of everything.
6:20
He hasn’t talked to anyone about this before. Not one word.
6:20
He’s crying.
6:20
Gammons asked him about Pettitte last year.
6:21
He said everyone supported him, and Andy’s texted him all weekend.
6:21
He’s realized that the truth will set you free, and is happy to tell his story.
6:22
He said he wants to work with MLB to reach out to children to do what’s right.
6:22
As Ben just said: A-Rod’s owning this interview.
6:22
He having a clear mind and having certainty/believing in yourself is the most important thing.
6:23
He’s proud of his consistency, and is asking the public to look at those three years in Texas as an aberation, he screwed up.
6:23
He’s talked to the front office, they support him and want him to be honest.
6:24
They’re ready to move on to bigger and better things, like the New Stadium and a Championship.
6:24
Gammons asked him about a Bill Madden quote, saying he’s a true A-Fraud.
6:25
He’s sorry Bill feels that way, he respects him, and he doesn’t hope people follow Selena Roberts and trust that it was three years he’s not proud of.
6:25
He’s got 9 more years and looks forward to doing good stuff.
6:26
He said he thinks NYers like honesty, and great players that know how to win. He said winning a title is the ultimate medicine. He made a mistake, was stupid, an idiot, and NYers could relate to that and look past it.
6:26
They cut away from the interview for a sec.
6:26
SI denies the report that Selena Roberts tried to break into his house. Calling it absurd.
6:26
MLB had no comment about the interview, ditto Orza.
6:27
Kurkjian’s on now, said he’s been more forth coming than expected.
6:27
They’re showing a graphic of the different era’s of his career.
6:28
Of course his numbers in Texas are the best, and Kurkjian pointed out that their park is very hitter friendly.
6:28
Nevermind that they were his prime years.
6:29
They’re going to commercial now, and will get back to the interview after the break.
6:29
They said something about Joe Torre calling him back. Oh good, they’ve have Kay on talking about what this does to A-Rod’s image.
6:29
[Comment From Jay CT]
I think that was masterfully done, and I am really happy that ARod did the right thing
6:30
I agree. It was very genuine, and he definitely looks relieved to get this out. Write it down, .360-60-180 this year.
6:30
[Comment From This is the David]
I am really suprised that he cryed on national t.v.
6:30
So am I, but he did. Like I said, he looks like he really means it.
6:30
[Comment From Richard New York]
Is it over in class…
6:31
No, they’re on commercial break. There will be more when they come back in a minute or two.
6:31
Okay, they’re coming back. Gotta get the Budweiser ad out of the way first.
6:31
[Comment From SWB]
I don’t think ESPN has ever been this devoted to a story, 25 min with no commercials
6:32
Word.
6:32
Okay, they’re getting back to tinterview now.
6:32
Maybe not. Here’s Kay.
6:32
Kay says the fan reaction will depend on how he does.
6:33
He thinks they’ll embrace him if he does well, boo him if he does bad.
6:33
Said everyone will be professional in the clubhouse, they’ve been through this before with PEttitte and Giambi.
6:34
As for the 2001-2003, Kay says he’s not sure if he buys that, but gives him points for admitting it.
6:34
He says NYers appreciate the honesty.
6:34
Now TJ Quinn’s on, talking about the 103 other people on the list.
6:35
He says it’s likely the rest will come out, just because historically that’s how it works.
6:35
He doesn’t think it’s likely he didn’t know what he was taking.
6:35
He said the way A-Rod was stacking is something done by people who know what they’re doing.
6:36
Bah, another commercial break. They’ll get back to part two after the break.
6:36
[Comment From SWB]
What percentage of all-star caliber players do you think took steroids from 98-03?
6:36
I dunno, 50%? That’s just a guess, I have no idea.
6:37
[Comment From Justin]
Just woundering is the Chat still on for Friday?
6:37
Hells yes. My top 30 prospects list comes out that day, we’ll have lots to talk about.
6:37
[Comment From Guest]
Poll question: Do you believe that A-Rod took steroids from 2001-2003 only?
6:37
Done.
6:37
Do you believe that A-Rod took steroids from 01-03 only?
Yes.

( 63% )

No.

( 14% )

Don’t care.

( 22% )
6:38
They’re back from commercial.
6:38
Back to the interview.
6:38
Gammons asked him about the HOF, and whether or not someone who took PEDs should be disqualified.
6:39
A-Rod said he hopes not, and thinks you have to look at each case differently. If he plays 25 years and only 3 years are tainted …
6:39
He’s asking him about Canseco’s book.
6:39
He’s saying that Canseco never introduced him to a steroid dealer like he claimed. Saying it’s 100% false.
6:40
He asked what he thinks the drugs did for him.
6:40
He’s not sure, it’s hard to say. He was silent for a moment and had to think about it.
6:40
He said his consistency says a lot.
6:41
He says the best evidence that he’s been clean since, and he points out that he’s only gained 15 pounds over his career.
6:41
He also pointed out that he’ll be playing for another 9 years, and will have 20 years of clean baseball.
6:42
He says it’s important to get the truth out, and that it could take 5-10 years before baseball has answered the questions about steroids.
6:42
Gammons asked him if he’s tired of being a celebrity.
6:42
He says it comes with the territory, and he’s very grateful for who he is. He also said there are great challenges that come with it, and this is the biggest of his life, along with his divorce.
6:43
He will tell his daughters that he was very stupid for 3 years.
6:43
He told people not to make the mistake he’s made.
6:44
He said this is by far the most serious thing he’s dealt with, and this is much worse than Torre’s book.
6:44
He’s sorry he’s always in the middle of controversy, but he feels good about coming forward and moving on.
6:44
He doesn’t feel betrayed by Torre, but hasn’t read the book.
6:45
He’s always had a lot respect for Torre, and doesn’t have any problems with him, but he won’t talk about until he reads the book.
6:45
He said everyone in the clubhouse makes fun of him, but that’s just how it is. Everyone gets ragged on.
6:45
No harm, no foul he says.
6:46
He’s not worried about what questions he’ll be asked in the future because he’s answering ti all today.
6:46
He said baseball is still as fun for him now as it was when he was 20, 21. He wants to move on and recommit himself to the team. He can’t wait to get to ST.
6:46
Baseball is his savior.
6:47
Why did you do it? He was stupid, naive, selfish, etc.
6:47
No excuses, he feels deep regret.
6:48
He feels that over the next 9 years, all he an do is take it one day at a time.
6:48
He has no interest in having the other names on the list revealed. He’s proud of telling his story.
6:48
He doesn’t care how they got the info, he’s happy to address it and put it all behind him.
6:49
That’s it, it’s over.
6:49
Gammons is on now.
6:49
He says that Alex was very emotional, and it saddened him because it was so hard for him.
6:50
He said he didn’t expect him to be so honest.
6:50
He says he think he learned from Pettitte, and those who denied it over the years.
6:51
He thinks he owned up to everything, because he’s not sure what he was busted on. He took full accountability.
6:51
He made no excuses.
6:51
Okay, that’s it for the interview. They’re going to commercial, and Buster Olney will be on after the break.
6:51
[Comment From matt k]
how many people are tuning into this live blog?
6:52
Only 255. Most people are commuting home right now.
6:52
[Comment From Justin]
I think Peter Gammons did an excellent job covering that interview
6:52
I did too. He’s a Sox homer, but he’s always been professional when it comes to covering other teams. He just liked Dustin Pedroia a little too much.
6:53
[Comment From sjufan]
im not….im in torts and am very thankful for this liveblog! great job mike.
6:53
What the eff is a tort?
6:54
[Comment From SWB]
MONSTER YEAR
6:54
I sure hope so. I’m just glad all of this is over. He did the smartest possible thing he could.
6:54
[Comment From Anthony]
He’s a good receiver…
6:55
That made me laugh. A-Rod said he wasn’t good at busting on guys in the clubhouse, but he was good at taking it. Heh.
6:55
[Comment From Macphisto]
So, do you want him to pass Babe Ruth on the All Time Home Run list?
6:55
Hells yes. By five hundred.
6:55
[Comment From Justin]
Do you still consider him a top 5 fantasy talent for 2009?
6:55
Sure. Hanley, Pujols .. gotta be A-Rod next, right?
6:55
Back from break.
6:56
They showed a clip of him saying that he’s learned that the truth will set him free.
6:56
Now they’re showing a Buster Olney video.
6:57
Yawner. He said he didn’t take the path of McGwire, Palmeiro, Bonds, etc.
6:57
[Comment From Mike]
Is the interview completely over yet?
6:57
Yes, it’s over.
6:58
This video is going to run until the top of the hour. Olney said he can’t be penalized by MLB.
6:58
He said some will not appreciate it if he breaks the HR record.
6:58
[Comment From Kevin G.]
Is this the open thread?
6:58
No, that’s coming up at 7. Trust me, you won’t miss it.
6:59
[Comment From Kevin G.]
Do you think this interview helped him regain his credibility?
6:59
I think so.
6:59
So that’s it, the shows over and they’re getting to college basketball.
7:00
Overall, I thought he did very well. Honeslty, much better than I thought he would. They’ll reply the interview right now on ESPN News in it’s entirety.
7:00
Thanks for stopping by everyone. I’m glad he addressed this like he did.
7:00
But for now, let’s hope we talk a little baseball in the coming days. Pitchers and Catchers report Saturday, so start getting excited.
7:01



Categories : STEROIDS!
Comments (51)
  • Edjumacating ourselves on steroids
    By

    A-Rod’s a cheater! His numbers are meaningless! The steroids helped him hit all those home runs! The mainstream media, and even many non-mainstream writers, have bandied about lines like this over the past few days. It comes as no surprise; we saw the same thing with Barry Bonds, and even Roger Clemens. Steve Hulkower of Bugs & Cranks tries to set the record straight. No, he’s not excusing A-Rod or anyone else for taking steroids. Rather, he’s pointing out that few people understand the actual effects of these drugs. He supplies a primer on Primobolan, the steroid he allegedly tested positive for.

    Takeaway quote: “In other words, people only believe that Rodriguez’s numbers are illegitimate if they want to believe that they are. It is completely their choice…but in the time between the Bonds fiasco and now the Rodriguez fiasco, it seems that no one has bothered to stop and think or stop and learn.”
    · (35) ·

  • Yanks no longer considering Joba for the pen
    By

    Peter Abraham checked in with his first on-field news roundup of the Grapefruit League, and it’s a good one. He has some updates on the Swisher/Nady situation and the center field battle. Most important, though, is his bullet on Joba. As we hinted at last week, the Yankees are going to use Joba as their fifth starter from Day One until he reaches his innings limits, and in the words of PeteAbe, there are “no plans to pitch him out of the bullpen.” I’m sure the usual talking heads will decry this decision, but it’s the right one for the good of the team. · (64) ·

According to ESPN, A-Rod’s going to talking about his supposed steroid use within the hour, so I’m here to liveblog it. Not sure when exactly this is going to go down, so make sure you stay tuned.

Update (3:09pm): As you probably already know, A-Rod admitted to using banned substances when he was with Texas. We’ll liveblog the interview again when it’s shown in it’s entirety at 6pm.

Categories : STEROIDS!
Comments (185)

This is good news. According to Bob Raissman at the Daily News, A-Rod will speak about the steroids issue on ESPN “probably later Monday.” That he’s addressing the issue today is a good thing; in fact, it would be pretty foolish to delay it any further. There’s no word on exactly when we’ll hear from him, so we’ll update this post when we get better info.

I think Raissman hits it with this line: “In order to reclaim PR territory he once occupied, he must come off credible and personable when he makes his first statement.” This means doing the Giambi apology thing if he knows he’s guilty, and saying point blank that he’s clean if he’s not guilty. Straight to the point, or as close to the point as he can get. Remember, Giambi never really said what he was apologizing for in 2005, though we all got the gist of it. If A-Rod took a similar tack, I would be satisfied.

Hat tip to A.D. for finding the link I’d been trying to find for the past 10 minutes.

Categories : STEROIDS!
Comments (23)

For the past three years I’ve subscribed to MLB.tv, and this year shouldn’t be any different. The $120 per year has always paid for itself in terms of entertainment dollars per hour, and now that they’ve lowered the price to $110, that goes even more so. No, I can’t watch Yankees games on it, but I can watch the Yanks on TV and have another game in front of me on my monitor. Or, if I’m feeling really ambitious, I can hook up my second monitor, allowing me to watch the Yanks, watch another game, and comment on the game thread.

As Brad Stone of the New York Times notes, there are a few upgrades to the MLB.tv package this year. It sounds like they’re going for a Netflix streaming system, rather than having the user select a speed: “Technology by Swarmcast, a content delivery network with headquarters in Minneapolis and Tokyo, will help the league determine the speed of a fan’s Internet connection and adjust the quality of the video accordingly.” So if we’re somewhere between the 800K and 1.5MB quality, we’ll get something in the middle, not the lesser of the two.

My favorite upgrade is that you can now overlay radio broadcasters on the TV feed. Sick of Kay? Listen to Sterling. Sick of them both? Listen to the out of town radio announcer. I’m not sure how widely used this feature will be, but it does raise the possibility of a feature I’ve been pondering for a while.

Why not really open up the platform? Allow users to start their own announcing channels. An individual or group could enter a special room, kind of like our live chats, where they can provide their own play by play and color commentary. Other users can then overlay that rather than a mainstream broadcaster. I can see this not only being a fun feature for fans, but something that could drum up some more interest in the MLB.tv service. Most people do not want to watch baseball on their computers, but I’m sure a number would give it a shot if they either got to call the game themselves, or if they got to listen to a less insufferable commentator.

On the technical end, the downside is that the amateur commentators won’t have a view of the whole field like the guys in the booth do. That could be remedied, I suppose, by providing multiple camera angles to the amateur announcers. Would MLB and the broadcasters be willing to do that? I’m not sure, but I don’t see why not. In fact, that might be another feature in itself, the ability to watch the game from any camera in the park.

The question which will determine the feasibility of this: How will the media outlets react? They pay big bucks for the exclusive rights to broadcast games, and they might not be on board with amateur announcers cutting into the time of their professionals. MLB won’t want to compromise their relationships with these outlets, so if they say no, that could render this idea DOA. Still, it’s something which I think would bring more viewers to the MLB.tv platform and which would provide an opportunity for new voices to be found.

Categories : NYC Sports Media
Comments (49)

Until this story moves forward either by a statement from A-Rod or further news developments, this should be our last post on the matter for a little while. But in the meantime…

Submitted for your approval are two opposite views on the A-Rod steroid scandal. On the one hand, Larry Mahnken at RLYW says that A-Rod is still a Hall of Famer. On the other, Peter Abraham calls this latest development a sure sign of the worst of times of baseball and doesn’t have many kind words for A-Rod.

As Monday morning dawns, where do you come out? Vote. Discuss.

Right now, would you vote for A-Rod on a Hall of Fame ballot?
View Results
Categories : Polls
Comments (129)

While A-Rod‘s name, as we mentioned in the podcast, will be in the steroid-related headlines for the foreseeable future, the Gene Orza scandal should have deeper ramifications across baseball. Earlier today, Jon Heyman wrote about how the union failed to do its job.

That list would have been long gone if not for the union; according to three baseball sources familiar with the testing process, players union COO Gene Orza worked long and hard to try to pare down the list. Orza’s mission, SI’s sources say, was to find enough false positives on the list to drive the number of failures so far down that real testing wouldn’t be needed in 2004 or ever.

Orza wanted to get the list down below the five percent threshold for testing to go away entirely. But after months of trying, Orza couldn’t do it, and baseball announced that a curiously imprecise 5-7 percent of players failed the 2003 survey test, enough to ramp up the testing in 2004, much to the union’s dismay.

And when BALCO investigators asked for the results of the players linked to that scandal, Orza did what came naturally to him, which was to fight. He had a history of winning his fights, so that gave him confidence that he could win this fight.

But this time he didn’t win. The feds subpoenaed all the records instead of just the BALCO boys.

All 104 players who tested positive were now at risk.

If I were one of those 103 other players, I wouldn’t be feeling too good about myself or the union leaders right now. This move could very well cost Orza his job, as Shysterball speculated, and the union some leverage during the next round of labor talks in 2011. If Orza, as originally reported, tipped off A-Rod to an impending drug test, the fallout will be even worse.

I can’t defend A-Rod though because of Orza’s ineptitude. He took steroids; he lied about it on national television; and his 40-hour silence has been deafening. Just because his name shouldn’t have been associated with his supposedly anonymous sample doesn’t excuse his behavior or actions. But the people he entrusted with his secrets have let him down, and that thread of this story will linger for a long, long time.

Categories : STEROIDS!
Comments (60)

In light of the A-Rod steroids revelation, we decided to do a special edition of the RAB Radio Show. We totally winged the show, deciding that an agenda wouldn’t accomplish much. This story is still very young, and there’s so much we don’t know (you’ll notice at one point that Mike and I say “we don’t know” a hundred or so times). We just thought we’d let it all out there.

People are going to get sick of talking about this soon. Some are already sick of it. By Thursday, our regular podcast date, it’ll be a tired subject, so we got together to talk about it tonight, in hopes that we won’t have to deal with every story on the topic from now until A-Rod issues his statement. That’s really the next big thing to happen in this saga.

Oh, how could I forget to mention that we’re joined this time by Ben. He provided an excellent take on the situation last night, and lends his thoughts to our discussion. If only we could have him on every week.

Onto the podcast. It is available in a number of formats. You can download it here by right clicking on that link and selecting Save As. If you want to play it in your browser, just left click the link. You can also subscribe to the podcast feed, which will send it to you every Thursday. You can also subscribe in iTunes. Finally, we have the embedded audio player below.

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Categories : Podcast
Comments (41)