Posts Tagged ‘A-Rod’

Two Former Mets Are Still Making Headlines

March 4, 2009

For those of you who haven’t noticed, former Mets pitcher Pedro Martinez is claiming he is healthy again. He will be showcasing his talents at this year’s World Baseball Classic as a member of the Dominican Republic.

“The last few years, I’ll be the first to tell you, I haven’t been the Pedro Martinez I’m used to being,” he said.

The Mets organization can attest to that statement all too well. Aside from his first season with the club in 2005, Martinez was mostly seen warming up for scheduled bullpen sessions than for actual games throughout the next three seasons. That’s because he tore a muscle in his left calf and developed a torn rotator cuff which sidelined him for most of the 2007 season. On September 3rd, he made his return to the team in which he started fives games. He finished the season with a 3-1 record and a 2.57 ERA. However, in 2008, he was bit by the injury bug again. He managed to string together 20 starts. In 109 innings pitched, he struck out 87 batters and finished the season with a record of 5 wins and 6 losses. His 5.61 ERA that year was the highest mark of his career.

By participating in the Classic, the three-time Cy Young award-winner is hoping to land a spot on any ballclub that is in need of his services.

“I’d love to play for all of them,” he said. “I’m open to play for anybody that would give me respect. … If nobody takes a chance, I’ll go fishing.”

Martinez has always had a way with words. When asked about the Red Sox-Yankee rivalry, he responded: “I’m starting to hate talking about the Yankees. The questions are so stupid. They’re wasting my time. It’s getting kind of old … I don’t believe in damn curses. Wake up the damn Bambino and have me face him. Maybe I’ll drill him in the ass, pardon me the word.”

My feeling is that we haven’t seen the last of the real Pedro.

Strawberry Throws His Two-Cents In

“If a guy can fall and he can get up and dust himself off and help somebody else, then he has really done what he was called to do,” said Darryl Strawberry, the former Mets and Yankees slugger, who now works as an analyst with SNY.

Strawberry could have been speaking about his own troubled past in the third person with this statement but he wasn’t. His words of wisdom were in response to the public apology made by Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez who confessed to his use of performance-enhancing drugs. “You can’t take from what he’s done. Hopefully, he can be forgiven,” Strawberry said.

Strawberry, who is a prominent member of the 30 homers and 30 stolen bases club, had what critics call “natural talent.” When Strawberry was asked if he would experiment with steroids as a young player if they came his way, he bluntly stated, “Hell yeah, I would use them. Are you kidding me?” “I probably would have been a part of it,” he added.

Strawberry has had plenty of experience with banned substances. From the mid-nineteen nineties to 2002, he had been in and out of rehab because of cocaine abuse. “I was stupid, too. I did a lot of stupid things.”

His memoir, “Straw: Finding My Way,” is scheduled for its released on April 28, 2009.

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Rodriguez Reiterates the Ignorance of His Youth

February 18, 2009

If we can learn one lesson from what transpired Tuesday afternoon down in Tampa, FL, it would have to be that we all make mistakes. When Yankee slugger Alex Rodriquez agreed to address the fans and the media yesterday about his use of a banned substance, it was obvious that he was resided in the fact that he had made a big mistake.

“I was young, I was naïve, and I stuck a needle in my butt to help make my muscles bigger,” he said. “Just ask my teammates.”

Rodriguez didn’t actually say that, although we would’ve loved it if he had. Just imagine the cameras cutting to a quick shot of his teammates who are in attendance as they nod their heads in unison. Isn’t that what this whole confession was about? Solidarity, being part of a family, and getting the team back on track!

Prior to opening the floor to questions, Rodriguez gathered himself for a moment, held back some tears, and said, “Thanks,” to his teammates. At that moment any one of those guys would’ve shoved a needle into their backside just to have the most embarrassing chapter of baseball history over with and get back to playing baseball. Unfortunately, as we have found out, it’s not that simple. Skipper Joe Girardi thought that his third baseman had shown remorse and that he did a very good job.

The media on the other hand remains largely skeptical. If possible, the battalion of reporters who were present would have uncovered every last detail of Rodriguez’ career beginning with his early days as a Seattle Mariner up to and including his current state of tumultuous affairs. Rodriguez claimed that the last fifteen months had been extremely hard for him since he has been preoccupied with matters that detract from the game he loves.

“I miss playing baseball,” Rodriquez began to say. “I miss….simply being a baseball player.”

After fielding a barrage of questions both general and some personal (including whether or not the injection hurt), Rodriguez responded evenly to the criticism. He spoke with an understanding that his career may never be seen in the same light again.

“Judge me from this day forward,” Rodriguez said as the press conference came to a close.

A Failed Drug Test, A Phone Call, and the Truth Shall Set You Free

February 10, 2009

One can only speculate how the final weeks of the 2004 baseball season unfolded for New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez. Perhaps Alex was jogging in Central Park, too preoccupied to notice the missed call that went straight to voicemail on his cell phone. Unable to recognize the number, Alex would have listened to the message with concern and trepidation.

The caller would have been none other than Gene Orza, chief operating officer of the Players’ Union, calling to warn the newly-minted highest paid player that bad news lay in store. Alex may have been startled but barely surprised at the message: he would have to be tested once again for performance-enhancing drugs. After all, the homerun hitter had taken the same test just one year earlier.

Although the information above is merely speculative, what we do know as fact is what follows.

In 2003, while with the Texas Rangers, Rodriguez underwent an experiment that was instituted by Major League Baseball and approved by the Players Union, one that called for the testing of baseball’s athletes. The test was administered in an effort to address the growing number of baseball players using performance-enhancing drugs. Rodriguez and his fellow players were under the impression that the results would be made anonymous and later destroyed, with the only penalty for positive results being the burden of having to take the test again.

Unfortunately for Rodriguez and 103 others, the results came back positive. In turn, they were scheduled to take the test again at the start of the following season. Months passed, the guilty parties were re-tested, yet the original evidence of the positive results was never destroyed as agreed ending up in the hands of the federal government.

Fast forward to February 2009, SI.com, the web site of Sports Illustrated, leakes Rodriguez’ test results to the public. In an exclusive interview with ESPN’s Peter Gammons, Rodriguez willingly admits to using a banned substance during the 2001-2003 seasons and now feels confident that he has gotten the “monkey off his back.” He recalls his days as a Texas Ranger using such words as “naïve, stupid, and young.” Throughout the interview, the former three-time MVP pleads incessantly and asks several times for his fans to forgive him. “I am deeply sorry and I apologize,” Rodriguez said. “I’m ready to move on.”