SBD/Issue 100/Franchises

A-Rod Admission: Yanks Did Not Consider 'Roids In Contract Talks

Cashman (r) Says Question Of Steroid Use Did
Not Come Up During Rodriguez Contract Talks
No Yankees execs discussed the possibility that 3B Alex Rodriguez "might have been a steroid user" during contract-negotiation process prior to Rodriguez signing his 10-year, $275M deal with the team in December '07, according to Jack Curry of the N.Y. TIMES. Yankees GM Brian Cashman: "It's not something that came up. ... It's clearly a fair question, but how would you know that from 2001 to 2003 this was taking place? Basically, you can ask that about any player we've signed or acquired. We had already been in a testing period. You get past that." Rodriguez Monday admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs from '01-03, and as much as Cashman "hopes that Rodriguez is immune to the commotion and produces, he expected the steroid tag to cling to him." Cashman: "This will be a long process" (N.Y. TIMES, 2/11). Meanwhile, the Yankees yesterday said that they "are not looking to void" his contract, and Yankees co-Chair Hank Steinbrenner said he personally is not mad at Rodriguez. When asked about finding a way to get out from under Rodriguez' contract, Steinbrenner said, "No, no ... it's simply ... that's it basically." Steinbrenner said of whether he would attempt to trade Rodriguez, "I am not going to comment on anything like that (that) can get twisted, which happens in the media. Basically, it's no comment except that I support him and I am not personally angry at all." The Yankees are "convinced Rodriguez is sincere when he says he hasn't juiced since 2003" (King & Hale, N.Y. POST, 2/11).

TIME TO MOVE FORWARD: On Long Island, Ken Davidoff reports the Yankees, who had "set the bar low" for Rodriguez' interview with ESPN's Peter Gammons Monday, came away "generally pleased" (NEWSDAY, 2/11). Cashman said that the Yankees "urged Rodriguez to tell the whole truth in his confession." Steinbrenner: "We support him and we're going to do everything we can to help make his season a successful one, to help him do that" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/11). In N.Y., Joel Sherman writes, "This is really just the first inning of the revelation phase. A-Rod, after all, has nine years left on his Yankee contract. That is a long time for an organization to hold its breath that its most expensive commodity does not further wreck his image -- and theirs." And it is "all about to get more complicated for both player and team" (N.Y. POST, 2/11). But in N.Y., Mike Lupica writes the Yankees "now want to act as if this is some kind of 'Texas' problem with Rodriguez," as he noted in his interview he only took PEDs during his time with the Rangers (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/11). 

NOBODY WITHOUT FAULT: In Atlanta, Jeff Schultz noted Rangers Owner Tom Hicks has said that he "wants A-Rod to personally apologize to him." Schultz: "Try again. Hicks and every other owner should apologize for turning a blind eye to steroid use because they were more interested in selling tickets, souvenir jerseys and corporate sponsorships. ... The biggest problem with baseball's steroid era is the complete lack of responsibility anybody wants to accept -- starting with the owners" (, 2/10). In Ft. Worth, Jim Reeves wrote under the header, "Hicks Has To Face His Own Failure." It was Hicks' responsibility to "know what was going on in his clubhouse, where steroid use was rampant during his ownership." Hicks has to "look himself in the mirror, too, just as those of us who were around the team and didn't 'get it' during those years have to do" (, 2/10).

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