Alex Rodriguez and the PR Game

andy millerCorrespondent IFebruary 10, 2009

I have to admit I was a little surprised to hear Arod was a steroid abuser. He is such a great athlete, and he makes it look so effortless. And I have to admit I was a little surprised for him to go on TV, admit what he did, and try to move forward.

But, with Arod, you know he is being coached and told what to say. And all he said yesterday was from a Yankees perspective. Basically, the person I was with the Rangers was a steroid abuser, but Arod the Yankee does nothing but play baseball and, as Newman would say, head up to Westchester every Tuesday to "do charity for the blind in my spare time for the Lighthouse."
He wants us to believe that Arod the Ranger did steroids between 2001-2003, but when he want to the Yankees, coming off an MVP season he decided to stop using steroids because he got hurt in spring training?

Don't guys turn to performance enhancing drugs because of injuries? And I am sure he did feel pressure trying to justify the $250 million he was making in Texas, but I think everyone would agree that is nothing compared to the pressure he must feel playing for the Yankees.

Look, I am not here to bury Arod. He did steroids, which makes him one of a million baseball players who did it, including players on my favorite team, your favorite team, and every team. I get the feeling that like Barry Bonds, he would have been a damn good player with or without the steroids. I hate the Yankees as much, if not more than anyone on this planet.

But this is not about that. But when someone gets caught doing something, the oldest trick in the book is to say, OK, I may have done X, but I did not do Y and Z.

He is trying to distance Arod the Ranger from Arod the Yankee, and I am sorry, I do not buy it. In my humble opinion, there is no way someone who experienced the kind of success, wealth, and fame Arod did from 2001-2003 decides to stop what he was doing because he wanted to do the right thing.

People seem to forgive when the guilty party is willing to come forward and accept the blame. I give Arod credit for doing that here (although his slandering of reporter Selena Roberts is appalling). However, it is more PR-101 from the David Acevada of the sports world.

People are willing to give guys like Pettite and Arod the benefit of the doubt because they came forward (not on their own, mind you) and because, unlike Barry Bonds, their entire body did not morph right before our Topps cards.