The counter went up to 39 for times that Alex Rodriguez used a variation of the phrase "young and naive" yesterday during his press conference.
I'm sorry Alex, but 24 years old just isn't young and naive enough for baseball fans. During his long awaited press conference yesterday, Rodriguez answered most questions with some form of that phrase.
His other favorite phrases consisted of:
"I'm just here to say I'm sorry. What happened was in the past, and I'm just here today to get through it."
"That's a good question."
And my personal favorite, when asked if he considers what he did between 2001 and 2003 "cheating":
"I don't think it's up to me to address that."
Alex, you and your employer called this press conference so that you could do just that. It is up to you to address these questions.
You have to hand it to Rodriguez, Scott Boras, and all the other handlers behind the brilliant strategy to pin this on Rodriguez's cousin, who is out of the country. The statute of limitations has passed on possible drug trafficking charges for his cousin and, according to Rodriguez, his cousin resides in the Dominican Republic.
It pains me to write something like this because I'll be the first to admit, I'm an Alex Rodriguez fan. Rodriguez, along with Albert Pujols, are the two players in Major League Baseball who embody greatness.
Rodriguez has never won a title, thus limiting his greatness to individual accomplishments and not team accomplishments.
That being said, Rodriguez has handled this situation in a way that no other athlete in Major League Baseball has before.
To this point, players have either gone down the deny, deny, deny path, or they've taken the Jason Giambi route and apologized for nothing in particular.
Rodriguez admitted that he took the drugs. Even in his statement at yesterday's press conference, he told us what he was taking and where it came from. His failure, however, came in his inability to convince us that he was indeed sorry for cheating.
In fact, he didn't even admit that he thought his actions fell into the category of cheating. Rodriguez climbed to the peak of the mountain, only to plant a similar flag that the McGwires, Sosas, and Bonds' planted.
Acknowledgement without remorse.
Rodriguez's failure to answer questions to our satisfaction is not just his fault. What about the Yankees? Or better yet, what about the mainstream media that were in attendance yesterday?
Did all the reporters that got a press pass yesterday really think they were going to ask a question that was going to uncover some great truth?
We're so used to 'athlete speak' by now that every press conference we watch is same. There's no such thing as a straight answer from an athlete anymore. Even when asked about something they've done right, you're still likely to hear a "well, we're still going take this one game at a time," response.
The Yankees didn't exactly help the media out yesterday either.
While trying to listen over ESPN's Chris McKendry's rambling, I did catch some of the rules that were laid out for those in attendance. Among those I caught were:
1. No follow-up questions.
2. No questions about Alex's interview with Peter Gammons (are you kidding me?).
3. Alex has a statement, then we'll allow about 30 minutes of question and answer.
Great, so we get to hear another prepared statement that deflects blame from Alex, and then some of the lackeys that you've given prepared questions to can take up the first 20 minutes, then we'll allow some actual questions.
Oh, and if Alex's answer isn't satisfactory, we can't ask him anything further. I'm convinced that if someone would have asked Rodriguez his birth date he would have said it was, "in the past".
Michael Phelps has got to be thanking his lucky stars right now. First, an amazing Super Bowl. Now, this ridiculous circus to take the focus off his spectacular bong photo.
Today, we have a press conference scheduled to get Derek Jeter's reaction to all of this. The Yankee Captain could do us all a huge favor by simply absolving Rodriguez of his sins and telling the media, along with his teammates, it's time to move on.
Jeter could be the only athlete to conquer the New York media. That accomplishment alone would have to be at the top of his list of conquests.