How has Alex Rodriguez's off-season been? Pretty damn good. Coming off an American League Most Valuable Player, he signed a 10-year, $275 million dollar contract.
Oh wait, that was 2007's off season. This year's? A polar opposite from the previous year.
In February, 2009, Rodriguez's life was turned upside-down when writer Selena Roberts of Sports Illustrated published a breaking news article which stated Rodriguez used anabolic steroids in his 2001-2003 baseball seasons, when he hit 156 home runs in the time period, the best three-year streak of his career.
Rodriguez admitted to steroid use from just 2001-2003, stating he was under "extreme pressure" to perform well. However, A-Rod also stated that during his tenure with the Yankees, he has been "completely clean."
On March 5th, Alex Rodriguez announced he will be out until at least May with a cyst on his hip. It was later revealed that he also had some torn cartilage in his hip. Rodriguez has been doing the majority of his training in Colorado.
Rodriguez is nearing his return from his hip injury. He could be back as early as Friday against the Baltimore Orioles, but Yankees' skipper Joe Girardi wouldn't comment on when he thinks his third baseman would be back.
As if that wasn't enough, Rodriguez has one more thing going against him. The same writer who published the original Sports Illustrated article stating that Rodriguez did steroids has just released a book on Rodriguez.
In the book, entitled A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez, Selena Roberts states Rodriguez has been taking steroids since his junior year in high school.
She reports that Rodriguez went from "barely benching 100 pounds" in his sophomore year to benching 315 in his junior year. Also, according to Roberts, Rodriguez gained 25 pounds of muscle between his sophomore and junior seasons at Westminster Christian High School in Miami, Florida.
Rodriguez's high school teammate, Doug Mientkiewicz, came to Rodriguez's rescue earlier, when he said he never saw Rodriguez taking steroids. He also asked, "You're basically accusing every kid that's gone through puberty that they're on steroids too, huh?"
Roberts also states that Rodriguez took steroids while with the Yankees too, as well as the stories she broke about him taking 'roids with the Texas Rangers.
In Robert's book, she also accused A-Rod of tipping pitches. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's when A-Rod, in lopsided games, would tell opponents what type of pitch is coming next, hoping for the same favor when he comes up to the plate.
As if taking the steroids to try to cheat himself isn't bad enough, Rodriguez put himself before the team by tipping pitches if this is true.
Overall, I'm sure Rodriguez would have liked to have a better off season than this. Rodriguez can come back to his first game of the season as early as Friday, and we should see then how he handles all the pressure that will travel with him this entire season.