PDA

View Full Version : Alex Rodriguez (The A-Rod thread)



Pages : [1] 2

Kris
February 15th, 2004, 06:06 AM
February 15, 2004

Yankees Said to Be Closing Deal to Obtain Rangers' Rodriguez

By TYLER KEPNER

In a trade that would join the most celebrated franchise in baseball with perhaps the best player in the game, the Yankees and the Texas Rangers have agreed in principle to a deal that would bring Alex Rodriguez to New York for Alfonso Soriano and a player to be determined, according to several people familiar with the discussions. The deal is all but complete, they said.

The commissioner's office and the players union must approve the trade, and the teams were working on administrative details last night, baseball officials said. "It has reached the commissioner's office," said Sandy Alderson, Major League Baseball's executive vice president for baseball operations, who declined further comment.

Rodriguez has seven years and $179 million remaining on the 10-year, $252 million contract he signed in December 2000. The Rangers would include money in the mid-$60 million range that would reduce the Yankees' average annual payments to Rodriguez from $25.5 million to about $16 million.

Rodriguez has performed as the Rangers hoped, leading the American League in home runs in each of the past three seasons and winning the Most Valuable Player award last year. But the Rangers have finished in last place each season and are desperate to shed his contract.

On Oct. 26, about 12 hours after the Yankees lost the World Series to the Florida Marlins, Rangers officials called Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman to gauge his interest in trading for Rodriguez. Irritated by the timing and confident in his own star shortstop, Derek Jeter, Cashman passed.

The Boston Red Sox, bitter rivals of the Yankees, reached their own deal for Rodriguez in December, only to have the trade quashed when the players union rejected the restructuring of Rodriguez's contract. But with more financial might than the Red Sox and the lesson of Boston's failed trade to guide them, the Yankees were privately confident their deal would not fail.

"It is not going that route again," said one person involved in the talks. "That's been clear from the start."

The impetus for the Yankees' deal came on Jan. 16, when third baseman Aaron Boone seriously injured a knee while playing pickup basketball and Cashman could not find a replacement. Rodriguez, sensing an escape from what had become a gilded prison in Texas, decided he would shift from shortstop to third base if the Rangers dealt him to the Yankees.

It was no small concession from Rodriguez, who has won Gold Gloves for fielding excellence at shortstop the past two seasons. But Rodriguez has never played in the World Series, and according to one person familiar with the trade talks, he told the Rangers' owner, Tom Hicks, through an intermediary early last week that he wanted to be traded to the Yankees.

In the Red Sox deal, Hicks had agreed to take on baseball's second-highest-paid player, Manny Ramirez, in return. This deal will save the Rangers more than $100 million. Soriano will make $5.4 million this year and cannot be a free agent until after the 2006 season. The player to be determined will come from a list of five players, probably minor leaguers.

"It's about flexibility," Rangers General Manager John Hart told The Associated Press last night. "We're trading the best player in the game and we're getting tremendous financial flexibility."

The Yankees have virtually overhauled their team from last season. Their starting rotation will be mostly new after the free-agent defections of the veterans Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte and David Wells. The lineup will include the newcomers Gary Sheffield, a seven-time All-Star who signed a three-year, $39 million contract, and another outfielder, the five-time All-Star Kenny Lofton.

Now comes Rodriguez, who is scheduled to make $21 million this year, $25 million in 2005 and 2006 and $27 million in each of the four years after that. Rodriguez is the crowning piece in a staggering collection of stars and salaries.

"The more guys they get over there, I just see that place imploding," said an official of another team. "Their payroll could probably go to $300 million, and the owner wouldn't care."

After three years without a championship, the Yankees' principal owner, George Steinbrenner, has assumed greater control of personnel moves, authorizing a payroll that could top $180 million. Even so, Cashman on Friday referred to the Yankees as underdogs in the A.L. East.

"Obviously, the favorite appears to be Boston," Cashman said. "They're the team Vegas is picking and everyone else seems to have crowned as the team to beat. I look forward to seeing if we can channel some of that in our favor."

With Rodriguez, the Yankees would seem to be a strong favorite to repeat as division champions for the seventh year in a row. The Red Sox are chasing them again.

"We recognize that the Yankees are a more formidable team as a result of this trade," Larry Lucchino, the Red Sox' president, said last night. "But we've long maintained that we are hungry underdogs. So I guess what this means is we're a little bit more hungry and a little bit more of an underdog."

The Red Sox lost in the seventh game of the A.L. Championship Series last fall when Boone homered in the 11th inning. Boston has since acquired an ace starter, Curt Schilling, and a premier closer, Keith Foulke. But Boone's injury has indirectly hurt the Red Sox again.

"The Boone occurrence changed the lay of the land, and the Yankees' resources gave them the capability to do what no one else could do," Lucchino said. "But you have to recognize or at least give them credit for their aggressiveness and for going out and making it happen.

"But they still have to beat us on the field. We're not going around the corner to hide. Maybe we'll test the old adage that good pitching beats good hitting every time."

Lucchino said he had no regrets about the Red Sox' failed attempts to trade for Rodriguez and that he doubted the Red Sox could challenge the Yankees' trade with a grievance. "I don't know the full details of the deal; we'll certainly inquire into them," Lucchino said. "But I certainly expect that the deal will go through."

For the Yankees, the trade fills a hole at third base but creates one at second, where Enrique Wilson and Miguel Cairo would presumably be the leading candidates to start. In dealing Soriano, the Yankees would give up a two-time All-Star who in 2002 became the first second baseman in the major leagues to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases in the same season. He repeated the feat last year.

But Soriano is a free swinger who can be exploited by better pitchers, and he played miserably in the postseason, striking out prodigiously and being benched for Game 5 of the World Series. The Yankees flirted with the idea of shifting him to the outfield, and signed Lofton to take over his role as leadoff man.

Adding Rodriguez will give the Yankees a thunderous middle of the lineup: Rodriguez, Jason Giambi and Sheffield combined for 127 homers last season. Rodriguez is also a charismatic figure who presumably would renew his friendship with Jeter. The two had been close early in their careers, and though the relationship was strained in 2001 after Rodriguez criticized Jeter in a magazine interview, the two filmed a commercial together this off-season.

Soon, Rodriguez will defer to Jeter on the field, moving a few steps to his right and hoping that by playing third base in the Bronx he will win his first World Series ring and Jeter will win his fifth.

Murray Chass contributed reporting for this article.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
February 15th, 2004, 06:18 AM
February 15, 2004

BASEBALL ANALYSIS

The Lure of New York Was Too Strong to Resist

By JACK CURRY

Alex Rodriguez would try to hide his obsession for New York when he spoke to people with ties to the city, but the effort was futile. Rodriguez would ask questions about the Yankees, the Mets, the city, everything. He would toss those questions out nonchalantly and act as if he were remotely interested, but then he would inch forward in his chair and wait impatiently for detailed answers.

That obsession with New York, coupled with his obsession to move far away from the aimless Texas Rangers, is apparently enough motivation for Rodriguez to divert the path of his Hall of Fame career and slide about 50 feet to his right. If moving from shortstop to third base could help Rodriguez get paroled from the Rangers, then Rodriguez, the best player in baseball, would do the moonwalk while he giddily made the switch.

"What's it like in New York?" Rodriguez asked a reporter last season, a question that could have covered every issue from the chemistry in the Yankees' clubhouse to the niftiest place to devour a slice of pizza.

To Rodriguez, a lifetime shortstop, it is better to be kind of satisfied at the hot corner for a potential championship team than to be miserable at shortstop for a last-place team. Rodriguez, who had been the captain of the Rangers for a minute or two, was eager to abandon ship, even if that meant surrendering his coveted shortstop position to Derek Jeter. Once bosom buddies, the matinee idols are now professional friends, and to the Yankees, that is close enough.

In a recent interview with Michael Kay of the YES Network, Jeter basically absolved Rodriguez of the harsh comments Rodriguez made about him three years ago. Jeter, who can hold a grudge for a decade, said that Rodriguez was put in a position he was unaccustomed to when he made those remarks. As transparent as it seemed because Rodriguez has been a national figure since he was a teenager, it was Jeter's subdued way of saying that he and Rodriguez are cool again.

When it became obvious several months ago that Rodriguez and the Rangers wanted their struggling partnership to end, Rodriguez told an associate that he wanted to play only for the Yankees or the Boston Red Sox. Of course, Rodriguez was savvy enough to know that those teams have the highest payrolls in the sport and were probably the only teams willing to add his immense contract.

The Red Sox had the first opportunity to wrestle Rodriguez away from the Rangers, but they could not secure the player who was a better fit for them than the Yankees. Now the Red Sox and their fans have one more reason to hate George Steinbrenner: it took the Yankees days to execute what the Red Sox could not do in months. The Boss opened his wallet, again, and got A-Rod.

"The bottom line is Alex needed to go," said one Texas official who spoke to him recently. "He was tired of hearing about his contract and tired of being perceived as the reason we're not winning."

As desperate as the Rangers' owner, Tom Hicks, was to overpay $252 million for Rodriguez three years ago, he was even more desperate to unload the debacle of a contract. Hicks told Rangers officials that he wrote too many checks to creditors after the 2003 season and did not plan to do it again. Jettisoning Rodriguez will save the Rangers more than $100 million.

While Hicks was on the verge of obtaining relief by removing a financial albatross, the Rangers thought it was curious that General Manager Brian Cashman called them last week and, suddenly, Rodriguez was ready to play third. Clearly, one baseball official theorized, Scott Boras, Rodriguez's agent, had intimated to the Yankees that Rodriguez would change positions.

If Cashman did not know that was possible, there would have been no reason to contact the Rangers.

The interesting thing about Rodriguez's show of humility in shifting to third is that he is a better defensive shortstop than Jeter. Rodriguez has won two straight Gold Glove Awards and has better instincts and a stronger arm than the man who is expected to soon be his teammate. Jeter has lost range and is not as daring as he was before injuring his left shoulder.

Eventually, whether it is two months or two years, whoever is managing the Yankees might be forced to recognize Rodriguez's superiority at shortstop. Since Rodriguez moved positions so willingly, how would Jeter look if a manager asked him to shift positions and he complained? Jeter, the team's captain, could be accused of putting himself ahead of the team.

One American League scout said he would start Rodriguez at shortstop and move the softer-throwing yet athletic Jeter to second base to replace Alfonso Soriano. That dynamic duo could rule the middle of the infield and the city for several years, letting Rodriguez personally discover everything he ever wanted to know about living and playing in New York.


ON BASEBALL

A Deal Driven by Losing Has the Look of a Winner

By MURRAY CHASS

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/02/15/sports/15GEORGE.jpg
If George Steinbrenner and the Yankees find a way to trade for Alex Rodriguez, Steinbrenner will have done something the Red Sox could not.

THE Evil Empire strikes again.

Except this time it isn't something as relatively minor as José Contreras. This is Alex Rodriguez, American League most valuable player, maybe the best player in the game.

This time it isn't just the Boston Red Sox. It's the Mets, too. Yes, the Mets, the team that seldom gets it right and encounters more ill fortune than the Red Sox, if that's possible.

As day turned to night yesterday, the Yankees all but completed a deal to add Rodriguez to their lineup.

"The deal is basically done," a baseball official said. "There are some administrative things to be done to make sure everything is done according to the rules."

The Yankees and the Texas Rangers were putting the finishing touches on the economic part of the deal, another person familiar with the talks said. The Rangers, he said, will give the Yankees about $67 million, reducing Rodriguez's average annual payment from the Yankees to about $16 million from $25.5 million.

The deal, everyone agreed, would gain union approval.

It was the union that had killed the Red Sox' attempt to sign Rodriguez earlier this winter, after it determined that the changes Boston wanted to make in his contract would dilute too much of its value for it to adhere to the collective bargaining agreement.

Now that the Yankees virtually have Rodriguez in pinstripes, the Red Sox will roar. Maybe they won't climb to the top of the Green Monster and scream from the new seats there; maybe they will decide they have no case and scream silently.

But they will scream long and loud because not only couldn't they get Rodriguez, whom they viewed as the final weapon in their quest to overcome the Yankees, but now he is set to play for the Yankees against them.

Evil Empire? If Larry Lucchino, the Red Sox' president, hadn't uttered the phrase about the Yankees when they beat the Red Sox to Contreras a year ago, he would surely say it now and be justified in his view.

Then there are the Mets. They had their chance to sign Rodriguez as a free agent three years ago, but they didn't want to spend the money it would have required, then they did a silly dance to rationalize their decision. It was not the Mets' proudest moment, and they have paid dearly for it since.

The Mets, at the time, were A-Rod's No. 1 choice (he was still pining for the Mets at a recent dinner in New York), but they couldn't run from him quickly enough. They said he would be a 1-and-24 guy, meaning they would have to treat him differently from his 24 teammates.

Ask his Rangers teammates about that now. They're going to miss him, and they would be the first to acknowledge it. No one has played harder or more productively for a perennial last-place team.

Of course, Rodriguez can't wait to flee the Rangers because he has seen the future and it doesn't look any rosier than the recent past.

No one should feel sorry for this New York-born 28-year-old. He took the money — $100 million more than the next highest offer — and had to accept the consequences.

But three years of last-place finishes were enough. Rodriguez was so eager to leave Texas for a team with a chance to win that he was willing to reduce the value of his contract. More telling, he is willing to play third base, leaving his position, shortstop, to his friend but fierce rival Derek Jeter.

The position change is just a little more significant and intriguing than the willingness of José Reyes to move to second base for the Mets and let Kazuo Matsui, the Japanese import, play short.

This is an M.V.P., an All-Star, a better defensive player than the man he will play alongside, relinquishing his position to have a chance to play in the postseason, to win the World Series. In Texas, he was light-years from that goal; with the Yankees, he is virtually guaranteed at least the first half of that goal.

With Rodriguez, the Yankees may achieve the goal that has eluded them the past three years. Their failure to win the World Series in those years has not made George Steinbrenner, the team's principal owner, happy.

As a result, the popular perception has been that Steinbrenner made all of the Yankees' personnel decisions this off-season himself. People who work for him, speaking on condition they or their positions not be identified, dispute that view, especially where the pitching moves were concerned.

"He was very upset about losing," said one member of the organization. "He wanted to win. But he calmed down and let the baseball people take control, especially with the pitching."

Another person said, "He listened to some people."

When the off-season began, according to those who were interviewed, the baseball staff ranked the pitchers who were available, either in trades or as free agents: Javier Vazquez, Kevin Brown, Bartolo Colón, Curt Schilling, Andy Pettitte.

Pettitte was last on the list of the baseball people. The Yankees tried to sign him, but they waited too long and he escaped to Houston. But they did trade for Vazquez and Brown, dumping Jeff Weaver in the process. Everybody wanted to get rid of the disappointing Weaver, one of the people interviewed said.

Until the sudden Rodriguez development, Gary Sheffield was the major hitting addition. A Tampa native and resident, Sheffield was the decision of the Tampa half of the Yankees' hierarchy.

Tampa generally prevails when it disagrees with New York, because Steinbrenner is Tampa.

Briefly, when the Sheffield negotiations appeared to be collapsing over the deferred money in the three-year, $39 million deal, the Yankees considered Vladimir Guerrero. But Tampa wanted Sheffield.

Tampa wanted Kenny Lofton, too.

Steinbrenner decreed that the Yankees needed a center fielder and prototypical leadoff hitter. He identified the 36-year-old Lofton as that player.

"That came directly from Tampa," said a member of the Yankees family. "Everybody in New York was dead opposed to it."

Steinbrenner wasn't alone in Tampa in his desire to sign Lofton. Billy Connors and Bill Emslie wanted him, too. Connors, a former pitcher, is vice president for player personnel and a longtime Steinbrenner baseball confidant. Emslie, a former umpire, is a member of the Yankees' professional scouting staff who gained credibility with Steinbrenner by pushing to sign David Ortiz a year ago.

The Yankees didn't sign Ortiz, a free agent, but the Red Sox did, and he had a terrific season (he had the league's third-fattest slugging percentage), so terrific that after the season Steinbrenner used it against his general manager, Brian Cashman.

So when Emslie, among others, endorsed the signing of Lofton, there was no stopping Steinbrenner. Bernie Williams, long an overrated defensive outfielder, would be moved out of center to designated hitter, and Lofton would play center and lead off, even though he appeared to be far shakier than Williams before a revival in the second half of last season.

The Yankees' latest foray has not been a Steinbrenner orchestration. Cashman initiated talks with the Rangers about Rodriguez, and Steinbrenner needed only to approve what was just another expenditure.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

ZippyTheChimp
February 15th, 2004, 08:27 AM
More torment for Beantown.

NYguy
February 15th, 2004, 12:14 PM
I am so excited! A stranger actually approached me on the street yesterday to tell me the good news.


http://www.nypost.com/images/front021504.gif http://www.nypost.com/images/back021504.gif


http://www.nydailynews.com/ips_rich_content/372-FRONT_BIG.jpg http://www.nydailynews.com/ips_rich_content/610-BACK_BIG.jpg

NYguy
February 15th, 2004, 12:38 PM
Announcement at 2 P.M. today....(sunday) :lol:

Kris
February 16th, 2004, 06:11 AM
February 16, 2004

Deal for Rodriguez Makes Dollars, and Sense

By TYLER KEPNER

The Yankees and the Texas Rangers have completed a trade that will send Alex Rodriguez to the Yankees for Alfonso Soriano and a player to be named, baseball officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said last night. The players union has approved the deal, and all that remains is Commissioner Bud Selig's approval, which is expected today.

A Major League Baseball official said Selig was merely waiting for a weekday to complete the paperwork.

Rodriguez, the consensus best player in the majors, has longed for years to play on the New York stage. He is expected to be introduced at a Yankee Stadium news conference tomorrow, the day the team's pitchers and catchers are due to report to spring training in Tampa, Fla.

The deal includes more cash — $67 million from the Rangers to the Yankees — than any previous baseball trade. The most staggering part of the deal is not what the Yankees are paying Rodriguez, but what they are not.

Rodriguez is working under the richest contract in sports, a 10-year, $252 million deal he signed with the Texas Rangers after the 2000 season. The Rangers are receiving significant financial relief by trading him, but because they are paying so much of the $179 million Rodriguez is owed, he is something of a bargain for the Yankees.

Rodriguez, the American League's most valuable player last season as a shortstop, will switch to third base for the Yankees, and he will essentially cost them no more this season than they had originally budgeted. The Yankees will pay Rodriguez $15 million in 2004, but he is deferring $1 million. The third-base prospect Drew Henson was scheduled to make $4 million this season before quitting to pursue football. The $5.4 million salary for Soriano, the All-Star second baseman, is also off the books, and the Yankees would save about $4.8 million by cutting third baseman Aaron Boone, who voided the guarantee in his contract by tearing up his left knee while playing basketball last month.

The expected payouts to Henson, Soriano and Boone total roughly $14.2 million. The $942,623 in termination pay the Yankees would owe Boone, in addition to the $14 million they will pay Rodriguez this season, would raise the Yankees' payroll by less than $750,000.

"We traded an All-Star to get a Hall of Famer at a gain of very little for this year," a Yankees official said.

The Yankees' overall payroll for 2004, based on average annual payouts to 24 players and including the termination pay the club is expected to give Boone, will be about $180 million.

Before deferrals, the Yankees will pay Rodriguez $15 million in each of the next three seasons; $16 million in 2007 and 2008; $17 million in 2009; and $18 million in 2010. Rodriguez will defer $1 million in each of the first four years of the deal, at zero-percent interest, and receive the $4 million in 2011, after the contract expires.

The Rangers are expected to reduce the interest rate on the money Rodriguez has already deferred to 1 percent from 3 percent. That could have jeopardized the deal because the union does not allow its members to devalue contracts; that was the rationale behind the union's rejection of Boston's trade for Rodriguez in December.

The Yankees had to add value to the contract for the union to approve it, and they did so in two ways: They guaranteed Rodriguez a suite on the road, a perk the Yankees almost never allow, and gave Rodriguez permission to link his Web site to the Yankees' team site.

The first year Rodriguez will not defer money is 2008, when almost all of the Yankees' long-term contracts will have expired. Jason Giambi will be in his final year, leaving only Derek Jeter and Rodriguez signed for 2009 and 2010.

Rodriguez, who turns 29 in July, is the classic five-tool player, with well above average skill in hitting, hitting for power, fielding, throwing and running. As the Yankees considered the deal last week, at least two club officials called Rodriguez the best player they had ever scouted.

There was palpable excitement among Yankee officials yesterday because the team improved itself markedly on offense and defense without giving up a pitcher of consequence. The player to be named will come from a list of five players at Class A or Class AA and will not include the top prospects Dioner Navarro, a catcher, or Eric Duncan, a third baseman.

"The middle of the lineup looks like: Jeter, A-Rod, Sheffield and Giambi, and Bernie fits somewhere in there," the Yankee official said. "That's not too shabby."

The Yankees are expected to sign Travis Lee, complicating their order when Lee starts at first base and Giambi is the designated hitter. On those days, either Bernie Williams or Kenny Lofton would have to come off the bench.

But the lineup Manager Joe Torre could use is potentially devastating. Lofton would lead off, followed by Jeter. The 3-4-5 spots could go to Rodriguez, Giambi and Gary Sheffield, with Williams, Jorge Posada and Hideki Matsui to follow. Those eight players have made a combined 39 All-Star teams.

Batting ninth would be the second baseman, and the Yankees do not seem as eager to fill that hole as they were to find a new third baseman. Rodriguez's offense at third base erases the need for a slugging second baseman. "Hit ninth, hit .250 and play catch," the Yankee said. "The rest will take care of itself."

Miguel Cairo, 29, signed a one-year, $900,000 contract in December and has been a reserve for the last three seasons. But from 1998 to 2000, he played in 373 games at second base for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, fielding at about the league average. He is a .269 career hitter. The veteran backup Enrique Wilson has played only 96 games at second base over seven seasons.

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/02/15/sports/16EARNGRAPH.jpg http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/02/15/sports/15YANKGRAPH.jpg

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
February 16th, 2004, 06:31 AM
February 16, 2004

ON BASEBALL

Summer or Winter, the Yankees Show the Red Sox How to Win

By MURRAY CHASS

In the end, the Yankees' trade for Alex Rodriguez is just another instance in which the Yankees beat the Red Sox. They beat them by finishing first in their division last season; they beat them in the postseason and went to the World Series; and now, in the game of winter hardball, it's Yankees 1, Red Sox 0.

The funny thing about this latest competition is that the Yankees were not even competing with the Red Sox for Rodriguez, a star shortstop and the American League's most valuable player last season. When the Red Sox were trying to get him in a trade from the Texas Rangers this winter, they were all alone. It was as if they had their batting practice pitcher throwing to their own hitters in the American League Championship Series.

And the Red Sox still couldn't win.

They had an exclusive period to meet and court Rodriguez, courtesy of an overly sympathetic baseball commissioner, Bud Selig, and they still couldn't win. The Yankees weren't in the picture; they were almost disinterested observers. Nevertheless, with the official announcement of the trade expected today, it's Yankees 1, Red Sox 0.

"We wouldn't be much of a contender for a title if we couldn't take a punch," Larry Lucchino, the Red Sox president, said yesterday. "This is a haymaker, to be sure, but you still have to win it on the field."

But what chance do the Red Sox really have of winning on the field? Sure, the teams have to play 162 games, but the Red Sox could lead the Yankees for 161 games and still lose to them. They could have a three-run lead and be five outs from going to the World Series and — oh, right, that happened in October.

"The Red Sox had a chance to get this done," a baseball official said. "They thought in the end there was no other competition."

The Red Sox would have been right had they worked out a deal that was acceptable to the players union, but the union found that the Red Sox' proposal was a reduction, not a restructuring, of Rodriguez's contract — by far the largest in baseball history — and rejected it under provisions in the collective-bargaining agreement.

The Yankees found a way to maintain his salary, and the union approved the deal yesterday. All that remains is for Selig to approve. He would most likely have taken that step yesterday, but an official said he wanted to take more time because never before had so much money, $67 million, been included in a deal.

"This is a historical deal," the official said. "This is the result of the largest deal in baseball history." Rodriguez and Tom Hicks, the Rangers' owner, agreed to the $252 million deal three years ago, but by this winter both wanted out of it. Hicks had to do it for personal reasons and team economic reasons; Rodriguez wanted to flee the Rangers.

"They had a clubhouse thing that was intolerable," an official said. "Alex told people this winter that the thought of going back to Texas was driving him crazy."

In their negotiations with the Red Sox, the Rangers offered no money to offset Rodriguez's salary. Instead they wanted the Red Sox to give them $15 million. But the Rangers will pay an annual average of $9.57 million of Rodriguez's salary, leaving the Yankees with an average of $16 million a year for seven years.

"That's a great deal for the Yankees," a general manager of another team said. "It's a steal."

The Yankees also got Rodriguez to defer an additional $1 million a year for each of the first four years with no interest. They offset that reduction in value by giving Rodriguez a hotel suite on the road (an old players' perk) and allowing him to link his Web site to the Yankees' Web site (a new perk).

The Rangers, who will work out Rodriguez's New York State tax payments, agreed to purchase Rodriguez's house in Texas (he is so eager to flee the Rangers that he will not be going back anytime soon) and his suite at the American Airlines Arena.

The Red Sox, on the other hand, wanted to reduce Rodriguez's salary by $4 million a year and in return offered to let him become a free agent after each season. Some additional benefit that would have been. Give up salaries of $25 million and $27 million and try to find that money elsewhere in a declining market.

Compounding the problems toward reaching an agreement acceptable to all sides, the Rangers asked the Red Sox for $15 million to offset the salaries they would pay Manny Ramirez, who would have gone to Texas. Given that a trade would have relieved the Rangers of $179 million on Rodriguez's contract, some dictionary might use the Rangers' request for money as the definition of chutzpah.

But Ramirez did figure in the difference in the deals the Rangers made and did not make. Ramirez is owed $97.5 million over the next five years. But Alfonso Soriano is signed only for the coming season at $5.4 million. That difference made it easier for the Rangers to agree to pay part of Rodriguez's salary.

"One of the keys here is Texas taking Soriano instead of Ramirez," a baseball lawyer said.

In rejecting the Red Sox proposal, the union offered a counterproposal, but the Red Sox wanted no part of it. It will be a cold day somewhere before Lucchino accepts a union idea.

Baseball's telephone lines were hot yesterday as owners and general managers called one another and major league officials to discuss their views of the trade. One general manager said he was stunned at the suddenness of the trade but not surprised that the Yankees pulled it off.

Some general managers just shook their heads, at least figuratively, and said that's the Yankees.

"I respect them," Mark Shapiro, the Cleveland general manager, said. "I don't begrudge them. Within the standards and rules they've got, they're making a great deal that will make them a better team. There's the competitive balance issue, but that's not their problem. I don't know why they should be expected to restrain themselves. They're playing by the rules and doing a good job within those rules."

Jim Beattie, a Baltimore executive, added: "It's baseball. It's the way the game is right now. You can't fight the way the game is now."


SPORTS OF THE TIMES

Yanks' Pitching Must Be A-O.K., Too

By DAVE ANDERSON

IT appears so easy for the Yankees now. Maybe too easy.

Alex Rodriguez is about to be the new name on the Yankees' marquee, the third hitter in the batting order and the third baseman. His arrival has created a hole at second base with Alfonso Soriano en route to Texas, but the owner George Steinbrenner surely will find somebody special to fill that hole. If only Rogers Hornsby or Jackie Robinson were available.

But the Yankees should not design their 2004 World Series championship rings just yet.

For all of A-Rod's anticipated 80 home runs and 200 runs batted in, how far the Yankees go into October will ultimately depend on their new pitching rotation of Mike Mussina, Javier Vazquez, Kevin Brown, José Contreras and Jon Lieber, especially in the postseason pressure cooker.

Hitting can win a division. Over 162 games, the Yankees' hitting should overpower enough bad teams with bad pitchers to win enough games to finish first in the American League East ahead of the improved Red Sox.

But in the postseason, particularly in the World Series, as the Yankees know only too well, the team with the best big-game pitcher usually wins.

Maybe Mussina, Vazquez or Brown will be that big-game pitcher for the Yankees next October. But maybe not. Only time will tell.

Brown has been on a winning World Series team, the 1997 Florida Marlins, but his vulnerability to arm trouble could limit his effectiveness, if not his season. Mussina has been spotty for the Yankees in two losing Series. Vazquez, for all his potential, might need time to adjust to the New York goldfish bowl. Contreras is still a question mark. So is Lieber, coming off arm surgery. Maybe some or all of those pitchers will come up big in the big games, but it's not as if Andy Pettitte or Roger Clemens will be walking out to the mound.

Before each of his six World Series as the Yankees' manager, in fact before each of his eight postseasons, Joe Torre has always summed up the situation with the words, "If we pitch." When the Yankees did pitch, they won the Series — in 1996 against the Braves, in 1998 against the Padres, in 1999 against the Braves, in 2000 against the Mets.

When they didn't pitch, they lost — to the Indians in a 1997 division series, to the Diamondbacks in the 2001 Series, to the Angels in a 2002 division series, and to the wild-card Marlins in last year's Series.

As good a big-game pitcher as Pettitte was against the Twins and the Red Sox, the best big-game pitcher in the World Series turned out to be the Marlins' Josh Beckett. On three days' rest, his 3-0 six-hitter closed out the Yankees in Game 6.

In the loss to the Diamondbacks, Arizona's Randy Johnson was the best big-game pitcher, winning twice as a starter and again as a late-inning reliever in Game 7.

And for all of the Yankees' 26 Series triumphs built on bats swung by Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Reggie Jackson, Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams, each of the Yankees' 13 Series losses turned on the opposing team having better big-game pitching.

Even with the young Ruth, the Yankees lost the 1921 and 1922 Series to the Giants. Even with the young Gehrig added to the Babe in 1926, they lost to the Cardinals when 39-year-old Grover Cleveland Alexander won Game 6 and closed out Game 7 in relief.

Even with DiMaggio, Joe Gordon, Charlie Keller and Phil Rizzuto in 1942, they lost to the Cardinals when right-hander Johnny Beazley won twice.

Even with Mantle, Berra, Hank Bauer, Elston Howard, Gil McDougald and Billy Martin in 1955, they lost to the Brooklyn Dodgers when Johnny Podres pitched a 2-0 eight-hitter in Game 7 at the Stadium.

Even with Mantle, Berra, Howard, Bauer, McDougald and Tony Kubek in 1957, they lost to the Milwaukee Braves when Lew Burdette was 3-0 with an 0.67 earned run average and 13 strikeouts in three starts.

Even with Mantle, Berra, Roger Maris, Howard, Kubek, Bobby Richardson and Bill Skowron in 1960, they lost to the Pirates on Bill Mazeroski's home run off right-hander Ralph Terry in Game 7.

Even with Mantle, Maris, Howard, Kubek, Richardson and Joe Pepitone in 1963, they were swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers as Sandy Koufax won twice, and Don Drysdale and Podres each won once.

Even with Mantle, Maris, Howard, Pepitone, Clete Boyer and Tom Tresh in 1964, they lost to the Cardinals because Bob Gibson won twice, notably Game 7, with a total of 31 strikeouts in 27 innings.

Even with Thurman Munson, Chris Chambliss, Graig Nettles and Lou Piniella in 1976, they were swept by the Reds.

Even with Reggie Jackson, Dave Winfield, Bob Watson, Willie Randolph and Piniella in 1981, they lost to the Dodgers.

Even with Jeter, Williams, Paul O'Neill, Tino Martínez and Scott Brosius in 2001, they lost to the Diamondbacks, and even with Jeter, Williams, Soriano, Jason Giambi and Hideki Matsui last year, they lost to the Marlins.

So hitting isn't everything, especially in the World Series, but pitching usually is.

In winning those 26 Series, the Yankees had the pitching: Waite Hoyt and Herb Pennock, Lefty Gomez and Red Ruffing; then Vic Raschi, Allie Reynolds, Eddie Lopat and Whitey Ford; then Catfish Hunter, Ron Guidry and Tommy John; and in the recent reign, Pettitte, Clemens, David Wells, Orlando Hernández and, most important, Mariano Rivera.

But if the Yankees are to win the World Series this October, they must have a lead in the ninth inning, if not the eighth, for Rivera to protect. That's why the effectiveness of the new starting rotation will be more important than A-Rod.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
February 16th, 2004, 06:40 AM
February 16, 2004

Friendship of 2 Stars Is Safe After They Were on the Outs

By JACK CURRY

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/02/16/sports/16yank-1.jpg
Derek Jeter, left, and Alex Rodriguez at the 2002 All-Star Game. Both are under contract to the Yankees through 2010.

Alex Rodriguez was a high school senior the first time he spoke with Derek Jeter. Rodriguez was expected to be the first choice by the Seattle Mariners in the 1993 amateur draft, but true to his already poised approach, he contacted a fellow shortstop, Jeter, about being picked in the first round by the Yankees a year earlier.

The fact-finding call led to more calls, more chats between two baseball-crazed teenagers, and the discussions stretched well beyond baseball.

Soon, two players with different backgrounds and similar goals developed a strong friendship that grew as they climbed toward the major leagues.

Rodriguez, now as recognizable as any player in baseball, would laugh as he recalled fans' routinely mistaking him for Jeter when Rodriguez was with the Mariners. Jeter slept at Rodriguez's house when the Yankees were in Seattle, and Rodriguez would find a bunk in Jeter's apartment when the Mariners traveled to the Bronx. Rarely have two higher-profile opponents been as close.

"At this point," Rodriguez once said, "Derek has become like my brother."

But the friendship took a turn when Rodriguez said some unflattering things about Jeter three years ago in an article in Esquire. Jeter was irritated when Rodriguez told Esquire that when preparing for the Yankees, Jeter was "never your concern." The implication was that Jeter was benefiting from being in a better situation with the mighty Yankees and that he was not as talented as Rodriguez.

Publicly, Jeter mostly ignored the static created by Rodriguez's remarks. But the words bothered Jeter, and so did having to answer questions about the depth of his friendship with Rodriguez.

"When you think about the things Alex said, there had to be some kind of jealousy," one of Jeter's friends said. "Why else would you say that?"

After Rodriguez maligned him, Jeter retreated and their friendship cooled. Jeter, who could not be reached for comment yesterday, has said that he can make a quick decision to end a friendship if he feels wronged, which is what seemingly happened with Rodriguez for a spell.

The passage of time and Rodriguez's explanation of how a few critical comments should not undermine dozens of laudatory remarks he had made about Jeter over the years reduced the tension.

The two, though not road roommates anymore, are cordial again.

They filmed a commercial for Major League Baseball last month that included Rodriguez's wife, Cynthia. Jeter absolved Rodriguez for his comments of three years ago, seeming to rationalize them in an interview on the YES Network when he said that Rodriguez had been in foreign circumstances, with his status soaring after he signed his record-breaking contract with Texas and with unfamiliar kinds of questions being tossed at him.

"We're friends," Jeter has said.

The soul brothers who separated and regained some footing in their friendship after a verbal slip-up will be in the highest of high-rent districts on the left side of the infield at Yankee Stadium. That will become a reality if Commissioner Bud Selig approves the trade today, as expected.

Rodriguez is considered the best player in baseball, and he was chasing the title of the best shortstop in major league history, but he was so desperate to leave the Rangers that he surrendered his love affair with shortstop and agreed to move to third base. Rodriguez has snared the last two Gold Glove awards and is considered the better defensive player, so maybe he thinks a return to shortstop is always a possibility. Why not? Who thought this startling deal was possible?

Jeter helped the Yankees win a World Series title as a rookie in 1996 and added three more rings in the next four seasons. He said Rodriguez talked to him about reaching that same level. Leaving a legacy is crucial to Rodriguez; he told Jeter that he wanted to be a champion, too. That was not likely to happen in the near future in Texas.

Jeter, reared in Kalamazoo, Mich., with two strict parents, won the Rookie of the Year award after batting .314 in 1996, when he was 22. Rodriguez, who grew up in a single-parent home in Miami, hit .358 with 36 homers and 123 runs batted in that season, but 1995 was considered his rookie season, when he had 142 at-bats. Rodriguez made his debut as an 18-year-old in 1994, playing in 17 games for the Mariners.

The argument about the superiority of the shortstops raged in the early parts of their careers, but the debate began to follow a pattern. Rodriguez always had the gaudier statistics, typically dwarfing Jeter's power numbers: he hit 57 homers in 2002 and at least 40 in his last six seasons. But Jeter's teams usually had the better records and he excelled in October, when he was typically the Yankees' premier player.

Tall, regal and eloquent, Rodriguez is as polished a player as there is in baseball. He already knows several New York reporters by name, and he will probably have many more memorized before spring training ends. He seems to relish the spotlight and will instantly swipe a big part of it from other marquee Yankees.

For all of Jeter's appearances on the gossip pages, he works diligently to keep his private life private. When Jeter talked about his friendship with Rodriguez, he would usually describe it as close; it was Rodriguez who used terms like brothers. Jeter is polite with reporters, but he does not offer the voluminous answers that Rodriguez does.

"We always talk about getting old, gray and fat when our careers are over and just having a good time," Rodriguez once said. "He's like me. He wants to have a good time and be a good person. It's a weird situation for us. It's just like we're looking in the mirror."

One of the most memorable incidents involving the two occurred during a beanball-charged game between the Mariners and the Yankees in August 1999. They were near each other as the brawl dissipated, and Rodriguez playfully told Jeter, "If we fight again, I'm coming after you."

Jeter said he smiled or smirked at Rodriguez. The Yankees' Chad Curtis confronted Jeter by the dugout, saying he had been disloyal, and lectured him in front of reporters in the clubhouse, telling him, "You're a good player, but you don't know how to play the game."

Jeter was angry at Curtis, a backup outfielder, for admonishing him so publicly and for assuming to know what had happened. Curtis apologized for the way he reprimanded Jeter, but never apologized for what he said. Jeter stopped talking to Curtis.

Rodriguez rushed to Jeter's defense, calling him the "ultimate team player" and adding, "For a platoon player to talk about Derek, I thought that was ironic."

Despite the connections and comparisons, Jeter and Rodriguez probably never discussed playing together. Why talk about something that was an impossible long shot? They both played shortstop, so there did not seem to be any way they would ever unite.

When Michael Kay interviewed Jeter for YES recently, Jeter agreed to talk about Rodriguez's being traded to the Red Sox so they would have a canned answer in case the deal happened.

Obviously, George Steinbrenner's network will never broadcast Jeter's response to Rodriguez's being on the Red Sox. He will be a Yankee soon, and now the question for Jeter is what it will be like to play alongside his old phone friend, not against him.

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/02/15/sports/16SALARYGRAPH.jpg

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

ZippyTheChimp
February 16th, 2004, 08:12 AM
http://eaglebaycommons.com/images/3/tns-MLB-3-Yanks.gif=http://www.anniescostumes.com/3206.gif


http://wx15.registeredsite.com/user388353/images/3/tns-MLB-10-Boston.gif=http://www.ifihada.com/robotics/images/c3po.jpg

Jasonik
February 16th, 2004, 10:46 AM
LOL!

http://forums.wirednewyork.com/images/avatars/gallery/men3/don_imus.jpg=http://www.starwars.jp/character/image/han_solo.jpg
http://forums.wirednewyork.com/images/avatars/gallery/x_do_not_use/chimp.jpg=http://www.angelfire.com/mac/wizard0/wookie.jpg

Kris
February 17th, 2004, 12:08 AM
02/15/2004 4:32 PM ET

Press Row: A-Rod reaction

MLB.com

The back -- and front pages -- were screaming with joy in Gotham. Meanwhile, Red Sox Nation was staggered.

News of the Alex Rodriguez trade to the Yankees triggered noteworthy takes from coast to coast.

Bob Ryan, Boston Globe

Geez, Joe, whaddya think?

Derek third, A-Rod fourth, and Giambi fifth? Or Derek second, A-Rod third, Giambi fourth, and Posada fifth? Sounds good, but then who's gonna tell Sheffield he's batting sixth?

And then there's Matsui. Isn't there an entire nation that now thinks its man should be occupying a prime spot in your order, not batting seventh? Which leaves Bernie -- omigod, it can't be -- eighth?

Lou Piniella doesn't have these problems.

Terry Francona doesn't even have these problems. At least Joe Torre knows who's batting ninth (the second baseman, whoever that will be). And first (Kenny Lofton).

Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe

Everyone knows the Red Sox and Yankees have been lobbing pies in one another's faces with increasing frequency these past couple of years. We've all enjoyed seeing the rivalry ratcheted up to the highest levels. But A-Rod to the Yankees deals a crushing blow to the psyche of Red Sox Nation. Just when it finally looked like the Sox were ready to overtake their nemeses -- after a terrific offseason of healing and reloading by the Boston brass -- the Yankees get the guy the Sox coveted? On the eve of spring training? Say it ain't so, Theo.

A-Rod to the Yankees? It's instant folklore alongside Ruth to the Yankees, Lyle to the Yankees, Dent into the screen, Clemens to the Yankees, and New England burning down while Grady Little slept.

And now this: The Valentine's Day Massacre of 2004.

Gordon Edes, Boston Globe

The acquisition of Rodriguez is certain to be viewed as the latest example of the Yankees responding to their most bitter rival. The Red Sox had made two big moves this winter -- acquiring starting pitcher Curt Schilling and closer Keith Foulke -- that had swung the balance of power in the eyes of many, including Las Vegas oddsmakers who had made the Sox favorites to win the American League pennant.

But with the Yankees acquiring A-Rod, that would seem to tilt the odds back in their favor.

"I think it clearly keeps the Yankees as the favorite," (Red Sox CEO Larry) Lucchino said. "We're the hungry underdogs. This makes us a little more hungry and a little more the underdog."

Said Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi:

"A-Rod is a big, big get for the Yankees. Listen, before this I thought the Red Sox had the best offseason of any team in the league.

"Acquiring Schilling and Foulke are two two gigantic moves. But now you're talking about one of the top one or two players in the game. From our point of view, it doesn't change much. We thought it would be Boston and New York that we had to find a way to beat. And that's still the same climb for us.

"You've got a team spending, what, $200 million? Another team that's $125 million? It seems the Red Sox do have a limit. But it just looks like the Yankees have no limits."

Howard Bryant, Boston Herald

Let's see if I've got this straight: The Yankees' Opening Day lineup is slated, barring injury, to feature Kenny Lofton (DH), Derek Jeter (SS), Jason Giambi (1B), Alex Rodriguez (3B), Gary Sheffield (LF), Bernie Williams (CF), Hideki Matsui (RF), and Jorge Posada (C). They've got everything but a second baseman. Maybe they'll sign Rogers Hornsby tomorrow morning.

William C. Rhoden, New York Times

After you get past the stunning news that Alex Rodriguez will most likely join Derek Jeter in the Yankees' infield, the question that arises is why.

The deal the Yankees are about to conclude would send Alfonso Soriano to the Texas Rangers, perhaps along with a prospect, and move Rodriguez to the Yankees.

Now the fun begins.

The simple story behind the news is that third baseman Aaron Boone tore up a knee; the Yankees needed a star infielder and went after Rodriguez. A-Rod would play third, and his good friend Jeter would stay at shortstop.

But there is something more to this, a larger question: Whose head is George Steinbrenner throwing at now? I think it's Derek Jeter's head. Again.

About a year ago, Steinbrenner, the Yankees' principal owner, publicly criticized Jeter for lacking focus and keeping late hours. Steinbrenner said all of the charity work and the bachelor lifestyle had been affecting Jeter's performance on the field, and he also singled out Jeter's defense.

Jeter took offense and said that the Boss had crossed the line by questioning his integrity. Jeter also defended his work ethic.

Ultimately, Jeter and the Boss made amends. They shot a couple of Visa commercials together and the Yankees reached the World Series.

But if Steinbrenner's comments before last season were a brushback pitch, the latest move is a knockdown.

Rodriguez is the best all-around shortstop in baseball -- not just the best in the American League, but the best in baseball. Yet he would go to third in deference to Jeter.

How long do you think that arrangement will last? Jeter missed six weeks last season after dislocating his shoulder in the opener on March 31 in Toronto. He also injured his thumb during the American League Championship Series against Boston. If Jeter is injured and Rodriguez fills in splendidly, the debate over who should be playing where will be unimaginable.

Jack Curry, New York Times

To Rodriguez, a lifetime shortstop, it is better to be kind of satisfied at the hot corner for a potential championship team than to be miserable at shortstop for a last-place team. Rodriguez, who had been the captain of the Rangers for a minute or two, was eager to abandon ship, even if that meant surrendering his coveted shortstop position to Derek Jeter. Once bosom buddies, the matinee idols are now professional friends, and to the Yankees, that is close enough.

Murray Chass, New York Times

This is an M.V.P., an All-Star, a better defensive player than the man he will play alongside, relinquishing his position to have a chance to play in the postseason, to win the World Series. In Texas, he was light-years from that goal; with the Yankees, he is virtually guaranteed at least the first half of that goal.

With Rodriguez, the Yankees may achieve the goal that has eluded them the past three years. Their failure to win the World Series in those years has not made George Steinbrenner, the team's principal owner, happy.

Mike Vaccaro, New York Post

It takes something like this to rattle New York City, to send a breathless buzz across our sporting landscape. It doesn't happen very often. Maybe the last time was Nov. 10, 1971, the day the Knicks traded Mike Riordan and Dave Stallworth to the Baltimore Bullets for Earl Monroe. Maybe you have to go all the way back to Babe Ruth before that. If you are a Yankees fan, this is one of those days you will remember for a lifetime. If you aren't, you will grumble about payrolls and competitive balance and Evil Empires, and that is your right, because it really might be the greatest example of gluttony since Henry VIII was introduced to the Ponderosa food bar. Yankees fans don't care. They shouldn't care.

They get Alex Rodriguez in pinstripes now, the greatest baseball player on the planet. They get 162 games worth of A-Rod, who will anchor the most potent, most astonishing lineup we've seen in baseball in decades. Maybe ever.

Bill Madden and Anthony McCarron, New York Daily News

In an incredible turn of events, the Yankees have once again trumped the Red Sox -- their ancient rivals -- and shocked the rest of the baseball world by working out a deal to get A-Rod from the Texas Rangers, after the American League MVP agreed to move from shortstop to third base. A-Rod was never a member of the Red Sox, but tell that to Boston fans, who endured weeks of talks and speculation that the Bosox would get the player many consider the best in the game.

"Every once in awhile, you have to tip your cap to your adversary," Red Sox president/CEO Larry Lucchino told the Boston Herald last night. "They went out and did it and they got the job done. As hard as it may be for us to say or our fans to hear, the Yankees do deserve credit for deploying their resources as they have."

Ken Davidoff, Newsday

A person who spoke with Alfonso Soriano yesterday said the slugging second baseman was waving off Newsday's report of a Soriano-for-Alex Rodriguez trade. A veteran of so many trade discussions over the years, Soriano apparently figured this was just another report that would conclude with him still a Yankee. Unfortunately for the 26-year-old, this likely was Soriano's final error as a Yankee.

With the Yankees and Rangers having agreed in principle on a deal that will send Soriano and a player to be named to Texas for Rodriguez, the Yankees will cut their ties with perhaps the most exciting player of Joe Torre's reign.

...

Last year, teammates said Soriano's self-esteem seemed a little too high, his work ethic a little too low. He continued to chase pitches, his defense didn't improve nearly enough, and he ended the season with an awful October, culminating in his benching for Game 5 of the World Series.

Had the Rodriguez trade not come along, Soriano would be a Yankee, looking to "redeem" himself. But if Soriano realized that trade discussions were part of being a Yankee, he also should have realized that getting traded is part of being one.

Suzyn Waldman, YES Network

It's very simple. When you have the chance to get the best player in baseball, you do it.

Don't tell me that it's overkill. Don't tell me about what Alfonso Soriano may or may not become. Don't tell me that you'd rather see the Yankees try to develop Erick Almonte. Don't tell me that Enrique Wilson and Miguel Cairo would do nicely at third base filling in for Aaron Boone.

When you have the chance to get the best player in baseball, you do it.

Randy Galloway, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

A $120 million charitable donation from George is coming this way.
Alex Rodriguez, we hate to see you go.

But it was time. And it is best for Alex, and best for the Rangers. Both will agree on that.

...

The Yankees will send 26-year-old second baseman Alfonso Soriano and a minor leaguer to be named later to the Rangers.

Soriano is owed $5.4 million for next season, and that's it. The Rangers are expected to try him in center field. Soriano, however, was originally a shortstop, who was moved to second by the Yankees, where he failed defensively. Another shortstop candidate will be Mike Young. That was also his original position before Young worked himself into a Gold Glove-caliber second baseman. So with A-Rod gone, there are options at shortstop.

Above all else, Soriano is a power hitter (.290, 36 doubles, 38 homers, 91 runs batted in last season) and a proven base-stealer (35 last season). On the negative side, he also strikes out frequently. But as a plate threat, the Rangers added another dimension.

No, Alfonso can't pitch, but when considering the massive size of Alex's contract and the flexibility of Soriano's contract, plus Soriano's talent, this is a good trade for the Rangers, who weren't exactly dealing from a position of strength.

Gerry Fraley, Dallas Morning News

Aaron Boone, the Rangers owe you one.

Aaron "Bleepin'" Boone, as he is known around Boston for the homer that kept the Red Sox out of the World Series, finished last season as the New York Yankees' third baseman. Boone tore up a knee while playing basketball last month.

Because of Boone's accident, the Yankees need a third baseman.

Because of Boone's accident, the Rangers are set to take advantage of a rare second chance and help themselves by trading Alex Rodriguez.

With stunning speed, what began with an exploratory call from the Yankees last week has turned into a deal that would send Rodriguez, the team captain for all of three weeks, and his oppressive contract to the Bronx.

Richard Justice, Houston Chronicle

The Yankees lost three-fourths of their starting rotation -- Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte and David Wells -- but have acquired Kevin Brown, Javier Vazquez, Sheffield, Kenny Lofton and now apparently Rodriguez.

It's unclear who'll play second base, but the other starting eight will average $11.13 million per player.

Rodriguez will be the highest paid Yankee at $21 million (even if the Yankees pay only $16 million), but Jeter ($17 million), Brown ($15 million), Mike Mussina ($14 million) and Sheffield ($13 million) are also making huge money.

If the pitchers -- especially Brown and Jon Lieber -- stay healthy, the Yankees will be favored to make a ninth straight postseason appearance.

Manager Joe Torre's challenge will be keeping Steinbrenner, who has orchestrated every move, quiet when the club has a slump.

His other job will be getting all the various pieces to play as a team. But there's so much talent that it could overcome even those problems.

Larry Stone, Seattle Times

A-Rod in pinstripes? So much for the notion that competitive balance is returning to the game. The acquisition of Alex Rodriguez, if it is completed, would be the ultimate statement by the Yankees that the rules don't apply to them. Not to mention the ultimate "in your face" to the Red Sox, who spent all winter trying to land Rodriguez.

The Yankees' payroll would go soaring up to near the $200 million mark -- more than six times greater than the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, who have to compete in the same division. New York's infield alone -- Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Jason Giambi and a second baseman to be named -- would be a veritable gross national product.

Buster Olney, ESPN The Magazine

The Alex Rodriguez deal would jack up the pressure on the Yankees -- and the Red Sox -- in a way that probably has never been seen.

An executive who knows Rodriguez says the infielder has absolutely no idea what type of burden he will assume in New York. He's played in a small media market in Seattle, and when he went to Texas, the Rangers always were the story played below the newspaper fold, under the breaking story of the latest Cowboys long-snapper. If the Yankees win championships, A-Rod's stardom could transcend baseball. But if the Yankees lose, he will stand in the crosshairs of blame, in the most demanding market in the game.

Yankees owner George Steinbrenner already expects his team to win every World Series, and now he is assuming the biggest contract in sports and about another $20 million in luxury tax. If this team -- with A-Rod, Gary Sheffield, Jason Giambi, Derek Jeter -- fails to win 11 out of every 10 games, he will inevitably breathe down the neck of the players, demanding results -- and the fans in Yankee Stadium will reflect Steinbrenner's moods with their visceral reactions.

www.yankees.com

NYguy
February 17th, 2004, 08:09 AM
Its amazing the buzz this trade has generated around the city and metropolitan area. I can't go anywhere without hearing about it, and its been 3 days already...

http://www.nydailynews.com/ips_rich_content/284-sultan450.JPG


http://www.nydailynews.com/ips_rich_content/928-BACK_BIG.jpg


http://www.nypost.com/images/front021704.gif http://www.nypost.com/images/back021704.gif

maroualle
February 17th, 2004, 08:13 AM
I don't know anything about baseball or that dude but as long as you're happy :lol:

NYguy
February 17th, 2004, 08:35 AM
NY Post...

JETER GREETS OLD PAL A-ROD

By DAN MANGAN
February 17, 2004

Alex Rodriguez jetted to New York late yesterday, heading straight for old pal and new teammate Derek Jeter's Big Apple pad just hours after officially becoming a Yankee.

Rodriguez arrived as Bronx Bomber fans rejoiced that their legendary team had nabbed the best player in baseball - who was unsuccessfully wooed in December by their hated arch rivals, the Boston Red Sox.

The city's newest sports phenom flew into New York by private jet late yesterday afternoon with his wife, Cynthia, and was immediately driven with Jeter in a black SUV to the Yankee captain's $13 million apartment in the Trump World Tower near the United Nations.

A-Rod will be formally welcomed by the Yankees today at a press conference at the House That Ruth Built, where he will don a pinstripe jersey bearing his new lucky number - 13.

"This is a great day for the New York Yankees and for the City of New York," crowed team owner George Steinbrenner after baseball Commissioner Bud Selig gave final approval to the blockbuster deal that sent Rodriguez here from the Texas Rangers.

"In acquiring Alex Rodriguez, we are bringing to New York one of the premier players in the history of the game."

Rodriguez, 28, made the trade possible by agreeing to move from shortstop, where he won six All-Star team slots and last season's American League MVP award, to third base, allowing Jeter to stay at his position.

Rodriguez, who was born in New York, will begin spring training in Florida with the team next week.

A-Rod just beamed when a Post photographer caught him outside Jeter's apartment and asked him how he liked being in the Big Apple.

Yankee GM Brian Cashman was not so reserved.

"I really cannot describe how happy I am to have been able to acquire a player of the caliber of Alex Rodriguez," he said.

"It was perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I am ecstatic that a lot of hard work enabled us to consummate a deal of this magnitude."

Yankee skipper Joe Torre said, "It's tough to come up with words to describe how you feel when a player of Alex's ability and class is suddenly in your lineup. I know the fans of New York are going to love having him here on an everyday basis. I couldn't be happier."

The Yankees will pay Rodriguez $112 million for the remaining seven years of the unprecedented $252 million contract he signed with Texas three seasons ago. The Rangers, in an unusual arrangement, will pay A-Rod the $67 million balance of the contract through 2025.

In exchange for A-Rod, the Rangers got star second baseman Alfonso Soriano and a player to be named later.

The deal gives the Yanks, who lost last season's World Series and who have not won it since 2000, a player considered to be a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame.

And it gives A-Rod, whose Rangers have been dreadful despite his presence, the chance to play for a legendary winning team. The Yanks in recent years have either strongly contended for or taken the American League title, and have worn four World Series crowns since 1995.

The trade stunned the baseball world, which had expected A-Rod to stay with the Rangers after a recent aborted attempt to trade him to the Sox.

"I think this is one of the best trades in the history of baseball," said former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a rabid Yankee fan. "This is going to make the season very exciting."

The trade was so big, it became Sports Illustrated's cover at the last minute, knocking a feature on ex-Yankees Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte off Page 1.

Manhattan teacher Amy Strassler-Goldstein, who traveled to the Stadium yesterday to buy tickets, said, "It's the A-Rod icing on the Yankees cake."

Anthony Sedia, 38, a construction worker from The Bronx, was there, too.

"The minute the trade was confirmed, I said, 'I'm gonna get season tickets for me and my son,' " he said.

There also was glee in Rodriguez's old neighborhood of Washington Heights.

"I think this is a beautiful thing," said Carlos Rodriguez, 34, a building superintendent. "It'll keep New York in the buzz."

maroualle
February 17th, 2004, 09:04 AM
Is it as simple as that to get tickets for te yank's? For example: it's saturday morning and you don't have any idea what you're gonna do that day. Can you just go to the stadium and get tickets? The same question is valid concerning basketball.

Here you need to have a "fan" card to go watch a game: and if you don't have that card: go play with your weiner, man!!!!

NYatKNIGHT
February 17th, 2004, 10:06 AM
You can usually buy tickets at the stadium, though games do sell out depending on how "big" of a game it is.

But you don't have to go all the way to the stadium to purchase tickets. You can buy them online (though you won't get the tickets that day) or just check availability at the Yankees website (http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/index.jsp?c_id=nyy), or go to one of the Yankees Clubhouse shops at these locations (http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/nyy/ballpark/yankeestore_clubhouse.jsp). At South Street Seaport you can buy a ticket and get on a ferry to the stadium an hour and a half before the game starts.

maroualle
February 17th, 2004, 10:14 AM
Ok, and can you buy a season ticket as well?

NYatKNIGHT
February 17th, 2004, 10:23 AM
Yes, and there are other options:

http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/nyy/ticketing/season.jsp

NYguy
February 17th, 2004, 06:31 PM
Is it as simple as that to get tickets for te yank's? For example: it's saturday morning and you don't have any idea what you're gonna do that day. Can you just go to the stadium and get tickets? The same question is valid concerning basketball.

The Yankees always have "walkup" sales, meaning you can go to the stadium and get tickets at gametime. Certain series are sold out in advance, like when the Red Sox come to town. But when I get tickets, I prefer to get them in advance, and by mail.

NYguy
February 17th, 2004, 06:51 PM
Newsday...


http://www.nynewsday.com/media/photo/2004-02/11448680.jpg


http://www.nynewsday.com/media/photo/2004-02/11448982.jpg


http://www.nynewsday.com/media/photo/2004-02/11448721.jpg


http://www.nynewsday.com/media/photo/2004-02/11449759.jpg

New New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez adjusts his new Yankees cap during a news conference at Yankee Stadium in New York on Feb. 17, 2004. The New York Yankees introduced their newest highly paid All-Star a day after commissioner Bud Selig approved the trade moving Rodriguez from the Texas Rangers to the Bronx.


http://www.nynewsday.com/media/photo/2004-02/11450566.jpg


http://www.nynewsday.com/media/photo/2004-02/11450568.jpg

Both New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, right, and New York Yankees newly-acquired third baseman Alex Rodriguez smile as the mayor welcomed Rodriguez to the city during a news conference at City Hall, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2004


http://www.nynewsday.com/media/photo/2004-02/11449762.jpg


http://www.nynewsday.com/media/photo/2004-02/11449760.jpg


http://www.nynewsday.com/media/photo/2004-02/11448962.jpg

New New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter during a news conference at Yankee Stadium in New York


http://www.nynewsday.com/media/photo/2004-02/11448701.jpg

New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, right, is helped with his new number 13 jersey by New York Yankees manager Joe Torre, left, during a news conference at Yankee Stadium


http://www.nynewsday.com/media/photo/2004-02/11448970.jpg

New New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter during a news conference


http://www.newsday.com/media/photo/2004-02/11447230.jpg


http://www.newsday.com/media/photo/2004-02/11447959.jpg


http://www.newsday.com/media/photo/2004-02/11448049.jpg

New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, center, is surrounded by members of the media


http://www.newsday.com/media/photo/2004-02/11450372.jpg


http://www.nynewsday.com/media/photo/2004-02/11448703.jpg http://www.newsday.com/media/photo/2004-02/11448186.jpg

Kris
February 18th, 2004, 01:46 AM
February 18, 2004

Yankees Welcome Rodriguez, an M.V.P. Who Wants to Blend In

By TYLER KEPNER

He wore a white tie with thin navy blue stripes, evoking his new allegiance. A giant Yankees logo hovered behind him, and more than 300 members of the news media — about the total for a playoff game — stared back at him.

Alex Rodriguez had always wanted this, always burned to play in an East Coast city where baseball sizzled year-round. He had spent three years with the Texas Rangers, playing for fortune and fame, and he started his first Yankees news conference yesterday with this word: "Wow." It was an appropriate sentiment for a man who looked as if he had it all.

Rodriguez, who formally joined the Yankees on Monday in a trade for Alfonso Soriano and a minor leaguer to be named, does not quite have it all. He does not have his shortstop position, but he insisted that did not matter. Rodriguez will play third base, and Derek Jeter will play shortstop. Never mind that Rodriguez is a better defensive player and the reigning American League most valuable player.

"To me, it was a very easy decision," Rodriguez said. "To me, this came down to winning. Over the last three years, I've come to understand that winning is something I respect a lot. It was an easy decision. Hopefully, after today, it will be a dead issue. Derek Jeter is the captain of this team, and I'm going to follow his leadership."

Rodriguez, who was captain of the Rangers for three weeks before the trade, said repeatedly that he just wanted to blend in. That will be next to impossible for a player with a $252 million contract, but Rodriguez said he understood Jeter's stature. It is Jeter's team, he said, not his.

"When you have four world championships and you're the captain of the New York Yankees, that should never be an issue," Rodriguez said. "I'm here to assist him and be one of the guys."

Jeter said that having Rodriguez beside him could help his defense at short. Jeter does not have excellent range, but he has seemed even worse the last two seasons because Robin Ventura covered little ground at third. Jeter compared Rodriguez to Scott Brosius, the former Yankees third baseman whose range allowed Jeter to play closer to the middle.

Rodriguez and Jeter flew together from Tampa, Fla., to New York on Monday, and Rodriguez assured him that he would be comfortable switching to third. For Rodriguez, the move was a show of professional courtesy that Jeter said he would have returned.

"If he was with Texas and I went over to Texas, I wouldn't try to push him out of shortstop," Jeter said.

Manager Joe Torre, who also flew from Tampa for the news conference and had breakfast with Rodriguez yesterday, was not told of the trade talks until it had been decided that Rodriguez would play third. Torre said he agreed with it, even though he all but acknowledged that Rodriguez is a better shortstop than Jeter.

"I'm loyal to players, but I'm more loyal to the team," Torre said. "Because someone may have more ability and can do certain things doesn't mean you're a better team that way. I think that's my job, to decide how we're a better team."

What Torre did not say is that Rodriguez would probably be a better third baseman than Jeter. One official of another team said yesterday that Rodriguez has the most important asset of a great third baseman: the first-step quickness that comes with anticipating the direction of the ball off the bat.

But the same official said he did not envision Rodriguez staying at third for long, and that issue could shadow the Yankees.

"I understand if I make an error, people will start saying, `You should move over there,' " Jeter said. "But I've made errors before. I'm going to make errors this year. It's part of the game; you can write it down. But I understand my role on the team."

Jeter anticipated another question yesterday, about his relationship with Rodriguez. The two have been friendly for more than 10 years, but the relationship became strained in 2001 when Rodriguez questioned Jeter's leadership and talent in an Esquire article. Jeter played down the spat.

"When you have a brother, I'm sure you have arguments with your brother," Jeter said. "But the bottom line is, we're still close. I think everyone wants us to disagree; everyone wants us to not get along. But that's not the case. Our relationship is fine."

Rodriguez said he and Jeter used to joke about playing on the same team late in their careers, with one or the other moving to third base. He never expected such a sudden career move, but after Texas finished in last place in all three of his seasons there, Rodriguez was eager for a change.

His agent, Scott Boras, told Rodriguez only two teams could trade for him, and one, the Boston Red Sox, had missed its chance in December. Boras knew the Yankees did not want Rodriguez to play shortstop, so he presented Rodriguez with an enticing plan of what could happen in New York.

"When you've done what he's done individually, being a Gold Glove third baseman and being a two-time most valuable player and being a world champion is a lot better than being in the position he was in a year ago," Boras said.

Rodriguez is getting that chance in the city where he was born (in Washington Heights in 1975) and lived until he was 4. The family later settled in Miami, where Rodriguez followed the Atlanta Braves and the Mets on cable. He wore No. 3 because the former Braves star Dale Murphy wore it, and chose No. 13 for the Yankees because Dan Marino wore it for the Miami Dolphins.

Rodriguez wanted to play in New York after the 2000 season, but the Mets broke off free-agent negotiations, with Steve Phillips, their general manager at the time, saying infamously that Rodriguez would have created a "24-and-1" environment because of the perks Phillips said he had demanded. Rodriguez, who contended he did not remember that comment, said he still pined for New York after the snub.

"Deep down in my heart, I always thought New York was a possibility," he said. "I was thinking at 38, not 28. So that part of it is exciting."

It is also a relief for Rodriguez, who finally knows where he will play after months in limbo. After the deal was finished, Rodriguez said, his wife, Cynthia, told Jeter, "I'm glad that this whole thing is over."

Jeter corrected her. "The party has just begun," he said.


SPORTS OF THE TIMES

Jeter Shows His Cool, This Time in the Preseason

By HARVEY ARATON

IF Derek Jeter was feeling the heat from the newest star in the Yankees' expanding galaxy, he didn't show it. If he was feeling defensive about remaining the shortstop of the team he captains, he didn't sound it.

Sitting atop a worktable yesterday in the Yankee Stadium pressroom, where thousands of words are bound to be written measuring Jeter's value against Alex Rodriguez's, Jeter calmly answered the necessary challenges to his rights of incumbency with no sign of anxiety, without the loss of even one bead of sweat. He was characteristically cool as any starry October Bronx night.

"The measuring stick is how many championships you win," Jeter said, the implicit message serving as a reminder that in this statistical category, it is Jeter 4, Rodriguez 0.

Jeter made his case with all due respect to Rodriguez's Most Valuable Player award, Gold Glove and 47 home runs in 2003. But he planted an off-limits sign at short because he, not A-Rod, has been making all those classic October plays, walking tall, toeing George Steinbrenner's bottom line.

It was Jeter who sprayed big postseason hits all over the Stadium in the late 1990's, who led off Game 4 of the 2000 World Series against the Mets with a don't-even-think-it home run and who hit another to tie the Series finale the next night. It was Jeter who nailed Jeremy Giambi at the plate in the 2001 playoffs with his great positional intuition and who that fall was hailed as the modern Mr. October and even Mr. November, while Alex Rodriguez was already on vacation.

"I'm taking for granted that A-Rod is a performer in the month of October," Reggie Jackson, the original man of that month, said at the news conference yesterday during which Jeter stood behind Rodriguez and helped him slip into pinstripes but made it clear that he still regards himself as the Yankees' leader.

Taking for granted and knowing for sure are not the same, and that is why, in Jeter's mind, his credentials ring louder than Rodriguez's. He has won on baseball's most pressurized stage for the most demanding owner in the history of sports.

To all who are asserting that it is Jeter's place as captain and consummate team player to cede his position to a player widely regarded as his superior, Jeter would argue that he has already proved himself to be the most accountable Yankee of the Joe Torre era. For Jeter, we are merely at the point of the story where Rodriguez has the opportunity to prove he also has those transcendent qualities. It is A-Rod's turn to sacrifice.

Why would Jeter see it any other way? For eight years now, he has been celebrated for intangibles, for contributions that are not quantifiable. His approach to the game has been conditioned by Steinbrenner's terms of employment, best described by Jackson, who said, "It only matters if you win the last 11."

When someone baited Jeter by asking if he's a better shortstop than Rodriguez, he joked: "I don't have to answer that question now." He has been around New York long enough to know that even with A-Rod already calling himself "a former shortstop," the question isn't soon going away. Recognizing that resistance was futile, Jeter left it at: "I'm playing shortstop now."

In five years? Three years? Listen, these are the Yankees we're talking about. By August, more than a third of the roster is liable to have turned over. As with everything and everyone around the Yankees, the outcome of this experiment will be evaluated less on the basis of baseball logic and mainly on the mood of the owner after the last game of the season.

Jeter will continue to be Jeter, but how tempting it becomes for Steinbrenner to start squawking about A-Rod's wasting away at third will probably depend more on Mariano Rivera's ability to hold the lead in a key postseason game, or the fate of the Red Sox. The more years without a World Series banner to run up the Stadium flagpole, the more 2000 will loom as ancient history and the less the Yankees will be Derek Jeter's team, especially if A-Rod is hitting 50 home runs.

Andy Pettitte was allowed to leave this winter. Bernie Williams may be out of center field. Torre is in the last year of his deal. The Yankees begin spring training this week with four holdovers from their last championship team. Most people assume Jeter, who has a no-trade contract, is a Yankee for life, but what if out of Tampa one day comes a decree for Jeter to slide over to second?

"I'm not moving to second," he snapped when asked if the thought had so much as occurred to him.

In the event he ever gets the Bernie Williams treatment, might Jeter opt for moving out altogether, with Steinbrenner paying some of his contract, the way Texas is picking up a healthy portion of A-Rod's? All he knows right now is that he is staying right where he has been, and he'll deal with the prospect of the man he called "arguably the best player in baseball" stationed alongside.

They flew in together from Tampa on Monday night, Rodriguez taking the opportunity to tell Jeter that he is ready to switch for the long haul. With regards to winning, the newest Yankee was kind enough to compare Jeter yesterday to Magic Johnson. Was it sincere, or does A-Rod still believe what he told Esquire magazine a couple of years ago, that Jeter is no game-changer, no drink-stirring straw like Reggie?

It doesn't matter, because this is just the beginning and everyone is on the same page, with A-Rod at third and Jeter at short and the Red Sox in shock. By next season, who knows? Maybe Nomar Garciaparra is at second.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

maroualle
February 18th, 2004, 01:49 AM
He looks like that golf player, the number 1....
Listen, i know the basis rules for baseball (we all play that in school), i promiss i will start looking at this and become a Yankee's fan, alright?

you know a website with all the rules? For the rest, i'll surf through the net.

Kris
February 18th, 2004, 01:52 AM
http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/02/18/sports/0218_ARAT_GRAPHIC.gif

Kris
February 18th, 2004, 01:57 AM
February 18, 2004

Steinbrenner Is Not Done Celebrating or Dealing

By TOM SPOUSTA

TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 17 — A jaunty George Steinbrenner emerged from the Yankees' minor league facility early Tuesday afternoon and flashed the thumbs-up sign. He stepped into his midnight-blue BMW sedan and appeared ready to drive away, only to change his mind. For with Alex Rodriguez now in pinstripes, the Boss was ready to bask.

Reaching out of the driver's window, he signed autographs for fans. Speaking out of the passenger's window, he talked of another possible trade to counter any weaknesses, real or imagined, arising in the wake of Rodriguez's arrival and the departure of Alfonso Soriano.

Whether it might be for a crafty left-handed starting pitcher — all the Yankees starters are right-handed — or for an established second baseman, Steinbrenner, the team's principal owner, would not say. Still, the not-so-subtle message was that Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman was not finished retooling the Yankees' lineup.

"We may make one more deal, but it won't be a huge blockbuster, of course," Steinbrenner said. "It's up to Cashman. He's constantly tinkering where he thinks we need help here, need help there," adding that the Yankees "didn't raise our payroll at all" in acquiring Rodriguez.

Having first watched on television as Rodriguez donned a Yankees uniform at a news conference at Yankee Stadium, Steinbrenner talked of various team issues as fans and reporters surrounded his car. He gave his front office high praise, particularly Cashman and the team's president, Randy Levine, for outmaneuvering conventional wisdom, and opponents, in trading for Rodriguez and in making other off-season moves.

"I would say A-plus," Steinbrenner said. "You don't like to lose Andy Pettitte, but instead of sitting there moping, they went out and did some other things."

Steinbrenner bristled at the suggestion that he has again disrupted baseball's competitive balance and was simply trying to spend his way to another World Series title. And he maintained that the Boston Red Sox remained the team to beat in the American League East.

But he also tweaked the Red Sox and every other major league team for not being as clever as the Yankees in finding a way to acquire Rodriguez and insisted that the Yankees did not "buy" Rodriguez.

"They don't know their math," Steinbrenner said. "They don't know what the costs were or were not. We didn't go out and buy him. Texas got a very good deal. I hated to lose Soriano — he'll do great in Texas. Given the time, he'll be a very great player out there. But look at the finances before you make that statement."

The handful of Yankees players and coaches who arrived at Legends Field for workouts strongly endorsed the Rodriguez trade and could not help but smile as they pondered the capabilities of the Yankees' 2004 offense. Don Mattingly, the team's new hitting coach, said he had only one concern.

"We can't sit back and wait for the next guy," Mattingly said. "There's a tendency when you've got a club that's so good offensively, and I've played on a few of those myself, where you kind of lay back and say, `Oh, if I don't get him in, the next guy will.' Individually, each guy has to put pressure on himself to do the job."

Catcher Jorge Posada half-jokingly anticipated he would drop from the middle of the Yankees' batting order to the bottom. "How can you not be excited about this?" he said. "We've got a very strong lineup, and I'm going to be hitting ninth."

Steinbrenner also said he was not concerned about possible friction between Rodriguez and Derek Jeter, the Yankees' captain.

"He's the guy I look for to lead the team," Steinbrenner said of Jeter.

And Steinbrenner said he was not worried about distractions stemming from the status of Manager Joe Torre, who is in the last year of his contract, and he dismissed rumors that the Yankees were interested in acquiring the free-agent pitcher Greg Maddux.

"We're happy with the pitching we've got right now," Steinbrenner said.

Asked who would be the Yankees' center fielder on opening day, Steinbrenner said that it was Bernie Williams's job to lose — to newly acquired Kenny Lofton.

"It's Bernie, but we've got some flexibility there," Steinbrenner said. "We've got Lofton, and he's a great one. That's going to be up to the manager. I think that's the way Joe feels, that's the way I feel. Bernie has been an important part of this team for so long."

"It's a good day for the Yankees, a very good day," Steinbrenner concluded. "But we haven't won anything yet."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

NYguy
February 18th, 2004, 08:14 AM
Still the talk of town...

http://www.nypost.com/images/front021804.gif


http://www.nydailynews.com/ips_rich_content/817-Copy%20of%20FRONT_BIG.jpg http://www.nydailynews.com/ips_rich_content/447-BACK_BIG18.jpg

NYguy
February 18th, 2004, 08:32 AM
Newsday...

Steinbrenner Likes Revamped Team

By Jim Baumbach
February 18, 2004

Tampa, Fla. -- Upon stopping his BMW on his way out of the Yankees' minor-league complex yesterday, George Steinbrenner was his usual self. The Boss had an opinion on everything.

In short, Steinbrenner said he regrets losing Andy Pettitte to free agency, already misses Roger Clemens and David Wells, thinks centerfield is Bernie Williams' job to lose, and joked that fans want his autograph only "because they think I'm dying." Oh, he also said the Yankees were not the favorites to win the American League East.

"Boston is probably the favorite," Steinbrenner said.

On the day pitchers and catchers reported to spring training, Steinbrenner again proved he is already in midseason form.

"It is a good day for the Yankees, a very good day," he said after watching the Alex Rodriguez news conference on television as he worked out. "But we haven't won anything yet."

Dressed in a dark blue Yankees jacket, Steinbrenner was in a giddy mood as he sat in the front seat of his car listening to music, signing autographs and talking about the Yankees.

He said he spoke to A-Rod for the first time since the trade by phone and was impressed. "I said we're very happy to have him," he said. "He's an outstanding young man. His wife is a lovely girl and they're going to be a great addition to our family."

That "family" has gone through an overhaul since losing to the Florida Marlins in the World Series in October, which has Steinbrenner excited and sad. The revamped roster gives him high hopes for this season but he already misses his former players.

"Andy Pettitte was a great warrior for me, but he wanted to go home," he said. "We knew that and I understood that. I'm going to miss Wellsie because he was a special favorite of mine and I'm going to miss the big man, Clemens. He was a supreme warrior."

Steinbrenner disputed reports that the Yankees were pursuing free-agent righthander Greg Maddux to help secure the rotation, saying, "We have not even had any conversations with him."

When asked about who's going to play centerfield, Steinbrenner said Williams starts spring training ahead of offseason acquisition Kenny Lofton because he is the incumbent.

"I think that's the way Joe [Torre] feels and that's the way I feel," Steinbrenner said. "Bernie has been an important part of this team for so long, you know."

Steinbrenner also took issue with those who claim that the A-Rod acquisition is just another sign of the Yankees using their tremendous resources to reel in top-tier talent.

"We didn't buy him," he said. "They don't know their math. They don't know what the costs were and were not. We didn't go out and buy him."

Steinbrenner said another move was probably going to happen soon, a likely reference to the impending signing of free-agent first baseman Travis Lee, who played for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays last season.

Steinbrenner also said the team would stay in-house with the vacant second-base job, saying it would either be Enrique Wilson or Miguel Cairo, with whom Steinbrenner has taken a liking. "I like the look of this young fellow," he said.

Before leaving the complex, the 73-year-old Steinbrenner made humorous references to his health without being asked. He even closed the interview by saying his front-office staffers have to always be working the phones "even though these people don't think I'm going to be around for a while." He then closed the car window, laughed and drove off.


http://www.nynewsday.com/media/photo/2004-02/11448703.jpg

ZippyTheChimp
February 18th, 2004, 09:08 AM
Everything you want to know about baseball can be found in the Baseball Almanac (http://www.baseball-almanac.com/rulemenu.shtml).


To bring us down to earth a bit, the pitching is still a big question mark - and pitching and defense win championships. For a graphic, compare the Yankee and Texas Ranger rosters for 1996, 1998, and 1999. The Rangers were tailored to overwhelm the Yankees with offense, and the season stats show the superiority of output, but in the playoffs, the Rangers were completely shutdown, 9 games to one.

NYatKNIGHT
February 18th, 2004, 10:36 AM
Exactly. Need the pitching.

NYguy
February 18th, 2004, 05:05 PM
Everything you want to know about baseball can be found in the Baseball Almanac (http://www.baseball-almanac.com/rulemenu.shtml).


To bring us down to earth a bit, the pitching is still a big question mark - and pitching and defense win championships. For a graphic, compare the Yankee and Texas Ranger rosters for 1996, 1998, and 1999. The Rangers were tailored to overwhelm the Yankees with offense, and the season stats show the superiority of output, but in the playoffs, the Rangers were completely shutdown, 9 games to one.

I agree, they could use better pitching, but its not a concern right now. Pitching is mainly needed for the playoffs, and thats a while away. Besides, we won't know what kind of pitching we really have until the season is about half through. Last year's pitching wasn't great....

NoyokA
February 18th, 2004, 06:06 PM
Last year's pitching wasn't great

And that was with Pettite and Clemens. No argument about the offense, the Yankees are stacked!


To bring us down to earth a bit, the pitching is still a big question mark - and pitching and defense win championships. For a graphic, compare the Yankee and Texas Ranger rosters for 1996, 1998, and 1999. The Rangers were tailored to overwhelm the Yankees with offense, and the season stats show the superiority of output, but in the playoffs, the Rangers were completely shutdown, 9 games to one.

Another good example is last years Cardinals, ofcourse Kile's death had contributed to their disadvantage. They were however baseball's best offensive team and they were unable to get to the playoff's.

There's a wise old saying; Good pitching stops good hitting.

Let us also not forget that Boston acquired Shilling in the off season.

NYguy
February 18th, 2004, 07:09 PM
Last year's pitching wasn't great

And that was with Pettite and Clemens. No argument about the offense, the Yankees are stacked!

There's a wise old saying; Good pitching stops good hitting. Let us also not forget that Boston acquired Shilling in the off season.

Not forgotten, but he hasn't pitched a game yet. That Pedro Martinez isn't exactly a bad pitcher either.

Great teams find a way to beat the great pitchers. That being said, the best teams don't always win. That's the good thing about baseball, any team can be beaten. You never know what kind of game a pitcher is going to have, that's been proven over and over again. Likewise, you never know when a hitter is going to have a good game, but at least hitters are every day players, and can rebound the next day...

Daily News

Red Sox owner, Steinbrenner clash over A-Rod deal

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

BOSTON - Red Sox owner John Henry thinks a salary cap could be good for baseball after watching the rival Yankees trade for Alex Rodriguez - a deal his own franchise could not complete.

Henry, whose team failed to obtain Rodriguez from Texas in December, said in an e-mail response to reporters Wednesday that he is changing his mind on whether the sport needs a salary cap "to deal with a team that has gone so insanely far beyond the resources of all the other teams."

Yankees owner George Steinbrenner quickly responded, saying: "We understand that John Henry must be embarrassed, frustrated and disappointed by his failure in this transaction."

The Yankees' payroll is about $184.8 million for 25 signed players after they acquired Rodriguez from the Texas Rangers earlier this week in exchange for Alfonso Soriano and a minor leaguer to be named.

But the number would come down by about $4.8 million if third baseman Aaron Boone is released. Boston is expected to be second at about $125 million.

"One thing is certain the status quo will not be preserved," Henry wrote.

"There must be a way to cap what a team can spend without hurting player compensation ... without taking away from the players what they have rightfully earned in the past through negotiation and in creating tremendous value. There is a simple mechanism that could right a system woefully out of whack."

Henry's comments come after his team failed in its bid to land the reigning American League MVP.

The Red Sox tried to trade Manny Ramirez, who has the second-highest average salary in baseball, for Rodriguez. But talks fell apart because the team could not agree on how to divide the remaining $179 million on Rodriguez's contract. Boston and Texas were apart by about $15 million, and the Red Sox wanted Rodriguez to lower the present-day value of his contract by $20 million more than the players' association would allow.

"Unlike the Yankees, he chose not to go the extra distance for his fans in Boston," Steinbrenner said of Henry. "It is understandable, but wrong that he would try to deflect the accountability for his mistakes on to others and to a system for which he voted in favor. It is time to get on with life and forget the sour grapes."

The Yankees were able to absorb Rodriguez's salary in exchange for second baseman Alfonso Soriano. Texas is assuming $67 million of the rest of Rodriguez's salary.

"Baseball doesn't have an answer for the Yankees," Henry said. "Revenue sharing can only accomplish so much. At some point it becomes confiscation. It has not and it will not solve what is a very obvious problem."

NYguy
February 18th, 2004, 07:14 PM
"Unlike the Yankees, he chose not to go the extra distance for his fans in Boston," Steinbrenner said of Henry. "It is understandable, but wrong that he would try to deflect the accountability for his mistakes on to others and to a system for which he voted in favor. It is time to get on with life and forget the sour grapes."

Amen George, amen...

Kris
February 19th, 2004, 07:08 AM
February 19, 2004

Red Sox Draw Line, and Yankees Cross It

By JACK CURRY

TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 18 — George Steinbrenner snapped at a stadium official on Wednesday to help him figure out how to get the elevator to travel to the fourth floor at Legends Field. He berated a Yankees official for failing to get him the Top 10 list for "Late Show With David Letterman" earlier so he could study it, and he was blustery in staff meetings.

But Steinbrenner saved his most ferocious verbal darts for the Boston Red Sox and John Henry, their principal owner. Anyone who thinks that the angry rivalry between the Yankees and the Red Sox cannot be spicier has been sleeping for the last few days, and especially Wednesday.

Shortly after Henry sent an e-mail message to reporters stating that the Yankees' stunning acquisition of Alex Rodriguez proved that baseball's economic system is "woefully out of whack" and that the Yankees have "gone so insanely far beyond" the financial capabilities of other teams, Steinbrenner treated Henry as if he were managing the Yankees and had lost four straight to the Red Sox.

In a statement that public relations officials gave to reporters, Steinbrenner accomplished a lot in four sentences. He ridiculed Henry for failing to complete a trade with the Texas Rangers for Rodriguez, he criticized Henry for not working harder to satisfy the Red Sox fans, he berated Henry for blaming the Yankees for Boston's problems, and he advised Henry to stop being a sore loser.

Steinbrenner was basking in the glow of the Rodriguez trade during the day, but as far as the Henry comment went, "George was hot about this one," said one Yankees official who had spent time with him.

The Red Sox spent several weeks trying to get Rodriguez from Texas, then let the trade die over about $15 million in deferred payments that they had sought.

The Red Sox had voted in favor of the current revenue-sharing system in Major League Baseball; the Yankees were the only team that voted against it. The Red Sox were sensitive when the Oakland Athletics mentioned the sizable difference between their clubs' payrolls during the postseason. But now the Red Sox are grousing about the Yankees.

Henry is irked that the Yankees got Rodriguez at a reasonable price, about $16 million a year, after the Rangers paid $67 million of the $179 million left on his contract. The Yankees wound up pursuing Rodriguez after third baseman Aaron Boone seriously injured his knee, and they consummated the trade in less than a week. The Yankees got the premier player in baseball to agree to switch to third from shortstop.

"Baseball doesn't have an answer for the Yankees," Henry wrote in his e-mail message, The Associated Press reported. "Revenue sharing can only accomplish so much. At some point, it becomes confiscation. It has not and will not solve what is a very obvious problem."

Steinbrenner, who has never been faced with a debate he did not relish, was irritated that an owner would complain about his financial approach.

The Yankees will have a payroll of about $180 million in 2004, easily the highest in baseball. But the Red Sox payroll will probably be about $125 million, which is second. (The New York Times Company is a minority partner of the Red Sox ownership group.)

Steinbrenner could not resist offering a statement critical of Henry, who was once a limited partner of the Yankees.

"We understand that John Henry must be embarrassed, frustrated and disappointed by his failure in this transaction," Steinbrenner said. "Unlike the Yankees, he chose not to go the extra distance for his fans in Boston. It is understandable, but wrong that he would try to deflect the accountability for his mistakes on to others and to a system for which he voted in favor. It is time to get on with life and forget the sour grapes."

Yankees Manager Joe Torre listened to a reporter read Steinbrenner's statement, bit his lower lip as he suppressed a laugh and said, "Guess he said it pretty good."

The sniping did not amuse Commissioner Bud Selig. Selig spoke with both owners and warned them that any further public bickering could result in repercussions, a baseball official said.

Henry said in an e-mail message that Selig had asked the Red Sox not to comment publicly about Steinbrenner's statement. "So let's shift our sights to the field," Henry added.

Yankees-Red Sox may be the best rivalry in sports. Thrusting Rodriguez into the equation will make games that are must-see baseball even more compelling.

Steinbrenner declined to discuss his statement when he appeared on the field here Wednesday, but he was presumably in a better mood when he stood along the left-field line and polished off Letterman's list. The category was "Top 10 Good Things About Being a New York Yankee." No. 1, of course, dealt with Rodriguez.

"You think this A-Rod deal is good?" Steinbrenner said. "I'm about to sign Ty Cobb."


On First Day, There's Spring in Torre's Step

By TYLER KEPNER

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/02/19/sports/19YANK.jpg
Joe Torre, left, with Mariano Rivera, talked with George Steinbrenner, and he seemed to lean toward managing the Yankees past this season.

TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 18 — Maybe it was the onset of spring training, his favorite part of the baseball season. Maybe it was the trade for Alex Rodriguez, another budding legend at Legends Field. Maybe it was the sudden warmth from his boss, George Steinbrenner.

Joe Torre was in such a buoyant mood on Wednesday that he seemed to be leaning toward returning as Yankees manager past this season. Steinbrenner, the team's principal owner, seemed interested in asking him.

In a move that could signify a thaw in their relationship, Steinbrenner approached Torre on Wednesday about whether he wanted to keep managing beyond this season. Torre mentioned that possibility after Rodriguez's news conference at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, and Steinbrenner had noticed.

"He was just curious about what I wanted to do, and I told him I don't know," Torre said. "There's been nothing more than that as far as talking about a contract. We talked about other things; that wasn't the main reason he came in. We talked today, probably, because we've been comfortable the last few days we've been in each other's company."

Torre spoke with Steinbrenner at a meeting to assemble his 2004 coaching staff a few days after the World Series. The two did not speak again until Monday, at the Yankees' minor league complex, and they talked again on Tuesday, when Steinbrenner met Torre at the airport after Torre returned from New York.

Steinbrenner spoke to Torre at least twice Wednesday in offices at Legends Field. As they left the administrative offices together in the late afternoon, Steinbrenner gave the thumbs-up sign and said, "It's a great relationship."

It did not seem that way last season, when Steinbrenner irritated Torre by criticizing his coaches and overriding Torre's decision to send pitcher José Contreras to Class AAA Columbus. Late in the season, and early in the winter, Torre barely disguised his weariness with working for Steinbrenner.

But Torre has wavered from his stance that he would not decide on his future until after the season. When he considers his future now, Torre, 63, does not picture retirement.

"Right now, I still feel I can do this," Torre said. "The way I feel, right now, I'm not thinking of retiring. But I'm not sure it's fair to make that decision on the first day of spring training."

As Torre spoke to reporters gathered in his office, he admitted he was thinking out loud. The more he talked, the more he sounded as if he was still having fun on the job. That, Torre said, is the most important factor in deciding whether to return.

The fact that Torre has that authority — or at least thinks he does — represents a reversal from decades of Steinbrenner-manager relationships. Torre is entering his ninth season with the Yankees, a far longer tenure than he said he expected to serve. With Steinbrenner hinting that Torre would decide his own future, Torre was asked if he had turned the tables on his boss.

"Not purposefully, for sure," Torre said. "That's just the way things worked out."

Torre earned enormous credibility with Steinbrenner for winning the World Series in four of his first five seasons as manager. After three seasons without a title, Steinbrenner has equipped Torre with more high-profile talent than ever. The Yankees change every winter, Torre said, but this year is different.

"It's extreme because there are so many marquee players that have come over," Torre said. "This is very unique."

Kevin Brown was one of those marquee players who showed up Wednesday at Legends Field for a physical, carrying a Los Angeles Dodgers equipment bag. Brown, the starting pitcher acquired for Jeff Weaver in December, is one of many accomplished players Torre must bring together quickly.

"We have a lot of strong personalities here this year," Torre said. "It's always fun to see it develop, it really is. But right now, my concern, or curiosity, is my five starters. Ability-wise, I have no questions about them."

But, Torre said, Contreras is only in his second major league season. Javier Vazquez, acquired in a trade with Montreal, is switching leagues and teams. Jon Lieber has not pitched since having elbow surgery in August 2002. Brown has unquestioned talent but has frequently been injured.

Pitchers and catchers have their first formal workout on Thursday, giving Torre his first look at the revamped staff.

His emphasis on pitching extended to his assessment of the Boston Red Sox. Torre would not acknowledge that the Yankees trumped the Red Sox in the off-season by acquiring Rodriguez. By trading for the ace Curt Schilling and signing closer Keith Foulke, Torre said, the Red Sox improved markedly.

"I think they really helped themselves," Torre said. "The pitching they got, in my opinion, that's what bothered me more than the fact that they were going to get A-Rod. Taking nothing away from A-Rod, those guys score a lot of runs."

The Yankees' restocked lineup will be on display soon, with position players reporting here Sunday for their first workout on Tuesday. Some are working out at the minor league complex, including Bernie Williams, who is trying to hold on to his center-field job after Steinbrenner ordered the signing of Kenny Lofton.

Torre has not spoken with Lofton, but he has assured Williams that it will be a fair competition. "I just told Bernie that when we leave here, I'll have a meeting with my coaches and I'll see what I see, and we'll leave here with what I consider the best team," Torre said.

It is a team headlined by Rodriguez, whose arrival has momentarily made Torre and Steinbrenner happy together again.

"All these meetings I've had with him have been since Alex," Torre said. "So I don't know, maybe it's helped both our moods."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

NYguy
February 19th, 2004, 07:53 AM
http://www.nydailynews.com/ips_rich_content/919-BACK_BIG.jpg

http://www.nypost.com/images/back021904.gif


BOSS TELLS SOX: CORK RED WHINE

By GEORGE KING and MICHAEL MORRISSEY

February 19, 2004 -- TAMPA - Before the first pitcher popped a catcher's leather, the Red Sox and Yankees have their hands exactly where they belong: around each other's throats.

With Aaron Boone's ALCS-winning extra-inning home run in October still fresh in the Red Sox Nation's memory, Boston owner John Henry yesterday started a verbal brawl and George Steinbrenner buried his former partner with a pair of vicious rebuttals in which he called Henry a "failure" and accused him of having a belly full of "sour grapes."

Instantly, the hottest rivalry in sports went nuclear and made the 19 Red Sox-Yankee games this season must-see-theatre prior to the first spring training workout. Instead of sitting back and seeing if getting Curt Schilling, Keith Foulke and retaining Manny Ramirez and Nomar Garciaparra improved the Red Sox, who came within five outs of beating the Yankees and going to the World Series, Henry vented in an e-mail message.

Responding to the Yankees' acquisition of Alex Rodriguez, Henry called for a salary cap even though the Red Sox came very close to dealing for the reigning AL MVP themselves in December. The trade crumbled over $12 million when the Red Sox and Rangers couldn't decide how to split the remaining $179 million on A-Rod's contract.

Henry, who used to own one percent of the Yankees, said baseball needs a salary cap "to deal with a team that has gone so insanely far beyond the resources of all the other teams. One thing is certain, the status quo will not be preserved."

By adding A-Rod, whom the Yankees will pay $112 million across seven years, the Yankees' payroll jumped to $187 million. That is $62 million higher than Boston's.

"There must be a way to cap what a team can spend without hurting player compensation ... without taking away from the players what they have rightfully earned in the past through negotiation and in creating tremendous value. There is a simple mechanism that could right a system woefully out of whack," Henry said.

"Baseball doesn't have an answer for the Yankees. Revenue sharing can only accomplish so much. At some point it becomes confiscation," the Bosox owner added. "It has not and it will not solve what is a very obvious problem."

Steinbrenner fired back at Henry twice. First in a statement and then to The Post on a Legends Field elevator.

"We understand that John Henry must be embarrassed, frustrated and disappointed by his failure in this transaction," The Boss said in the statement. "Unlike the Yankees, he chose not to go the extra distance for his fans in Boston. It is understandable, but wrong that he would try to deflect the accountability for his mistakes on to others and to a system for which he voted in favor. It is time to get on with life and forget the sour grapes."

Later in the elevator, Steinbrenner told The Post, "He should move on. Baseball should move on. I think our organization had their eye on the ball since we started to go after [Rodriguez]. Randy Levine, Lonn Trost and certainly Cashman did a helluva job."

Hoping to squash the latest Boston-Bronx feud, commissioner Bud Selig told Henry and Steinbrenner to zip it.

"I have been asked by the commissioner to not respond to the New York comments today," Henry said in a statement. "He is right and I will abide by the request."

The Yankees acknowledged that they had heard from the commissioner and were preparing a statement early last night.

http://www.nypost.com/photos/yankslede021904.jpg[b]

FIRED UP: George Steinbrenner was in full attack mode yesterday in Tampa after Red Sox owner John Henry said league needs to find way of curbing Yanks' out-of-control spending.

NYatKNIGHT
February 19th, 2004, 12:36 PM
Bwaaaa-ha-haaaaa-haaaa!!!!

This is GREAT. The Red Sox make the best punching bag.

NYguy
February 19th, 2004, 06:30 PM
Bwaaaa-ha-haaaaa-haaaa!!!!
This is GREAT. The Red Sox make the best punching bag.


I know, Steinbrenner was made for this. He never fails to amuse...

TLOZ Link5
February 19th, 2004, 08:30 PM
Big Steiny is playing fantasy baseball for real now...

Kris
February 20th, 2004, 06:01 AM
New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com

Dominicans extra proud about A-Rod

Wednesday, February 18th, 2004

He was born in New York City and moved to Miami when he was a small child. But forget Miami. Alex Rodríguez, the latest addition to the Yankees' powerful roster of superstars, is the pride and joy of the city's Dominicans.

And after looking around and realizing that his was the biggest story in town, I decided I also wanted to put in my two cents with regard to A-Rod. Let me tell my readers from the start that I think we are in the presence of the real deal, an extraordinary athletic and personality phenomenon. And I am not the only one.

"The only other Dominican so widely loved by everybody is Amelia Vega, the 2003 Miss Universe," said Félix Sención, 35, a Washington Heights-born Dominican advertising executive.

Now, if only she could play baseball. ...

Dominicans, who are used to the fact that their people - here and on the island - have produced an unmatched constellation of baseball stars, will tell you that Rodríguez is different.

"This is a New Yorker coming back home. Even since his days in Seattle he has always said he would love to come to New York to play," Sención said. "And now everybody is waiting to see how he takes to the city."

And, he added with pride in his voice: "I'm sure he will have no problems. This is the best baseball player alive and an all-around great guy."

Because even if New York baseball fans loved Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens (remember his much-ballyhooed retirement?) while they played for the Yankees, they are not, and never were, New Yorkers. Both went home and signed with the Houston Astros.

"They played here, they did well, but they returned home with no regrets. And that was that," Sención added. "With A-Rod, it is different. He came home to New York to play. And with the greatest baseball team in the world."

Rodríguez is different, all right. He was born in 1975 in Washington Heights, not far from Yankee Stadium, and in 1979 his father, Víctor, moved the family to the Dominican Republic after closing his shoe store here.

Yet A-Rod's love for New York always remained strong. In 1983, the family moved again, this time to Miami, where the young athlete would grow up. Today he is baseball's highest-paid player, and widely recognized as its most talented. Yet the proverbial fame and fortune that have spoiled so many lesser players have not affected this modest guy's behavior and demeanor. He is still the kid who works harder than anybody else to keep in shape, give his best in every game and make his dream come true. Yes, Rodríguez is different.

"And his dream came true in the biggest possible way," Sención said, speaking like a true New Yorker himself. "One has the feeling that never before had he had the chance to be all he can be. Besides being this great baseball player, this is a stylish, smart, articulate, cool young man. Definitely a New Yorker."

As a Dominican and a New Yorker, Sención is doubly proud. There have been many great Dominican players in New York, he said, but never before a superstar of A-Rod's magnitude and charisma.

"Dominicans, but not only Dominicans, will rally behind him," Sención said.

And he is right, it will happen. But our advice to the newest Yankee is to be ready for when the honeymoon is over. Prepare yourself for unflattering reports, the playing up of any minor disagreements with your friend and fellow Yankee superstar Derek Jeter, and intensely close scrutiny of your personal life.

To face it all with grace, coolness and self-confidence will be A-Rod's greatest challenge.

Welcome home, Alex Rodríguez!

Kris
February 21st, 2004, 03:39 AM
ON BASEBALL

Class in session

Fresh faces will provide shots in arms

By Gordon Edes, Globe Staff, 2/20/2004

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Now, if everyone would just lower their voices a little . . . Here is why the Red Sox, A-Rod or no A-Rod, should still be favored to win the American League East.

Top to bottom, from Pedro Martinez to Bronson Arroyo, the Red Sox have better pitching than any team in the division, including the Yankees. By adding Curt Schilling and Keith Foulke, spectacularly filling the holes the Sox had at the front and back ends of the staff, while sacrificing just a modicum of offense (Todd Walker out, Ellis Burks in) and upgrading the defense (Pokey Reese), Sox general manager Theo Epstein has given the Sox a competitive edge over the Bombers for the first time in years.

It may be a slight one, but it's there, nonetheless.

"I like our pitching staff a lot," Epstein said here yesterday morning, wearing the cap of a Super Bowl winner (the Patriots) and the look of a man unruffled by the furor of the last few days.

"It's a good feeling to sit here and know we have quality and depth. We can throw Pedro Martinez and Curt Schilling out there, who can match up with any 1-2 in all of baseball. Derek Lowe as your third guy has the potential to dominate like the top-of-rotation starter he really is. Tim Wakefield, our No. 4, we have no doubts about Tim Wakefield. We know what he can do.

"And our fifth spot has a tremendous upside. Byung Hyun Kim has a chance to take that job out of spring training. His ceiling is still exceptionally high. And we have excellent protection in Bronson Arroyo."

That's just for starters. The pen has an anchor in Foulke, who led the American League in saves last season, but it is the depth of the pen that is truly impressive. Mike Timlin and Scott Williamson, who have both closed, are the righthanded setup men, Alan Embree is the lefty, and either Arroyo or reclamation project Ramiro Mendoza will be the long man. There are seven other pitchers in camp who will be competing to win a spot as the second lefty out of the pen.

No Sox team in recent memory has ever been this loaded.

Questions? Sure. Martinez's health, first and foremost, and his state of mind in his walk year. Schilling, making the adjustment to the American League, only because you don't want to get too excited about the possibilities. Lowe, coming off as soft a 17-win season as a pitcher can have, proving that he can indeed dominate the way he did two seasons ago. Wakefield, bearing no scars from Aaron Boone. Kim, showing that the club is best served with him as a starter and not a reliever, and that Yankee phobia is a media invention. Foulke, his changeup as effective in cozy Fenway as it was in the wide-open spaces of Oakland.

But any uncertainty surrounding the Sox' pitching staff is of small consequence compared with the questions revolving around a Yankee staff that over the winter lost Andy Pettitte, Roger Clemens, and David Wells, who combined for 53 wins last season and possess a total of eight World Series rings among them.

The Yankee rotation in 2003: Pettitte, Clemens, Mike Mussina, Wells, Jeff Weaver.

The Yankee rotation in 2004: Mussina, Kevin Brown, Javier Vazquez, Jose Contreras, Jon Lieber.

Mussina is a rock, but for what it's worth he has never won 20 games in a season. Brown, 39 next month, can be as nasty as anyone in the game, but he has been on the disabled list seven times since the start of the 2000 season and missed most of two seasons with elbow and back problems. "Brown could blow any day," said one industry insider. "The over-under on him for starts this season is 20, and I'd probably take the under."

Vazquez, only 27, could turn into the ace of the staff. He averaged 33 starts over the last four seasons in Montreal, had a career-best ERA of 3.24 last season while striking out a career-high 241 batters. But it's different pitching in the vast empty spaces of Olympic Stadium in Montreal and the packed houses he'll face in the Bronx and in the Fens. There is no reason to believe he will falter, a la Weaver, but until he performs, no one -- even George Steinbrenner -- can be certain.

Contreras is still separated from the family he left behind in Cuba; how that weighs on a man's heart, who can say? Last season, he only showed flashes of the talent that caused last winter's bidding war between the Yankees and Sox.

Lieber hasn't pitched in a big-league game since 2002, having undergone Tommy John tendon transfer surgery on his right elbow. He was a 20-game winner for the Cubs in 2001, but at 34 (his birthday is April 2), how close he will be to his former self remains to be seen.

And while the Yankees can put out an everyday lineup of eight All-Stars, they don't have eight starting pitchers like they did in spring training a year ago. There's not much in the way of a safety net behind these five, which is one reason GM Brian Cashman issued a minor league invite to former Sox pitcher John Burkett, who elected to retire instead.

The bullpen? On paper, it's terrific, especially compared with last season, when Joe Torre ran through 19 relievers. Cashman added quality righthanded setup men in Paul Quantrill (89 appearances last season) and Tom Gordon, Steve Karsay should be back from injury, and Gabe White and Felix Heredia are the lefties. But Gordon is 36 with a long history of elbow woes and Quantrill is 35, and while Timlin is living proof that it doesn't have to happen, slippage is possible. And Mariano Rivera, the peerless closer, is 34, and the Sox had their moments against him, too.

"The Yankee pitching is fantastic," the insider said, "but there's a high collapse factor there, too."

The number crunchers over at Baseball Prospectus, employing a set of formulas that only true seamheads can love, are saying that the Sox' pitching staff is not only the best in the league, but by a wide margin. They're predicting big things for Kim, saying he could make a greater impact than Mark Mulder, Roy Oswalt, Pettitte, or Clemens.

Sox pitchers and catchers report today. First workout is tomorrow. If Terry Francona had this kind of pitching staff in Philadelphia, he'd still be a Phillie. And until A-Rod shows he really is the Babe and can pitch, too, the Sox are the team to beat.

© Copyright 2004 Globe Newspaper Company

Kris
February 21st, 2004, 10:05 PM
February 22, 2004

Closer to Postseason Excitement, Rodriguez Gets to Work

By TYLER KEPNER

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/02/22/sports/22AROD2.jpg
Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees' new third baseman, took grounders and seven rounds of batting practice Saturday at the team's minor league complex in Tampa, Fla.

TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 21 — When World Series games came on television during Joe Torre's playing days, that was his cue to leave the house and go shopping. If Torre, now the Yankees' manager, could not play in the postseason, he did not want to watch.

Alex Rodriguez is different. After playing out last season with the hapless Texas Rangers, Rodriguez eagerly watched the epic American League Championship Series between the Yankees and the Red Sox last fall.

"I can remember jumping out of my couch three or four times in that series," Rodriguez said Saturday at Legends Field, after reporting to spring training for the Yankees. "Game 4, Game 5, Game 6 and 7; it was just awesome to watch. As a baseball fan first, it wasn't one bit frustrating. I wished and dreamed about someday being able to play in games that meant so much. That dream is here a lot sooner than I thought."

Rodriguez demurred when asked which team he had rooted for, but there is no doubting his allegiance now. The Red Sox failed in their effort to trade for him, Aaron Boone wrecked his knee, and Rodriguez wound up here, as the splashiest addition to a team full of marquee stars.

To do it, Rodriguez agreed to play third base, and he showed up ready. After landing at Tampa International Airport, Rodriguez left a private plane carrying a bat and a glove, and he took grounders and batting practice at the Yankees' minor league complex.

"I'm still not aware of where I am right now," he said after working out for 70 minutes in warm-up pants and a Yankees T-shirt. "I'm trying to take it all in. I look around and I see the Yankee uniform. It's awesome."

Rodriguez took seven rounds of batting practice, swatting 10 homers in 65 swings, including one blast that dented a parked truck. He also broke the bat of third baseman Eric Duncan, the Yanks' top draft pick last season, whose future is probably elsewhere now.

"Eric, there's your wood," Rodriguez said after breaking the bat. "There's that minor league wood."

Duncan, who was in high school a year ago, saved the bat fragment for Rodriguez to autograph.

"That was the best experience of my baseball career," Duncan said.

Rodriguez's first formal workout will come on Tuesday with the rest of the position players. The Yankees have scheduled another news conference with him after that; it will be his third in eight days since the trade for Alfonso Soriano became official.

"He's not going to have a problem dealing with whatever pressure there is, because he's an intelligent young guy," Torre said of Rodriguez. "I think he knows what values are."

Rodriguez expects to have a close relationship with Torre, who plans to make him one of the players he seeks out to gauge the mood of the locker room. Rodriguez clashed with his previous manager, Buck Showalter, who never played in the majors and seemingly never had Rodriguez's trust. In praising Torre, Rodriguez compared him to Lou Piniella, who managed him for seven years with the Seattle Mariners.

"Joe played the game," Rodriguez said. "He reminds me a lot of Lou Piniella, in different ways, obviously. But both are people you can trust, people who played the game, people who kind of know what you go through. That part of it is fun for a major league player. To have a manager you can trust is cool."

Rodriguez has played on four All-Star teams under Torre, and he was teammates on the Mariners with Luis Sojo, now the Yankees' third-base coach. Rodriguez's eyes sparkled as he met Sojo at the door to the locker room, hugging Sojo and joking in Spanish. The two talked for several minutes and will be working closely this spring.

Sojo, the bench coach Willie Randolph and the spring instructor Graig Nettles will help Rodriguez learn a new position. Since the trade, Rodriguez has taken grounders at third base at the University of Miami and has an idea of how to position himself.

"I like to play deep, because I feel like I have a strong arm," Rodriguez said. "That's one of the benefits as a shortstop. Hopefully, I can take it over to third base."

Torre, who started out as a catcher and converted to third, said the biggest adjustment for him was reading the way the ball hooks down the line. Rodriguez said he must get used to fielding slow rollers and bunts. He will call on shortstop Derek Jeter to take anything in the air.

"I already told Jeter that he's getting every fly ball," Rodriguez said.

With the rebuilding Rangers, Rodriguez has said, he spent much of his time off the field mentoring young players. With the Yankees, Rodriguez will be the youngest one in the starting lineup. He said again Saturday that he simply wants to be one of the guys, and catcher Jorge Posada said he would.

"Everybody's got their job," Posada said. "Derek's got his job, he's got his own job. Everybody's a leader in this clubhouse. I think that helps."

Like Jason Giambi before him, Rodriguez spoke about his eagerness to jump into the East Coast baseball fray. He grew up in Miami rooting for the Mets, but spent his first 10 seasons in the American League West. Now Rodriguez is off the couch and in the thick of the hottest rivalry in sports.

"I'm a fan first — I love baseball, and I love watching baseball," he said. "Just catching some of the fever. You get energized. You feed off the energy of East Coast baseball."

Since Rodriguez became a part of it, John Henry, the Red Sox' principal owner, and his Yankees counterpart, George Steinbrenner, have bashed each other with harsh public statements. In the rivalry, A-Rod is Lighting Rod, and he is ready to move on to the really fun part.

"We've all done a lot of talking," Rodriguez said. "Now it's time to go play."


SPORTS OF THE TIMES

After Rodriguez Signs, Fear and Trembling

By GEORGE VECSEY

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/02/22/sports/22AROD.jpg
Alex Rodriguez posing for photographers in Tampa, Fla. He worked out for 70 minutes Saturday.

THIS should be a great time to be a Yankee fan. The Yanks have signed A-Rod and the Boss has reduced the Red Sox' chief owner into a blithering fit — Elmer Fudd vowing wevenge on that Wascally Wabbit.

However, now is basically a great time not to be a Yankee fan. It is delightful to sit back and listen to Yankee fans come off the laughing gas and resume their normal anxiety that they will not tromp all over baseball the way they are supposed to do.

Already, there are Yankee fans out there obsessing about the flaws in the team that could make this the fourth consecutive season in which the Yankees do not win the World Series.

It is the sacred duty of all who are not Yankee fans to nod morbidly and agree with every brooding scenario. This only makes it worse for them.

This is what I hear from friends of mine who are of the Yankee persuasion. They are good people, politically and morally and socially. They love the Yankees with all their hearts. And this is what they currently fear, in descending order.

¶The Yankees will miss Andy Pettitte every fifth day.

¶Whether he tries to or not, A-Rod will bring attention to Derek Jeter's remaining at shortstop.

¶Omigosh, what if Mariano Rivera can no longer blow everybody away?

¶If there is pressure on Joe Torre to play Kenny Lofton in the field, he will be the worst Yankee center fielder in decades.

¶Torre's lame-duck status, even if by his own volition, will have an impact if the Yankees start slowly.

¶Who's going to play second base and bat ninth? Could this be the Achilles' heel of the 2004 Yankees?

¶Jason Giambi and Gary Sheffield will be distracted by the Balco investigation.

These are modest things to worry about when the payroll is soaring toward $200 million, and many of the best players in the world are earning their paychecks in the Bronx.

It could be worse. Every day, Yankee fans wake up and say a prayer of thanksgiving that they are not Mets fans.

Mets fans bumble along, making self-deprecating jokes about right field being the Bermuda Triangle, and whether Steve Trachsel is going to win 9 games or 10. They know that sometime later in the decade there might be a one-year goofy little miracle in Queens. This is far different from being a Yankee fan, with such miserably high expectations.

Much Yankee angst is based on the purchase of Alex Rodriguez. Having written a month ago that the Boss should do his thing and pay for A-Rod, who would surely be thrilled to move to third base, I view the last week as psychic déjà vu.

New Yorkers have been laboring under the belief that A-Rod was a 24-and-1 player, as somebody within the Mets' organization implied after the 2000 season, when the Mets did their dead-level best to avoid signing him. There is no doubt he takes care of himself, but in a world of tramp athletes he appears to be a class act.

Rodriguez has been that way all along. A decade ago, my son had a summer job as a clubhouse attendant for the Class A team in Peoria, Ill. One day the Mariners' Appleton (Wis.) team bus chugged in, a few hours before game time. The order went out for a bunch of pizzas to give the boys enough energy to play a night game. Who was buying? Appleton's bonus baby, Alex Rodriguez, was taking care of his buds.

As a rookie, A-Rod became friendly with Derek Jeter. They knew they could both make a lot of money and have a lot of fun without letting the game make them sour, as they saw happening around them. Their respective teams failed to reach the World Series in 1995 because neither management had enough instinct to stick them at shortstop in October. A-Rod has never made it to the World Series, but this could be his year.

A-Rod will be the lightning rod in the clubhouse. The first time Jeter misplays something at short, a posse of news media will go running to A-Rod, trying to get him to say he would have had it. The problem is not going to be A-Rod or Jeter or Torre or maybe even Steinbrenner. The problem is going to be us. It is what we do.

Despite the usual Yankee-fan paranoia, the odds are extremely in favor of A-Rod and Jeter winning a World Series together. Torre will have to resist using Rivera for more than an inning at a time. He will have to fight off the factions in his organization that think Lofton can play center field. He may even have to pinch-hit for his second baseman sometimes. He will have to get over Steinbrenner's discarding Pettitte. Some Yankee fans discredit Torre, who has merely won four World Series in eight years.

The Red Sox, of course, have not even played in a World Series since 1986. As a stockholder in The New York Times Company, which owns a piece of the Red Sox, I applaud their financial prudence in not matching A-Rod's ludicrous salary. However, as a sports fan, I guffaw at the turnaround. The Yankees are not only on a roll but their owner has also demolished the petulant Red Sox owner.

It should be sheer, exhilarating joy to be a Yankee fan. Of course, it is not.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

NYguy
February 22nd, 2004, 05:55 PM
(Daily News)

Alex already having a ball
Rodriguez lands in Tampa with visions of playoffs in mind

By ANTHONY McCARRON

TAMPA - Alex Rodriguez was watching TV in his living room in October when the Yankees and the Red Sox played seven stirring games in the AL Championship Series.

"Three, four, five times, I can remember that series made me jump out of my couch," A-Rod said. "If you didn't like Yankees-Boston last year, there's something wrong with you."

For Rodriguez, games like that were just a mirage. "I wished and dreamed to play in games like that," he said. "The dream is here a lot quicker than I thought . . . I haven't played in a lot of meaningful games in the past three years. I may be a little nervous."

After a week of interviews and excitement, A-Rod actually did some baseball work as a Yankee for the first time yesterday. First, of course, came another big press conference, his second in five days. Rodriguez flew to Tampa yesterday morning, arrived at Legends Field for an 11 a.m. media session and then worked out at the team's minor-league complex.

After just a few swings in the batting cage, he crushed two balls over a 30-foot tall batter's eye in center field. The black fence is 400 feet from home plate. A scattering of fans watched from beyond the fence, chasing down the home run balls.

In all, he took 65 swings and slugged 10 over the fence. Then he took ground balls at third.

Over the past two days, Rodriguez has worked out at the University of Miami near his home, working on his conditioning and taking 50 or so grounders at third. "I wanted to keep it real simple so I came in here with a clean slate, a humble approach," he said.

About 125 reporters jammed a picnic area beyond the third-base stands and A-Rod again showed that he is as smooth handling interviews as he is hitting a plunging curveball. He referenced the Yankee-Red Sox rivalry, saying, "We've all done a lot of talking, it's time to go play, right?"

Once again, he conceded team leadership to Derek Jeter, talked about how much the "passion of East Coast baseball" thrilled him and reiterated his desire to be just "one of the guys" after serving time as a shortstop/bull's-eye in Texas.

Of course, the Yankees don't set up separate press conferences for "one of the guys" when they show up at spring training, especially after there was just a huge one four days earlier. They also don't schedule another presser three days after the second one - A-Rod will meet the media again after the spring's first full-squad workout Tuesday.

And Rodriguez admitted he isn't sure how his role in New York will evolve. "I can only control what I do," he said. "If you look at Yankee history, it's not something one player can transcend. I don't want that to happen and I don't think it will."

He mentioned, sounding hopeful, that "in New York, everyone brings something to the party."

Despite the overwhelming attention, he says he is thrilled about the opportunities he now has. He noted that the last time he was in a lineup so star-studded, it was the All-Star Game. He hasn't started doodling lineups, like Joe Torre, or imagining where he'll bat, but he's thought of the "potential and the excitement - you start thinking of scoring 1,000 runs - and what could happen.

"But pitching and defense win championships," he said. "Defense, that's what I need to bring to the table. Offense is not going to get us to the promised land."

Rodriguez will have to provide plenty. He'll be forgiven if he boots a few May grounders at third, but if he doesn't hit, he'll be a target of someone other than those who thought his $252 million contract was absurd - George Steinbrenner.

But A-Rod said being on a last-place team, especially with his huge contract, was "more pressure. This is different and I enjoy this pressure."

Said Torre: "When you're on a last-place club, you've really got to do a psyche job on yourself. I don't think he's going to have a problem with different pressures. Not only did he perform in Texas, you saw him talking to other players. He realized his responsibilities went beyond playing."

Torre may help Rodriguez's conversion to third, especially since A-Rod already has a level of respect for Torre that he apparently didn't have for former manager Buck Showalter.

"Joe played the game," A-Rod said. "He reminds me a lot of Lou Piniella, in different ways, obviously. Both are guys you can trust. That's big for a major league baseball player. It's cool."

Torre said he believed that Rodriguez would have an easy transition. "I played third base, so I like to think anybody can," Torre said. "The attention is where it might get difficult, explaining the daily routine, which he didn't have to do as a shortstop."

Asked what he thought would be the most difficult parts of his position change, A-Rod said the trouble areas might be "slow rollers, bunts and balls that are rockets. I already told Jeets he's got every fly ball because I'm not good at those."

So there is much to be done. A-Rod said he plans to lean heavily on Luis Sojo, an old mentor when the two were teammates in Seattle, and Willie Randolph and Graig Nettles, who will all instruct him during spring training. Also, A-Rod said he'll talk to his friend Cal Ripken, who once made a similar position switch.

"I'm proud of my dedication and hard work," Rodriguez said. "Now I have a new challenge in front of me."


http://www.nydailynews.com/ips_rich_content/17-spt0222.JPG

NYguy
February 22nd, 2004, 05:56 PM
(NY Post)

A-ROD MAKES DENT IN DEBUT

By GEORGE KING

February 22, 2004 -- TAMPA — If Alex Rodriguez handles the moves from shortstop to third base and Texas to The Bronx with the same ease he displayed yesterday when he held his second high-profile press conference in five days, there won't be one hiccup.

A-Rod fielded every question as if he wrote them and made sure to say all the right things. He will defer to captain Derek Jeter, and said it's an honor to play next to a player with four World Series rings. He talked up Joe Torre and said he was humbled by being a Yankee. While he admitted to jumping out of his seat during the Red Sox-Yankees ALCS last October, A-Rod wouldn't say which team he was rooting for. Even as he sat outfitted from head to toe in Yankee garb.

It was A-Rod's second slick outing as a Yankee and it's going to be quite a while — if ever — before baseball's best player has to remove his cleats from between his gums.

He wasn't as overwhelmed yesterday as he was at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday when the team announced he was a Bomber. This press conference, which was held in a tent, was just part of A-Rod's first day in camp.

After his private jet landed at nearby Raytheon Airport, A-Rod arrived at Legends Field, pumped iron, met the press and worked out at the minor-league complex.

After toiling for the attention-starved Rangers for three years, A-Rod had every move he made looked at. His day included a mammoth batting practice home run that dented a car beyond the center-field fence.

"It's been a dream come true, to be with a team that has the opportunity to win day in and day out and in the mix of East Coast baseball," A-Rod said. "Being born in New York it's something I take very special. Playing for the New York Yankees is the ultimate dream for everyone."

Can the enormous pressure on the 28-year-old crack him? He never has been part of the on-field rivalry between the Red Sox and Yankees, though he found himself in the middle of the off-season skirmishes. How will A-Rod react to facing Pedro Martinez in the seventh inning of a 1-1 game and runners on second and third? What will happen to his psyche if he boots a key ground ball to give a Red Sox game away in front of 50,000 at Yankee Stadium? What happens when he goes into a funk at the plate?

The answers are in the wind, but A-Rod said he is no stranger to pressure. Living up to being the first player taken in the 1993 draft put immediate pressure on him. Signing a 10-year, $252 million contract delivered more pressure. Having to find something to play for when the Rangers were eliminated in May provided a different type of pressure.

"He was the one who was going to be and who was and is," Joe Torre said of A-Rod fulfilling the greatness predicted of him coming out of high school.

"I felt enormous pressure in 2001 after signing," said A-Rod, whose contract is the largest ever in sports. "That was the most pressure I have ever felt on a field. But when you have an All-Star-type lineup it decreases the amount of pressure on the individual."

When A-Rod joins the Yankees for the first full-squad workout Tuesday, he won't be just another name with an impressive resume. Unlike in Texas, A-Rod will be surrounded by some of the best talent in the game and four players (Jeter, Bernie Williams, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada) who have four rings.

It's something that A-Rod is looking forward to.

"We all feel pressure, but I have to admit being on a last-place team and being the one guy that it's your fault that you are a last-place team, that kind of pressure is a lot more tough than this pressure of winning a World Series or being one of nine guys," A-Rod said. "I enjoy this kind of pressure a lot more than being a last-place [team]. I had enormous pressure in Texas."

He hasn't fanned with the bases drunk or booted an easy double play — and both will happen. But five whirlwind days as a Yankee haven't ruffled A-Rod one bit.


http://www.nypost.com/photos/yankslede022204.jpg

Kris
February 23rd, 2004, 05:33 AM
February 23, 2004

SPORTS OF THE TIMES

When Sold, Babe Wasn't the Babe Yet

By DAVE ANDERSON

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/02/22/sports/23YANKXLG.jpg
Alex Rodriguez stretching before Sunday's batting practice at the Yankees' minor league complex in Tampa, Fla.

AS television lights and flashbulbs illuminated Alex Rodriguez's coming-out party at Yankee Stadium last Tuesday and his arrival at spring training on Saturday, somebody would occasionally be heard saying, "I think this is bigger than Babe Ruth, I really do." Or that "this" was the Yankees' biggest moment since the Babe was acquired from the Red Sox in 1920.

Nothing could be further from the hype.

The Babe's arrival didn't provoke anything like A-Rod's introductory news conference at Yankee Stadium, for three reasons. One, the House that Ruth Built was three years from being built. Two, no television cameras, no Internet, no radio to speak of. And three, the Babe was not yet the Babe we think of now.

Adulation for the Babe has always involved his home runs and World Series moments in the 15 seasons after he joined the Yankees, not what he meant on the day he joined them.

Actually, the Babe didn't arrive in New York until nearly two months after the deal. The day it was announced, Jan. 5, 1920, he was in California playing golf and negotiating his role in a motion picture that would be shot in Haverstraw, N.Y., later that year on August mornings before he hurried back for 3 o'clock games at the Polo Grounds.

The only semblance of a news conference occurred in Boston, where the Red Sox owner, Harry Frazee, announced to baseball reporters the deal that dispatched George Herman Ruth, a 24-year-old slugger and left-handed pitcher, to the Yankees for what in that era was an exorbitant sum: $125,000, and a $300,000 loan for the mortgage on Fenway Park.

For Frazee, a New York theatrical producer who was friendly with the Yankee co-owners Jacob Ruppert and Tillinghast L'Hommedieu Huston, the Babe's departure represented good riddance.

"The price was something enormous," Frazee acknowledged that day, according to Dan Shaughnessy's book "The Curse of the Bambino" (Dutton, 1990), "but I do not care to name the figures. It was an amount the club could not afford to refuse. No other club could afford to give the amount the Yankees have paid for him, and I do not mind saying I think they are taking a gamble."

Some gamble. That word would haunt Frazee.

"I do not wish to detract one iota from Ruth's ability as a ballplayer nor from his value as an attraction," Frazee continued, "but there is no getting away from the fact that despite his 29 home runs, the Red Sox finished sixth in the race last year. What the Boston fans want, I take it, and what I want because they want it, is a winning team, rather than a one-man team that finishes in sixth place."

But without the Babe and other players Frazee gift-wrapped to the Yankees — notably the Hall of Fame pitchers Waite Hoyt, Herb Pennock and Red Ruffing, along with third baseman Joe Dugan — the Red Sox would remain in the lower half of the eight-team American League for the next 14 seasons, including nine last-place finishes.

"The other players," Frazee added, "have little incentive for great effort when the spectators can see only one man in the game, and so the one man has an upsetting influence on the others. Then again, Ruth has shown neither the Boston club nor myself, nor the Boston fans for that matter, much consideration. He has been rather selfish."

Frazee recalled that in 1919, the Babe dictated his contract, three years at $10,000 a year. And now the Babe was daring to demand $20,000 for the 1920 season.

"Ruth has been insubordinate on occasions," Frazee said, "and has insisted upon having his own way to such an extent that he endangered the discipline of the whole squad."

When the Babe was tracked down in California, he growled to reporters that Frazee was "not good enough" to own a ball club, much less the Red Sox. They had won a record 5 of the first 15 World Series, including 1916 and 1918 with Ruth as their ace pitcher and sometimes slugger. In 1919, his first season as a full-time outfielder, he batted .322 with 114 runs batted in and those 29 homers; as a part-time pitcher that season, he had a 9-5 record with a 2.97 earned run average.

"He has done more," the Babe said of Frazee, "to hurt baseball in Boston than anyone who was ever connected with the game in that city."

Quite an accurate prophecy, considering that more than eight decades later the Red Sox have yet to win another World Series. But the Babe was in no hurry to get to New York. In late February, he first returned to Boston, where he hoped to wangle from Frazee a percentage of his purchase price.

"He wouldn't even see me," the Babe said.

Eventually, on Feb. 28, the Babe arrived in New York by train at Penn Station, minutes before boarding another train taking the Yankee contingent to Jacksonville, Fla., for the start of spring training. His anticipated appearance at Penn Station prompted a few dozen fans to greet him, but soon he was on the Yankees' train, shuffling a deck of cards.

With a record 54 homers that season, he was about to get the Yankees going toward their 26 World Series championships. But the day in 1920 when the Babe finally arrived in New York on one train and boarded another for spring training, not much of a fuss was made. That's understandable. At the time, the Babe was not yet the Babe.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Jasonik
February 23rd, 2004, 10:00 AM
STEINBRENNER BUYS FENWAY PARK
Homeless Red Sox Cry Foul (http://www.borowitzreport.com/archive_rpt.asp?rec=804)

Kris
February 25th, 2004, 12:47 AM
February 25, 2004

Everyone's in Gear, Including Steinbrenner

By JACK CURRY

TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 24 — George Steinbrenner navigated his personalized GMS golf cart along a green carpet at Legends Field, creeping forward only a few feet a minute as he rambled on about everything from why reporters should stop asking Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter about their changed friendship to why the Boston Red Sox are the favorites in the American League East to why he does not think the Yankees have a steroid problem.

On the first full workout day for the Yankees, Steinbrenner, the team's principal owner, never appeared on the field. But he made enough noise to last for the rest of spring training while maneuvering his cart outside the clubhouse for 10 minutes before he stopped driving and chatted amiably for another 15.

Steinbrenner compared John Henry, the owner of the Red Sox, to the Scarecrow from "The Wizard of Oz," which was clearly a response to Henry's comparing him over the weekend to the comedian Don Rickles. And Steinbrenner, 73, who was hospitalized after fainting and hitting his head two months ago, said that other than knee pain and normal fatigue, his health is fine.

"Everybody's coming up to me, `Sign this baseball,' " Steinbrenner said. "You all think I'm going to die. You want one of the last autographs."

About 200 reporters covered Rodriguez's first official workout with the Yankees, a $180 million All-Star team of sorts, yet Steinbrenner was again a notable behind-the-scenes presence. As always. Steinbrenner spoke optimistically about the possibility of signing Manager Joe Torre to a contract extension, added that he would accept part of the blame for Torre's unhappiness last season and said that he would favor a replacement for Yankee Stadium.

"I'd love a new stadium for the fans of New York," he said. "It should be high on the mayor's wish list. We're slowly but surely getting him on our side. He's a great mayor. I know some of the polls don't say that. He's made a billion dollars. He might be the smartest man I know."

For all of the subjects Steinbrenner covered, he was most adamant when he discussed his desire to have reporters cease quizzing Rodriguez and Jeter about the tension that has existed between them. They have been peppered with questions regarding Rodriguez's critical comments about Jeter in an Esquire magazine article three years ago.

"They get tired of answering those questions," Steinbrenner said. "That's it, fellas. No more. I don't want to say, `Get out of here.' They're playing a game. Let them play baseball." He added: "I don't think it's a nonissue. I know it's a nonissue."

Perhaps Steinbrenner's mandate about a topic that he said reporters were using to try to divide the Yankees had become an organization-wide edict. "The questions about our relationship, I'm not going to answer them anymore," Jeter said Tuesday.

Steinbrenner has not yet made the same request of reporters questioning Jason Giambi and Gary Sheffield about steroids. They testified before a grand jury investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, a nutritional supplements company whose founder has been charged with distributing steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs to professional athletes.

"It hovers because I have distinct feelings about steroids," Steinbrenner said. "I was the vice president of the Olympic Committee when we put in strict things in the Olympic movement. I worry about anybody that's using them because of the aftereffects."

When Steinbrenner was asked if he thought Giambi or Sheffield was a steroid user, he said he did not think so. "They know how I feel about it, and I think they feel the same way," he said.

And though Steinbrenner tweaked Henry, he lauded the Red Sox and Theo Epstein, their general manager. Steinbrenner referred to Epstein as Esposito, the second time in less than a year that he has erred on Epstein's last name, as he was explaining why he thought the Red Sox were the favorites in the division.

"I think they've got a great lineup," he said. "I think Esposito has done a great job for them, like Cashman has done a great job for us. I think they have more stability in their pitching staff. I think we have a few question marks."

Steinbrenner admitted the Red Sox got a pitcher he wanted when they obtained Curt Schilling from the Arizona Diamondbacks, but he immediately added, "But I got Kevin Brown, so we're O.K." Steinbrenner called Brown a good No. 1 man, seemingly indicating he considered Brown the ace. That would contrast with Torre's view, because Torre has practically anointed Mike Mussina as the opening day starter.

Steinbrenner said he and Torre had an understanding about Torre's future and called him "very important to this team." Torre probably felt as recently as a month ago that he might be managing his final year with the Yankees in 2004, but it now seems inevitable that Steinbrenner will offer him an extension.

"He's got to enjoy it," Steinbrenner said. "I don't think a lot of it was enjoyable for him last year. I'll take some of the blame, but not all of it. We had other things that weren't going right in the locker room." Then, in what was surely a reference to the former bench coach Don Zimmer, Steinbrenner mentioned the current coaches and said, "You notice how happy everybody is?"

As Steinbrenner discussed how Rodriguez and Barry Bonds are probably the two best players in baseball, he referred to Bonds as Bobby Bonds, his father, three times. Since Barry Bonds and Ken Griffey Jr. are sons of former Yankees, Steinbrenner said he should have been smart enough to lock them in the Stadium until they became professional players.

Steinbrenner also called Sheffield as good an offensive player as there is in the major leagues, explained how he told his executives to sign reliever Tom Gordon because Gordon often silenced the Yankees, and said he was flattered by Henry's comparing him to Rickles because Rickles is a great talent.

When a reporter wondered if Steinbrenner planned to take Rodriguez to dinner, Steinbrenner said Rodriguez was married to a "very beautiful and brilliant girl" who should accompany him. Then Steinbrenner suggested Jeter should do it.

The usually blustery Steinbrenner seemed happy and relaxed from behind the wheel of the golf cart Tuesday. Steinbrenner said he needed the cart "to get around because I'm slowing down," but the words were coming out as fast as ever.


SPORTS OF THE TIMES

Boston Again Takes the Bumpy Road

By HARVEY ARATON

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/02/25/sports/25ARAT.jpg
Shortstop Nomar Garciaparra said he was hurt by Boston's attempt to replace him with Alex Rodriguez.

FORT MYERS, Fla.

THE star shortstop, who was traded and then not traded, worked out a day early and admitted he was insulted and hurt. The pitching ace, who doesn't have a contract for next season and may not get one, showed up several days late, with permission, and said if his team doesn't want him, fine, he'll go elsewhere.

And the slugger, who is everyone's favorite flake and, like the shortstop, wasn't even supposed to be here, according to the grand administrative plan, remained out of sight, out of left field.

Where was Manny Ramirez? Pedro Martínez said, "Manny's in la-la land."

Home, sweet, home.

Ladies and gentlemen of New England, your Boston Red Sox class officers, unchanged, unrepentant and unsure of most things with the notable exception of their continuing mission: build a bridge past the Yankees, ease Red Sox Nation's pain.

"I don't want to say it, I want to do it," said Martínez, sounding a new Red Sox war cry for 2004: Cowboy Shut Up.

So you think the Yankees have issues? You think it will be much too crowded on the left side of their infield? You think the Red Sox had the superior off-season by landing Curt Schilling and closer Keith Foulke, giving them the deeper and more reliable pitching staff?

You may be right on all counts, but do not for a moment discount the instability of the Boston star set as the potential dynamic of self-destruction, as it was in the American League Championship Series last fall. Do not forget how valiantly the scruffy Fenway ranch hands performed against the Yankees only to be thrown by the horses they were riding to glory. Do not be misled by the smiley, chatty personas of Martínez and Nomar Garciaparra here yesterday as they met the news media for the first time this spring.

Because, as Martínez warned: "Today I'm talking. Tomorrow, I'll guarantee you I won't be talking."

Granted, no pennant has ever been won by way of the press box, but beginning today, when all position players, including Ramirez, will presumably join pitchers and catchers, it will be business as usual. The Red Sox will charge out of the spring-training gate behind their new manager, Terry Francona, but also, Schilling notwithstanding, with the same old surly star leadership that has been given even more reason to be chronically cranky over the summer when the clubhouse gets hot.

Start with Garciaparra, who hid his eyes behind a pair of dark shades but could not hide his dismay over the Red Sox' conditional deal with Texas, Ramirez for Alex Rodriguez, with Garciaparra supposedly rerouted to Chicago for Magglio Ordóñez.

"I was definitely hurt by a lot of it," Garciaparra said. "I felt like anyone else would feel after spending a whole career in one organization, and you find out you've been traded and are pretty much gone over the television. That's how I found out."

Of course, the trade was struck down by the players union, leaving Ramirez and Garciaparra as the unwanted still on board, with Martínez lugging around the baggage from Game 7 of the A.L.C.S., when Grady Little surrendered the ball and his managerial career to the conceit of his arm-weary ace.

It's all become so untidy for this talented threesome, a struggle not to look back or dwell on the future. Logic tells us that the Red Sox will offer Garciaparra a long-term extension to avoid losing him to free agency after this season. He acknowledged preliminary discussions and said he would like to remain, but who would be surprised if Garciaparra played out the season and gave the Red Sox a swift kick that would make his new bride, Mia Hamm, proud?

As for Martínez, the miles on his fragile right arm may well be the Red Sox' excuse to offer a cold shoulder. They have six frontline players in the final year of their contracts, and General Manager Theo Epstein admitted yesterday that not all would return.

"Forget about what's going to happen to me," Martínez said. "I'm pretty sure I'll get another job with someone else."

Players say all the time that it's about business, but sooner or later they wear emotions, not cuff links, on their sleeves. Martínez and Garciaparra spoke enthusiastically about the new season, the pitching upgrades, but they will play for a new manager, whose closest ties are to Schilling. They will return to Boston, where the pain runs deep from the recent defeats at the hands of the Yankees, on field and off.

How soon will Martínez be allowed to forget Game 7? How many more of Ramirez's half-hearted efforts in the outfield and on the bases will be tolerated? How many times will Garciaparra be reminded of his 2003 fall slump and that he is not A-Rod?

"One bad month in eight years is better than having eight bad months in one year," he said.

Do the Red Sox appreciate that? "Everyone saw their actions," Garciaparra said. "You knew what their priorities were."

Epstein didn't want to talk about the deals that weren't, and the potential fallout. "That's not something for public discussion," he said. "I have a lot of faith in Terry Francona's ability to work with this group. By the time we leave camp, if not already, we will have a common goal of winning."

Up in Tampa, Joe Torre has already had a head start. Say what you will about the Yankees, most of their big names — Jeter, Williams, Sheffield, Matsui — have been working out, fitting in. A-Rod has given up shortstop to join them.

Manny Ramirez's la-la land it isn't, but no one ever doubts the Yankees' horses, and whether they will be in the mood to run.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
February 27th, 2004, 12:15 AM
February 27, 2004

SPORTS OF THE TIMES

Yankees Only Adding To Lack of Continuity

By HARVEY ARATON

TAMPA, Fla.

THE gulf between seasons grew much wider here yesterday when the Yankees cut ties with Aaron Boone, and a surgeon may have cost Bernie Williams center field. Hold those regular-season programs, spring training's just begun.

Even under the blue Florida sky, it's a cold, cruel Yankees reality. Williams, the widely loved, longtime fixture, was primed to fend off the challenge of Kenny Lofton until yesterday. After telling a reporter he was experiencing stomach discomfort, Williams was rushed to the hospital for an emergency appendectomy.

Manager Joe Torre estimated three weeks of recovery, resulting in a delayed start to the season for Williams. So long, job security, and thanks for the memories.

At least Williams will get paid. Boone is on his own, a free agent on crutches.

Hero today, gone tomorrow. That sums up his short stay in pinstripes. Boone beat the Red Sox with a pennant-clinching home run in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series, then tore up his knee playing winter pickup hoops. With Boone in violation of his $5.75 million contract, the Yankees had the ingenious idea of replacing him with the best player in baseball.

"Though he didn't hit in the World Series, struggling from the time we got him, he wasn't afraid," Torre said. "You can put him up right with Bucky Dent."

In other words: So long, Sox killer, and thanks for the memory.

Another day, another deletion. The Yankees, months removed from the Series, will begin the season with four new position players in the lineup. Make it five if Travis Lee — a free agent signed earlier in the week, in case you blinked — opens at first base with Jason Giambi as the designated hitter. There will also be four new starters in the rotation and two new bullpen recruits to go with all those imported late last season.

Anyone counting? Anyone care?

"I think Yankee fans do care," said Derek Jeter, one of four remaining Yankees from the last championship team, in 2000. "I think they are especially loyal to the players they follow."

Maybe they are, but the more changes George Steinbrenner makes, the more tickets he sells. Who would have predicted this 20 years ago when radical player movement was said to be the end of professional sports as we had known it, and maybe the end of pro sports?

Yankee fans did bark when the homegrown Andy Pettitte left, but they purred when Javier Vazquez came. No one but Jeter so much as mentioned Alfonso Soriano when he was shipped out for Alex Rodriguez. Our guys, the other guys, they are all interchangeable, depending on the need of the week.

"If we weren't winning as much, it might be different," the bench coach Willie Randolph said. "People get past feeling like they need to identify with players because winning gives them something else to think about."

That's part of it, but there's more, relating not only to the Yankees. In this high-tech, freewheeling world of diverse lifestyles and entertainment options, sports have become a reflection of fans flipping away at home to their heart's content.

Jeter made this connection when he said: "When I was growing up, the only chance we had to see other players besides our home team was on `This Week in Baseball.' Now you've got ESPN games, satellite, the highlights. With all the media coverage, you feel like you know all the players."

No one's a stranger anymore. Young fans are especially conditioned to the team hopping, the player swapping. N.F.L. players switch uniforms at a dizzying pace. Isiah Thomas remakes the Knicks in a week and a half. Coaches come and go like commuters. The so-called student-athlete becomes just the athlete after a year of so-called amateur competition.

"Change is inevitable," Joe Girardi, back with the Yankees as a reserve catcher or a house broadcaster after a four-year absence. "My first year I was scrutinized, booed, because so many people loved Mike Stanley."

Girardi's point: by the end of that season, 1996, they sure weren't booing him when he hit that huge triple off Greg Maddux in Game 6 of the World Series.

Similarly, for one night in October, there was no bigger Yankee than Aaron Boone. Then again, had he put his bat on the ball against Florida's Braden Looper in the 11th inning of Game 4 with the lead run on third and the bases loaded, one out, and Mariano Rivera ready in the bullpen, the Yankees would probably have won the World Series, too.

General Manager Brian Cashman, who had to break the news to Boone by phone and didn't relish the chore, nonetheless said it would have been foolish to keep Boone on the payroll, to surrender to sentimentality based on one home run.

When Cashman was a kid, he rooted for the Dodgers. "They had the same infield for eight years — Garvey, Lopes, Russell and Cey," Cashman said. But that was a long time ago. That the Yankees of 1996 to 2001 had a most identifiable nucleus was, Jeter said, "a credit to our owner; we were spoiled."

Aaron Boone, a one-hit wonder, was never a part of that, and for his winter blunder, he got the boot. With A-Rod here, Boone won't be mourned or missed. Conversely, Bernie Williams, a career-long Yankee who has always had a stomach for big games, got a bad break. If there is any sentiment left in sports, let it be saved for him. If he is going to lose his job, let it happen on the field.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

ZippyTheChimp
February 27th, 2004, 10:17 AM
BIG difference between Aaron Boone (and to a lesser extent Soriano) and Bernie Williams.

As evident to any Yankee fan, Williams is part of the core group that was here at the beginning of the run in '96. The others are Jeter, Posada, and Mariano. Although a player of great talent and potential, Soriano's departure is not the same as that of Pettitte, another original.

Others in that group are David Cone (who started it with that '96 series win in Atlanta, with the Yanks down 2 games to none), Paul O'Neill, Tino Martinez, and Chuck Knoblach.

Kris
February 28th, 2004, 09:56 PM
February 29, 2004

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS

Better Hide That Red Sox Cap Now That A-Rod Is Back in Town

By SETH KUGEL

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/02/29/nyregion/arod.184.jpg
A-ROD: The prodigal home run hitter returns to his birth city.

Things can get heated in Washington Heights when the Yankees battle the Boston Red Sox, who feature Dominican superstars like the local favorite Manny Ramirez and the pitching ace Pedro Martínez. The neighborhood has long had a subversive streak, with a vocal Dominican-American minority forming a fifth column of Red Sox Nation deep in enemy territory.

The arrival of Dominican-American megastar Alex Rodriguez, however, may test their Red Sox loyalty. A-Rod has only tenuous Washington Heights connections - he was born there, but moved to Florida as a preschooler - but that may be enough. The Spanish-language newspaper El Diario declared: "Washington Heights Waits for the Idol," described the neighborhood as "Alex's Barrio," and predicted that the building where he lived will become a destination for baseball pilgrims.

Rodriguez, who will play third base for the Yanks, does put up the numbers that create pilgrims. He was the American League's most valuable player last year, and has led the league in homers each of the last three seasons. In interviews, many local Yankees fans claimed they had been devoted Rodriguez fans forever, even as he played out of the limelight for the struggling Texas Rangers.

But they are not all telling the truth, according to Andres Zorrilla, the owner of Audubon Flats Fixed, a tire-repair shop half a block from A-Rod's first home on West 183rd Street. "Now that he has gone to the Yankees, his fame has expanded," Mr. Zorrilla said. "Before, Manny Ramirez was much more frequently mentioned."

You practically trip over Ramirez's high school classmates here, while people with connections to A-Rod are rare. "He doesn't even remember living here too well," said Eduardo Gutierrez, a friend of the Rodriguez family.

Still, it is Rodriguez's time, and many have found reasons to love both him and his work ethic. "People adore A-Rod because Manny has a very bad attitude," said Juan Carlos Ramirez, a former baseball player at George Washington High School, Ramirez's alma mater.

On Thursday, even Mayor Bloomberg got into the act, declaring Rodriguez the greatest economic development project ever to come out of Washington Heights.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
March 6th, 2004, 04:52 PM
March 6, 2004

Rodriguez Says He Feels as if He's at Disney World

By JACK CURRY

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/03/06/sports/yonks.large.jpg
Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez tagging out the Phillies' Jimmy Rollins, who was trying to advance from first on a hit to left field by Jason Michaels in the first inning.

TAMPA, Fla., March 5 — Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter glided along the blue-carpeted hallway connecting the trainer's room to the clubhouse at Legends Field on Friday, moving like two high school jocks bound for the weight room. Rodriguez was a stride ahead, but he kept turning toward Jeter, kept working at ensuring that the conversation was on an equal level.

It was an hour before they jogged onto the field for the first time together as Yankees. By then, Jeter was ahead of Rodriguez by a stride. The rest of the Yankees waited a second or two before following them. Whether the delay was by design or not, it was fitting.

The real debut of the marquee left side of the infield will come in the season opener later this month, but the first dress rehearsal was still notable. Everything that Rodriguez and Jeter have done in spring training has been scrutinized, so finally seeing them side by side at third base and shortstop was an event.

"It's like being at the All-Star Game, pretty much," first baseman Jason Giambi said. "Standing out there at first base, flipping it out to those guys, it's pretty incredible seeing them both over there. It's going to be a lot of fun this year, no doubt about it."

The fun started with an exhibition game. Rodriguez handled a variety of plays smoothly, and Kenny Lofton, Jeter and Rodriguez all reached base before Giambi hit a grand slam. A six-run third inning helped the Yankees beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 7-5.

As relieved as Giambi was to hit a homer off the left-hander Victor Alvarez — and temporarily steer the discussion away from performance-enhancing drugs — this might have been the first time in baseball history that a runner was happier about circling the bases than a batter. That smiling runner was Rodriguez.

"When I was rounding there, I asked myself, `Where am I?' " Rodriguez said. "I felt like I was in Disney World."

On a day when the Yankees had the Hall of Famers Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford and Reggie Jackson in uniform, had parachutists land on the field, had a jet fly by and had two fireworks displays, maybe the little boy in Rodriguez was allowed to feel as if he were 71 miles away in Orlando.

"It's pretty exciting," Rodriguez said. "I can't talk enough about the Yankees and what the Boss has built here. I'm caught in the middle of it and I just hope that I have a good seven years here."

Rodriguez barely had time to perspire before Doug Glanville lashed Kevin Brown's second pitch of the game to third. Rodriguez backed up to try to field the chopper on a better hop, caught it near his chest and made a sidearm throw to first. Jimmy Rollins tried to test Rodriguez by bunting the next pitch, but he fouled it off. Rodriguez said charging in for the attempted bunt was the only time he felt uneasy.

Rodriguez admitted that he never saw Jason Michaels's bullet down the third-base line later in the first, saying, "I don't think I can get that one in 200 games." Left fielder Hideki Matsui made a superb throw to Rodriguez to nail Rollins trying to take an extra base.

After Rodriguez's busy first inning, he fielded two other grounders in the next four innings. Michaels smacked a shot that glanced off the palm of Rodriguez's glove, but Rodriguez kept the ball in front of him and easily recorded the out. It was only five innings, but it was a solid start for the new third baseman.

"You look out there and you watch him and it's good body language," Manager Joe Torre said. "He's got a language to his body that looks like he's ready to play."

Torre added, "He's too good an athlete to have a problem over there."

The Yankees offered a glimpse of how devastating their lineup could be. Lofton walked, Jeter singled and Rodriguez walked off Kevin Millwood. Millwood fell behind Rodriguez, 3-0, but Rodriguez never thought about taking a free hack because he believes in the power of patience. The count stretched to 3-2 before Millwood walked Rodriguez.

"I think you grind out at-bats; it's something that has a residual effect," Rodriguez said. "I like working the count. The more pitches you see, the better."

The results could not have been better for the Yankees. Giambi pounded a pitch from Alvarez to right center. Giambi was the splashy player the Yankees added before the 2002 season, but he said the attention he received was minimal compared with what had been showered on Rodriguez.

Jeter said: "Every year, it seems like we get some new guys to draw some buzz around the team. This year, it's probably a little bit more."

Who might the Yankees add next year? Jeter paused before saying "Nomar," playfully tossing one more All-Star shortstop into the already crowded infield at baseball's version of Disney World.

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/03/06/sports/06YANKS.jpg
The Yankees' Alex Rodriguez, left, and Derek Jeter during a pitching change Friday.

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/03/06/sports/06AROD.jpg
A ground ball off the bat of the Phillies' Doug Glanville eluding new Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez on Friday.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
March 6th, 2004, 10:48 PM
March 7, 2004

SPORTS OF THE TIMES

Yankees' Best Move: Torre Through 2006

By DAVE ANDERSON

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/03/07/sports/07torre.jpg
In Joe Torre's eight seasons as manager, the Yanks have won four World Series and six pennants.

THE best thing to happen to the Yankees so far this year is not the presence of Alex Rodriguez at third base, as important as that is expected to be. The best thing to happen to the Yankees so far this year is the apparent assurance that Joe Torre will be the manager through the 2006 season.

Although the terms of Torre's two-year extension have not been made final, George Steinbrenner has obviously approved its parameters by assigning Steve Swindal, his son-in-law and a Yankees general partner, to complete the details.

Yankees loyalists should not worry that Torre's new deal will collapse. What Steinbrenner, the Yankees' principal owner, hath put together, no underling would dare put asunder — especially an underling who is that principal owner's son-in-law.

In the Yankees' front office, the principal owner's wishes are the son-in-law's command. Not that Torre's job security should ever be shaky. In his eight seasons as manager, the Yankees have won four World Series and six American League pennants. But he knew that no matter how successful, Yankees managers have come and gone during the principal owner's tenure.

"I wasn't even planning on thinking about it," Torre said Thursday, referring to an extension of his three-year, $16.5 million contract, which expires after this season. "But they presented it to me early on, and all of a sudden I started thinking, `Maybe they're not tired of me yet.' "

Nor should "they," alias the principal owner, ever tire of him, but Torre knows that someday "they" surely will tire of him, just as in other eras the Yankees' management tired of Casey Stengel and Joe McCarthy, each of whom managed seven World Series winners.

Despite the loss of the Yankees' last two World Series, to the Florida Marlins last year and to the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001, maybe the principal owner finally realized how important Torre has been to the continuity of the Yankees' overall success. Maybe he also realized that if Torre were free to leave after this season, the hated Red Sox might pounce on him.

Imagine if Torre were the manager of a Red Sox team that exorcised the Curse of the Bambino by winning a World Series for the first time since 1918 — Steinbrenner couldn't risk the humiliation of knowing he had allowed that to happen.

Steinbrenner, like any bully, also developed a new respect for Torre when Torre, at a Yankees organizational meeting in Tampa, Fla., shortly after the World Series, confronted him about how the principal owner's meddling had been more public last season than in the past.

"I talked about some of the things I didn't appreciate, as far as some of the statements and things that went on all year," Torre said at the time. "It was basically a one-sided conversation. The fact is, I said something I needed to say and did it, I like to believe, in a diplomatic way."

One reason for Torre's longevity in the Yankee dugout has been his wisdom in keeping the principal owner's complaints to himself. Other managers, notably Billy Martin, talked openly about those complaints, which only tossed gasoline on the flames.

Torre, as quietly tough as they come, has also never been afraid of the principal owner's firing him. He knows what being fired is. As the manager of the Mets, the Braves and the Cardinals, he was eventually fired, as virtually all managers are sooner or later. But even when Torre decided that he wanted to continue managing the Yankees past this season, he wisely waited to see if "they" wanted him.

"I didn't want to do it last year," Torre said, "because I didn't want to put pressure on them, knowing that, publicly, they were probably stuck to do that. I did not want that to happen, because I wanted to know they wanted me here first."

When "they" acknowledged wanting him, Torre suddenly had the leverage to seek the two-year extension for his cushioned seat and cup of green tea in the Yankee dugout. He knows how to manage the game. He knows how to manage ballplayers. More important, he knows how to manage the Yankees' principal owner. And he knows where he always wants to be in October.

"It never gets old," he said during last year's World Series. "It can't. It's always different. My wife asked, `Let's walk away after '96; you got the World Series ring and all that.' But once you do it, you get the taste of it, you never take it for granted. The more you do it, the more satisfying and the better you feel about yourself, that you're able to do it. Because it's not easy to do."

Even with a two-year extension.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

maroualle
March 8th, 2004, 02:37 AM
Go yanks....

http://nytimes.com/2004/03/08/sports/baseball/08YANK.html

(u see zippy?)

Kris
March 8th, 2004, 06:42 AM
March 8, 2004

YANKEES 11, RED SOX 7

Let the Jeering Begin

By TYLER KEPNER

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/03/08/sports/08YANKS.jpg
Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra greeted the man who almost took his job this winter, Alex Rodriguez, who is now playing third for the Yankees.

FORT MYERS, Fla., March 7 — A zealous fan with an independent T-shirt business approached the Boston Red Sox' president, Larry Lucchino, at City of Palms Park on Sunday morning. She gave Lucchino her business card and tried to sell him a shirt with Evil Empire printed on it.

"I may buy a couple," said Lucchino, who has applied the term to the Yankees. "Christmas gifts."

It's beginning to look a lot like baseball season. The Yankees met the Red Sox for the first time in 143 days, since Aaron Boone's famous homer touched down in the left-field seats in the Bronx. This was not October, not with a minor leaguer in the starting lineup and Mariano Rivera jogging in the outfield in the fourth inning. But it was a rivalry renewed, with feisty fans, about 250 members of the news media and $6 commemorative pins for sale.

The fans booed Alex Rodriguez, the novice third baseman who nearly joined the Red Sox in December. They jeered Derek Jeter when he made a throwing error on the first play in the bottom of the first inning. But Jeter later thumped a homer to center field, helping the Yankees take an 11-7 victory before an overflow crowd of 7,304.

Rodriguez hit two sharp grounders to shortstop, beating one out for an infield single, and he handled his only chance in his three innings in the field. He left the park in the middle of the game after addressing a swarm of reporters for the second time Sunday.

"I think it's going to settle down," Rodriguez said, referring to the steady hype that has followed since his arrival three weeks ago. "I think the major craziness is behind us, and hopefully it'll taper down. We have a great team, so we can diversify the attention among 25 great players and a great manager, too."

But Rodriguez is the focal point for now, along with Jeter, the captain who stayed at shortstop when Rodriguez joined the team. After booing Rodriguez his first time up, the fans eased off in his second at-bat. Rodriguez was not about to criticize the fans, some of whom camped out all night for standing-room tickets.

"The Boston fans are incredible," he said. "A lot of New York fans were here, too. I just think East Coast fans are the best in baseball."

Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra, whose job Rodriguez sought before the players union vetoed his trade to Boston, hugged Rodriguez before the game. Garciaparra also hugged the Yankees' manager, Joe Torre, as well as Jeter, who has joked that the Yankees should sign Garciaparra next season and move him to second base. Garciaparra left the scene after that, missing the game with a bruised right heel.

The Yankees did not bring Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield or Hideki Matsui, but they televised the game on the YES Network, and Lucchino noted that they used Rivera and other prominent players. "So it seems like they came to win, even though it's March 7," he said.

The Yankees never apologize for winning. Rick Cerrone, the team's media relations director, pointed that out in a heated argument with a part-time Red Sox employee, Dave McHugh, in the players' parking lot when they got in each other's way. Cerrone noted that he worked for the "American League champion New York Yankees" and chided McHugh, who had pushed him, as a "typical Boston Red Sox employee."

The Yankees won their third game in a row after losing their spring opener. They have scored 32 runs in the last three games, pummeling pitchers who will probably start the season in the minor leagues.

Bronson Arroyo held the Yankees to one hit in the first three innings, but Jason Shiell gave up six runs in the fourth and the former Yankee Ed Yarnall allowed four in the sixth.

The Yankees' starter, José Contreras, whose signing in December 2002 inspired Lucchino's "evil empire" comment, looked shaky. He gave up four runs in two innings, and, though three were unearned because of Jeter's error, the Red Sox hit him hard. Contreras repeatedly fell behind in the count and was forced to throw fastballs. The Red Sox pounced on him for five hits, including a homer by Pokey Reese.

"He struggled a lot with his control, and with a team that hits the fastball as well as the Red Sox do, you just don't get away with it," Torre said.

At least Contreras was healthy. Bothered by lower back stiffness last week, he said he felt fine Sunday but simply had little command. "I had good control in the bullpen," Contreras said through an interpreter. "When I got on the mound, I was strong, but I left it up in the zone and they connected."

Torre and his Red Sox counterpart, Terry Francona, said they focused on the game and not the buzz in the stands. "If you told me that if we won this game, it would count, then I'd really get caught up in it," Francona said.

But the hoopla was hard to miss, Francona conceded, and it was far from the quaint atmosphere that makes spring training so romantic. On the bus, Torre said, he turned to the pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre and Yogi Berra and asked them a simple question, "Remember the days when you used to just go play a spring training game and nobody really cared?"

Those days are gone, at least when the Yankees and the Red Sox get together. They play one more time, at Legends Field on March 24, before their regular-season wars begin April 16 at Fenway Park.

"Nothing from spring training ends up on the back of your bubble-gum card," said the Yankees' Tony Clark, who homered twice Sunday. "But as much as anything else, you just know these two teams are going to be going head to head for a good chunk of the year."


SPORTS OF THE TIMES

Newest Mind Games in So-Called Game 8

By GEORGE VECSEY

FORT MYERS, Fla.

FRATERNIZATION in vivid daylight: Nomar Garciaparra, wearing a bright-red warm-up shirt, meandered over to the batting cage and began hugging Yankees — Joe Torre, Jorge Posada, Ruben Sierra, Derek Jeter.

He even found Alex Rodriguez taking grounders at third base and hugged him, too.

"Nomah," one fan shouted in horrified Boston patois. "Don't do that!"

A Yankee fan taunted, "There's next year's second baseman," repeating the sick joke that Garciaparra, too, might switch positions and join the filthy-rich Yankees in the near future.

As might be expected, the fans were not touched by gestures of solidarity among colleagues who have not seen each other since around midnight on Oct. 16.

If anything, the rivalry has become even nastier because of certain events between these two organizations last fall and over the winter.

"A-Rod only adds to it," Torre said.

Last year, the Yankees and the Red Sox met 26 times, more than any two teams had ever played in one season. And the matter was not settled until very late in the 26th game, in, as Torre noted, extra innings.

"Hey, Derek, how long before you're playing third base?" one Boston fan, perched behind the Yankees' dugout, asked.

This is clearly a major theme of the verbal abuse to be directed from Boston fans toward Jeter this season, with those fans trying to drive a wedge between Jeter and his old buddy Rodriguez, now playing a few yards to Jeter's right.

The relationship between Jeter and Rodriguez will be exploited in vile and personal ways. The fans booed Jeter hard during introductions and they booed Rodriguez even more.

"Every year, it's something new," Jeter said while the Yanks wrapped up an anticlimactic 11-7 victory.

The fans jeered as Jeter made a throwing error, after tracking down Gabe Kapler's grounder up the middle, on the very first play. The error led to three unearned runs, which added to the fans' glee. Jeter also whacked a two-run homer, Rodriguez shook his hand at home plate, and the Boston fans jeered.

"It's always interesting when you play Boston," Jeter said, totally deadpan. "The fans are into it."

Rodriguez, asked about his personal noise-o-meter for the day's razzing, said: "I get booed so often, I can't even gauge. I'll know more by the end of the summer."

Yesterday became the instant cliché of Game 8, with Red Sox players like Manny Ramirez and Kevin Millar talking up the theory as they reported to work.

The Yankees smirked at the very concept of a winner-take-all replay. They have their pennant. The Red Sox have their pain. And the dialogue commences all over again, meaner than ever.

"Hopefully, there will be another Game 7 — and we'll be in it," Jeter said.

Jeter understands that Red Sox fans normally try to play with his agile mind and that it will be infinitely worse this season because of A-Rod. Not only did Rodriguez not join the Red Sox, but he also exposed Garciaparra to being expendable, which left hard feelings, at least with the fans. That entire tango only makes it easier for Boston fans to blame the Yankees.

Harry Seaholm of Natick, Mass., who was wearing a vintage Williams 9 shirt yesterday, muttered something that was close to being "damn Yankees."

Seaholm has been around. He says he can remember the late 30's, and soon after when Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, Johnny Pesky and Dominic DiMaggio first became teammates.

"I was over it after a couple of weeks," said Harry's brother, Ray Seaholm of Franklin, Mass., who was wearing a vintage Doerr 1 jersey.

"We've been down this road before," Ray Seaholm said, adding, "It wasn't as bad as Bill Buckner," referring to the ghastly fumble that killed the Sox in 1986.

The Boston fans have had all winter to dwell on the most recent insult. The Marshall family from Orange, Mass., is still twitching from watching Grady Little's unproductive stroll to the mound late on Oct. 16.

"Aaaargh," said son, Andrew, wearing a Hillenbrand 29 shirt.

"We were sure Grady was going to bring in Mike Timlin," recalled mother Kim, wearing a Red Sox Nation shirt.

"I'm glad A-Rod didn't come over," said father Chris, wearing a Lowe 32 shirt. "I like Nomar."

The family hit the jackpot via the Internet in early January, being allowed to buy a three-game ticket package that included this meeting with the Yankees in the early days of spring training.

Tickets for this game were being offered at $500 on eBay, which did not exist when Joe Torre began managing a quarter-century ago.

"Remember when we just played spring training games and nobody cared?" Torre asked a couple of older cronies.

It's all different now. The stakes are higher. Memories are reinforced by midwinter flashbacks of Pedro and Zim, the desperate makeshift Yankee bullpen, Aaron Boone's midnight ramble.

Now it begins all over again, 19 more games, maybe 7 more after that. Game 8 is over. It's a new and probably even nastier season.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

ZippyTheChimp
March 8th, 2004, 08:29 AM
A zealous fan with an independent T-shirt business approached the Boston Red Sox' president, Larry Lucchino, at City of Palms Park on Sunday morning. She gave Lucchino her business card and tried to sell him a shirt with Evil Empire printed on it.

T-shirt seen at the game:

AARON
%#$*&^@
BOONE

Kris
March 9th, 2004, 08:09 AM
March 9, 2004

Rodriguez's Sweet Swing Is Nothing New

By JACK CURRY

TAMPA, Fla., March 8 — Doug Mientkiewicz was the first Minnesota player to amble onto the field as the Yankees took batting practice Monday at Legends Field. He sat beside the batting cage as if he owned the plot of grass and studied Alex Rodriguez's sweet swing.

"It looked like he didn't even swing," Mientkiewicz said after Rodriguez flicked a ball effortlessly to the right-field gap. "He's the best."

Mientkiewicz knows that swing better than anyone else within 300 miles because he and Rodriguez were teammates at Westminster Christian High School in Miami. Their 1992 team was so talented that it was USA Today's top-ranked team and so deep that a dozen players were offered Division I scholarships, seven were picked in the amateur draft and three reached the major leagues.

As difficult as it might be to fathom, Mientkiewicz, a senior that year, a year ahead of Rodriguez, said they were not even the two best players for Westminster in that glorious season.

"I consider him the same tall, skinny kid I played high school baseball with," Mientkiewicz said. "I've never really asked him for anything. I try to keep it as level as I can when we see each other."

Part of the reason Mientkiewicz looked so comfortable watching Rodriguez hit is that he had spent endless days doing the same thing in his backyard batting cage. Rodriguez and the other Westminster players turned the Mientkiewicz residence into their private practice field.

Day or night, weekday or weekend, Mientkiewicz said Rodriguez and several other teammates would arrive with their aluminum bats. They would not stop at the front door; they would go straight to the cage, turning one invitation to take some hacks into an open invitation.

"Alex was always at my house," Mientkiewicz said. "Our whole group was pretty close-knit. My house was the flophouse. Even if I didn't go out with those guys one night, they'd be there when I got home."

Rodriguez was the quarterback and Mientkiewicz a tight end as Westminster nearly won a state football championship, a disappointing experience that inspired them to dominate in baseball a few months later, Rodriguez said. They did so in their only season together, Mientkiewicz having transferred to Westminster for his senior year.

"Those were great times," Rodriguez said. "We were all 15, 16 years old, and we were playing sports all year-round. We went from football to basketball to baseball. That's all a kid wants to do."

Mientkiewicz, now a 29-year-old Gold Glove first baseman, was a catcher in high school, and Rodriguez, 28, now an apprentice third baseman, played shortstop.

Mientkiewicz said Rodriguez's excellence struck him only after he graduated.

Mientkiewicz was at Florida State when he realized that some good college shortstops could not even get a glove on the shots that Rodriguez fielded flawlessly. Rodriguez, the first player selected in the 1993 amateur draft, was making intricate plays routinely as a 16-year-old.

"You knew he was good, but how good was he?" Mientkiewicz said. "You just couldn't put it into words."

In Minnesota's 13-2 victory over the Yankees on Monday, Mientkiewicz reached third base and said something to Rodriguez that made him smile.

Although Mientkiewicz said they did not talk much these days, he added that they pick up the dialogue like old buddies whenever they see each other. Dan Perkins, another Westminster teammate, pitched for the Twins in 1999.

Mientkiewicz predicted that the scrutiny in New York would not affect Rodriguez because he had been "under the microscope since he was 15 years old."

As superb a player as Rodriguez is, Mientkiewicz said, he has a supporting cast and can pile up staggering statistics.

"This is probably where he wanted to play all along," Mientkiewicz said. "It's kind of hard to say A-Rod won't be the focal point of the lineup, but he's got so many guys around him now. He can be one of the guys."

To Mientkiewicz, Rodriguez will always be the kid who devoured sports and "always said the right thing and did the right thing."

While baseball's king of cool now wears Armani suits, Mientkiewicz said, he was once fashion-challenged.

"He thought he had style, but he didn't have style," Mientkiewicz said. "He'd come over to go out and we'd tell him he wasn't wearing that shirt. I'd have him take something from my closet. Now we're the exact opposite. Now I'm looking at him, like, let me wear that one time."

Rodriguez smiled at Mientkiewicz's playful barbs and called him the king of quotes. But Rodriguez did not seem eager to lend Mientkiewicz any Armani in exchange for the free batting sessions.

"Doug cannot talk about style," Rodriguez said. "That's one thing he can't talk about."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
March 13th, 2004, 08:52 PM
March 14, 2004

Steinbrenner Rift Distanced Torre in 2003

By TYLER KEPNER

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/03/14/sports/torr.184.jpg
The Yankees and Joe Torre could agree to a new two-year contract before the team breaks camp on March 25.

TAMPA, Fla., March 13 — The people closest to Joe Torre did not know the depths of his misery last season. They knew only that something was off about Torre, the Yankees' manager. His brother, Frank, said he looked haggard and preoccupied at times. His wife, Ali, never knew what bothered him the most.

"I was really surprised that he felt that he wasn't wanted," Ali Torre said this week. "He didn't ever communicate that to me. I thought, how could they not want him, with all that he's achieved? I never even thought that was an issue. There must have been a big communication breakdown between him and upper management."

There was, and it threatened to break up Torre and the Yankees, or — worse for George Steinbrenner, the principal owner — drive Torre to another team. That's what Frank Torre said he thought might happen after this season, the last on his brother's contract.

"I didn't think he was going to give it up, but I wasn't so sure if he would manage here," Frank Torre said this week in the Yankees' dugout at Legends Field. "He definitely wanted to continue managing."

Before the Yankees' first spring training game, Torre had another surprise for his family: he decided that he wanted to stay. Before the Yankees break camp on March 25, Torre and the team expect to have a two-year contract agreement that will keep him in pinstripes through 2006. Steve Swindal, a Yankees general partner and the son-in-law of Steinbrenner, said Torre would remain the highest-paid manager in baseball.

It is a sudden turnaround for Torre, who won his sixth American League pennant last year in eight seasons with the Yankees but had little fun doing it. Steinbrenner's public criticism of the coaching staff in December 2002 stung Torre, who took it as a veiled personal attack. The cold war that followed left Torre thinking it was almost time to go.

"I don't care how successful and how good things are, sometimes it just runs its course," Torre said. "And I sort of looked at it that way. They couldn't take anything away from me as far as how I felt about myself. But I certainly want the environment to be cooperative and friendly and trusting."

Don Zimmer, Torre's bench coach and confidant, was a casualty of the feud, resigning after the World Series as a result of his bitterness with Steinbrenner. The players saw that Zimmer was gone and wondered if Torre would leave next.

"I think we all didn't know," Jason Giambi said. "It was going to be interesting this year to see what was going to happen. I know last year wasn't easy for him. I used to tease him. I used to go up and give him a hug every day, see if he needed a hug.

"But it's been fun walking into his office since we've gotten here. He's got big smiles; he's excited. It's fun to see that gleam."

Torre had told his family that he would manage this season — the final year on his three-year, $16.5 million deal — then decide whether to continue. But on Feb. 16, Steinbrenner approached Torre at the Yankees' minor league complex and asked if he planned to come back.

It was the day the trade for Alex Rodriguez became official, and Steinbrenner was in a buoyant mood. He greeted Torre at the Tampa airport the next day, after Torre flew back from the Rodriguez news conference in New York. He visited Torre again in his office the next day. The addition of Rodriguez seemed to restore the spirit of both men.

"That Rodriguez trade, if you're human, it's like getting a pint of blood," Frank Torre said. "It's got to hype you up quite a bit."

Steinbrenner said through his publicist, Howard Rubenstein, that he had always supported Torre and believed that they shared the same goals. "Even though there might have been some bumps in the road, he's the right guy to come back," Steinbrenner said.

Whatever Steinbrenner's impetus for approaching Torre, the gesture made an enormous impact. The two had almost no communication in 2003, and Torre remembered only one visit by Steinbrenner to his office, the day after six Houston Astros pitchers combined for a no-hitter at Yankee Stadium. The silent treatment wore on Torre.

"There were times, even under the best conditions — the team was in first place — that he would be very distant," Frank Torre said. "You could tell there were things bothering him, and that's unusual. When he's around his uniform and around the ballpark, that's almost his home. That's his life."

Steinbrenner was not the only one responsible for the icy relationship; Torre let the problems fester. Ali Torre remembers asking him to reach out, to make the first move. It was Joe's profession, she recalls thinking, and she did not push the issue. But she knew the silence was unhealthy.

"I didn't understand how you carry on a business that way, without communicating with the person who's working for you and you're working for," she said. "I think it caused a lot of added, unnecessary stress."

Torre, 63, is five years removed from prostate cancer surgery. He works out five days a week during the season, drinks green tea, watches his diet and says he understands the dangers of stress. But, he said, "I get involved in the baseball season, and I really don't think in terms of what it's doing to me."

Torre's family worried for him. Late in the season, Ali Torre said, she sensed her husband's frustration and worried about the toll the stress was taking.

"I suggested he consider stepping down or quitting, because his health is the most important thing," she said. "I just suggested he think about it, maybe go to a less stressful situation than New York where he wouldn't have the demands he has here. Just think about other options."

Torre has often said that if he were to retire, he would not have the chance to come back. That is debatable: the Marlins' Jack McKeon is older than Torre and came out of retirement to beat him in the last World Series. But Torre said he would have considered leaving for another job if he found that he still enjoyed managing in 2004.

One option Torre did not take is a power play. Steinbrenner's criticism of the coaches was the closest he could come to a direct swipe at Torre, who is widely perceived to be untouchable, even by a famously rash owner. Torre could have campaigned for an extension and probably received it, but he wanted Steinbrenner to make the first move.

Now that Torre is extending his stay, he is charged with guiding the star power Steinbrenner has added to the clubhouse. The roster will include 12 players added since October, including the established All-Stars Rodriguez, Gary Sheffield, Kevin Brown and Kenny Lofton.

Torre's résumé as a player — he was the 1971 National League most valuable player — and as a manager gives him obvious credibility with new players. But he earns their respect with his management style.

"He's got the ability to get his best players to play," said Scotty Bowman, who won nine Stanley Cups as an N.H.L. coach and visited Torre in Tampa last month. "As a coach or a manager, you know that your best players have to be out on the field or the ice. You don't have to pal around with them, but you have to have a good working relationship. The great players need help sometimes."

Giambi, for one, has been dealing with questions about his link to a steroid scandal. Torre pulled Giambi aside early in camp and talked to him about it, a gesture that Giambi said "means a ton."

Torre said his job was easier because the new players chose to play in New York. Sheffield and Lofton were free agents, and Rodriguez and Brown waived no-trade clauses. Sheffield immediately impressed Torre by pointing to his World Series ring and saying he wanted one. When Torre reminded Sheffield he had a ring from the 1997 Marlins, Sheffield said he wanted one with the NY logo.

"They're confident people, they have egos, but in order to want to come to the Yankees, the purpose is winning," Torre said. "Being associated with a winner is very important to them, and that has to come from within. I have nothing to do with that."

Even if Torre achieves clubhouse harmony — and there are no early signs of fractures — the mandate is always a championship. Anything less could provoke Steinbrenner into more mind games and cause Torre the kind of stress that so worried his family. Torre and his wife have a young daughter, Andrea, and Ali might have expected to have her husband home by now. But she would never ask him to give up his career, she said, under one condition. "As long as he can manage the stress, I'm fine," she said.

Steinbrenner said his relationship with Torre was as strong as ever, but he has made no promises that he will change. High anxiety is part of the job for any Yankees manager, even one as powerful as Torre.

But the question that caused him the most stress has been answered, and will be confirmed when Torre signs his new contract. The job may be hazardous to his health, but as Torre soaks in the good vibes from an unrelenting boss, there is no place he would rather be.

"I'm not worried about it; it'll get done," Torre said. "But it doesn't concern me and I'm not questioning whether they want me here. I'm pretty comfortable with that."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
April 16th, 2004, 06:30 PM
April 16, 2004

Someone New for Red Sox Fans to Boo

By JACK CURRY

Alex Rodriguez wanted to play for the Boston Red Sox and feel the passion that permeates every nook and cranny of Fenway Park and most nooks and crannies of the city. Rodriguez was prepared to surrender $28 million to restructure his contract, escape his bleak existence with the Texas Rangers and call Boston his baseball home.

But an unfathomable path detoured Rodriguez from being traded to the Red Sox and turned him into a Yankee. Rodriguez will get to experience the passion of Boston fans this season, but it will not be in the form he once desired. It will be in a verbal volcano of scorn, starting tonight, when the teams meet for the first time.

A-Rod could have been one of us, the Red Sox fans say, but now he is one of those despicable Yankees. Once that happened, regardless of Boston's missteps in allowing it to happen, Rodriguez became the latest, greatest pariah in pinstripes.

"That's basically the indoctrination when you wear this uniform," Manager Joe Torre said. "There's no gray area. They either love you or hate you."

Bet hate on Rodriguez. Bet big. Rodriguez is still so new to this rivalry that he actually used "we" while discussing the Red Sox and the possibility that he might have been playing for them this weekend.

Rodriguez figured he would replace Nomar Garciaparra. He thought Magglio Ordóñez would be acquired from the Chicago White Sox to replace Manny Ramirez and he dreamed that Boston would idolize him and Curt Schilling as they helped the Red Sox finally slay the Yankees.

"I thought, for sure now, we got a chance to win," he said, referring to his near relocation to Boston. "We got the right team."

The right team for Rodriguez proved to be the Yankees, and that means, from a Red Sox standpoint, he is obviously on the worst possible team. Fans in Boston are already wearing T-shirts that use an obscenity to demean Rodriguez and they may shower him with as much abuse as they direct at Derek Jeter. Well, maybe not that much.

"Derek is the most hated man in Boston," catcher Jorge Posada said. "It's him and Bucky Dent. I think they hate Derek more than Bucky. Aaron Boone was one game. It's all the time with Derek."

Jeter is the Yankee strolling around Fenway Park with what seems like a "Boo Me Forever" label above the No. 2 on his back. Jeter doubted that he would serve as an umbrella for Rodriguez, guessing there would be enough healthy lungs in the house to bury one more villain.

"They've been on me for years," Jeter said.

Rodriguez, who was booed in Seattle after leaving for a 10-year, $252 million contract with Texas before the 2001 season, will be booed in Boston for being considered a traitor. But Rodriguez dismissed the mention of earplugs or the thought that the negative noise matters.

"I always felt that it was a compliment to get booed on opposing ground anyway," Rodriguez said.

Of course, beyond the booing, there will be baseball. The Red Sox and the Yankees will play the first 4 of 19 games through Monday and 3 at Yankee Stadium next weekend. After the Yankees snared last season's series, 10-9, they won a thrilling American League Championship Series on Boone's homer off Tim Wakefield in Game 7. Although the Marlins defeated the Yankees in the World Series, that is sometimes treated like a footnote in the Northeast.

Kevin Millar, who favored Rodriguez over Garciaparra when it looked as if Rodriguez was bound for the Red Sox, said, "It's not like you needed any more fuel on the fire, but, with the whole A-Rod thing, it's going to make it unbelievable."

The can-you-top-this flavor of the off-season and the war of words between the owners has added juicy elements to the tussle.

John Henry, the principal owner of the Red Sox, sent an e-mail message to reporters in February about the need for a salary cap because the Yankees had "gone so insanely far beyond" the financial capabilities of other teams. George Steinbrenner, the Yankees' principal owner, quickly reacted by saying Henry must feel embarrassed for not being able to get Rodriguez for the fans and implored him to "get on with life and forget the sour grapes."

The Yankees were actively pursuing Schilling from the Arizona Diamondbacks before the Red Sox were, but Boston secured him. The Red Sox were the favorites, by far, to get Rodriguez, but the Yankees wound up with perhaps the best player in baseball. "You saw how these teams hate each other and the impact one team has over the other," Gary Sheffield said.

Besides Schilling and Rodriguez, the Yankees and the Red Sox have revised their teams since Wakefield's fateful knuckleball, with the Yankees having a bigger facelift. Javier Vazquez, who opposes Wakefield tonight, and Kevin Brown were added to the rotation, Tom Gordon and Paul Quantrill joined the bullpen and Sheffield is the right fielder for the $183 million Yankees.

The Red Sox signed closer Keith Foulke to calm a beleaguered bullpen and added second baseman Pokey Reese, who is playing shortstop while Garciaparra is out with an injury to his Achilles' tendon. Outfielder Trot Nixon (back) is also on the disabled list for the $125 million Red Sox. Pedro Martínez pitched on Thursday so the Yankees were not scheduled to face him in the series.

The two American League East teams with the highest payrolls in baseball stress that they worry about their own business, but they always peek at what their rivals are doing, too. Especially Steinbrenner.

"He loves to compete," Boston's Ellis Burks said. "And, if it takes going after the same guys that the Red Sox want, believe me, he's going to up the ante a little to rub it in our faces. It's one of those competitive things that will continue until the Red Sox knock them off their pedestal and become the reigning champs."

Rodriguez was supposed to help the Red Sox knock the Yankees off that pedestal, but, instead, he ended up in New York. He ended up on the other side of the rivalry, which might as well be the other side of the world. Torre smiled as he explained how the historians in Fenway might forget that Rodriguez was not to blame for his aborted trip to Boston.

"No one really wants to know the real reason," Torre said. "It's just the fact that he's not there."

This weekend, Rodriguez is here. Just not in the uniform Boston wanted him to be wearing.

Ken Powtak in Boston contributed reporting for this article.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Jasonik
April 20th, 2004, 11:01 AM
New York Times
April 20, 2004

Rodriguez Awaiting That Big Hit
By JACK CURRY

BOSTON, April 19 — Alex Rodriguez was the last Yankee still talking, the last Yankee still standing and the last Yankee to leave the clubhouse at Fenway Park. Rodriguez was dressed in a navy blue suit, looking like a C.E.O. and talking like one, promising that his unsettling performance this season would change, and soon.

Do not let them see you sweat. That could have been Rodriguez's motto as he talked of how his first visit to Boston as a Yankee was a disappointing, yet minor part of a long and potentially splendid season. There are other crucial trips ahead, five and a half months for the Rodriguez market to have an upswing.

This unhappy four-game series in Boston ended for the Yankees with an ugly 5-4 loss to the Red Sox on Monday, a game that featured Rodriguez's throwing error that allowed the tying run to score in the seventh inning and still more tepid at-bats. Rodriguez ended his afternoon by sliding his batting gloves across the dugout roof to a young fan. Perhaps the kid will collect more hits with them than Rodriguez did.

Two hits with the gloves would give the kid the edge. Before Rodriguez lined a single in the ninth inning, he was 0 for Boston. Rodriguez was impatient and out of sync, lunging for pitches that he should have crushed or simply avoided. The man who might be the best player in baseball spent four days in enemy territory as one of the worst hitters in baseball, going 1 for 17.

"I don't think anything in my career can compare to this," said Rodriguez, referring to the combination of high expectations and awful results. "But I've been through these types of situations a lot, and I don't consider them struggling. I believe I'm always going to go out and do my thing."

Rodriguez stayed cool and confident as he discussed the impostor who was wearing his uniform and making look him so vulnerable. There were doses of humor, too. When Rodriguez was asked about his first 16 at-bats at Fenway being futile, he said: "Is that what it was, O for 16? It felt like 0 for 50."

Actually, for the season, he is 8 for 50, which translates to a dismal .160 batting average. The 28-year-old Rodriguez acknowledged that he might be trying to do too much in his new environment to show the Yankees he is as good as everyone believes he is. Rodriguez so desperately wanted to play for the Yankees that he switched from shortstop to third base and now he wants to verify that he is one of their superstars, too.

How else to explain Bronson Arroyo, an unimposing pitcher with nine career victories, using off-speed pitches to silence Rodriguez? Arroyo struck out Rodriguez with changeups twice and also retired him on two groundouts. Rodriguez acted as if he were waving at a marble attached to a string after he missed three straight pitches in the sixth.

"Sometimes, you catch guys at the right time," Boston Manager Terry Francona said. "He might be a completely different player three, four days from now. I hope he isn't."

But Rodriguez believes he will be. Don Mattingly, the Yankees' batting coach, said he was waiting for Rodriguez "to exhale." Mattingly meant Rodriguez needs one at-bat where everything is perfect, similar to Jason Giambi's game-winning, extra-inning grand slam that beat the Minnesota Twins on a rainy night at Yankee Stadium on May 17, 2002. The hit helped Giambi, then finding his way in his first season in New York, settle in. Rodriguez, who has just one home run this season, could use a game-winning hit, too.

"It's his first time in New York," Mattingly said of Rodriguez. "I don't care where you have been. He's got some enormous expectation and pressure. That's something you don't wish on anybody."

Mattingly said the adjustment period in New York was different from that in other major league cities. When Mattingly signed a five-year, $19.3 million extension with the Yankees in 1990, he was already the most popular player on the team, but that did not keep him from trying to validate being the highest-paid player in baseball. So imagine what Rodriguez is going through.

"They've been building him up, and you know the New York style," Mattingly said. "We're going to build him up as high as we can get him; we're going to get the Trump building going on with the guy, and boy, if he doesn't live up to that Trump building, he's going to be. . . . "

Mattingly did not finish the sentence, but the point was clear. Rodriguez, to borrow Mattingly's imagery, is going to be where he has tumbled to now, answering questions about why he is hitting so poorly and why the Red Sox, the team he nearly joined in the off-season, baffled him for four straight days. The questions will stop when Rodriguez starts hitting, and, for now, he does not seem too worried about a sputtering start to a season in which less than 10 percent of the games have been played.

"I just have an enormous amount of confidence," Rodriguez said. "No matter if I'm 0 for 30, I want that at-bat and I want to be in that situation."

As if Rodriguez's offensive futility was not exasperating enough, he was also involved in a sloppy defensive play in the seventh. With runners on first and third, Rodriguez fielded David Ortiz's check-swing grounder, double-pumped because Enrique Wilson was slow to cover second, then whipped the ball past second base into the outfield. Rodriguez thought he could have turned a double play. Instead, the Red Sox tied the score, 4-4, and went ahead to stay an inning later.

Still, Rodriguez made another joke about how the high school quarterback in him figured he could make a seamless throw. He kept chatting amiably about his listless start until departing for the team bus. Rodriguez knows more about the A-Rod market than anyone, and he is confident his drought will vanish.

"With the kind of player that I am, I feel like within one swing, I can get it back and get that feel back," he said. "That's what I'm searching for. I'm going to get it."

NYatKNIGHT
April 20th, 2004, 11:42 AM
A-Rod, get your head out of your ass.

Kris
April 21st, 2004, 05:58 AM
April 21, 2004

SPORTS OF THE TIMES

It's About Finding a Zone, Not Zen for Rodriguez

By DAVE ANDERSON

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/04/21/sports/21ANDE.jpg
According to his performance coach, Alex Rodriguez can just put his 1-for-17 performance in Boston out of his mind and turn his focus to Chicago.

HE'S the back door to Alex Rodriguez's inner sanctum. His name is Jim Fannin, who describes himself as a performance coach. Once a touring tennis pro, he's now a 54-year-old sports savant who turned his psychology and marketing degree at East Tennessee State into a career, since 1977, as a motivational consultant for professional athletes and corporate executives.

In addition to Rodriguez, with whom he has worked since 1996, Fannin's dozens of baseball clients include Randy Johnson, Jim Thome, Carlos Delgado, Mike Cameron, Magglio Ordóñez, Frank Thomas, Derek Lowe, Mike Timlin and Pokey Reese.

When Rodriguez arrived with the Yankees on Monday night in Chicago, not far from Fannin's suburban home, the timing could not have been better for their sit-down session, because Rodriguez had seldom been worse. While the Yankees were losing three of four to the rival Red Sox in Boston, baseball's best all-around player, alias A-Rod, went 0 for 16 before a ninth-inning single in the final game.

"Is that what it was, 0 for 16?" Rodriguez calmly told reporters in the Yankees clubhouse after Monday's loss. "It felt like 0 for 50."

Rodriguez and Fannin had dinner together Monday night at a steakhouse in downtown Chicago, then talked some more at the Yankees' hotel.

And over the telephone yesterday morning, Fannin insisted that Rodriguez's confidence was "not even remotely rattled" by what happened at Fenway Park.

"His belief is my belief," Fannin said. "He doesn't think negatively."

Before last night's game with the White Sox, Rodriguez declined to discuss his relationship with Fannin, saying, "That's kind of my personal stuff."

Going into last night's game, Rodriguez was batting a dismal .160 — 8 hits in 50 at-bats, including 12 strikeouts. After going 3 for 6 against the White Sox last night, he is at .196.

"Superstars don't think like everyone else," Fannin said. "The average person has 2,000 to 3,000 thoughts a day, and 60 percent of the average person's thoughts are in chaos. The superstar has 1,100 to 1,300 thoughts a day. They eliminate worry, envy, jealousy, embarrassment and anger. The superstar thinks a lot less and holds a thought longer."

But wasn't 0 for 16 on Rodriguez's mind?

"No, it's on your mind, it's on everybody else's mind," Fannin said. "It's not on his mind."

Wasn't he worried?

"You can only worry when your thoughts are anchored in the past, which causes you to imagine the future. Alex is fine, period."

Fannin said that he liked to talk to each of his clients once a day and that he tried to see them in person once a month.

"I have a system for attracting what I call, `the Zone,' " he said. "It helps athletes get disciplined. It improves their concentration."

That's Zone, not Zen. In Fannin's promotional brochure, the Zone is defined as "the moment your mind operates completely in the now."

"You're on automatic pilot," it says. "In the now, your subconscious mind takes over your conscious thoughts. Your pulse quickens. The adrenaline flows. Your eyes double or triple their shutter speed to give you the illusion that everything around you is in slow motion.

"You possess super strength. You are graceful, with uncanny balance, and you appear effortless as you move. Your sixth sense of intuition is armed and operating with supreme knowing. You think with clarity and intelligence. You have the feeling of a purposeful calm, when nothing can go wrong."

To attract the Zone, as Fannin says, he uses what he calls the Score Performance System.

"S for self-discipline," he said, "C for concentration, O for optimism, R for relaxation, E for enjoyment. Then I tailor it for each individual."

But how does he react when, for example, one of his hitters has to bat against one of his pitchers?

"I root for the pitcher to win the game with a four-hitter — my hitter getting the four hits," he said.

After coaching several tennis players, including Peter Fleming, who won a total of seven Wimbledon and United States Open doubles titles, Fannin began working with baseball players, mostly members of the White Sox, in 1989. Joey Cora, traded to Seattle by the White Sox, introduced Fannin to Rodriguez in 1996.

"With Alex, what you see is what you get," Fannin said. "Good guy, the same guy every day, hard-nosed. He's a very cerebral player who doesn't mind getting dirty. It's hard to look at him and say he's a blue-collar guy, but he's got a blue-collar work ethic."

In Fannin's brochure, Rodriguez is quoted as saying, "The Score system has been a very big part of my development and the type of numbers I had in my career thus far. It can get you in the Zone. It's worked for me since 1996."

And the Yankees third baseman known as A-Rod is sure that, sooner or later, he will return to that Zone.


Rodriguez's Dry Spells Never Last

By TYLER KEPNER

CHICAGO, April 20 - Alex Rodriguez has been through worse before, when he was 24 years old and playing out the string of a losing season with the Seattle Mariners. In September 1999, Rodriguez had five hits in a stretch of 58 at-bats, finally breaking loose with a grand slam in front of his mother in Tampa Bay.

Until then, Rodriguez was mortified. "It's inexcusable, and quite honestly, it's embarrassing," he said the day before his grand slam. "It's been probably the biggest struggle I've had in my young career."

Rodriguez's career has come a long way since then, of course, and when he struggled for the Mariners, few people paid much attention. When Rodriguez showed up at U.S. Cellular Field on Tuesday, lugging an 8-for-50 resume as a Yankee, dozens of reporters quickly surrounded him. In 1999, Rodriguez was confident that his work ethic and talent would lead him out of the slump, and he is the same way now. But Rodriguez denied that he is in much of a slump.

"I never feel that I'm struggling," Rodriguez said. "I really don't. Every day's a new day, every pitch is a new pitch. I don't think struggle or slump are even words in my vocabulary. It's nothing one game can't fix."

The slump may not be over, but Rodriguez had three singles in six at-bats in Tuesday’s 11-8 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

“I just saw the ball better,” he said. “It all starts with seeing the ball.” In the first inning, Rodriguez saw an opportunity. There were no outs with runners at first and second and Jason Giambi up next. Rodriguez noticed the positioning of the White Sox’s third baseman, Joe Crede, and dropped a bunt.

“We’re in survival mode right now,” Rodriguez said. “We needed a win. Jason is swinging the bat well, and I saw Crede was back. I thought it was a no-lose situation to get the runners over and load the bases for Jason.” The result was better than he hoped. The bunt went for a single, and the Yankees scored their first run on Crede’s throwing error.

Rodriguez had studied video on a laptop with hitting coach Don Mattingly before the game. They analyzed Rodriguez's swings during the Boston series, in which he went 1 for 17, and watched tape of Tuesday's starter for the White Sox, Mark Buehrle.

Mattingly acknowledged that Rodriguez is lifting his leg too late when he prepares to swing, seconding an analysis by Harold Reynolds on ESPN. Rodriguez said he had not seen the Reynolds piece, but added, "I don't think there's anything wrong."

Manager Joe Torre disagreed. "He's not comfortable, by any stretch of the imagination," Torre said. Rodriguez is also flying open with his front shoulder, Torre said, committing to pitches too soon and robbing himself of power the opposite way.

"When he's hitting the ball well consistently, he's going to hit his fair share of balls to right center," Torre said.

The Mariners said the same thing as Rodriguez scuffled in 1999, and when Rodriguez broke out of the slump, his homer sailed over the center field fence, 418 feet away.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
May 16th, 2004, 02:03 AM
May 16, 2004

Making the Grade Learning a New Role

By JACK CURRY

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/05/16/sports/arod.184.jpg
The Yankees' Alex Rodriguez, who is playing third base for the first time since switching from shortstop, is on pace to make only 10 errors this year in his new role.

Alex Rodriguez never budged from third base on shots drilled toward the pitcher's mound, properly figuring there was no way he could help corral a ball that was speeding in a different direction several feet from him. He thought he should remain anchored near third, a position he is still learning.

But after Rodriguez fielded a bullet that deflected off Kevin Brown and caromed to him last Tuesday, Luis Sojo offered him the latest lesson in Playing Third Base 101. The specifics of the advice proved just how advanced Rodriguez has become. For Rodriguez, Third Base 101 has swiftly escalated into Third Base for Future Gold Glove Winners.

Sojo, who was a slick-fielding major leaguer and is now the third-base coach for the Yankees, told Rodriguez that he should never be flatfooted. Sojo implored Rodriguez to rush toward the pitcher when a ball is laced in that area because being in motion will put him in better fielding position.

"You have to attack like you're going to go catch the ball up the middle," Rodriguez said. "And if the ball ricochets, it could come right to you. Those are little things that come with time. That's very intricate. That's the next level."

The next level of playing third has already arrived for Rodriguez. There are probably major league third basemen who will never be good enough or smart enough to worry about how to react in the milliseconds before balls rattle off pitchers, a freakish sort of play that Rodriguez said had happened four or five times this season and a play that happens so rarely it could be ignored.

But Rodriguez, a neophyte third baseman in games only, is good enough and smart enough to be focusing on the minute aspects of a position he is mastering at a rapid rate. Rodriguez has looked almost as comfortable at his new position as he used to look at shortstop. He is leading all third basemen in the American League in total chances and made only his third error yesterday. He is on pace for 13 1/2 errors, an impressively low number, and, if he stays this consistent, could fashion one of the best defensive debut seasons by a third baseman in baseball history.

"He's a student," Sojo said. "He studies the game. It's like he's going to school every day. If he has a test next week, he's not going to forget what you told him. Since I told him, he's been talking about that play every day."

It will take 100 games to feel relaxed about the shift from shortstop to third, said Cal Ripken Jr., who made the same change. One hundred games before Rodriguez feels comfortable about having glided about 50 feet to his right and about 20 feet closer to the batter. Rodriguez never disputed Ripken's estimate, but he has lampooned it with his steady and sometimes dazzling defense.

Rodriguez has been smooth while charging in for slow rollers, he has used his quick feet to move well laterally, he has used his soft hands to handle the tricky in-between hops, he has shown terrific instincts in making diving plays and he has used his strong arm to help rescue him on close plays. He has become acclimated to third in a third of the time that Ripken expected. Or less.

"It took him five games in spring training," Sojo said.

Jason Giambi, a lumbering first baseman who is actually a former third baseman, said, "I noticed how good he was the first day of spring training."

Even Yogi Berra, the Hall of Fame catcher, said, "He's surprised a lot of people, I think."

Rodriguez credited nine seasons at shortstop as the perfect preparation for tackling third because there is no play he did not have to handle at short. That deep background as the most important player in the infield allowed the 28-year-old Rodriguez to shuffle to another demanding position with confidence and grace.

The Navy Seal crazy workout, Rodriguez's name for a spring routine that began with dozens of monotonous grounders at 8 a.m., also helped him physically and mentally in the transition. He thinks and acts like a third baseman now, too.

"I can honestly say there's not one inch of appetite for shortstop," Rodriguez said. "I thought I would miss playing shortstop more and I really haven't. I've been so consumed with trying to be the best third baseman I can be. That's a part of this that has really surprised me."

Sojo said that Rodriguez told Manager Joe Torre that if shortstop Derek Jeter ever sustained a major injury, the Yankees should not approach him about filling in because he is committed to third.

"Since he's been playing third, he's totally forgotten about shortstop," Sojo added. "He said, `Listen, I'm the Yankees' third baseman and I want to be the best third baseman in the world.' "

Both Sojo and Willie Randolph, the Yankees' bench coach and another former infielder, said Rodriguez could be all-World, but there are still some aspects of playing the new position that he has to refine.

Randolph said Rodriguez must read balls better off the bat and get quicker jumps on moving toward them. Sojo said Rodriguez sometimes plays too close to the third-base line, which is natural because he is worried about lasers flying by him into the left-field corner.

When Rodriguez is creeping in close for a possible bunt with one strike, Sojo said he occasionally backpedals to a normal depth prematurely and reveals his positioning to the hitter. Randolph added that Rodriguez needs to become as adroit at charging in for rollers so that making the plays will feel as routine as throwing the ball around the horn.

"It's getting comfortable with things," Randolph said. "It's not `Can he or can't he do it?' Once he got used to the angles, the speed of the ball and being comfortable with being in, I knew he'd do what he's doing right now."

One thing Rodriguez is doing is giving Oakland's Eric Chavez formidable competition for the American League Gold Glove. Chavez has won the last three at third while Rodriguez has snared the last two at shortstop. Rodriguez said the award is a distant goal and not something he dwells on. Others think he could dwell on it.

"Chavez and those guys are Gold Glove third baseman, but, to me, A-Rod is right there right now," Randolph said.

Giambi, Chavez's former teammate, added: "I've watched Chavey play and he's won the Gold Glove for a couple of years. A-Rod's made all of the plays. He's playing at that level."

On Chavez's first day of spring training, he smiled when he was quizzed about Rodriguez's becoming a third baseman and said: "There goes my fourth Gold Glove Award. So much for the All-Star Game, too."

Chavez, whom the A's converted from shortstop after drafting him in 1997, said it took him four years to learn the position. Interestingly, Chavez feels third is the tougher position because of the different depths a third baseman has to play and the scant reaction time.

"Alex has adjusted to the position a lot quicker than I thought he would," Chavez said. "There are so many angles and so many spins and so many topspins. But he looks confident over there, like he's been there a long time."

Rodriguez was sitting in the players' lounge during a rain delay when Sojo told him about reacting to balls near the mound last Tuesday. Sojo thought about telling him a few days earlier, but did not want to burden Rodriguez with such a snippet of advice. Rodriguez chided Sojo and instructed him not to withhold any more wisdom. He is a third baseman now. He needs to know everything.

"You know what makes him so good?" Sojo said. "Even though he knows he's a superstar and we all know that he's a superstar, he wants to learn about this game every single day. He's amazing."

Susan Slusser contributed reporting for this article.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

ZippyTheChimp
July 1st, 2004, 11:56 PM
New viewpoint for Red Sox Nation
http://www.imoc.co.uk/users/upload/warwick-object%20in%20rear%20view%20mirror%20are%20closer. JPG

Jasonik
July 2nd, 2004, 06:34 PM
http://www.augustachronicle.com/images/headlines/073003/9325_512.jpghttp://www.fleercollectibles.com/IMAGES/SITE_IMAGES/A08CAAE7-D4E1-4A1B-B026A1E0F8F00967_25.JPG This is for you, Dr. B. :?

ZippyTheChimp
July 2nd, 2004, 07:45 PM
The red car is a Devil Ray.

Kris
July 15th, 2004, 08:05 PM
July 15, 2004

Jeter and Rodriguez: A Study in Peaceful Coexistence

By TYLER KEPNER

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/07/15/sports/15yanks.jpg
Alex Rodriguez, left, and Derek Jeter have become comfortable as teammates. Rodriguez is relentlessly complimentary; Jeter is quick to make jokes.

The topic causes Alex Rodriguez to wince, the way a person might when opening a cabinet and finding a moldy loaf of bread. Whatever happened to the supposed strain in his relationship with Derek Jeter? Rodriguez prods for specifics, and when his fateful magazine interview is cited, he recoils. It is a stale and useless topic, he insists.

"That's that old song and dance,'' Rodriguez said on a recent road trip, sitting on a couch in the Yankees' clubhouse. ''It's never come up. We have a very good relationship. That was six years ago. That's the furthest thing on my mind.''

Just then, as if on cue, Jeter entered the clubhouse wearing a snazzy new suit and walked past Rodriguez. Rodriguez hopped off the couch and rushed to Jeter's locker, examining the outfit, smiling and nodding his approval.

It has actually been only three years, not six, since Rodriguez diminished Jeter in Esquire as never having to lead the Yankees and never being a focal point for opposing teams. But it must seem as if it happened in another lifetime. Jeter and Rodriguez are comfortably joined as Yankees teammates, and their first half-season has revealed none of the insecurities that seemed possible.

The relationship was bound to be scrutinized after the Yankees acquired Rodriguez from Texas in a February trade, shifting him to third base so Jeter could stay at short. Jeter and Rodriguez wanted to project the right image in spring training, Manager Joe Torre said, so they agreed to joint interviews and photo shoots to show that they would coexist. It was a genuine attempt, Torre said, and it worked.

''I think they made a conscious effort to do that, without forcing it,'' Torre said. ''It wasn't work for them to do that. But I think they went out of their way to accept all these interviews together, because they felt that it was necessary just so it wouldn't appear that they didn't want to do them. It probably took more time for them, but I think they understood why it had to happen.''

When Jeter struggled in the first two months of the season, people outside the team used Rodriguez's presence to explain the slump. But to those around the team, the theory made no sense.

Why would Jeter, so famously preoccupied with winning, be troubled by teaming with an even brighter star?

''From everything I've seen, heard or gathered, he really wouldn't care if you brought in anyone as long as he'd help the team win,'' reliever Paul Quantrill said. ''He's grown up with that in this organization. That is the ultimate goal and the only goal. It's bred into him. He's not a guy who's going to be bothered by playing with A-Rod. With A-Rod out there, he can help us have a better chance of winning.''

Jeter and Rodriguez do not commute to and from the ballpark together, as they might have envisioned when they entered the major leagues in the mid-1990's and became fast friends. But they interact easily in the way friendly teammates usually do, often chatting or joking with each other. After watching Rodriguez celebrate a home run last Saturday, Jeter mimicked his celebration in the dugout.

''Derek's always making fun of me,'' Rodriguez said. ''I enjoy it.''

Jeter's locker is closest to the trainer's room on one side of the Yankees' home clubhouse, and Rodriguez's is closest to the players' lounge on the opposite side. Neither is at his locker very often, especially at home.

''You don't really see him in here much,'' Jeter said of Rodriguez. ''He's usually in the video room, or I don't even know where he is most of the time. You don't really see him after batting practice until we're on the field. He's gone most of the time. You'll see him in there eating, but that's about it.''

Rodriguez's range at third base has allowed Jeter to play closer to the middle at shortstop, but, Jeter said, there is not much he can learn from watching Rodriguez at bat.

''I'm not a home run hitter, and I'm not going to learn to hit home runs from watching him play,'' Jeter said.

Even before Jeter's catch-and-crash into the stands against the Red Sox on July 1, Rodriguez called Jeter the best shortstop he had ever seen at pursuing fly balls. Rodriguez has tried to learn from this, and he has picked up Jeter's habit of tracking a pitcher's velocity by peeking into the stands for a signal from the Yankees staffer working the radar gun.

Rodriguez has been relentlessly complimentary of Jeter, often calling him the heartbeat of the team and saying that the Yankees feed off his energy.

''To me, it's truly been a dream come true to play with him and to be a New York Yankee,'' Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez has played shortstop just once, when Jeter's catch against Boston forced him out of the game in the 12th inning. It was awkward, Rodriguez said, comparing the feeling to playing in the middle of the ocean.

It is unlikely that Rodriguez had completely lost the feeling of shortstop after 1,267 major league games there and a few months away from it. But shortstop at Yankee Stadium is Jeter's ground, and Rodriguez seemed to be respecting that.

The day after Jeter's catch, Rodriguez spoke at length at his locker in Shea Stadium. On another occasion, the conversation might have been about Rodriguez's first career game at a ballpark he once hoped to call home. Instead, he spoke glowingly about Jeter.

''He has that Magic Johnson thing, where you can't measure his game in numbers,'' Rodriguez said, mentioning Jeter's childhood basketball hero. ''I told him the other day, 'You're a lot greater player than I thought you were, and I thought you were great already.' "

Rodriguez's incandescence has not quite shown. In player balloting for the All-Star Game, Rodriguez finished behind his former Texas teammate Hank Blalock at third base. (Jeter finished behind another Ranger, Michael Young, at shortstop.)

Rodriguez has a .270 average, 22 homers and 58 runs batted in - comparable first-half numbers to last season's most valuable player performance - but he is batting .217 (18 for 83) with runners in scoring position.

Torre believes Rodriguez simply needs to relax, and he has talked with him about it. Rodriguez said he enjoyed his chats with Torre, but he insisted he is relaxed and having fun.

''I wish sometimes it was all about relaxing,'' Rodriguez said, adding later: ''With all the circumstances, it hasn't been too bad. But it'll get better.''

It has been a year of adjustments for Rodriguez, to a new team, a new city and a new position, and to impending fatherhood; his wife, Cynthia, is expecting their first child this fall.

The easiest adjustment of all may be playing beside Jeter, whose status as a leader is never doubted anymore.

''These guys go back so far,'' Torre said. ''Even in spite of that little thing that was in that magazine, they've never strayed from each other.''

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
July 27th, 2004, 03:46 PM
July 27, 2004

ON BASEBALL

Red Sox Can Take Aim at Yanks, but They'll Hit Themselves

By MURRAY CHASS

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2004/07/27/sports/27chass.jpg
David Ortiz and Johnny Damon celebrated the Red Sox' series win over the Yankees last weekend.

CONSIDERING that winning two of three from the Yankees last weekend was the most positive development for the Red Sox since they won six of seven from the Yankees in April, what are we to make of them with 63 games left in the season?

The best that can be said for them is that after their 12-5 victory over Baltimore last night, they hold a slim lead in the American League wild-card race. Despite what their fans think, their two-of-three weekend festival didn't make any statements that the Red Sox will be able to overtake the Yankees in the American League East race.

Although the Red Sox say all they want to do is get to the playoffs - where they would have a chance to knock off the Yankees or advance to the World Series while someone else knocked off the Yankees - ideally they would like to supplant the Yankees in first place and let the Yankees scramble for the wild card.

But barring a collapse of the Yankees' starting pitching rotation, that scenario is unlikely to develop. The Red Sox still have a built-in capacity to shoot themselves in the foot, stumble over the foul lines and hit their heads on the dugout roof.

Remember, these are the Red Sox, and they are capable of self-destructive behavior in their intense, out-of-control desire to beat the Yankees.

But what if the Yankees' starting rotation does collapse? The Yankees have already had problems with it. Kevin Brown and Mike Mussina are on the disabled list. Brown hasn't pitched since June 9, missing eight starts. Mussina last pitched July 6; he has missed three starts.

Jon Lieber has been inconsistent. José Contreras has been enigmatic. Javier Vazquez has been the most successful starter, but even he has encountered difficulties periodically.

The Red Sox have had even worse problems with their rotation. Except for Pedro Martínez and Curt Schilling, the Boston pitchers have not instilled confidence in their teammates, manager and executives.

When the Red Sox added Schilling last winter, they thought they were set not only for the season but also for the postseason, especially the postseason. With Schilling, Martínez and Derek Lowe, they were prepared to take on anyone in a short series and emerge as the winner.

But unless Lowe turns his season around- and beating the Yankees on Sunday night does not constitute turning his season around - the Red Sox won't be overpowering anyone with their pitching, in a short series or over the remainder of the season.

The Yankees, whose pitching has been instrumental in their dominance of the league the previous eight seasons, have seen enough of their pitching this season to know it won't blow anyone away, either. That's why they want to wrest Randy Johnson from Arizona.

After his last few starts, which he has pitched well enough to win but has received little or no offensive support, Johnson may very well be ready to abandon the Diamondbacks' ship. He has given up five earned runs in his last four starts (none in two of the games), and has won none and lost two.

Three of the starts came in the team's 14-game losing streak, during which the Diamondbacks scored a total of 33 runs. In another circumstance, Johnson would have no alternative but to remain in Arizona and keep getting frustrated. But even though he can't demand a trade contractually, he most likely can prevail upon the Diamondbacks to trade him and save $22 million in salary this season and next.

Because Johnson can veto a trade, he can also dictate where Arizona trades him, and the Yankees seem to be the most likely destination since they offer the best chance for him to pitch in the World Series. His presence in their rotation, of course, would enhance the Yankees' chances of getting to the World Series.

If the trade is made, we can invoke a variation of President Reagan's line and say, "There they go again."

That's what infuriates other teams about the Yankees. Not only do they have an obscenely high payroll, but they also stand ready to spend more money to correct mistakes or bolster the troops. Evil Empire, indeed.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox have to overcome themselves, if not the Yankees. They might not be victims of the Curse of the Bambino - who, after all, believes in curses today? - but they are victims of their own mental state.

They so desperately want to beat the Yankees, their fans so desperately want them to beat the Yankees and their owners so desperately want them to beat the Yankees that they can't beat the Yankees.

Jason Varitek, the Boston catcher, demonstrated Red Sox desperation on Saturday when he precipitated a bench-clearing brawl by attacking Alex Rodriguez after Rodriguez was hit by a pitch. It's usually the hit batter who attacks the pitcher or catcher, but a hyper Varitek didn't wait for someone else to start it.

The Red Sox used to beat the Yankees; they won division titles in the 1980's and 90's when the Yankees were mediocre or worse. But the Yankees have not been mediocre the last nine years. They have been good, and they have been expensive.

The quality of the teams, incidentally, is why the rivalry works. It has not always been so. When one team or the other, or both, has been mediocre or poor, you couldn't sell the rivalry for two cents.

Except for individual games or series, though, the recent rivalry has been one-sided, and, it says here, will continue to be one-sided because the Red Sox won't beat the Yankees when it matters. They will beat themselves before they beat the Yankees.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

ZippyTheChimp
August 1st, 2004, 11:40 PM
The Red Sox send their SS Garciaparra to the Cubs, and as part of a four team trade, acquire Cabrera.

Garciaparra drives in a run to help the Cubs win, and Cabrera commits an error to help the Red Sox lose.

It seems to me that the Red Sox are sick and tired of this Yankee curse, and want to create a new one. The Curse of Nomar sounds more ominous than the Curse of the Bambino.

Will there be a new powerhouse in the National League? There is already historical fodder for a book. When the Red Sox last won the World Series in 1918, they beat....the Cubs. :P

crazyworld_cr
October 10th, 2005, 09:06 PM
Alex Rodriguez is a huge son of a ****

what the hell is wrong with him??? he doesnt know how to bat!!

he has just been making harder to Yanks to win over the Angels...

lofter1
July 1st, 2008, 10:40 AM
AR playing more than baseball?

EXCLUSIVE: NY Yankee Making Late-Night Visits to Madonna's Apartment


http://www.usmagazine.com/files/madonna-a-rod-b2.jpg
Bruce Gifford/FilmMagic
Daniele Venturelli/WireImage.com
Ramey Photo

US Magazine (http://www.usmagazine.com/exclusive-ny-yankee-making-late-night-visits-to-madonnas-apartment)
Tuesday July 1, 2008

Us Weekly reports in its new issue, on newsstands tomorrow, that Madonna's seven-year marriage to Guy Ritchie has stalled out – and the singer has been hosting late-night visits from New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez at her Central Park West apartment in New York City.

A ringless and grim-faced Ritchie, 39, arrived in New York City from London yesterday (http://www.usmagazine.com/guy-ritchie-arrives-in-new-york-to-see-madonna) after several weeks apart from his family. A source tells Us that the $28-million-a-year Rodriguez, 32, has made numerous solo nighttime visits to Madonna, 49, at her spacious home and would sneak out "as late as midnight." Says the source, "All the doormen are talking."

Rodriguez attended Madonna's April 30 NYC concert; the singer sat in his seats at a Yankees game on June 22 (it was the first time she ever was photographed at a Yankees game). Her son Rocco, 7, also sported Yankees gear on June 25 while playing in Central Park.

Rodriguez, married with two young daughters, has already faced speculation about cheating: In 2007, he and a stripper were reportedly spied in Toronto, Miami and Dallas.

Complicating matters: Former Yankee slugger Jose Canseco – who once dated Madonna – wrote in his book Vindicted that he "hates [A-Rod's] guts" because he once hit on his wife.

(Revisit Madonna's former loves. (http://www.usmagazine.com/madonnas-loves))

Madonna has been in NYC since the venerable Times of London confirmed that she consulted the same high-profile divorce attorney (http://www.usmagazine.com/report-madonna-meets-with-divorce-lawyer) who worked with Paul McCartney and Prince Charles. Meanwhile, Us confirms Ritchie has also sought legal advice from Forsters law firm in London.

A-Rod's Yankees rep, when reached for comment, referred Us to their shared manager Guy Oseary. When reached by Us, Oseary hung up the phone. Madonna's rep, Liz Rosenberg, was not available.

Check out the new issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now, for exclusive details about Madonna's surprising friendship with A-Rod, how she fell in and out of love with Ritchie, what divorce would mean for her $600 million estate, and why a reconciliation isn't out of the question.

(See Madonna's picks for her worst outfits ever (http://www.usmagazine.com/madonna-my-worst-outfits-ever).)

Copyright 2008, Us Weekly

NYC4Life
July 1st, 2008, 04:07 PM
If A-Rod ends up on the disabled list again, we can all know why :p

KenNYC
July 1st, 2008, 06:03 PM
Someone's gotta tell him he can do better than that.

The Benniest
July 2nd, 2008, 10:22 AM
If this does turn out true, and A-Rod and Madonna are cheating on their spouses, I'll laugh my arse off.

Not a huge fan of either of them. :D

lofter1
July 2nd, 2008, 10:45 AM
What's not to like (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8G9jA-FGGd8)?

Alonzo-ny
July 2nd, 2008, 11:08 AM
Ben are you British? I remember you refered to 'college' as uni and now arse instead of ass?

The Benniest
July 2nd, 2008, 11:09 AM
What's not to like (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8G9jA-FGGd8)?
LOL! :D :p

And no Alonzo, I'm not British. :p

The Benniest
July 2nd, 2008, 11:26 AM
I wonder what the wife thinks of Alex's "midnight-runs." :rolleyes:

ZippyTheChimp
July 2nd, 2008, 12:16 PM
This story is so lame. For a minute there, I thought the Cat Lady was back.

The Benniest
July 2nd, 2008, 08:49 PM
I wonder what the wife thinks of Alex's "midnight-runs." :rolleyes:
I guess time will tell: http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/2008/07/02/2008-07-02_yankees_arod_wife_separated.html

NYC4Life
July 3rd, 2008, 05:18 AM
To Confirm Benni's post:


From: Perezhilton.com

http://perezhilton.com/2008-07-02-a-rod-is-cuckolded

http://img.perezhilton.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/lennyarod__oPt.jpg

It sucks to be Alex Rodriguez this week!

The New York Yankees star player first had to endure a firestorm of false media accusations that he has been having an inappropriate relationship with Madonna.

Not true says Madonna's rep and our sources confirm.

In fact, it is A-Rod who is the one that is being cheated on!
Sources reveal exclusively to PerezHilton.com that Rodriguez's wife, Cynthia, has left him.

And, what more, she already has another man!

"Cynthia has been seeing Lenny Kravitz," an insider reveals exclusively to us.
Damn! Lenny Kravitz!

In fact, a source tells us that Cynthia has left her kids in Miami to go on a romantic getaway with Lenny in Paris, where the two are currently holed up.

"Alex is in New York with the Yankees and Cynthia has left their kids to go be with Lenny - not cool," says a family friend.

A-Rod, who shares a manager in Guy Oseary with Madonna, was probably turning to the Material Mom for advice on his crumbling marriage.

And now this has all blown up in his face.

Poor Alex!

OmegaNYC
July 3rd, 2008, 10:35 AM
Poor Alex? This guy is in the beginning of a 10 year/250 million dollar contract. I don't think he would have any problem finding somebody. Then again, after the divorce, and Cynthia takes half, I don't think A-Rod would be staying in a penthouse anytime soon..

KenNYC
July 3rd, 2008, 04:44 PM
No pre-nup?

OmegaNYC
July 4th, 2008, 11:30 AM
^^^^ lol. Damn, A-Rod should of listen to my boy Kanye West (my avatar for all you non hiphop fans) To think of it, I think I did saw Cynthia in the 'Golddigger' video... :cool:

tommyguy
July 5th, 2008, 03:08 PM
(My meaningless blatherings on subject.)

FYI (NY Daily News reported) Kravitz is not IN Paris at present, though Mrs. A-Rod is apparently staying in his apartment. Probably to escape the media frenzy in New York.

The thing with Alex though -- the wife reportedly told friends that in the past week he told her their marriage is over. Kinda tough being that she just had a baby!

As for Madonna, maybe this is just a short-term hookup for A-Rod? Despite the media is reporting he's told friends she's his "soul mate."

But as a still-dating guy, who would want to hookup with Madonna? Okay she's still hot I guess and probably incredible in bed but....

She's never been able to maintain a long-term relationship with anyone. Gotta be a reason for that, folks. Know what I'm saying? She strikes me as one of those babes that, when the relationship starts the guy's the "greatest man who's ever lived." Then, after the 'newness' wears off, she gradually loses interest. A pattern she seems to have repeated all of her life.

I guess it depends on what Alex wants. Maybe he's just basically, at heart, a dumb ballplayer after all. :D

People like Madonna and A-Rod who are totally dedicated to their craft usually turn out to be not so good at the relationship thing. They're too caught up in their careers to put the time in.

Personally, I just wish A-Rod would try and take the outside pitch to right field more. :cool:

lofter1
July 5th, 2008, 06:12 PM
Someone I know was in the next room when M broke up with Sean Penn.

Messy.

The moment. Not her.

The Benniest
July 6th, 2008, 04:32 PM
Madge speaks out!

http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/2008/07/06/2008-07-06_madonna_breaks_silence_to_deny_rumors_of.html

Now that they have both denied rumors of an affair, WHAT was A-Rod doing in her apartment? That should be a story soon! :D

lofter1
July 7th, 2008, 12:20 AM
M's son is crazy for A-Rod.

He was there playing with the kids :cool:

NYC4Life
July 7th, 2008, 05:38 AM
From: WABC-TV 7 New York & Associated Press

Reports: A-Rod's wife to file for divorce

http://a.abclocal.go.com/static/art/global/icon_ap_byline.gif Entertainment News

MIAMI -- Alex Rodriguez's wife will file for divorce Monday, according to media reports.

Cynthia Rodriguez, who married the New York Yankees star in 2002, says the marriage is over because of the All-Star third baseman's extramarital affairs, according to reports that appeared Sunday on the Web sites of Houston television station KTRK and The Miami Herald.

The reports come just days after Alex Rodriguez was linked to Madonna in various media outlets and Cynthia Rodriguez's subsequent visit to the Paris home of rocker Lenny Kravitz, who said she came to France to escape the media frenzy in New York and denied that anything improper had happened.

Houston attorney Earle Lilly, who said he was hired by Cynthia Rodriguez last week to launch the divorce case, told KTRK the star's "relationship with Madonna was the final straw for Mrs. Rodriguez."

Rodriguez's wife also is represented by attorneys Maurice Kutner and Anthony Sabatino, both of Miami, and John Van Ness of Houston, the Herald reported.

"She feels that she has exhausted every opportunity to salvage the marriage, and that Alex has emotionally abandoned her and the children and has left her with no choice but to divorce him," Kutner told the newspaper.

The former Cynthia Scurtis and Rodriguez were married Nov. 2, 2002, in Dallas. They have two children, Natasha Alexander and Ella Alexander, who was born April 21.

The suit is expected to be filed early Monday in Dade County Family Court.
Lilly did not immediately return a phone call from The Associated Press.
Alex Rodriguez has refused to comment on his relationship with Madonna, who denied any romantic involvement with the slugger in a statement posted Sunday on people.com.

"I know Alex Rodriguez through Guy Oseary, who manages both of us," Madonna said. "I brought my kids to a Yankee game. I am not romantically involved in any way with Alex Rodriguez. I have nothing to do with the state of his marriage or what spiritual path he may choose to study."


(Copyright ©2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

The Benniest
July 7th, 2008, 09:42 AM
I have a feeling this is going to turn into a Brinkley v. Cook kind of trial.

Isn't that EXACTLY what we need in the news? :confused:

Optimus Prime
July 7th, 2008, 01:13 PM
They do have a prenup, according to her filing.

NoyokA
July 7th, 2008, 05:48 PM
But as a still-dating guy, who would want to hookup with Madonna? Okay she's still hot I guess and probably incredible in bed but....


Madonna has always been ugly. She's only older and uglier now. I don't see what A-rod or anyone for that matter sees in her.

http://img.timeinc.net/pespanol/i/ultimo/2007/octubre/madonna_101707_300.jpg

NYC4Life
July 7th, 2008, 05:56 PM
It is the "Material Girl" in her :rolleyes:

KenNYC
July 8th, 2008, 07:39 AM
I wouldn't rule out that it really is about the kabbalah recruiting and not a relationship per se, she really is nasty looking tho... Anyway, seems celebrities have a thing for wacky religions.

lofter1
July 8th, 2008, 11:33 AM
"wacky" ...

As opposed to those which proclaim virgin birth and eternal life :confused:

Whose miracles are more believable?

The Benniest
July 8th, 2008, 11:41 AM
Madonna has always been ugly. She's only older and uglier now. I don't see what A-rod or anyone for that matter sees in her.

http://img.timeinc.net/pespanol/i/ultimo/2007/octubre/madonna_101707_300.jpg
^^^ I'm going to have to agree with everything Stern said here.

lofter1
July 8th, 2008, 12:03 PM
OK, boys:

Time to post your own photos so we can play this game in full ;)

tommyguy
July 15th, 2008, 08:40 AM
Could anyone find an even worse photo of Madonna? That's a horrible photo, terrible. The kind of photo Annie Leibovitz takes when she doesn't like the person. :mad:

Thus the obvious question, so let me ask it, is that an Annie Leibovitz photo? :cool:

Can anyone make out what her necklace says?

NYC4Life
July 15th, 2008, 02:01 PM
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/179/457334790_1c7ca99cce.jpg

http://www.celebnewswire.com/madonna%20glasses%20durrr.jpg

tommyguy
July 17th, 2008, 01:05 PM
Could anyone find an even worse photo of Madonna?

I had to ask. :rolleyes:

NYC4Life
August 12th, 2008, 02:36 PM
New York Observer

Goodbye to His-and-Hers Whirlpool Baths: A-Rod Lists Trump Park Condo

Three years ago, during a happier time in Alex Rodriguez's marriage, the heavy-hitting Yankee third baseman bought a four-bedroom apartment (not counting the maid's room) at Trump Park Avenue, that beautiful 79-year-old building at 59th Street and, well, Park Avenue.

But times have changed for Mr. Rodriguez, whose wife, Cynthia, accused him of "marital misconduct" in divorce papers filed this July.

So perhaps it's not a surprise that his Trump Park apartment, which, according to an old listing, has his-and-hers whirlpool baths in the master-bedroom suite, is going to be sold off. A source tells The Real Estate the condo is quietly taking offers at the $13 million mark, although the listing hasn't officially hit yet.

Adam Modlin, a broker often associated with the baseball player, did not return several e-mails and calls to his office.

On the bright side for Mr. Rodriguez, he reportedly paid only $7.5 million for the apartment—and records suggest the price could have actually been as low as $6,910,000 when it was bought as a sponsor unit. Perhaps the money gained will salve the wounds of love lost?

NYC4Life
October 30th, 2008, 06:59 PM
NY Post

A-RENTAL

Posted: 12:00 am
October 30, 2008

http://www.nypost.com/seven/10302008/photos/re043a.jpg
A LEAGUE OF ITS OWN: A-Rod lowers the price of his condo and also is willing to rent it out.


Alex Rodriguez is not just lowering the price of his Park Avenue apartment - he's also offering it for rent.

The Yankee is now asking $12.5 million for the fourth-floor, four-bedroom, 4,600-square-foot pad at Trump Park Avenue, after listing it earlier this month for $14 million.

"It's a price readjustment we believe is more favorable with the current market," says A-Rod's broker, Adam Modlin of the Modlin Group, who adds that his client is also willing to become a landlord to someone who wants to rent the place unfurnished for $50,000 a month.

Modlin says any buyer could purchase the furnishings, but he wouldn't specify a price.

We were given a private tour of the condo at 502 Park Ave. yesterday and found that the posted online pictures hardly did it justice (the seemingly blood-red powder room in one photo, for example, is actually a toned-down burgundy). The surprisingly elegant eight-room digs, flush with mahogany, herringbone floors, marble bathrooms, an unusual great room/chef's kitchen combination and a dark-paneled library, looks more like the home of a buttoned-down business executive than an athlete.

There is for now, though, a Lucite-encased home plate from Yankee Stadium that was presented to Rodriguez after hitting his 500th home run in 2007, and an artfully designed "13" in the hallway. Lining one wall are photos of him posing with luminaries such as Pat Riley and Warren Buffett, but no female pop stars.

Where will A-Rod go next? Modlin says reports that Rodriguez is buying a place at 15 Central Park West are false - although he was looking there - and that he plans to be a renter for the foreseeable future.


Copyright 2008 NYP Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.

Bronxbombers
November 25th, 2008, 11:37 PM
NY Post

A-RENTAL

Posted: 12:00 am
October 30, 2008

http://www.nypost.com/seven/10302008/photos/re043a.jpg
A LEAGUE OF ITS OWN: A-Rod lowers the price of his condo and also is willing to rent it out.


Alex Rodriguez is not just lowering the price of his Park Avenue apartment - he's also offering it for rent.

The Yankee is now asking $12.5 million for the fourth-floor, four-bedroom, 4,600-square-foot pad at Trump Park Avenue, after listing it earlier this month for $14 million.

"It's a price readjustment we believe is more favorable with the current market," says A-Rod's broker, Adam Modlin of the Modlin Group, who adds that his client is also willing to become a landlord to someone who wants to rent the place unfurnished for $50,000 a month.

Modlin says any buyer could purchase the furnishings, but he wouldn't specify a price.

We were given a private tour of the condo at 502 Park Ave. yesterday and found that the posted online pictures hardly did it justice (the seemingly blood-red powder room in one photo, for example, is actually a toned-down burgundy). The surprisingly elegant eight-room digs, flush with mahogany, herringbone floors, marble bathrooms, an unusual great room/chef's kitchen combination and a dark-paneled library, looks more like the home of a buttoned-down business executive than an athlete.

There is for now, though, a Lucite-encased home plate from Yankee Stadium that was presented to Rodriguez after hitting his 500th home run in 2007, and an artfully designed "13" in the hallway. Lining one wall are photos of him posing with luminaries such as Pat Riley and Warren Buffett, but no female pop stars.

Where will A-Rod go next? Modlin says reports that Rodriguez is buying a place at 15 Central Park West are false - although he was looking there - and that he plans to be a renter for the foreseeable future.


Copyright 2008 NYP Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.A-Rod is my favorite baseball player. Back during the 2000 Major League Baseball season near my oldest 1st cousin's wedding in Seattle,WA. I saw the San Diego Padres beat the Seattle Mariners with A-Rod 7 to 4 for my only Major League Baseball game that I went to during the 2000 MLB season. And every other Major League Baseball game that I was at all were at Dodger Stadium from 1975 to the present.

Jasonik
December 5th, 2008, 10:31 AM
ARod...Um...'Gamers' Back on eBay

Friday, 05 December 2008 (http://www.sportscollectorsdaily.com/latest-sports-collecting-news/arod-.um-.gamers-back-on-ebay.html)

We'd rather not authenticate these.

http://www.sportscollectorsdaily.com/images/stories/arodundies2.jpg

If the game-worn jersey market has passed you by and you'd really like to have a conversation piece, you won't mind bidding on something for which you might take a little abuse.

ARod's underwear is on eBay.

Saugus, MA-based Sportsworld is back with more game-used baseball underwear. After selling some Red Sox spandex earlier in the year, they're now offering shorts once very closely aligned with Alex Rodriguez, Josh Beckett and Kevin Youkilis. The game-used undergarments (http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?type=4&campid=5336163990&toolid=10001&customid=&mpre=http%3A%2F%2Fsearch.stores.ebay.com%2FSPORTSW ORLD-USADOTCOM_spandex_W0QQfciZQ2d1QQfclZ4QQfsnZSPORTSW ORLDQ2dUSADOTCOMQQfsooZ1QQfsopZ1QQsaselZ42449787QQ sofpZ0) were salvaged from the trash heap by a Red Sox employee who presumably offered them to Sportsworld. The eBay auction was pulled on Thursday after the auction description made it clear they hadn't been washed.

You can't sell dirty underwear on eBay, apparently, and so Sportsworld owner Phil Castinetti has added "washed" to the description.

'So were they?' asked the Boston Herald (http://news.bostonherald.com/track/inside_track/view/2008_12_04_A-Rod_s_undies_make_a_fan-tastic_gift/srvc=home&position=6).

“They are now,” he laughed. “If they want them washed, they’re washed.”

Bidding on the Rodriguez spandex had topped $60 as of late Thursday night.

http://www.sportscollectorsdaily.com/images/stories/arodundies.jpg

Bronxbombers
December 6th, 2008, 02:32 AM
Madonna is ugly. And A-Rod is way too young for Madonna.

lofter1
December 6th, 2008, 09:52 AM
Madonna must have something A-Rod likes.

(ps: please visit the forum rules section regarding quotes and re-posts)

ZippyTheChimp
December 6th, 2008, 10:06 AM
The One Day Sellathon at E-Bay was a celebration of OJ Simpson Sentencing Day.

scumonkey
December 6th, 2008, 10:10 AM
Lofter- your spinning your wheels with that advice...
(see pm)

NYC4Life
December 6th, 2008, 05:55 PM
Madonna must have something A-Rod likes.



An unbelivable night of sex.

Jasonik
January 14th, 2009, 10:31 AM
JANUARY 9, 2009
A-Rod Cuts Mansion's Price
Yankees' Rodriguez asks $12.3 million, down from $14.9 million

By CHRISTINA S.N. LEWIS (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123146065427866321.html)

Alex Rodriguez has cut the asking price of his Coral Gables, Fla., home to $12.3 million -- just above the $12 million he and his estranged wife, Cynthia, paid for it in 2004. The Yankees slugger first listed the house in the fall for $14.9 million.

http://s.wsj.net/public/resources/images/OB-CX658_privpr_D_20090108141832.jpg
View Slideshow (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123146065427866321.html#project%3DSLIDESHOW08%26 s%3DSB123144296403665209%26articleTabs%3Dslideshow )

The 8,300-square-foot house, on more than an acre on Biscayne Bay, has a dock and views of downtown Miami. Art-world philanthropist Ella Fontanals-Cisneros sold the 1952 house to the Rodriguez family, and they spent a significant amount of money on renovations, says listing agent Polly Schiff of Coldwell Banker. For example, Mr. Rodriguez turned the tennis court into a well-camouflaged batting cage.

Last year, Mr. Rodriguez's wife filed for divorce. The 33-year-old Yankee is also trying to sell a Manhattan apartment for $10 million, $4 million less than what he had originally been asking.

The downturn hasn't spared Coral Gables. In the fourth quarter, only two homes in the city just south of Miami sold for more than $5 million, according to local broker Audrey Ross, of Esslinger-Wooten-Maxwell, an affiliate of Christie's Great Estates. There are 43 such homes on the market, based on multiple-listing-service information, Ms. Ross says.

Jasonik
February 7th, 2009, 08:19 PM
...I love the game and I respect the game and, I thank God, I've been healthy enough to play. But to me, it's just about going out there and being out there every day for your teammates and your team and respecting the game. I love to play.


- Alex Rodriguez, June 2003

http://assets.espn.go.com/photo/2008/0711/pg2_g_arod_400.jpg (http://baseball-almanac.com/asgbox/yr2003as.shtml)

A-Rod reportedly tested positive for steroids

February 7, 2009
NEW YORK (http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/articles/2009/02/07/a_rod_reportedly_tested_positive_for_steroids_1234 024258/) --As Barry Bonds prepares to defend his name, the slugger who may eventually surpass him as the all-time home run leader has become ensnared by the Steroids Era: Alex Rodriguez.

Rodriguez tested positive for two anabolic steroids during his MVP season with Texas in 2003, Sports Illustrated reported on its Web site Saturday (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/baseball/mlb/02/07/alex-rodriguez-steroids/?eref=sircrc).

The New York Yankees star has long denied using performance-enhancing drugs. He declined to discuss the tests when approached by SI on Thursday at a gym in Miami.

"You'll have to talk to the union," he said.

Major League Baseball and the players' union issued statements Saturday, refusing to confirm or deny the report, citing player confidentiality.

An e-mail from The Associated Press to Rodriguez's agent, Scott Boras, was not immediately returned. The Yankees and Rangers declined comment.

The SI revelations come at a time when baseball's focus on drugs has concerned Bonds and the legal maneuvering leading to the start of his trial March 2. The government is trying to prove Bonds lied when he told a grand jury he never knowingly took performance-enhancing drugs.

A three-time AL MVP, Rodriguez has hit 553 career homers. At age 33, the All-Star third baseman is the highest-paid player in baseball and regarded by many as the most likely to break Bonds' record of 762.

With this latest report, Rodriguez joined a growing Who's Who lineup of drug-tainted stars that includes Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro and Jose Canseco.

In his 2008 book, "Vindicated: Big Names, Big Liars, and The Battle to Save Baseball," Canseco claimed he introduced Rodriguez to a steroids dealer. Canseco, who has admitted using steroids, subsequently said he had no knowledge of any drug use by Rodriguez.

The drug allegations follow an already bumpy offseason for Rodriguez, marked by further talk of his dalliance with Madonna and clubhouse gossip stemming from Joe Torre's book in which some teammates referred to him as "A-Fraud."

But a week before the Yankees open spring training, Rodriguez -- certain to be dubbed "A-Roid" in the New York tabloids -- faced more serious allegations after four sources told SI about his drug tests.

Rodriguez's name appears on a list of 104 players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in a 2003 baseball survey, SI said. He reportedly tested positive for Primobolan and testosterone.

In a December 2007 interview with "60 Minutes," three days after George Mitchell's report on drugs in the sport was released, Rodriguez denied using peformance-enhancing drugs.

"I've never felt overmatched on the baseball field. ... I felt that if I did my, my work as I've done since I was, you know, a rookie back in Seattle, I didn't have a problem competing at any level," he said.

Rodriguez reiterated his stance at spring training last year.

"Right now, the game is in a very not-trusting situation with our public, with our fans," he said. "Some of the things that I've accomplished and potentially some of the things that people think I can accomplish, my name has come up and will probably come up again in the future."

Rodriguez played for the Rangers in 2003 (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/news/2003/06/11/first_person_arod/), when he won the AL home run title and MVP award. He was traded to the Yankees in 2004. He is drawing a major league-high $27 million salary after signing a record $275 million, 10-year contract with New York in 2007.

"We are disturbed by the allegations," MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred said in a statement. "Because the survey testing that took place in 2003 was intended to be nondisciplinary and anonymous, we cannot make any comment on the accuracy of this report as it pertains to the player named."

Said the union: "Information and documents relating to the results of the 2003 MLB testing program are both confidential and under seal by court orders."

"Anyone with knowledge of such documents who discloses their contents may be in violation of those court orders," the union added.

Baseball's drug policy prohibited the use of steroids without a valid prescription since 1991, but there were no penalties for a positive test in 2003.

As part of an agreement with the players' union, the testing in 2003 was conducted to determine if it was necessary to impose mandatory random drug testing across the major leagues in 2004.

The results of the testing of 1,198 players were meant to be anonymous under the agreement between the commissioner's office and the union. SI reported Rodriguez's testing information was found after federal agents, with search warrants, seized the 2003 results from Comprehensive Drug Testing, Inc., in Long Beach, Calif.

That was one of two labs used by baseball in connection with the testing. The seizure in April 2004 was part of the government's investigation into 10 baseball players linked to the BALCO scandal, the magazine reported. Rodriguez has not been connected to BALCO.

Primobolan, also known as methenolone, is an injected or orally administered drug. It improves strength and maintains lean muscle with minimal bulk development and few side effects. Bonds tested positive three times for methenolone, according to court documents unsealed by a federal judge Wednesday.

Primobolan is not an approved prescription drug in the United States. Testosterone can be taken legally with a prescription.

Rodriguez is set to be honored Friday by the University of Miami at a dinner on the infield of Mark Light Field in Coral Gables. He donated $3.9 million to refurbish the baseball complex, which is named Alex Rodriguez Park.

The dinner is expected to be held as scheduled, Miami spokesman Mark Pray said. He said the ceremony with Rodriguez is a part of the school's annual baseball banquet.


© Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company

*****

NY1: Yankees Fans Stunned By A-Rod's Reported Steroids Use (http://www.ny1.com/content/top_stories/93582/yankees-fans-stunned-by-a-rod-s-reported-steroids-use/Default.aspx)

Bronxbombers
February 8th, 2009, 02:30 PM
When I was on vacation in Seattle,Washington. My relatives and I saw the san Diego Padres beat Alex(A-Rod) Rodgriguez & the Seattle Mariners 7 to 4 at Safeco during interleague play during 2000 Major League Baseball season for my only MLB game during the 2000.Major League Baseball season. That is bad that A-Rod took steriods during 2003 Major League Baseball season with the Texas Rangers. And that is before A-Rod joined the New York Yankees.

TREPYE
February 9th, 2009, 08:59 AM
If this is true, it emphasizes the nomenclature he most aptly deserves considering all the dopeyness he has pulled through the years...

A-Stupid
:rolleyes:

ZippyTheChimp
February 10th, 2009, 01:29 PM
David Letterman Top Ten List


Top Ten Messages left on Alex Rodriguez's Answering Machine.

10. "Hey, it's Mark McGwire. Want to get together this week and not talk about the past?"

9. "Joe Torre here -- thanks for helping book sales."

8. "Could you find a steroid that keeps you from choking in the playoffs?"

7. "Are you worried this will taint all the championships you didn't win?"

6. "It's Bernie Madoff. Nice try but I'm still the most hated man in New York."

5. "Michael Phelps here. Got any snacks?"

4. "This is Sammy Sosa. Just pretend you don't speak English."

3. "Michael Phelps again. Did I call you or did you call me?"

2. "Hey, it's Rod Blagojevich -- I'll say you're innocent, if you say I am."

1. "It's Madonna. You got a phone number for Jeter?"

Jasonik
February 10th, 2009, 01:56 PM
LOL!

#7!! :p

Jasonik
February 10th, 2009, 05:38 PM
Video and transcript of Peter Gammons' ESPN interview of Rodriguez here (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3895281).

Bronxbombers
February 11th, 2009, 02:24 AM
While I will be in New York City on vacation I probably will get Alex Rodriguez' autograph.

TREPYE
January 29th, 2013, 01:48 PM
A-falling steeply into disgrace....


Report: Miami PED lists revealed
ESPN.com news services

New York Yankees (http://espn.go.com/mlb/team/_/name/nyy/new-york-yankees) slugger Alex Rodriguez (http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/_/id/3115/alex-rodriguez) has hired an attorney and is denying involvement after his name -- along with other baseball players like Melky Cabrera (http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/_/id/6347/melky-cabrera), Nelson Cruz (http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/_/id/6242/nelson-cruz) and Gio Gonzalez (http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/_/id/28962/gio-gonzalez) -- appeared on lists obtained by the Miami New Times (http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2013-01-31/news/a-rod-and-doping-a-miami-clinic-supplies-drugs-to-sports-biggest-names/full/) from an anti-aging clinic in Miami that allegedly dispensed performance-enhancing drugs.
The names were on records Miami New Times said were given to it by an employee who worked at Biogenesis of America before it closed last month. Miami New Times reported that the records show the firm sold performance-enhancing drugs, including human growth hormone, testosterone and anabolic steroids. Anthony Bosch, the 49-year-old head of the clinic, was connected to Manny Ramirez (http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/_/id/2974/manny-ramirez) when the former MLB star was suspended for 50 games for violating baseball's drug policy in 2009. Bosch has never been charged by local or federal officials.


Miami New Times said it conducted a three-month investigation before releasing its 5,400-word story online on Tuesday.
Saturday, ESPN's "Outside The Lines" reported (http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/8884955/mlb-investigating-south-florida-ground-zero-ped-war) that Major League Baseball was investigating multiple wellness clinics in South Florida, as well as individuals with potential ties to players. The report said that the area from Boca Raton to Miami is "ground zero" for performance-enhancing drugs still filtering into the game.
Rodriguez, who ended 2012 injured and on the bench during the playoffs, has admitted to using steroids from 2001 to '03, but he has said he has not used PEDs since. The New Times report said that Rodriguez's name shows up 16 times in the records it reviewed. One record, which the newspaper reported was part of Bosch's private notebooks, indicated Rodriguez paid Bosch $3,500 for "1.5/1.5 HGH (sports perf.), creams test., glut., MIC, supplement, sports perf. Diet." HGH is banned by MLB.
There are other notations for Rodriguez as well, beginning in 2009 and continuing through last season. The New Times report states that other drugs listed for Rodriguez include IGF-1, a banned substance that stimulates insulin production and muscle growth, GHRP, a substance that releases growth hormones, and testosterone creams. According to the report, Bosch openly bragged of supplying drugs to Rodriguez.
Rodriguez had hip surgery last month and is expected to miss some or all of the 2013 season.
Rodriguez has hired Miami-based lawyer Roy Black to represent him in the matter. Black was part of the team that got William Kennedy Smith acquitted of rape charges in 1991 and has represented other celebrities.
The public relations firm Sitrick and Company issued a statement on behalf of Rodriguez Tuesday.
"The news report about a purported relationship between Alex Rodriguez and Anthony Bosch are not true," the statement says. "Alex Rodriguez was not Mr. Boschs patient, he was never treated by him and he was never advised by him. The purported documents referenced in the story -- at least as they relate to Alex Rodriguez -- are not legitimate."
The Yankees also issued a statement Tuesday, saying: "We fully support the Commissioner's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. This matter is now in the hands of the Commissioner's Office. We will have no further comment until that investigation has concluded."
Miami New Times reported that Cabrera, who signed a $16 million free-agent contract with the Toronto Blue Jays (http://espn.go.com/mlb/team/_/name/tor/toronto-blue-jays) during the offseason, is mentioned 14 times in the report. He was suspended in August 2012 for violating baseball's performance-enhancing drugs policy while a member of the San Francisco Giants (http://espn.go.com/mlb/team/_/name/sf/san-francisco-giants). The paper cited entries in April 2012 indicating Cabrera "has enough meds until May 4" and indicating what the paper terms a "cocktail of drugs including IGF-1."
Major League Baseball issued a lengthy statement Tuesday in response to the New Times story.
"We are always extremely disappointed to learn of potential links between players and the use of performance-enhancing substances," the statement begins. "These developments, however, provide evidence of the comprehensive nature of our anti-drug efforts. Through our Department of Investigations, we have been actively involved in the issues in South Florida. It is also important to note that three of the players allegedly involved have already been disciplined under the Joint Drug Program."
The statement added that MLB has implemented many recommendations of the Mitchell report and feels that its Department of Investigations in conjunction with local and federal law enforcement has made great strides in policing the game.
Before adding that the investigation is ongoing and the league won't comment further, the statement did say: "We remain fully committed to following all leads and seeking the appropriate outcomes for all those who use, purchase and are involved in the distribution of banned substances, which have no place in our game."
Cruz, the Texas Rangers (http://espn.go.com/mlb/team/_/name/tex/texas-rangers) right fielder who hit 24 home runs in 2012, has not been disciplined for PED use by the league; however, he is listed on a July 2012 record, with a notation from Bosch that "need to call him, go Thur. to Texas, take meds from April 5-May 5, will owe him troches and&and will infuse them in May." Troches, according to Bosch's notes, are a type of drug lozenge which Miami New Times said includes testosterone. The Rangers issued a statement Tuesday, saying: "The Texas Rangers were contacted late last week by Miami New Times regarding the story posted this morning. At that time, the Rangers contacted Major League Baseball on that inquiry. The team has no further comment."
Gonzalez, the Washington Nationals (http://espn.go.com/mlb/team/_/name/wsh/washington-nationals) left-hander who led the league with 21 wins last season and was third in Cy Young voting, appears five times, including one charge for $1,000.
His father, Max Gonzalez, also appears, but he told Miami New Times that he was there to lose weight and that his son is "as clean as apple pie."
"And if I knew he was doing these things with steroids, do you think I'd be dumb enough to go there?" Max Gonzalez said, according to the New Times.
Gio Gonzalez issued a statement Tuesday that appeared in the Washington Times.
"I've never used performance-enhancing drugs of any kind, and I never will," the statement says. "I've never met or spoken with Tony Bosch or used any substances provided by him. Anything said to the contrary is a lie."
Pitcher Bartolo Colon (http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/_/id/3602/bartolo-colon) was suspended last season for violating baseball's performance-enhancing drug rules. Bosch, in his notes, says Colon's monthly fee was $3,000, according to Miami New Times.
Other names listed in the records obtained by Miami New Times include Cesar Carrillo (http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/_/id/30031/cesar-carrillo), a former University of Miami pitcher, Jimmy Goins, the strength and conditioning coach at Miami for nine seasons, Cuban boxer Yuriorkis Gamboa and professional tennis player Wayne Odesnik, who was banned from tennis for two years in 2010 for allegedly trying to bring HGH into Australia.
The New Times reported that it sent detailed letters to all of the people to be named in its story asking for comment, but none responded.
On Jan. 27, Bosch told the New Times: "I can't really say anything to you," and added that his attorney would be in touch.
According to the report, the former secretary for Biogenesis said there shouldn't be any question as to what athletes were looking for from Bosch.
"He sold HGH and steroids," the person said, according to the New Times. "Everyone who worked there knew that was what our business was."

http://espn.go.com/espn/print?id=8893139&type=story

hbcat
January 30th, 2013, 01:09 AM
This report was going around just days before the big PED story out of Miami. The Yankees seem to be thinking of life without Arod, and how to make that happen:

01/25/2013 4:06 PM ET
Cashman not ruling out A-Rod missing entire season (http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130125&content_id=41169302&vkey=news_nyy&c_id=nyy)

By Paul Casella / MLB.com

Though Alex Rodriguez hopes to return from hip surgery sometime after the All-Star break, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman acknowledged in an interview with WFAN on Friday that the veteran third baseman could miss the entire season.

Rodriguez, 37, underwent surgery on his left hip on Jan. 16 and was initially expected to miss approximately six months.


Cashman, though optimistic A-Rod will return as planned, is prepared for the "chance" the third baseman isn't able to suit up at all this summer.


"Yeah," Cashman told WFAN, when asked if there was a chance of missing the entire season. "I think because [of] the serious nature of the surgery and the condition that he's trying to recover from, you know, there is that chance."


Rodriguez hit .272 with 18 homers and 57 RBIs during the regular season last year, but struggled in the postseason. The three-time American League Most Valuable Player Award winner was just 3-for-25 (.120) in postseason play, including 0-for-18 with 12 strikeouts against right-handed pitchers. He was lifted for a pinch-hitter on multiple occasions before eventually being replaced in the starting lineup.


Earlier this offseason, the Yankees signed veteran third baseman Kevin Youkilis to a one-year, $12 million contract to replace Rodriguez while he recovers from the injury. Youkilis hit .235 with 19 home runs and 60 RBIs in 122 combined games with the Red Sox and White Sox last season.

hbcat
January 30th, 2013, 01:13 AM
There are several sensationalist headlines like this one. Voiding the contract isn't going to happen unless there is explicit language in it that would allow the Yankees to tear it up. The Baseball Union is very strong and would block any attempts otherwise.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Yankees eye voiding A-Rod's contract (http://espn.go.com/new-york/mlb/story/_/id/8894904/new-york-yankees-attempting-voide-alex-rodriguez-contract-according-sources)
By Wallace Matthews and Andrew Marchand
ESPNNewYork.com

If Major League Baseball disciplines Alex Rodriguez (http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/_/id/3115/alex-rodriguez) over the latest illegal performance-enhancing drug allegations, the New York Yankees (http://espn.go.com/mlb/team/_/name/nyy/new-york-yankees) plan on exploring multiple avenues in an attempt to void the star third baseman's contract.

"(The Yankees) can't do anything until the MLB investigation is concluded and they take action, if any," a source told ESPNNewYork.com.According to several baseball sources who spoke to ESPNNewYork.com on the condition of anonymity, Rodriguez might be in little danger of having his contract voided, even if the charges turn out to be true. There is no precedent to successfully void a contract in baseball over PEDs.


If MLB finds cause to discipline Rodriguez based on allegations made in a 5,400-word story published by the Miami New Times (http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2013-01-31/news/a-rod-and-doping-a-miami-clinic-supplies-drugs-to-sports-biggest-names/full/), the Yankees will try to find an escape hatch from their remaining five-year, $114 million obligation to the three-time American League MVP.

If nothing else, it illustrates how deep a rift has developed between the Yankees and Rodriguez, who has won two MVP awards as a Yankee and whose play was instrumental in their 2009 World Series championship.

According to an industry source, the Yankees "are looking at about 20 different things," including whether Rodriguez breached the contract by taking medical treatment from an outside doctor without the team's authorization, and the possibility that he might have broken the law by purchasing controlled substances from a Miami "wellness clinic" run by nutritionist Anthony Bosch.

MLB is in the process of investigating Bosch, who has been linked to Rodriguez and several other players. The Miami New Times had specific details and records of Rodriguez's alleged PED transactions with Bosch. Rodriguez released a statement Tuesday afternoon through a spokesperson denying the authenticity of the evidence.

hbcat
January 30th, 2013, 01:20 AM
Are the Yankees done with Alex Rodriguez?
http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/yankees/2013/01/29/are-yankees-done-with-alex-rodriguez-miami-clinic/1876221/ 1/2


Bob Nightengale. USATODAY Sports 11:23p.m. EST January 29, 2013

The New York Yankees, embarrassed by the latest charges against All-Star third baseman Alex Rodriguez, will
explore the possibility of voiding Rodriguez's contract or hope that Rodriguez simply retires, freeing up $114
million, according to a high-ranking Yankees executive.

The executive, who spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because of the pending
investigation, said the Yankees were surprised Tuesday by a Miami New Times
report that Rodriguez purchased performance-enhancing drugs in 2009 and 2012 from a
South Florida wellness clinic, Biogenesis, owned and operated by Anthony Bosch.

Major League Baseball plans to summon Rodriguez to its New York offices after it receives paperwork from Drug Enforcement Agency officials,
according to a high-ranking baseball executive who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

Rodriguez faces a possible 50-game suspension, which he could serve while still recovering from hip surgery, though he would lose about $9 million in
salary.

The Yankees, according to the executive, could argue that Rodriguez violated a morals clause in his contract or perhaps lied about possible
performance-enhancing drug use to team doctors.

Yet, there is no precedent for a team voiding a player's contract because of performance-enhancing drug use. The Yankees unsuccessfully tried to
void Jason Giambi's contract in 2004 after he admitted steroid use to a San Francisco grand jury in the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative case.

There's also a clause in the Basic Agreement that prohibits clubs from unilaterally disciplining players for violations of the Drug Prevention and
Treatment Program.

"I don't have an answer to whether the Yankees could do that," former MLB Commissioner Fay Vincent told USA TODAY Sports. "The union will protect
the player. Maybe the Yankees will get (to keep) their money, and the insurance company will fight it out with Rodriguez.''

The Yankees declined to comment publicly, issuing a release that said: "This matter is now in the hands of the Commissioner's Office. We will have no
further comment until that investigation has concluded."

***
Denial from Rodriguez

Rodriguez, who has admitted to steroid use from 2001 to 2003 when he played for the Texas Rangers, vehemently denied the latest report that he was
involved with the clinic, and released a statement through a public relations firm.

"The news report about a purported relationship between Alex Rodriguez and Anthony Bosch are not true,'' the statement read. "Alex Rodriguez was
not Mr. Bosch's patient, he was never treated by him and he was never advised by him. The purported documents referenced in the story — at least as
they relate to Alex Rodriguez — are not legitimate."

It's possible the Yankees and Rodriguez could part company simply in the aftermath of Rodriguez's Jan. 16 hip surgery that's expected to sideline him
at least until July. The surgery was complicated, orthopedist Bryan Kelly said, repairing a torn labrum and reshaping the femoral head of his thigh
bone.

Kelly anticipated a return in six months, but the injury is potentially career-threatening.

"You have to wonder what kind of effect steroid use would have on that,'' Vincent told USA TODAY Sports. "I remember Dr. (Frank) Jobe once telling me
that he operated on a pitcher's shoulder or elbow. The whole thing had just deteriorated. It turned to mush. Dr. Jobe told me, 'I've never seen that
before.'

"Years later, there were reports that the same pitcher was involved with heavy steroid use."

Kelly, when asked several times over the last month about Rodriguez's injury, said he believed it was caused by congenital deformity, not steroid use.

If Rodriguez can't play again because of the hip surgery, he still would receive the remaining $114 million over the next five years in his contract. Yet,
the team has an insurance policy on Rodriguez, the Yankees executive said, that would reimburse the club for about $100 million.

The Yankees would have to release Rodriguez, and prove to the insurance company that he was physically unable to play.
***
Sinking statistics

Rodriguez's career has been in decline for the last five years, with his slugging percentage plummeting each season. He hit a 18 homers with 57 RBI
last season, and batted .120 in the playoffs without an extra-base hit or RBI.

He was benched in the American League Division Series against the Baltimore Orioles and the AL Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers.
Rodriguez, who has 647 career homers, has never failed a MLB drug test since they were implemented in 2004.

Yet he tested positive in anonymous survey testing in 2003, according to Sports Illustrated. Shortly after that came to light in 2009, he admitted his use
of performance-enhancing drugs from 2001 to 2003.

He also was linked in 2010 to Canadian doctor Anthony Galea, who had been indicted on charges of distributing HGH to professional athletes. Galea
said he treated Rodriguez with anti-inflammatory medication after Rodriguez's 2009 hip surgery.

After his most recent hip surgery, Rodriguez was scheduled to return to the Yankees in July, a month in which he will turn 38.
"I don't think we'll ever know what steroids do to the human body, but we do know that with the money out there, it makes it so hard for these young
kids to resist," Vincent said.

IrishInNYC
January 30th, 2013, 08:10 AM
It is very unlikely they'll be able to unload him. He's going to be such an expensive anchor around the organization's neck for another few years.

And as for PED over the last four years? Someone got the dosage wrong.

hbcat
January 30th, 2013, 08:23 AM
lol. The only thing that will save whatever is left of his career is for this story to turn out utterly false. That doesn't seem likely. I agree this is going to cost the Yankees. They might try to negotiate a buyout, but it would still be awful. Some of this year's salary many be recouped from insurance.

eddhead
January 30th, 2013, 09:03 AM
I am trying to keep an open mind about this, but it is difficult given that he has lied about using PED's in the past. After what he went through previously, it is mind bogglling to me that he would again place himself in this position by using them as recently as 2012. How do you account for that?

IrishInNYC
January 30th, 2013, 09:48 AM
I am trying to keep an open mind about this, but it is difficult given that he has lied about using PED's in the past. After what he went through previously, it is mind bogglling to me that he would again place himself in this position by using them as recently as 2012. How do you account for that?

You account for it when he went from batting over 300 in 9 of 12 seasons since 1996 to hitting 286, 270, 276 and 272 in the past four with a body that is clearly falling apart in front of his eyes.

It took him almost all of '09 and '10 to hit as many runs and homers as he did in the '07 season.

His WAR (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/r/rodrial01.shtml) (Win Above Replacement) rating in the last two seasons is the worst of his entire full season career.

In two words: shocking decline.

eddhead
January 30th, 2013, 11:10 AM
Well, if that is true, it clearly didn't work.

hbcat
January 31st, 2013, 06:53 AM
It didn't work as well as hoped, maybe, but you can see the motivation. He sees his skills slipping away, feels a bit desperate, and turns to PEDs to rescue his performance. Who knows, without HGH, testosterone and other goodies, maybe his numbers over the past couple of years would look even worse.

IrishInNYC
January 31st, 2013, 08:39 AM
And the Yankees (barring a miracle) are paying this guy $114,000,000 in the next few years....much more if he improbably breaks the home run record. Crazy, crazy stuff. Tanking numbers should be a get out clause of any sports contract.

eddhead
January 31st, 2013, 01:33 PM
Boy, talk about crashing to earth. At one point A-Rod was considered one of the 2 or 3 best players who ever played. Now he is just another bum.

I am not sure the reality is really that stark, but than again, I am not sure how he extracates himself from this either.

ZippyTheChimp
January 31st, 2013, 06:32 PM
The best thing that could happen as far as the Yankees are concerned is that ARod can no longer play baseball, and decides to retire.

Doctors have already gone on record that the two hip injuries are not PED related. Assuming for the moment that it true, the retirement would be baseball related. The Yankees would pay Arod the remainder of his contract, and insurers would reimburse the Yankees. If the insurers wanted to fight it, it would be between them and ARod.

That's the way it was explained to me.

As for all the stories circulating about who can do what, the CBA is a binding contract, not a set of guidelines. If the agreement calls for a 50 game suspension then that's all Selig can do.

Another thing that came up is that these frequent violations draw attention to the sealed document of the 100 or so names of those who failed drug tests in the past. At some point, someone is going to challenge it - stating that "if we're going to have a level playing field, let's get everything out in the open."

My guess is that MLB is deathly afraid of this.

hbcat
January 31st, 2013, 09:43 PM
Might there be a middle road? The contract cannot be torn up, unless there is something in it that explicitly prohibits PEDS *and* Arod can be proven to have used these substances (so far there have only been notes on paper -- someone has to testify or confess). Arod is going to be paid $114 million.

Right now the storm of indignation -- driven by an army of baseball with no other story to focus on in January -- is over the top. If Arod gets banned for 50 games, he will not be the first or the last player to face such a suspension. He still gets $114 minus the $5-10 he will lose due to suspension.

Let's assume the insurers have safeguards against outright fraud. Unless Alex Rodriguez really breaks down and absolutely cannot play, his salary will not be covered by insurance. He still gets his $100 million plus whether it comes from insurance or not. If he gets it from an insurance company, he's out of baseball.

Let's assume that Arod can take a lot of grief if he gets paid $100 million. If he retires, he gets nothing. Why would he retire? He's got something to prove (his innocence, that he can still play, etc.), and a lot to lose. If he walks away from the money he can never return. The rest is silence.

If I am a Yankee executive (or another clubs exec in the unlikely event of a trade), no way do I pay Arod $114 for absolutely nothing. I want him to play, or try to play.

Why can't we imagine Arod coming back at the end of this season, or next season? I may not be thrilled about it, but I can see it happening. If he puts up anything like decent numbers, the fury will morph into a turn-around story, and grudging applause. If I am Arod, I want that.

There is no way I can see him playing into his 40s, but I think it more likely than not that he will play for NY in 2013 or 2014.

If he absolutely cannot perform in an MLB uniform but does not have injury issues covered by insurance, he will get a release or a negotiated settlement to not play. Or he might retire, but not this season.

ZippyTheChimp
January 31st, 2013, 10:48 PM
If he absolutely cannot perform in an MLB uniform but does not have injury issues covered by insurance, he will get a release or a negotiated settlement to not play. Or he might retire, but not this season.This has been an issue in the NFL where not all contracts are guaranteed. A lot of fans view it as greed when they see a huge contract offered to a football player, who turns it down. What they don't understand is that unless the contract is heavily front-loaded or guaranteed, the team can cut him after an injury, and have no further obligation.

MLB contracts are guaranteed. I said above "if ARod can no longer play," not that he chooses to retire. It would have to be a medical opinion that he should not continue to play. The insurance is not taken out by the player; the team takes out the insurance, which usually covers about 75% of the salary.

This of course, is a best case scenario for the Yankees, but highly unlikely. They are either going to get stuck with him, or eat a lot of the money. I'm not sure what the ramifications would be for total team salary in computing the luxury tax threshold.

The point about the contract - other than Arod's future production - is that its value was party determined by any historic numbers Arod was going to put up toward the end of his career. Even if these plateaus are reached, their significance will be severely compromised.


EDIT: I think restructuring an existing contract is a violation of the CBA. Isn't that how ARod wound up on the Yankees in the first place?

hbcat
January 31st, 2013, 11:03 PM
Yes, that is right. He offered to have the Texas deal restructured and it was blocked by the Union.

I was responding to all the calls these days demanding that Arod be kicked out of baseball, that he'll never play for NY again, etc. This will die down and he will play somewhere unless he is proven medically unfit.

hbcat
January 31st, 2013, 11:09 PM
Money is ruining baseball, but I don't blame the players. Arod's contract is absurd but if billions of revenue is coming from TV, radio and the internet, who should profit? Only the owners? Do we buy tickets to follow Arturo Moreno and Hal Steinbrenner?

hbcat
February 1st, 2013, 04:48 AM
Exhibit (L)A. This is one of many reports asserting Arod "will never play another game for NY again." This report also suggests a "negotiated settlement," but that will not happen for reasons we have given:

Alex Rodriguez might retire, report says (http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-newswire-20130201,0,487274.story)
Alex Rodriguez (http://www.latimes.com/topic/sports/baseball/alex-rodriguez-PESPT008368.topic) is unlikely to ever play for the New York Yankees (http://www.latimes.com/topic/sports/baseball/new-york-yankees-ORSPT000205.topic) again, people familiar with the Yankees' situation with their troubled third baseman told the New York Daily News, no matter what happens regarding new allegations that he is again involved with performance-enhancing drugs.
According to numerous people in baseball, the hip surgery Rodriguez is now recovering from will probably derail his playing career, leaving him in such a diminished role that he might consider a settlement or an outright retirement. He still has five years and $114 million left on his contract.
"I don't know why he would want to go through the pain of rehabbing and trying to play up to the caliber of player he was, and come back to a game where nobody wants him," a baseball official said.

IrishInNYC
February 1st, 2013, 09:59 AM
Money is ruining baseball, but I don't blame the players. Arod's contract is absurd but if billions of revenue is coming from TV, radio and the internet, who should profit? Only the owners? Do we buy tickets to follow Arturo Moreno and Hal Steinbrenner?

Valid. Growing up, what I knew about baseball could fit in a thimble but English soccer was the sport we followed in terms of players and "massive" salaries. It's simply like any other business though...we only see some complaints about Wall St bonuses, for instance, but the sports player is constantly in the public eye and his salary debated.

All of us only get paid what "owners" can afford to pay, it's the same in sports; where the players have a career that is typically over at or around 30 years old....I would never begrudge a player making big money for his production but to pay A-Rod all those millions when no one can honestly say what drugs he has taken and the impact they've had on his body. Unjust.

hbcat
February 1st, 2013, 10:07 AM
Putting the drugs in his body was his decision.

We also only know about the stars. There are many 100s of players who never make it to the mlb, but risk years of opportunity (and education & training for walks of life) and maybe make a middle class wage or less. Then one day they wake up and it's all over at 28 or 30. Not a complete disaster, hopefully, but for the few you actually get to wear and Major League uniform for any part of once season, the minimum salary can ease all that struggle, and the later transition to "civilian" life.

hbcat
February 2nd, 2013, 08:09 PM
Does anyone here no about mlb's drug testing policy? I thought the testing regime they put in place after 2003 was supposed to be effective. How were players able to beat this system for so many years afterward? I know someone is always going to try to cheat, but if Arod was getting injections every three weeks any test schedule should have found a way to expose him.

If not, it seems to me that is a good defense for Arod and the others standing accused of PED abuse. MLB looks incompetent and sloppily complicit.

ZippyTheChimp
February 2nd, 2013, 09:28 PM
In my view, it was still a joke before this year.

Testing was put into place in 2006, but there was no random testing at all from spring training through the regular season. There had to be some evidence or suspicion of drug use by a panel to conduct a test. That was changed last month, probably pushed forward by shutout HOF vote.

My understanding is that facilities will be attached to every stadium where in-season random tests will be conducted. Also notable, there will be HGH testing in-season.

The NFL has been random testing for steroids for many years, but they haven't instituted HGH testing, which requires blood samples. The expanded testing will also establish baseline testosterone profiles for players. Abnormally increased levels would signal that a PED was used.

So for the moment, MLB has leapfrogged over the NFL, but its all a constant battle between chemists and testers.

hbcat
February 3rd, 2013, 02:18 AM
So all the talk about how the MLB has cleaned up the PED problem over the past decade is mostly hooey. Got it. I don't follow the NFL, but I have assumed that they've been lax on the issue. That doesn't seem to be the case, It's all slipshod, everywhere.

ZippyTheChimp
February 6th, 2013, 12:24 AM
I was wondering when this name was going to pop up.


Braun says he used Fla clinic owner as consultant


By HOWIE RUMBERG | Associated Press – 29 mins ago



NEW YORK (AP) — Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun said he used the person who ran the Florida clinic under investigation by Major League Baseball only as a consultant on his drug suspension appeal last year.

"I have nothing to hide," Braun said in a statement released by his representatives to The Associated Press on Tuesday night.

Earlier in the day, Yahoo Sports reported the 2011 NL MVP's name showed up three times in records of the Biogenesis of America LLC clinic. Yahoo said no specific performance-enhancing drugs were listed next to his name.

The Miami New Times recently released clinic documents that purportedly linked Alex Rodriguez, Gio Gonzalez, Melky Cabrera and other players to purchases of banned drugs from the now-closed anti-aging center.

Rodriguez and Cabrera were on the list with Braun that also included New York Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli and Baltimore Orioles infielder Danny Valencia.

Braun said his name was in the Biogenesis records because of an issue over payment to Anthony Bosch, who ran the clinic near Miami.

"There was a dispute over compensation for Bosch's work, which is why my lawyer and I are listed under 'moneys owed' and not on any other list," Braun said.

"I have nothing to hide and have never had any other relationship with Bosch," he said. "I will fully cooperate with any inquiry into this matter."

On Tuesday, MLB officials asked the Miami New Times for the records the alternative newspaper obtained for its story.

Asked specifically about Braun's name in the documents before the five-time All-Star released his statement, MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said: "Aware of report and are in the midst of an active investigation in South Florida."

Braun tested positive during the 2011 postseason for elevated testosterone levels. He maintained his innocence and his 50-game suspension was overturned during spring training last year when arbitrator Shyam Das ruled in favor of Braun due to chain of custody issues involving the sample.

With that, Braun became the first major leaguer to have a drug suspension overturned.

"During the course of preparing for my successful appeal last year, my attorneys, who were previously familiar with Tony Bosch, used him as a consultant. More specifically, he answered questions about T/E ratio and possibilities of tampering with samples," Braun said.

The T/E ratio is a comparison of the levels of testosterone to epitestosterone.

Braun led the NL in homers (41), runs (108) and slugging percentage (.595) last season while batting .319 with 112 RBIs and 30 stolen bases. He finished second to San Francisco catcher Buster Posey in MVP balloting."

Cervelli, who spent nearly all of last season in Triple-A, posted a statement on Twitter later Tuesday night.

"Following my foot injury in March 2011, I consulted with a number of experts, including BioGenesis Clinic, for (cont)," Cervelli posted, "(cont)legal ways to aid my rehab and recovery. I purchased supplements that I am certain were not prohibited by Major League Baseball."

An email sent to Valencia's agent was not returned.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press

eddhead
February 6th, 2013, 01:05 AM
It is laugable that Braun says he has nothing to hide. Really? He got off on a technicality last year, and now his name pops up again. Who does this guy think he is fooling?

ZippyTheChimp
February 6th, 2013, 10:42 AM
I've read in related articles that Braun's explanation covers his name appearing on one list, which stated: "RB 20-30K"

But it doesn't explain this:

http://l2.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/l.3YcN33miqBVDi5WgLb2w--/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7cT04NTt3PTMxMA--/http://l.yimg.com/j/assets/ipt/braunname.jpg

Braun stated:
"During the course of preparing for my successful appeal last year, my attorneys, who were previously familiar with Tony Bosch, used him as a consultant," Braun said. "More specifically, he answered questions about [testosterone-to-epitestosterone] ratio and possibilities of tampering with samples."

But:
The nature of their previous relationship is unclear. Sources questioned why Braun, who retained doctors with intimate knowledge of drug testing as experts in his arbitration case, would use Bosch, who was portrayed by the New Times as a rogue chemist and anti-aging guru who passed himself off as a doctor even though he had no medical degree.

"In the 15 years that I have represented players facing discipline under the various professional sports leagues’ substance abuse and steroid programs,"[former Braun attorney David] Cornwell said, "I have relied primarily, if not exclusively, on Dr. David L. Black and his team of scientists at Aegis Sciences Corporation in Nashville, (Tenn.), as my experts with respect to scientific and other matters relevant to the testing of player specimens."

hbcat
February 6th, 2013, 11:39 PM
This is disappointing if true: Francisco Cervelli is now linked to this story and is purported to have visited Bosch's Miami clinic. He says he was seeking legal ways to heal an injury but that doesn't jive -- there is an army of legit trainers and medical people ready to help pro athletes. Sad.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/07/sports/baseball/francisco-cervelli-report-raise-questions-on-yankees-catching.html?_r=0

eddhead
February 7th, 2013, 02:02 PM
I guess MLB still has a problem. They need to deal with this instead of denying and pushing it under the rug. And the union is on the hook too.

hbcat
July 29th, 2013, 09:28 AM
I think the odds of seeing A-Rod this season (or ever?) just plummeted with Braun accepting a 65 game suspension for his part in the Biogenesis storm.

You may be spot on --

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/i-team/deal-a-rod-faces-historic-ban-article-1.1411133

hbcat
August 2nd, 2013, 03:40 AM
17480


August 1, 2013
Baseball’s Bullying Makes It Tempting to Root for Rodriguez
By WILLIAM C. RHODEN
Funny how Major League Baseball can make you root for the villain.


Commissioner Bud Selig’s heavy-handed approach to the investigation of Alex Rodriguez has almost turned Rodriguez into a sympathetic figure. And that’s difficult.


Rodriguez, the Yankees’ star third baseman, has been linked over the last few months to Biogenesis of America, the now-defunct Florida anti-aging clinic suspected of distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs.


According to people briefed on the negotiations between Rodriguez and Major League Baseball, Selig has discussed several options, ranging from a lifetime ban to a suspension that would begin this season and end after next season. Rodriguez has never been known as a player who cares about anyone besides himself. But if there were ever a time for A-Rod — and the once-powerful players association — to step up and fight the impending suspension, that time is now. Rodriguez should challenge the credibility of the evidence. If Major League Baseball has compelling evidence, force the league to show it.


There are no vials of evidence. There are no eyewitnesses to Rodriguez’s alleged performance-enhancing drug use. Investigators have the word of two questionable characters connected to Biogenesis, one of whom, the former owner, Anthony Bosch, once impersonated a doctor. Investigators may indeed have compelling evidence — phone records, shipping receipts, e-mails. If they do, A-Rod and the players association should force those investigators to reveal what they have gathered.


This exhaustive investigation is less about A-Rod and performance-enhancing drugs than about power and control. Major League Baseball is attempting to impose its will on high-profile players by possibly circumventing due process to make an example of them.


The Milwaukee Brewers’ Ryan Braun was suspended without pay for the remainder of the season for violating the league’s drug policy in connection with his link to Biogenesis. Braun did not challenge the evidence and went down without a fight, agreeing to lose the rest of this season’s salary.


Braun made a pragmatic choice. The Brewers owe him money — lots of money. He signed a five-year, $105 million extension. He is injured, and his team is in last place. Braun got off on a technicality last year, and this year baseball was not going to rest until it got Braun. It made sense for Braun to accept the suspension and come back next season refreshed, healed and, of course, repentant.


A season-and-a-half suspension would be a career-ender for A-Rod, who turned 38 on Saturday. Beyond that, allowing Rodriguez to be bullied into a suspension sets a terrible precedent and weakens the players association’s ability to fight owners on the next big issue.


Four years ago, Rodriguez acknowledged using performance-enhancing substances while he was with the Texas Rangers from 2001 to 2003. He has denied using them since. A-Rod has never flunked a drug test. How could the players association allow Rodriguez to be kicked out of baseball and remain credible?


The aggressive pursuit of Rodriguez fits into baseball’s recent patterns of demonizing unpopular players and casting them as the faces of the P.E.D. epidemic.


Fifteen years ago, baseball enjoyed its banquet years, with Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa vying for the single-season home run record. Baseballs were flying out of stadiums, and turnstiles where whirling at a record pace.


Baseball life was lush.


We know now — and I suspect some baseball executives, managers and players knew then — that the chase was fueled by steroids. Major League Baseball and Selig in particular have made a show out of hunting down high-profile players. The process is selective.


McGwire, with Selig’s blessing, was hired as the St. Louis Cardinals’ hitting coach. Andy Pettitte, who admitted to using human growth hormone, pitches every fifth day for the Yankees.


A-Rod is baseball’s latest villain. Not so long ago, he was being hailed as the knight who would save us from Barry Bonds.


You might ask, Aren’t you interested in getting steroid users off the field? Frankly, that is not an issue that keeps me up at night.


When a thug on the street uses a gun to commit a crime, when a junkie is picked up for using drugs, the cogent question is, How are guns and drugs allowed to flood the community?


Similarly, baseball, beginning with the commissioner, should want to know about these distribution networks. Instead, baseball puts on parades. The commissioner is fond of the dog-and-pony-show approach. Rather than working with players to identify manufacturing and distribution networks, baseball works with Biogenesis-like drug dealers to hunt down high-profile users and trots them out before a cheering public.


Rodriguez should push back. He may have more support than he thinks.


E-mail: wcr@nytimes.com

hbcat
August 2nd, 2013, 03:41 AM
Key title word: "tempting"

IrishInNYC
August 2nd, 2013, 08:15 AM
Key title word: "tempting"

Key second-sentence word: "almost".

ZippyTheChimp
August 2nd, 2013, 09:23 AM
I don't agree with most of this article...


The Milwaukee Brewers’ Ryan Braun was suspended without pay for the remainder of the season for violating the league’s drug policy in connection with his link to Biogenesis. Braun did not challenge the evidence and went down without a fight, agreeing to lose the rest of this season’s salary.

Braun made a pragmatic choice. The Brewers owe him money — lots of money. He signed a five-year, $105 million extension. He is injured, and his team is in last place. Braun got off on a technicality last year, and this year baseball was not going to rest until it got Braun. It made sense for Braun to accept the suspension and come back next season refreshed, healed and, of course, repentant.I doubt that Braun made a pragmatic financial decision to get this over with now, and come back renewed next year.

Braun made the big mistake - instead of regarding himself as lucky to get away with doing something wrong and shutting up, he did the Rafael Palmiero finger-wag at his accusers, going after them and getting someone fired. His Milwaukee area endorsements have been dropped. Players have spoken out against him, including Packer QB Aaron Rodgers, who said he was betrayed. He's the Lance Armstrong of baseball.

And unlike Bonds or ARod, this is at the front end of his career. The Brewers are stuck with Braun and his huge contract until 2021. If the team is mired in failure during that time, Braun will become its poster-child among the fans.

This could not have been an easy decision for him. The only clue we have is that while there are "no vials of evidence," whatever evidence was shown to Braun and his lawyers by MLB must have been sufficiently overwhelming to lead him to completely reverse himself and accept the suspension.


A season-and-a-half suspension would be a career-ender for A-Rod, who turned 38 on Saturday. Beyond that, allowing Rodriguez to be bullied into a suspension sets a terrible precedent and weakens the players association’s ability to fight owners on the next big issue.I think just the opposite. A union's responsibility is to protect its members, not to condone bad behavior. It was the players' association that signaled it would not automatically support players who were guilty, possibly brought on by players who began to speak out against drug users.

The "next big issue" may be a void-clause in players contracts who violate the drug policy. It seems to have more traction than it did in the past.


Rodriguez should challenge the credibility of the evidence. If Major League Baseball has compelling evidence, force the league to show it.That's easy enough to accomplish. Just appeal the suspension and everything becomes public. It's obvious that neither side wants that to happen.

Tom Verducci at SI was the only reporter I've read that properly analyzed the ESPN radio interview with attorney David Cornwell. While other outlets stated that ARod would appeal the suspension, Verducci said:
Rodriguez tried to make his own strong-arm play by having attorney David Cornwell speak yesterday to ESPN New York radio, a move that if you listened closely, fell flat. Subsequent reports breathlessly shouted that Cornwell said Rodriguez will appeal any discipline -- but the lawyer never said that. What he said was that Rodriguez hired him "to represent Alex in connection with this inquiry by baseball and to prepare an appeal on behalf of Alex in the event that any discipline is handed down."

Said Cornwell, "My expectations are that we are going to be working though the process toward an appeal."

And again: "My job is to represent Alex in connection with an appeal, and that is what I am going to focus on."

In other words, he was hired to prepare an appeal when and if it is needed. There was no promise that Rodriguez will appeal rather than settle. It's Cornwell's specific job to prepare for appeal and that's what he is doing as "the process" unwinds.

Here's what you didn't hear: Cornwell professing that Rodriguez never used PEDs. He did not take to the airwaves to profess his client's innocence. His prospective appeal (while Rodriguez's many other lawyers can work back channels toward a settlement) appears to be taken from the same playbook Cornwell used for Braun after that dirty 2011 urine sample: lawyer up on technicalities, not innocence.

I do agree with this:
Fifteen years ago, baseball enjoyed its banquet years, with Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa vying for the single-season home run record. Baseballs were flying out of stadiums, and turnstiles where whirling at a record pace.

Baseball life was lush.

We know now — and I suspect some baseball executives, managers and players knew then — that the chase was fueled by steroids. Major League Baseball and Selig in particular have made a show out of hunting down high-profile players. The process is selective.MLB was complicit in the entire steroid era. They were concerned about image.

The situation now is reversed, but it's still about image. They've stupidly let this saga drag on for weeks - first they didn't want to tarnish the All Star game, then it was Cooperstown, then the trade deadline. What are they waiting for now? Will they allow ARod to take the field in Trenton this weekend? The Yankees are stuck in the strange position in that they are contractually bound to treat ARod as if he will be back on the roster next week.

Don't discount the possibility of MLB screwing this up.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On a positive note: It's easy to pick Rivera or Jeter as the obvious choices, but this weekend Curtis Granderson comes back. A good guy, the Anti-ARod.

hbcat
August 2nd, 2013, 10:35 AM
Zippy, I agree that the Union's utmost responsibility is to protect the interests of its members, and that condoning bad behavior isn't it anyone's interest -- not least of all the majority of members who have never gone near PEDs -- but I see Rhoden's point that rolling over and playing dead while the MLB threatens lifetime suspension also isn't in the players's interest.

Arod has shown crappy judgement all along, and he probably deserves a hefty suspension, but all this talk of banning him for life is seems heavy-handed. Of course, the evidence against him may be worse than any outsliders know, in which case the Union may be acting prudently. Unless he's done something truly felonious, however, I don't think he deserves such treatment. I am not a big Arod fan, but the article caught my eye because it feels like everyone is piling it on now.

I also agree that owners and the MLB, writers, and fans too, were happy to look the other way in the late 1990s when it had to be clear to anyone with any knowledge of athletics that the game was juiced.

Arod is a fool, but he didn't create this mess all by himself.

Yes, about Granderson. It's easy to like him -- and he can hit!

ZippyTheChimp
August 2nd, 2013, 11:43 AM
Zippy, I agree that the Union's utmost responsibility is to protect the interests of its members, and that condoning bad behavior isn't it anyone's interest -- not least of all the majority of members who have never gone near PEDs -- but I see Rhoden's point that rolling over and playing dead while the MLB threatens lifetime suspension also isn't in the players's interest.What is happening is that ARod is being offered an alternate stiff penalty that will salvage 3 years of his contract. I can't believe that ARod's attorneys have not consulted with the union, and may have been advised to accept the offer.

As a rep, I've been involved in this sort of situation many times with employees in trouble. I can save your job, but I can't make it so you come out of it unscathed. You'll take a big hit. And the one thing I hated most was to be lied to by the member; it brought my credibility into question.

Ryan Braun didn't challenge his suspension through civil court. I doubt that would have gone anywhere. It was appealed through arbitration by the players association. They won him a reversal, but he lied to them.

If ARod appeals any suspension on the grounds that he's not guilty of anything, he will be lying to the union.

eddhead
August 2nd, 2013, 12:06 PM
@hbcat - I agree. I want to see the evidence. Maybe it is there, and maybe not, but due process demands something more than what MLB is offerring.

It is perfectly reasonable for the union to takd a stance advocating for A-Rod's right to due process, without taking a stance on weather or not he is guilty.

Ryan Braun is a scumbag. The analogy to Palmiero is appropriate. I wonder if he ever apologized to the technician whose reputation he tarnished.

ZippyTheChimp
August 2nd, 2013, 04:42 PM
You're missing the point.

The evidence will not be released to the public until after:

1. ARod is suspended

2. ARod appeals the suspension.

It's written into the collective bargaining agreement. That's why Braun, by accepting the suspension, was able to make vague statements about mistakes he had made in the past. We will never know what the evidence is.

Don't be too sure that ARod wants the evidence made public. He's not Barry Bonds, who was comfortable wearing the suit of a pariah. He was always nasty, and didn't give a shit what anybody thought. ARod is a fragile personality, who still wants "to be a role model." Could you imagine Bonds saying that.

Unions file grievances on the basis of violations of the CBA and labor practices, not rights under the Constitution.

eddhead
August 2nd, 2013, 11:39 PM
Due process is not in the CBA?

ZippyTheChimp
August 3rd, 2013, 12:51 AM
Are you talking about THE Due Process Clause?

Collective Bargaining Agreements conform to labor law, specifically the National Labor Relations Act. The mechanisms for discipline and grievances are spelled out in the agreement. Ryan Braun got due-process (small letters) within the parameters of the CBA. He was given a suspension. He had the choice of accepting or appealing the suspension. ARod will get the same due process.

If MLB doesn't have anything, it won't get past an independent arbitration panel. A lifetime ban would probably get time knocked down in arbitration. Steve Howe was banned for life; he appealed and it was reduced to 120 games.

mariab
August 5th, 2013, 04:01 PM
A-Rod — obsessed with making baseball history — blames everybody but himself for historic drug suspension (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/lupica-a-rod-plays-blame-game-drug-ban-article-1.1418084)

http://static3.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1418081.1375730178!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/splash_300225/s.jpg (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/lupica-a-rod-plays-blame-game-drug-ban-article-1.1418084) Major League Baseball handed down a suspension on Monday afternoon. If that suspension is upheld by an arbitrator, it will turn out to be the longest suspension for an active player in nearly 100 years. (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/lupica-a-rod-plays-blame-game-drug-ban-article-1.1418084)


Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny#ixzz2b7uzZXwo

IrishInNYC
August 5th, 2013, 04:51 PM
What a bozo.

GordonGecko
August 5th, 2013, 07:16 PM
I do believe that A-Rod just framed the issue as the persecution of a Dominican person

hbcat
August 6th, 2013, 10:31 AM
Is Arod risking a longer suspension by appealing? MLB has threatened to push for a lifetime ban, but that doesn't mean an arbitrator will agree. If the suspension stays at 211 games, that means he'll miss some of the 2015 season, including, I suppose, that spring training.

The final ruling may knock some games off the suspended period depending on the evidence against. It will likely be the longest PED-related discipline regardless of if or when he is allowed to play again.

This may be his final chance to play baseball at this level, so the appeal seems to be about that as much or more than the money left on his contract.

ZippyTheChimp
August 6th, 2013, 11:16 AM
Is Arod risking a longer suspension by appealing?No. The suspension is in effect now. In typical CBAs, you are out of work until the arbitration ruling. In the MLB-MLBPA agreement, a player is working until the ruling.


MLB has threatened to push for a lifetime ban, but that doesn't mean an arbitrator will agree.That is off the table and was never a reasonable course of action. A ban of that type is outside the Joint Drug Agreement, the suspension is immediate, and arbitration is heard by the commissioner. Assuming he wouldn't overturn himself, the recourse for the player would be the NLRB or a lawsuit. The union would definitely fight this as a circumvention of the grievance-appeal process, and it would open up the CBA in court.

I don't think that MLB wants this now, since the union membership has moved toward stiffer penalties, a marked change from the past when the primary concern was invasion of privacy.

It was an attempt to get Rodriguez to accept the suspension, and avoid the present circus.


If the suspension stays at 211 games, that means he'll miss some of the 2015 season, including, I suppose, that spring training.Whatever the final number is, the count will start when ARod goes off the payroll.


The final ruling may knock some games off the suspended period depending on the evidence against.From the statements by union reps that I've read, the position seems to be that the number of games is excessive, not so much that the suspension itself is unwarranted.

I don't know how ARod and his lawyers plan to argue this. It can be assumed that the evidence is credible, since all the other players have agreed to the suspension, and AROD's lawyers have attempted to negotiate a settlement. When asked pointedly at the press conference yesterday why he didn't deny the drug use, he smartly (or on instruction from his lawyer) avoided the question.

I guess they might argue the credibility of the witnesses; however, if there is substantial material evidence, the "his word against mine" argument is no longer relevant.

I heard an interesting and bizarre theory - they may argue that ARod didn't get quality medical care from the Yankee staff, and he had no recourse but to seek out alternative care. I can't see that having much traction, but who knows.

The Yankees have also kept quiet about the pending appeal. Girardi said it is his job to manage a baseball team, not be a judge. The Yankees did fire back about the insinuation by ARod after a Trenton game that MLB and the Yankees were colluding to void his contract.

That was a dumb thing for ARod to say.

ZippyTheChimp
August 6th, 2013, 11:22 AM
I dug up this old article, written over 12 years ago. Seems like a lifetime.


Sports of The Times; Jeter Lays Off His Pal's Bait, Saying Plenty

By HARVEY ARATON
Published: March 06, 2001

IN one of life's delicious little ironies, Alex Rodriguez recently made the claim that Derek Jeter is a player who is ''never your concern,'' presenting Jeter with the opportunity to demonstrate why he most often is.

The proof was more in what Jeter didn't say than what he did, in response to Rodriguez's petty comments in the April issue of Esquire magazine. Under pressure, Jeter was collected enough to diffuse a potential spitting contest between two of baseball's glamour players.

''I'll ask him tonight,'' Jeter said when reporters fed him Rodriguez's bait last Friday at the Yankees' training base in Tampa. ''I'll talk to him and let you know.'' In the context of budding controversy, this solid contact with the increasingly elusive concept of restraint was the equivalent of a two-out, ninth-inning hit with the tying run on second.

The commentary that Jeter is a Yankee who ''never had to lead'' (and, by extrapolation, perhaps not worth the 10-year, $189 million deal ranking him second behind Rodriguez on baseball's salary charts) had to sting, if only because it was made by a peer Jeter perceived as a pal.

Only they know how close their friendship has been, but it's worth recalling that Jeter, in one of the few attacks against his team-first character, was criticized for fraternizing with Rodriguez while the Yankees and Mariners rolled angrily around the infield two seasons ago in Seattle.

Jeter has since gone on with the Yankees to win two more World Series, for a total of four in five years. Rodriguez, bounced with the Mariners from the 2000 postseason by his so-called buddy's team, accepted a record 10-year, $252 million deal from Texas this winter, ending speculation that he would land with the Mets.

Rodriguez was roundly criticized here following the aborted Mets negotiations, but it was understandable why he went elsewhere, beyond that staggering sum of money. Jeter already has both feet in the New York history book and, more significantly, George Steinbrenner would have made sure that Rodriguez never competed on a level playing field.

''Jeter's been blessed with great talent around him,'' Rodriguez told Esquire. While that's indisputable, the entirety of his remarks make him sound painfully aware that no matter how much he makes, he can't buy karma. Jeter has obviously been fortunate to be part of the Yankees, but he has been essential to their success, a franchise pillar. In organizational terms, Jeter may have been born on third base, but he stole home and has put himself back in scoring position, time and again.

Rodriguez. Gary Sheffield. John Rocker. You have to wonder about some athletes and periodical publications. Do they think they are being interviewed for historical archives that they won't be confronted with until age 75? No matter how much they cry context, the magazine quote may be a more honest window into their thinking, as the time between pontification and publication generally offers the opportunity to rethink and retract.

Defensive people tend to lash out, which I was reminded of a few weeks ago at the National Basketball Association All-Star Game. Under siege about his league, David Stern was told at a news conference that Elvin Hayes, who coached in the game between rookies and second-year players, had called the league's young players immature. Had he withheld comment, Stern might have learned that Hayes had actually praised the players, saying that all they lacked was maturity. Stern, the most respected commissioner in team sports, instead chose to diss his league's own legend.

Under verbal fire, Jeter, at 26, came across, especially in contrast to Rodriguez, as comfortable with his place, his contract and himself. It bodes well for the coming season and how Jeter will respond to his rich new deal.

Might he falter in the face of expectation? Get a swelled head? The longtime Yankee Gene Michael tells of how he once asked Jeter if his congenial personality would change when the inevitable big money came. ''Aww, Stick,'' Jeter said, ''my dad would kill me.''

Charles Jeter, a trained psychologist, once watched young Derek refuse to shake hands with the opposition after losing a Little League game. He told his son: ''Time to grab a tennis racket, since you don't know how to play a team sport.''

Jeter has since learned a few things about sports and sociology. He graciously gave Alex Rodriguez the room to spin himself out of trouble. Their friendship has most likely taken a hit, but Jeter made his point. Count on him in a big spot, and always expect him to lead.

Copyright 2013 The New York Times Company

IrishInNYC
August 6th, 2013, 12:18 PM
ending speculation that he would land with the Mets.

Wonder what's happening in that alternate universe!

eddhead
August 6th, 2013, 01:11 PM
@ hbcat

In addition to Zippy's observations, consider too that at 211 games, A-Rod would have been over 40 by the time his suspension would have ended. Given his decline in recent years, one could argue that at 40, he will no longer possess the skills necessary to be a viable major league player. In other words, 211 games may as well be 2111 games for A-Rod because he probably wouldn't have made it back anyway. Not only that, but his salary starts to decline after this season - admittedly not by much, but a bit in 2014 and a bit more in 2015. The incentive is for him to play now, while he is young enough to have some of the skills, and is collecting a higher check

Conventional wisdoms seems to be that by appealing, he will likely play most if not all of the season out. If he gets anything near 150 games in 2014, (over 2 years of not playing at 40) I have to think he is done. At least now he gets to string it out a bit.

mariab
August 6th, 2013, 03:56 PM
That's some article, and Rod did sound petty when he said Jeter was blessed with talent surrounding him. I always thought that Jeter loved the game before the rewards, while I thought Rod loved the rewards first. Not denying Rod's talent, but what limited observations I have of the Yankees, Jeter's has been more consistent.


Btw love what his father said to him as a little leaguer. I'm sure his father's guidance shaped the kind of character he shows on the field as well as in front of the camera today.

eddhead
August 6th, 2013, 05:50 PM
You're right - that statement DID make Arod sound petty, and really served no purpose but ... well it was kind of true. Of course, he forgets that the Mariner teams of the late 90's were also stacked - Arod, Edgar, Buhner and Griffey were all at or near their prime at the time. I would agree that Arod was more important to the Mariners line-up than Jeter was to the Yankees back than, but I would not necessarily agree that he, alone was the primary player you didn't want beating you. Griffey was having pretty awesome seasons back than too hitting 158 HR's over a 3 year span, including back-to-back 56 HR seasons.

I am not sure I agree with your observation on Arod loving the rewards more than the game itself however, and I kind of think people in general are beginning to are use his getting caught with PED's as a reason to trash every aspect of his character. Although not at all universally liked, I have yet to hear a teammate or oppossing player criticize his work ethic or zest for the game. Indeed, most people around baseball will attest to the fact that Arod is more of a fan and student of the game and more obsessed with its history than Jeter is. For instance I recall a story about Arod visiting Jeter at his home in Tampa and being absolutely amazed by the fact that Jeter did not subscribe to a MLB cable package. My own opinion is Ihis obession with the game,and his desire to please others and succeed did him in. Either way, Arod may be a lot of things, but his love and dedicaton to the game certainly is sincere. It would be wrong to extend his personaltiy shortcomings into areas that don't apply.

Let's also not forget that it was Arod, not Jeter who agreed to change postions when he came to the Yankees, despite the fact that Arod was clearly the better defensive SS at the time. That was pretty unselfish. In stark contrast, Jeter outright refused to do so - something that really struck me at the time.

I love Jeter as much as anyone, but a bit of balance is in order here.

Your note on Jeter's father is interesting in light of Arod's own family situation. Arod's father left his family apparently with no warning when he was 9. Those close to him claim he never reconciled to that and that claim it effected him and the type of person he is today, profoundly.

I think he is a tragic figure in a way, done in by his own intensity, his love and obsession for the game, and his compulsion to impress and be loved by others, possibly born out of the rejection of his father.

ZippyTheChimp
August 6th, 2013, 07:28 PM
Of course, he forgets that the Mariner teams of the late 90's were also stacked - Arod, Edgar, Buhner and Griffey were all at or near their prime at the time. I would agree that Arod was more important to the Mariners line-up than Jeter was to the Yankees back than, but I would not necessarily agree that he, alone was the primary player you didn't want beating you. Griffey was having pretty awesome seasons back than too hitting 158 HR's over a 3 year span, including back-to-back 56 HR seasons.Looking forward from 1993, I probably would have agreed with this, but it is absolutely untrue with the wisdom of hindsight. As it turns out, Jeter was more important to the Yankees than Rodriguez was to the Mariners, Rangers, or Yankees.

I don't know how much it is realized today how good ARod was while in high school. There wasn't as much media attention of high school prospects back then, but if you were a Yankee fan stuck with probably the worst three years in team history, a parade of shortstops including Alvaro Espinosa, Andy Stankiewicz, Spike Owen, and Mike Gallego - maybe you paid attention. The Yankees drafted Jeter in 1992, but except for savvy scouts, he was an unknown commodity. ARod was drafted by the Mariners in 1993. He was a can't miss phenom, and showed in in his first full season at 20 years old.

He led the league in doubles with 54, total bases with 379, and BA with .358. He had 215 hits and 36 HR. A rifle arm. The best hitting infielder I've ever seen. Missed the MVP by three votes.


Either way, Arod may be a lot of things, but his love and dedicaton to the game certainly is sincere. It would be wrong to extend his personaltiy shortcomings into areas that don't apply.I don't agree with that. None of us lead lives apart from our work. One always influences the other.

One ARod flaw that may have gone unnoticed in 1993 was his signing bonus negotiation with the Mariners, while signing a letter of intent to play at the University of Miami. His agent at the time, and for years thereafter, was Scott Boras, who advised him to hold out for more. It's been written that Boras was a father figure to ARod, and if true, maybe the wrong personality to wield such influence.

Whatever his knowledge and dedication to baseball, I'm not so sure that ARod really loves to play, not the way other successful players seem to. There was always a tenseness, an awkwardness about his demeanor that belied the fact that he was a Natural. Maybe ironically, it was the steroid use that affected his ability to perform in clutch situations, not the drug itself, but the lie. Having to live a lie must be stressful for anyone; doing it while in a fishbowl existence must be unbearable.

The point at the moment is - what is this all for? What does ARod derive from whatever number of games he has left?

It's really a tragedy, nothing to be happy about.

I'm not giving him a pass of excuses. He did this to himself. We don't grow up on the same timer, but there comes a point when the bell rings, and we see ourselves as men and women, not boys and girls. Maybe it takes longer for celebrities, but if you're not there by your mid-30s, you're probably stuck in place.

ZippyTheChimp
August 7th, 2013, 10:52 AM
I just remembered something about ARod's love of baseball: He opted out of his contract during the deciding game 4 of the 2007 World Series. After blabbing all season that he wanted to remain with the Yankees, he doesn't even meet with them before the announcement.

Love of baseball? More like...

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_-QlLNAUJ9XM/SeOM8LaCLBI/AAAAAAAABI4/gNzNeVBiT4I/s400/arod_kissing_mirror.jpg

ZippyTheChimp
August 7th, 2013, 12:32 PM
Electronic trail helped MLB gain Biogenesis bans

RONALD BLUM

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook friends. Transcripts of BlackBerry instant messages. Records of texts.

Major League Baseball's investigators used an arsenal of high-tech tools to collect the evidence that persuaded a dozen players to accept 50-game suspensions this week for their ties to the Biogenesis clinic.

And when it came time to meet with the players' association, they flashed some of their documentary proof. While there was not enough time for the union to thoroughly examine what baseball had collected, there was little doubt there was an electronic trail, one of the people familiar with the meetings said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no public statements were authorized.

"It both complicates things and adds a layer of proof that certainly wasn't available many years ago," union general counsel David Prouty said Tuesday.

Alex Rodriguez, the lone holdout against a suspension, faces an arbitration hearing in coming months that likely will include such evidence. The New York Yankees third baseman was suspended for 211 games from Thursday through the 2014 season, though he is allowed to play until a decision is issued by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz, which is not expected until at least November.

Until now, nearly all suspensions under MLB's drug program resulted from positive drug tests. The Biogenesis probe revealed players were using PEDs without detection.

"To catch the most sophisticated intentional fraudsters, you have to use non-analytical means, which is another reason why baseball's effort here is such a pivotal moment for the anti-doping fight," said Travis Tygart, chief executive office of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

MLB officials would not speak for attribution about its investigation. The league used about 30 people full time in its fact-gathering, another person familiar with the process said Tuesday, also on condition of anonymity because no statements were authorized.

The probe was sparked in January when the Miami New Times published documents linking players to the clinic and accused it of distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs.

Technology has evolved since 2003, when federal agents raided the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative in Burlingame, Calif., sparking an investigation that eventually led to criminal convictions of Barry Bonds, track star Marion Jones, cyclist Tammy Thomas and NFL lineman Dana Stubblefield.

And when former Sen. George Mitchell issued his report on drugs in baseball four years later, he recommended baseball start an investigations department. Dan Mullin, a former New York City Police Officer, was hired as the unit's head in 2008. Former U.S. Secret Service director Mark Sullivan was brought in to assist in the Biogenesis probe.

After the Miami New Times report, baseball investigators examined the Facebook pages of Bosch and Porter Fisher, the former Biogenesis associate who gave documents to the newspaper. They began to sketch out which people they were friends with, and which of those friends posted photos of athletes or mentioned athletes. Each link led to new loops that provided leads.

MLB filed a lawsuit in March against Biogenesis of America, company founder Anthony Bosch and others, complaining they interfered with the contracts between MLB and the union. The suit was unusual and may never reach trial, but it did give MLB the ability to file civil subpoenas.

Records from Florida's Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County that were examined by the AP showed subpoenas were issued to Federal Express, AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA, UPS and Metro PCS. At least some of those companies complied and turned over data to the probe, one of the people said.

By June, Bosch agreed to cooperate with the investigation. The person said MLB hired a data recovery company to obtain records from his mobile telephone.

When baseball officials met with the union, evidence included the BlackBerry instant message transcripts and records of text messages. Lawyers for players believed some emails also had been recovered.

"It's like traditional law enforcement methods," Tygart said. "Even without the powers of law enforcement — wiretaps, search warrants — you can still have success in obtaining these documents."

© copyright 2013 Associated Press


-------------------------------------------------------------

It's funny how people now speak "on condition of anonymity."

So "public statements are not authorized" really means "releasing your name is not authorized"?

TREPYE
August 7th, 2013, 06:45 PM
Whatever his knowledge and dedication to baseball, I'm not so sure that ARod really loves to play, not the way other successful players seem to. There was always a tenseness, an awkwardness about his demeanor that belied the fact that he was a Natural. Maybe ironically, it was the steroid use that affected his ability to perform in clutch situations, not the drug itself, but the lie. Having to live a lie must be stressful for anyone; doing it while in a fishbowl existence must be unbearable.


Well said. PED's may help enhance/preserve muscle fibers size and densitiy but they cannot improve the synaptic plasticity in that that mesh of neurons in between your ears. His PED use enhaced his strength, but not the equanimity needed to make solid contact in a clutch spot on a consistent basis.

GordonGecko
August 8th, 2013, 12:20 AM
PED use enhaced his strength, but not the equanimity needed to make solid contact in a clutch spot on a consistent basis.

I hear that all the time from people, but it's not based on any sort of actual data or evidence. Who's to say PEDs don't help you make contact and place the ball, or to do so in certain team situations - there's been no controlled experiments to say one way or the other

TREPYE
August 8th, 2013, 12:48 AM
Then A-Rod set is closest thing, I guess.

ZippyTheChimp
August 8th, 2013, 01:08 AM
I think you would need evidence that PEDs improve things like reflexes or muscle coordination, not evidence that they don't. That's backwards.

I've never seen one report that states that PEDs do more than what chemistry says they do. If the muscle enhancement enables you to get the bat to the ball more quickly, then in that sense, you can say PEDs help you in the clutch.

But that's not what we're talking about. Performing in pressure/clutch situations is a mental state - zoned in, relaxed. It's not constant over time, which is a big reason players go into slumps.

hbcat
August 8th, 2013, 07:04 AM
This narcissus photo kind of sums it all up, does it? Not only is this an enduring image that most of us find most unlikeable about Arod, it also shows his lousy judgment in allowing himself to be depicted in this way.

Excellent analysis, across several posts, Zippy, and well written. Thank you.

hbcat
August 8th, 2013, 07:08 AM
Well said. PED's may help enhance/preserve muscle fibers size and densitiy but they cannot improve the synaptic plasticity in that that mesh of neurons in between your ears. His PED use enhaced his strength, but not the equanimity needed to make solid contact in a clutch spot on a consistent basis.

Meaning, finally, that character cannot be discounted as a major factor, especially in Arod's case. Well said yourself.

eddhead
August 8th, 2013, 10:18 AM
I think you would need evidence that PEDs improve things like reflexes or muscle coordination, not evidence that they don't. That's backwards.

I've never seen one report that states that PEDs do more than what chemistry says they do. If the muscle enhancement enables you to get the bat to the ball more quickly, then in that sense, you can say PEDs help you in the clutch.

But that's not what we're talking about. Performing in pressure/clutch situations is a mental state - zoned in, relaxed. It's not constant over time, which is a big reason players go into slumps.

We know that PED usage enhances one's capacity for conditioning and endurance. The endurance part is what is overlooked here. PED's enable the body's muscles to recover more quickly thereby enablng longer, more frequent workouts and just as importantly, longer and more frequent practice time.

We focus on stregnth and speed as logical outcomes o PED's but what is lost on many is the sheer abilty to practice in the cage harder, and longer, and more frequently creating muscle memory, and enhancing swing mechanics. It is not far-flung to assume the result is better swing mechanics and muscle coordination.

During his hey day, it was reported that Don Mattingly was obsessed with spending time in the batting cage working on his swing. This may have proved to be a double edge sword for him - repetition and tweaking led him to become one of the greatest hitters I ever saw during his prime. But the constant practice is considered by some to be the cause of the back injuries that later shortened his career. Had he used steroids use, he could have potentially increase his capacity to practice without getting tired and sloppy, and mitigated the liklihood of injuries.

People who do not equate PED usage with the ability to improve the non-power parts of the game miss this point. I have no doubt that by improving one's capacioty to practice, skills assocaited with hand-eye coordination and muscle coordination can also be improved.

Not to mention that the broken bat pop that normally ends up in the in fielder's glove suddenly goes 10 extra feet out and becomes a bloop single.

In addition, anyone who has ever worked out seriously will attest to the fact that weight lifting (especially with free weights) improves muscle coordination by requiring large muscle groups to work together. For instance, when bench pressing, first-timers or folks who haven't lifted are awkward, often lifgting one side higher than the other, even slipping on the bench from time to time. Consistent and frequent weight lifting, promotes muscule memory and improves muscle coordination

ZippyTheChimp
August 8th, 2013, 11:05 AM
^
That doesn't go to what Trepye and I are talking about - clutch hitting, performing under pressure.

Muscle memory and conditioning don't explain why players suddenly go into and come out of slumps. Or why when they are hot (to use their own descriptions) - "Everything slows down" or "I'm seeing the ball." Eccentric behavior is often mistaken for superstition, but it's more a familiar routine, mental preparedness.

As Yogi said, "Baseball is 90% mental; the other half is physical."

ZippyTheChimp
August 8th, 2013, 11:36 AM
It's an open question that can only be answered by ARod himself - maybe some time in the future, if ever: How extensive was his drug use?

His numbers have been more or less consistent throughout his career, and as for change of appearance, he's an anomaly among the career-long users. It points to an unfairness in how he's judged compared to others.

Google "baseball players before and after steroids." You'll get similar results across many websites. All the results show the players' before photo as a time in their early major-league careers. Except for ARod. I guess nothing worthwhile could be found from his Seattle days, so it's always this one:

http://static2.businessinsider.com/image/4e70db33eab8ea9320000029-1200/yankee-a-rod.jpg

The left photo is labelled "Little ARod." Where is that from?

This is how he looked in his early years in Seattle:

http://www.nwsportsbeat.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Alex-Rodriguez-Mariners.jpg

http://i.cdn.turner.com/si/multimedia/photo_gallery/0906/mlb.last.25.number1.picks/images/alex-rodriguez.jpg?width=500

And in high school:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/images/02/05/alex-rodriguez.jpg

eddhead
August 8th, 2013, 01:12 PM
@ Zip - I was referring to this comment


I think you would need evidence that PEDs improve things like reflexes or muscle coordination, not evidence that they don't.

But I agree with the comments about performing in clutch situations.

ZippyTheChimp
August 8th, 2013, 02:32 PM
^
You can get that from ordinary repetitive workouts, something all good athletes do. PEDs may may make someone more inclined to work out if they are lazy (why run the risk of taking them without working out?), but ARod was always known for his work ethic - described as a gym-rat, took extra batting and infield practice.

In bulk muscle training, there is a repair period after workouts when muscles rebound and recover; that's when muscles grow. Steroids accelerate this process, which allows workouts to be cycled sooner. Basically, you can spend more time lifting weights.

eddhead
August 8th, 2013, 03:31 PM
^
You can get that from ordinary repetitive workouts, something all good athletes do. PEDs may may make someone more inclined to work out if they are lazy (why run the risk of taking them without working out?), but ARod was always known for his work ethic - described as a gym-rat, took extra batting and infield practice.

I don't buy into the notion that PED's may make lazy people more inclined to work. The issue is not willingness to work but the body's capacity to work more frequently by enabling faster muscle recovery. Refer to the Mattingly example above. Many close to him maintain his persistent practicing led to the chronic back condition that did him in.

Steroids mitigate the risk of injury by promoting faster recovery, and accelerating the body's ability to repair itself.


^
In bulk muscle training, there is a repair period after workouts when muscles rebound and recover; that's when muscles grow. Steroids accelerate this process, which allows workouts to be cycled sooner. Basically, you can spend more time lifting weights.
Yes. This is the primary way steroids promote growth - by enabling more frequent workouts

ZippyTheChimp
August 8th, 2013, 05:15 PM
I don't buy into the notion that PED's may make lazy people more inclined to work.I said that as the only possible link I could think of between PED use and "muscle memory." In the example, the PEDs could be phony, and the "user" just thinks he has to work out to justify it.

Anyway, I discounted even that, saying that athletes work out constantly on repetitive action.

At a simple level, a child has trouble drinking from a glass because he hasn't developed a pathway that adults aren't even aware of. When the nerves of you lower lip detect the edge of the glass, a signal is sent to the brain which sends a signal to the muscles in the hand holding the glass to turn. The pathways that control the process are strengthened over repetition, and it becomes automatic. It's not muscle-memory; it's brain memory.

I've read nothing about PEDs having anything to do with it.

eddhead
August 8th, 2013, 06:24 PM
The pathways that control the process are strengthened over repetition, and it becomes automatic


Exactly my point. Repetition is the result of practice. The mechanics of a baseball swing are complex and require a coordintated response from the body. IN fact the mechanics areso complex that it is easy to fall out of sorts. The remedy for that is repetition through hours and hours of practice. If you don't think swinging a round bat at a round ball over a period of hours is taxing on the body, try it some time. PED's allow players' bodies to recover quickly frequent and long practices. Just as PED's allow for faser cycle times for weight lifting, they allow for faster cycle times hours long to practices on the batting cage as well.

If you don't think swinging a bat for hours on end without rest is taxing on he body, try it some time.

As much as brain memory, hand-eye and body coordination which are honed by repetition made possile by endurance a commitement to practice - hours and hours of time in the cage creates solid hitting mechanics.. Brain memory doesn't account for the fact that hitters go into slumps when their mechanics are whacked. Time in the cage, working on their swing for hours on end promotes builds mechanics thru repetition.

Case in point: Barry Bonds. Not only did he become a power hitting threat when he joined the Giants and started taking PED's his BA suddenly got higher. And while he had a refined eye with the Pirates, he became ridiculous with the Giants. He didn't get better bat control, hitting mechanics and an improved average from streght training. He got it by working on his swing.

ZippyTheChimp
August 8th, 2013, 06:59 PM
If you don't think swinging a bat for hours on end without rest is taxing on he body, try it some time.This has nothing to do with the chemistry of PEDs affecting muscle memory.


As much as brain memory, hand-eye and body coordination which are honed by repetition made possile by endurance a commitement to practice - hours and hours of time in the cage creates solid hitting mechanics.. Brain memory doesn't account for the fact that hitters go into slumps when their mechanics are whacked. Time in the cage, working on their swing for hours on end promotes builds mechanics thru repetition.I'm sorry, but you have this wrong. Muscles are dumb. They don't talk to each other. They are tissues that either contract or relax. The brain tells them when to do it, in what order to do it, and how much to do it. Mechanics is brain memory.

PEDs do not enhance this dialog between the brain and muscles. They increase muscle mass.


Case in point: Barry Bonds. Not only did he become a power hitting threat when he joined the Giants and started taking PED's his BA suddenly got higher. And while he had a refined eye with the Pirates, he became ridiculous with the Giants.Not really. A higher BA is influenced by strength. Weak liners are "muscled out of the infield." Long fly outs become homeruns. Because of his power, Bonds became difficult to pitch to. Who else was intentionally walked with the bases loaded? It became easier for Bonds to hit as he knew he wouldn't be challenged inside.


He didn't get better bat control, hitting mechanics and an improved average from streght training. He got it by working on his swing.Just as PEDs have nothing to do with the brain controlling the muscles, PEDs don't inhibit the process either. Bonds was a talented athlete. It's reasonable that he would get better at what he did through experience, with or without PEDs.

ETA: Brain in this discussion is the brain and its nervous system.

eddhead
August 9th, 2013, 10:03 AM
This has nothing to do with the chemistry of PEDs affecting muscle memory.

I never suggested that the "Chemistry" of PED's affect muscle memory. Instead, I painstakenly suggested that the "chemistry" of PED's add endurance to one's workout or practice sessions, and enable faster body recovery times, thereby promoting longer and more frequent workouts with less rest in between.


I'm sorry, but you have this wrong. Muscles are dumb. They don't talk to each other. They are tissues that either contract or relax. The brain tells them when to do it, in what order to do it, and how much to do it. Mechanics is brain memory.

Not the point. As you yourself posted, repetition promotes improved mechanics. PED's enable repetition on a mass scale by allowing longer and more frequent workouts with less rest in between.

And anybody who doesn't believe weight lifting promotes muscle and hand-eye coordination has never seriously lifted weights.


PEDs do not enhance this dialog between the brain and muscles. They increase muscle mass.

PED's are not the direct cause (although they are the INdirect cause) of muscle mass growth. Rather they allow the body to exercise longer and more frequently by increasing body endurance and speeding up muscle recovery times - as you put it, they allow you to cylcle your workouts more frequently by reducing the time the body needs to recover (normally 48-72 hrs between workouts for each muscle group)

It is the extra exercise, not the PED's that promote muscle mass. PED's enable the extra excercise which in turn results in muscle growth.

Call it brain memory or muscle memory (a common weight lifting and "gym rat" term BTW) - I really don't care. the point is repetition improves mechanics, and PED's enable LOTS of repetition (including time spent in the batting cage) by increasing body endurance, and speeding up body recovery times enabling more frequent workouts with less rest between

As I said previously, if you don't think so, try taking a few thousand swings with no rest over a 4 hour period try it some time, and let me know how your body feels afterwards.

And I suggested previously, anybody who doesn't believe weight lifting promotes muscle and hand-eye coordination has never seriously lifted weights.


Not really. A higher BA is influenced by strength. Weak liners are "muscled out of the infield." Long fly outs become homeruns.

I agree with this, and suggested as much in a previous post.


Because of his power, Bonds became difficult to pitch to. Who else was intentionally walked with the bases loaded? It became easier for Bonds to hit as he knew he wouldn't be challenged inside.

Fair point.


Just as PEDs have nothing to do with the brain controlling the muscles, PEDs don't inhibit the process either. Bonds was a talented athlete. It's reasonable that he would get better at what he did through experience, with or without PEDs.

This part is all true.

ZippyTheChimp
August 9th, 2013, 11:04 AM
Need to backtrack a little.


Well said. PED's may help enhance/preserve muscle fibers size and densitiy but they cannot improve the synaptic plasticity in that that mesh of neurons in between your ears. His PED use enhaced his strength, but not the equanimity needed to make solid contact in a clutch spot on a consistent basis.


I hear that all the time from people, but it's not based on any sort of actual data or evidence. Who's to say PEDs don't help you make contact and place the ball, or to do so in certain team situations - there's been no controlled experiments to say one way or the other


I think you would need evidence that PEDs improve things like reflexes or muscle coordination, not evidence that they don't. That's backwards.

I've never seen one report that states that PEDs do more than what chemistry says they do. If the muscle enhancement enables you to get the bat to the ball more quickly, then in that sense, you can say PEDs help you in the clutch.

But that's not what we're talking about. Performing in pressure/clutch situations is a mental state - zoned in, relaxed. It's not constant over time, which is a big reason players go into slumps.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Your response to these was completely off base. What an athlete may or may not do as to workouts involves many other factors, so it's impossible to draw your definitive conclusion. An athlete can overtrain and burn out, so PEDs in such an instance would have a negative effect.

And you're still making factual errors:
PED's are not the direct cause (although they are the INdirect cause) of muscle mass growth.False. HGH grows muscle mass (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_growth_hormone).


As I said previously, if you don't think so, try taking a few thousand swings with no rest over a 4 hour period try it some time, and let me know how your body feels afterwards.

And I suggested previously, anybody who doesn't believe weight lifting promotes muscle and hand-eye coordination has never seriously lifted weights.
I played baseball in high school and have spent time in weight rooms. How does "seriously lifting weights" augment the nervous system? Should we ask Arnold to explain Neuroscience?


Call it brain memory or muscle memory (a common weight lifting and "gym rat" term BTW) - I really don't care. You should, because that's what we are talking about.

Two identical twin ballplayers. One takes PEDs and the other does not. They have the exact same workouts. This stuff...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_coordination
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hand_eye_coordination

...would be the same for both players. PEDs have no effect on these systems.

However, the player that's taking PEDs, although the workouts are the same, will have more muscle mass.

--------------------------------------------------

Amphetamine (dopamine) increases reaction time because it acts on the nervous system. PEDs do not.

eddhead
August 12th, 2013, 10:58 AM
Need to backtrack a little.







--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[quote]Your response to these was completely off base. What an athlete may or may not do as to workouts involves many other factors, so it's impossible to draw your definitive conclusion. An athlete can overtrain and burn out, so PEDs in such an instance would have a negative effect.

Misses the point entirely. What PED's do is diminish the liklelihood of an athlete overtraining and burning out, by increasing the athlete's endurance and capacity to exercise. Sure it can happen, but it is less likely with PED's


And you're still making factual errors:False. HGH grows muscle mass (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_growth_hormone).

Muscle mass, yes But not strength and performance. From the Mayo Clinic


What can human growth hormone do for otherwise healthy adults?

Studies of healthy adults taking human growth hormone are limited. Although it appears that human growth hormone injections can increase muscle mass and reduce the amount of body fat in healthy older adults, the increase in muscle doesn't translate into increased strength. It isn't clear if human growth hormone may provide other benefits to healthy adults

The increase in stregnth is the result of the body's added capacity to exercise which comes as a result of the increased muscle mass. This is accomplished not by making existing muscle cells bigger, but rather by enabling the body to produce more muscles cells, which in turn faciliate muscle repair, allowing longer workouts with more less rest between. Hence, the HGH and resultant increased mass, is an indirect result of improved performance, not a direct result. You still need to workout and practice to improve strength and performance, and the more you do it without breaking down, the more you benefit. By adding new undeveloped new muscle cells, PED's increases the body's capacity for extra workouts and facilitates repair, which in turn results in added strength.


I played baseball in high school and have spent time in weight rooms. How does "seriously lifting weights" augment the nervous system? Should we ask Arnold to explain Neuroscience?

I have played baseball my whole life but didn't start lifting weights until about 25 years ago. I noticed and immediate improvement in motor functions and hand-eye coordination. I was told by trainers that the experience is common. I stopped for health reasons about 4 years ago (busted up shoulder, elbow, and knee joints), and have seen degredation in those areas.

There are numerous articles available on the web that attest to the fact that this experience is common Here is one:
http://www.everydayhealth.com/fitness/add-strength-training-to-your-workout.aspx




3. Strength training helps you develop better body mechanics.
Strength training has benefits that go well beyond the appearance of nicely toned muscles. Your balance and coordination will improve, as will your posture. More importantly, if you have poor flexibility and balance, strength training can reduce your risk of falling by as much as 40 percent, a crucial benefit, especially as you get older.

From Weight Watchers illustrating how extra practice (enabled by PED's) improves hand-eye coordination:


But there is a point at which the eyes must adjust to an object’s closing distance. This is where smooth pursuit ends, and the eyes utilize saccades, or fast eye movement. Skilled athletes can consistently follow an object to its impact point — baseball to the bat, foot to the ball — which is why practice is critical. If you don't like that one, I can find others attesting to the same benefits





Two identical twin ballplayers. One takes PEDs and the other does not. They have the exact same workouts. This stuff...
...would be the same for both players. PEDs have no effect on these systems.

Is that a documented study or an hypothesis?


However, the player that's taking PEDs, although the workouts are the same, will have more muscle mass.

Muscle mass? Yes. Strength and performance improvement? No.

--------------------------------------------------

ZippyTheChimp
August 12th, 2013, 12:57 PM
Misses the point entirely. What PED's do is diminish the liklelihood of an athlete overtraining and burning out, by increasing the athlete's endurance and capacity to exercise. Sure it can happen, but it is less likely with PED'sWhat does burning out have to do with increasing strength and muscle mass?

You have taken a hypothetical ballplayer, and made him the typical model. "I wish I could cram more training into my daily routine." The PEDs don't motivate you to train more; they just give you the bounce back time to do it. So what you're talking about is the behavior of a typical ball player, whether he wants to spend more time training - is two hours a day in a batting cage enough, or does he want to do another session the same day.

This is added to his schedule of playing games, and the stretching and aerobic workouts that are necessary before each game. Baseball is non-aerobic - you stand still in the field or in the batter's box, and then have to move explosively. If you don't condition the muscles beforehand, you're prone to pulls. Added to that the compressed schedules, travel times, public appearances. And the player has to have some time to live his life outside of baseball.

All this for 6 months.


If you're going to assign this motivational quality to PEDs and draw a scientific conclusion, then you have to include the negative effects, and how that affects your willingness to train.

Although they don't have the same mechanism as drugs such as cocaine to affect the brain, PEDs are addictive. At some point, does the ballplayer become more concerned with getting the drug than his job - playing baseball. Can you explain why ARod, after being caught and apologizing for taking PEDs, went right back to it?

PED users develop mood swings. How about Ortiz going crazy in the dugout, sending teammates running for cover, just because he struck out on a bad call. Does he miss the drug?

PEDs interfere with sleep patterns; users think they are getting enough sleep, when they are not.

PEDs cause cardiovascular problems, high blood pressure.

PEDs can cause carpal tunnel syndrome and joint pain, when not taken as directed. [see below]


From the Mayo ClinicCite this research. Are they talking about doctor-prescribed, or abuse. Athlete's take up to 100 times the prescribed dosage.

Now I'm not stating - although I think I could - that the negative affects of PEDs will reduce a ballplayers willingness or ability to spend more time in workouts.

So if you can, total up all the positives and negatives, and let me know what you come up with.

You're engaging in junk science.

Your Weight Watchers cite:
But there is a point at which the eyes must adjust to an object’s closing distance. This is where smooth pursuit ends, and the eyes utilize saccades, or fast eye movement. Skilled athletes can consistently follow an object to its impact point — baseball to the bat, foot to the ball — which is why practice is critical. Does it state HOW practice improves coordination?

The links again:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_coordination
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hand_eye_coordination

Does Weight Watchers agree with the above, or with you, or maybe they don't address it?


I have played baseball my whole life but didn't start lifting weights until about 25 years ago. I noticed and immediate improvement in motor functions and hand-eye coordination. I was told by trainers that experience is common.You make the same interpretive flaw as in the preceding cite.


Is that a documented study or an hypothesisIt's a hypothesis based on facts of what the drug actually does.

What's yours based on - cause and effect? Don't forget those negatives.

eddhead
August 12th, 2013, 04:02 PM
What does burning out have to do with increasing strength and muscle mass?
The exact posted sentance I was responding to was:


An athlete can overtrain and burn out, so PEDs in such an instance would have a negative effect

I have gone into chapter and verse about how PED's mitigate the potential of overtraining by enhancing body endurance and recovery. The notion that PED's lead to burn out is pure conjecture and given the science, counter-intutive and unsupportable.

I do agree with your claim later on - that PED's have longer term negative physilogical effects on the body. I am NOT a proponent. In fact, I am suggesting they provide an unfair competitive advantage to athletes who use them.


You have taken a hypothetical ballplayer, and made him the typical model. "I wish I could cram more training into my daily routine." The PEDs don't motivate you to train more; they just give you the bounce back time to do it. So what you're talking about is the behavior of a typical ball player, whether he wants to spend more time training - is two hours a day in a batting cage enough, or does he want to do another session the same day.

I have taken a hypothetical?? How about this:


An athlete can overtrain and burn out, so PEDs in such an instance would have a negative effect

or this:

Two identical twin ballplayers. One takes PEDs and the other does not. They have the exact same workouts. This stuff...
...would be the same for both players. PEDs have no effect on these systems

The fact is, there are players who spend an inordinate amount of time lifting and practicing. Refer to my Mattingly example. A-Rod is a virtual gym rat. To players like that, PED's are a boon. At least until the effect of thed drugs catch up with them.

.

If you're going to assign this motivational quality to PEDs and draw a scientific conclusion, then you have to include the negative effects, and how that affects your willingness to train.

I am not assigning motivational qualities to PED's. I am suggesting that most atheltes are already motivated to train exorbitantly. Many athletes have less than 9% body fat. How do you suppose they acheived those body types? They are inclined to work hard. PED's don't motivate but they do enable the motivated and those with aptitude.


Although they don't have the same mechanism as drugs such as cocaine to affect the brain, PEDs are addictive. At some point, does the ballplayer become more concerned with getting the drug than his job - playing baseball. Can you explain why ARod, after being caught and apologizing for taking PEDs, went right back to it?

I am not suggesting PED's are not addictive. But they are readily available and easy to acquire. The idea that players become more concerned with taking the drugs than playing the game is a serious stretch.

And not everyone becomes addictive to them. For instance, both Andy Pettite and Bartolo Colon appear to have used PED's in a very limited way - to accelerate injury recovery. There is no evidence whatsoever that they are addicted to them

David Ortiz appears to be another example of a ballplayer who used PED's and stopped.


PED users develop mood swings. How about Ortiz going crazy in the dugout, sending teammates running for cover, just because he struck out on a bad call. Does he miss the drug?

PEDs interfere with sleep patterns; users think they are getting enough sleep, when they are not.

PEDs cause cardiovascular problems, high blood pressure.

PEDs can cause carpal tunnel syndrome and joint pain, when not taken as directed. [see below]
All true. So what? Are you suggesting that PED's do NOT lead to improved performance?


Cite this research. Are they talking about doctor-prescribed, or abuse. Athlete's take up to 100 times the prescribed dosage.
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/growth-hormone/HA00030


You're engaging in junk science.

I am engaging in junk science? Go through your hypotheticals again - the impact of how obsessing over drugs impacts performance,
all the rest of it, the non-supported examples of how the impact of the drug on sleep etc.. has negatively impacted performance, etc...



Your Weight Watchers cite:Does it state HOW practice improves coordination?

I thought it was a good article from a qualified physician. But if you didn't like that one? Try this instead.

http://howthebrainlearns.wordpress.com/2011/12/19/does-practice-really-make-perfect/



Practice refers to learners repeating a skill over time. It begins with the rehearsal of the new skill in working memory, the motor cortex, and the cerebellum. Later, the skill memory is recalled and additional practice follows. The quality of the practice and the learner’s knowledge base will largely determine the outcome of each practice session.

Over the long term, repeated practice causes the brain to assign extra neurons to the task, much as a computer assigns more memory for a complex program. The assignment of these additional neurons is more or less on a permanent basis. Professional keyboard and string musicians, for example, have larger portions of the motor cortex devoted to controlling finger and hand movements. Furthermore, the earlier their training started, the bigger the motor cortex (Schlaug, Jancke, Huang, & Steinmetz, 1995). If practice is stopped altogether, the neurons that are no longer being used are eventually assigned to other tasks, and skill mastery will decline (Amunts et al., 1997). In other words, use it or lose it!



The links again:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_coordination
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hand_eye_coordination

I fine nothing in these links to suggest practice does not induce "brain memory"


You make the same interpretive flaw as in the preceding cite.

Hello Pot. This is kettle speaking...

ZippyTheChimp
August 12th, 2013, 05:22 PM
Right off the mark, you relate overtrain and burnout as something that's only physical, which may explain why you're not seeing this at all.


I am engaging in junk science? Go through your hypotheticals again - the impact of how obsessing over drugs impacts performance,
all the rest of it.
Did I not state this:
Now I'm not stating - although I think I could - that the negative affects of PEDs will reduce a ballplayers willingness or ability to spend more time in workouts.

So if you can, total up all the positives and negatives, and let me know what you come up with.I rejected them because, unlike what you're doing, the effect is difficult to quantify. Yet you attempt to quantify the results of taking PEDs to something that's not causal.


All true. So what? Are you suggesting that PED's do NOT lead to improved performance?You're not even following the discussion anymore. Do I have to quote Trpeye's post again. Who said that PEDs don't lead to improved "performance?." I said PEDs do not alter motor coordination.


I fine nothing in these links to suggest practice does not induce "brain memory"What are you talking about? What do you think brain memory is?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Let's take our hypothetical ballplayers and put them in the box.

Sorry, but I guess I'm going to have to quote Trepye's post still again:
Well said. PED's may help enhance/preserve muscle fibers size and densitiy but they cannot improve the synaptic plasticity in that that mesh of neurons in between your ears. His PED use enhaced his strength, but not the equanimity needed to make solid contact in a clutch spot on a consistent basis.

Both batter's expect an outside offspeed pitch, but the pitcher throws an inside fastball.

How the batter identifies and reacts to the pitch have nothing to do with PEDs (what Trepye said). It might be guessing right; it might be relaxation and focus; it might be identifying a clue in the pitcher's stance, or the catcher's position; it might be identifying the spin of the ball.

It might be faster and more accurate in the player who's on PEDs, but the PEDs themselves do not influence this process.

At some point, both batters recognize the pitch is going to be an inside fastball. The neurotransmitters send messages to the appropriate muscles, and they contract. This is called the excitation-contraction coupling. It is sometimes called hand-eye coordination, but that's a misnomer. The eye is brain-nervous system, and the hand is the muscle at the point of of excitation. From the start of the process to this point, PEDs have no effect on the systems involved

What happens next is a direct result of the size and strength of muscles. PEDs have an effect.

Force = mass x acceleration

The two batters have recognized where the ball is going to be. They must move a mass (the bat and parts of their own weight) by accelerating it (the bat at rest to maximum velocity over time) through the application of force. By the equation, the more force you can apply, the more mass you can move and/or the faster you can move it. The force is determined by the muscles.

There are good videos on YouTube as to how this works at the cellular level. More of these muscle fibers means more strength; the more you have, the more force you can generate.

Some people mistake this for hand-eye coordination, but it's really strength. In the example above, PEDs allow you to get the bat to the ball quicker and with more power because the muscles are stronger. It's no different than if a pitcher throws up a hanger, and the batter waits and hits it well. If he is stronger, he will apply more force to the ball, and it will have greater acceleration, traveling further.

This is science.

You've used anecdotal evidence - ARod, Mattingly, and yourself to explain what you can't find in documents. In your remarks, you boldface "neurons." That's the point. Neurons are part of the brain-nervous system. The are not affected by PEDs.

Some users have said that their eyesight has gotten better because of PEDs; scientists have said that is nonsense. But I bet these people swear to it.

ZippyTheChimp
August 12th, 2013, 06:30 PM
I forgot to add (I guess my muscles need a memory tune up):



I thought it was a good article from a qualified physician. But if you didn't like that one? Try this instead.

http://howthebrainlearns.wordpress.com/2011/12/19/does-practice-really-make-perfect/

From Dr David Sousa:
Practice refers to learners repeating a skill over time. It begins with the rehearsal of the new skill in working memory, the motor cortex, and the cerebellum.

Motor cortex (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_cortex) is part of the brain.

Cerebellum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerebellum) is part of the brain.

The Mayo Clinic (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/growth-hormone/HA00030)

Just as I thought. An article about HGH and aging healthy adults. I doubt that the Mayo doctors would consider someone taking unauthorized 100x doses of a drug as healthy.

eddhead
August 13th, 2013, 01:34 PM
That is kind of a straw man, but OK. However, for the record. I never suggested the Mayo doctors would consider taking PED's a healthy practice, and I never did either. In fact, I have painstakingly suggested they are dangerous and I am not an advocate.

You're twisting the conclusion of the article by focusing on the fact is oriented on aging. In terms of the mechanics of the drugs, the message is clear.


The point of THAT article is that extensive practice promotes improved motor skills. Other references show how PED's enhance one's ability to practice longer and harder. Hence, longer and harder practices enabled by PED's lead to improved motor performance.

HGH's improve the body's capacity to exercise by introducing new muscle cells (they do not make existing ones bigger). The body's pituitary gland naturally produces HGH's but our ability to do so diminishes over time. New muscle cells do not in and of themselves lend themselves to strength and performance. This is true in the context of aging or abuse - the Mayo Clinic article makes no distinction between the two, and is quoted in other publications as evidence that abusive use of HGH does by itself promote improved performance or strength.

Steroids improve the bodies ability to synthesize proteins and amino acids, and limit the body's production of cortisol; a hormone which tends to break down muscles while working out. Eliminating Cortisol reduces muscle tear and enables longer workouts. Increased protein production promotes repair faster. The key is that by reducing muscle tear, and promoting muscle recovery, steroids enable users to workout longer and harder, with less rest between. It is the workout part that leads to improved performances and strength. It is also the ability to mitigate muscle breakage that promotes endurance and allows bodies to practice swinging a bat hours on end.

I have never taken PED's but I have been around the stuff for a long time. At one time I was a fairly heavy lifter and lifted with others who were as well. Those who took PED's leap frogged me in terms of their ability to power lift - where I was benching 300lb or so at 6 reps, they were doing 425-450. It was ridiculous.

I have taken a lot of recreational drugs in my time, but But you could never get me anyplace near PED's They scare the shit out of me, because they change the body's hormonal chemistry and balance - something I never wanted any part of.

I know what the cortex and cerebellum are, but you are missing the point once again. Repeated practice is required to fire up the brain neurons that promote motor functions, and PED's enable the ability to practice. It is impossible to separate the brain from the body in this regard because the brain is part of the body (brain/body connection) and is impacted physiologically and chemically by body activities.

Gabby Gifford did not relearn how to walk and talk by laying around in her bed. She worked hard and it was grueling physical work . I am sure she did not take PED's and I am not advocating that she should have. The point is the physicality of her routine effected her brain chemistry and improved her motor skills.

PED's allow athletes to improve the physicality and duration of their workouts practices. Repeated practice leads the brain to dedicate more neurons to the task which in turn improves motor function.

ZippyTheChimp
August 13th, 2013, 02:54 PM
That is kind of a straw man, but OK. However, for the record. I never suggested the Mayo doctors would consider taking PED's a healthy practice, and I never did either.See two quotes below as to why it isn't a straw-man.


Steroids improve the bodies ability to synthesize proteins and amino acids, and limit the body's production of cortisol; a hormone which tends to break down muscles while working out. Eliminating Cortisol reduces muscle tear and enables longer workouts. Increased protein production promotes repair faster. The key is that by reducing muscle tear, and promoting muscle recovery, steroids enable users to workout longer and harder, with less rest between. It is the workout part that leads to improved performances and strength. It is also the ability to mitigate muscle breakage that promotes endurance and allows bodies to practice swinging a bat hours on end.You are only talking about the catabolic process, which is suppressed, but omit that the hormone is anabolic; it directly builds muscle mass. Pre-adolescent boys and girls generally have similar muscular mass. This changes dramatically post puberty, when male bodies produce more testosterone, leading to more muscle mass and a larger bone structure. "Synthesizing proteins and amino acids" is muscle building; you could say that is the key. Do you disagree that an athlete taking steroids and working out at the same rate as one who is clean will add more muscle mass and be stronger?


I know what the cortex and cerebellum are, but you are missing the point once again. Repeated practice is required to fire up the brain neurons that promote motor functions, and PED's enable the ability to practice. It is impossible to separate the brain from the body in this regard because the brain is part of the body (brain/body connection) and is impacted physiologically and chemically by body activities.The last sentence is completely unscientific. The processes are completely described in neuroscience, in boring detail. There is no mystery because the brain is connected to the body.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0xZ8beaC4o

But you're missing the point. Your model of a typical ballplayer is flawed; they all exercise and work out to improve their coordination. PEDS makes them stronger, but going back to the beginning of this discussion, does not affect coordination. There is no proof that "swinging a bat hours on end" produces linear performance results, that the returns don't turn negative.

Take a highly skilled utility infielder. The majors are full of them. They are well conditioned, have excellent reflexes and motor skills, maybe more than starters who only play one position. They realize that to play regularly, they must be able to hit at least marginally and not be a dead spot in the lineup. So I'm sure they get plenty of practice in the batting cage.

So why don't they hit well?

A prime reason is that they aren't strong enough. Grounders don't find the hole, fly balls don't reach the wall. a 3 for ten becomes a 2 for ten. 200 hitters without power don't start.

I've seen plenty of evidence that ballplayers become more productive hitters by using PEDs, but can't think of one player who suddenly went from mediocre to great in the field.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The only case where your player-model is realistic is a starting pitcher. However, it has nothing to do with coordination; it's recovery. A pitcher severely depletes the muscles in his throwing arm during a start, and steroids would reduce recovery time.

It should be added that the things steroids don't do also have an effect on performance. While muscle mass is grown, tendons and ligaments remain the same, but they are subjected to added stress.

I could go on with this, but like I said earlier, if you're going to make a subjective statement about a ballplayer's workout habits, you have to include all the subjective negatives. We could throw examples back and forth (how about Ichiro's workout regimen), but that just shows that you can't make a model that's representative of what you state.

On the other hand, you can make a model of a typical steroid using ballplayer. He will add muscle mass and get stronger, to what degree depends on what combinations he is taking, how he is cycling, etc. But it's a physical change, measurable, scientific.

GordonGecko
August 13th, 2013, 11:47 PM
Zippy, you've studied neuroscience??

ZippyTheChimp
August 14th, 2013, 12:32 AM
My son's career is neurobiology.

I got as far as one year on a pre-med path...a loooong time ago.

eddhead
August 14th, 2013, 09:29 AM
I thought I posted a response to your last message, but it does not appear to be here. If I have the stomach for it later, I will try to address the issues you raised.

In the meantime, this was posted in a men's fitness forum a number of years ago. It is not scientific, but for now, it is the best I can do - I have a lot on my plate today.

Strange things happen when I do a copy and paste. Just refer to the response to the question of "Do Steroids Work If You don't Workout"

http://www.healthboards.com/boards/mens-health/196906-steroids-without-workout.html

ZippyTheChimp
August 14th, 2013, 10:17 AM
Again, that link does not relate to the model of an athlete. They exercise.

The question again: If twin ballplayers have identical workouts, but one is using steroids - will their muscle mass be the same?

Why are you avoiding an answer?

ZippyTheChimp
August 14th, 2013, 10:34 AM
From Duke University:


HOW PERFORMANCE ENHANCERS WORK

A BRIEF LESSON ABOUT DRUG TARGETS
All drugs have their own ‘mechanism of action’ – or way in which they work. Most drugs' act at specific target called receptors. These specialized proteins are located on cell membranes or inside cells in your body. To visualize this concept, picture an outlet, like the one on a wall. Now picture several of these outlets – or receptors – on the cells in your body. These receptors act as switches that can either trigger or block biological activity when stimulated/occupied. Drugs, and natural chemicals in the body occupy, bind, or plug into the outlets to cause varying effects.


HOW DO ANABOLIC STEROIDS WORK?
Like natural steroids, these synthetic steroids bind to steroid receptors in many kinds of cells (see Figure 6). The steroid and its receptor are then carried to the nucleus where they ‘instruct’ the DNA to transcribe messenger RNA (mRNA). The mRNA then delivers its message to the ribosomes in the cytoplasm causing a an increase protein synthesis. In muscle cells, this causes muscle growth. In bone cells, this increases bone size.

Fig 6
http://www.rise.duke.edu/phr150/Performance/images/steroid_response.jpg

eddhead
August 14th, 2013, 05:30 PM
Again, that link does not relate to the model of an athlete. They exercise.

The question again: If twin ballplayers have identical workouts, but one is using steroids - will their muscle mass be the same?

Why are you avoiding an answer?


I am not avoiding the answer. As I indicated earlier today,, I prepared a response to your post yesterday, but didn't see it here this morning. As I further indcated today, I am out of pocket for most of the day and not really available for long responses.

The bottom line, is that my response to your questions is that frankly, it is a good question that I am not sure I know the answer to at this time. I am inclined to think that while theiry muscle mass won't be the same, the added muscle mass will not effect twin 2's strenght and performance. That theory is based on the Mayo Clinic article I posted earlier. But at this point, I am not certain.

eddhead
August 14th, 2013, 05:46 PM
More from the Mayo Clinic - This article is not related to aging but rather the effectiveness of HGH's and other PED's in improving perfomance

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/performance-enhancing-drugs/HQ01105





Human growth hormoneWhat is it?
Human growth hormone, also known as gonadotropin, is a hormone that has an anabolic effect. Athletes take it to improve muscle mass and performance. However, it hasn't been shown conclusively to improve either strength or endurance. It is available only by prescription and is administered by injection.




Androstenedione
What is it?
Androstenedione (andro) is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands, ovaries and testes. It's a hormone that's normally converted to testosterone and estradiol in both men and women.

Andro is available legally only in prescription form, and is a controlled substance. Manufacturers and bodybuilding magazines tout its ability to allow athletes to train harder and recover more quickly. However, its use as a performance-enhancing drug is illegal in the United States.

Scientific studies that refute these claims show that supplemental androstenedione doesn't increase testosterone and that your muscles don't get stronger with andro use. In fact, almost all of the andro is rapidly converted to estrogen, the primary hormone in females.

This statement indicates that Anabolic steroids improves muscle mass but makes no statement about how more mass = more strength. The previous artical from yesterday also acknowledged increased muscle mass, but stipulated that the increas mass did not lead to increas strength. The section on HGH posted above is more explicit.

Anabolic steroids
What are they?
Some athletes take a form of steroids — known as anabolic-androgen steroids or just anabolic steroids — to increase their muscle mass and strength. The main anabolic steroid hormone produced by your body is testosterone.
Testosterone has two main effects on your body:



Anabolic effects promote muscle building.
Androgenic effects are responsible for male traits, such as facial hair and a deeper voice.


Some athletes take straight testosterone to boost their performance. Frequently, the anabolic steroids that athletes use are synthetic modifications of testosterone. These hormones have approved medical uses, though improving athletic performance is not one of them. They can be taken as pills, injections or topical treatments.

Why are these drugs so appealing to athletes? Besides making muscles bigger, anabolic steroids may help athletes recover from a hard workout more quickly by reducing the muscle damage that occurs during the session. This enables athletes to work out harder and more frequently without overtraining. In addition, some athletes may like the aggressive feelings they get when they take the drugs.

eddhead
August 14th, 2013, 06:01 PM
Though dated, this article supports the supposition that heavy exercise is required for anabolilc steroids to exact any beneficial effect on physical peformance. It pretty much supports the post I intended to write yesterday, i.e. that the anabolic effect of steroids relates to the effect it has on improving muscle recovery, and the canabolic effect related to the effect it has on supressing cortisol levels which would otherwise cause muscles to breakdown during long strenuous workouts.

The coritsol effect has since been validated in other scientific studies I cannot locate at the moment.

http://www.sportsci.org/encyc/anabster/anabster.html

Steroid Receptors
Steroid hormones work by stimulation of receptor molecules in muscle cells, which activate specific genes to produce proteins (see Figure 1). They also affect the activation rate of enzyme systems involved in protein metabolism, thus enhancing protein synthesis and inhibiting protein degradation (called an anti-catabolic effect).




Figure 1: How a Steroid Hormone Works



http://wirednewyork.com/forum/steroid1.gif


Heavy resistance training seems to be necessary for anabolic steroids to exert any beneficial effect on physical performance. Most research studies that have demonstrated improved performance with anabolic steroids used experienced weight lifters who were capable of training with heavier weights and producing relatively greater muscle tension during exercise than novice subjects. The effectiveness of anabolic steroids is dependent upon unbound receptor sites in muscle. Intense strength training may increase the number of unbound receptor sites. This would increase the effectiveness of anabolic steroids.

Anti-Catabolic Effects Of Anabolic Steroids

Many athletes have said that anabolic steroids help them train harder and recover faster. They also said that they had difficulty making progress (or even holding onto the gains) when they were off the drugs. Anabolic steroids may have an anti-catabolic effect. This means that the drugs may prevent muscle catabolism that often accompanies intense exercise training. Presently, this hypothesis has not been fully proven.

Anabolic steroids may block the effects of hormones such as cortisol involved in tissue breakdown during and after exercise. Anabolic steroids may prevent tissue from breaking down following of an intense work-out. This would speed recovery. Cortisol and related hormones, secreted by the adrenal cortex, also has receptor sites within skeletal muscle cells. Cortisol causes protein breakdown and is secreted during exercise to enhance the use of proteins for fuel and to suppress inflammation that accompanies tissue injury.

Anabolic steroids may block the binding of cortisol to its receptor sites, which would prevent muscle breakdown and enhances recovery. While this is beneficial while the athlete is taking the drug, the effect backfires when he stops taking it. Hormonal adaptations occur in response to the abnormal amount of male hormone present in the athlete's body. Cortisol receptor sites and cortisol secretion from the adrenal cortex increase.

Anabolic steroid use decreases testosterone secretion. People who stop taking steroids are also hampered with less male hormone than usual during the "off" periods. The catabolic effects of cortisol are enhanced when the athlete stops taking the drugs and strength and muscle size are lost at a rapid rate.
The rebound effect of cortisol and its receptors presents people who use anabolic steroids with several serious problems: (1) psychological addiction is more probable because they become dependent on the drugs. This is because they tend to lose strength and size rapidly when off steroids. To stave off deconditioning, athletes may want to take the drugs for long periods of time to prevent falling behind. (2) Long-term administration increases the chance of serious side-effects. (3) Cortisol suppresses the immune system. This makes steroid users more prone to diseases, such as cold and flu, during the period immediately following steroid administration.

ZippyTheChimp
August 14th, 2013, 07:47 PM
Human growth hormoneWhat is it?
Human growth hormone, also known as gonadotropin, is a hormone that has an anabolic effect. Athletes take it to improve muscle mass and performance. However, it hasn't been shown conclusively to improve either strength or endurance. It is available only by prescription and is administered by injection.
Human growth hormone is not testosterone, not a steroid.

My question was:
If twin ballplayers have identical workouts, but one is using steroids - will their muscle mass be the same?This doesn't even go to your original faulty conclusion - based on no empirical evidence - that steroids enhance motor control [hand-eye coordination, excitation-contraction, whatever you want to call it.]

Maybe I can explain it with a completely different example:

You own an old car. you trade it in for a new one - more powerful engine, better brakes, etc. You can state (and measure) the increase in performance.

Can you also state that it will make you a better, safer driver?

Maybe it will. It's new, and you might be more careful when driving.

Maybe it won't. You might be inclined to speed.

The point is, you can't draw either conclusion from the change of cars.

eddhead
August 15th, 2013, 09:41 AM
Human growth hormone is not testosterone, not a steroid.

My question was:This doesn't even go to your original faulty conclusion - based on no empirical evidence - that steroids enhance motor control [hand-eye coordination, excitation-contraction, whatever you want to call it.]

I never said HGH was testosterone, althought it does stimulate the production of testosterone.





When artificial human growth hormone is injected, it stimulates the pituitary gland to produce more of the natural human growth hormone. Once released into the body, the natural human growth hormone begins stimulating other areas of the anatomy. One of those areas is the testicles, which are told to up the production of testosterone in order to increase muscle masshttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/icon1.png (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/#) and sexual desire among other things. The process could be seen as a chemical "waking up" of other hormones in the male body to produce the results that would be seen in a younger man. As a note, HGH isn't usually an option for those under 35 unless they have a marked deficiency.


Read more: http://www.ehow.com/how-does_5387132_hgh-increase-testosterone.html#ixzz2c2nZ33[83






But that it not the point

I have attempted to explain how various forms of PED's' enhnaced the body's ability to perform. In the case of HGH's muscle cells are introduced into the system which leads to increased mass but not not necessarly strength. In the case of Steroids, the Anabolic effect leads to faster recovery time, the canabolic effect leads to less breakage. In all cases, the body's abililty to practice longer and harder is enhanced. The last article demonstrates that PED's are only effective with heavy exertion and that exertion is what leads to increased strength and performance, contradicting previous your previous posts.

The article on brain function indicates how extra practice fires up brain neurons and increases motor skills and coordination on the activity that is being practiced.

It is pretty much a straight line.

Before I answer another one of your hypotheticals,I would appreciate your rationalizing these articles to your main arguement.

ZippyTheChimp
August 15th, 2013, 10:13 AM
I never said HGH was testosterone, althought it does stimulate the production of testosterone.And the question I asked was about steroids. When I ask about steroids and you answer with information about HGH, I think there's a disconnect.


Before I answer another one of your hypotheticals,I would appreciate your rationalizing these articles to your main arguement.If you mean the car argument - the conclusion that enhancing the performance of a car results in a better, safer driver.

That's not scientific; neither is your conclusion that PEDs improve motor control.

--------------------------------------------------------

I posted earlier that your model ballplayer that benefits from cramming more workouts into his routine is not reality; I spoke of overtraining and burning out. This isn't some mental distraction, but a real physiological process. What happens in the brain is real.

You've heard of the neurotransmitter 5-HT (serotonin)? It's production has been associated with "runner's high." But like almost everything else, it's not as simple as the more you have, the better it is.

Research at the University of Copenhagen:

Our discovery is helping to shed light on the paradox which has long been the subject of discussion by researchers. We have always known that the neurotransmitter serotonin is released when you exercise, and indeed, it helps us to keep going. However, the answer to what role the substance plays in relation to the fact that we also feel so exhausted we have to stop has been eluding us for years. We can now see it is actually a surplus of serotonin that triggers a braking mechanism in the brain. In other words, serotonin functions as an accelerator but also as a brake

Source (http://news.ku.dk/all_news/2013/2013.3/why_your_brain_tires_when_exercising/)

ZippyTheChimp
August 21st, 2013, 10:23 AM
It's hard to keep up wit the tennis-rally between the ARod lawyers (last count there were 4 active firms) and the Yankees/MLB.


A-Rod confirms he is filing grievance against Yankees


Cashman: 'We are very comfortable with the business we've gone about'

Alex Rodriguez confirmed early on Monday that his representatives are in the process of filing a grievance against the Yankees for mishandling his medical treatment dating back to last year's postseason.

According to the player, Rodriguez's lawyers contacted the Major League Baseball Players Association earlier this month to formally begin the grievance process. The development was first reported by ESPN New York.

"I believe we have filed that process," Rodriguez said after the Yankees' 9-6 victory over the Red Sox. "You have to check with the union, because they're the ones that are responsible for actually filing that. But yes, it is in process."

Rodriguez's confirmation of a grievance came after his attorney, Joe Tacopina, told The New York Times that he believed the Yankees concealed MRI results and knowingly played Rodriguez during the postseason with a torn left hip labrum during the American League Division Series and AL Championship Series.

In claims denied by both Yankees president Randy Levine and general manager Brian Cashman, Tacopina told the Times that the Yankees "rolled him out there like an invalid and made him look like he was finished as a ballplayer."

"I was pretty bad, you have to admit," Rodriguez said.

Hours after Cashman stated that he no longer feels comfortable talking to Rodriguez because they are in a "litigious environment," Rodriguez said that it has presented a "very challenging situation" to be at odds with Yankees management while simultaneously wearing their uniform and trying to help them win games.

"It's been a war," Rodriguez said. "It's been very tough."

Regarding Rodriguez's claims of playing injured during the postseason, manager Joe Girardi has said that he did not know Rodriguez was injured until the slugger himself mentioned a problem with his hip during Game 3 of the ALDS.

"I found out about 10-12 days later, after Detroit, that I had a big hole in my left hip," Rodriguez said. "Dr. [Marc] Philippon said I needed to have immediate surgery. So that's that.

"The MRI is the MRI. I had a big hole in my left labrum. I'm just telling you what the doctors were saying."

The MRI is a point of contention between Rodriguez and the Yankees. Cashman reiterated on Sunday that Rodriguez had complained to the Yankees about a sensation of not being able to "fire" with his surgically repaired right hip, not his left, while struggling in the ALDS.

An MRI on the right hip showed no damage, so Rodriguez continued to play, even lobbying Girardi to keep him in the lineup. Rodriguez eventually had a procedure to repair the labrum, a hip impingement, remove a cyst and insert five stabilizing anchors.

"Listen, all I can tell you is what you already know," Cashman said. "The medical records are factual. If [they] have a dispute with the medical records, we are very comfortable with the business we've gone about."

After stating earlier on Sunday that he was not ready to discuss the Times article, Rodriguez said postgame that he was aware of Tacopina's comments and would not dispute the attorney's claims.

"I'm having such a hard time just focusing on playing every day," Rodriguez said. "What my lawyer says, he said. I'm going to stand behind it."

Rodriguez said that he believes his teammates have "rallied around" him while his ordeal plays out. He also expressed hope that he and the Yankees can one day be at peace, and that Rodriguez eventually will be able to reconcile with both Levine and Cashman.

"Look, I love this team. I love the fans of New York City," Rodriguez said. "This is a very complicated situation, but we're doing the best we can."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com.

© 2001-2013 MLB Advanced Media, L.P.

I understand that there's a 45 day limit on injury related grievances, so I don't know how they get around that. Also, I read elsewhere:


“By filing a grievance against the Yankees, Rodriguez will open the door to having all his medical records released, including the sealed records in Buffalo,” said a baseball source with a close view of the escalating battle over A-Rod’s future in the game. “Under the standards of arbitration, if you withhold evidence, the presumption is it’s because it’s harmful to you.”

The source was referring to Anthony Galea, the Toronto sports medicine specialist who pleaded guilty in 2011 to federal charges of bringing unapproved drugs into the United States, including HGH, for treatment of professional athletes. Records are sealed in the Galea case in U. S. District Court in Buffalo, but third parties could move to unseal them if they can make a case that the documents are necessary for their defense.

I don't understand hiring Joe Tacopina, who isn't exactly admired in NYC. The court of public opinion isn't relevant to a celebrity, especially one with a fragile ego?

The whole thing is weird. There's the In-Game-ARod involved with a team trying to get to the playoffs, maybe 6 hours a day; then there's the 18 hour Out-Of-Game-ARod, completely hostile to the organization.

I doubt anyone in the industry would admit it, but I'm convinced TV-Land wants the Yankees in the WS. A ratings bonanza.

eddhead
August 21st, 2013, 12:43 PM
Tacopina is hated because he represents a lot of scum bags, not because he is incompetent. Slimy or not, he does appear to be effective in certain cases. The fact is has taken some scumbags off the hook is evidence of this.

ZippyTheChimp
August 21st, 2013, 03:52 PM
I don't see what hook ARod is on that he needs Tacopina to get him unhooked. He's not charged with a crime; it's strictly an employment matter. That's what the arbitration hearing will settle, and David Cromwell is representing ARod, not Tacopina.

It seems Tacopina was hired to make the media rounds and lob grenades, but to what end?

eddhead
August 21st, 2013, 06:08 PM
I think it is two-fold.

I believe he intends to put pressure on MLB and the Yankees thru the press (Tacopina is a hound) while at the same time, plan potential law suits if the arbitration does not turn out as he would lilke


o setting the table for a lawsuit against baseball and the Yankees. He's unlikely to sue before arbitrator Fred Horowitz makes a decision later this year, as a judge would probably dismiss such a lawsuit as "not yet ripe." What also remains unclear is whether Rodriguez would accept a reduced suspension from Horowitz -- say 100 games -- or whether he would file the lawsuit if Horowitz doesn't overturn all 211 games. A-Rod's silver lining is that he is not limited to challenging the 211-game suspension or Horowitz's review of it. Rodriguez could also sue for conspiracy to commit fraud, defamation and collusion under state and federal antitrust laws. The possibility of additional legal claims suggests a legal strategy in comments by Rodriguez's attorneys: plant the seeds for a much broader lawsuit than solely contesting the suspension.

Than there is this...



Power of Discovery
While none of Rodriguez's potential legal claims seem persuasive, one or more of them might show enough to overcome a motion to dismiss. Therein lies Rodriguez's real threat: if a lawsuit isn't dismissed by a judge, baseball and Yankees officials would have to contend with pretrial discovery. Rodriguez's attorneys would demand sensitive documents that might portray baseball and Yankees officials in a negative or embarrassing light. For instance, what if evidence emerges suggesting Yankees officials knew of Rodriguez using PEDs years ago but encouraged his use because he was playing so well? Would baseball then have to sanction the Yankees in addition to Rodriguez? Would insurance companies consider litigation against the Yankees and baseball?


Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/mlb/news/20130819/alex-rodriguez-legal-analysis/#ixzz2ce0bpfoC


/news/20130819/alex-rodriguez-legal-analysis/ (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/mlb/news/20130819/alex-rodriguez-legal-analysis/)



Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/mlb/news/20130819/alex-rodriguez-legal-analysis/#ixzz2cdz0DmDB

[/quote]

ZippyTheChimp
August 21st, 2013, 06:34 PM
Evidently, the client is no longer very enthusiastic about the tactics.


A-Rod wants to focus on baseball

By Andrew Marchand

NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez has instructed his legal team to quiet down the rhetoric with the New York Yankees and Major League Baseball because he wants the focus just to be on baseball.

"I'm shutting it all down," Rodriguez told ESPNNewYork.com. "I'm shutting it all down, just focusing on baseball, just baseball."

Rodriguez recently hired aggressive lawyer Joe Tacopina, who went through the media last weekend and into Monday to attack the Yankees, their team president and doctors, plus MLB. The Yankees and the league denied the various allegations.

Rodriguez made it clear it was his decision to retire all the off-the-field talk so he and his teammates can focus on the playoff push.

"We have 30-something games? That's the only focus," Rodriguez said. "That's coming from me."

After playing both ends of Tuesday's doubleheader against the Blue Jays, and with a day game Thursday, Rodriguez was not in manager Joe Girardi's starting lineup Wednesday night against the Toronto Blue Jays. The 38-year-old entered Wednesday's game hitting .296 with two home runs and six RBIs in 54 at-bats.

"I chose to give him tonight off and play him [Thursday]," Girardi said.

Girardi said Rodriguez is not hurt. The Yankees entered Wednesday night 6½ games behind the Boston Red Sox in the AL East and five back in the wild card race. There are 37 games remaining in the season.

"Every game is important," Rodriguez said later to a group of reporters. "The playoffs are what we are thinking about. That is the reason that I shut everything down."

Rodriguez is appealing a 211-game suspension for violating MLB's joint drug agreement and the collective bargaining agreement.

A decision on his appeal is not expected until November at the earliest.

Rodriguez said the new approach will make the situation less of a distraction for him and the team.

"There are so many great stories going on in baseball," Rodriguez said. "And for us, we want to just focus on playing good baseball and 100 percent that all of the questions be about baseball. If there are any questions in the future that are not about baseball, the interview will end at that moment."

Yankees team president Randy Levine declined comment.

Rodriguez, speaking for the first time since Red Sox starter Ryan Dempster was suspended five games by the league for drilling him Sunday, declined to answer if he thought the penalty was severe enough.

His camp sent Tacopina on the attack in the past week after it felt leaks from MLB and/or the Yankees were designed to make Rodriguez look bad -- most specifically, the "60 Minutes" report that alleged Rodriguez leaked the involvement of teammate Francisco Cervelli and Milwaukee Brewers outfielder and 2011 NL MVP Ryan Braun in the Biogenesis case. Rodriguez denied the story. MLB and the Yankees said they weren't the source for "60 Minutes."

While refuting the "60 Minutes" story Friday in Boston, Rodriguez made it clear that fireworks were on the horizon.

"Let's make one thing clear," Rodriguez said. "For the next seven weeks, it's going to be a very, very bumpy road. Every day, expect a story like this -- if not bigger."

On Saturday, Tacopina blasted the Yankees and MLB in The New York Times. Tacopina went on to talk to a few more media outlets with his message that the Yankees and MLB were conspiring to force Rodriguez and the rest of his $275 million contract to disappear any way they can.

On Monday, MLB used NBC's "Today Show" host Matt Lauer to surprise Tacopina with papers that would waive the confidentiality agreement. Tacopina had angered the league with his comments to ESPNNewYork.com over the weekend in which he went after MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred. Tacopina stated his desire to talk freely about the evidence in the case against Rodriguez.

"I will make Manfred a deal if he, in writing, waives the confidentiality clause and agrees that it would not be a breach of the confidentiality clause if he allows us to discuss exactly what he wants us to discuss, including the testing result, including the specifics of the tests, the results. We would be happy to discuss it," Tacopina said. "It would be my pleasure to discuss it. I would love to discuss it. But the minute I discuss it, I'm in violation of the confidentiality clause of the JDA."

Manfred, with Lauer as the conduit, surprised Tacopina with the papers, giving him permission to talk about anything he wanted in the case. Tacopina called it a "publicity stunt" but said he eventually would respond. Rodriguez, though, for the time being, is asking his side to stand down.

"Publicly, I want everything to be 100 percent about baseball," Rodriguez said.

© 2013 ESPN

You should have one legal counsel who speaks for you. Everyone else that's hired to do whatever should go through him.

hbcat
August 22nd, 2013, 05:42 AM
Why did NY trade Soriano for this guy?

OK, that is a little unfair in hindsight, but the Yankees should have listened to Cashman and let Arod walk when he opted out of his deal in 2009. True, he helped win a WS that year, but the money saved might have gone toward other talent.

hbcat
December 31st, 2013, 07:16 AM
My guess is he'll get it reduced to a one year suspension.

That was my guess until his outbursts at the end of the hearing. I imagine from that that the evidence him is pretty damning leading me to think the suspension could stand as is.

ZippyTheChimp
December 31st, 2013, 10:44 AM
It depends on the objectivity of the arbitrator.

It's not a court case; it's a contractual issue. ARod didn't help himself, not by his outbursts, but by not testifying. However, I think the arbitrator should rule on the length of the suspension (assuming that the suspension itself is ruled warranted, which seems certain).

So if he finds that the length of the suspension was capricious, he may look for some sort of precedent to determine a fair term. You have to ask - how did they come up with 211?

antinimby
December 31st, 2013, 12:17 PM
^ Ironically, his outburst was based in part on Bud Selig, his biggest complainant, not even showing up to testify.

ZippyTheChimp
January 1st, 2014, 10:16 AM
I don't think any commissioner has ever testified at any of these arbitration hearings; whatever evidence MLB has is presented to the arbitrator, be it the commissioner or someone else.

ARod's actions on Nov 20 may have been orchestrated to play to the public - a potential jury if his lawsuit gets to trial. If called, Selig would have to testify.

ARod's walking out of the hearing and "impromptu" appearance on WFAN for a softball interview (I saw it) allowed him to avoid answering an obvious question - did he take PEDs. During the interview, Francesa said, "I feel you’re getting railroaded....You stating you didn’t do anything, you should be fighting tooth and nail.”

Missing was a followup question of why he should be believed now, given he lied once before about it on 60 Minutes. Since the hearing was closed to the public, all we got was spin about Selig out to get ARod. It doesn't help that Selig is an idiot.

What may be significant is what happened on Dec 13. Michael Sitrick, a former public relations agent for ARod, had been subpoenaed to appear at the hearing; MLB believes that he possesses documents linking ARod to Anthony Bosch of Bigenesis, and that ARod or his agents provided documents to Sitrick linking other players to Bosch.

Sitrick appealed the order, something about not wanting to travel from LA to NY, although his company has a NY office. He offered to provide a video statement; he must have known that would not be accepted.

On Dec 13, a federal judge ruled that Sitrick could not be forced to testify while his appeal is pending. Since there is a time stamp on the arbitration hearing, in effect Sitrick will not testify before the arbitrator issues his decision.

eddhead
January 1st, 2014, 12:57 PM
My guess is he'll get it reduced to a one year suspension.

I agree his suspension will be reduced although I am not certain to what degree. When you strip away the drama and hyperbole, what you have is a 2 x repeat offender who also flaunted the rules and made a mockery of the process.

Given that, I wouldn't be surprised if he got as little as 65 games, but honestly, it is a crap shoot this point.


I don't think any commissioner has ever testified at any of these arbitration hearings; whatever evidence MLB has is presented to the arbitrator, be it the commissioner or someone else.

I do not know if the collective bargaining agreement requires Selig to testify or not, but I am not sure historical precedent applies in this case. Unlike even his most recent predecessor include Fay Vincent, Bart Giamatti, Peter Ueberroth, even Bowie Kuhn and Happy Chandler, all of whom at least represented themselves as impartial arbitrators and were at least a bit subtle in their public positono on labor management issues, Selig is a blatent owner representative - one of their own, whose role and posture is clearly one sided. If the collective bargaining agreement requires him to testify, he should.

Selig got away with transforming the role of Baseball Commissioner to that of owner representative. All fine and good. But he can't have it both ways.

ZippyTheChimp
January 1st, 2014, 04:57 PM
I do not know if the collective bargaining agreement requires Selig to testify or not, but I am not sure historical precedent applies in this caseIt's a management - labor dispute. ARod exercised his right under the CBA to go to arbitration. Both sides present their case to the arbitrator. Selig would only have to testify if he alone had pertinent information. It's no different from any company in a labor dispute.


Unlike even his most recent predecessor include Fay Vincent, Bart Giamatti, Peter Ueberroth, even Bowie Kuhn and Happy Chandler, all of whom at least represented themselves as impartial arbitrators and were at least a bit subtle in their public positono on labor management issues,MLB representatives are not impartial arbitrators; they represent one side of the issue, and the MLBPA represents the other.


Selig is a blatent owner representative - one of their own, whose role and posture is clearly one sided.All sports commissioners work for management (the owners). The players don't hire or vote for them. They run the company for the owners.

The farce that a baseball commission represented both sides of the sport was perpetrated before the time of free agency, when players were bound to their teams. That image helped deflect antitrust suits for decades.

It was Flood vs Kuhn (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flood_v._Kuhn). Nothing impartial about it.

eddhead
January 3rd, 2014, 05:04 PM
MLB representatives are not impartial arbitrators; they represent one side of the issue, and the MLBPA represents the other.

Previous commissioners were far less blatant in their support of management in labor disputes - some even voted against the wishes of their bosses "in the best interests of baseball" Of particular note were Happy Chandler who sanctioned MLB's breaking of the color line despite overwhelming opposition from owners, and who was considered a player's advocate, and and Fay Vincent who intervened in favor of the players during he 1990 lockout and who insinuated the union's distrust of the owners was the direct outcome of owner collusion practices -


The Union basically doesn’t trust the Ownership because collusion was a $280 million theft by Selig and Reinsdorf of that money from the players. I mean, they rigged the signing of free agents. They got caught. They paid $280 million to the players. And I think that’s polluted labor relations in baseball ever since it happened. I think it’s the reason Fehr has no trust in Selig

Vincent also lamented his tenure as the last neutral commissioner:


To do the job without angering an owner is impossible. I can't make all twenty-eight of my bosses happy. People have told me I'm the last commissioner. If so, it's a sad thing. I hope they [the owners] learn this lesson before too much damage is done.

Even Kuhn, a renown owner puppet had run ins with owners.

Clearly, the Commissioner is an owner employee. But Selig is different - he is one of them. Prior to his tenure, baseball commissioners at least paid lip service to the mandate of acting in the best interests of baseball, but no more. The baseball commissioner's job today is to act in the best interests of the owners



It was Flood vs Kuhn (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flood_v._Kuhn). Nothing impartial about it.

That was a direct result of Flood appealing to Kuhn in his role as final arbitrator in baseball labor disputes (there was no formal arbitration process , or other source of player recourse at the time) and Kuhn ruling against him. It actually supports my position. Baseball's position was that the baseball commissioner is a neutral arbitrator and the sole authority over any issue regarding the interests of baseball. Hence Kuhn, rather than MLB was named in the suit

ZippyTheChimp
January 3rd, 2014, 06:28 PM
Previous commissioners were far less blatant in their support of management in labor disputesThey are management. It's like saying that Tony Clark is less blatant in his support of the players.


some even voted against the wishes of their bosses "in the best interests of baseball" Of particular note were Happy Chandler who sanctioned MLB's breaking of the color line despite overwhelming opposition from owners,Happy Chandler was commission in the 1940s; as I mentioned, this was before free agency, a time of the reserve clause. Baseball had been ruled as exempt from laws governing intestate commerce (what a joke). As a consequence, baseball presented itself as a civic entity; the first two commissioners were public officials (Chandler was a Kentucky governor and Senator). His predecessor was a federal judge.

You do a great disservice to Branch Rickey, who was primarily responsible for breaking the color barrier. Chandler was a good person, who thought at the time he might be fired for his decision to support Rickey, but that had nothing to do with his powers as commissioner. He again became governor of Kentucky, and integrated the public school system


Fay Vincent who intervened in favor of the players during he 1990 lockoutHow did he intervene? He brokered a deal. That's what happens in labor disputes; sometimes one side, or the other, or both, are responsible. Although he resigned in 1992, he was basically fired by the owners.


and who insinuated the union's distrust of the owners was the direct outcome of owner collusion practices - "The Union basically doesn’t trust the Ownership because collusion was a $280 million theft by Selig and Reinsdorf of that money from the players. I mean, they rigged the signing of free agents. They got caught. They paid $280 million to the players. And I think that’s polluted labor relations in baseball ever since it happened. I think it’s the reason Fehr has no trust in Selig."Vincent said this in 1994, when he no longer worked for the owners.


Clearly, the Commissioner is an owner employee. But Selig is different - he is one of them.I said he is an idiot, but that's no different than calling a CEO of any company an idiot. The job description is MLB CEO.


Prior to his tenure, baseball commissioners at least paid lip service to the mandate of acting in the best interests of baseball,Lip service is right. The "best interests of baseball" always was a myth as far as the owners were concerned. How can anyone still believe it has any relevance. It's maybe the one persistent aspect of the old era that teams can extort huge sums from cities to build stadiums.


That was a direct result of Flood appealing to Kuhn in his role as final arbitrator in baseball labor disputes (there was no formal arbitration process , or other source of player recourse at the time) and Kuhn ruling against him. It actually supports my position. Baseball's position was that the baseball commissioner is a neutral arbitrator and the sole authority over any issue regarding the interests of baseball. Hence Kuhn, rather than MLB was named in the suitUntil the Flood vs Kuhn ruling, there was no recourse for players. Baseball was trying to protect its reserve clause. How would it look if Flood's appeal was heard by a management executive?

So he is deemed a neutral arbitrator. And what does he do? Denied.

--------------------------------------------------

The one good thing about today's environment is that there's no ambiguity about what it is - a business. You have a company, a union, a collectively bargained agreement, and a grievance procedure to settle disputes. At ARod's hearing, the COO Bob Manfred testified, and I assume, presented management's position.

If ARod thinks that Selig is out to get him, that's a matter for a court, not a contractual arbitration. If his suit goes to trial, ARod can call Selig, or anybody else he wants, to testify.

eddhead
January 3rd, 2014, 08:03 PM
Mostly I agree with what you've posted with the notable exceptions I sited in my post. As far as Chandler is concerned the impact of his siding with Rickey is irrelevant. The fact is Ricky sought out his endorsement and he gave it at his own peril and in defiance of every other MLB owner demonstrating he was more than an owner mouthpiece. The fact that he backed Rickey and sided against the other owners demonstrates his willingness to be objective, neutral, and act in the best interests of the game taking a position that was not unheard of before Selig's rein. For validation, take a look at Fay Vincent's tenure. Even Bowie Kuhn took a stand blocking Charlie Finley from unloading three highly paid players for cash - which was very unpopular with the owners.

Selig would never do that today.

ZippyTheChimp
January 3rd, 2014, 08:43 PM
I think I've tried to explain that the landscape has changed dramatically, and comparing commissioners from different eras is not valid.

Even if Selig was a good commissioner, he would be the same sort of animal - a CEO hired by the owners to run their collection of franchises. He has a union and a bargaining agreement with the labor force to deal with, things that did not exist for Chandler.

I think you'd make a better case that Charley Findley was blocked on behalf of the other owners, who may have seen it as detrimental to the entire business to have one of their franchises dismantled.

--------------------------------------------------------

Cut to the chase. You seem to think that Selig should have been compelled to testify. Why?

The arbitrator is going to rule whether the suspension is supported by the CBA, or a violation of the CBA. It doesn't matter whether or not Selig likes ARod, or is out to get him. The arbitrator decided that he got the necessary evidence from the COO.

I'm sure that ARod's attorneys understand this, and they are using the fact that the hearing is closed to distort the public perception of the process. It's impossible to predict a ruling, but assuming that ARod's walking out was staged, the attorneys must know that there is going to be some suspension of so-many days. If they thought that he stood a chance to have the suspension reversed, they never would have allowed him to basically insult the arbitrator.

Don't forget, this was done at a time when it was up in the air whether or not the PR agent Sitrick would have to testify. He may be sitting on some damning stuff.

My guess is that he will get X-days. In which case the lawsuit will attempt to recover financial damages.

hbcat
January 4th, 2014, 01:38 AM
Just wondering if our exchanges here about Arod should be moved to the "Arod Thread"; the ruling is due out imminently and potentially others will want to discuss it at length. Zippy?

hbcat
January 4th, 2014, 01:45 AM
ARod's actions on Nov 20 may have been orchestrated to play to the public - a potential jury if his lawsuit gets to trial. If called, Selig would have to testify.

ARod's walking out of the hearing and "impromptu" appearance on WFAN for a softball interview (I saw it) allowed him to avoid answering an obvious question - did he take PEDs. During the interview, Francesa said, "I feel you’re getting railroaded....You stating you didn’t do anything, you should be fighting tooth and nail.”

Missing was a followup question of why he should be believed now, given he lied once before about it on 60 Minutes. Since the hearing was closed to the public, all we got was spin about Selig out to get ARod. It doesn't help that Selig is an idiot.


No shortage of fools connected to this story --

>><<

http://wirednewyork.com/forum/image/jpg;base64,R0lGODdhUwAUAPQQAJGPj56dnWhlZiMfINbV1bq 5uYSBglpXWDEtLj87PExJSqyrq8jHx3ZzdPHx8f/// Pj4wAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAAAAACwAAAAAUwAUAAAF/ AjjmRpnmiqrmwrFkAcQ6djHIbLyAsJyQCX8CQojAKDXolwADQE QmTDxBg0aMOsyFAwPgrWkkPg0D4QwRIEatYGBATRE1G6tgUHE7 nNl4O9Dz8OMQwBAASED4Y9MAFHdCQBRgUGMSI7MVyBMQuDAIBa BT0JU1tlAGyceQ8LAyIQqyIEA3EiYw8NDac5Dwo9DgM0BlAOBw x9pQADZQ6lAo40DAyryiIAWCMDjnI/CiMMCYHLIrS9BQS6fRC8DmiKtcFrl97SrjYmB6WF7ceXrgurco kLUAoZNgAIbn1JgKqgqynLrpkAEO7WgnAjAOQRIMAAgn4BEAjA yAdCwQftGvBsa5CDgZEyAxj0OEDpRJUfcTSSYPggGD8Rz9opWe GAQZk6R4/EFJGg3wNEPUsdOADhh8RsBngBHHHRQQGMTsjRCEAyBawDbLhuK 5GPFSRECXspabIAgINm2BQkONouDjgCY0r1RXJUwVoUAYzWksX LBAQ0QGJ4GXqusbERDZwGyhqgTF0A/T4D2EYAweIHhUgsAPX0QFITBeKyCICts6w0fdwuBrBg6IPLmwy 8PrFAwesFaTMOR5ku94um33w7eCPgkIviSR0s0Iz6MMoDp53bq G7JOeoDQ5uT0PQCjvn3LBZUMhCeawMnvuHr38 /RAgAOw== (http://nymag.com/)

The A-Rod E-Mails (http://nymag.com/news/sports/alex-rodriguez-emails-2014-1/#print)

The slugger and the suit: a baseball bromantic tragedy.



By Steve Fishman (http://nymag.com/nymag/author_64)
Published Dec 27, 2013



http://images.nymag.com/news/sports/arodcolumn_560x375.jpg


In December 2007, Randy Levine, president of the New York Yankees, helped re-sign third-baseman Alex Rodriguez to a ten-year contract worth $275 million, which was, and still is, the richest contract in the history of professional sports. For Levine, it was a giant bet, an Empire State Building–size stack of chips on the possibility that A-Rod, by consensus the best hitter and all-around player in baseball, would add to the Yankees’ bulging shelf of championships while mounting a serious campaign to break the home-run record. For Rodriguez, the contract was both a recognition of his immense talent and an outlandish promise to keep. It goes without saying that, over the course of a Yankees tenure that included two MVP years and a world championship, numerous slumps and streaks, and a pair of drug scandals that have come to define his career as much as his talent has, the men would have much to talk about, which they did primarily via e-mail. In the course of reporting the magazine’s December 9, 2013, cover story (“Chasing A-Rod (http://nymag.com/news/sports/alex-rodriguez-2013-12/)”), I viewed a trove of the electronic correspondence between Rodriguez and Levine, a selection of which is excerpted below.
May 11, 2011
The Yankees lose to the Royals 4-3; Rodriguez, batting cleanup, collects just one hit in five at-bats.
Levine: Hey, tough game, I’m worried about your health, u sure u r ok? You look to me like you’re a little off. If just a slump, you will come out, but if more, let me know.
Rodriguez: Hey Randy, yes, tough game. Just a little jumpy at the plate. I feel fine. I’ve been working hard with Kevin Long [Yankees hitting coach]. I will start hitting soon. My team needs me. We will win tomorrow. Have a great night.
May 17, 2011
Rodriguez hits two home runs, leading the team to a win over Tampa Bay.
Levine: Way to go, welcome back … enjoy start of a roll.
Rodriguez: Yessir!! Our team needs me to hit and lead us.
Levine: U are the man. I told u that for years. U can and will do it.
October 2, 2011
The divisional series against Detroit is tied at one game apiece.
Levine: u r the leader … Keep confidence strong, get us home.
Two years earlier, Rodriguez had carried the Yankees through the World Series; against the Tigers, Rodriguez hits justs .111 and the Yankees lose the playoff series three games to two.
March 25, 2012
Rodriguez is hit by a pitch in a preseason game.
Levine: Ouch. Feel better.
Rodriguez: Can’t hurt me.
Levine: It hurt me watching.
Rodriguez: HA!
May 21, 2012
The Yanks are shut out by the Royals.
Levine: My friend, I have always believed that in difficult times there r two ways to go. The easy way, which is to make excuses, be defensive, or blame others and shut it down. The better way is to take the challenge, get mad, get determined, and shut everyone up and perform to greater levels. I believe in u. I believe u will hit those levels. It has been a tough year in injuries, tough losses, underperformance, but we need a leader, that is you. Take the lead, get these guys going, put a chip on your shoulder. When u succeed it will be Yankees lore. There is nothing more powerful than that. I am here to support u. Tell us what u need.
Rodriguez: You are 100% correct. This is no time for blame or excuses. Is time for me to be a leader and rally the troops. I feel if I perform at a high level, put a chip on my shoulder and lead the way, then my mates will follow my lead. Is not how you start, but how you finish. Let’s get it going tonight. Thanks for the support and stay in touch.
May 23, 2012
Rodriguez homers twice against the Royals in an 8-3 Yankees victory, Rodriguez’s first home runs in 52 at-bats.
Levine: Breakout game. Nice going. Chip on shoulder attitude. Get us on a roll.
July 30, 2012
Rodriguez is out with an injury, having fractured his hand five days earlier when hit by a pitch. Levine makes a reference to performance-enhancing drugs that he later refers to as a “bad joke.”
Levine: How r u feeing since u left Robby [Cano] under 200, he needs some steroids fast!
August 21, 2012
With A-Rod still out, Levine again makes a possibly comic drug reference.
Levine: Hey, what’s up with Robby. This guy must not be using the liquid. U didn’t tell me what did Chris and Steve say your ETA is. Don’t rush it unless u r right. We need you. Nova looks like he may need a breather. What do u see.
September 22, 2012
Rodriguez gets two key hits in a fourteen-inning victory that keeps the Yankees in first place. The chip on the shoulder the two have spoken about has become a nickname: Chip.
Levine: Way to go best win of year. U had walkoff mesa nerves. U stepped up do it tomorrow. Chip. Proud of u.
Rodriguez: Huge win. … Very nervous. Need to win tomorrow. Chip
Levine: That’s what leaders do.
That fall, the Yankees win their division, but Rodriguez has another terrible postseason, managing just a single hit in the championship series against Detroit, in which they are swept. In early December, Rodriguez is diagnosed with a torn labrum—a left-hip injury. Even the Yankees seem relieved. Says general manager Brian Cashman, “The struggles we saw in September and October are more likely than not related to [the injury].”
At home in Miami, Rodriguez begins “prehabbing,” building strength before the surgery, which is scheduled for January.


December 7, 2012
Levine: Pictures of party at your house circulating all around tonight … Guys in rehab don’t do this. This is not the sedate, small party you […] said. You need to focus on getting better.
Rodriguez: Been prehabbing every day. Pete [Draovitch, a trainer] arrives in Miami tomorrow. Is nice to disconnect a bit in the off season. But I understand your point. Really looking forward to getting mended.
Levine: Just looking out for you.
January 29, 2013
The Miami New Times publishes a story accusing Rodriguez and other Major League ballplayers of using banned substances provided by Florida-based anti-aging clinic Biogenesis. Rodriguez denies the charges. Publicly, the Yankees stay neutral, insisting they will wait for the outcome of Major League Baseball’s investigation. But there are constant rumors that the Yankees are rooting for his injuries to force him into retirement. In one call, Dr. Bryan Kelly tells Rodriguez what he claims Levine had said: “Levine told me the Yankees would rather Alex never step on the baseball field [again],” says a person who overhears a conversation. Levine can’t recall the conversation with Kelly, as he tells one colleague, but believes that he “might” have used words to the following effect: “Alex, this is your health, this is your life, if you choose to get off the field because you don’t want to be disabled, we’re fine with that.” Rodriguez decides to have the surgery.
February 28, 2013
Rodriguez: Randy, […] As you can imagine, I’m feeling left out, I can’t be with the team at spring training and this leaves an empty hole in my life. And on top of that I’m dealing with the backlash of all these ugly rumors and false stories. […] Of course I am very concerned about these rumors and about what the team is doing and saying about me. … People have been telling me that you have an 8% bounty on my contract.[…] Maybe all of this is coming from my cousin […], who knows. He claims he met with the Yankees and that you are after me and it has me concerned. I hope this [e-mail] is the start of us clearing the air between us. I don’t want us to be enemies. I am loyal to the team. I only want the best for the Yankees organization. But I do need reassurance from you and I need to know what is going on. It is bad business for everyone.
Levine: First off, neither I nor anyone at Yankees every met with your cousin. This is being handled by MLB and we r allowing them to do their job. There is no bounty on you. We have no idea who MLB is meeting with or what course their investigation is taking. It is entirely in their hands. We r not talking to the media on this issue, we have said this is being handled by MLB, and we will have no comment until the investigation is over. That’s it. There is nothing else going on. I wish u health and a good rehab.
In the summer, Rodriguez says he is ready to rejoin the team. In the past, that had prompted pep talks and cheers from Levine. Now Levine appears preoccupied by legal maneuverings. The nicknames are a thing of the past. Instead, he refers to his star as “Al.”
July 3, 2013
Levine: Hey Al, glad ur on ur way back. Quick question: some lawyer named James McCaroll [one of Rodriguez’s lawyers] keeps calling Hal [Steinbrenner, co-chair and managing general partner of the Yankees], says he is your lawyer, wants to talk about your investments. I called him. He is not taking my calls. Is he your guy? If so, have him call me. If not, you should have someone shut him down.
Rodriguez: Thanks for the good wishes. I’m focusing 100% of my energy on health, baseball, and returning to help us win. I will talk to Jim.
With Levine and Rodriguez barely speaking, the star and his team duel through the media.
August 3, 2013
Rodriguez: Can u please stop!! I want to play baseball and I could make a big difference to the game. Steinbrenner would roll in his grave IF he knew what was happening! Stop, Randy, this isn’t going to be good for any of us!! You are a businessman and what you are doing is ruining the business of baseball. If u want to meet in person to discuss it, let’s do it!
August 5, 2013
Levine: I received your email, the contents of which are a complete shock to me. As I have repeatedly told you, this is an MLB investigation. We had no role in initiating the investigation or assisting in the direction of the investigation. Despite your continued false accusations (which you know are false) we have acted consistently. My focus and direction, as well as that of the entire Yankees organization, has been, and continues to be, to treat you in the same manner as we do all of our players, to have you healthy and ready to play as soon as possible. Good luck.
That day, MLB announces a record 211-game suspension of Rodriguez. Because Rodriguez plans to appeal, he is permitted to continue playing. A couple of hours later, Rodriguez takes his first at-bat of 2013, blooping a single, his only hit in four at-bats in the Yankees’ loss to the White Sox. Levine’s is the last e-mail between them.


[/COLOR]

eddhead
January 4th, 2014, 11:29 AM
My point is that free agency was not the singular catalyst the transformed the commissioner's posture - if it were Fay Vincent would not have ascended to the position or taken the independent posture he did on labor issues. Indeed, Vincent's reign may have been the straw that broke the camel's back. The new breed owners, including Selig and Resiendorf were different animals - CEO types who would not accept an employee of theirs siding with union on labor disputes. This group was appalled at how Vincent intervened during the lockout and dumped him the first chance they could. In so doing, the role of an independent commissioner was all but abandoned and a new era begun.

As to Selig, I confess I do not have the background in labor relations you seem to have. My position is based A-Rod's right to due process which you have indicated in prior posts is not an inherent part of arbitration. Perhaps not, but my less than educated perspective is that in many ways, the intent of arbitration is similar to that of the courts. Whatever. Rather than speak to this a legalistic perspective, my view is purely idealistic. It is quite simple. Given how the commissioner's role has been transformed, Seilg cannot claim to be and independent and objective overseer of what is best for baseball as his predecessors (rightfully or not). He is more than an owner's advocate, he is management's principal representative - in fact he is the person who handed down the penalty. Due process demands he disclose what he knew and how he made his decision.

ZippyTheChimp
January 4th, 2014, 12:50 PM
As to Selig, I confess I do not have the background in labor relations you seem to have. My position is based A-Rod's right to due process which you have indicated in prior posts is not an inherent part of arbitration.I doubt that I said exactly that, but let me clarify.

ARod gets the due-process defined by the CBA; it's not the same as the due-process of a lawsuit or criminal case.


Perhaps not, but my less than educated perspective is that in many ways, the intent of arbitration is similar to that of the courts.No. I remember discussing these same issues in the Silverstein lawsuit against the PA. The parties agreed to arbitration to avoid taking the matter to civil court. It's called an Alternate Dispute Resolution.

ARod gets the due-process you speak of in a civil lawsuit.


Given how the commissioner's role has been transformed, Seilg cannot claim to be and independent and objective overseer of what is best for baseball as his predecessors (rightfully or not). He is more than an owner's advocate, he is management's principal representative - in fact he is the person who handed down the penalty. Due process demands he disclose what he knew and how he made his decision.I have to get on a soapbox for a few minutes.

Those of us who have worked for companies for a long time know that bosses - right up to the CEO - are sometimes good, and sometimes bad. We get through it. As MLB employees, most players also get through it. Some employees are lucky enough to have a process in place to take grievances to arbitration.

I've handled many of these. Sometimes the initial phases break down because the boss I dealt with was a jerk, and couldn't see past his own bias to where he violated the contract. In such cases, we take it to arbitration. We turn over all our information to attorneys, and they present the case. The company does the same thing. The issues are argued over the contract, not the personalities of the individuals. The exceptions are people outside the contract, like Bosch and ARod's former PR agent.

If Selig (or any MLB representative) didn't disclose how they arrived at the suspension, then that will work against them. In fact, in my opinion, it would be a definite loser for MLB.

There are standard phrases incorporated into the grievance procedure of CBSs:

Unfair and arbitrary treatment.
Disregard of past practices.
Measured and escalating discipline.

These points are usually winners for the employee. It doesn't matter that the boss was a jerk, except that for most workers, they have to wait until arbitration to be restored, something that could have been avoided at the first meeting. ARod, however, keeps playing (and gets paid) until the arbitration ruling. He doesn't have a bitch.

If in fact, you've been sucked into the ARod vs Selig thing, it's the deflection he wants the public to focus on.

eddhead
January 4th, 2014, 06:25 PM
Thanks for the clarification. You are right, previous posts differentiated between due process as defined by CBA differently than by the courts. I guess I am not sure how the CBA defines due process and as such, relied on my limited knowledge of the law as a guideline. Through that prism I expect Arod to face his accuser, the face of which is Selig as agent to management.

Perhaps Selig did disclose how he arrived at the suspension. But the fact his logic and evidence have not been disclosed to the public makes me think it was not disclosed to Arod. If that is true, I can't see how that constitutes due process by any definition. But I could be wrong on both the disclosure assumption and the definition of due process as defined within the framework of the CBA. My statement was moralistic, not legalistic.

I am not excusing Arod who I believe is clearly guilty. As I have previously indicated he is not only complicit but through his actions, seems to have utter contempt for the rules. But I do wonder what it is Selig knows that we don't. For one thing, I am curious to what degree if any his use of PED's was supported by the Yankees blatantly or thorough either deliberate indifference or willful blindness.

ZippyTheChimp
January 4th, 2014, 08:50 PM
I guess I am not sure how the CBA defines due process and as such, relied on my limited knowledge of the law as a guideline. Through that prism I expect Arod to face his accuser, the face of which is Selig as agent to management.


Perhaps Selig did disclose how he arrived at the suspension. But the fact his logic and evidence have not been disclosed to the public makes me think it was not disclosed to Arod. If that is true, I can't see how that constitutes due process by any definition.An ADR avoids a lengthy lawsuit. The evidence and rulings are very specific. The public is generally not involved. And the due-process you get in arbitration isn't necessarily less than in a courtroom; sometimes the grievant gets more latitude in arbitration.

Maybe the Ryan Braun case can explain it.

The arbitrator, Shyam Das, overturned Bruan's 2012 suspension. The information that was released to the public was that his suspension was overturned "on a technicality." But that interpretation missed the point of arbitration, and unfortunately, Das never issued a written document of his ruling that was due out after 30 days.

What is known is that it centered on a clause in the CBA describing drug testing: "absent unusual circumstances, the specimens should be sent by FedEx to the laboratory on the same day they are collected."

That procedure was not followed. It's a good bet that in a lawsuit, a judge or jury would have dismissed this as insignificant. But not in arbitration.

Both the testing lab and MLB howled at the decision, Manfred stating, "As a part of our drug testing program, the commissioner's office and the players' association agreed to a neutral third-party review for instances that are under dispute. While we have always respected that process, Major League Baseball vehemently disagrees with the decision rendered today by arbitrator Shyam Das."

However, Manfred understood what happened. MLB and MLBPA agreed that Das would not issue a written decision, and they changed the language in the CBA regarding the handling of specimens.

hbcat
January 5th, 2014, 03:45 AM
I want Zippy to handle all of my contract disputes.

eddhead
January 5th, 2014, 12:03 PM
Me too.

But I still think Selig should testify ;)

GordonGecko
January 10th, 2014, 01:07 PM
People are speculating the arbitrator is going to release the A-Rod decision this evening to skip the news cycle. It's also been reported that A-Rod has all his court papers ready to challenge the arbitration process immediately in the event of an unfavorable outcome so he can get an injunction to allow him to report to Spring training while he appeals

eddhead
January 10th, 2014, 01:08 PM
The othe rumor I hear is that if the suspension exceeds 100 games, he goes to court for the injucntion. If not, he lets it ride.

ZippyTheChimp
January 10th, 2014, 05:52 PM
It's also been reported that A-Rod has all his court papers ready to challenge the arbitration process immediately in the event of an unfavorable outcome so he can get an injunction to allow him to report to Spring training while he appealsAlthough it is possible, it's very rare for a court to overturn an arbitration.

If nothing else, it would undermine the very concept of Alternate Dispute Resolution.

Further reading on arbitration: http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Binding+arbitration

ZippyTheChimp
January 11th, 2014, 01:55 AM
Sorry, I overlooked a key arbitration case that went to the Supreme Court. Ironically, it involved baseball, but it wasn't a player against MLB; it was a player against the union.

It began with a grievance filed by MLBPA against MLB for collusion by the owners during 1985-1987, a violation of the CBA. Arbitration ruled for the union. MLB set up a $280 million fund that MLBPA would administer and distribute to affected players. An arbitration mechanism was created to review a player's claim.

Steve Garvey submitted a claim that was denied by the arbitrator. He sought to vacate the decision in Federal District Court, and was denied. The Court of Appeals reversed the decision.

The Supreme Court reviewed the case in May 2001, under a writ of certiorari - happens when two lower courts disagree. The original ruling was reinstated, and the court's limited role in arbitration was emphasized.

MLBPA vs Steve Garvey (http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/00-1210.ZPC.html)

ZippyTheChimp
January 11th, 2014, 09:38 AM
The courts intercede in arbitration disputes when there is a violation of the National Labor Relations Act, a cornerstone of collective bargaining.

antinimby
January 11th, 2014, 12:49 PM
Yup, Alex is suspended for one year like I had guessed.


My guess is he'll get it reduced to a one year suspension.

Now, he says he'll appeal the decision in federal court and leave the Yankees right where they were before, uncertain about their salary commitments for this year.

ZippyTheChimp
January 11th, 2014, 03:11 PM
This passage is taken from the MLBPA vs Steve Garvey ruling:

In discussing the courts’ limited role in reviewing the merits of arbitration awards, we have stated that “ ‘courts … have no business weighing the merits of the grievance [or] considering whether there is equity in a particular claim.’ ” Id., at 37 (quoting Steelworkers v. American Mfg. Co., 363 U.S. 564, 568 (1960)). When the judiciary does so, “it usurps a function which … is entrusted to the arbitration tribunal.” Id., at 569; see also Enterprise Wheel & Car Corp., supra, at 599 (“It is the arbitrator’s construction [of the agreement] which was bargained for … ”). Consistent with this limited role, we said in Misco that “[e]ven in the very rare instances when an arbitrator’s procedural aberrations rise to the level of affirmative misconduct, as a rule the court must not foreclose further proceedings by settling the merits according to its own judgment of the appropriate result.” 484 U.S. at 40—41, n. 10. That step, we explained, “would improperly substitute a judicial determination for the arbitrator’s decision that the parties bargained for” in their agreement. Ibid. Instead, the court should “simply vacate the award, thus leaving open the possibility of further proceedings if they are permitted under the terms of the agreement.” Ibid.

To be sure, the Court of Appeals here recited these principles, but its application of them is nothing short of baffling. The substance of the Court’s discussion reveals that it overturned the arbitrator’s decision because it disagreed with the arbitrator’s factual findings, particularly those with respect to credibility. The Court of Appeals, it appears, would have credited Smith’s 1996 letter, and found the arbitrator’s refusal to do so at worst “irrational” and at best “bizarre.” Garvey I, 203 F.3d, at 590—591. But even “serious error” on the arbitrator’s part does not justify overturning his decision, where, as here, he is construing a contract and acting within the scope of his authority. Misco, supra, at 38.

The bar for court interference is set high. The arbitration process was agreed to by both parties in collective bargaining.

MLBPA response:
The MLBPA strongly disagrees with the award issued today in the grievance of Alex Rodriguez, even despite the Arbitration Panel's decision to reduce the duration of Mr. Rodriguez's unprecedented 211-game suspension. We recognize that a final and binding decision has been reached, however, and [b]we respect the collectively-bargained arbitration process which led to the decision. In accordance with the confidentiality provisions of the JDA, the Association will make no further comment regarding the decision.

NY Yankees response:
The New York Yankees respect Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, the arbitration process, as well as the decision released today by the arbitration panel.

You never know what a judge might do, but I think it would have to be a really serious issue, something beyond the length of the suspension.

hbcat
January 11th, 2014, 05:49 PM
Sad. He should concentrate on recovering his dignity and honoring his remaining talent instead of fighting on childishly.

eddhead
January 11th, 2014, 11:10 PM
He has no dignity or legacy left to fight for. A 162 game suspension is the death penalty for him. I don't see him coming back.

Unless the courts overrule the arbitrator which is doubtful, he is through. Pending legal recource, I have no idea what this means for the Yankees salary budget and what impact it has on the cap.

GordonGecko
January 11th, 2014, 11:29 PM
So has anyone done the math on how much money he's saved from the reduced sentence versus the amount spent on lawyers and investigative resources?

hbcat
January 12th, 2014, 05:00 AM
^ Scott Boras?


He has no dignity or legacy left to fight for. A 162 game suspension is the death penalty for him. I don't see him coming back.


That's not what I meant. He's done (probably) as an athlete, unless he accepts a much reduced role as a bench player and can justify a roster spot, whether in NY or elsewhere. I meant he should stop behaving like a spoiled child, take his medicine, express remorse (even if no one believes him), and move on.

I am not expecting it to happen though. He's in his late thirties, not his late teens. He's stuck with this massive, bloated ego (a sad match with this diminished baseball skills), as much as the Yankees are stuck owing him $61 million.

ZippyTheChimp
January 12th, 2014, 07:13 PM
After the Denver-SD game, 60 Minutes will air an interview with Anthony Bosch, who reportedly said that ARod wanted to hit 800 homeruns.

ZippyTheChimp
January 12th, 2014, 10:08 PM
It didn't paint a flattering picture.

eddhead
January 12th, 2014, 10:47 PM
I watched some of it tonight and recorded the rest. From what I saw, A-Rod really comes across as a scum bag, and Bosch seem genuinely unhinged. Quite a pair.

hbcat
January 13th, 2014, 06:59 AM
I saw the 60 Minutes interview.
Favorite moment: Anthony Bosch professing his love of Baseball.
[WNY does not have a suitable smiley. I'd go for something with a slug, disposable syringes and a trail of slime.]

ZippyTheChimp
January 13th, 2014, 09:00 AM
The sleaziness of Bosch doesn't help ARod, just the opposite. That he would associate with Bosch, exchange over 500 text messages, is an indictment. While ARod's lawyers discredit Bosch, the real star witness was the paper and electronic trail.

This was mentioned by Jon Heyman CBS Sports on Saturday (http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/writer/jon-heyman/24405819/alex-rodriguezs-downfall-is-one-of-saddest-baseball-stories-ever-told):
Word is, there were hundreds of text messages between Rodriguez and drug pusher/fake doctor Tony Bosch of Biogenesis fame.

Bosch turned out to be MLB's star witness, and his credibility issues -- which are many -- apparently weren't worse than A-Rod's case and credibility. That's a sad statement for Rodriguez, since Bosch is a questionable, sleazy character. Rodriguez's legal team tried to discredit Bosch's word in the hearing, going so far as to find an alleged Blackberry expert who claimed text messages could be doctored, but that was nothing more than a Hail Mary -- apparently like the rest of A-Rod's case.

I wonder if ARod will do another soft landing on Blabermouth Francesa this week. I read that during his Sunday morning NFL show, he talked about the ARod suspension. A more prudent person might have waited until after the interview.

hbcat
January 13th, 2014, 10:37 AM
I don't usually have access to Francesa's show, but I saw the December "interview" a day after it was aired in NY. Arod had his lawyer at his side as well, and Francesa let them both blabber on without asking them a single pointed question. Not one. It was basically an Arod PR infomercial, and about as convincing as any late night gimmicky sales pitch.

What does Arod want? Does he really believe any of his BS or think that he's going to win us over with his tantrums?

eddhead
January 13th, 2014, 11:13 AM
Francesa is a blow hard with fans who call in, but often folds up like a cheap suit to celeb athletes.

Your question on A-Rod is a good one. The only thing I can come up with is he has something on MLB or the Yankees that has not been disclosed to the public through the arbitration process but could come out in the courts. The 560 minute interview solidifed his place as a first class low-life, but when there remains quite a bit we don't seem to know about, for whatever the reason.

Again, I am not pretending to be the expert on this thqt Zippy is, but I have to think the public would learn more about the inducements offerred to Bosch, the involvement of both MLB and the teams in promoting PED use, evidence the commissioner might have that we don't, and his rationale at arriving at the sentance in a court of law than what we have seen to date.

TREPYE
January 13th, 2014, 01:22 PM
So long as MLB doesnt provide hard evidence (positive blood test) A-Rod has a legal loophole to avert this suspension; we will see if the Judge agrees. Evidence that prevents a $25 million payment has to go beyond hearsay and testimony from some crook. Even if A-rod is asking him for steroids in a text message, that doesnt mean he administered himself, could've been a middleman for someone else: says A-rods lawyer. Is there a text message from A-rod that asks Bosh to inject him with a steroid??

EastMillinocket
January 13th, 2014, 01:34 PM
So long as MLB doesnt provide hard evidence (positive blood test) A-Rod has a legal loophole to avert this suspension; we will see if the Judge agrees.

That's what Alex Rodriguez's lawyer will presumably argue, but presumably the judge went to law school and is familiar with federal arbitration law.

eddhead
January 13th, 2014, 03:49 PM
So long as MLB doesnt provide hard evidence (positive blood test) A-Rod has a legal loophole to avert this suspension; we will see if the Judge agrees. Evidence that prevents a $25 million payment has to go beyond hearsay and testimony from some crook. Even if A-rod is asking him for steroids in a text message, that doesnt mean he administered himself, could've been a middleman for someone else: says A-rods lawyer. Is there a text message from A-rod that asks Bosh to inject him with a steroid??

I don't know that to be true. There is a ton of circumstantial evidence including self-incriminating e-trails texts, e-mails etc... Real life isn't CGI, sometimes the circumstantial stuff carries the day.

I continue to maintain a suspicion that MLB is privy to evidence it has not disclosed to the public. Some of it could be embarrassing to them ... I don't know. But I would not be surprised if there is more under the surface than what we are seeing.

@ Zip and hbcat .... 100% right abou Bosche and how his sleaziness hurts rather than helps A-Rod in the court of public opinion. And he is not the only one either. The rest of the users are slime too.

TREPYE
January 13th, 2014, 04:38 PM
including self-incriminating e-trails texts, e-mails etc

What was self-incriminating?

ZippyTheChimp
January 13th, 2014, 04:57 PM
So long as MLB doesnt provide hard evidence (positive blood test) A-Rod has a legal loophole to avert this suspension; we will see if the Judge agrees. Evidence that prevents a $25 million payment has to go beyond hearsay and testimony from some crook.This is completely in error. As EM stated, it's arbitration law. Not civil court, not criminal court.


Francesa is a blow hard with fans who call in, but often folds up like a cheap suit to celeb athletes.Francesa began the ARod segment of his show with a lengthy phone interview with the WFAN legal expert, who is an attorney.

A smart move by him (or someone at the station) to avoid his previous legal blunders. At the end of the interview, I guess to put it in a sports vernacular, Francesa asked him for the odds that an injunction would be granted, "Is it one in ten, one in twenty, one in a hundred, what do you think?"

"One in a hundred."

With a surprised look, "Really? Then I guess he's done."

After a commercial break, during a conversation with the first caller, Francesa said, "Why this manhunt with A-Hol...er A-Rod?" He didn't quite get the Hole out, but it was enough to leave no doubt.

That's all I needed to listen to. :)

ZippyTheChimp
January 13th, 2014, 05:21 PM
Besides $25 million, ARod stands to lose the $6 million bonus he would have received for tying Willy Mays' 660 career homerun total. He's six short.

Another reason not to want him to play again.

eddhead
January 13th, 2014, 05:25 PM
What was self-incriminating?

The texts are pretty damining.