It’s 1:31 and ESPN is on. I’m watching the highlights of the UConn/Pitts game.
It’s now 1:32 and the Duke vs. Tennessee women’s basketball highlights are on. All pink.
Why can’t everything be on time? I hate it when people are late.
Buster Olney is on SportsCenter talking about A-Rod’s upcoming press conference. Olney says Alex’s credibility is at stake today. There will be about 200 members of the media expected today.
Olney continues to explain that Alex is the first first-ballot HOFer to admit to using PEDs and that if he opens up more today, he will be able to restore some credibility and increase his chances of getting himself back onto the HOF ballot.
1:42 Olney is talking about how Commissioner Selig’s being defensive about how the steroids era happened on his watch (more on that later in a separate blog). There’s a live shot from the YES Network, and the seats are starting to fill up with media people. It still isn’t happening yet and it’s 12 minutes past start time.
1:48 Alex just sat down with Girardi and Cashman. They’re ready to start.
If I’m not mistaken, that’s Jason Zillo laying down ground rules to the media. Like asking them to turn off their cell phones.
Zillo just asked for no follow-up questions so that each member of the media can get to ask questions.
1:53 Alex has a written statement. He is going to say it. He admits he is nervous.
Alex says the last few weeks have been difficult and that he is ready to move on. He is confident that the mistake he made was a stupid one once people look back on his career.
He first clearly wants to apologize to the fans and to the Yankees.
He admits he used a banned substsnce in 2001-2003. He found out in 2004 that he tested positive from Gene Orza.
1:56 Alex says his cousin would administer the substance, which was called “bully” he would take it twice a month for six months during the three years. He admits he didn’t know what he was doing . He says that he did not share it with anyone else, and that he stopped in 2003. He stopped because he had a neck injury, and the new MLB drug policy made him realize how serious this was.
1:57 He has taken regular urine and blood tests and he will take another one and he says he has not failed a test since.
Alex knows that people’s opinions are beyond his control, but he wants people to understand that he’s excited about the opportunities that he has with winning world championships with the Yankees.
1:59 Zillo is asking the media for Q&A now. First question is from ESPN Radio. He asked if his name wasn’t brought up by Roberts, would he have admitted? Alex says he hasn’t thought about that much.
NBC asks about the pressures of being the highest paid in Texas, then he goes to New York where the pressure was greater, why stop in Texas? Alex says it’s because he was young, stupid, and naive. Alex again reiterates his neck injury situation.
Another reporter asks what the benefit was with taking PEDs. Alex says that he wasn’t sure, but he feels half mental, half physical. He thinks that he had more energy.
2:03 Alex says he injected.
He’s drank from the bottle for the 47th time.
Tyler Kepner (?) asked about teammates, and the comment from Jamie Moyer (Hall of Fame vote for someone who’s used). Alex explains he understands Moyer’s doubts and concerns but that is not is concern right now.
George King from the Post asked who his cousin was and how he got the PEDs. Alex wouldn’t give his name — “George, I don’t think that is relevant right now.”
2:07 A reporter asks what A-Rod will do to spread the message to parents and kids. Alex says that he will work with Don Hooten and MLB to send a strong anti-steroids message.
Alex is now talking about whether he and his cousin took the PEDs properly in the first place. Another reporter asked why he didn’t do more research into what he was taking. Alex said again he was young and naive.
The home run record comes up, and his performance incentives ($6 million per player passed). Alex said he doesnt want to address it right now.
USA Today asked Alex if he feels he needs to restore credibility with his teammates. Alex says yes, that the Yankees are a family.
Hannah Storm from ESPN asked if he used any other over the counter PEDs. Alex said in Seattle he used “RipFuel” which is now banned from G.N.C.
2:12 A reporter asks if Alex and his cousin weren’t sure of what they were doing and whether they were doing it right (and they thought it wasn’t wrong), why didn’t they ask for assistance? Alex admits it’s a good question and he doesn’t have an answer.
Roy Oswalt’s comment came up, and Alex says everyone is entitled to their opinions, and he’s sorry Oswalt feels that way.
Ken Davidoff from Newsday brings up the Selena Roberts accusation and Alex says there was a misunderstanding of the facts between himself and the Miami Beach police. He said he apologized to Roberts and they both have moved on.
2:15 Jack Curry from the Times asks if Alex is considering submitting himself to even more strinigent testing to show he is clean. Alex says he thinks the system in place right now is effective. He thinks the system is much better than it was 10-15 years ago (duh, really?).
Kat O’Brien from Newsday asked what products (missed rest of question) and Alex says his big mistake was being immature and stupid and that he never saw other players in Texas doing it (well, what about Gonzalez or Palmeiro?)
2:18 Alex specifically says he started in the middle of 2001 and continued until the end of the 2003 season.
A reporter cites that a USA Today poll says 46% people don’t think he was honest about only 2001-2003 (that he did it other times too). Alex again apologizes and says that he cannot control other people’s opinions.
Bob asks why Alex didn’t reveal about the cousin part in his interview with Peter Gammons. Alex comments that it’s because it was 36-48 hours right after the revelation came out and Alex wanted to just get word out that “yes, I did it.”
Sweeney Murti brings up the 60 Minute interview and other interviews where he has denied PEDs and now today he admits it. Alex says “yes, I will have to answer these for the test of my life” and that he talked to Katie Couric 10 days ago and that “when I’m in denial, I will more likely not tell the truth.”
2:23 Rom Blum fom the AP asked if Alex had any regrests back then when he did his first injection. Alex said no.
A question comes up about his statistics from 2001-2003 — should they count? Alex says it’s not his decision. He has to sleep with it and he knows he made a mistake back then, and there’s always doubt.
Alex also says he’s here to today put this behind him and focus on his team.
2:25 Alex asks for his teammates, his fans, and the American public to judge him from this day forward.
And the conference ended — about 35 minutes. Now ESPN is showing a graph of statistics for A-Rod’s 3 teams. Alex had a better BA (.315) in Seattle than Texas and New York, but his home run numbers went up in Texas (52) compared to 36.8 in Seattle and 41 in New York.
Buster Olney is now giving his analysis on ESPN. I will conclude the live blogging for now and either Trevor or I will give our own analysis later.