OK, A-Rod’s Cousin Did It … Now, Let’s Play Ball

It is now a couple of days since the Alex Rodriguez press conference in which the only real news revealed was the fact that A-Rod’s cousin transported the banned substance, “boli”, the street name for the performance enhancing drug, “Primobolan”, from the Dominican Republic into the United States; and, was the director of a program of injecting A-Rod with the drug, twice a month, six times a year, during the only three seasons Rodriguez claimed he took any performing enhancing drugs, when he played for the Texas Rangers in 2001, ’02, and ’03.  

Maybe more could have been learned and revealed about Alex Rodriguez’s involvement with these steroids if the press conference wasn’t so restrictive. The reporters selected from among the over 200 media personal in attendance were allowed to only ask one question with no follow-up questions allowed. Also, the media event should have lasted longer, or, at least, as long as it would have taken to allow many more of the reporters to ask questions.  

The press conference was scheduled to start at 2:00 p.m. ET, on Tuesday, February 17, 2009, under a huge tent at George M. Seinbrenner Field, the Yankees winter home in Tampa, Florida. But, Rodriguez showed up 20 minutes late; then, read a very “choppy” ten-minute prepared statement in which it did not seem like A-Rod had read many times before, or maybe, didn’t even prepare himself.

Alex looked very nervous as he started reading his statement in front of the packed media under the tent, with Manager Joe Girardi and GM Brian Cashman sitting next to him, and about 30 Yankee players also in attendance as a show of support for their teammate. Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada, and Andy Pettitte sat in the front row, while Yankees owners, Hank Steinbrenner watched standing in the back of the room; and, Hal Steinbrenner, watched on T.V. in New York.

Rodriguez said this whole situation was very difficult and emotional for him, and his purpose of facing the media was to tell the truth and hopefully earn back the trust of the Yankees organization, players, and fans; and, baseball and baseball fans in general.

A-Rod seemed sincere as he expressed a number of times that he was young and curious about how this substance could help him; and, how both he and his cousin were more ignorant than the other concerning how to use the drug properly.

If Alex is to be believed, he said, “It was his understanding that it [“boli”] would give him a dramatic energy boost and was otherwise harmless. That’s how ignorant both my cousin and I were. We consulted no one, and had no good reason to make that decision. It was pretty evident that we didn’t know what we were doing. We did everything we could to keep it between us, and my cousin didn’t provide it to any other players”.

Rodriguez said he only used the steroid drug during the years he played for the Rangers; and, the reason he stopped taking it was after a 2003 neck injury that A-Rod said, “scared him half to death; and, he was scared for his career and life after baseball”.  

A couple of dramatic moments during A-Rod’s reading of his statement came when Rodriguez said, “Baseball is a lot bigger than Alex Rodriguez”; and, then, at the end of the prepared statement, when Alex was very emotional addressing his Yankee teammates. He paused for about 35 seconds, choking back tears and his emotions, in what looked sincere. Then, he thanked them for their support and being there.

The Question and Answer session began about 2:00 p.m., and lasted about 35 minutes.

There really was not much more learned from Alex’s answers as most of what he said was already talked about and heard in the Peter Gammons interview, or A-Rod’s prepared statement. If the press conference lasted about an hour and a half, or two hours, with follow-up questioning, then, maybe, some new information would have been revealed.

But, the viewers of the Alex Rodriguez press conference were only granted “act one” of what should have been a “three act” performance.

The above thoughts are my observations of the Alex Rodriguez press conference; and, as far as I’m concerned, Alex should at least be given credit for coming clean, and being as honest as he has been, up to this point, even though it is way past the fact of his steroid use.  

In my view, though, there still seems to be many more questions that need to be answered, especially, about Alex’s cousin, and any other possible involvement, if any, he may have regarding supplying other players with performance enhancing drugs throughout baseball.

* note: It does seem like there is an actual “cousin” of Alex Rodriguez who has been identified today, Thursady, February 19, 2009, I think, somewhere in the Florida area. This story will probably be the major headline in all the sports and baseball media outlets today and tomorrow. So, stay tuned, as “act two” and “act three” should be played out at some point in the near future.

* Special Edit:  Friday, Feb 20, 2009 — As reported in the New York Daily News, “The Mystery Cousin of Alex Rodriguez has been identified as Yuri Sucart of Miami, Florida”. A source said, “Yuri is Alex’s driver, and takes care of him all the time. His clothes, his food; he’s with Alex every day”. Also, in the same article, another report claims that “Alex Rodriguez has had a long relationship with a steroid-linked trainer, Angel Presinal, who’s been banned from major league clubhouses”. This claim was made by four independent sources to the NY Daily News.

Angel Presinal has been described by one baseball official as an “unsavory character”, in the Daily News article; and, “MLB has warned players to stay away from him”. “He was banned from private areas of every MLB ballpark after an October 2001 incident involving an unmarked gym bag full of steroids; and, has been tight with Alex Rodriguez dating back to his time with the Texas Rangers, several sources said”.

“Another source said, Presinal accompanied A-Rod for the entire 2007 season, staying in the same hotel as the American League MVP, but in a separate room with the ‘cousin’ [Yuri Sucart]”. “Several people have warned Alex about this guy [Presinal], said a second source”. …

….. The A-Rod reports in the special edit were written by the “Daily News Sports I-Team”, a group of reporters that includes: Mark Feinsand, Christian Red, Michael O’Keeffe, Ian Begley, Teri Thompson, Jim Rich, Nathaniel Vinton, and Larry McShane.

So, the A-Rod press conference as only resulted in more questions that need to be answered by Alex Rodriguez, Yuri Sucart, and Angel Presinal.   

Alex Rodriguez has now had his T.V. interview, and Spring Training press conference. And, the “captain” Derek Jeter, spoke out yesterday, Wed, Feb 18th, saying, he was disappointed that Alex Rodriguez and other players have used performance enhanching drugs.

In quotes made in George King’s [Feb 19th] New York Post article, Jeter said, “Everybody is disappointed, including Alex himself. That was one of the things he [Alex] stressed in his statements. Everyone is disappointed. We are going to support him and get him through this. People make mistakes, and you have to move on from those mistakes. But, I would say, everybody is disappointed”.  

And, when Jeter was asked if he thought Alex was a cheater, Derek said, “I think he cheated himself”.

But, the main point that Derek Jeter wanted to make yesterday, was that he was annoyed about how many in the public interpret the whole “Steroid Era” in baseball.

The Yankees “captain” said, “the one thing that irritates and upsets me a lot is when you hear everybody say it was the ‘steroid era’, and everybody is doing it, and that’s not true. Everybody wasn’t doing it. Everybody is making a big deal of the 104 players on the list. How many players are in the Major Leagues? Everybody wasn’t doing it. That’s the thing that is irritating. It sends the wrong message to the fans and the kids that everybody is doing it, and that’s not the truth. I understand there are a lot of big name players who allegedly have done this and done that; but, everybody wasn’t doing it”.

When asked about how he felt about the whole “steroids era” in general, Jeter said, “disappointed is the best way to put it. It really has given the game a bad name”.

Derek Jeter also made a point to say, “I never took performance enhancers and never took steroids”.

Regarding Alex Rodriguez, Jeter ended by saying, “I believed him. I always give people the benefit of the doubt. He spoke about and gave details he didn’t have to share”.

So, unless, or until, other reports surface linking Alex Rodriguez to using PED’s at additional times in his career, other than the times he has admitted to using steroids during his Texas Ranger years, then, I will follow the “captain” Derek Jeter’s lead, and “give A-Rod the benefit of the doubt”, at the moment; and, hope that this very sad situation is behind us, as we all look forward to enjoying the upcoming 2009 baseball season.

Only time will tell how all the “Steroid” and “PED” users of the “Steroid Era” will be judged in the future, by both baseball fans and the general public.

Tougher penalities, such as “serious” suspensions and lifetime bans for players who test positive for steroid use, and, or, any other performance enhancing drug use, should be implemented immediately.

But, the ultimate penalty for all PED users will be having “shame” connected to all their names, and not being voted into Baseball’s “Hall of Fame”, for disgracing our great “American Pastime”, Baseball.

 

— Jimmy Curran, “Baseball, The Yankees, and Life”  

         

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23 comments

  1. juliasrants

    Jimmy – I watched the press conference with my two sons – ages 11 & 14 – and they had some interesting observations:

    1. He never said he was sorry for what he did.
    2. He kept saying he was young, stupid and didn’t go to college. My boys said they were young and they knew you should take drugs.
    3. They wanted to know why his story had changed from his sit down with Peter Gammons.
    4. When A-Rod talked about his cousin injecting him, my boys “lost it” – they couldn’t believe someone would let someone who wasn’t a doctor inject them with who knows what.

    Jimmy – how do I as a mom give A-Rod and these other players a free pass? The world I live in, if my boys did this – or tried to bring drugs in from another country – the consequences would be swift and severe. Why shouldn’t baseball players be held to the same? There might not have been rules in baseball at the time A-Rod was using, but sadly where he acquired the drugs and needles – and how they came to be in the USA – is very troubling indeed. I don’t know what the answer to this is, but as a mom – I have hold these highly paid men to the same rules that would apply to me and my sons. Thanks Jimmy!

    Julia
    http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

  2. welikeroywelikeroy

    Bob, Jimmy,

    I share your dissatisfaction with the whole process, but part of that dissatisfaction is here because A-Rod has now made talking about the steroid issue more open.

    He has to be commended for that. Even though what he did is terrible, it is illegal and sets a bad example and precedent.

    Major League Baseball has to come down harder on people caught using steroids. That is plain and simple. They have taken a tougher stance, but it not enough. We cannot have the best players in the game all using, like we almost do now. I remember when homeruns were a much harder thing to come by. I want a return to those days. This won’t end until MLB takes a harder stance I believe (i.e. banishment for all those who are caught using in the future).
    http://homerfoodandhistory.mlblogs.com/

  3. iliveforthis

    Jimmy- I really don’t think Alex Rodriguez told us anything new in his comments. It seemed mostly like dancing around the truth and evading a question the way politicians do. I did hear that they found his cousin and that the cousin’s wife said that if you wanted to talk to him (the cousin) you could talk to their lawyer. I commend Derek Jeter though, he’s absolutely right, all of this steroid stuff has sullied every player’s name regardless of their role in baseball and now, what was thought to be the generation of history will go down as the steroid era because of these events.
    Emily
    http://deconstructingthoughts.mlblogs.com/

  4. bostonredsoxgirl46

    A-Rod’s cousin is in the Florida area? Maybe I should track him down and interview him! I do give him credit for coming clean rather than just denying it like others have done in the past. But like you said, let’s move on and play baseball!
    -Elizabeth
    http://redsoxgirl46.mlblogs.com

  5. Jane Heller

    Well, Jimmy, you gave us an accurate summary of the press conference. And now we just have to see how it all plays out – from whether there’s punishment of some sort for A-Rod to whether the other 103 names will be released. Not at all what we were hoping for going into such a promising season, but I like what I see from our new guys. CC, AJ and Tex look like they’re excited to be Yankees, and I’m excited to have them!

    http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

  6. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Julia …

    Many great observations by you and your sons !!! … It is correct that A-Rod didn’t say he was sorry in both his interview with Peter Gammons and spring training press conference, which is a much different approach than both Andy Pettitte and Jason Giambi took in very similar situations … Both, Giambi and Pettitte actually said they were sorry “many times” when they talked to the media and Yankee fans !!! ….. Also, A-Rod wants everybody to believe he and his cousin were very young and stupid back in 2001, ’02, and ’03 — when Alex was about 23 or 24; and his cousin, Yuri, was in his late 30’s. It is difficult to trust Alex when makes those kind of statements, asking everyone to believe he had stuff injected into his body that he didn’t know anything about or how it would affect his body !!! … There are many more questions that need to be answered by: A-Rod, his cousin Yuri, and the steroids dealer, Angel Presinal !!! … And, MLB and the Players Association really need to put forth a “zero tolerance” policy regarding all users of steroids and PED’s !!! … Julia, these are all very difficult issues for parents to have to discuss with their children !!! … My first thought on how to start the discussion would be to focus on the players like Derek Jeter, who “Did Not Use Steroids or PED’s” !!! … These “clean” players should be an example for all of us, to realize that as Jeter has said, “not everybody in baseball used PED’s”; and, many of these players [including Jeter] are great baseball players who have been very successful in their career !!! … A very simple question for me would be: If I was a baseball player, which baseball career would I want to have — Derek Jeter’s or Alex Rodriquez’s career? The answer for me, and I’m sure most baseball fans, is very easy to answer: There is no question in my mind that I would want Derek Jeter’s career [with his four World Series rings, etc.], any day of the week, over A-Rod’s now “tainted” career !!! … I know for sure, Jeter will be enshrined into Baseball’s “Hall of Fame”; but, there are now many doubts if Alex Rodriguez will ever be voted into the “Hall” !!! … I know if I had a vote, I would vote for Jeter on his first ballot; and, I would never vote for A-Rod, or any other PED user, to be enshrined into the “Hall of Fame” !!! … All these issues are very sad; and, I hope baseball can move forward without these issues being a major distraction this year and in future years !!! … Thanks Julia, to you and your sons, for offering excellent comments !!! … Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  7. jimmy27nyy

    Bob, you are welcome !!! …
    It is a pleasure to include your blog on my Link List !!! … Also, thanks again, for including my blog on your Link List !!! … Regarding all the steroid issues in baseball,

    yeah, I also hope all the “steroids” talk ends soon !!! … But, unfortunately, I think, this issue will continue to be discussed throughout the season if more stories about A-Rod using PED’s, in other years, in addition, to the years he already admitted to using, in: 2001, ’02, and ’03 !!! … I hope these distractions do not overshadow the upcoming baseball season !!! … Thanks for the visit !!! … Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  8. jimmy27nyy

    I agree, Jeremy …

    Yes, I give A-Rod credit for at least talking about his PED use, even though it is way past the fact of the only times he claimed he used the PED’s !!! … But, there still are many questions that need to be answered !!! … A-Rod will have a very rough year, which will cause many distractions for him on and off the field, if he tries to avoid answering any questions … MLB and the Players Association really need to take a much stronger stance regarding all PED and Steroid use in baseball, including, putting in place a “zero tolerance policy”, with lifetime bans, for any future players who test positive for any PED or Steroid use !!! … Take care, Jeremy !!! … Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  9. King_of_New_York

    I think A-Rod did the right thing by coming out and admitting his mistake. He didn’t really have to because the tests were anonymous. I think it’s good because he doesn’t have to worry about it anymore. I think that he may become an even better teammate, and player. He can stop doing unsportsmanlike things, like knocking balls out of players gloves, and calling out to distract the other teams’ players.
    http://bronx-awesome.mlblogs.com/
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    http://bronx-awesome.mlblogs.com/archives/2009/02/major_league_questions_for_200.html
    Please read the questions and respond!
    King Yankees

  10. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Emily …

    Yeah, I agree, A-Rod was not totally honest in the Peter Gammons interview, and, also, during his press conference !!! … He still has many questions to answer; and, many questions still need to be answered by his cousin, Yuri Sucart; and, the steroids dealer, Angel Presinal, who A-Rod was involved with !!! … And, yes, it is a shame that “clean” players, like Derek Jeter, have had their names, and baseball stats put in question, because of all the disgraceful actions of players who have used steroids and PED’s !!! … Like Jeter said, “every player was not using PED’s” … And, these clean players should be an example to all of us, on how the game should be played, the right way, without using PED’s !!! … I only wish that the Players Association, and MLB, would praise and protect the “clean” players, as much as they defend the Steroid and PED abusers !!! … All baseball fans want these issues to end; and, the only way this will happen is if MLB and the Players Association implement a “zero tolerance policy” regarding all players who use Steroids or other PED’s !!! Emily, thanks for your visit !!! Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  11. juliasrants

    Thanks Jimmy! These sorts of situations always bring about discussions that can be hard for some parents to have with theirs kids – but they need to be had. (And trust me, in my house, our boys hear these things a lot from my husband a lot!) But it does remind me of a comment my dad made once. I think it was after another story on the abuse case in the Catholic Church here in the Boston area. My dad and I were talking and he said “You know – I wouldn’t want to be a parent today. All these things you have to talk to your boys about – 9/11, shootings in schools, the Priest abuse scandal – you know, your mom and I never had to talk to you and your sister about these things.” And here is just one more thing we get to heap up our kids Jimmy – that even the baseball players they look up to might not be playing clean. It is truly sad.

    Julia
    http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

  12. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Elizabeth …

    Well, now that A-Rod’s “mystery cousin”, Yuri Sucart, of Miami, Florida, has been identified, this a golden opportunity for someone to get an exclusive interview with him that will break even more news in the whole Alex Rodriguez “steroids saga” !!! … So, why not you , Elizabeth ? … He lives somewhere in your area, in Miami; and, if you could get an exclusive interview with Yuri, this may lead to your book deal, or a job as a baseball writer with a major newspaper a lot sooner than you expected !!! … There still are many questions that need to be answered; and, there are news reporters from all over the world trying to find any new information that will help to continue to add more pieces to this A-Rod story, that will one day complete the whole puzzle of this disgraceful mess that has really given a huge black-eye to our great game of baseball ! I have given A-Rod credit for at least coming clean, even though it is way past the fact of his admitted PED use … But, these two new character’s, Sucart and Angel Persinal, that have been identified as very close associates of A-Rod, who assisted Alex with his Steroid and PED use, makes it more and more difficult to trust statements made by Rodriguez !!! … I really do hope all this steroids talk will end soon, so we can all just focus on the upcoming baseball season … But, the way things keep changing in this whole situation, I think there will be many more distractions ahead !!! … I hope this is not the case, so that we all can just enjoy watching the action on the baseball diamond this season … Thanks for your visit, and comments, Elizabeth !!! … Jimmy[27NYY]”BY&L”

  13. Erin Kathleen

    I agree with Jeter, let’s give A-Rod the benefit of the doubt until evidence proves otherwise. I know I’ve written some critical things about him on my blog, but I also don’t really want to accuse him of doing things he hasn’t actually done. He says he only did it from ’01 to ’03 and until drug tests prove otherwise, I’ll believe him.

    I think the worst part about this whole thing is that suspicion has been cast on every other player in baseball. Because MLB didn’t have a testing program in place at the time, we will never really know who was clean and who wasn’t. And that’s really not fair because most guys probably were clean.
    -Erin
    htttp://plunking-gomez.mlblogs.com

  14. jimmy27nyy

    Hello, Everybody !!! …

    Thanks for all the comments in regards to my above post … I really appreciate all your kind words and great commentary !!! … Sorry for not responding sooner to some of the above comments. I have been very busy, and my time for blogging has been very limited over the last few days. So, I have not been able to write as many posts as I would like, or respond to some comments more quickly or even offer as many comments on other blogs as much as I would like to !!! … But, with spring training now here, and the new baseball season getting closer everyday, my schedule should open up a bit, and I hope to be offering more daily posts and making many comments on my blog and other mlblogs on a regular basis, as the days go on, and the season advances !!! … Thanks again for all your support; and, I always look forward to everybody’s visits, comments, and thoughts !!! … All are always welcome to visit my mlblog, any time !!! Jimmy [27NYY],”BY&L” … http://baseballtheyankeesandlife.mlblogs.com/

  15. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Babu …
    Yes, I have also given A-Rod credit for coming clean about his PED use, but there are many more questions that need to be answered; and, when A-Rod doesn’t give the right answers to some of these questions, the fans will not trust him, and they will not believe what he says in the future !!! … I just hope these issues do not become a major distraction for A-Rod and the other Yankee players throughout the season !!! … Also, a new book about A-Rod’s life is scheduled to be released in April, just before the start of the 2009 season, which will open up many more questions that Alex will have to answer about his personal life … Alex Rodriguez has not handled pressure too well in the past; and, it will be interesting to see how he deals with all these issues throughout the upcoming season and in future seasons !!! … Babu, thanks for your visit and comments !!! … Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  16. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Tom …

    Everything that has gone on in the “Steroids Era” has been very sad for our great game of baseball !!! … Many of the players stats are tainted, and it really is a shame that so many players were involved [but, thank God, not all players were involved, as Derek Jeter has said] … In the end though, our great game of baseball will survive; and, Baseball will always be America’s Pastime !!! … Thanks for the visit, Tom; and, safe travels on your “Baseball Road Trip Across America” !!! … Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  17. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Erin …

    Yeah, all these Steroid and PED issues are very sad; and, it is especially sad that the “clean” players such as Derek Jeter, are the ones that are probably suffering even more than the PED users because their “good names” are being dragged through the mud, as all players are suspected of using PED’s !!! … I totally believe Derek Jeter that he is “clean”; and, also, that most players were, and, are, clean throughout the whole steroids era !!! … The only way this whole mess can end, is for MLB and the Players Association to put forth a very serious “zero tolerance policy” regarding all Steroid and PED users — banning for life any players that test positive for PED use in future yeras !!! … Take care, Erin; and, thanks for the visit !!! … Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  18. jimmy27nyy

    Yeah, Julia …

    When we grew up it was a much more simpler time, when there was more respect for the family and the whole society in general !!! … There were also problems we all had to deal with back then; but, there were not as many distractions and temptations that we all have to face in today’s times !!! … It seems like “greed” and the love of “money” over all things has over taken many in our society today, in all areas: Baseball; all other sports; the Olympics; Big Corporations; Wall Street; the Catholic Church, and all other Religions and Churches; Politics, etc. !!! … Baseball reflects all these areas in everyday life, and it’s a shame because it is the children who are most hurt when they see all this greed: in the news, on televison, the movies, on the sports fields, etc.; and, also, see their heroes fall when they get caught up in all this greed and the need to be the “best” over all moral standards of good judgment !!! … These are way too many distractions for all of us to deal with, and I don’t know what the answers or solutions are, other than, we all need to pray more to God for the strength and courage to overcome temptations ourselves; not place our sports figures on a pedestal; and, hope that our society in general turns away from all these distractions and greed !!! … All of these issues are very sad, but I think our great Country will always endure, and always remain great; just as I think, our great game of Baseball will always endure, and always remain great !!! … Take care, Julia; and, thanks again for all your excellent thoughts and comments !!! … Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L” – Baseball, The Yankees, and Life

  19. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Happy …

    Yeah, I totally agree !!! … All the 103 names on the list should be released, to show that A-Rod wasn’t the only player, or “big name” baseball player using PED’s !!! … Then, it is time to move on from this mess … And, the only way for that to happen, is: for MLB and the Players Association to implement a serious “zero tolerance” policy, banning for life, any players that test positive for steroids or any other PED’s in this year, and all future seasons !!! … Thanks for the visit, Happy !!! … Jimmy [27NYY]

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