It’s the eve of A-Rod’s arrival in Tampa, and I’m busily imagining how the event will go. Reports tell us that the Yankees have erected a makeshift picnic tent on the grounds of Steinbrenner Field, and are expecting between 150-200 members of the media to attend. Also present will be management (Cashman and Girardi), the “core Yankees” (Jeter, Mo, Pettitte and Posada), the brand new crop (CC, AJ and Tex) and some stalkers stragglers (Selena Roberts). What I foresee isn’t a presser at all but an actual three-ringer.
First, we’ll have an introduction by Yankees media relations director Jason Zillo, who will double as the ringmaster.
Then, it’ll be on with the show. A-Rod will make a brief statement in which he will attempt several daring circus feats.
* He will juggle a tone of remorse with the “everybody was doing it back then” explanation, thereby making himself one of these.
* He will name the specific banned substance(s) he took, causing the crowd to gasp in horror and delight, just as they would if he did this.
* He will swear that he stopped using PEDs before he became a Yankee and reference his enormous pride in wearing pinstripes, his words soaring like one of these.
* He will apologize to the Steinbrenner family, his teammates and the fans, and he will pledge his commitment to winning a championship. It will be painful for him as he glances over at Jeter, and he will feel a catch in his throat, as if he were one of these.
* And finally, he will try to convince everyone that he doesn’t care about his personal accomplishments, even as he tears up about his Hall of Fame hopes. His mixed message will turn him into one of these.
Mercifully, Jason Zillo will step in and invite the media to ask questions. The reporters will clamor for the microphone and talk over each other so nobody can hear anybody and demonstrate how much they resemble these.
The first reporter to grab the mic will be Selena Roberts, who will brazenly leak the other 103 names on The List, recite many salacious tidbits about A-Rod from her forthcoming book and cause those of us watching to regard her as one of these.
Can’t wait to see if I’m right about any of this, but I bet Barnum and Bailey will be looking down and wishing they had a piece of the action.