Tagged: steroids

The Yankees Sign Reid Gorecki, Not Reed Johnson

When I read this, I said, “Who?” But he sounds like a minor league outfielder and not – I repeat not! – Cashman’s solution to the left field issue. Johnny Damon and Brett Gardner will be sharing duties there. RIGHT, CASH? RIGHT, JOHNNY? HAVE YOU TWO HUGGED IT OUT YET?


The Reid Gorecki signing wasn’t the only headline maker today. Mark McGwire finally explained to the media how he went from looking like this…
…to this.
To no one’s surprise, he admitted using ‘roids.
At this point, it’s like me admitting that I took my sister’s car out for a spin when I was in high school and sideswiped a parking meter. I pretended I wasn’t responsible for the giant scratch on the driver’s side, but everyone in the family knew I was guilty.
If McGwire’s sit-down with Bob Costas really gives everybody “closure,” then I’m glad. I’d much rather talk about how Jeter’s supposed wedding to Minka Kelly is now being called a hoax. I love hoaxes. I think I’ll create one right now: The Yankees just signed Johnny Damon and they’re announcing it tomorrow!

Oscars And Laundry = Glamour And Drudgery

Michael and I used to go to a friend’s annual Oscar party when we lived in LA. But now that we’re in Santa Barbara, here’s how we’re spending the evening: I’m doing laundry and Michael is reorganizing his office. We’re one fun couple, aren’t we? A regular Brad and Angelina.


Oops. The show is starting.
No. It’s only the “red carpet” show where the stars are being asked truly idiotic questions about what they’re wearing.
O.K. Here’s the real show. Host Hugh Jackman makes a steroids joke about Meryl Streep and all the awards she’s won. I wonder if A-Rod’s watching.
Best Supporting Actress. Love that they’re actually describing the performances of each nominee. Well done. Penelope Cruz? I wasn’t expecting her to win; I thought Marisa Tomei would get it. Even Penelope seems shocked.
Best Original Screenplay. Really love the bit with Steve Martin and Tina Fey. So far this show is great. Milk wins. Very impassioned speech.
Best Adapted Screenplay. Slumdog Millionaire. The writer actually thanks the author of the book. What a concept.
Best Animated Film. Jennifer Aniston and Jack Black present the nominees, while the camera finds Angelina Jolie laughing nervously. Is Angie feeling guilty for stealing Brad from Jen? Winner: Wall-E.
(Laundry break during Art Direction, Costume Design and Makeup. Am I the only one who thinks Sarah Jessica Parker looks better as a blonde?)
Best Cinematographer. Ben Stiller comes out doing a Joaquin Phoenix imitation. What a riot. Natalie Portman‘s dress is a winner. So is the cinematographer of Slumdog, who apparently couldn’t find a jacket that fit.
Sci-Tech Awards. I’m tuning this out except that Jessica Biel is at the microphone and I’m wondering if she was the one who broke up with Derek Jeter or vice versa.
Hilarious bit with Seth Rogen and James Franco as stoners watching DVDs. Best line: “Who’s a better actor? Reagan or Obama?”
Long musical number with Beyonce. I feel like I’m watching the Tony’s. Yawn.
Best Supporting Actor. I really do like how they’re stopping to acknowledge each nominee. Heath Ledger wins. His father, mother and sister accept the award. There are close-ups of teary, wistful audience members, but not the long standing ovation I anticipated. Weird.
(Another laundry run during the Documentary category. Then dinner during Visual EffectsSound Effects, Sound Mixing and Film Editing. This is when I wish we had people over. I could be busily serving hors d’oeuvres or pouring wine. Instead, the only wine I’m pouring is my own.)
Eddie Murphy is all business as he introduces the special humanitarian award to Jerry Lewis. Big standing O. I’m expecting an over-the-top acceptance speech – a little Cinderfella maybe? – but Jerry is short and sweet.
Great pink/purple dress on Alicia Keys as she and Zac Effron present the Best Original Score award to the Slumdog composer, whose name I can’t spell. 
Now come the Best Original Song nominees. This is the category Peter Gabriel boycotted; he was offended that he was only getting 65 seconds to perform his song from Wall-E. I’m offended he was offended. Who does he think he is? Beyonce? The winner: Slumdog. Yay.
Queen Latifah has the task of singing during the Dead People Montage. I ask Michael to pass the tissues when they show clips of Paul Newman. Sob.
Reese Witherspoon (I’m staring at her really hard, sending her vibes so she’ll play me in the still-in-my-fantasy movie version of “She-Fan”) presents the Best Director Oscar to Danny Boyle for Slumdog.
Is it possible this show will be done before midnight/9 p.m.? And where’s Jack Nicholson? He usually sits in the front row in his shades and smirks a lot.
Best Actress. Standing ovation for Sophia Loren, Shirley MacLaine, Nicole Kidman, Halle Berry and Marion Cotillard. Winner: Kate Winslet. No surprise, but it was cool how the past winners congratulated her.
Best Actor. Big hand for Michael Douglas, Adrien Brody, Robert DeNiro, Ben Kingsley and Anthony Hopkins. Winner: Sean Penn. Wow! Stunned that Mickey didn’t get it, but happy. Sean was great in the movie.
Last award. Steven Spielberg is on stage for Best Picture. Love the montage mixing old and new movies, Winner: Slumdog. Talk about a rags to riches story. It’s the equivalent of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Well, I had to end with a baseball analogy. Back to the Yankees tomorrow.

Even When I Try To Focus On Baseball…

….the Yankees won’t let me and I’m frustrated.
I was all set to post today about something benign, even heartening (CC and AJ are becoming great friends! Andrew Brackman sure can throw! Melky nixes the WBC so he can win back the center field job!), but it was not to be. There was too much off-the-field drama.
First, from the Daily News, we learned that A-Rod spent the 2007 season in the company of an “unsavory character” named Angel Presinal. This Dominican trainer extraordinaire, who is said to have worked with such boldfaced names as Pedro Martinez, David Ortiz, Vlad Guerrero and Robbie Cano, traveled everywhere with A-Rod at the same time that I traveled everywhere with A-Rod (well, O.K., so I wasn’t with A-Rod; I was stalking A-Rod), and yet I never noticed the guy? Not once? Not at the pool at the Vinoy in St. Pete? Not in the 18th floor lounge at the Park Hyatt in Toronto? Not at the health and fitness center at the Ritz Carlton in Boston?
I mean, it’s not as if this Angel person could be confused with a potted plant.


Supposedly, Cousin Yuri, the Boli procurer, was also along for the ride.
But I never spotted him, either.
So what’s wrong with me? Don’t I have any powers of observation? Am I a complete loser?
Oh, well. Angel and Yuri are A-Rod’s problem. And he will have a problem if his ’07 drug tests are anything but pristine. Selig can’t suspend him for fraternizing with an undesirable trainer and an equally undesirable relative. (Who doesn’t have one of those, right?) But this whole thing smells, and the scent isn’t this.
I was about to forge ahead with a much more cheerful post about two players I was eager to see in spring training, Xavier Nady and Johnny Damon, but then I read this from NBC Sports.
It wasn’t Bernie Madoff who made off with their millions. It was that other con artist the government is investigating. And now Nady and Damon, poor things, have had their assets frozen and can’t pay their bills. Never in my lifetime did I expect to see my boys in pinstripes taking to the streets.
And then there was this story from Newsday about Felix Lopez III, the son of Yankees Senior VP Felix Lopez Junior (George Steinbrenner’s son-in-law), who pleaded guilty to trafficking in steroids, not to mention the date-rape drug.
Begone, all you scuzzy people! I want to write nice stories about raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens…brown paper packages tied up with strings….
I know. I know. I just went too far in the other direction. But you get my drift.

Reaction To A-Rod’s A-Pology….With Subtitles

Bloggers weren’t the only ones with opinions about A-Rod and his admission of steroids use. Major League ballplayers weighed in. Yankees manager Joe Girardi weighed in. And the Yankees front office weighed in, although the statement sounded eerily similar to the one issued after Joba’s DUI.

Even President Obama weighed in.
He spent five whole minutes on A-Rod before returning to the subjects of the crumbling economy, the health care crisis and the war on terror.
Could the Yankee third baseman’s travails actually be on the minds of other world leaders? She-Fan decided to go spanning the globe.
My first stop was London, where Queen Elizabeth was addressing Parliament.
“Due to A-Rod’s poor judgment and the distraction it will inevitably cause the Yankees, this is not a year on which I shall look back with undiluted pleasure,” said the Queen. “It has turned out to be an Annus Horribilus.”
Next, I flew to France, where President Nicholas Sarkozy was in mid-speech.
“Que pensait-il? My femme, Carla Bruni, avait une enorme bousculade sur lui. Pas plus. Elle a dit qu’elle me peut pas se fier a un homme qui ment a Katie Couric.”
(“What was he thinking? My wife, Carla Bruni, had a huge crush on him. Not anymore. She says she cannot trust a man who lies to Katie Couric.”)

I hightailed it to Berlin, where German Chancellor Angela Merkel was asked about A-Rod during a press conference.
“Ich glaube, dass er die richtige Sache machte, indem er sprach und seine Kriminalitat zugab. Es gibt nichts Schlechteres als das Leben mit der Schuld. Nennen die Amerikaner das ‘nicht einem Affen auf dem Rucken zu haben.'”
(“I believe he did the right thing by speaking up and admitting his wrongdoing. There is nothing worse than living with guilt. Don’t the Americans call that ‘having a monkey on one’s back?’“)
I figured I might as well check in with Russia’s Vladimir Putin while he was in a relatively chatty mood.
“Американцы слабы со всеми их глупыми извинениями. Слабый и loosey-goosey. A-прут был правилен пробовать поразить наиболее домашние пробеги любого. Почему он должен принести извинения за сокрушительный другие в подачу? Янки получают шанс иметь безжалостного игрока как он.”
(“The Americans are weak with all their silly apologies. Weak and loosey-goosey. A-Rod was right to try to hit the most home runs of anybody. Why should he apologize for crushing the opposition into submission? The Yankees are lucky to have a ruthless player like him.“)
And, finally, I jetted over to Cuba, where Fidel Castro got up out of his sick bed to speak with me. A knowledgeable baseball man who was rumored to have been drafted by the Yankees before becoming Cuba’s version of The Boss, he would have gone on for hours. But I explained that I had to fly home to write my nightly blog.
“¡A-vara! ¡A-vara! ¡A-vara! ¡Bastante ya! Quiero hablar de Duque el-y Jose Contreras y todos los otros jugadores cubanos usted los americanos robaron de nosotros.”
(“A-Rod! A-Rod! A-Rod! Enough already with him! I want to talk about El Duque and Jose Contreras and all the other Cuban players you Americans stole from us.”)

I interjected that the Cuban players came to the U.S. of their own free will and that Contreras hadn’t been very successful as a Yankee.
¿”Usted piensa que es fácil ser un Yanqui? ¡Ah! Tengo la TV de satélite. Miro SÍ Red. Hasta sé a quién Selena Roberts es. Sus medios deberían ser lanzados en la cárcel. ¿Mi consejo a A-vara? Suba a una balsa y la vela aquí. No mucho dinero, pero mujeres buenas y alimento bueno y tiempos buenos.”
(“You think it’s easy to be a Yankee? Ha! I have satellite TV. I watch the YES Network. I even know who Selena Roberts is. Your media should be thrown in jail and executed. My advice to A-Rod? Get on a raft and sail over here. Not much money, but good women and good food and good times.“)
After the long, long day, I flew back to California, relieved not to have to translate every word I heard.
Michael greeted me at the door, his mouth full of dinner.
“Didouhavegotimeintoay?” he said.
I needed a translator after all.

The A-Rod Interview: The Parts You Didn’t See

Well, I’ll start with the parts you did see.
“When I arrived in Texas in 2001, I felt an enormous amount of pressure,” A-Rod told Peter Gammons during their sit-down on ESPN. “I felt like I had all the weight of the world on top of me, and I needed to perform – and perform at a high level every day.”
“It was such a loosey-goosey era,” he went on after pursing his lips several times. “I’m guilty for a lot of things – being negligent, naive, not asking all the right questions. And to be quite honest, I don’t know exactly what substance I was guilty of using.”
“I’m just sorry. I’m sorry for that time. I’m sorry to fans.”
O.K., so before I get to what happened once the cameras stopped rolling, let me just state, at the risk of having everyone roll his or her eyes, that I think he handled the situation the best he could. I do. He had to admit what he did. He had to explain why he did it. And he had to say he was sorry. Check. Check. And check. Could he have been more forthcoming about where he got the stuff? Sure. Did we need the rant about Selena Roberts, who quickly denied his accusations? No. But I’m a Yankee fan; I wanted him to try to put this mess behind him so the team can focus on playing baseball (and so baseball can focus on fixing this mess).
Now, without further ado, here’s what happened moments after A-Rod finished his interview: I looked down at myself and realized I was wearing the exact same sweater!
No white collar, but still. We were in matching cerulean blue!
Gene Orza of the players’ union didn’t tip me off that A-Rod would be wearing cerulean today. My trainer didn’t warn me about it, either. And, of course, A-Rod himself was much too busy to text me with any sort of heads-up.
“You are so busted,” said my husband Michael when he walked in and saw me standing in front of the TV, only inches away from the screen. “I thought you were working.”
“It was such a loosey-goosey afternoon,” I protested. “I’m guilty for a lot of things – not doing the laundry, not calling my mother, not getting the car washed. And to be quite honest, I don’t know exactly where I got this sweater. It was just hanging in the closet and I grabbed it. I felt an enormous pressure to look good – like I had the weight of the world on top of me.”
“You’re supposed to be sitting at the computer, not watching A-Rod’s interview,” said Michael.
“I’m sorry. Forgive me. Blame it on the culture in Texas.”
“Never mind.”
Programming note: The Yankees blog “3:10 to Joba,” is running a contest to coincide with the opening of spring training. Read about it here. You might even win something that’s not cerulean.

When A-Rod Addresses the Media, How Will It Go?

Assuming A-Rod returns from the Bahamas and decides to speak to the media about his steroids issue, what will his strategy be? So many choices. So many ways to handle the situation. So many precedents in popular culture. Let’s take a look.

1) He could go the Clemens route, appear on “60 Minutes” (again) and defiantly proclaim his innocence.
2) He could take his case to the ladies on “The View,” just as Alec Baldwin did after the world heard him go off on his daughter, and act apologetic and combative at the same time.
3) He could seek out the sympathetic Diane Sawyer, in the tradition of Mel Gibson after his anti-Semitic tirade, and try to be movie star charming.
4) He could bypass the talk show format altogether and instead hold a Giambi-type press conference in which he says he’s sorry but doesn’t say what for.
5) He could go in the direction of Andy Pettitte and say, “I was only trying to heal faster, not gain an edge on anybody, but I’m sorry and I promise never to do it again.”
6) He could pull an Elliot Spitzer and say he’s sorry for hurting his family, even as he’s making his wife stand there, mortified.
(Since A-Rod doesn’t currently have a wife, perhaps Madonna or even his mother would stand in.)
7) He could angrily deny wrongdoing by employing the “Finger Pointing Defense” perfected by Bill Clinton.
8) He could plead insanity like Blago.
9) He could emulate the remorseful Mike Tyson, who read a prepared statement apologizing for munching on both of Evander Holyfield’s ears.


10) And, finally, he could cry – just break down and let the tears flood his cheeks, like Jimmy Swaggert did so many memorable years ago.
While #10 would certainly be a YouTube sensation, I’m guessing we’ll see something along the lines of #5. 
I just hope I’m not asleep tomorrow morning when all this goes down. Living in the Pacific Time Zone does have its drawbacks.

And I Was Worried About Jeter In That Last Post?

So much for the next Yankees soap opera being about Derek Jeter’s 2011 contract.
I woke up this morning, blissfully unaware of world events, and discovered an unusually high number of emails in my inbox. Had someone died? I wondered. Had the economy taken another dive? Did the octuplets lady announce she was pregnant with more children?
Then I actually read the emails. Some of them were from my new “friends” on Facebook (I just signed up the other day). But most were about the stories in the tabs about A-Rod testing positive for steroids in ’03.
No one is commenting so far. Not A-Rod. Not Cashman. Not Selig. And not Gene Orza of the players’ union. 
So I’ll take a breath and simply say, “Who freakin’ needs this?”

The other thing I’ll say is: “Why, Alex? You’re too talented for that crap! Besides, you didn’t have the telltale acne and your head never grew to the size of a casaba melon and you didn’t fly into ‘roid rages. Or did you?”

And finally, before I throw myself and this computer into the Pacific Ocean, I’ll point out, “If 104 players tested positive, who are the other 103? And why is A-Rod the only person whose name was leaked? Who are the others? I want to know. Now.”

Breaking News – Clemens Is “Clean”


With the baseball world’s collective attention focused on which teams will sign which free agents, many people have forgotten about The Rocket’s lawsuits and countersuits to clear himself of the steroids taint.
To recap…
First, he angrily denied the charge that he was a juicer to Mike Wallace on “60 Minutes.”
Then, he and his lawyer staged a press conference where he issued more denials and looked very thirsty.
Finally, the pitcher performed on the ultimate Big Stage – the floor of Congress – and maintained over and over that he had never used ‘roids.
He pledged his innocence, but wasn’t particularly convincing when facing down his interrogators.
Since then, his reputation has been in tatters; most people believe that Brian McNamee did, in fact, inject him with banned substances.  But the investigations have never found the smoking gun that would either nail Clemens or exonerate him.
Until now.
In a stunning feat of reportage, She-Fan has uncovered long-buried evidence proving beyond a reasonable doubt that Roger Clemens is clean.
Clean as a whistle.
Clean as a new penny.
Clean as….
Why don’t I just show you. I think you’ll agree that those who condemned him were dead wrong.