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A-Rod to end his silence with ESPN interview today

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The next words out of Alex Rodriguez's mouth, the first since he was outed for steroids use by Sports Illustrated, will set the tone for how he is viewed for what's left of his baseball career.

He is expected to utter those words on ESPN, probably later Monday, probably with veteran baseball reporter Peter Gammons.

Already, there have been many in the media offering advice on what he should say and how he should say it. Will he let the situation fester and the avalanche of negative publicity build? Will he soon hold a press conference?

It's no surprise that A-Rod would make his first public statement on ESPN and with Gammons. A-Rod may issue a statement, followed by his interview.

Don't be surprised if A-Rod offers the usual explanations for having been caught on a steroid test: He had a medical condition. He thought he was taking a supplement, maybe in a shake. He didn't know what it was.

If so, Gammons, or whoever the interviewer is, should be allowed to challenge those assertions.

Whether it's live or taped, you can bet there will be pressure on the interviewer as well as on Rodriguez. Viewers - at least those who are objective - will be looking for pointed, tough questions, and realistic answers. Otherwise, there will also be questions about whether ESPN accepted ground rules in order to secure the interview.

There will be those who wonder if A-Rod has agreed to the interview with the condition that he knew the questions in advance. Anything is possible.

Since SI's revelations, A-Rod has been taken apart, chunk by chunk, by a variety of media outlets. He's had few defenders. If this were a turf war, A-Rod would have been backed into the corner the size of a postage stamp.

In order to reclaim PR territory he once occupied, he must come off credible and personable when he makes his first statement. It will be much more than a finger-in-the-dyke moment. A-Rod must stop the flood of negativity with words. This will be his ultimate test of spin.

So, it would serve no purpose to get in a confrontation with whoever does the interview. That's why, if he is going on ESPN, with Gammons, he may have picked a guy who would give him the best chance to succeed.

Throughout A-Rod's Yankee tenure, Gammons has often defended him. In 2006, during a Yankees-Mets Sunday night tilt on ESPN, Gammons made light of A-Rod's inability to hit in the clutch and cast Yankees fans, who constantly bring up this deficience in A-Rod's game, as ingrates.

In 2007, after Rodriguez was photographed parading Joslyn Noel Morse, his stripper/friend, through the lobby of a Toronto hotel, Gammons avoided the moral issue of a man cheating on his wife. Instead, he said: "It's a very tough thing to be very rich, very handsome athlete today."

Gammons has been called on before to do "hot" interviews at ESPN. In 2000, after SI broke another controversial story concerning the racist rantings of John Rocker, Gammons was the first reporter to interview the fiery reliever.

Gammons interview was conducted in a very sympathetic manner. After the chat, Gammons told another reporter that the sympathetic tone of the interview "may be my fault. I'm not claiming that it's not my fault. I tried to be right down the middle with the interview and lay back. I didn't want to be pounding him."

Alex Rodriguez can only hope for the same treatment today.

======================================================

There's gonna be a lot of pressure on A-Rod during this interview....I say he loses his voice.

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This is going to be an embarrassment. Why doesn't he just hold a press conference at spring training.

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I hope ARod is just honest. Admit it, give the details and take the first step towards moving past this.

If he lies, it will end badly. It always does.

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This is going to be an embarrassment. Why doesn't he just hold a press conference at spring training.

Get it out of the way now. I much prefer that. It will be a train wreck in Tampa either way when he shows up, but they should get this step over with as soon as possible.

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I hope ARod is just honest. Admit it, give the details and take the first step towards moving past this.

If he lies, it will end badly. It always does.

If he comes clean, he will eventually be forgiven if not forgotten. Problem is, what if he is still juicing? How does he come clean then?

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Get it out of the way now. I much prefer that. It will be a train wreck in Tampa either way when he shows up, but they should get this step over with as soon as possible.

If he lies, the Yankees have to find a way to dump him. Hopefully they were smart enough after the Giambi debacle to put something in his contract that allows them to cut ties. Madden with the Daily News suggested they release him and eat the $270 mil owed. As much as I'd love to see that, no way it's gonna happen.

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Get it out of the way now. I much prefer that. It will be a train wreck in Tampa either way when he shows up, but they should get this step over with as soon as possible.

It's not going to get it out of the way, the only guy is Peter Gammons, the rest of the wolves aren't getting a chance.

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If he lies, the Yankees have to find a way to dump him. Hopefully they were smart enough after the Giambi debacle to put something in his contract that allows them to cut ties. Madden with the Daily News suggested they release him and eat the $270 mil owed. As much as I'd love to see that, no way it's gonna happen.

Of course they didn't.. because the Union would never allow it. Is Madden a moron? Releasing one of the best hitters in baseball (steroids or no steroids) is ****ing stupid. He's the heart of our lineup. Without A-Rod.. we go NOWHERE. Eat $270 million.. haha, he's gotta be crazy.

Edited by Tyler Durden

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He will do whatever Scott Boras told him to do. Which I am sure will be evasive.

This will be a general statement of "We are extremely limited to what we are able to talk about at this time, but we are looking into legal remedy to see what we can do to clear my name."

It will be a trial balloon, and they can react from that.

Amazing the percentage of Boras clients who are users, BTW.

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He will do whatever Scott Boras told him to do. Which I am sure will be evasive.

This will be a general statement of "We are extremely limited to what we are able to talk about at this time, but we are looking into legal remedy to see what we can do to clear my name."

It will be a trial balloon, and they can react from that.

Amazing the percentage of Boras clients who are users, BTW.

Michael Kay reporting ARod admits using it from 2001-2003. Good for him.

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Michael Kay reporting ARod admits using it from 2001-2003. Good for him.

Does anyone honestly believe that he stopped in '03? Especially with Gene Orza running around telling players when the tests were going to be?

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Alex Rodriguez has confirmed during an interview this afternoon with ESPN's Peter Gammons that he used performance-enhancing drugs from 2001-03 while a member of the Texas Rangers.

The Yankees' superstar third baseman decided to give his initial response to the allegations to ESPN and is currently recording an interview with Gammons.

The full interview will be broadcast on the 6 p.m. edition of "SportsCenter" and be posted on ESPN.com.

Rodriguez has not responded publicly since Sports Illustrated reported on its website Saturday that he is on a list of 104 players who tested positive in 2003 during baseball's confidential survey testing, which wasn't subject to discipline. SI.com said he tested positive for Primobolan and testosterone.

Rodriguez hit 159 home runs during those three seasons with the Rangers -- including 57 in 2002 -- and he was named the American League Most Valuable Player in '03. He was traded to the Yankees following that season.

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He did the smart thing by fessing up, lying about it would only make him look foolish a la Roger Clemens/Barry Bonds

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He did the smart thing by fessing up, lying about it would only make him look foolish a la Roger Clemens/Barry Bonds

Admitting it is the first step to moving forward, I'm pleased.

I need baseball! Please!

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He did the smart thing by fessing up, lying about it would only make him look foolish a la Roger Clemens/Barry Bonds

Admitting it is a smart move, but he really had no other choice IMO. Look at all the other cheaters who took the other route. They are made to look like buffoons. A-rod also have many more years playing the game which is different from the Clemens/Bonds of the world. If you think about it, A-Roid will never get his credibility back. You know how it goes, if you got caught cheating, chances are you got away with it 10 other times. A-rod admit to using with Texas, but there is no way to prove that. I am sure a lot of Yankee fans will choose to believe him, but at the same time, you can't argue with anyone not trusting him.

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You guys are easy.

Wait till you become a parent.

WHaaaa!!! You mean my 11 month old little girl is going to lie to me? I will not hear of it.

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WHaaaa!!! You mean my 11 month old little girl is going to lie to me? I will not hear of it.

It seems my 9yr and 11 yr old break my heart on a daily basis.

I wish you all the luck in the world, and have no doubts you are a better parent.

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Francesa is reporting that it is a pretty lame statement by ARod.

"reporting" ?

LOL..

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"reporting" ?

LOL..

Well he read excerpts from the statement .....the usual I didn't know what I was taking...when I talked to Katie I wasn't being honest with myself so how could I be honest with her?

Now that's something to LOL about.

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It seems my 9yr and 11 yr old break my heart on a daily basis.

I wish you all the luck in the world, and have no doubts you are a better parent.

Off topic, but i was kissing her little fingers this morning and accidently bit her fingers. She started bawling. My wife nominated me worst father of the year. I have no idea what kind of father I will be, but I am having the time of my life the last 11 months.

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It seems my 9yr and 11 yr old break my heart on a daily basis.

I wish you all the luck in the world, and have no doubts you are a better parent.

We will never know for sure until we get Jets Babe to lay down the parenting verdict.

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Still comes out smelling like a weasel. I have no tolerance for steroid users. I understand it was rampant, there were incentives to using them, and there was no real penalty in place to suspend players. But I lose respect for him on two counts. 1) He flat out lied about not using it. Thereby making this forced apology fall on my deaf ears. 2) He chose to be one of those many players who cheated the game.

The way A-rod portrayed himself seemed way too phony, but I honestly didn't care too much about that because all i cared about was performance on the field. I got more upset by him coming up small in the playoffs. But at the end of the day I still respected his prodigious talent. That level of respect has gone away as well.

I mean, he's still one of the greatest players to ever play the game. But he is a cheater in my book. If he ever gets into the HOF, asterisk his name.

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You guys are easy.

Wait till you become a parent.

Francesa is reporting that it is a pretty lame statement by ARod.

Still comes out smelling like a weasel. I have no tolerance for steroid users. I understand it was rampant, there were incentives to using them, and there was no real penalty in place to suspend players. But I lose respect for him on two counts. 1) He flat out lied about not using it. Thereby making this forced apology fall on my deaf ears. 2) He chose to be one of those many players who cheated the game.

The way A-rod portrayed himself seemed way too phony, but I honestly didn't care too much about that because all i cared about was performance on the field. I got more upset by him coming up small in the playoffs. But at the end of the day I still respected his prodigious talent. That level of respect has gone away as well.

I mean, he's still one of the greatest players to ever play the game. But he is a cheater in my book. If he ever gets into the HOF, asterisk his name.

A-rod did what he had to do, he would be getting crucified if he denied or was evasive.

We are a very forgiving society, look at Giambi and Pettitte, guys who admit and show regret normally get forgiven. Giambi moreso than Pettitte. A-rod followed Giambi's example and expanded upon it. He admitted to using for more time than was revealed. great move.

A-rod has a golden opportunity in my mind.

There are some who will never forgive him, but I believe they are in the minority.

Yankee fans never warmed up to him, and he was the richest guy who played like a paper tiger.

now though, if he continues to be apologetic, humble, plays well, and shows up big in big spots...he will become a new player and accepted in a way he never was.

A lot of "ifs" but again, if he does, mark my words, October will be A-rod time

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A-rod did what he had to do, he would be getting crucified if he denied or was evasive.

We are a very forgiving society, look at Giambi and Pettitte, guys who admit and show regret normally get forgiven. Giambi moreso than Pettitte. A-rod followed Giambi's example and expanded upon it. He admitted to using for more time than was revealed. great move.

A-rod has a golden opportunity in my mind.

There are some who will never forgive him, but I believe they are in the minority.

Yankee fans never warmed up to him, and he was the richest guy who played like a paper tiger.

now though, if he continues to be apologetic, humble, plays well, and shows up big in big spots...he will become a new player and accepted in a way he never was.

A lot of "ifs" but again, if he does, mark my words, October will be A-rod time

Rodriguez's statement was full of bs. Not knowing what substances he took? Give me a break, he's about as innocent as Clemens in that respect...

"That's pretty much accurate, yes" Wth does that even mean?

Coming clean to me is actually telling the truth. Not a half-hearted apology just because this is the only way to appease the situation.

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Rodriguez's statement was full of bs. Not knowing what substances he took? Give me a break, he's about as innocent as Clemens in that respect...

"That's pretty much accurate, yes" Wth does that even mean?

Coming clean to me is actually telling the truth. Not a half-hearted apology just because this is the only way to appease the situation.

well, you are the guy I predict will be in the minority, eternally scorned by this.

Five years from now, most fans will ahve forgiven him..right or wrong.

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If ARod seems too phony, it's because he's just dumb. The more I think about it the guy is just straight dumb.

I bet he wishes he ended up in Boston.

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well, you are the guy I predict will be in the minority, eternally scorned by this.

Five years from now, most fans will ahve forgiven him..right or wrong.

Hey, maybe so. I'm not trying to sit here and tell others how they should feel or whether they should forgive him or not. I was just saying I for one have little respect for the accomplishment of steroids users.

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Not knowing what substances he took? Give me a break

That is what annoys me about all of these guys. How the F do you not know what you are putting in your body if you are a professional athlete? These guys know exactly what they are taking.

Bonds and Clemens used the same excuse. At least ARod admitted he used PED's.

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That is what annoys me about all of these guys. How the F do you not know what you are putting in your body if you are a professional athlete? These guys know exactly what they are taking.

Bonds and Clemens used the same excuse. At least ARod admitted he used PED's.

Finally.

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ok, some thoughts on the interview:

1) A-Rod did everything he had to or was coached to say. He made sure to stress that there was a culture, which worked because Gammons and co. are already asking where does the blame lie. Brilliant move. A-rod needs to do that, because in the long run, the writers are the ones he needs to really win over. Most fans will cheer when he hits a homerun. His camp has to know that. He also confirmed without confirming when he used. Another good move, it would be real bad for him if, like with Andy Pettitte, it was to be discovered that he used another time after saying he only used once.

2) His "I didn't know what I was using." is kind of believable. He isn't saying he didn't know he was using PEDs, but that he wasn't sure exactly which ones. I would tend to think that is credible, these guys arent too bright, have teams around them of personal trainers and such who obviously get them the PEDs when they ask for them, or they make their dealer their trainer. I doubt A-rod did his own research and figured out what he needed. He probably said, "I want the stuff to do this for me." and someone got it.

3) He was either sincerely remorseful (that he got caught, not that he used..but it could come across apologetic) and it may work. He will have to face this a few more times, make himself available for questions and show humility for the remorse to eventually come across sicere to the majority of fans/writers.

4) He is lucky he has so much time left. He is still probably going to get into the hall of fame because the amount of time that will pass and his admission will really make writers forgive him. Again, already on ESPN they are making excuses about "How do we know who used, pitchers and relievers..." which already lays the groundwork for his defense.

All in all, a best case scenario day for A-rod. He will suffer the slings and arrows, and rightfully so, but he will probably come out on top. If he were Bond's age or denying like Clemens, it would be different.

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