Saturday, February 7, 2009

Who were the three players who snitched on A-Rod to SI?

Remember how the Mitchell Report alleged that Gene Orza tipped off some MLB players in the fall of 2004 as to when they would get their steroids test? Well, according to the Sports Illustrated story breaking the news about Alex Rodriguez reportedly testing positive for steroids in 2003, A-Rod was one of those players getting that tip.

That in itself isn't shocking to me. But what is shocking is that three MLB players told SI that A-Rod had been tipped off. This means, of course, that Joe Torre isn't the only baseball figure as of late to break the clubhouse code:

Here's the info from SI:
According to the 2007 Mitchell Report on steroid use in baseball, in September 2004, Gene Orza, the chief operating officer of the players' union, violated an agreement with MLB by tipping off a player (not named in the report) about an upcoming, supposedly unannounced drug test. Three major league players who spoke to SI said that Rodriguez was also tipped by Orza in early September 2004 that he would be tested later that month. Rodriguez declined to respond on Thursday when asked about the warning Orza provided him.

When Orza was asked on Friday in the union's New York City office about the tipping allegations, he told a reporter, "I'm not interested in discussing this information with you."

So, I wonder who the three players are who talked to SI, and if they were Yankees. And I also wonder if this were the real reason A-Rod was called A-Fraud in the clubhouse. This also means that given the timeframe - September 2004 - we can't say that Alex didn't do steroids as a Yankee.

Besides wondering which players told on A-Rod, this story confirms Alex's overall (take your pick) stupidity, hubris, or arrogance. Because according to the Mitchell Report, when Orza tipped off players, he told them that they had failed the 2003 steroids test. So that means that A-Rod knew that he had failed that test. Yet he still told Katie Couric last year that he never took steroids, and was never even tempted to take steroids. Unreal.

So what happens now? From what I heard on ESPNews today, it doesn't look like the Yanks have any grounds to void Alex's contract, as there's nothing about PEDs in it. Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't understand why the Yanks didn't put anything into all players' contracts about steroids, especially after the case of Jason Giambi. They banned pickup basketball games, but not steroids? Sheesh.

What do you think? Leave us a comment.


"Nutball Gazette" said...

If it is true that Orza tipped off players about tests I think this could be a criminal act and we can see him go to jail. also the Owners can call this a violation of the players agreement and they can reopen the contract possibly as soon as this spring. and impose harsher penalties for steroid use.
In any case when the Labor contract expires I can see Baseball being shut down for anywhere from 1 to 5 years.

Anonymous said...

void his contract? do you even think the yankees would consider that? who the heck are you kidding lisa?
the yankees have obvously fostered a culture where steroid use is, if not encouraged, at least accepted as normal. they care way too much about aroids performance than whether he is a cheater.

Anonymous said...

one of the writers on fox made a good point. Aroid did the unthinkable, he lent Jose Canseco credibility. this after a decision against danny bonaduce no less!

The Emperor said...

Well, for one thing the report right now says that A-Rod did 'roids with the Rangers in 2003. He was with the Rangers then, not the Yankees.

The Yankees cannot void any contract with him for what he did back then. He wasn't on the Yankee payroll in '03.

Now, if he gets caught cheating now, or it's revealed that he cheated during his tenure with the Yankees, that can be a different discussion.

Of course the Yankees are concerned about his performance, because they know that he doesn't need steroids to be dangerous. He is too talented. Steroids is not encourged -- nobody encourages PED usage. Did the Yankees turn a blind eye? Yeah, I think they did. Too much money at stake and too much pressure to meet public demands.

The best thing in the world for A-Rod to do is stay clean and play his ass off. You know he's clean now because if not, he won't be playing baseball for a long time. Because of who he is and now in light of what's he's done in the past, they're going to watch him like a hawk and test him often.

Anonymous said...

emperor, how does anyone know if he is clean? the drugs they create are beyond the testing. there are still some that they do not even test for.

He is tremendously talented, and would have been very successful without any type of help, as was bonds, but he is never going to be able to play without people questioning his tactics. He won't be able to wipe his slate clean.

he is not the only one. he won't be the last. but right now, he is the biggest. I can't imagine a bigger one being caught. he was the man who was going to take down bonds' tainted record. and he was going to do it as a yankee. what a fall. shame really. I don't thing he is the type of person who is going to handle the scrutiny very well. He has a very powerful need for people to like him, to be accepted by teammates and fans. it will be interesting to watch what he is able to do this year with all of the pressure.

I don't think the yankees encourage steroid use. i don't think they discourage it either. nor do many teams for that matter. it is no conspiracy against the yankees, but it is curious how linked they now are to PED's. like a big, black mark. a bunch of marks really. and i am not even making these comments with malice towards them, for a change. couldn't do much about clemens, but giambi's use was forgotten about. pettittes also. now arod? sad day for baseball.

The Emperor said...

You're absolutely right, KM. Nothing you said is incorrect.

I guess the very best I could hope for is that A-Rod, and every player for that matter, doesn't cheat again.

I'll tell you, though - I feel like I've been kicked in the ass. Here A-Rod is on his way to breaking Bond's HR record, and all along I'm gloating that he's doing it clean. I'm bragging about it to everyone, saying things like "yeah, people hate him for this and that, but at least he'll take down Bonds clean.

When the report came out yesterday, I was very upset. I wasn't depressed - not surprised, either - just felt let down. It's like, no player at all can ever be trusted.

Well, the best I can hope for now is that everyone tries to keep it clean. It can be done - players used to win hard in the past with no PEDs. Heck - Babe Ruth became a legend while being on a steady diet of beer and hot dogs.

Maybe A-Rod should snack on a Hebrew National and suck back on a Heineken between innings!

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