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All about A-Rod

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  February 9, 2009 10:19 AM

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If you're a Red Sox fan, you've surely heard -- and taken some joy in repeating -- certain monikers for Alex Rodriguez in the aftermath of the SportsIllustrated.com bombshell that the player widely regarded as the best in baseball flunked a steroid test in 2003.

A-Fraud. A-Roid. A-Cheat.

But today, the New York Post takes the nickname game to a whole 'nother level:

Yup, we're pretty sure that's a lock for to win the grand prize for the most inflammatory and/or hilarious A-Rod-centric headline. Depending upon your perspective.

Of course, there are plenty of compelling stories behind the headlines, with the New York Daily News's Bill Madden presenting the most drastic suggestion: He says the Yankees should release A-Rod and eat the remaining $270 million on his contract. Explains Madden:

Now that A-Rod's pursuit looks as counterfeit as [Barry] Bonds's, they should do what's best for the organization:

Cut him loose -- no matter the cost.

As difficult as it is to imagine eating $270 million, the Bombers will be making a statement, not just for the Yankee brand but for baseball as a whole.

They will be applauded for it.

  • The Daily News's Mark Feinsand has ex-teammates and others from around baseball weighing in on the situation, and he has this interesting tidbit in regards to the Red Sox' pursuit of Rodriquez after the 2003 season:

    One Red Sox official told the Daily News that steroids were "never a main part of any of the conversations" that Boston had when it tried to trade for A-Rod in late 2003, making Saturday's revelations all the more stunning.

    "Maybe it got mentioned because of the numbers he puts up but I don't think anyone was convinced this was going on," the Red Sox official said. "It wasn't a major factor.

    "I don't envy the Yankees having to deal with this right now. And the story isn't going away anytime soon."

  • The New York Post says A-Rod is in "crisis mode" and is huddling with agent and "mentor" Scott Boras to come up with a plan for damage control. Post columnist Joel Sherman offers a few suggestions, most notably this one:

    . . . [If] the story is accurate, Rodriguez's initial step must be to publicly admit it. But more than that, A-Rod must become the first player to really explain the steroid era. We are not talking about naming names of others. We are talking about honestly talking about the culture in baseball at the time that motivated even the most talented player in the Milky Way to feel compelled to cheat.

    Mike Lupica of the Daily News also urges A-Rod to come clean.

  • The Daily News asks perhaps the most compelling question of all: Who spilled the beans?

  • NorthJersey.com's Bob Klapisch looks for a beacon of truth and says don't fail us now, Derek Jeter.

    Best of the rest: The Times's William C. Rhoden ponders how A-Rod will handle his pursuit of the all-time home run record . . . SI's Lee Jenkins has a compelling recap at A-Rod's open admiration for Barry Bonds through the years . . . The Times also has a piece concerning the legitimacy of the MLB steroid testing program in the wake of the revelation that A-Rod may have been tipped off about tests . . . ESPN's Jayson Stark tells us A-Rod committed "a crime against the once-sacred history of the sport" . . . ESPN's Rob Neyer writes that A-Rod remains an all-time great, whether he cheated or not . . . Buster Olney wonders about the accountability of baseball officials who were supposed to dispose of the 2003 tests but inexplicably did not . . . The Daily News's John Harper pins the blame on the union . . . CNNSI's Jon Heyman also wonders what Gene Orza was thinking . . . FoxSports' Ken Rosenthal says nothing should surprise us anymore . . . Yahoo!'s Jeff Passan says his ego made him do it.

  • Might as well end with the lowest common denominator -- Jose Canseco says he has more steroid tales to tell. Old friend Mike Greenwell says Canseco should be hailed for his truth-telling.

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