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Dugout Chatter: Few willing to buy A-Rod's steroids story

Big League Stew

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If you read Nick Friedell's recap of his day at Steinbrenner Field on Tuesday, you came across this gem of a quote from Brian Cashman: "I don't think Alex is very good at communicating, to be quite honest."

Cash isn't kidding. Judging from the this morning's prevailing opinion, A-Rod wasn't able to win the minds of too many people out there. So much for that high-priced PR team.

Without further delay, here's what they're saying about A-Rod's day under the Klieg lights in Tampa ...

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Darren Rovell, CNBC: "A-Rod had to face the music, so we give him no credit for doing this in front of the media. We have to appreciate his honesty when he basically said he wasn't sure if he'd say anything had it not been for the Sports Illustrated report. But the bottom line is we just can't believe he took something for so long without knowing what it was."

Steve Politi, Newark Star-Ledger: "He keeps changing his story. First it was an outright lie to Katie Couric 15 months ago; then it was the loosey-goosey culture in baseball when he talked to ESPN's Peter Gammons nine days ago. Now he introduces the cousin buying the drugs in the Dominican Republic — as bulletproof an alibi as they come. You can only wonder what it might be next."

Mike Vaccaro, NY Post: "Alex Rodriguez thinks you, me, and everyone else listening to his sad explanations are complete and utter fools. Because his entire presentation yesterday — really, since he started crying on Peter Gammons' shoulder — has been summed up thusly: I was young, I was a kid, I was dumb, I was stupid. He is half right. He was dumb. He was stupid. And he is banking on the gullible masses to be equally dumb and equally stupid, because by 2001 Rodriguez was not a kid anymore. He had already played parts of seven seasons in the major leagues. He had already earned over $12 million and was about to rake in $252 million more. Young? Twenty-six is young for a lawyer. Twenty-six is young for a business executive. Twenty-six is even young to be a baseball player. But 26 isn't young enough to serve as an excuse for making the mistakes of a 16-year-old."

Mike Lupica, NY Daily News: "At this point you want Alex Rodriguez to find a cousin, any cousin, who will inject him with truth serum. Because if this latest version of things, the one the Yankees allowed him to dress up in Yankees pinstripes Tuesday, is the best he can do, he needs to shut up now. Shut up and hit and hope they cheer him at Yankee Stadium the way Giants fans always cheered Barry Bonds in San Francisco."

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Dan Lamothe, Red Sox Monster: "As a self-respecting baseball fan, there's absolutely no way that I can listen to that cheesy, aw-shucks crap spewed from A-Rod's purple-lipped crawhole today and not want to rip it to shreds. Even if it is kind of like shooting fish in a barrel with a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, it seems worthwhile to make sure that the only clown here is the guy who still can't admit full responsibility for his actions."

Tyler Kepner, NY Times: "Given his history, we would be foolish to believe what A-Rod says anymore. Better to focus on what he does. If we see him taking real steps to educate kids — commercials, fund-raising, talking in schools — that will be an important, powerful and tangible way to restore the good name that matters to him so much. And if he doesn't do that — if he lets down a man like Don Hooton and turns him into nothing more than a prop for his image — then Alex Rodriguez will have hit a new low.

Lisa Swan, Subway Squawkers: "What was up with the very long pause when A-Rod started talking about his teammates? Was he overcome with emotion or calculated? It was very strange ... It was also odd that he recommended that if he had a son, he would recommend that he go to college. Alex has two daughters. Does he not think they should go to school beyond high school?"

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Thomas Boswell, Washington Post: "So, by amazing coincidence, the story Alex Rodriguez told us yesterday was exactly the kind of tale he would have to tell if he did not want a visit from anybody wearing a badge or carrying a subpoena. Who needs friends like the new ones that Barry and Roger have? His account of his steroids days in Texas was perfect — too perfect. Rodriguez tried to close every legal loophole, end the story (he hopes) and paint a picture of himself and an unnamed cousin who were so dumb that, according to Rodriguez, neither of them knew they were taking steroids. Why, he didn't even believe at the time he was cheating. Just an 'energy booster.' Oh, and of course, the drugs were bought legally in the Dominican Republic. No laws broken. No baseball rules intentionally trampled. And, of course, no other humans had any connection with their plot. Hey, just a couple of crazy, stupid, experimental kids."

Dex, Gaslamp Ball: "First point: Ain't no nothing going into my butt unless I'm signing off on it 250%. I don't care if you're my cousin, my doctor, my priest or my wife. I better know what your intention is with that needle and how it pertains to my butt. If you want to put something in my butt and have it leave behind any sort of chemical compound, man-made or natural, I better know exactly what it is. You get that thing away from my butt."

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