Monday, February 09, 2009

Rafael Palmeiro would like to hear more about this Alex Rodriguez fellow

The un-hyped part of the SI steroids story : "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."

He's the union guy and, allegedly, he was selecting players to protect. If you're a player who did test positive, how crazy are you that you didn't get tipped off? If some players were protected, were others set up? If you're a clean player, how irate are you that -- because of your own union, because of people whose salaries are funded by your dues -- you were still competing against guys that were using?

My plans for today: Light a candle for Rafi. Put on my batting-helmut-shaped tinfoil hat and map out a wide-ranging and ugly conspiracy.

UPDATE: How did GNC get dragged into this? The Rodriguez confession was interesting but not illuminating. He did a wonderful job of reciting snippets his lawyers, union and PR people must have written for him. But really: how did Peter Gammons -- a hallowed baseball media figure -- not challenge any of those answers? Was that part of the deal -- no follow-up questions? In fact, was this truly a confession? ESPN is now where big athletes go to dodge the truth. Also, Orza's emails are unconvincing. No one is looking good here! Except Sports Illustrated.

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