Allegations having been brought by Sports Illustrated that Alex Rodriguez used steroids in 2003, the Yankees third baseman will make a statement about it on ESPN, perhaps as soon as today. The Daily News‘ Bob Raissman says the ESPN statement, done in interview format with reporter Peter Gammons, “is believed to have already been taped.” New York magazine’s Will Leitch earlier scored A-Rod’s slowness to respond to the charges: “That’s a lot of news cycles without comment, even on a weekend.” Yankee fans stand, albeit nervously, by their man, while the Boston Globe cheerfully recaps New York papers’ coverage of the affair, and celebrates the nickname given the Yankee slugger on the front page of today’s New York Post, “A-Hole,” though that cognomen has been circulating for quite some time.
Update 3:25 p.m.: Rodriguez tells ESPN that back in the early 2000s, “it was a different culture. It was very loose. I was young, I was stupid…” You guessed it: A-Rod says he use a “banned substance” to enhance his performance, but only from 2001 to 2003. How this will be received by fans will probably depend on his performance: we don’t think the Shea fans who called Guillermo Mota a “steroid bum” would have been so hard on him in 2007 if he had 40 saves.