Alex Rodriguez claimed the pressure of becoming the highest paid player in baseball and showing fans he was worth that record-setting $252 million contract caused him to use banned substances in 2001-03 with the Rangers. That explanation is somewhat believable.
Considering that was his reason for using steroids in the first place, to hear A-Rod say all his years in New York have been clean is laughable. Does he expect anyone to believe he didn't feel any pressure to succeed in the biggest pressure cooker in sports? Is he trying to say once he came to New York he didn't need any performance-enhancing drugs because the pressure had subsided? Truth is, A-Rod couldn't have put any more pressure on himself the day he put that Yankees uniform for the first time and said at his introductory press conference that his job was to put more rings on Derek Jeter's hand.
Given he already lied about using steroids and then gave non-answers in his spin-terview with ESPN's Peter Gammons, A-Rod's credibility is suspect at best. Yankees GM Brian Cashman even suggested to reporters at spring training this week that he doesn't know whether to believe his star third baseman.
It's quite possible that A-Rod stopped taking PEDs in 2004 because it was the first year baseball instituted a steroids policy. Perhaps the pressure of playing in the Bronx and being a central character in the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry explains why his offensive numbers across the board were down that year, relative to the MVP-winning stats he put up in 2003.
After that historic collapse by the Yankees to the Red Sox in the ALCS, when Rodriguez went 2-for-17 in the final four games of the series, do you think A-Rod didn't feel any pressure in 2005? He responded by winning his second MVP. He played in 162 games, the same number he played in with the Rangers in 2001 and '02.
The point is, A-Rod has never felt more pressure from the moment he put on the Yankees uniform. That pressure, which initially caused him to cheat, has continually mounted with each passing year the Yankees fail to win the World Series and every October that A-Rod doesn't get that big hit in the postseason. At last count, Jeter still has four rings.
When former Yankees manager Bill Martin called team owner George Steinbrenner a convicted liar, he was stating a fact. When Martin referred to Reggie Jackson as a born liar, he was making an accusation.
A-Rod is an admitted liar. Not even he can deny that.