Yankees support A-Rod
They'll back him at news conference
Alex Rodriguez will have a thick pinstriped wall of New York Yankees looking on during his news conference today, with teammates coalescing around A-Rod following his admission that he used banned drugs.
The Yankees still didn't know how many specifics of his drug use Rodriguez plans to divulge when he speaks in the tent behind the third-base stands at Steinbrenner Field.
"I don't think it's necessary in my eyes that he answer every detail," manager Joe Girardi said yesterday.
While Andy Pettitte spoke from the heart during his news conference a year ago admitting use of human growth hormone, the image-conscious Rodriguez appears to be formulating his strategy surrounded by an entourage large enough to fill a television series.
Even before Sports Illustrated reported on its website Feb. 7 that Rodriguez tested positive for a pair of steroids during baseball's supposedly secret survey in 2003, Team A-Rod included agent Scott Boras, William Morris Agency manager Guy Oseary and their staffs.
He has retained James E. Sharp, a lawyer who represented Pettitte and Sammy Sosa before Congress and then-President George W. Bush in front of a federal prosecutor. Rodriguez also brought in Outside Eyes, a media strategy and crisis management company based in Newport Beach, Calif., that includes communications specialists from Republican campaigns.
While Yankees officials were in charge of Pettitte's news conference, the team was uncertain who would run today's session, scheduled for live television transmission by the team's YES Network, which will provide its feed to other networks.
"I don't think it's window dressing," Girardi said of Rodriguez's teammates' support. "I think it's out of their hearts and their feelings for Alex and them wanting to stand behind him and help him through this situation."