Let's play good-news bad-news with Alex Rodriguez.
Good news: he's progressing quite well in his rehab, and could return to the Yankees in the next 10 days, ahead of his original target date of May 15th. According to his doctor, A-Rod is "looking good. Looking awesome."
Now, the bad news: remember that book by Selena Roberts, the one that first reported A-Rod had been juicing? Well, the New York Daily News got its hands on an advance copy, and it turns out there is more. Much more, including the indication he was juicing not just while with the Rangers, as he originally claimed, but also in high school and during his time in New York.
Sports Illustrated writer Selena Roberts, who broke the story that A-Rod flunked a steroid screening in 2003, reveals fellow Bombers nicknamed the third baseman "B---h T--s" in 2005.But wait, there's more. We still haven't heard from Jose Canseco, who, oddly enough, has become pretty accurate in outing steroid users, and who thinks A-Rod began his steroid use well before the majors.
That was after he put on 15pounds in the off-season and seemed to develop round pectorals, a condition called gynecomastia that can be caused by anabolic steroids, she writes.
In addition, an unnamed major-leaguer is quoted as saying Rodriguez and steroid-tainted pitcher Kevin Brown were seen together with human growth hormone - HGH - in 2004.
Brown, who was named in the Mitchell Report on steroids, denied through a lawyer that he ever shared the hormone with the highest-paid player in baseball.
Two other anonymous Yankees said they believed A-Rod was using based on side effects they saw - and a clubhouse staffer said management wondered if he was using banned substances.
"No one ever asked Alex directly that I know of, but there was a lot of suspicion in house," the employee is quoted as saying.
The book, published by HarperCollins and set to be released May 12, also details Rodriguez's long relationship with Angel Presinal, a Dominican trainer banned from clubhouses after a steroid incident in 2001.
"I absolutely think Alex is using HGH," he said. "Probably a combination of growth and steroids."Somewhat amazingly, there's even more, though, not steroid-related. The Daily News claims the book paints a "portrait of A-Rod as a needy me-firster who had to have his ego constantly stroked." It also says the book accuses Rodriguez of "pitch tipping" while in Texas -- he'd let friends on opposing teams know what pitches were coming when games were out of hand, and would have the favor returned, all to help pad stats. Roberts' book, "A-Rod," tells tales of his divorce, his "friendship" with Madonna, and perhaps worst of all, the claim that waitresses at Hooters even hated him because of his 15%-tipping.
Canseco said he believes Rodriguez's steroid use goes back to his teens, when he was a high school standout in Miami.
"Was he on steroids in high school?" he said. "I think probably so. I worked out with him when he was 18. He could lift almost as much as I could."
Rodriguez put on 25 pounds of muscle between his sophomore and junior years, and word was that his connection was a dog kennel owner.
A former high school teammate told Roberts the future No.1 MLB draft pick was on steroids and his coach knew it.
Another student said the son of coach Rich Hofman admitted he saw Rodriguez use steroids.
Whoops. Can someone get Peter Gammons on the phone? Might be time for another awkward and uncomfortable interview in which A-Rod "tells all" and "comes clean."