Well, the first step in this long road has been taken and this is the smartest thing ARod has done in years:
"When I arrived in Texas in 2001, I felt an enormous amount of pressure, felt all the weight of the world on top of me to perform, and perform at a high level every day," Rodriguez told ESPN's Peter Gammons in an interview in Miami Beach, Fla.That's a good start. A really good start. If there are tears, even better.
"Back then, [baseball] was a different culture," Rodriguez said. "It was very loose. I was young, I was stupid, I was naïve. I wanted to prove to everyone that I was worth being one of the greatest players of all time.
"I did take a banned substance. For that, I am very sorry and deeply regretful."
What I found interesting, as a Yanks fan, is the following (emphasis mine):
"Overall, I felt a tremendous pressure to play, and play really well" in Texas, the New York Yankees third baseman said. "I had just signed this enormous contract I felt like I needed something, a push, without over-investigating what I was taking, to get me to the next level."
Rodriguez added: "I am sorry for my Texas years. I apologize to the fans of Texas."
Rodriguez, who joined the Yankees for the 2004 season after a trade from Texas, said "all my years in New York have been clean." He also described the recent turn of events as the biggest challenge of his life but added it felt good to be honest about what he's done in the past.
"It's been a rough 15 months here for me," Rodriguez said. "I was stupid for three years. I was very, very stupid."
I'll try to tape this interview as I will likely be in the car when it airs. But tell me, do you believe him? Has he been clean since (been tested for WBC)? Do you care?
UPDATE (9:50pm, 2/9/09): Here is the entire transcript