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Batter Up

At 1:30 PM EST today, Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez is scheduled to step to the plate and field questions from the news media about his recent admission of using performance enhancing drugs from 2001 to 2003.

Whether you are a baseball fan or not, it should be interesting to see how A-Rod handles the high, hard ones thrown at him by the less-than-retiring Yankee press corps.

photo: NY Daily News

The session promises to be full of lessons regarding the fielding of questions when you are in trouble.

Keys to the Game:

Here are some things to look for to see how well Alex is standing up to the competition:

A. Sincerity – He has GOT to look sorry, regretful and open. Any sign of smugness, anger or self-pity and everything else he says will be dismissed.

B. Step Up To the Plate An Accept Responsibility — In his earlier conversations with ESPN, A-Rod tried to blame the reporter who broke the story for unethical conduct. He has since apologized. He should not try to shift attention to anyone else. This is about him.

C. Be Plausible – None of this “I can’t really remember what I took”

D. No Mumbo Jumbo – In some of his previous answers Rodriguez got away with saying things like: “At the time…I wasn’t even being truthful with myself. How am I going to be truthful with Katie or CBS?” to try to excuse the fact that he flatly lied. A better answer would have been…”I was embarrassed and did not want to admit what I had done. So I lied.”

E. No Hiding Behind The Crowd — Talking to ESPN, A-Rod said that at the time of his offense “There were a lot of people doing a lot of things. There was a lot of gray area, too.”

News flash for Alex — What you did was wrong. If others were doing it — it doesn’t make it right for you. Have you considered that some might have been juicing to try to keep up with you?

It will be interesting to see how A-Rod stands up to the test. He cannot make this a good story for himself. But he CAN start down the road to putting the matter behind him — or he can boot it and ensure that story continues to dog him for the remainder of his career. We’ll be watching.

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