Speed Read: Is ESPN Delivering A-Rod Overload?

We’re only on Day 3 of the “Alex Rodriguez may have been exposed to-tested positive for-admitting taking steroids” epic, and clearly this scandal is already getting such an overwhelming media tap out that everyone is completely burned out on it already. It’s just the bottom line truth, end of story.

A-Rod A-Hole New York Post headline

Yes, the Peter Gammons interview was riveting the first time. Unfortunately for all of us, it lasts for 35 minutes. That’s approximately 15 minutes too long for any mentally balanced human being. Hey, it’s so long we had to break it up into three different video segments just to show it here.

By our calculations, SportsCenter devoted all but approximately 8 minutes of its 6 p.m. broadcast to the A-Rod steroids scandal (and that’s a liberal assessment). Things were a little better for the 11:30 slot with Stuart Scott and Scott Van Pelt, though the duo still had to sit in the A-Rod sidecar for some 34 minutes.

Of course, that isn’t going to stop anyone from weighing in as heavily as they know how to, and all of the Sports pages in New York — and around the country — are delivering their $0.02 with exactly the broad range of reactions you’d expect from a city that hosts the country’s most respected reporting (THE NEW YORK TIMES) and it’s most hackneyed headlines (THE NEW YORK POST).

Let’s start with the measured responses, shall we? THE NEW YORK TIMES offers the straight take, even going so far as to refer to steroids as “performance enhancers”. But, as NYTIMES.com oft does, it also delivers a pretty snazzy graphic, complete with a year-by-year look at Rodriguez’s development. That’s more than you can say for the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, which has a pretty balanced Sports front page, but includes a rotating front page top story that has a brightly splashed “I WAS STUPID” in front of A-Rod’s contemplative mug. NEWSDAY goes into attack mode, starting it’s homepage with a story attempting to shoot holes into A-Rod’s apologetic interview, and also pimping a banner that claims Rodriguez may be called to testify in Washington. If true, that’s a hell of a story.

Yet for all the New York papers, none can ever compare to the NEW YORK POST. As with all the other New York papers save THE TIMES, the POST gives President Obama the boot for A-Rod, but dampens down it’s screaming “A-Roid” based print backpage for an “I WAS STUPID” front. Somehow we thought it would be worse.

And leave it to Darren Rovell to nail the most interesting angle on the whole thing. The biggest loser in the A-Rod scandal is … wait for it … the city budget of Cooperstown New York. Bet you didn’t see that coming, did you.

The blogosphere has been no different, unfortunately. Deadspin gets first prize for best ironic take, focusing on A-Rod’s bizarre skin color rather than his drug habit. Daulerio claims that it could be the Bahamas effect, though we’ve been skeptical of this DAILY NEWS report since it came out. Why? Because other reports had him at the bedside of his ailing daughter in a Miami hospital. Agent Scott Boras’s weekend response that he was out of the country gives creedence to the Bahamas rumor, but his ex-wife Cynthia sure seems to give credibility to the idea he was in Miami. So, rather that “What color is A-Rod?”, maybe we should all be asking “Where the hell was A-Rod?”

You know what? Forget it. We just can’t take any more A-Rod analysis. Yes, it’s probably important. Yes, just about everyone has to weigh in on it, because now we finally know what it would have been like if Barry Bonds or Mark McGwire had admitted being users. But at the end of the day, while it’s been fascinating for a day, it’s a killer for three. Consider us dead.

  • Of all the other significant events of Monday, nothing comes close to the announcement that Bar Refaeli is the new SPORTS ILLUSTRATED SWIMSUIT EDITION cover girl, at least in our book. Of course, you already knew that because you read it hear yesterday.
  • If you saw Lil’ Wayne’s appearance on ESPN First Take’s “1st and 10″ earlier this year, you’ll be pretty excited about this next item: He’s going to be on AROUND THE HORN. Really. Can you imagine what Woody Paige is going to look like trying to come up with a response to a Lil Wayne retort? Priceless.

  • OK, we tried to avoid it, but we’ve got to get back into soccer for one last story. This one is just too bizarre: A Brazilian goalkeeper who suffers a complete emotional breakdown on the pitch after letting in a sloppy goal. It’s as embarrassing as it sounds:

Does admitting he used steroids help or hurt A-Rod’s Hall of Fame case?

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