So you’ve been convicted of steroid use. Now what? You’re going to need a plan. That’s where we come in. Here at Seattle Sportsnet, we’ve come up with a baseball player’s guide to dealing with the allegations of steroid use. You may want to read this over, because you just never know when a report with your name on it will be coming out.
Step 1: Go into hiding for two or three days while you weigh your options. You’re suddenly the most sought-after figure on the planet. There’s no need to make yourself readily available to the general public right away. Why not milk this thing for all it’s worth, right? And in the meantime, carefully consider the things you’ll say once you finally reveal yourself. Remember “Choose Your Own Adventure” books? This is a choose your own adventure situation. You can either accept or refute the allegations against you, but no matter which road you take, make sure that you are 100% committed to the lie or truth that you will unveil.
Step 2a, The Pettitte Method: Hold a press conference to announce your guilt. It’s no fun being the goat for a day, but you’re cornered and there’s no way out. The best thing to do at this point is just say you’re guilty and get it over with. You issue a brief statement saying how sorry you are for the boneheaded mistake you’ve made, and how you hope to learn from your wrongdoing. You keep it short and sweet, and maintain a grim expression through it all. You then field questions from the media gathered in your presence, which you respond to in a humble, contrite manner. When the conference is done, you move on with your life and everyone forgives you.
Step 2b, The Clemens Method: Hold a press conference to denounce the slanderous allegations against you, and display evidence to support your claim of innocence.You’re guilty, but you’re not going down without a fight. You have too much to lose and nothing to gain by folding at this point. Instead, you’re prepared to go all-in on the bluff of a lifetime and hope it pays off. You announce to the throng of media that you are innocent, and that you’ll sue anyone who prints otherwise. You’re angry, menacing, and generally look like a bully, but you’ll do what it takes to win this fight because you’re a GDMF winner.
Then you pull out your ace in the hole: evidence. In Clemens’ case it was a taped phone call that proved nothing, but there’s no limit to the weird stunt you could pull to help support your false claims. You leave the room in a huff and everyone present questions your sanity. You then go into hiding for a seemingly endless period of time. Your reputation may be tarnished to some, but in your own mind you’re still a champion.
Step 2c, The Rodriguez Method: Find a trusting, aging journalist to lob you softball questions as you emotionally detail the tragedy of your guilt. You’re guilty, but you’re also a renaissance man. You’ll go down without a fight, but you want to maintain your image at the same time. You aren’t willing to stand on a pedestal and let pesky reporters break you down with interrogating questions, like your friend Pettitte. You’re also not stupid enough to feign innocence, like your pal Clemens. So you seek out a trustworthy source, preferably a senior citizen, to tell your story to. You’re a proud man, so it’s not easy admitting you did wrong, but you understand that this is your only way out.
You admit your guilt in a calm setting, surrounded by bland earth tones and swanky furniture. You provide vague details when pressed further about your reason for doing what you’ve done. To duck questions, you carefully consider your words, using pauses for emphasis, then issue completely irrelevant statements about the person that, to be honest, you truly are. Occasionally you manage to work up a tear. You can’t stop thinking about how good you must look to all your fans out there. You take pride on your spray tan, and well-groomed hair. At times your mind drifts and you don’t hear the question being asked of you. No matter, you simply restate your reason for being here (admission of guilt), and explain your personal belief in honesty. Yes, champ, you’ve nailed it.
Step 3: Await the public reaction. You know that what you just did was amazing. No matter what the people say, you’re a winner in your own book. Heck, that’s why you had the gall to cheat in the first place. That’s what gave you the balls to stick a needle in your ass and inject a liquid that you know nothing about into your body. You’re invincible, a warrior. Nothing has ever slowed you down before, and neither will this. Tarnished reputation? Liar? Cheater? These words are water off your back. It may take the public a day or two to get over the shock of this news, but they’ll get over it eventually, and when they do, you’ll be a hero again. You just know it. How could they not love you? Right?