Several prominent Yankees intend to show their support for Alex Rodriguez in a very prominent way -- by standing with him at his first press conference in Spring Training, according to a report in the New York Post.
With the team's superstar third baseman under intense scrutiny following his admitted use of peforming-enhancing drugs in 2001-2003, catcher Jorge Posada told the Post that longtime Yankees are eager to show their support for Rodriguez. Posada said he and fellow career Yankees Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera would gladly join Andy Pettitte, who last spring was under a similar spotlight, at whatever media gathering might be held when Rodriguez reports to camp.
"We'll be there," Posada told the Post. "Obviously, we have to ask Alex if it is OK, but if he says yes, we will go with him. I think it will be the guys who have been here the longest and anyone else that Alex might want."
After a tumultuous week in which his reputation has been tainted, Rodriguez no doubt could use whatever support is offered by his teammates.
Following allegations in an SI.com article that preceded the magazine's release of a Sports Illustrated cover story this week, Rodriguez on Monday admitted to having taken performance-enhancing drugs in 2001-03 while with the Rangers.
According to the Post, the size and scope of a media gathering when Rodriguez arrives at camp is still being discussed. Position players are due to report to Yankees camp on Tuesday, one day before the first full-squad workout on Wednesday.
Posada, Jeter and Rivera attended last year's news conference in which Pettitte described in detail his own use of performance-enhancing drugs.
Pettitte upon arriving in camp Friday pledged his support for Rodriguez as well.
"I'm just going to try to help him as a teammate any way that I possibly can, to help him get through it," Pettitte said. "It's a tough time for him right now going through it, I'm sure. But we'll be here. The team's going to be here. We're going to support him. We're like family in here."
John Schlegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.