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02/17/09 6:08 PM EST

Life goes on amid A-Rod conference

Most Royals opt out from watching slugger's interview on steroids

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Only a few Royals players were watching the clubhouse TVs on Tuesday when Alex Rodriguez was holding his news conference across the country. Most were still on the practice field.

Pitcher Gil Meche saw the event and had a thought about Rodriguez's admitted use of performance-enhancing drugs.

"When you're that good, what did you need it for?" Meche said.

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The spectacle came live from a news conference set up for Rodriguez's arrival at camp in Tampa, Fla., where a large press contingent heard Rodriguez's statement and peppered him with questions.

"It's tough to put somebody in that situation when who knows who was doing it back in the day," Meche said. "The reason he's singled out is he's the best player in the game. And they want to get all of this behind everybody, and obviously it is from the last five years we've been testing. But it's just unfortunate. ... he'll have to move forward, and so will baseball."

Another pitcher, John Bale, also listened as Rodriguez described how he and his cousin obtained and administered the drugs.

"I wonder if his cousin even existed?" Bale wondered. "That was my first thought. ... He wouldn't give his name or anything. I understand he was probably trying to protect him."

Bale believes that Rodriguez helped himself with the appearance.

"I think that was the first step in recovering from that," the lefty said. "I'm sure his teammates are going to rally around him, and he definitely made a big step moving forward."

Bale also said that the names of the other 103 players who tested positive in 2003 should be released, and that a strong penalty for new abusers should be enforced.

"I kind of agree with what [David] Ortiz said -- if you get banged for steroids, you should be banned for the season," he said. "If you're not taking it, you've got nothing to hide, so why not?"

Outfielder Coco Crisp arrived at camp after the conference and didn't see it. But he believes the game will survive this latest steroids episode.

"I think baseball overcomes a lot of stuff, from scandals back in the day to situations now. The integrity of the game, I don't think, will be hurt," Crisp said.

"I think we're going to get over it, and everything is going to go on as it has, with this being a great game. I don't think it's scarring the game too much. Everybody has already known about the whole steroid era, so it's not as shocking as it once was."

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.