No, he doesn't need to enlighten us on how he could be so cheap to many of his bimbos-in-waiting. Supposedly he rewarded one mistress with a chicken wrap from Subway and embarrassed others with his stingy tipping, then paid another $10 million to stay silent. The revelations go from tawdry to ridiculous, but after four months of non-stop peeks into his busy boudoir (or back seat of his car), the public is understandably exhausted from trying to stay abreast of the insatiable Tiger.
What we do hope to hear from Woods Monday afternoon when he faces the media at Augusta National is far more serious than anything connected with his bad-boy behavior. The pertinent questions do revolve around clandestine visits to Woods' Windermere mansion, but they were from Anthony Galea, a Canadian doctor who's being investigated by federal agencies seeking to determine whether he distributed illegal performance-enhancing drugs in the United States.
Why the house calls from a sports medicine guru unlicensed to practice medicine in the U.S., Tiger? Weren't there any suitable doctors in Florida or the other 49 states who could treat your bum knee? Did Galea's "injection therapy" involve banned hormones, and if so did the PGA look the other way with a tacit wink-wink? Have federal agents contacted you with regard to your relationship with Galea?
Known in elite sporting circles as the "Miracle Man," Galea faces four drug related charges in Canada and is the focus of a grand jury investigation in Buffalo. Two of Galea's clients, New York Mets players Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran, have met with the feds and are considered "witnesses" in the probe. Another Galea patient, Colorado closer Huston Street, has told reporters FBI agents might want to talk to him about the case. Galea treated Alex Rodriguez last year following the Yankee superstar's hip surgery, and while A-Rod has avoided speaking directly with FBI agents, he did have a recent meeting with MLB's Department of Investigations.
Accompanied by his attorneys, Rodriguez reportedly told baseball officials he didn't receive performance-enhancing drugs from Galea. Federal agents are expected to obtain the meeting's notes; if they are satisfied with the scope of the questions, they could enter them into the grand jury record and A-Rod might not have to speak to government investigators. But remember, MLB employees, like journalists, do not have subpoena power, and athletes are under no legal obligation to tell them the truth.
So, sure, Tiger could lie and spin his way out of this one. It wouldn't be the first time. Anything he says to the press and, by osmosis, to the public ought to be taken with a heaping side dish of salt. In his apology conference back in February, Woods vowed to atone for his "irresponsible and selfish behavior." He must know that in order to regain the public's trust -- if he wants to sell more cars and sports drinks -- he has to at least attempt to live, in his words, within "the same boundaries that apply to everyone."
In that same apology conference, Woods, apropos of nothing, said, "Some people have made up things that never happened. They said I used performance-enhancing drugs. This is completely and utterly false." Fair enough. But again, in the spirit of transparency, why did an unlicensed sports doctor treat golf's most famous knees?
The public complained when journalists hesitated to push and shame baseball into addressing its obvious steroid problem. Bud Selig and his henchmen were happy to ignore it, until the questions got too loud. So which is it, sports fans? If you want professional athletes to be held to certain standards -- like, you know, not cheating the game and other athletes who chose to play fair -- golf doesn't get a pass.
It isn't only nosy journalists who want Woods to clarify his relationship with Galea, just as other athletes have done. In an article for Golf.com, Woods' fellow golfer Brad Faxon wrote: "I'm much more concerned about Tiger's being treated by the Toronto doctor, Anthony Galea, who was arrested in Canada last October on drug charges, a doctor who admits to using human growth hormone. Baseball really took a hit by being so opaque about PEDs. Golf cannot afford to do the same. I really hope Woods did not use HGH, even if it was when he was off the Tour rehabbing his knee. Any use of HGH by a Tour member would represent a serious violation of our drug policy. I don't think Tiger would use HGH, but he should say exactly how he was treated by Galea."
Faxon continued: "Given his inclination to be guarded, that would be hard for Tiger to do. Now that his private life has been exposed to the world, his natural instinct will most likely be to become even more secretive. But if he really wants the world to forgive him, he needs to be far more open."
Dang those pro golfers,always trying to be muckrakers and get jobs with TMZ!
Woods has claimed his managers and entourage knew nothing about his sexual indiscretions. Except text messages and paper trails prove he was aided by enablers happy to facilitate his addiction by procuring girls and booking flights and hotels for Woods' harem. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Mindy Lawton, a waitress who served Tiger and his wife Elin breakfast, says she later hooked up with Woods in a parking lot. When a tabloid reporter caught them having sex, Lawton says Woods told her to contact his agent, Mark Steinberg. Steinberg allegedly told Lawton, "We'll take care of it."
The same agent sent a desperate e-mail to The New York Times when the newspaper was about to report the link between Galea and Woods. "I would really ask that you guys don't write this?" Steinberg wrote. "If Tiger is NOT implicated, and won't be, let's give the kid a break."
That a 34-year-old man is referred to as "a kid" suggests the crazy kingdom over which Woods rules.
As Woods prepares to play in his first tournament since he wrecked his car and his carefully crafted image, he is still surrounded by a circle of the same enablers. They convinced Augusta National to allow Tiger to schedule his press conference on the Monday before the Masters, so it might lose steam amidst the NCAA basketball championship game and MLB's Opening Day. In the past, every other golfer, including Tiger, has always spoken on Tuesday.
Tournament officials have said they will decide which journalists can attend the presser and who gets to ask questions. If the subject slips into uncomfortable territory, expect the moderator to step in and demand "golf questions only."
Galea has reportedly admitted prescribing HGH for some patients, but denies using it to treat professional athletes. Growth hormone is approved in the U.S. only for limited situations such as dwarfism, and none that involve accelerating recovery from surgery or injury. Banned by all professional sports leagues, it is still believed to be widely used because no league tests for it, including the PGA. (Whatever drug test Woods' people say he has passed wasn't a test for HGH or other designer PEDs.) One person with knowledge of the investigation into Galea told AOL FanHouse he is suspected of treating at least 30 MLB players and up to 50 additional elite athletes, including Woods and Olympic swimmer Dara Torres. (And my, isn't she getting off easy compared to the guys? It's almost blasphemy to question how a 40-year-old mother achieved such magnificence.)
Galea's blood-spinning method -- platelet-rich plasma therapy, he calls it -- facilitates quick recovery from surgery and is completely legal. If this is all Galea did for Tiger during their secret visits, Tiger should say so and then cross his fingers and hope his mistresses can't contradict his story.
As another athlete who thought he could play by different rules has learned, pillow talk with a piece on the side can be mighty dangerous. Roger Clemens' sexual prowess (or lack thereof) was a focal point of an interview federal agents had with country singer Mindy McCready, the pitcher's former mistress. The Justice Department is investigating whether Clemens lied under oath when he raised his right hand and swore to Congress he never used steroids or growth hormone. Steroids and HGH can have remarkable sexual side effects, thus the interest by the feds in Clemens' virility.
Naturally, Clemens turned to Twitter to defend his manliness, tweeting "I've taken great care of my body, and to this date and time all the pipes on this body are still working great. Thx for asking."
Tiger Woods has created some mess, and he owes only his family an explanation for his dirty deeds. But he's proven he has terrible judgment in companions, and not all of them have fake breasts. At least one is being investigated by authorities in two countries for providing illegal performance-enhancing drugs, and sooner or later Woods is going to have some 'splaining to do.