Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
My Bad
2007-12-15 17:05
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Andy Pettitte released a statement today apologizing for using HGH on two occasions in 2002 to recover from an injury.

Comments (92)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-12-15 17:16:00
1.   pistolpete
I don't know if I believe the '2 days' bit, but I do believe him about using it for the purposes of rehabbing his elbow.

On Michael Kay's show Friday night, David Justice explained the way guys like McNamee go about their business - they rationalize taking HGH and steroids to the point where it sounds completely acceptable.

Justice stated that if he weren't so afraid of the needles, he might have been convinced to take something as well.

But in the end, his name was on the report because he basically had a conversation with McNamee about HGH, and ultimately turned him down.

2007-12-15 17:20:35
2.   williamnyy23
1 Why wouldn't you believe the two days bit? McNamee said he injected him 2 to 4 times over a ten day period in 2002. Pettitte's statement is basically supported by the Mitchell Report. If you are going to use it as a reference, you can't doubt it's validity when it supports a player's claim.

Personally, I like the tact that Andy has taken. I don't think a complete mea culpa is warranted. As Tim Kurkijan pointed out, when a player takes a cortisone shot, he is a hero. So, why should a player who experimented with HGH well before it was banned be considered such a villain?

2007-12-15 17:28:13
3.   weeping for brunnhilde
That's good enough for me.

Dear Andy.

2007-12-15 17:32:32
4.   Simone
Got to say I love how HGH isn't so bad now that it is Andy admitting it. I fail to see the moral distinction between using PEDs to recover and to improve quality of play. It is all cheating last time I checked. Jayson Stark and the self-righteous Bob Costas trying to defend Clemens and somehow distance his cheating from Bonds is another nice touch. It seems that some cheaters are indeed better than others. How Orwellian. Ultimately, the vilification of ANY these guys by the media and some fans is the the height of hypocrisy.
2007-12-15 17:49:47
5.   OldYanksFan
Funny comment from Deadspin:
"In the 70's and 80's baseball was rife with cocaine abusers.
In the 90's and currently it's steroids and HGH.
And amphetamines have been a constant throughout.
And yet nearly all of the players refuse to run hard to 1st base.
No wonder I loathe this sport."
2007-12-15 18:31:48
6.   williamnyy23
Whoever said HGH was so bad? Is cortisone a PED? Why is that ok? Also, how can one who used HGH in 2002 be cheating when the substance wasn't banned until 2005? Anyone who ignores these distinctions as well as the context has no credibility. So many rush to make a moral argument, but fail to support it with common sense.
2007-12-15 18:38:46
7.   Simone
6 You are seriously ridiculous.
2007-12-15 18:49:03
8.   JL25and3
7 No, he's absolutely right. How can it be cheating if it's not against the rules? Isn't that a contradiction in terms?
2007-12-15 18:51:18
9.   monkeypants
6 Puh-lease. Whether it is strictly rational or not, sports society has deemed cortisone OK and HGH and steroids as bad. The fact that the players, including Andy, snuck around and used PEDs in secret even before there were overt rules against them, pretty much indicates that they KNEW what they were doing was 'wrong' relative to the moral barometer of their industry.

Apologize away--claim that HGH or steroids are the same as cortisone or aspirin. Whatever.

2007-12-15 18:51:43
10.   RIYank
8 It does sound like a contradiction in terms. Which is why it was kind of appropriate that Simone said it was seriously ridiculous.

Soon MLB will ban oxymorons from all baseball-related blogs.

2007-12-15 18:53:23
11.   monkeypants
8 If it was not cheating, then why were so many players so secretive about it? Moreover, just because something is not explicitly legislated against does not make it legal, much less right. As far as I know, there is no explicit rule against running the base paths with brass knuckles, but I suspect that most would consider such behavior against the spirit (if not the letter) of the rules.
2007-12-15 18:54:22
12.   monkeypants
10 That IS funny, though.
2007-12-15 18:55:45
13.   randym77
I think it's obvious he knew what he was doing was wrong.

However, he does get credit for 'fessing up.

But honestly, I can't get that worked up about it. It's Christmas. Can't we all just get along? ;-)

2007-12-15 19:02:35
14.   monkeypants
8 And via Pete Abe:

"Though it was not against baseball rules ... Technically, the use of prescription drugs without a prescription has been illegal in baseball since 1971. "

2007-12-15 19:15:49
15.   RIYank
14 That's true, of course.
So, I'd say what Andy did is equivalent to a player using someone else's penicillin to recover faster from strep.
2007-12-15 19:20:57
16.   monkeypants
15 Yep, that's the moral equivalent. I imagine there are literally dozens of players, paying large sums of money in secretive meetings with trainers getting injected with unprescribed antibiotics. Ain't relativism great?
2007-12-15 19:25:14
17.   RIYank
16 Are you going to say what the difference is?

Your sanctimony is wasted on me, seriously, but feel free to indulge yourself further if you like.

And 'relativism', huh? I can't wait to hear what that means.

2007-12-15 19:27:37
18.   pistolpete
2 How does someone come up with a figure of "2-4"? Either it's 2 or it's 4 - so which is it, 'Mac'?

Like I said, I'm inclined to believe Andy's reasons for using the stuff, just not the context. The whole thing sound suspiciously like Clinton's "I didn't inhale" line, ya know?

2007-12-15 19:28:53
19.   jonm
It is cheating, but, the extent to which Pettitte did it, is so limited that I don't see it as a big deal. Admitting it was the right thing to do and also good from a PR standpoint. I suspect that it will be a non-issue for him from now on.

In a way, not that I think this was wrong, but he did throw Clemens under the bus. This statement gives credibility to McNamee. The Clemens strategy for dealing with this is much more complicated than Pettitte's because McNamee's account is so detailed with regard to Clemens. If I were an adviser to Clemens, I would have no idea what to tell him to do. Taking a heavy legalistic strategy is not a way to win in the court of public opinion. Any ideas here?

2007-12-15 19:34:12
20.   OldYanksFan
Smoking pot is illegal.
Smoking pot is wrong.
Smoking pot makes you a criminal.
I, for one, will not cast the first stone.
2007-12-15 19:38:35
21.   monkeypants
17 The difference was pointed out above 9 ,11 . Players don't skulk around and lie about using antibiotics, but they do when it comes to HGH and steroids. This suggests that the players themselves recognize the substances are 'bad.'

I only mention the prescription drug rule to point out that the "it's not cheating because there was no rule against it" argument is fallacious.

So, not only was the usage against already existing rules, it clearly violated the players' own understanding of the rules. And it was illegal.

2007-12-15 19:39:07
22.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
4 I agree completely. You can see it starting already, am sure we'll now hear a lot about how Pettite is a "God-fearing man" (as Michael Kay referred to him), as if that somehow makes it all ok. I love Pettite, but he cheated just like the others. No free passes because he was doing it to "help the team" or for being a good Christian. Jason Stark and Bob Costas even attempting to defend Clemens is also absurd, and shows clearly how much the media was out to get Bonds above all else.
2007-12-15 19:47:04
23.   monkeypants
20 That's an interesting argument. I too have many 'sins', so I guess I should not cast the first stone. But where does this line of reasoning end? Can no one comment on any improper behavior unless he or she is spotless?

I enjoy baseball because of the beauty of the game, the competition, the strategy, the history, and so forth. If players cheat, that undermines my enjoyment of the game because it compromises the competition (in my opinion). I don't think I need to be blameless to make that statement.

2007-12-15 19:51:56
24.   RIYank
21 Ah.
So, it's the moral equivalent of taking antibiotics without a prescription and thinking that's against the rules of baseball.

I'll buy that. It shows why the moralistic preaching about this stuff is so out of place.

2007-12-15 19:52:16
25.   Raf
23 "Cheating is baseball's oldest profession. No other game is so rich in skullduggery, so suited to it or so proud of it." - Thomas Boswell

Maybe it's because I'm jaded, but I have a hard time getting up in arms about the latest round of cheating.

2007-12-15 19:53:11
26.   JL25and3
21 So is smoking marijuana "cheating?"
2007-12-15 19:55:00
27.   JL25and3
23 I guess we'll have to get Whitey Ford out of the Hall of Fame.
2007-12-15 19:59:09
28.   JL25and3
And while we're at it, let's rewrite the record books to get rid of anyone who ever used greenies.
2007-12-15 20:00:02
29.   Raf
So, how long before Pettitte authors "Me and the HGH;: An Autobiographical Confession" :)
2007-12-15 20:01:00
30.   RIYank
27 Did you read Scott Long's entry yesterday at (appropriately enough) The Juice Blog?

2007-12-15 20:06:51
31.   e double trouble
Baseball players don't smoke marijuana? What's the history here gentlemen? I can't think of a Yankee that seems like a closet pot-smoker. Aren't there alot of Yankees that might have improved their play if they enjoyed a puff every now and then? Maybe Paulie O would have been a little less obsessive, a little more forgiving. Maybe ARod could actually come through in clutch situations if he weren't so serious. Let's face it, the Yanks have to got to relax if they're going to win. Don't you think all those guys with facial hair in Boston enjoy a bit of the kind from time to time?
2007-12-15 20:11:52
32.   monkeypants
27 Who said anything about the Hall of Fame? The HOF is a private institution that has its own rules and procedures for admission. Who is in or out of the HOF is more or less irrelevant to my enjoyment of the game itself.

Now, if you were to press on the subject, if the HOF had the balls to kick out cheaters, then I guess I would not be too bothered by Whitey Ford being taken out. In fact, I know I would be less bothered by Whitey Ford being kicked out than I am by the widespread defense of the players who cheated with HGH and steroids.

28 Again, no one said anything about record books. I have not once advocated "re-writing" them. records are what they are: statistical facts, data points. It is up to us to place them in context. No, I will never ask that record books be re-written. Instead, I simply stopped caring about all the gaudy performances of the last few years.

2007-12-15 20:15:40
33.   monkeypants
26 ?

24 We'll just have to agree to disagree. It seems pretty clear to me that this was cheating, which for some reason kind of turns me off. For you, not so much on either count. OK.

25 Much truth in this statement, no doubt.

2007-12-15 20:27:32
34.   OldYanksFan
23 I agree. And Andy and others who 'sinned' in the same relative magnitude should be punished... just like Whitey Ford, Gaylord Perry and hundreds of other cheaters.
And the thousand and thousand who did greenies and alcohol.

Yes, there needs to be a line. But there also needs to be perspective. This issue should be about trying to get an unfair advantage, not about morals. Look what players do to 'heal' so they can play. Schilling got sutures and cortizone, there is surgery and a whole host of legal drugs, and drugs that are only legal with prescription.

I believe intent is very important. It LOOKS like both Bonds and Clemens and many others had prolonged steroid use specifically to play better and longer. I don't think Andy and many others are anywhere near that situation.

"I don't care, cheaters are cheaters.. it's illegal... it's wrong..." yada yada yada... to me is moralizing. Lets look at what these guys did in perspective to the game and the game's history and react appropriately.

2007-12-15 20:51:21
35.   monkeypants
34 Good post--we agree! That said, Andy used an illegal substance to heal faster, which DOES show intent to gain an advantage. It was wrong, and there is (in my opinion) no finessing that point. But you are also entirely correct that this transgression appears to be relatively minor, and the reaction (and punishment, if any) should be proportional.

Actually, I am more bothered by his 'apology'--one of the current genre of pseudo-apology in which wrong doing is never admitted. "If what I did was an error in judgment on my part, I apologize." That's not even an apology--it's a contingent apology, and how there could be much debate about whether breaking the law was an error in judgement. Come on, Andy, this isn't like the moral quandary of stealing ten dollars to feed a starving man.

If you apologize, apologize ("I was wrong, I'm sorry"). Otherwise, don't bother and stand up for your actions.

Anyway, I've surely beat this poor dead horse long enough. I sure hope we have some baseball trades or FA signings to talk about soon!

2007-12-15 21:13:37
36.   JL25and3
33 My point in 26 was that marijuana had exactly the same status under the rules as steroids or HGH. All were considered illegal substances, period.
2007-12-15 21:14:06
37.   the mendoza line
I agree with everything said; however, I think the apology was more lawyer speak though...I maybe reading into things but I could swear Andy's statement is trying to set for a distinction between what he felt was "knowingly wrong" or "intentionally wrong" (a crime of mental state by most state and federal states) from what was "subjectively wrong" (not a crime)
2007-12-15 21:14:53
38.   the mendoza line
sorry, I mean "federal statutes"
2007-12-15 21:19:40
39.   OldYanksFan
"Actually, I am more bothered by his 'apology'--one of the current genre of pseudo-apology in which wrong doing is never admitted."

But there is a point. Should I have to 'apologize' because I smoked pot where everyone around me got drunk, many of whom drove a car while intoxicated? Is it MY fault I live in a society that allows alcohol (which I think is terrible stuff) amd makes pot illegal (which I think is relatively harmless)?

Maybe in a few years, they will study HGH and realize that it is a fine drug to administer in situations like Andy's, and make it legal. Will Andy then become retroactively more moral? What if they decide TJ surgery is not natural, and outlaw it. Do all people who have had TJS become retroactively less moral? Maybe Andy and others can't figure out why a steroid/cortizone shot is legal (and performance enhancing) and what he did isn't.

We need laws in a society, but like with Pot, sometimes our laws are immoral or impractical, as outlawing alcohol was in the 20's. Wasn't porn illegal at some time? Certain forms of sexuality? Homosexuality? Interracial marriage? Women voting?

We need laws in a society, but we also need good judgement. Think of all the nice young boys in jail because they smoked pot or didn't want to kill in Viet Nam. Think of all the Enron and Halliburton assholes who still walk the streets.

Laws are made by man and society. But they are not absolute, and certainly not always fair and just.

Why is taking HGH a few times so much worse then throwing a spitball for years? How do we sanction punishing a small monority of 'cheaters' and letting the vast majority go unscathed?

Whatever the issues, baseball has to manage them. But please... let's throw away our soapboxes.

2007-12-15 21:25:41
40.   greenzo
26 Joba smokes a lot of pot, I think that's how he made his meal money in the minors. In a Yankees magazine segment this week he admitted to taking LSD during a spirit quest.

The thing with HGH is that while it's easy enough for baseball to rid itself of anabolic steroids and the like (the main problem here), HGH is not going away. Since it's not exactly clear to me what health risks are associated with human growth hormone, it would probably be less expensive and more of a hassle in general to just legalize it.

The sanctimonius arguments here bagging on HGH are silly. Players use all measure of legal stimulants, and the line is arbitrarily drawn. I say, arbitrarily draw it again.

2007-12-15 21:31:06
41.   monkeypants
39 "But there is a point. Should I have to 'apologize' because I smoked pot where everyone around me got drunk, many of whom drove a car while intoxicated? Is it MY fault I live in a society that allows alcohol (which I think is terrible stuff) amd makes pot illegal (which I think is relatively harmless)?"

No you should not have to apologize, and that's my point. If Andy really believes that he did something wrong and is now remorseful, then apology. But if so, make it a real apology. Otherwise, don't bother 'apologizing', IMO. In your analogy, I would never expect you to apologize--indeed, I would tip my hat to you if you went to jail (for example) all the while publicly, boldly holding to your beliefs that what you did was NOT wrong, regardless of what the law says.

2007-12-15 21:36:42
42.   monkeypants
40 "the line is arbitrarily drawn."

ALL lines (legal or otherwise) are drawn arbitrarily, within certain broader philosophical, ethical, and legal parameters. That's how civil societies work. For example, we all agree (well, most all agree) that there should be a speed limit--whether it is 50 or 55 or 65 or 75 is a matter of debate. But when the line is drawn (say, 65) we don't reject that driving 70 is a transgression that should be sanctioned.

2007-12-15 21:43:38
43.   Adrian
I think we're missing the real point: OYF really, really likes his doobie snacks. Can I get $20m for my hard-hitting expose about marijuana on baseball fora?
2007-12-15 22:04:50
44.   Adrian
Also, I really want to point out that the whole "he thought it was bad therefore he's a big fat cheater" argument is not only wrong, it's also stupid. What you're saying is that his moral culpability in this case is CONTINGENT on his belief that what he was doing was wrong/against the rules. Can you see why this is a stupid argument or do I need to spell it out for you?

42 Your definition of arbitrary is wrong. Laws are not drawn arbitrarily. We have laws against murder not because one guy didn't want to be murdered and made it illegal -- which would have been arbitrary -- but because it's destructive to our society. I have no problem with the idea that lines are drawn. Usually, those lines are drawn for sound reasons and with plenty of actual data behind them. With regard to HGH, this is not the case. The fact that we're debating this now, after it's been banned, pretty clearly illustrates this.

Now, on to Pettitte -- in this case, we have a line that was drawn after the offense was committed, where a man is having his reputation ruined as a result, and the strongest argument people seem to be mustering is "he thought it was wrong so he's guilty." This is what we call "wooly thinking."

We have a little prohibition against ex post facto laws in the Constitution. You can't be prosecuted for something you did before the act was illegal. If you managed to get sucked off by some dude in Mississippi before the sodomy laws came down, congratulations, you've just won the dick-in-mouth lottery! Similarly, if you took HGH before it was illegal you're guilty of breaking the same laws as every guy who smokes weed or takes the occasional recreational valium in MLB.

Do you guys know what DOESN'T happen to those dudes? They don't get hauled up in front of a rabid press corps and accused of being cheaters who are ruining baseball on an ESPN scrollbar. Come on.

2007-12-15 22:09:46
45.   Adrian
P.S. In case you do need it spelled out for you, the reason the argument I mention in 44 is stupid, is that if Pettitte didn't think it was wrong then he wouldn't be a cheater. If he was all, "fuck you, I got HGH and it was awesome, get bent!" you wouldn't have a leg to stand on.
2007-12-15 22:12:41
46.   JeremyM
I don't quite get the "cheating is wrong, end of discussion" deal. The world is not black and white. What Andy did is wrong, yes, but I'm not going to condemn the guy to death because he made a mistake. Personally, I don't see this as being worse than using greenies.

And as far as I can tell, the difference between HGH and Cortisone is that Cortisone actually works.

2007-12-15 22:14:07
47.   Adrian
P.P.S That's why we have laws. We have statutes that say "action X is wrong, you did X, you are going to jail for Y time" precisely so that we don't have to base our judgments on how we perceive the defendant but rather on provable facts about his actions, whereabouts, and so forth. And we still manage to send a lot of innocent people to jail.
2007-12-15 22:21:44
48.   monkeypants
44 "Also, I really want to point out that the whole "he thought it was bad therefore he's a big fat cheater" argument is not only wrong, it's also stupid. What you're saying is that his moral culpability in this case is CONTINGENT on his belief that what he was doing was wrong/against the rules."

Not exactly. My point is that in any community, the law (the rules) cannot possibly cover every single contingency explicitly, so to a great degree right/wrong/legal/illegal/cheating/etc is determined by societal sanction. The fact that basically all players seemed to think that HGH and steroids went against the spirit of the rules, even if not explicitly so, must be taken into account, at least in my opinion. It wasn't just that Pettitte thought it was wrong, it's that more or less everyone thought it was wrong.

But that is a legalistic argument. As for a moral argument, I am surprised that you do not agree that one's belief in moral culpability has no bearing whatsoever on the discussion. The legal system takes this into account all the time (premeditated murder v. other 'levels' of murder for example). Clearly if Person A breaks Law X unknowingly, he is still legally guilty, but his moral culpability is different from a Person B, who knowingly and willingly breaks the same law.

2007-12-15 22:23:40
49.   williamnyy23
7 It's nice to see you are still obsessed with my posts. If it's an autograph you'd like, just ask.

9 True...but what did sports society think about HGH in 2002? That's the question we need to ask.

14 Using that argument, using any prescription drug without doctor's consent would be cheating. So, if Pettitte borrowed a few pain killers from his wife, or simply used something as benign as an anti-biotic without a prescription, he'd be guilty of cheating. Also, I guess all the players during prohibition were guilty of cheating too? Considering that there is no evidence to suggest HGH is a PED now, why should players have assumed that was the case 5 years ago. Pettitte's explanation, that he thought it would help him heel, is no different than taking any other prescribed medication. It may be legally wrong (kind of like AIDS patients taking AZT [extreme example used to make a point] before FDA approval, but it doesn't consitute cheating.

16 Again...taking a drug like HGH without a prescription may be illegal, but it isn't necessarily immoral nor is it cheating. If HGH does have heeling effects, why is it different than any other patient using a non-approved drug in an effort to heal himself? I wouldn't call that immoral. Until one can offer a shred of evidence that HGH is a PED, then I am not going to make myself the moral arbiter of whether someone who uses it is a cheater.

2007-12-15 22:25:13
50.   monkeypants
47 And as I point out in 48 we don't have laws that say if you do X you go to jail for Y. We have guiding principles that lead to more specific laws (say Law X), the transgression of which will lead to a variety of sanctions depending on various mitigating circumstances, intent, malice, etc.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-12-15 22:31:37
51.   williamnyy23
39 I agree. I don't think Andy has anything to apologize, but if baseball is so upset about players using a substance several years before MLB got around to labeling it a PED, then I guess you offer a qualified apology. Until 2005, HGH was just like was an drug that you couldn't possess because it was illegal. Only after 2005 did MLB equate it with steroids (even though there is no evidence to justify that classification), so there is no reason why a player who used it before 2005 should need to apology for "cheating".
2007-12-15 22:35:55
52.   monkeypants
49 "True...but what did sports society think about HGH in 2002? That's the question we need to ask."

Good question! It was banned by the Olympics in 1989, if I am correct. It was certainly "in the air" by 2002.

2007-12-15 22:37:48
53.   williamnyy23
52 You could say the same about andro though...didn't the Olympics ban it even though one could buy it over the counter at GNC?
2007-12-15 22:39:22
54.   williamnyy23
52 Also, did anyone determine if it is against the law to possess HGH...or is it only against the law to possess it with intent to distribute. Even as late as 2004, the statute still seemed to make that distinction.
2007-12-15 22:48:56
55.   monkeypants
53 You could indeed. There are numerous things that one can buy that are illegal in various sports, because those sports feel that the products give an unfair advantage in some way or another (from equipment to supplements). I imagine it's not even illegal to blood dope, but it is certainly against the rules to blood dope and then compete in cycling.

I think that it strains credulity to argue that in 2002 there was not a strong, general sense in the world of sports that HGH was 'wrong,' whether or not baseball got around to explicitly banning it. But again, you make good points and I might be wrong on this.

52 I'm not sure.

2007-12-15 22:50:29
56.   monkeypants
55 Ack. that comment for 52 was of course for 54 . Hmmm...this has been stimulating, but I'm getting too punchy. G'night.
2007-12-15 22:53:06
57.   williamnyy23
55 That's my point though...blood doping is cheating in cycling because it is explicitly banned by the sport. It's legality is irrelevant.
2007-12-16 00:14:20
58.   steveb1234
Has anyone answered this question: If HGH is so good for recovery, why don't "real" doctors like, say, Dr. James Andrews or Dr. Frank Jobe prescribe it? Instead, everyone goes through shady anti-aging clinics, the Internet, or trainers.

You can get medical exemptions for almost every banned substance; someone who has asthma won't get suspended for using a stimulant, to use one example. So if Andrews said, "You need HGH to recover from elbow surgery, and once recovered you have to stop taking it," wouldn't baseball be fine with its use? (So long as it wasn't used post-recovery.) Baseball wouldn't say, "You can't take steroids to recover from cancer," for example. That's one of the legitimate uses of anabolic steroids; presumably, you'd go off them at some point and start your normal recovery. (I wonder if Lester of the Sox received steroids after his cancer treatment.) And if you tested positive within a certain window, you'd have a legitimate medical excuse/exemption.

And as to 49 's point, it's certainly illegal to possess prescription medicine that isn't yours. Would it be cheating? Depends on what it is. It certainly would be if it was on the banned list and you got busted for it. However, if you had a legitimate medical exception to take that medication, it'd probably be kosher.

If it wasn't cheating, it would be mighty stupid. No one should be taking a spouse or friend's prescription meds, particularly if you're a rich, world-class athlete who could have medical staff on-call 24-7.

2007-12-16 00:52:34
59.   Adrian
48 First off, you're not addressing my main point, which is that no matter what you think of Pettitte's HGH use pre-ban, he doesn't deserve to have the statute applied to him -opportunistically- when it's not applied to every member of the Florida "hey, that's my duffel bag full of marijuana!" Marlins. And yes, we can't catch every criminal. On the other hand, we really ought to try to do that. The Mitchell Report doesn't. It really does take targets of opportunity, leave them vulnerable to scapegoating, and move on. Morally, I find that reprehensible. Not to mention incredibly half-assed.

You're also not giving me any evidence to believe your claim of this "vast majority" that believed it was wrong at the time Pettitte had it injected. We know that Pettitte thought it was wrong at the time and that as time progressed the official stance became HGH = cheating. Pettitte's belief tells us almost nothing about how we should feel about his decision, because there's a great deal of variation among people with regard to whether an action is good or evil. As just one example, some people feel sneaking into a movie is okay and some don't.

In regards to your point about law at 48 and 50 I think we're both giving one-sided interpretations. However, you are dead wrong to claim that legal/illegal is determined by societal sanction. Things that are illegal are not necessarily wrong, nor are things that are wrong necessarily illegal. Put another way, If you are proven to have transgressed a law, societal perceptions may mitigate some of your punishment, but they won't make what you did any less illegal. However, I will say that in my original XXY formulation, it should be "X is -illegal-, you did X, you get Y punishment." Y is variable, not static.

2007-12-16 04:57:00
60.   OldYanksFan
Look... when talking about morals and even legalities, there will always be a difference of opinions and a never ending debate.

Can we step back a minute?
For the purpose of this discussion, let's get off our high horses and put morals and law aside a minute.

What is this whole Steroids/HGH mess about?
It is about players cheating. But not JUST cheating, because cheating in many forms has been going on forever, and has basically never be punished. It is a about cheating to a degree where one has an obvious advantage over the competition.

We have always excepted 'modest' amounts of both cheating and drugs. None of us was that upset about greenies. Or 2 cups-of-Joe in the BP, or a shot of whiskey to relax. We should not really be concerned about smoking pot, poping a lude after a game or the occasional toot. This, after all, is not really our business. We know about sign stealing and the occasional HA! Nail file in a BP guy's pocket? Not good, but we don't hang the guy.

We have all internally relaxed the standard of cheating in Baseball to some degree because these guys are competative athletes and 'fight' to win the game. People who want to win will always push the boundaries.

But steroids took 20 HR guys and made them 35+ HR guys. It turned 'David Ecksteins' into Mighty Mouse. It truly effected the games, the scores, the individual stats, and maybe the outcome of Series Play.

We are concerned about truly UNFAIR COMPETITION.
We care about 'artificially' inflated numbers.
This is really what we are concerned about, yes? This is why we are so upset about Barry and don't even give a second thought to the 'Juan Pierres' that get caught, yes?

So I suggest we look at everyone on that list (and remember the vast majority are NOT on the list and will never be caught) and ask:

1) What was the players motivation/intention?
2) What was the magnitude/duration of the offense?
OK? Lets sparate the kid who tried Pot for 2 weeks from the guy who shot heroine for 2 years.

We can ask if a players actions CORRUPTED the game. Did McQuire corrupt the game? Was his intent to have a prolonged advantage? Sosa? Bonds? Clemens? Andy? Brian Roberts?

As fans, we have a right to defend the Game and fight for it's integrity. But let's please step back a bit and be fair in our judgement. Let's pretend that we too are flawed human beings who may have even broken a legal or moral law once or twice in our lifetimes. Or at least (Monkeypants) know someone we care about who has.

2007-12-16 05:08:01
61.   ms october
Here's a passage from the Mitchell report via peteabe.

"Human growth hormone is a prescription medication. It is illegal to issue a prescription for human growth hormone except for very limited purposes. Human growth hormone never has been approved for cosmetic or anti-aging uses, or to improve athletic performance. Issuing a prescription for human growth hormone for any of these unauthorized purposes is a violation of federal law."

54 i still have not seen anything about the legality of the person receiving it.

58 this is why someone like dr. andrews does not prescribe it

2007-12-16 05:29:56
62.   RIYank
40 Joba smokes a lot of pot, I think that's how he made his meal money in the minors.

You can make money smoking pot?
It's probably a good thing I didn't know that when I was 18.

2007-12-16 05:35:00
63.   The Mick 536
60 I, too, am an older Yankee fan. While I like your arguments, recollecting many of them from my youth, I wonder what you will do with my answer to your somewhat rhetorical questions. I think that the players mentioned did corrupt the game in an unacceptable way. I am more concerned about what I should do about the situation than what the game should do to them. What do I do with my memories, now scarred more than I can tell.

I remain upset at Number 7 for his actions that left the team without his skills in a World Series. When do we get the full scope on that infected-shoot-up?

How can we trust our knowledge of the game when we don't know what was going on. My fandom is based on the past, as much as the future. Does knowing that the present players don't juice help me when I compare present accomplishments with those that went before. And, with a touch of bias and anger, I add that I will never credit Bonds as the homerun king even if he were to suddenly, at his sentencing I hope, admit to knowing steroid use.

Does ya remember all the time spend on Roger's bat toss? Calling it roid rage at the time, which it seems to have been, would have saved me from taking sides against the Met's catcher. It changed my views of Clemmens, something that I always regretted as he was a Sox and Longhorn guy. And those memorable performances during that post-season that redeemed him. Damn.

As for Andy, a player with a lion's heart and a pea brain, he messed up big time and I won't forgive him either.

Just suppose that he answered a reporters questions honestly as he rehabbed. "What are you doing to improve your arm strength so you can get back into the rotation? Oh, I am doing all that I can, including trying HGH."

2007-12-16 07:13:13
64.   horace-clarke-era
I tell you, check BB a bit later on a Sunday and the place has gone ballistic. There's some fierce disagreement here and some thoughtful attempts at perspective. I disagree strongly with OYF, about the acceptability of hgh in baseball before 2002, but DO agree that perspective's needed.

I said yesterday (you could look it up!) here that Andy's actions would probably play out as minor, and I'm happy he made his statement because that'll reinforce the minor status. I agree with the poster at 19 (who said he threw Roger under a bus) - because this is corroboration for McNamee, and credibility boosting. Roger will continue to squirm and deny - partly because hgh WILL be seen as minor and steroids not so. The stats posted as to his performance boost on them yesterday are as remarkable as ... Barry's hr numbers!

But ... will everyone going on about 'not cheating' and 'not illegal' stop and listen to themselves a bit? AND read the bloody Mitchell Report on the misconception that it was only after 2002 that these drugs were named and therefore illegal. Pete Abe's on this (posted above, too) Someone (Ms October) posted PART of the report on this, but there's a lot more.

I wish strongly that Andy's apology had less of the lawyer about it, the bit about how hgh was not banned but 'if' it was bad judgement he's sorry. Jeez. It WAS banned for use as a prescription-requiring drug, and this game rule was in-place for decades before he used it. I mean, really, getting a prescription drug from your clubhouse trainer? 'If' it was wrong? And sorry, further, faster recovery IS a performance boost. You can't have much performance on the DL. Please!

I am NOT dumping on Andy. I am really pleased he stepped up, breaking the chain (which will get itself back together fast!) of denydenydeny. I'd be very surprised if his plea to 'judge my career, not two days', coupled with the lesser-offense of hgh will not have him emerge just fine.

This means we do NOT have to pile on the innocence-markers (as his lawyer or agent did) and make it sound like penicillin. OYF, the existence of other kinds of cheating (I brought up Whitey Ford yesterday, let's up the ante with Gaylord Perry and spitters! Or the Giants cheating on Bobby Thompson's home run!) is undeniably accurate but - forgive me - surely beside the point. I mean, if Andy had said, 'Other people cheated too, give me a break!' would you have liked it? But that's what YOU are saying. I mean, 'I robbed a bank but I'm not the first and some people got away with it, you know!'

Let's stay with: cheating, minor, short term, admitted, move on.

But let's also pause to consider what this does to those saying McNamee's lowlife liar scum ... 'a troubled young man' was what Roger's people trotted out immediately. Andy stayed loyal to McNamee for years after, and there's another athlete quoted yesterday (sorry, forget which, anyone else see it?) saying McNamee never pushed steroids on people and just tried to help.

Shall was stop long enough to consider HIS fate right now? The public attitude to him? How DARE you drag down the Rocket and embarrass Andy, you maggot?

2007-12-16 07:53:09
65.   OldYanksFan
62 Ya gotta be 18???
2007-12-16 08:12:01
66.   OldYanksFan
"I disagree strongly with OYF, about the acceptability of HGH in baseball before 2002"

Did I say that? I don't think so.
What HAS been said by others is that MLB did not specifically ban HGH at that time. However, obviously, anything that is illegal, is ALSO illegal in baseball. I accept that. They issue is, MLB did not chase Potheads or tax evaders of players that drove faster then the speed limit, even though these things were illegal.

So why go after HGH uses, if you DON'T go after users of other illegal substances (greenies obviously being the main culprit)?
How can you accept wide spread usage of greenies for decades, but call out guys who had 2 shots of HGH specifically to aid healing of an injury? You don't see a moral conflict there?

Baseball turned it's back on Steroids/HGH usage until very recently, and only under pressure from the threat of congress getting involved. They didn't care because they were making tons of money, and still wouldn't care if not for Bonds and this issue finally being brought to light. They not only didn't care but implicitly sanctioned it by ignoring obvious signs of usage. They were HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY about McQuire and Sosa.

Now Selig and Fehr have been caught
If Selig and Fehr don't step down and subject themselves to some sanctions, they have no right going after the players.

Each player is responsible for what HE DID, but Selig and Fehr are responsible for it being a MLB wide problem. Owners knew, trainers knew, everybody knew. But it was ignored by the people's whose job it was to NOT ignor it.

I simply don't know how people can even talk about sanctioning the players without sanctioning Selig/Fehr first. And by doing so, the public takes the spotlight off Selig/Fehr where it belongs.

I do not absolve the players for what they did. But if we are going after 'cheaters', we should get the biggest cheaters first.

2007-12-16 08:16:14
67.   RIYank
64 Hoss-era,

This means we do NOT have to pile on the innocence-markers (as his lawyer or agent did) and make it sound like penicillin.

Why is it that people keep saying that taking HGH was not like taking penicillin, but nobody is willing to say in what relevant way it's different?
Just say why it's morally or legally different, if you have something in mind, or else admit that it isn't different.

2007-12-16 08:27:23
68.   OldYanksFan
64 Are you talking about the McNamee that SOLD steroids to anyone interested? The McNamee that is facing jailtime and sold out players for a reduced sentence? That McNamee?
You are putting what Andy did on the same level as what McNamee did? Really?
2007-12-16 08:30:30
69.   OldYanksFan
67 If you are in a hospital and get a morphine drip for your pain, that's fine. If you go home, are still in pain, and SELF administer morphine, you are a drug addicted, scum bag criminal. CERTAINLY YOU SEE THE DIFFERENCE!!!!!!!!!
2007-12-16 08:36:33
70.   RIYank
For some regular (and cheery) baseball (and Yankee-centric) news, check out Was Watching on Francisco Arcia

and this feel-good Joba story from the NYPost

2007-12-16 08:36:45
71.   horace-clarke-era
OYF ... re-read the posts above and I may be misquoting you, though maybe it goes back to yesterday (is it only yesterday?) when I thought you were among those holding to the 2002 watershed argument. Um, "If I have inadvertently offended anyone, hypersensitive or otherwise, or caused any distress to those who ought not have been distressed, I apologize and ask only that I be judged on the totality of my posts, since I was just trying to help BB."

Kidding aside, I think you have a solid point when it comes to 'selective' scapegoating. The problem (seems to me, with respect) is when players collide with a known shift in the culture. Everyone KNEW by a certain point that certain kinds of drugs deemed as performance enhancers were on the radar. (Same thing happened in the corporate world, by the way, execs getting indicted for actions that were once seen as 'normal' perks, and many people wrote about this, too.)

So I agree that decades of allowing greenies makes it seem 'unfair' to go after hgh, but everyone knows the state of play. I remember comments before last season began that we'd see players having 'odd' seasons because they couldn't use their uppers to keep going day-by-day through the summer heat. A lot of coffee and Red Bull would be drunk, someone reported.

We're agreeing (!) entirely that a lot of the background here is the 'threat' of congress. That's why I'm arguing that Mitchell is LIKELY to elicit a response: by naming names he arms congress in the background, and Selig/Fehr have to act. (SI has an interview with two lawyers on their site where one of them annihilates the union along lines I offered earlier: protecting the cheaters and ignoring the presumed majority of their members who were disadvantaged by the cheaters.)

My disagreement with you is that focusing on Selig/Fehr, hang them from the city walls, is as bad (in my view) as a STARTING position as punishing players based on Mitchell. I'd love both gone, but want the going-forward clean-up actions focused on. You say 'they have no right going after players' but I think that's Mitchell's point/suggestion too: DON'T go after. Do it going-forward.

And I also agree completely (and have said it here) that everyone LOVED the cheating, and homers ... but, OYF, that includes us ... WE told everyone what we wanted to see, and they tried to give it to us.

On that subject: is it just me or does anyone else think Loria can and should be kicked out of the game for abusing the financial rules? His share of revenue sharing + merchandising + television is SO much higher than what he pays his team it amounts to a sanctioned scam on the game and abuse of Marlin fans (there are some, right?). Couldn't have happened, by the way, with a salary minimum introduced once revenue sharing came in.

How's that for a topic shift? But he's someone I'd like hanging from the walls.

2007-12-16 08:42:23
72.   horace-clarke-era
67 RI Yank, I thought I'd said so a few times, actually. I doubt anyone taking penicillin in baseball did so without a prescription. I doubt anyone taking hgh had a prescription. The rules of the game for 3 decades have made the former acceptable and the latter a violation. It is in Mitchell, and even that august authority Pete Abe reposted it this weekend.

Where is the ambiguity in that statement? It seems unfair to accuse people of not offering a distinction when you aren't READING the offered distinction. You are, of course, free to debate whether there should BE one (just as OYF has - I believe - offered the view that hgh ought not to be forbidden) but that's not the same as saying no one's shown the difference in the rules of the game.

2007-12-16 08:46:57
73.   horace-clarke-era
68 Putting Andy on same level? Hardly. I'm surprised. I'm saying Andy's support of McNamee's statement, fully-confirming it, makes it look lame for someone like Roger to slag him as a 'troubled young man' and liar. That's what someone else meant when they said Andy threw Roger under a bus: he corroborated the witness. Andy also stayed with McNamee for years and others have affirmed his desire to help players.

Is this a good guy? Well, I'd doubt it, but if wealthy ballplayers want their drugs, someone's going to make them available. Nothing sounds like he's an active pusher, OYF. He responded to requests, and it looks like just 2-3 guys, too (Andy, Roger, Chuck, all different stories). Where did we get to 'sold to anyone interested'? I missed that, I admit. Steer me right?

2007-12-16 08:48:07
74.   RIYank
Sorry, I wasn't clear.

I asked a couple of times, above (for example 15 ), whether there is any moral distinction between taking penicillin without a prescription and taking HGH without a prescription. So I thought when you mentioned that analogy you had read my question. I guess you hadn't.

But apparently you agree with me that those two are equivalent, so I am happy with that.

2007-12-16 08:48:39
75.   RIYank
74 is addressed to 72 .
2007-12-16 09:09:44
76.   OldYanksFan
Pete - The worst post you have ever made. I guess nobody goes to Mexico for cancer treatment. I guess arresting a 79 year old doctor for growing pot to give to his dying, cancer stricken wife to ease her pain, was fine with you.

I guess working on a newspaper has you seeing in 2 colors. Blank and White.

I guess you feel what Andy did was more damaging to more people then what Selig and Fehr did (or more specifically, didn't do).

Shame on you Pete for moralizing and taking such a narrow viewpoint.

2007-12-16 09:10:31
77.   OldYanksFan
76 Holly Smoke! Wrong Website! (Never mind).
2007-12-16 09:14:30
78.   horace-clarke-era
77 Quick, have some Red Bull!
2007-12-16 09:15:28
79.   weeping for brunnhilde
76 ha ha ah ahh ah a ha ha haha!!

"Relatively harmless," eh?

2007-12-16 09:25:41
80.   OldYanksFan
From - Re: Santana
While the Yankees have more upper-level players available than the D-backs did, we also have players we want to protect that other teams want for team development and PR purposes.

As posters have noted over at SBN sister-site Twinkie Town, a 6 prospect deal seems to be this season's standard; both Cabrera and Haren brought back a wave of prospects.

I suspect the Twins are going to get a package with a larger number of talented players than we've discussed before, but that talent will be farther from the bigs. I think I'd be ok with that.

2007-12-16 09:28:55
81.   wsporter
The pre 2002 "illegality" argument is a laughable canard. The MLB understood there was a PED issue problem for years prior to 2002 yet choose both to refuse to enforce it's nascent proscription against them and to engage the MLPA in the creation of a more specific and hard hitting set of rules. The argument is now essentially: "it was illegal then under this catch all provision and we are therefore now able to somehow punish admitted users for pre 2002 use." It does not begin to remotely address MLB ownership's and management's condonation and facilitation of the use of PEDs by players.

We should not now attempt to paint the pre 2002 era as one in which the MLB recognized PED use as a problem. They recognized it all right, but only in so much as it was a panacea to extract them from the dark days of declining fan interest brought on by 1994. Given their role as willing conspirators it would be the height of hypocrisy for them to punish players now for PED use during that period.

Now, that is not to say that Andy and others did not understand that what they were doing at the time they were using them was "wrong". Non prescribed PED use has been illegal for years and at least broadly against MLB rules. The players argument that it wasn't against baseball rules and therefore was ok is just as large a canard and as damning a self indictment as the owners argument for fairly obvious reasons.

I feel therefore that a certain degree of a "pox upon both their houses" attitude is more than appropriate here. I refuse however to cut my nose off to spite m face. I am still a baseball fan, I still love the NYY. I still am glad Andy is on my team. I still hope these millionaires and billionaires can figure out how to resolve this issue and not completely screw the pooch while doing so.

I am now officially bored by this. Out.

2007-12-16 14:03:39
82.   OldYanksFan
Justice gives detailed denial of using HGH and calls Radomski a liar.

Gee... I hope Justice is lying. I really hope Justice is lying. I mean, I really really hope Justice is lying. Because if he's not, then Radonski is lying.

And what would that mean?

2007-12-16 14:28:26
83.   OldYanksFan
A good article with a history/timelime on Selig's denials about steroids in MLB.

How much damage did this one man do?

2007-12-16 15:32:47
84.   Raf
83 Who's to say how much damage? But the focus isn't on Selig, nor ever will it be.

Looks like ESPN Classic's replaying the 2004 ALCS.

2007-12-16 15:44:32
85.   monkeypants
83 Under Selig' watch, MLB has seen massive financial growth and fans are pouring through the turnstiles. But otherwise, everything he's done has turned me off. But then again, I tend to be old fashioned, so things that others hail as success (like interleague play) I tend to mark in the loss column.
2007-12-16 16:01:40
86.   OldYanksFan
Who's to say how much damage?
Olney takes a hard look at the report, and instead of being 'wowed' by the player names there, he talks about what wasn't there.
An important read.
2007-12-16 18:04:49
87.   horace-clarke-era
Messy, but it was always going to be. With the existence of corroboration in many cases, it is impossible to make Radomski out to be a flat-out liar. Agreed?

Next to no one accused of drug abuse in sport has ever come clean unless forced. The further links you offered, OYF, include this depressing quote from Lupica on Andy Pettitte:
"A little over a year ago, it was reported in the Los Angeles Times that a former Yankee pitcher named Jason Grimsley had accused some major-league players of using performance-enhancing drugs in a federal agent's affidavit. One of the players named in the Times story was Andy Pettitte, who was about to finish his last season with the Houston Astros.

When asked about the story at the time, here is what Andy Pettitte, who now says he has worked hard his entire life to do things the right way, said: "I've never used any drugs to enhance my performance in baseball. I don't know what to say except that it's embarrassing that my name would be out there."

My guess is that this can be 'spun' on the argument that hgh isn't 'performance enhancing' but it isn't pretty, today.

My point is that until they are nailed, all athletes deny. Period. Andy is actually a mild exception, as he could have joined Roger in dumping on his 'troubled' trainer.

Olney doesn't say much I disagree with, but we've covered this ground here (and I actually think better!). What he's really saying is that blame could have (should have) been more forcefully attached to commish/union/owners for the toxic culture. I think that could have been, yes.

I also think it matters less than what happens next. To put it in language others have used here: we all KNOW what happened back then. A game getting rich, and with homer heroes rescuing it from a bad strike didn't want to rock the boat, stir up the hornets, make trouble for itself.

Until it was forced. Which I have been saying for 2 days now, is what Mitchell might do. If we focus on what Mitchell did NOT do (dump harder on Selig and Fehr and owners), it undermines the force, it seems to me, of where it might lead the game. Might. As I have also said, I ain't holding my breath, just mildly hopeful he (and congress) have them in a chokehold.

But yeah, let's get them both to resign, too. Let Orza call and warn them, first.

2007-12-16 20:31:16
88.   wsporter
87 "Messy, but it was always going to be. With the existence of corroboration in many cases, it is impossible to make Radomski out to be a flat-out liar. Agreed?"

What corroboration within the four corners of the report?

2007-12-16 20:54:27
89.   OldYanksFan
2 comments from a commentor at Lohud.
I kind of wonder why this isn't in the current new.
So, what did McNamee get in return for implicating Roger and Andy? He's getting a complete walk on a federal prosecution for drug distribution.

The Feds gave up a conviction and most likely jail time on McNamee, a former narc who was selling/procuring illegal drugs. Let me tell you, somebody wanted Andy and Roger to appear in that report pretty bad in order for the Federales to give up putting a former NYPD narc in jail when he was caught red handed. And this in return for two guys who seemingly won't be prosecuted? Not to mention the fact that McNamee skated on a sexual assault charge previously.
For more on McNamee's sexual assault prior see:

McNamee lied repeatedly to cops investigating him as the perp in an alleged rape at a St. Pete Hotel pool in Oct 2001, partially witnessed by a hotel employee. The woman was found to have a near fatal dose of GHB, the date rape drug, in her blood, with a bottle of the drug near the pool. The woman later lied about why she was at the hotel to begin with - - she was seeing a married Yankee employee - - and was not willing to reveal that publicly. The police decided to drop the investigation.

McNamee later refused to pay his legal bills for this representation and was sued by his lawyers for non-payment of their fees. The lawyers eventually settled for less than half of what he owed them.

McNamee later showed up in the Grimsley investigation and of course as the informant getting a walk on federal drug charges and probably jail in exchange for informing against Pettitte and Clemens in a private corporate, non-criminal investigation.

This is the same McNamee who left NYPD after 3 years to become a bullpen catcher.

2007-12-16 20:55:52
90.   OldYanksFan
According to this: published in 2001:
"Henry, who has owned the Marlins for three years, will be joined in the Red Sox ownership by, among others, Tom Werner, former managing partner of the San Diego Padres; Larry Lucchino, former president of the Padres and the Baltimore Orioles; George Mitchell, former United States senator from Maine; and The New York Times Company, which owns The Times and The Boston Globe."

I don't know if something has changed since then.

2007-12-17 06:37:44
91.   horace-clarke-era
88 Please. Let's at least debate fairly? Mitchell includes cancelled cheques, wsporter. There isn't a definition of 'corroboration' that doesn't include that.

89 Interesting. I WILL go off and read. But isn't this a bit tardy/off-base now, since Andy's acknowledged it to be true? We're left with saving Roger's HoF.

Also wonder, sadly, if Andy's professed loyalty, liking him for years after gets a new slant. But I'll go read all this and see. Frankly, expected assaults on the witnesses, and more to come. Burt consider: do the assaults 'protect' the players and game from change? As has been said in other contexts of the law, one doesn't buy a gun or heroin from classy types. If they become witnesses they WILL be unsavory. People shopping steroids illegally or hgh will inherently have lots of warts. Are we after them, or the sport.

Saw 2 reporters on opposite sides today: one says steroid users never go to hall on his watch, another say Cap Anson who created the color line (in part) is in there, and Ty Cobb, etc. Bad men. So he'll vote Barry and Roger on first ballot. First guy says 'bad men' is one thing, excelling through cheating's another. Then you get back to the spitball and such. Messy, as I said above.

But I'm with you: Fire Fehr and Selig. I may make it a mantra. Am okay with 'tar and feather' too.

2007-12-17 08:29:13
92.   Schteeve
60 I'm far from convinced that a player who uses steroids has a significant unfair advantage over the competition.

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