Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Sandman Speaks
2007-12-18 05:47
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Mariano Rivera, who likes his pockets fat not flat, spoke to reporters yesterday after the Yankees made his new 3-year, $45 million deal official. Naturally, he was asked about Andy Pettitte and the Mitchell Report. According to Mark Feinsand in the Daily News:

Rivera thinks that players fingered by the report would be better off admitting their mistakes and moving forward.

"I will not lose respect for my teammates or whoever did it," Rivera said. "I don't know the reasons why they did it - or if they did it. I just saw Andy come out and say that he did it, and if you did it, the best thing to do is bring it out and start new. Put an end to this thing."

..."I'm not trying to tell people to do that; I'm just a friend, and I respect their decision," Rivera said. "If they want to come out, they'll do it. If they don't want to come out, they won't do it. I think it's the best thing, to put an end to this thing and move on. It's a new year, hang up everything and start new."

In another minor story, the Yankees signed Met-killer Nick Green to a minor-league contract. He will join Chris Woodward in fighting for a spot come spring training.

2007-12-18 06:58:54
1.   JL25and3
Green v. Woodward: a career OPS+ of 72 against a career OPS+ of 74. That promises to be a fierce battle.
2007-12-18 07:34:40
2.   Shaun P
Something tells me neither of those guys is going to be on the Opening Day roster unless Betemit and Shelley are both seriously injured.
2007-12-18 07:48:02
3.   yankster
Joba a lefty?

Check out this selection from the Yankees Mailbag:

"I was looking at the gallery of photos of Joba Chamberlain signing for kids at Modell's and noticed he writes left-handed. That doesn't seem likely for someone who throws 100 mph right-handed. Hey, maybe he's ambidextrous and can solve our lefty problems, too.
-- Ed G., Louisville, Ky.

I doubled back and checked the photos, and sure enough, they're not reversed."

2007-12-18 07:48:21
4.   OldYanksFan
Bring back Miggy Cairo!
2007-12-18 07:57:00
5.   Yankee Fan in Chicago
3 Both my brother and I throw righty but write lefty. (fwiw)
2007-12-18 08:01:15
6.   Shaun P
4 SHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Don't give the FO any ideas!

Just kidding. Besides, I'm sure he's off to join Tanyon Sturtze in trying to win a job with the Dodgers.

Off topic - has anyone else been reading "Dilbert" this week?

2007-12-18 08:02:23
7.   MC Safety
0 Showbiz and AG!

I may be a Dodger fan Alex, but we are on the same page when it comes to hip hop.

2007-12-18 08:07:40
8.   rbj
6 Yup. And the first thing I thought of when I saw the dead horse was BB.

So what do people think of Mo's response to Andy's admission:
"I might have done the same thing. Who knows?" Rivera said."

Both of them seem to be good guys.

2007-12-18 08:34:56
9.   Shaun P
8 Its exactly what I would have expected from Mo - "who am I to judge?" No surprise at all.

I'll bet that his non-mention of Clemens (if what I heard on XM this morning was true) gets blown out of proportion, though.

2007-12-18 08:38:59
10.   standuptriple
6 Good time for a solid segment. That character has legs. (can't resist a pun)
2007-12-18 08:45:03
11.   OldYanksFan
I know people may feel that the Mitchell Report is deadhorse territory, but I am still very pissed off at this whole affair. It is not the naming of Andy and other players that has me mad (although certainly that could have been handled better), but the shoddiness of the report and the smokescreen created for Selig and Fehr.

Chase has written a good article at:
pointing out a few of important faults of the report. There are many others. You could fill a whole semister course examining the inadquacies of this report.

I wish fans were angrier, and that Bud was deluged with negative feedback. IMHO because the report is so bad and many people don't take it seriously, a lot of this will blow over, with just the occasional 'steroid related' story popping up now and then. A few will fall, but very soon it will be business as usual for MLB.

This is a massive 'cover my ass' move by Selig, and he should not be allowed to scapegoat the players and come away unscathed.

2007-12-18 08:45:11
12.   Peter
3 Joba was on the YES network the other day, they showed a clip of him signing memorabilia, and I also noticed he was signing lefty. I did a google search and came across this entry on Tyler Kepner's blog in which Joba says he does everything else with his left hand.

2007-12-18 08:52:51
13.   standuptriple
11 I shared similar thoughts with my friends. If the report was going to pull back the curtain and expose Bud (and the owners, but I doubt that will happen) then it's won't be a complete waste of time. If more pressure was put on the owners perhaps they be willing to provide a sacrificial Selig to the altar. Then we could perhaps get a leader who isn't an ownership lapdog. Personally, I'd like to see Sen. Bunning take over MLB.
I also think that the masses are accepting that this report creates some closure, which it doesn't. It had the potential of being a Pandora's Box, but ended up being a Jack in the box (entertaining the first time you see it, not so much after that...unless you're 3).
2007-12-18 08:57:29
14.   Alex Belth
Show and A.G's first record, "Runaway Slave" sure is a good one. Loved the beats.
2007-12-18 08:57:31
15.   Murray
There are rumors that Jim Bunning has gone senile. If true, it would be no better than Selig to have him as commissioner.
2007-12-18 09:06:17
16.   rbj
How about Frank Robinson for Commish. Yeah, it'll never happen.
2007-12-18 09:14:29
17.   MC Safety
14 No doubt, "Goodfellas" is a classic as well.
2007-12-18 09:15:21
18.   Ken Arneson
A's pitching coach Curt Young threw lefty, but writes righty.
2007-12-18 09:23:18
19.   ms october
14 ooh - that was a hot album.

11 13 if brian roberts - who as discussed had one of the flimsiest "cases" against him - admits to using steroids once - then i am afraid this report will have some credence for some time. espn even seemingly made fernando vina come out and discuss his situation.
only the "defiant" types won't come out and admit thier usage and apologize.

though i do think this will blow over with the fans, i think it will surface in the media periodically, especially as some record is set; around the hall of fame, and so on.
and i agree fully about selig covering his ass, but it will also be intersting to see if he tries to suspend anyone on the list.

unfortunately, i don't think we will really ever get a comissioner who is not a lapdog for the owners - that is basically the most important criteria/qualification.

2007-12-18 09:26:33
20.   YankeeInMichigan has a press release concerning the 2008 schedule, though the full schedule has not yet been posted.

I am getting sick of references to the "interleague segment" of the season. If interleague play is here to stay (and I believe that it is), then stop treating it as novelty and spread it through the season. This way, baseball can go back to a symetric schedule, i.e.
- Have two leagues of 15 teams each (6 divisions of 5 teams each). Probably move Milwaukee back to AL and put them in the Central Division, while moving KC to the West.
- A team plays each intradivisional rival 15 times (4 X 15 = 60)
- A team plays each team in the other divisions of its league 9 times (10 X 9 = 90)
- A team plays 12 interleague games (4 3-game series).

Note that there will now be a total of 60 interleague series, or 2 per week over a 30-week season.

2007-12-18 09:29:29
21.   horace-clarke-era
11 I wish fans were angrier, and that Bud was deluged with negative feedback. IMHO because the report is so bad and many people don't take it seriously, a lot of this will blow over, with just the occasional 'steroid related' story popping up now and then. A few will fall, but very soon it will be business as usual for MLB.

I think part of the point I've been making is that we're PART of this, OYF, not just 'victims' ... knowing nudge-nudge comments here, eyebrows raised at player physiques growing and shrinking. True we pay and don't get PAID, but we give our signals to those who do as to what we want from them and the game.

Having said that, I still hold the view that hanging Selig from the walls, pleasant as the thought may be, is or should be marginal here, for the game. Make the bastard pay is not the focus we need. We need 'do what can be done to clean the game up' ... it is possible to argue that Selig's too tainted to do that (and I think you may have made that argument?) and I can see the point, but my own sense is that he actually (ironically?) has NO CHOICE because of Mitchell. I think much more of the report, as a way out of this than you do. And part of that is McCain and co. in the background, as I've said.

It is, I suppose, worth noting that Brian Roberts admitted use today, one time, big mistake, apologising, and I will hope and expect Mitchell's advice to ignore all past transgressions and get on with it will apply here. (Even if he's not telling the truth about one time.) I mention this more for the issue of Mitchell and his two sources. We now have players stepping forward to corroborate allegations emerging from BOTH Radomski and McNamee. (The Roberts one, to my mind, would never have held up in a court as Radomski just relayed a Bigbie allegation.)

Pettitte, Vina, Roberts ... all acknowledging in 48 hours. More to come? The players WANTING to clean it up? Is it a possibility?

2007-12-18 09:30:26
22.   Knuckles
20 Pete Abe has a link to the PDF 2008 schedule.
- We close the season w/ 3 games at Boston
- We play Boston 5 times in April
- Interleague is home to SD, CIN, NYM, at HOU, PIT, NYM
- I'm bummed the Pirates series is midweek; I'd have liked to head out there for a weekend, being only a 4 hour drive from DC.
2007-12-18 09:41:51
23.   YankeeInMichigan
19 The "confessions" of people like Pettitte, Vina and Roberts tell us only that the sources were not lying through their teeth. That does not mean that could not have embellished their stories to satisfy blood-thirsty prosecuters.

All the report really tells us is that steroid use is (or least was) quite widespread. Do the math:
- 56 playes implicated with Radomski/McNammee connections
- 90% of charges acurate: 50 players
- 10 more Radmonski/MacNammee types in other clubhouses: 300 players

That's 4% of the Major League population obtaining steroids or HGH through clubhouse sources alone. Adding in other sources (internet, overseas, etc.) probably brings the number to 7-10%.

Let's move past the virtually-random selection of identities move toward a solution.

2007-12-18 09:46:37
24.   ms october
23 My point was just that the players seem to be taking the report seriously enough to make "confessions."

I agree fully with your last statement - but it begs the questions what is the solution?
I don't really know what the solution is.

2007-12-18 09:53:09
25.   NJYankee41
I can't believe the Yanks will be playing at Fenway for the last game of the year. It would have been appropriate for them to have a nice sendoff for Yankee Stadium. Instead they will have a week of away games after the last game at the Stadium. Poor decision MLB.
2007-12-18 10:02:52
26.   mehmattski
MLB TR is reporting that A-Rod has signed "manager to the stars" Guy Oseary. The news comes from Mark Feinsand and Variety, so take that for what it's worth. MLBTR uses it to surmise that A-Rod has dropped Boras, but nowhere in the article is that explicit.

2007-12-18 10:04:19
27.   horace-clarke-era
23 "Let's move past the virtually-random selection of identities move toward a solution."

Agreed. And also with 24 ... though since it sounds like you two are disagreeing I shouldn't be able to agree with both! But I believe this is key to Mitchell: move forward, no punishments based on report. I think Ms October's right in that the players taking it seriously (some of them) - and remember this is just the first few days - means Mitchell's other point (no punishments) is more likely to be properly regarded.

I have, just this morning, a vague premonition as to sequence of events: Selig will, in fact, use this to implement much of Mitchell, and Fehr/Orza will not be in a position to block it. After which Selig, who is not young, will resign, hoping that implementing Mitchell removes some of the stain on his tenure. Fehr/Orza will not.

Fans will keep attending, regardless. I note that many are already bored with Mitchell, and see this - actually - as support for my point. Many of us just didn't care, unless it was OUR team and we risked losing a star.

2007-12-18 10:14:29
28.   mehmattski
I have a feeling that 50 years from now, we'll look back on the stats from 1995-2004 and say "those are HUGE numbers, but it was the Steroid Era," just like we do now with Bob Gibson's ERA in 1968 or Rickey Henderson's SBs in 1982. Different era, different things were important to success. Same beautiful game of baseball.
2007-12-18 10:33:09
29.   JL25and3
21 "Make the bastard pay is not the focus we need. We need 'do what can be done to clean the game up'"

I don't really see how that cause was forwarded by this report. In fact, I think they've done a pretty good job of cleaning it up already. Yes, there will still be people using HGH and new designer 'roids - but not too many, and not too often, and probably not the superstars.

Instead, the report brings up the events of 5-10 years ago and treats them as pressing current problems. I don't think they are, so I think this is a disservice to the game.

And if the players are hung out to dry, Selig should be as well.

2007-12-18 11:16:50
30.   horace-clarke-era
29 "treats them as pressing current problems. I don't think they are,"

Curious about that. Why do you think that? You think the game's cleaned up? Really?

What is the 'disservice to the game'? To report (and have player confirmation) on abuse of the rules in few years OR to report and not bring down the commish?

I think Selig ought to resign. I have begun to think he will once he works to implement the report. I think the union and owners and fans are all culpable to a degree, but people do have to be responsible for their own actions. No?

And I admit I find phrases like 'hung out to dry' with respect to people using PEDs feels a bit much. If you really, honestly think the game's cleaned up, then I can see you feeling ALL of this is backwards-looking and unnecessary, but that's still not 'hung out to dry'... and wait till congress gets into it.

2007-12-18 12:19:58
31.   JL25and3
30 I don't pretend that PED use has been eliminated, but what was going on ten years ago isn't remotely comparable to what's going
on today. McGwire and Sosa were making a mockery of the game - and being fawned over by commissioner, owners, media and fans. Major stars throughout the game were juicing, winning awards and signing huge contracts. Everybody knew it; nobody cared enough to do anything about it.

PED use is still there, but I think it's being increasingly marginalized. Look at the players who are being caught these days; they're almost all fringe players trying to have a career. I also think PED use is now mostly restricted to recovery rather than bulking up - and while that's still wrong, I honestly don't see it as the kind of mockery of a decade ago.

And so now there's a report telling us that there were a lot of people using PEDs 5-10 years ago. It suggests that there be a better testing program with more safeguards. Really? No shit? It talks about what was going on before there was any kind of testing program, when the penalty for steroid use was rehab. Do you really think today's situation is at all analogous? How does this report shed any light on today?

I don't really care about the players suffering consequences - you're right, they did what they did. But I think it's wrong for them to be the sacrificial lambs.

First, it's judging them by an entirely different set of standards than the ones in place then.

Second, it really does deflect all responsibility from ownership and commissioner - it's all Clemens Did 'Roids!!! (A dog-bites-man story if I've ever seen one.)

And third, it implicitly exonerates all other players, all other teams. No matter how hard Mitchell tried to say otherwise, that's the inevitable result. Clemens's record is tainted, which I don't have a problem with; but Randy Johnson's record (or whoever else's) is validated. That, to me, distorts the record book even more. The Yankee championships are seen by some as tainted, which completely misses the point. As a team, they were competing on a level playing field, because every other clubhouse was the same.

So I see naming the players as doing more harm than good. It contributes nothing towards "cleaning up the game," and probably works against it because it distracts everyone from the main point.

2007-12-18 12:34:11
32.   Sonya Hennys Tutu
My take on the confessions so far:

- I believe Pettitte
- I don't believe Roberts

My take on the confessions in general:

-From the standpoint of reputation, legacy, believability, etc. players are highly motivated to be at the front end of this (at least the front end of the post-report era) rather than late to the table to admit their misdeeds. You don't want to be the last one to admit it, especially when, at least from the standpoint of increased hearsay if not incontrovertible proof, it'll all come out in the end anyway.

Clemens is a slightly different case because he has so much to lose in terms of legacy compared to just about everyone else in the report (Bonds' legacy already having been sullied). But still, the more he denies denies denies the worse he'll look in the end, even though I don't think a quick confession would've made him look "good."

As a die-hard Yankees fan it's tough to admit, but I'll now say that Pedro Martinez, in his prime, and not Clemens in his, is the best pitcher of the recent era. The only prior knock on Martinez was his fragility and lack of longevity compared to Clemens. But looking at Clemens through 96 and Pedro through now, they're similar in terms of bottom line numbers, but Martinez relative performance (OPS+ type stuff) is way more dominant for those periods, no?

2007-12-18 13:09:32
33.   Raf
7 You were expecting Howard Sims? :)

28 And the numbers being posted still don't compare to the numbers people were posting in the 30's. You're right; different times, same game.

2007-12-18 14:30:15
34.   OldYanksFan
19 Santangelo gave a very long and heartfelt apology for using HGH however, according to the report:

"In addition, Radomski told Mitchell's investigators that Santangelo purchased the steroid Deca-Durabolin as well as testosterone "once or twice" while he was a member of the A's in 2001.

On the radio, Santangelo denied ever using or purchasing steroids or testosterone from Radomski."

I am sure there is a lot of truth to the report. It was flimsey enough as is, so I would expect what little was said to be mostly accurate.

The very best liars and con men know to pull a con, you don't tell outrageous lies, but rather tell as many truths as possible, and mix in enough innuendo and lies to be believeable but 'prove your point'.

While what was said in the report has some problems, the real issue is all the things NOT said. I can give you 'a report' on European history that contains 1000 statements that are all true. Is it then a good report? What if I fail to mention anything about Hitler and Nazi Germany? Still a good report?

Futhermore, if 90% of the statements made in the report are true, it will appear that the
other 10% are also. You know about 'cherry picking' stats. It's easy to lie (misrepresent) with the truth.

2007-12-18 14:58:53
35.   OldYanksFan
19 Do you have Children? Let's say I have 2 kids. I have a 'house law' about eating snacks 2 hours before dinner. However, I let kid #1 do it all the time without punishment, but when kid #2 does it, I punish him. Kid #2 says "How come I get punished when when my brother doesn't?" and I say "because you broke the rule!"

Who is MORE responsible here for commiting 'bad behavior'? Kid #2 or ME?

Lets say I have the same rule about NO ICE CREAM without permission. However, the kids break the rule all the time. They leave obvious signs all over (disappearing ice cream, bowls with dried up ice cream, etc). I let this go on for years. Then one day I catch a kid eating ice cream and I punish him. He says "but you always let me 'get away' with this. Why am I being punished?". I say "Because you broke the rule"

Who is MORE responsible here for commiting 'bad behavior'? My kid or ME?

A law is NO good if it is not applied to everyone who falls under it's jurisdiction. A law is NO good if it is not reinforced (punishment handed out) on a consistant basis.

This is why both Selig and Fehr are so guilty and while the players DID break the rules, they actually have a lesser responsibility. Players are NOT children, but Bud and Fehr are the 'establislment', and they were/are responsible to establish and enforce the Steroids/HGH 'rules' in a fair and reasonable manner. Instead, they not only turned their backs on this issue, but throughout the years, as newspaper stories and whispers from within MLB got to their attention, they denied, over and over again, that there was an issue.

Again, I'm not excusing the players who broke the rules. I'm just saying that they are far less responsible for this epidemic, and that Selig and Fehn knowingly allowed it to happen. That is, until they got caught by Congress and the issue became front page news.

This whole business is a CYA issue for Selig. Even IF everything in the report is true, if you buy into this report and chastise the players, then Bud has won. You allow the smokescreen to work. If you buy into this report, you are sheep who been intentionally misdirected.

The players hurt themselves. Bud and Donald hurt the game. I can forgive the players, but I can't forgive Selig and Fehr.

2007-12-18 15:09:26
36.   OldYanksFan
31 Well said. Another issue is separating Steroids and HGH, and separating using for a very short 'trial period' as opposed to prolonged use. The players are all lumped into one category: 'Cheaters'... without any consideration for the circumstances of their 'use'.

Pete Abe said that if the Speed Limit is 65 MPH, that someone going 66 is just as 'guilt' as someone going 85. Do you believe that?

How do you feel about people driving 66 MPH on the highway?
How do you feel about people driving 85 MPH on the highway?
How do you feel about people driving 105 MPH on the highway?

2007-12-18 15:11:12
37.   OldYanksFan
From Lohud: Via agent Randy Hendricks, Roger Clemens has issued this statement:

"I want to state clearly and without qualification: I did not take steroids, human growth hormone or any other banned substances at any time in my baseball career or, in fact, my entire life. Those substances represent a dangerous and destructive shortcut no athlete should ever take.

"I am disappointed that my 25 years in public life have apparently not earned me the benefit of the doubt, but I understand Senator Mitchell's report has raised many serious questions. I plan to publicly answer all of those questions at the appropriate time in the appropriate way. I only ask that in the meantime people not rush to judgment."

2007-12-18 19:10:49
38.   Chyll Will
6 Yes, and I am glad you brought Dilbert up before I did. Now I don't have to seriously consider it >;) (Although for your sake, I'm overdue for another comic strip review)

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