Pettitte owns up to HGH use

T.J. Beam signs with Pirates
Mitchell's not-very-shocking admission

Andy Pettitte became the first newly-named player in the Mitchell Report to admit to HGH use. In a statement released by his agent on Saturday, Pettitte said he used the drugs while recovering from his 2002 elbow injury.

Here’s what Andy had to say:

“In 2002 I was injured. I had heard that human growth hormone could promote faster healing for my elbow. I felt an obligation to get back to my team as soon as possible. For this reason, and only this reason, for two days I tried human growth hormone. Though it was not against baseball rules, I was not comfortable with what I was doing, so I stopped. This is it — two days out of my life; two days out of my entire career, when I was injured and on the disabled list. I wasn’t looking for an edge. I was looking to heal.

“I have the utmost respect for baseball and have always tried to live my life in a way that would be honorable. If I have let down people that care about me, I am sorry, but I hope that you will listen to me carefully and understand that two days of perhaps bad judgment should not ruin a lifetime of hard work and dedication. I have tried to do things the right way my entire life, and, again, ask that you put those two days in the proper context. People that know me will know that what I say is true.”

I have no reason to doubt the veracity of Pettitte’s admission. He used HGH twice while attempting to recover from an injury, and that’s it. It takes a brave man to apologize, and that’s just what Andy Pettitte is. While I’m a little disappointed, I’ll still cheer for Number 46 come Opening Day, and this admission in no way changes my opinion of the Mitchell Report.

T.J. Beam signs with Pirates
Mitchell's not-very-shocking admission
  • stuart

    amen. andy is a clas act, there are degrees of behavior his rationale is totally reasonable..

    The red sox scum are going wild over this. That is the reason why h=this reprot is a friggin joke, piked on a few teams alone and let the likes of sosa, mcgwire, nomar, and hundreds of others to act as if they are clean…

    selective prosecution is bias and against the law, this report is bias………

  • kris

    Please enlighten me. HGH was not banned in 2002. He used it to rehab. How was he cheating again?

    • zack

      Technically he wasn’t cheating, but merely breaking rules regarding taking drugs w/o a prescription, the same as if he was caught using cocaine, marijuana, or any other drug. The punishment at the time was usually going into a rehab/counseling service since nobody was ever “caught” using anything but narcotics. So if what Steve Howe did was cheating, then i guess Andy was cheating too, but by the rules of the time, he was violating the substance abuse policy…

      • kris

        I believe whatever Manny continues to smoke (during games!) is illegal without prescription. If it helps him relax and hit home runs (which I do), isn’t it cheating too? It is technically not cheating, but thanks to what you said, I am now free to suspect (and call) Manny a cheater and a fraud.

    • Yankee Fan

      Sadly even though it wasn’t banned and even though it was only 2 days to try to heal an injury, this will hurt Pettitte’s reputation and chances of getting in the HOF

    • CB

      HGH may not have been banned by baseball but it is a prescription drug.

      The way it was obtained and used was illegal.

      That’s not specifically related to performance issues. But using it was more complicated than just baseball rules.

      I support Andy and think its a very good thing he came forward. Two days of HGH is not going to enhance his performance or speed his injury healing.

  • Nefarious Jackson

    Big Papi goes from OK player in a homer run hitters heaven to being the modern day Jimmy Fox when he gets to Boston… must’ve been the Weatties

    • kris

      If I weren’t so damn poor, I would offer a reward for evidence of illegal drug use by Manny, Ortiz or any other prominent current RS player.

    • Whitey14

      Or the huge increase in playing time. That certainly couldn’t have hurt his production numbers.

  • davi

    doesn’t this add more credibility to mcnamee being right about injecting clemens. and i still love andy. id take him and his character over santana, beckett and schilling anyday

  • NC Saint

    I’ll go farther than you do. I’m not disappointed in him. Not even a little bit. This simply isn’t cheating, any way you slice it. There are all sorts of perfectly legal drugs that help people recover from injuries. This one wasn’t against baseball’s rules. So the only issue is the lack of a prescription. While we’re being outraged, should we see if he has any alternate-side parking violations?

  • bostonsucks@life

    It hurts to hear but atleast Pettitte is a man about it.
    And what have we all really gotten out of this craptacular report only the guys is new york use hgh and steroids.
    Btw who gave the 20 mil for this report to get done ? Cause is its my taxpaying dollars I would like a full refund.

  • Mike A.

    Am I the only one that saw this? Too funny.

    • Jamal G

      The fact that he’s biting his lip makes it even worse.

      Unfortunately for Clemens this seems to torpedo any benefit of the doubt or good will he had left in the bank.

  • bostonsucks@life

    Live in the area saw laughed and then wanted to punch the red sox fan I was working with

  • NC Saint

    And I still don’t see how he doesn’t have a libel case against the News, amongst other outlets. I suppose ‘malicious intent’ is difficult to establish, but it’s clear that they were in strict, obvious factual error, and if they even read the Mitchell Report before they ran their headline, the error was intentional.

  • Bbig

    andy pettitte is the man.

    but that underwear ad on the left of the screen is even better.

  • Rob

    My question: What will Andy say about Clemens? Cause he won’t be able to avoid those questions.

    If he comes out and says he never saw or heard anything while training with him for X years, then we still aren’t sure what to believe about Clemens.

    If he tries to “No comment” – oh boy, it’s going to be a long spring.

    But I can’t think he’ll confirm what McNamee said without Clemens coming forward too.

    The drama has just begun. Fucking Mitchell and his half-ass report.

  • Dimaggio5

    Pettitte is still the man, and I’m not disapponted at all – not even a bit. This guy has given his heart and soul to Yankees fans time and again. To all the idiots in the press, Yankee fans should scream: WE DON’T CARE! He better get a friggin’ standing ovation opening day. God – I’m not sure who I hate more the Red Sux or the media – since both are bottom feeding scum. Help me out here – whose worse the subhuman sux or the puke wanna-be athletes who are in the media? I’m taking a poll. :-)

  • GoYankees

    I was prepared to accept the truth as soon as the report came out, so I’m glad Andy came out and apologized.
    Though it WAS wrong to use HGH, he didn’t worsen the case by lying.
    He’s still my favorite Yankee and of course I will root for him anytime he’s on the mound.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    I love that Andy stepped up but it does give that little rat some credibility.

    Andy is the man and will get an ovation on Opening Day. I would bet my house on it.

  • barry

    Pettitte is still up there as one of my favorite Yankees. HGH use as a performance enhancer is questionable to begin with and I don’t see a major problem with using it to heal, that seems like a sensible use, not to mention the allowed widespread use of cortizone(sp?) in baseball. I honestly am just sick of this whole steroid thing, just set up a testing program and bury it.

  • Jamal G

    I happen to be in the camp that says HGH should be allowed. MLB should have an independent organization of doctors where they send players (upon request by team doctors) to get the okay to begin using HGH. Its main purpose is to heal faster and I dont see anything wrong with that. Im sure they’re are side effects as with any medication, however if doctors presicbe it to everyday Joes why not professional athletes?

    I could make a much longer, stronger case but I would like to get your reaction first…

    • chris fowler

      they prescribe it to average joes with aids or really old average joes (albeit with controversy) who don’t produce it anymore.

  • BJ

    I love Pettitte, and this will not change that. What it will do is strengthen the Mitchell report and especially McNamee’s testimony. While this was clearly the right thing to do for Andy as that is just the stand up kind of guy he is, i wonder if it will affect his relationship with Rodger, as now the charges against him seem much more concrete. I agree that HGH, and to some extent steroids as well, are not inherently dangerous in that they are prescribed for medical use, but the flaw in that arguement is that they are given either because there is a decrease from normal ammount in the individual or as treatment in disease. Also steroids and hormones are controlled by feedback pathways, so unless you use very high ammounts over an extended period you would not get the results you are talking about. These high levels are not used in medicine and result in increased binding protein, which decreases the free testosterone closer to the normal ammount but also decrease a lot of other hormones. This is why there are a wide range of side affects such as being infertile for months after you get off of it.

  • Jamie

    Jamal – I’d liken it to ADD meds that people take (like myself) for ADD. I have ADD and I’m prescribed this medication and because of it I work a thousand times better.

    • chris fowler

      like hgh is abused, aderall and ritalin is abused by college kids across the nation. baseball players don’t “need” hgh but use it = abuse. college kids who don’t have add but a lot of work to do during a semester don’t need ritz but use it = abuse.

      • barry

        As a college student I formally deny ever using the PEDs Aderall or Ritalin. You have no evidence to prove that I have/will/currently take those PEDs.

  • E-ROC

    HGH or steroids wasn’t banned so I don’t care.

    • Jamal G

      The steroids were banned in 2001.

      • E-ROC

        The policy for banning steroids was agreed upon in 2002 and became active in 2003 along with the drug testing of steroids. The MLB started banning HGH in 2004.

  • E-ROC

    My bad, HGH wasn’t banned until 2005. 2001, the MLB started testing minor leaguers and not major leaguers.

  • bkight13

    I believe the Mitchell report is very accurate. The problem is that he wasn’t able to get all the users, though not his fault. All he had was the Balco stuff, Grimsley and the two clubhouse guys. It is unfair that the guys named weren’t the only ones using, but I have no sympathy for them, they got caught. It sucks for us Yankee fans that a Red Sox guy couldn’t get anyone in his organization to come forward but I guess that is just a coincidence.

    I applaud Pettitte for his admission and do not consider what he did to be cheating in any way. He used it twice and that was it. ESPN is trying to ruin him, but it won’t stick. Roger, on the other hand, has no choice but to deny, deny, deny. He has too much to lose and there is no positive test. He will always be branded, maybe deservedly so, but if he keeps his mouth shut he will still get into the HOF.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    People are still saying he cheated. People are morons. You always hear these “person on the street” interviews where you know people heard 1/8 of the issue and are now commenting on it. I heard a radio report where it said “Andy Pettitte admitted to steroid use, says he’s sorry.” They interviewed people after just saying THAT MUCH (without saying it was HGH two times in 2002 when he was on the disabled list) and people said, “Oh then he’s a cheater.”

    The media is out of control…they are manufacturing the story the way they want and the public (ie misinformed SHEEP) just react to it.

    Whatever happened to being well-informed or was I just not aware of how ignorant people are?

  • Spike

    George Mitchell is connected to the Red Sox, is he not? (Board of Directors or something). So the easiest interviews he could have obtained would have been ones from Sox trainers, clubhouse people, etc. But he didn’t do that. He obtained information from about 5 teams, and that’s not fair. The dude that said this was Selective Prosecution is absolutely right. Mitchell should be discredited because of his lack of any Red Sox players.

    • Whitey14

      You have to remember though, he could only talk to personnel that granted him interviews because he wasn’t given the power to subpeona anyone. That would have made a big difference. I believe that most if not all clubs, including my beloved Red Sox, have players that have used PED’s over the years, but their personnel didn’t speak with Mitchell’s group. It does indeed make for an incomplete report, but the more players that were named in it confess, the worse it looks for the rest of them that were named in it.

  • Tano

    “Whatever happened to being well-informed or was I just not aware of how ignorant people are?”

    There is no limit to the ignorance of the average person.

    Unfortunatly, all of us are average people.

  • Kevin23

    Athletes want to win. Professional athletes depend on it. As a matter of fact, I pay good money to see them do everything they can to prepare to play the best possible baseball. If they do something illegal, then that’s one thing. There are laws in place. I have my doubts about the conclusiveness of their research into PED’s in general. But thats up to legislatures. This whole hunt for names to drag in the mud is stupid. But it is not much saner when I see so many fans vehemently defending a guy’s past “cleanliness”. We don’t know. It should be between them and a medical professional, or it should be illegal and tested for effectively (good luck). The past is clouded in mystery because of this mass hysteria.

    If you want to blame anyone, blame teams for not being more honest about whatever benefits they were seeing, blame the medical guys who make and distribute this stuff for anything improper they did, blame the commissioner for not cracking down effectively, blame the media for not investigating sooner….blame anyone except the guys who do nothing but try to make you, the fans, happy by winning.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    I think the commissioner should bear more blame than anyone.

  • Steve S

    I think we are all giving Pettitte a huge pass here because we like him from the personality he portrays to the media. Regardless of the merits of the Mitchell Report and the reasons Andy gave, he did something that he knew was wrong. If it was a matter of healing, then he would have asked a doctor about it. He cheated and he used a substance he shouldnt have. Unfortunately, I dont think you can refer to him as a “class act”. I accept his apology, but his excuses are excuses, he did something wrong, its nice that he accepts responsibility, but he still is a cheater, just like Giambi, just like Sheffield, just like all the other guys who have admitted to this in the past.

    • Kevin23

      Isn’t the definition of “cheating” when you break rules? There were no rules against HGH until 2005. I’m confused. How could he possibly have known it was wrong? And why couldn’t he ask a trainer or other certified or licensed medical professional for help healing? Isn’t that their job?

      I don’t buy this moralist crap that HGH is just wrong because we say its wrong. Where is the line between sports and science drawn? If everyone has access to something under the guise of good medical advice, how is it cheating? Aren’t the doctors more responsible for their advice than players who all say the same thing (heal me)?

      • Steve S

        The difference is that Pettitte obtained it from a guy who isnt a doctor. And it isnt available to everyone, its only available by prescription. Its not a moral issues, its a matter of right and wrong. Pettitte’s own admission acknowledges that “he made a mistake.” Im the first person who says who cares, but while MLB didnt have any rules against it at the time, he did obtain the stuff illegally and that lone makes it cheating. Maybe its subjective but to me, when you are being injected by a physical trainer in the ass with a substance that is only available if a doctor prescribes it for you, then you have clearly done something wrong, and cheating to me is gaining an unfair advantage over other players, thats what Pettitte did in this case.

  • Whitey14

    Fernando Vina confessed on ESPN this evening that he did, as the Mitchell Report stated, use HGH in 2003, but the same as Pettitte, he denied Steroid use. He cited the same reasons as Pettitte, healing from inuries, getting back on the field to help the team, etc. I’m glad they’re being honest now, but if they would have granted Mitchell’s group an interview along the way, it may have made it easier for them, as well as others. I wonder who will be next to confess? It’s obviously going easier right now for those that do, at least in the court of public opinion. Sounds like the high school baseball association in Texas is considering replacing Clemens as the key note speaker in their upcoming banquet.

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