Jan
20

Media finally realizes that Pettitte, Clemens weren’t friends

By

So here’s a “shocker” from Ken Davidoff: Andy Pettitte is mad at Roger Clemens, and — brace yourselvse — the two of them weren’t as close as everyone made them out to be.

My world has just been torn apart. No, wait. It hasn’t. But we’ll get to that in a minute.

First, the goods:

“They were never as close as they were made out to be,” a friend of both said on the condition of anonymity. “They just sort of went along with it in the media, because it was a good story.

Indeed, we had one of the game’s all-time best pitchers taking a fellow Texan under his wing, a guy whose childhood bedroom featured a Clemens poster. We had the pair bolting together to the Astros and returning together (a few months apart, granted) to New York.

Though Clemens and Pettitte enjoyed working out together, their relationship didn’t extend much beyond that. Clemens is an extrovert, Pettitte an introvert. Clemens enjoyed going out after games on road trips; Pettitte almost always stayed in. Their families aren’t particularly close, although both make the Houston area their full-time residences.

When Clemens sat out the start of the 2006 season, keeping the Astros waiting for months on yet another unretirement, Pettitte joined other veteran teammates in growing annoyed by The Rocket’s prima-donna vacillating.

So not only is Pettitte, as Davidoff’s piece notes, mad at Clemens for his defense tactics concerning the Mitchell, but it seems that the two had fleeced the media. And, oh yeah, had the media bothered to report this story two years, they would have found out that Clemens and Pettitte weren’t best friends then either. But, hey, that would actually require reporting and effort.

Now, I don’t care about the facts in this story. Does it matter to me if Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte are friends? No. Do I care if they’re close or not? No. It impacts my life and the Yankees about as much as that overblown story concerning the quote-unquote fight that Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez are in. Whatever. This is baseball, not high school.

But this story matters because it’s yet another example of how the media gets things wrong. Switching gears for one minute, if you take a peak at The New York Times’ coverage of Saturday’s Democratic caucuses in Nevada, the article leads with the fact that Senator Hillary Clinton captured more votes than her opponents, and then the reporters conveniently slip in the fact that Senator Barack Obama will actually get more national delegates. You know how one becomes a presidential candidate? By capturing more national delegates. So who really won, other than the people reporting the story and selling papers?

This story from Nevada and the Clemens-Pettitte story are from opposite sides of the news spectrum. One is about a highly-charged partisan battle for the chance to run for the White House; the other focuses on two baseball players from Texas who are dealing with accusations from a shoddy report. Yet, these stories both have one thing in common: They are complex issues with shades of gray that media insists on presenting in black and white.

Everything is win or lose. Clinton either wins the most votes or loses the most votes; forget the more important delegate count. Clemens and Pettitte either are best friends because they follow each other to Houston or not. There is absolutely no leeway for anything else. Maybe Clemens and Pettitte were friends, but the Mitchell Report strained that relationship. Maybe Davidoff is right or maybe not. How are we to judge a story when, three years later, the media basically says they covered it wrong the first time? Does anyone care what the facts are?

There is, of course, one final explanation that would get the media off the hook, at least in this one case. Roger Clemens planted this story about his non-friendship with Andy Pettitte so that when Congress questions him about Pettitte’s admitted HGH use, he can avoid answering by pointing to the “revelation” that the two aren’t that close. I wouldn’t put that past the Rocket; would you?

Nothing in this post is an endorsement of any political candidate or party. I don’t care for whom you choose to vote. Please leave the partisan politics outside of the comments.

Categories : NYC Sports Media
  • brockdc

    MSNBC had to extricate themselves, too, FWIW. They had Clinton as the undisputed “winner” of the primary, despite Obama’s higher delegate count. They also reported that it wasn’t exactly clear who ended up with the 13-12 majority of delegates and that it wouldn’t be divulged for some time. Sure, the media should be better informed, but the byzantine caucus primaries in both Iowa and Nevada really lend themselves to mass confusion.

    Still, point taken.

    • http://www.nyyank.com Yankee fan

      Well as you mentioned the winner of the delegates isn’t certain yet, but in reality it is just peanuts because they will still be within 1 of each other in Nevada. The more important thing is the popular vote, which Hilary had because that popular vote is what will create more momentum and also media coverage which will give Hilary the boost heading into Florida and then Super Tuesday. So in a way Hilary is the winner because that boost will be of more use to her than 1 delegate would because it will probably lead to several more delegates.

  • dan

    Kabak in 2012!

  • Rich

    I think the “plant” angle to this story is probably spot on.

  • dre

    You are absolutely correct when you state, that whether Roger Clemons or Andy Pettitte ever had a very close relationship is irrelevant and that the relevancy of this issue in comparison to the political primaries are actually a nonstarter in the broader scheme of things.
    An yes, the media does waste an inordinate amount of time on speculative story telling, but what is one to do when one is left scurrying to fill a space and meet a deadline.
    Is it any wonder that a story like steroids has stayed the focal point during this off season of baseball even though this theme has been thoroughly examine and openly discuss in every baseball sports column throughout America for years? This is all just a reminder and a bridge till the next congressional in the latest of many hearings which is the real story, and this brings me to my point.

    It is at this very moment that reporting becomes comical and conspiratorial, like your implying that Roger Clemons might have planted the story that Mr. Davidoff has written in his column. I prefer to read a excellent sport short stories but remember it is just business;an there is no business like show business. An therefore,this journalistic art of keeping an issue in the forefront will continue to thrive.

    • Old Ranger

      dre
      The job of the sports writer(or any news writer) is to report the news, not speculate or slant it to fit the way they think it sounds best. “Just tell the truth.” Where have we heard that before? Editorials are for speculations, NOT the news. Msnbc is the worst news show I (in my many years watching, reading) I can remember, therefor I don’t watch it anymore. My Irish blood can’t take it.

  • Lanny

    Who looks to MSNBC for unbiased coverage of anything? For that matter what has the Mainstream media gotten right lately?

    Objectivity is out the window. Theres a reason they are losing viewers and newspapers are losing money and circulation rates.

    Only thing that station MSNBC is good for is the great To Catch a Predator show.

    • Rich

      There is no such thing as unbiased cable news. I watch MSNBC, CNN, and even Fox (for kicks), and then make up my own mind.

      • http://www.nyyank.com Yankee fan

        The media is definetely biased, especially Fox. I can go on about that forever, but I’ll give one quick example about yesterday’s Nevada caucus since that was mentioned in this article. After it was over, Fox showed the top three winners in Nevada and they had Romney first, McCain second, and Huck third. Where did the actual number 2 Ron Paul go? They just got rid of him because they don’t support his views, it is the most unfair and biased thing ever. I hate Fox News and I seriously hope people would stop watching them. Boycott Fox!

  • Vader

    IMO the media is now in a high stakes game of get it out first, (true or not) since we live in these fast pasted times of the internet, email and so on. The only thing they have to do is retract it if they are wrong, there appears to be no repercussion for false news.

    Look at the names that were leaked from the Mitchell report that were totally false or the story that the LA Times reported regarding the Grimsley affidavit.

  • Old Ranger

    Fox News is great.
    If CNN et.el fits your out look on life…watch it
    I am a conservative, so I watch Fox. They have Libs and conservatives as their anchors, when they have guests on they will have one of each. Unlike CNN, msnbc etc. where they will put three libs and maybe, one conservative (if any). But I do believe one should watch what ever news fits your outlook on the news.
    Vader
    A lot of the time you will find a correction or retraction on the last page below the fold.

  • Rob

    Absolutely a fantastic post. Well said and argued.

  • beantownbosoxh8er

    “Please leave the partisan politics outside of the comments.”
    it may not be partisan but the fact is that this is a baseball site and half of the posts in here are about the outcome in Nevada, there must be a better place for you to blog about this.
    I think the whole article is about the relationship of Clemens and Pettitte .
    Their relationship was reported as close.
    A plant? I wouldn’t put it past Clemens to do that now he seems desperate enough to sell out his friends.
    desperate people do desperate things ,it is sad to see Clemens like this, a man who seems to be grasping at anything he can to sway the public opinion of him.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      I hate to bait trolls, but please show me any other post here where I’ve talked about Nevada. Half of this post is about the caucuses to make a point.

      As for this site being a baseball site, this site is run by me, Joe and Mike. Now and then, we might skip the baseball talk or bring it another topic to make a point. Why does that bother you?

      • beantownbosoxh8er

        i can stop visiting your site if that is what you want , calling ma a troll is a great way to get your viewing audience behind you.
        If I want politico Ill go somewhere else and I was quoting the post itself.
        “Nothing in this post is an endorsement of any political candidate or party. I don’t care for whom you choose to vote. Please leave the partisan politics outside of the comments.”
        so if you want me to go else where so be it. I am here for the baseball, and I agreed with that statement of leaving the politics ouside of the comments .
        and if you like to discuss further in a less public manner I will do so as well.
        the ball is in your court.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

          So far, we’ve had a very civil conversation about political coverage and sports coverage as the media sells it. I’m sorry you disagree, but considering what political discourse on other sites ends up looking like, I’d say these few comments are a step in the right direction. Another, most people are commenting on how the results are covered and not what they are. I wrote the note at the end of the post because we don’t want to see people arguing about candidates or parties in the comments, and no one’s doing that. I’m sorry if you don’t like that.

          I’m sorry for calling you a troll. That wasn’t fair of me, and I do not mean to drive you from the site. My apologies. I think you’re picking up on something rather minor, but that’s your right. I have nothing else to say about it other than keep on rooting for the Yanks up there in the enemy territory. We need more of those.

          • beantownbosoxh8er

            thanks man!
            I stopped going to pinstripe alley because of the name calling and the general B.S..
            I do understand that you were using the politics to make your point, I just hate to go from sports to that.
            Getting off topic is going to happen but that(politics) is a place that can get ugly along with religon.
            I will continue to visit this site ,i have it as one of my homepages . And yes screw these bastrds here in boston.

  • Colin

    THAT was an excellent post. I completely agree with everything you just said. I hate how the media, be it ESPN, Sports Illustrated, The Times, the tabloids, whatever, will take a story and run with it when its either false, or no one wants to hear about it.

    We need alternative media sources, which is why I love the internet. But it still sucks that ESPN is the only way to get up to date sports news on tv. We need a revolution!

  • http://myspace.com/lincolnsworld Link

    Just out of curiousity, what do you think the backlash will be if and when Clemens owns up and admits use?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      I think the Baseball Establishment will be through with him. No more jobs; no Hall of Fame spot. He’ll be ostracized much like Pete Rose. But at this point, he will never admit steroid use. It would be too damaging.

      If anyone should be worried about this question though it’s really Miguel Tejada. He’s still an active player and he needs a Visa to play baseball in the States. If the FBI finds out he lied to Congress, I’m sure the State Department will be under a lot of pressure to deny that Visa.

  • http://quinnmedia.blogspot.com The Omnipotent Q

    I absolutely agree with your last paragraph. This whole thing smells like a “plant,” that Clemens is trying to distance himself from Pettitte because he admitted to the HGH use. Clemens is snake, pure and simple, and will do anything to protect his legacy.

  • Miss Bitters

    This is the 4th report I have read about this situation with Roger Clemens whereby “anonymous” people are speaking out about what they know or think they do.

    Basically, I think it’s the press making up their own stuff to cause more media attention and sell papers, etc. It’s reporters writing their own opinion and putting it off on “anonymous” sources.

    • Old Ranger

      Go young lady.
      Right on, it wouldn’t surprise many of the people on the web.

  • beantownbosoxh8er

    thanks man!
    I stopped going to pinstripe alley because of the name calling and the general B.S..
    I do understand that you were using the politics to make your point, I just hate to go from sports to that.
    Getting off topic is going to happen but that(politics) is a place that can get ugly along with religon.
    I will continue to visit this site ,i have it as one of my homepages . And yes screw these bastrds here in boston.

  • brockdc

    Miss Bitters,

    I agree with your comment about selling papers, insofar as media outlets are in the business to make profit, not to inform the public in an unbiased, non-partisan way (that is, if such a thing exists).

    The question I pose is this: is it possible to reconcile the profit motive of media giants like Viacom, Fox and Tribune with the information needs of ordinary citizens (especially considering how skittish the public generally is about heightened regulation)?

    Go Yankees.

  • Rich D

    Hopefully you are not just realizing that baseball writers are generally lazy, ignorant buffons who usually just mail-in meaningless stories, go off on ridiculous tirades or are trying to become this generation’s Woodward and Bernstein. Its not a mystery that newspapers sales are plummeting. When presented with an alternative for the basics, who won, who lost and why, people are choicing the net. The quality of writing doesn’t support buying a newspaper. The scary thing is that these people are in charge of the Hall of Fame balloting. Read the Philly papers on a regular basis and you will quickly see my point.