Damon puts it all in perspective

Yanks OFers hit by Stanford scandal
Possible sign-and-trade mini-rant

As Friday night turns into Saturday morning, the Yankees are one day closer to Opening Day. Hopefully by April, A-Rod won’t dominate the headlines. I’m sure that’s naive wishful thinking on my part, but a man can dream.

Anyway, here’s something to chew on overnight. iYankees directs us to an apt Johnny Damon quote from the ProJo Sox Blog:

Damon: “Yeah he did some bad things, he took a steroid. I definitely do not condone that at all, but there could be a lot worse things he could have been doing. He hasn’t done a crime … so, there’s worse things he could have done, but I’ve known Alex since he was 15 and he’s always been super-nice to me, so I’m going to support him and try to help him through this time.”

Reporter: Johnny, what would have been worse?

Damon: “Murdering someone. There’s plenty of things that could have been worse than what he did.”

That basically sums up this whole thing in a nutshell. Many members of the media act as though A-Rod has committed high treason while the players seem to see it as a bad mistake he made a few years ago. He certainly never killed anyone, as Damon noted, and there are far, far worse things he couldn’t do.

Meanwhile, A-Rod seems to recognize that if he and the Yanks win, all will be forgiven. That’s life in the Bronx.

Yanks OFers hit by Stanford scandal
Possible sign-and-trade mini-rant
  • http://nyfaninboston.blogspot.com/ Manimal

    The actual interview was funnier because there was an awkward silence before he said murder

    • http://nosenseworrying.vsport.tv Jen

      Was it an awkward silence or was it Johnny just trying to keep from stuttering? I know it’s something he’s had to deal with and it’s evident it is speech. He tends to take a lot of pauses like he’s trying to choose words he won’t get tripped up on.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

        It was an awkward silence like “did this retard just ask me to name something worse than taking PED’s that A-Rod could have done? Seriously?”

        • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

          Did he (Damon) have the “dude, are you pleading to get pimp-smacked” face during the awkward silence?

  • http://thechuckknoblog.blogspot.com TheChuckKnoblog

    Committing adultery is also worse than taking steroids; Oh wait he is accused of that too.

    • John

      hey we’re trying to move on from the mistakes of his past. Judge him from now on as he said…people can change.

      • whozat

        Actually…the point about that one is that he’s a ballplayer. Who cares about his personal life? It’s really none of our damn business.

    • Rich

      So has Chuck Knoblach.

  • John

    Let’s go A-rod…win the next 5 WS for us fans!!!

  • Drew

    Seriously though, look at Leyritz. Now thats a person that should be villafied not a guy called “A-rod”.

    • kunaldo

      exactly

  • http://thebronxzoo.wordpress.com iYankees

    I think Damon could have chosen a lesser crime to relate A-Rod’s steroid use to, but hey, this works.

  • kSturnz

    exactly, it wasn’t even a crime at the time

  • http://www.myspace.com/sloanbruno69 Bruno

    Actually, taking illegal drugs IS a crime. It just wasn’t against BASEBALL’s rules at the time A-Hole did it. But, technically, it was still illegal.

    • The Evil Empire

      So what, if you smoke marijuana and admitted to it years later you can’t be charged.

      • kunaldo

        word, statute of limitations

    • Jimmy

      Actually, it was against baseball’s rules. From the Mitchell Report:

      “Beginning in 1971 and continuing today, Major League Baseball’s drug policy has prohibited the use of any prescription medication without a valid prescription. By implication, this prohibition applied to steroids even before 1991, when Commissioner Fay Vincent first expressly included steroids in baseball’s drug policy. Steroids have been listed as a prohibited substance under the Major League Baseball drug policy since then, although no player was disciplined for steroid use before the prohibition was added to the collective bargaining agreement in 2002.”

      And it certainly is a crime. Also from the Mitchell Report:

      “Anabolic steroids are listed as controlled substances under the federal Controlled Substances Act. Since 2004, the dietary supplement androstenedione and other steroid precursors have been as well. That means that it is illegal to use or possess steroids or steroid precursors without a valid physician’s prescription. Violations of this law carry penalties similar to those applicable to the illegal use or possession of narcotics.”

    • Mike Pop

      Bruno, you really are a Debbie Downer.

  • Yankees2ss

    I wish I knew about this blog a lot sooner. I had recently started following Bombers Beat by Bryan Hoch last off-season, and I must say I’m not only highly impressed, but intrigued by River Ave Blues. That being said, I couldn’t agree more with Jonny, although sometimes he seems a little slow he is right on the money. Alex made a mistake, I hope he hasn’t lied about what else he has done, but only he could know that. All in all you gotta give the guy a break he did something he shouldn’t have and now he has to live with it.

    • The Evil Empire

      Welcome!

  • The Evil Empire

    Off topic:
    First week of ST, does anyone think Brian Cashman might be mulling over Manny?
    I mean seriously, he had to at least play it out in his head once.

    I know I’m shooting for the stars here

    • John

      yea, he’ll be a good distraction from the A-rod stuff

      another performer in the circus

    • http://thebronxzoo.wordpress.com iYankees

      The only way it happens is if the Dodgers decide to move on without him. Manny in the Bronx just isn’t realistic right now, and, even if LA moves on, the Giants would probably get in on the bidding.

  • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

    So steroids aren’t as bad as killing someone.

    Thanks for clearing that up for us, Johnny.

    • Jay CT

      Gotta love Johnny. He really seems like a good natured funny dude.

      • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

        Yeah, even (or especially) when he says goofy stuff its impossible not to like the guy.

    • Observer283

      I actually think that murder was the best thing he could have said. Yes, there are a lot of bad things in between steroids and muder. But murder does a wonderful job of highlighting how the press has reacted to it. They have hyperventilated and bloviated like he did something on the order of committing murder.

      I’m not referring to reporting or even thoroughly investigating the story. That’s their job. If they had done it in the 90’s, maybe things would have turned out a a lot differently. What I’m talking about are the opinion pieces. I don’t think Ty Cobb has received ink this bad. (And we all know what an absolute, total, utter, and unadulterated prick that guy was).

      Saying murder is kinda like saying the emperor has no clothes on. Jolts everyone back in to reality. Maybe it will jolt some into thinking, “Yes, what Alex did was very bad. Bad for him, bad for the Yankees and Rangers, and bad for baseball…But perhaps we’re getting a smidge carried away here. Maybe just a smidge.”

      • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

        I know what you’re saying, but if the standard of right vs wrong is judged against ‘murder’ on the wrong side, then nothing will ever seem all that bad. Especially in the realm of sports. For instance, Bernie Madoff screwed hundreds of people out of their life savings, but its not like he killed anyone.

        Capisce?

        BTW-Cobb wasn’t as bad as many who haven’t read Charles C. Alexander’s great book(s) on him think. He was no angel, but fairly typical by the standards of his day. And he never killed anyone, but its thought his mother possibly did. He was like most ambitious men, great in one area with feet of clay elsewhere.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ty_Cobb

        • Observer283

          I haven’t read the book on Cobb, so I will have to admit to a certain level of ignorance. But if half of the stuff that is said about him in the public square is true, and you are right that he was typical for the time, then I’m glad I didn’t live back then. (Especially as a black person).

          Also, obviously you are right to say that any misdeed looks better when compared to murder.

          But that wasn’t my point. My point was that the media opinion pieces have directed vitriol towards A-Rod that is out of proportion with the crime he committed. (Again, I want to differentiate from factual reporting–I have no problem with investigative journalism)

          Let’s use Madoff again here. I would posit that what Madoff did was much worse than what A-Rod did, and had a much more negative effect on a greater number of lives. But I honestly can’t detect a meaningful differentiation between the levels of scorn heaped on both men. Yes, there is a greater volume of negative pieces written about Madoff. But the tenor and tone of the opinion pieces that have been written about A-Rod are strinkingly similar. Given that Madoff is the more malevolent actor, I think this means that the pieces written about A-Rod have not matched his crime. Billions of people’s dollars have not been stolen here.

          Again, I think what A-Rod did was very wrong and he deserves reprobation. But let’s make sure it matches the crime.

  • RobC

    Among all the Yankee comments and opinions from Damon, Jeter, Cashman etc where is Mo?
    I have a felling it would bring a hush over the media and fans ‘Mo speaks…’

    Also I was listening to XM radio last night and Tom Glavine made a Jeter like point of not everyone was doing steriods and it negatively effected the preformance of thsoe who did not. How much better would Maddox have been if he did npt have to face steriod enhanced hitters?
    Well why were to non users not pushing there umion to get testing and level the playing field????

    • ceciguante

      who says maddux wasn’t on ‘roids, or something else banned? b/c he wore glasses and looked like a math teacher? everyone likes to use him as the example of mr. clean, but i won’t assume anyone was clean anymore.

      btw, nice point re: mo speaking. i think if he stood up — now that this whole thing has been aired for a couple of weeks and the press has had it’s day(s) roasting a-rod — and said: ‘look, he did something wrong, he apologized, he’s paid his price…what else is there to say? you’ve reported the story, everyone knows now, he made two press appearances…how many times do you have to ask us? you have the opinions, let us play baseball. this isn’t a PR office. enough.’

      i think, coming from classy elder statesman rivera, that might carry some weight. maybe that’s naive. but i hope.

  • sabernar

    Love the site redesign!

  • Jimmy

    This is absolutely the dumbest quote on the subject. This puts nothing into perspective. Because in our society murder is considered worse than everything Damon is implying that steroids use is in fact really bad, just not as bad as murder.

    Of course there are worse things to do than to use steroids, but please don’t use Damon’s “idiotic” quote as some sort of validation that ARod is being unfairly judged.

    He broke the law and the rules of baseball. We should cheer for him when he helps the Yankees win games, but we should stop defending his actions and idolizing his achievements.

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

      This is absolutely the dumbest quote on the subject. This puts nothing into perspective.

      I’d say it does. Damon’s (accidental?) use of hyperbole just highlights the even more hyperbolic statements made by the media in the past few weeks.

      • Jimmy

        How does it. If ARod killed someone it would certainly be bigger news than this has been. Remember OJ?

        • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

          Right (and, barely. I was…7 years old when all that went down. I remember being pissed that they interrupted the NBA finals at some point, though). Anyway, I feel that Damon is pointing out the obvious while no one else has. Shit, I’d be more pissed if A-Rod and done what Joba did and been pulled over for a DUI. Using steroids allows for risk only to one person. What Chamberlain did put not only his life but the lives of others in incredible jeopardy when he chose to drive drunk.

          This is gonna sound kinda dickish, but if I’m Joba, I’m doing the BASEketball happy dance that the Torre book and the A-Rod thing came out because now I don’t look like a big jerkoff for driving drunk and no one remembers it.

          • Jimmy

            Matt, I agree completely with your sentiments about Joba, both in the seriousness of his crime and in the unquestionable amount of relief he has felt over the lack of interest in his story. But to the point of Damon’s comments, I still see flaws in the argument that he put anything into perspective.

            To put into perspective means to make things clearer than they are. By stating the obvious, not only does Damon not make things clearer, but he tries to minimize what is turning out to be a series of major crimes by ARod and his cousin.

            I want to stress that I agree that there are more serious crimes and more pressing issues in society, but the journalists that are following this story are sports reporters and this is certainly the biggest story in sports.

            To say that murder is worse does not make the story go away. What would make the story go away would be for ARod to admit everything.

            So far his admissions have been deflective of the blame. First, he blames the “loosey-goosey” culture which upsets MLB officials and the clean players (which according to testing far outnumbers the dirty ones), then he admonishes the other players and blames his cousin (which albeit may be closer to the truth isn’t the whole story) and claims that because it was over-the-counter steroids that he didn’t think it was bad (but decided to hide it from everyone anyway). Then it turns out that not only was it not available over-the-counter in the DR, it wasn’t even legal with a prescription in the DR and was never stocked in pharmacy inventories. Now, he has no comment. Because his over-the-counter defense has been blown. It has been confirmed that “Boli” was readily available in the DR black market, but that would mean ARod knew what he was doing was wrong and he doesn’t want to admit that. Also, we still haven’t heard why he also tested positive for testosterone. I am willing to speculate that the testosterone is what was acquired over-the-counter since it isn’t illegal in the DR. I will reserve judgement on the banned trainer association in 2007 until further evidence has surfaced.

        • ceciguante

          i think damon’s quote sends the obvious message to the press that what a-rod did — while bad — wasn’t as end-of-the-world awful as they are portraying it to be. this guy has been back (and often front) page news for weeks. that’s pretty ridiculous, when you consider that the PED story has been linked to a long list of top players and record holders for years. years. this is not a new story, just a new witch for the hunt.

          and i don’t absolve a-rod. he cheated, case closed. he gets the scarlet letter. but damon was basically saying “look, you’re making too big a deal of it now,” and that’s a message the press sorely needs to hear. i’m boycotting pro sports media right now b/c i hate their handling of this thing. it’s a page 6 gossipfest, it’s no longer news. we have the story, and now they’re chasing down the cousin, and buying the product at GNC, and asking every last teammate their opinions. why?

          like damon said, it’s not murder. he did something that at least 8% of the tested players did at that time, and he’s been tested clean for the 5 seasons since. 103 other equally guilty guys are eating popcorn and watching this coverage, and almost nobody i’ve seen in the press is clamoring for the truth to come out about them. the reason is that they have their story, they can sell it and make their money. that’s all this press corps cares about, they’re at least as rotten and greedy as the baseball establishment.

    • http://Ranger2709.blogspot.com Old Ranger

      I don’t think many, if any, are defending A-Rods actions, some can understand his reasoning that’s all.
      The people I have read, that are so upset, act as though he did something to them personally…he didn’t, he did it to himself. Baseball players are people too, so if one puts a player (any player) on a Star that’s their problem not anyone else’s.
      The idea is, he said he was sorry and ashamed of doing it…has been clean since 2003 and tested many times. His body hasn’t broken down as it does with most of the guys that are (have been) users.
      I never have liked him that much but, I have always respected what he brings to the game…100% effort all the time. We should just let it go and concentrate on the up coming season.

      • ceciguante

        I never have liked him that much but, I have always respected what he brings to the game…100% effort all the time. We should just let it go and concentrate on the up coming season.

        well said, Ranger

  • DocBooch

    ARod took the HIGH road during that presser and his teammates should be and are commending him for it.

    I’m going to tell you all why.

    The real reason why he took steroids is because there were 4 would-be future HOFers on Texas who were all taking it. Palmiero, Canseco, Pudge, and Gonzalez. The man comes in with an obscene contract that was way more than anyone else in baseball and all the pressure in the world to live up to it. OF COURSE he was curious about those other guys, wanting to fit in and wanting to be the best.

    Now, how the hell are the press going to call him a liar and say is unbelievable when all the guy did was NOT THROW HIS TEAM-MATES UNDER THE BUS?

    He could have said the truth, but he couldn’t have done it without character assassinating all those people. The man took the high road. Nothing he said was a lie, I’m sure his cousin got him the steroids and of course he was young and stupid for doing it.

    The man took one for the team and the team is all the other 103 players who shall remain anonimous.

    • http://Ranger2709.blogspot.com Old Ranger

      Very discerning supposition, the only problem is, no reporter is going to figure that out…or if they have, will not report it. They would rather have something to write about…bashing A-Rod, sells newspapers.
      The days of investigative reporters is over, they read something on a blog or the wire service, put in their own words and go with it…most of the time, without even checking to see if it is true.

  • Back to Glory

    this is one of the most rediculous posts on this site. Quoting johnny damon on what couldv’e been worse? Come on, its obvious murder is worse but we are talking about CHEATING. Remember we are watching a competitive sport here that we are all fans of? The reason why this is a big deal is because he is the best player in baseball, he is an athlete and there are a lot of records at stake. If he was some shmuck playing beerleauge softball then you can say this is all “not a big deal” as you were implying. I personally will stand with those who take the moral high ground and are going to stop apologizing for these players who have taken steroids. Johnny damon and everyone who thinks like him should shut thier mouths because it reminds people who believe in GOOD and RIGHT that we are sliding down the slippery slope very fast here.

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

      Enough with the hyperbole. Calling this one of the worst posts on this site and then bashing Damon for the same thing is a bit absurd.

      Damon’s point isn’t to excuse what A-Rod did. As the first part of the excerpt — the part you’ve seemingly chosen to ignore — makes perfectly clear, Damon doesn’t think highly of what A-Rod did. But the reaction to it has been rather extreme considering the circumstances.

      • Frank

        Perfectly said.

        Damon was messing with the guy, I’m sure. He’s hilarious. And I think he’s sharper than most people give him credit for. I mean, I wouldn’t want him writing my thesis for me, but a sense of humor is usually a sign of intelligence.

      • Back to Glory

        you seem to choose to ignore my words also, i said rediculous post, not worst post. Also, the hyperbole is appropriate because when the title of a post says that damon puts it all into perpective, you are implying just that, that the criticism of Arod is somehow misplaced. However, I am saying that its not misplaced and the guy is deserving of all the criticism he is getting. I was responding to yet another opinion from the camp of baseball fans that feel like in some way these guys actions should be excused (i know some woudl say they are not excusing it but hear me out). Anyone who would say that this is blown out of proportion or that his actions should be put into perpective are stating the wrong point. Obviously he didnt murder someone, lets be serious that would a lot worse on the moral scale. However, the guy is a baseball player and will break a lot of records of guys who set them honestly. The discussion should not stray from that fact. Because of that, he is a cheater plain and simple and therefore deserves the black eye from me and everyone else who is giving him a hard time. Its because he deserves it. The fact that he didnt murder someone does not and should not change anything. I know this is a long response and will probably get lost in the blog but i gave it a shot to fight against the moral hazard you and johnny damon are promoting.