On a slow day for Yankee news, Jayson Stark pens an excellent piece on the NFL-MLB PED double standard. How is that football gets off with guys getting caught using steroids left and right but baseball is the one to bear the fall? I’ve long wondered about that.
According to the Washington Post, the esteemed former Senator George Mitchell used a different standard of proof for his infamous report than he would have used in a court case. The article — a must-read page two for anyone interested in the legal recourses available to those named in the report — simply shows that backpedaling can’t begin soon enough.
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.
After being non-tendered on Wednesday, T.J. Beam has signed with the Pirates. The Yankees have plenty of options for middle relievers that are equal to if not better than Beam, so it makes sense that he’d sign elsewhere.
At least we kept Rasner. I figure there’s a decent chance we hang onto Mighty Matt, too.
Lost in the brouhaha over this Mitchell Report and the fall-out was the price tag. According to popular belief (and, um, Marketwatch.com), the report cost $20 million. And as Depressed Fan noted, I think the $23,444.83 per pitch Carl Pavano made was a better use of money. What an astronomical price tag for such shoddy research.
Ed Price has a quote from Hankenstein on the Santana talks:
“We’re still thinking about it,” senior vice president Hank Steinbrenner said yesterday. “We haven’t ruled it out completely. We’re still considering it. I haven’t closed the door completely on Santana.”
He goes on to say that Cashman has talked to Bill Smith in the past couple of days. The report states that the Yankees would get back into the Santana Sweepstakes if they could shed Hideki Matsui’s contract. That seems like a red herring. No way you let $13 million stand in the way of you and Santana if you really, truly want him.
In other news, Mark Prior’s agent John Boggs has confirmed that he has received some interest from the Yanks. The only problem is that Prior is looking for a one-year deal without an option so that he can prove himself and get a shot on the market in 2009. We saw how this failed in the case of Octavio Dotel, though the Yankees surely have learned their lesson on rushing guys back from major surgery. If they take all the precautions, Prior could be an incredible help in the second half.
The Nationals and the Mets are also in on Prior. If I’m him, I’m definitely going to the Mets. It would otherwise be tough to land with a contender and have a pretty-much guaranteed slot in the rotation come June.
Hat tip to MLB Trade Rumors.
Johnny Damon’s name appeared on that bogus list early Thursday that we at RAB refused to publish. On Friday, he lashed out at those who printed the list, and as you could guess, he wasn’t happy.
The Post has more from Damon:
“It sucks, I am wondering if there is any legal course to turn to,” Damon said. “I walk around with my shirt off. If I had anything to hide I wouldn’t do that. I really don’t know what to say. There seems to be some people who don’t like me…
“I asked my agent about legal action, but he said it wasn’t worth it. Maybe the president [of NBC] will write me a nice letter.”
Jonathan Dienst, the NBC reporter who printed the list, defended the decision and apologized to Damon. “We work very, very hard to get these stories right,” Dienst said to George King and Samuel Goldsmith. “We checked it and rechecked it, but what we were provided from two different places was an incorrect list, and I am very sorry for the mistake.”
Let this be a lesson to journalists and bloggers. People send e-mails from unverified sources, and in this age of blogs, it’s very easy to destroy someone’s reputation through incredibly false information. It’s better to be right than it is to be first. This is especially true when it comes to something as serious as steroid accusations. I hope Damon, Albert Pujols and the other 39 players named on that list get the apology they deserve. I won’t hold my breath though.