As Mark McGwire continues to be called a liar and a fraud for his claim that he took steroids because he was injured and not because he thought they’d enhance performance, it’s probably worth remembering another player’s comments about his PED use:
“I was injured . . . 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 . . . 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. 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
I just wanted to heal? I only took it for two days? If anything, this player was even more cavalier about it than McGwire. And that wasn’t a personal statement by the way. It was a written statement released through his agent. Anyone know who it was?
Why, it was Andy Pettitte, and that was his statement after being outed in the Mitchell Report two years ago.
And I’m just as fine with Andy Pettitte’s statement as I am with McGwire’s. Credible? No. But I don’t believe that they owe me apologies or explanations. I do believe, however, that anyone who is currently taking Mark McGwire to the woodshed for claiming that PEDs didn’t help him is obligated to conform those opinions to something close to what they said about Andy Pettitte two years ago.
I’ve searched a bit, and so far the only one I can find who slammed both of them is Mike Lupica, who in 2007 accused Pettitte of “crocodile tears” and yesterday compared McGwire to Bill Clinton and Marion Jones. I disagree with him in both instances, but good for him for consistency at least. Most other writers praised Pettitte — often quite effusively — for his candor, despite the fact that just over a year before he was on the record lying about it. The issue certainly doesn’t continue to dog him.
It’ll be interesting to see how quickly people jump off the “McGwire is still lying” train and start to treat him like a normal everyday hitting coach the way they treat Pettitte like a normal, everyday starting pitcher.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.
Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.
Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.
The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.