I am here today to apologize for a huge mistake I made during the first half of the season in 2009. I am not here to make excuses. There are none. I am not here to ask for sympathy. That would be asking too much.
I fully understand that I disappointed a lot of people–my family, my players, coaches, as well as the team’s leadership, especially Nolan Ryan and Jon Daniels, as well as young people who may have looked up to me. I am truly sorry for my careless, dangerous, and frankly, stupid, behavior last year. Clearly, you have never seen me speak from a script before. But this is a time that I need to get the words exactly right.
Here’s the biggest question: how and why did this happen? That’s a question I have had to face in numerous sessions with counselors. I’ve learned a lot about myself personally, and I recognize that this episode was an attempt to dodge personal anxieties and personal issues I needed to confront. That was the wrong way to do it. It was self-serving, and believe me, not worth it.
I know you will ask, and so here’s the answer: this was the one and only time I used this drug. I made a huge mistake, and it almost caused me to lose everything I have worked for all of my life. Shortly after I did this, MLB notified me that I would have a routine drug test. Before even taking the test, I notified the league about the drug use. Right after that test, I told Jon Daniels and Nolan Ryan about my shameful behavior. I offered them my resignation.
They asked a lot of difficult questions. Remarkably, these two men, after a lot of thought and prayer, allowed me to stay here through last season. However, they also directed me to immediately begin MLB’s drug treatment program, which is a thorough and exhaustive process, and it includes the administration of drug tests at least three times a week. I am proud to report to you that I have completed that program. I am not proud to admit this terrible error.
This morning, I talked to our players. I assured them that this will never happen again, and I asked them to forgive me. In the true spirit of a “team,” they seemed to embrace me not only as a manager but as a human being. I won’t let you down again. Please know that I will personally take on the challenge of telling young people my story and my mistake. I don’t know what form that will take, but I am committed to do that.
I am hopeful that our fans, both Rangers fans and Major League Baseball fans, will accept this heartfelt and humble attempt to say: I’m so sorry for what I did.
Giants ace Madison Bumgarner tossed three no-hit innings yesterday in his first minor league rehab start with the Giants’ Arizona Rookie League team. He struck out two and walked a guy, while sitting in the 88-91 m.p.h. range on his fastball.
Bumgarner, who is coming back from a sprained left AC joint in his shoulder suffered in a dirt bike accident in April, will return to San Francisco to throw a bullpen session and then go back on the road for more rehab games. That’s a lot of traveling, but the Giants obviously want to monitor his progress. At the moment he’s expected to build up his strength for the next several weeks and, hopefully, return to the Giants’ rotation some time after the All-Star break.
Of course, there shouldn’t be too much of a rush. The Giants have lost five in a row and 12 of 13 and currently sit in last place, 24.5 games behind the Dodgers. At this point Bumgarner rushing to rejoin the Giants is like an Australian soldier getting a wound dressed to hurry back to the Gallipoli Campaign.
Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger has been tearing through the league so far this season, blazing a 50-home run pace despite not even making his debut until April 25. His Dodgers are winners of 10 games in a row, sit in first place and have the best record in the National League.
But not everything is rosy in Cody Bellinger land. He’s now at the center of controversy after he revealed on SportsCenter on Friday night that he doesn’t know who Jerry Seinfeld is. Or, at the very least, that he could not put a face with that familiar-sounding name and that in no event did he know why he was famous.
People have been going crazy with this, acting as if he’s from Mars or something for not knowing who starred in one of history’s most popular and influential sitcoms. His teammates, especially, have been getting on his case:
I dunno. On the one hand, sure, the show was amazingly popular and has been in heavy syndication for like 20 years so it would be hard to miss even for a young guy like Bellinger. And, of course, the catchphrases and bits of the show that has seeped into the popular culture have given it a longer shelf life than most TV shows ever manage.
On the other hand the thing ended when he was not yet three years old. For him, “Seinfeld” was like “The Beverly Hillbillies” for someone my age or “M*A*S*H” for someone born in the early 80s. Those shows were just as popular — actually, they got higher ratings and were seen by a larger percentage of the population than “Seinfeld” ever was — and they were just as heavily syndicated for the decade or two after they went off the air. We don’t get on the case of players born in the 70s or 80s for not knowing who Alan Alda or Buddy Ebsen are. And if it’s about the catchphrases, substitute in “Happy Days” and “Welcome Back Kotter,” each of which created a cultural footprint larger than the show itself. Would we freak out if we found out that Jayson Werth — born in 1979 — had never heard the phrase “Up your nose with a rubber hose” or “Sit on it?”
And that’s before you acknowledge how much more fragmented pop culture and entertainment is now. I was 12 in 1985 and back then I had little choice but to watch “M*A*S*H” reruns at 7pm while I was waiting for prime time. It was either that or “Wheel of Fortune” I guess. As a 12-year old in 2007, Bellinger could’ve easily avoided “Seinfeld” reruns. He could’ve avoided TV altogether and just been online. My son is 12 now and he hasn’t watched an actual TV show in years. It’s all You Tube and stuff. The idea that there is any one thing or even a handful of things that, culturally speaking, we can all agree upon or which can serve as a common touchstone is an increasingly obsolete idea.
Maybe “Seinfeld” is different. Maybe this is not the same as not knowing “The Beverly Hillbillies” or “M*A*S*H”. I floated this whole idea on Twitter yesterday and people were outraged, so perhaps something else is going on here that I’m missing. But personally speaking, I feel like we should all calm down a bit about Cody Bellinger and the “Seinfeld” thing. Maybe we should acknowledge that the stuff we like is not going to be culturally prevalent forever. And that young kids like Cody Bellinger are going to be the ones to inform us of this inescapable fact.