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.
People are the absolute worst sometimes. The latest example: someone stole one of Jose Fernandez’s high school jerseys, which had been displayed in his old high school’s dugout for a vigil last night.
That report comes from Anastasia Dawson of the Tampa Bay Times who covered the vigil at Alonso High School in Tampa yesterday. Her story of the vigil is here. Today she has been tweeting about the theft of the jersey. She spoke to Alonso High school’s principal who, in a bit of understatement, called the theft the “lowest of the low.”
The high school had one more Fernandez jersey remaining and has put it on display in the school. In the meantime, spread this story far and wide so that whatever vulture who stole it can’t sell it.
In an earlier post I made a joke about the Indians starting Dennis Martinez if forced to play a meaningless (for them) game on Monday against the Tigers. On Twitter, one of my followers, Ray Fink, asked a great question: If you had to hand the ball to a Hall of Fame-eligible pitcher to give you three innings, who would it be?
The Hall of Fame-eligible part gets rid of the recently-retired ringers, requiring a guy who has been off the scene for at least five years, ensuring that there’s a good bit of rust. I love questions like these.
My immediate answer was Mike Mussina. My thinking being that of all of the great pitchers fitting these parameters, he’s the most likely to have stayed in good shape. I mean, Greg Maddux probably still has the best pitching IQ on the planet, but he’s let himself go a bit, right? Mussina strikes me as a guy who still wakes up and does crunches and stuff.
If you extend it to December, however, you may get a better answer, because that’s when Tim Wakefield becomes eligible for the Hall. I realize a knuckleball requires practice to maintain the right touch and subtlety to the delivery, but it also requires the least raw physical effort. Jim Bouton went well more than five years without throwing his less-than-Wakefield-quality knuckler and was still able to make a comeback. I think Tim could be passable.
Then there’s Roger Clemens. I didn’t see his numbers for that National Baseball Congress tourney this summer and I realize he’s getting a bit thick around the middle, but I’m sure he can still bring it enough to not embarrass himself. Beyond the frosted tips, anyway.
So: who is your Space Cowboys-style reclamation project? Who is the old legend you dust off for one last job?