A tweet from former Yankees second baseman Chuck Knoblauch after learning that Andy Pettitte was going to have his number retired by the Yankees:
Not exactly the clearest point, but I assume this to be either (a) an attempt at a comment about how Pettitte gets something of a free pass for his PED use; or (b) a more specific beef about the days in which both Knoblauch and Pettitte were testifying before the Roger Clemens grand jury given their mutual ties to Brian McNamee. Which, presumably, entailed some behind the scenes drama about which we do not know.
If it’s the former, well, yes, it is true that Pettitte has gotten off exceedingly easily compared to other players with the PED stuff. We’ve documented that here in the past, of course. Unlike Knoblauch, however, we don’t consider that to be a fault of Pettitte’s as much as it’s a blind spot — selective or otherwise — on the part of the media which covers him. Heck, it’d be better if all players had their PED past reduced in significance when it comes to documenting their legacy because, contrary to what the media tells you, it’s very rarely the most interesting thing about any given player.
But whether it’s that, some grand jury issue or some bit of personal intrigue between Pettitte and Knoblauch, I’m inclined to ask where in the hell Knoblauch gets off launching any sort of criticism at anyone given his pretty damn sordid past. It’s always useful to observe the disparate treatment of players by the media and the public, but in Knoblauch’s case, there’s a pretty good reason for disparate treatment.
As for Pettitte: his number retirement is good for him and the fans who enjoyed watching him play. If you don’t like the way he’s talked about compared to other players, do what we do and take that up with the New York Daily News, the New York Post, ESPN or whoever is doing the comparing. But don’t hate on a guy who seems pretty damn decent and who has brought joy to millions. Especially if you don’t have any claim whatsoever on the moral high ground.
Note: if you don’t live in New England, your weather complaints are, by definition, second rate. They’ve been getting hammered with snow all month. Really: it’s only February 16 and it’s already the snowiest February on record in Boston.
So let’s go check out Fenway Park courtesy of Jim Cantore of the Weather Channel:
A month and a half or so until Opening Day.
Well, at least that’s how they set the over/under. From Bovada:
Personally I’d take the over on Washington before I would on Los Angeles. But then again, I am easily the worst gambler out of anyone I know.
C.J. Nitkowski has an interesting article up over at Fox: what it’s like to be on a minor league deal with an invite to the big league camp. The players, a Nitkowski says, who teams “like you” but don’t “like you like you.”
Nitkowski runs through the thought process of the player trying to find the right fit with a minor league invite. Factors include how old the team is. What other players are on the team and whether there’s a theoretical spot for you. And, perhaps most importantly, how trustworthy the general manager is:
That trust is important in these situations because promises are made to non-roster invitees. “We have a spot for you” … “You’ll make our team but we can’t put you on the 40-man roster until spring training ends” … “If you don’t make our team, we’ll let you go to another.” All of that sounds great, but if none of that is in writing the words are only as good as the GM’s reputation.
For a lot of players, spring training is about getting their work in and getting out to the golf course by mid-afternoon. For guys on minor league deals, their future is very much up in the air all spring long.
Michael Beschloss of the New York Times had a story over the weekend chronicling how, though Jackie Robinson integrated baseball in 1947, spring training in Florida took much, much longer to become an institution with even a modicum of equality.
But Dodgertown itself could not solve the larger problem of racial separation in the Grapefruit League. More than a decade after Robinson joined the Dodgers, black players for other teams were still shunned by many Florida hotels and restaurants. African-American spectators in West Palm Beach were forced to enter the baseball park by slipping through a gap in the stadium fence.
It wasn’t until just before the Civil Rights Act in 1964 that all teams had fully-integrated spring training accommodations in Florida.
An interesting and informative read.