This is about as rich as it gets. Andy Pettitte telling Alex Rodriguez through the press that he should just do what Pettitte did with PEDs and come clean:
“Just get everything out,” Pettitte said Thursday night at Chelsea Piers, where he was to be a guest of honor at Joe Torre’s annual Safe at Home charity dinner. “Everything has to be out, otherwise it seems like something’s always chasing you around. That’s just the best way to do things, I think, the easiest way to do things.”
Is that really the best thing to do? Probably! But how on Earth would Andy Pettitte know? Because anyone who has paid actual attention to the PED story for the past decade can tell you that Andy Pettitte has admitted to PED use only after he has been caught, and only to the extent to which those who caught him could prove. And he has unequivocally lied about it.
Here was Pettitte in 2006, after there were rumors that his name appeared in an affidavit pitcher Jason Grimsley gave to law enforcement:
“I absolutely killed myself over my career to work as hard as I possibly can to be as good as I possibly can and have it done natural.”
Which was a lie, of course, because the following year he would be identified as a PED user in the Mitchell Report. Here was Pettitte’s statement after that came out:
“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,” he said. “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 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,” he said.
The “two days in 2002” mantra was pretty good! Except it was a lie too! Because when he was put under oath before the House of Representatives a few months later and was confronted with additional evidence of PED use in 2004 — a bit after those “two days in 2002,” it seems — he copped to that too. Pettitte has never made mention of any additional PED use. The “everything” he has “just gotten out” has been precisely the two occasions on which he was caught.
I suppose, technically, it is possible that those two occasions for which there was documented evidence of his PED were the only times in his professional life that he took PEDs. But the list of people whom the media and fans have chosen to believe only took PEDs on the isolated times for which there was documented evidence has exactly one name on it, and that name is Andy Pettitte. No one else — literally no one — is believed when they make such a claim.
So forgive me if I think maybe the better advice for Alex Rodriguez would not be to “come clean” but to “be Andy Pettitte.” Because, apparently, that’s the best way for a guy to get past it all.
None of which is to criticize Pettitte as such. He has only come as clean as people have wanted him to. Which is to say, not much at all, because for whatever reason people don’t care about his drug use. To be honest, I’d prefer every player got the Pettitte treatment as opposed to the pillorying some guys get. When I think of Pettitte I think of a really good baseball player who made some mistakes which, however controversial, shouldn’t define him. I’d prefer to think of just about every other PED user that way too.
It is, however, pretty inexcusable hackery for Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York to offer up those Pettitte quotes without mentioning the fact that Pettitte himself hasn’t “come clean,” and that no one on the planet gets the benefit of the doubt he gets. Does he have no memory of the actual facts about which he is reporting? And no editor to remind him of them? Apparently not.
But I suppose me bringing this up just makes me a ‘roids apologist.