Confirmed PED-liar Andy Pettitte tells A-Rod that he just needs to come clean

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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.

MLB crowds jump from ’21, still below pre-pandemic levels

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PHOENIX — Even with the homer heroics of sluggers like Aaron Judge and Albert Pujols, Major League Baseball wasn’t able to coax fans to ballparks at pre-pandemic levels this season, though attendance did jump substantially from the COVID-19 affected campaign in 2021.

The 30 MLB teams drew nearly 64.6 million fans for the regular season that ended Wednesday, which is up from the 45.3 million who attended games in 2021, according to baseball-reference.com. This year’s numbers are still down from the 68.5 million who attended games in 2019, which was the last season that wasn’t affected by the pandemic.

The 111-win Los Angeles Dodgers led baseball with 3.86 million fans flocking to Dodger Stadium for an average of 47,672 per contest. The Oakland Athletics – who lost 102 games, play in an aging stadium and are the constant subject of relocation rumors – finished last, drawing just 787,902 fans for an average of less than 10,000 per game.

The St. Louis Cardinals finished second, drawing 3.32 million fans. They were followed by the Yankees (3.14 million), defending World Series champion Braves (3.13 million) and Padres (2.99 million).

The Toronto Blue Jays saw the biggest jump in attendance, rising from 805,901 fans to about 2.65 million. They were followed by the Cardinals, Yankees, Mariners, Dodgers, and Mets, which all drew more than a million fans more than in 2021.

The Rangers and Reds were the only teams to draw fewer fans than in 2021.

Only the Rangers started the 2021 season at full capacity and all 30 teams weren’t at 100% until July. No fans were allowed to attend regular season games in 2020.

MLB attendance had been declining slowly for years – even before the pandemic – after hitting its high mark of 79.4 million in 2007. This year’s 64.6 million fans is the fewest in a non-COVID-19 season since the sport expanded to 30 teams in 1998.

The lost attendance has been balanced in some ways by higher viewership on the sport’s MLB.TV streaming service. Viewers watched 11.5 billion minutes of content in 2022, which was a record high and up nearly 10% from 2021.