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.

Manoah, Merrifield lead Blue Jays to 3-1 win over Rays

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Alek Manoah pitched seven shutout innings, Whit Merrifield hit a three-run homer and the Toronto Blue Jays regained the top AL wild-card spot with a 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday night.

The Blue Jays lead Tampa Bay by one game. The top wild card finisher will host all games in their best-of-three opening-round series, while the other two wild cards play strictly on the road.

Manoah (15-7) scattered four hits, walked two and struck out eight while throwing a season-high 113 pitches. The righty worked out of a two-on, one-out jam in the sixth by striking out Randy Arozarena and getting a flyout from David Peralta.

Jordan Romano replaced Tim Mayza with two on and two outs in the eighth and allowed pinch-hitter Harold Ramirez‘s RBI infield single but avoided further damage by striking out Manuel Margot. Romano finished the game to get his 35th save in 41 chances.

Tampa Bay starter Drew Rasmussen (10-7) gave up one run, three hits and two walks in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out five.

The teams combined for 31 runs, with the Rays accounting for 20, in the first two games of the series that were both won by Tampa Bay.

Arozarena got the Rays’ first hit off Manoah with a two-out double in the fourth. He became the first Tampa Bay player and 20th big leaguer to have 40 doubles, 20 homers and 30 stolen bases in a season.

Teoscar Hernandez ended Rasmussen’s night with a double in the seventh. Brooks Raley entered and, after a walk to pinch-hitter Danny Jansen, Merrifield made it 3-0 on his 10th homer of the season.

Merrifield homered twice in Thursday night’s 10-5 loss to the Rays.

Alejandro Kirk opened the second with a single before Rasmussen retired 12 in a row until Merrifield’s leadoff double in the sixth.

Plate umpire Corey Blaser took a hard foul ball by Margot on the mask in the eighth but remained in the game.

HONORING KK

The Rays posted a thank you on the message board for CF Kevin Kiermaier, who is out for the season following left hip surgery. Kiermaier is in the final season of a $53.5 million, six-year contract that includes a club option for 2023 that is expected to be declined.

TEAM AWARDS

Rays ace Shane McClanahan was voted the Don Zimmer MVP award winner by members of the Tampa Bay chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. CF Jose Siri was selected as the outstanding rookie. 3B Yandy Diaz received the Paul C. Smith Champions award as the player who best exemplifies the spirit of true professionalism on and off the field.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: RHP Nate Pearson (lat strain) allowed three runs and three hits over two-thirds of an inning for Triple-A Buffalo.

Rays: 2B Brandon Lowe (lower back) is done for the season.

UP NEXT

McClanahan (12-6), pulled from his start Tuesday in the fifth inning due to neck tightness, will face Blue Jays RHP Ross Stripling (8-4) on Sunday.