A Take Worth Reading

I know we are all just about Mitchell’d out by this point, but I thought Curt Schilling’s 3,676 word blog on the matter, which he posted today at 38pitches.com was positively outstanding. In baseball speak, Curt cranked one out of the park here. For lack of a better way of putting it, he did not get cheated.

Schilling praises players such as Brian Roberts and Andy Pettitte, who admitted they were guilty, for coming clean.

His stuff on Jose Canseco and Roger Clemens was particularly insightful:

After lambasting Canseco for cheating through his entire career, Schilling rightly points out that there had to be a great deal of accuracy to his book.

"Which in the end gets us here. Say what you want about Jose, and there
are things I disagree with and think he’s wrong about, but I have yet
to find someone he’s named who’s NOT been guilty or tried to clear
their name," wrote Schilling. "The view I have on that is maybe a bit too simplistic but I look at it
like this. If Jose had named me in his book, it would have taken about
20 minutes for me to issue a press release vehemently denying the
allegations, which would have been as closely followed as possible by
as large a legal action as I could have possibly taken to sue for
slander, libel, defamation of character and anything else I’d have been
able to legally do. It’s either that, or I’m guilty. There is no gray
area here, you either did, or you didn’t and Jose, up through today,
hasn’t called out anyone that’s sued his *** off for false
representation, slander, libel or whatever you would do if someone said
something like this about you, that you didn’t do."

Which brings us to the Rocket. We all know that Schilling was as avid a Rocket follower as there was, which had to make it hard for him to be so candid when dissecting the current situation. But Schilling cut no corners and paid no favors to Clemens. Instead, he challenged Clemens to prove his innocence.

"It’s no mystery that Roger and Andy [Pettitte] are as close as any two teammates I
know of. Andy makes no bones about Rogers influence in his career.
Their personal trainer, the trainer Roger took to Toronto, then to NY,
has admitted to administering PED’s to both men. Andy has admitted he
did, and that it was a mistake and he never did it again. Roger has
denied every allegation brought to the table. So as a fan my thought is
that Roger will find a way in short order to organize a legal team to
guarantee a retraction of the allegations made, a public apology is
made, and his name is completely cleared. If he doesn’t do that then
there aren’t many options as a fan for me other than to believe his
career 192 wins and 3 Cy Youngs he won prior to 1997 were the end. From
that point on the numbers were attained through using PED’s. Just like
I stated about Jose, if that is the case with Roger, the 4 Cy Youngs
should go to the rightful winners and the numbers should go away if he
cannot refute the accusations."

That’s powerful stuff.

26 Comments

We’ll see if Clemens addresses this himself instead of hiding behind his legal counsel. I do agree that, if you are truly innocent, you will take as much legal action as possible, and personally address the media as much as they will listen, to proclaim your innocence. Silence, and these lame excuses of saying that you only did it a couple times to recover from an injury to help your team and that you only took steroids once and realized it was wrong, demonstrates a lack of innocence and a lack of full disclosure of the truth.

Jeff

http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

As evidenced by my post above, I don’t believe Clemens, Pettitte or Brian Roberts. Nor will I believe any player who says he used HGH and/or steroids just once or a few times. Those players would be better off remaining silent instead of making themselves look even shadier.

That’s great stuff from Schill.

We’ll probably get that press conference from Roger around the same time Rick Pitino gives us the press conference he promised to give the day he tucked tail and ran away from the Celtics. Still waiting . . .

As I spelled out on my blog, Roger has lied his entire career. So this is nothing new. Expect him to lay low, not comment much other than to say he didn’t do it, and he’ll hope that it just goes away. Maybe he and MacGuire can get a cabin in Idaho next to Bill Buckner’s.

-Dan

http://fansonthefield.mlblogs.com

I think Schilling is out of line. He’s got no business even talking about it. He says he never saw anything, which means he doesn’t know anything. Why even talk about it?

As far as Clemens is concerned, I don’t see any indication in his performance or stats that he took any performance enhancing substances. He has been pretty consistent over the years. It’s not like he all of a sudden picked up 5 mph on his fastball or started throwing more innings or striking out more people. That wasn’t the case. He’s known for his insane workout regimen. He developed as a pitcher as his physical skills began to diminish. He learned the splitter and to change speeds. He did what Schilling is attempting to do right now as he deals with his diminished skills.

There was another guy whose career was very similar to Clemens. I think his name was Nolan Ryan. Anyone think he used performance enhancing substances? He had amazing longevity. He got bigger. Nah, nobody suspects and nobody’s asked. I don’t mean to diminish Ryan’s accomplishments or even remotely imply he used that ****. I’m just saying what Clemens has accomplished isn’t brand new and isn’t necessarily attributable to steroids or HGH.

Bonds is different. He admitted to “unknowingly” using a substance which later on turned out to be steroids. He got huge and did things way beyond his normal abilities. He was a great player but he changed and it was obvious to the whole world.

I said it before, and I’ll say it again…. the Mitchell Report is a joke and it’s inappropriate. It could have come to the same conclusion, which should have been that baseball has a major substance abuse program that needed to, and continues to need to be addressed. If he had enough evidence to convict these people in court for substance abuse, then by all means put their names out and prosecute them. Beyond that, dragging the likes of Clemens, Pettite and others through the dirt serves no useful purpose and only puts unsubstantiated speculation on their careers and achievements. For all of you that think this is a good thing, I hope it never happens to you because like these players, there won’t be a **** thing you can do about it……

Oh, and one more thing. Since their names are out, I would have had a lot more respect for the likes of Petite and Roberts who admitted their use if they came forward before the report was published. That would have given them credibility in that they stepped up before their backs were against the wall. Their admission in my mind doesn’t make them any more upstanding or honest. Too little, too late. That being said, the Mitchell report still *****.

Really intersting stuff from Curt.

Why does Schilling insist on putting himself into every situation? First he comes out and defends Roger, now he’s calling him out?

I’m a Red Sox fan AND a baseball fan, but he tires me with his holier than thou attitude.

I don’t care who used what. It takes a tremendous amount of talent to play the game at the Pro level — the juice just makes a good athlete better. YOU try hitting a Beckett fastball sometime (with or without the drugs) and if you can hit it then you ought to be playing the game — not whining about how the others did it. Is it cool to cheat? No. But I don’t care if these guys used or not. And Pete Rose should be in the Hall for what he did on the field. (Let the firestorm of the Righteous begin!).

I’d like to shift this discussion slightly and ask, where did the idea that kids are influenced so much by athletes come from? I mean, has anyone said to you that s/he became an alcoholic because Mickey Mantle was one? Does anyone think that kids are chomping at the bit to ruin their lives like Micheal Vick? Call me crazy, but I just don’t hear a lot of kids saying,”I want to cheat so I can have my life’s work questioned and overshadowed by my dishonesty like Barry Bonds.”
I’ll acknowledge that kids are probably greatly disappointed when their idols turn out to be flawed, but that can be a very good life lesson. People ARE flawed and it is good to learn that. Also, the greatest influence on kids are their parents, family, teachers and peers. Athletes and other famous people play a very minor, if any role at all.

So, c’mon people…think! Don’t just buy into this stuff because everyone else repeats it like a mantra. There just is no basis for it. So let’s stop with the nonsense that baseball players are role models, because they aren’t. They’re baseball players, no more, no less, and let us judge them as such.

YOU are your kid’s chief role model.

jimmaynard3, you’re right, I couldn’t hit a Beckett fastball if I took all the steroids in Roger Clemens’ locker. But that isn’t the issue here. The issue is whether these guys who already have the ability to hit a Beckett fastball took the drugs to get even better. And the sometimes overlooked part of this is the fact that MLB did not ban or test for steroids until quite recently. It was an honor system before that. Supposedly everyone knew it was wrong, but since when does that stop people who are pre-disposed to cheat from cheating? That’s why we have rules and punishment to enforce the rules. I’m just hoping this calms down before the season starts. It’s a great distraction now when there are no games, but when spring training starts we can put this behind us.

arnie, you ask a very interesting question about athletes being role models. I would say that if an athlete is the primary role model to any child, there is something lacking in the parents.

However, I would say that my athletic inspirations as a kid were derived from professional athletes. I wanted to be like Yaz. In fact, I learned to hit left handed, complete with the big hitch so I could hit like Yaz. For hours at a time, I practiced taking balls of the wall in a schoolyard, so I could play the outfield like Yaz. Yaz was my role model on the field. My mom and dad were my role models for how I live my life.

You get a gold star for hitting that one right on the head. Great post!

By the way, with all the Yaz inspiration, I turned out to be a pitcher. Never could get that Juan Marichal kick going.

Anybody else hear what happened to the ball from the final out of World Series that Papelbon took home? His dog, Boss, tore it to pieces.

Oh well, at least Doug Mientkiewicz didn’t get to it again.

GSM, your history is way off. Clemens appeared to be a washed up, 35 year old pitcher by the end of 1996. His 4 years from 93-96 looked like this… 40 wins – 39 losses… 3.77 ERA.

Then, he magically improved over the next 10 year period.

GSM, if you don’t think Clemens juiced it you’re just plain delusional. Roger pitched as if he was all washed up his last few years in Boston. Then, all of a sudden, he dominates his way to a few Cy Youngs? Right around the time the report claims he started juicing is when he “somehow” got better. Pure coincidence? Oh yeah, it must have been his ridiculous conditioning program, right? Well how do you think that at age 37 he could work out that much and recover to work out the next day?

Duquette’s “twilight of his career” comment fired Rocket up enough that he thought it would be worth cheating to prove Duquette wrong. Why? As we all know, Roger is a complete egomaniac.

i agree with gsm that mitchell report didn’t really accomplish anything much except embarassing guys and forcing them to confront the issue. but then again wasn’t that the point? from a baseball standpoint there was no testing during those years so there really is no other recourse but to challenge guys to either own up to it or continue to avoid the issue altogether. i’m with guys like schill and john smoltz on this. if i’m accused of something like this wrongfully i assemble the best legal team i can and at least make an effort to defend myself and clear my name. it’s not like he/they can’t afford it. it may not be winnable even in a legal sense. but you at least do everything possible to state your case and more importantly confront/challenge your accuser and clear your name. the reason no one has to this point is if they do they have to be deposed and testify under oath. then you risk the bonds situ of purgery charges down the road. when someone does take that step then i think you have to side with the accused in the court of public opinion. if a guy ( like clemens ) is willing to testify under oath, at the risk of purgery, he’s innocent most people will believe him. right or wrong vs someone they never heard of. until then in these cases in the court of public opinion you’re guilty until proven innocent.

i also applaud the guys who come forward and ack their guilt. but pettite’s “apology” was a joke. just say look i did it during what ever timeframe. it was wrong. and i haven’t done it since. or words to that affect. don’t use the “i did it to help my team” ****. that’s a total cop out. you did it to prolong making 16mm ( or what ever it was then ) per year.

Hey Zach-, Mientkiewcz couldn’t get to it!! He was home watching on TV!!!!!, with the rest of the Yankees! LOL

Speaking from a kids point of view, we do look up to athletes but not in the way mentioned. I mean obviously we’re not going out saying I want to cheat and have my life’s work questioned. Our thoughts are more along the lines of, well if Barry Bonds is doing it and has become arguably the greatest hitter of all time, why can’t we? As of now I’m a freshman in high school and I know tons of guys who use steroids just for the simple fact that they know they can’t be caught. Most high schools don’t even do drug testing. Also, you don’t want to see yourself fall drastically behind your teammates and maybe be the reason that they lost. Getting a good scholarship to college is getting harder and for some people the only way they see they can get better is to be on the ‘roids. Now I’ve wanted to be like Jason Varitek on and off the field for as long as I can remember. I have two wonderful loving parents who i both idolize but my true role model is ‘Tek and I want to be like him when I grow up. If I found out he was using that would completely rock my world and really I don’t know what I would believe in.SOme stuff like the Mike Vick thing you know as a kid are wrong. With things like steroids being borderline because still there are people who don’t think they’re wrong at all, kids may follow their idols into doing that kind of stuff. No one is going to do something as dumb as the Mike Vick thing because there are rules specifically against it telling you that it’s wrong and there’s no gray area like with steroids. Just thought I’d give a kids perspective haha

Interesting post, GoSox101. I’m 39, and I was close to my parents growing up. Still am. Yet my favorite athlete was Larry Bird, even though baseball is my favorite sport. If Bird was caught doing something serious, I would have been disappointed.

As an adult, I do not have a favorite player, but I think I would be more disappointed if Varitek was implicated with using steroids or HGH than any other Red Sox player, Ortiz and Ramirez included.

Jeff

http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

Jeff & smckinny: Good luck with your Steelers tonight! Enjoy your game.

I won’t see it. It’s on the NFL Network!

thanks 007. they sure need it!! maybe jessica simpson will show up in a rams jersey!

jeff. no bars in your area with direcTV?

Plenty, but I’m not in the mood to venture to a sports bar tonight. I’m in the mood to stay home.

Fans always say how come athletes say the same old thing, too many cliche’. When one of them gives us something ( Schilling does many times ) we complain about it. We can’t have it two ways people.

I’m sure Clemens did something to gain an edge, no doubt. He also competed against many athletes that cheated as well. I would say 75% have tried something and about 95% have thought about it. Enough of the Mitchell Report, it is boring to talk about!!!!

Thanks for the gold star!
I used to mimic Yaz too. I’d hold the bat so high over my head. Couldn’t hit worth a dang like that but I didn’t care because I was so bad anyway.

Thanks, gosox101 for your insights into high school athletics and your thought process.

If the thinking now in high school is that “We can do this because we won’t get caught.” And if the rationale is that “We need to do steroids so that we can get a sholarship.” Imagine MLB locker rooms before testing began and the rationalizing that goes with multi-million dollar contracts. In that light I’m a little surprised there are ANY guys who were clean.

Any word on the Johan sweepstakes?

I think it’s hilarious that Papelbon let his dog eat the world series ball! Puts it in perspective.

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