Andy Pettitte made the following statement today through his agent; "If what I did was an error in judgment on my part, I apologize. I accept responsibility for those two days.'' He did the right thing and now baseball can forgive him (even if he is a Yankee.) Will Roger Clemens* follow his lead? I doubt it, but this is not going to make many people believe he didn't do steroids.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
The Yanks are back in the Santana sweepstakes even if Hank Steinbrenner said they were done. Much like his false statements about A-Rod, Hank has done a 180. Dan Haren was traded to the Diamondbacks yesterday taking away one pitching option for New York. The Yankees do not have a true ace and their staff consists of two aging veterans; Mussina and Pettitte.* They do have 3 solid pitchers in Wang, Joba, and Hughes but one of them will have to be included in a trade to the Twins. Boston keeps coming up as the "front-runner" to land Santana but it does not seem like they are willing to move away from their earlier offers. New York might be become desperate now that there is not much of a fall-back if they don't get Johan. The Yankees had been rumored to be in talks with Minnesota long after the Hank deadline, now it looks like they may be the front-runners.
Dustin Pedroia was interviewed about the Mitchell Report by the Providence Journal today and said that his generation is clean. Here is a quote from the article, "Pedroia was also quick to point out all the young talent within the Sox’ organization — all of whom are 26 or younger — are all of sound mind and body. Players such as Jonathan Papelbon, Jon Lester, Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay Buchholz, Brandon Moss, and Pedroia, consider themselves fortunate to be part of a new and cleaner game." It was this group of young players that gave a huge lift to the Red Sox this season and have a future so bright that Boston does not want to part with them in trade deals. The Mitchell Report made two clear points; steroids were a major part of the game in the 90's and now we need to move forward. The Steroid Era did not end with the Mitchell Report but maybe the group of young stars on the Red Sox can bring baseball out of it.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Jose Canseco has called the Mitchell Report "laughable" because Alex Rodriguez was not mentioned in it. So far Canseco seems like the only honest person in the game. His book Juiced is a lot more accurate than people gave him credit for. (Dan Duquette and Jose Canseco credible...who would have thought?) A-Rod will appear on 60 Minutes in an interview with Katie Couric where he says he is clean and the reason he is not in the Mitchell Report is because he has never used steroids. The 60 Minutes interview airs this Saturday and you can view a preview here. Before you take A-Rod's word remember he cheated on his wife with a stripper, he tried to slap the ball out of Bronson's hand during the ALCS and he yelled "mine" to interfere with a play in Toronto. I never thought I would say this but I am going to believe Canseco.
Curt Schilling was asked by George Mitchell to speak about steroids in the game for the investigation because he has been outspoken about the issue and had testified in front of Congress. Schilling declined to participate in the investigation because he "would have nothing to offer other than personal opinion and hypotheticals." Schilling posted in his blog on Wednesday that the report was the biggest thing baseball has had to endure since the Black Sox Scandal. He has said he is still digesting the report but does believe it. Schilling is never one to be short on opinions so I would expect he will write extensively on the report soon.
Congress wants leaders of MLB to testify at hearings once again. The hearings are scheduled for Tuesday with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and Jan. 23 by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. MLB has a legal monopoly which can be taken away by Congress. Cliff Stearns (R) Florida has called for Selig's resignation. Even President Bush has weighed in on the steroids investigation saying, "I love the sport. I love the game. Like many fans, I've been troubled by the steroid allegations. I think it's best that all of us not jump to any conclusions on any individual players named." Not that Bush did anything about steroids as owner of the Rangers. The last hearings brought some entertaining television and memorable moments from Mark McGuire and Rafael Palmeiro.
MLB Players Association Director Donald Fehr responded to the Mitchell Report yesterday in a press conference and through a released statement. It is his job to protect his player clients but it is also his responsibility to ensure the integrity of the game. If you read his statement and watch the press conference you realize how he failed to protect the integrity of the game which in turn hurts his players in the long run. Fehr would better serve his players if he put his full effort into ridding baseball of steroids instead of constantly throwing up roadblocks to progress. George Mitchell put it best when he said, "The principal victims . . . are the players who don't use those substances," Mitchell laments. "Their careers and livelihood are put at risk. There's a lot of discussion in the media of the integrity of the game, the effect on the fans and sports generally. All of which are important. But to me, the real issue is the effect on the competitors and the competition, and those who play by the rules and don't use these substances."
The MLB Players Association has chosen to represent the cheaters at the expense of the honest players. Donald Fehr has let his clients down and he has let baseball down.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
How many times have baseball fans given Clemens a pass? Sox fans gave him a "standing O" during his several "last" games at Fenway. Yankee fans welcomed him back after giving him a car on his farewell tour. Astro fans gave him a pass for not going on the road with the team. The media gave him a pass when he threw a bat at Mike Piazza. After all of this Red Sox management produced a slick video to try to bring him back to Boston. But he once again picked the Yankees causing Yankee announcer Suzyn Waldman to nearly pee herself. Clemens thinks you are going to give him another pass. He has already released a statement through his lawyer saying he never used steroids. Whenever Clemens has the chance to do the right thing he always disappoints. He could have apologized and taken some responsibility for the state of baseball. He did not. Don't give him a pass on this one, don't vote him into the Hall of Fame, don't feel sorry for him. Clemens has let you down in the past and has made his bed. Now let him sleep in it.
At 12:03 this morning, the Sox announced that they would not be offering reliever Brendan Donnelly a new contract, making him a free agent.
The Sox announcement came less than 24 hours before the Mitchel Report named Donnelly as a player implicated in the use of performance enhancing drugs.
A Red Sox spokesman said that they did not have advance notice of the names in the Mitchell Report.
The Red Sox Front Office released a statement this afternoon on the Mitchell Report.
In their statement, the Sox said that they "supported and fully cooperated with this investigation initiated by Commissioner Selig and conducted by Senator Mitchell." They also commended Senator Mitchell and his staff for conducting the report.
The Sox go on to say that baseball should, "do everything we can to eliminate them (performance enhancing drugs) entirely from the game of baseball." They continue, the"Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, the toughest in all of professional sports, will also result in helping to achieve this goal."
Yankees response: "We are reviewing the report and have no comment." the evil empire is alive and well.
Commissioner Bud Selig held a press conference about the Mitchell Report today where he announced he will act to rid the sport of steroids by doing these 3 things:
1. No 24 hour test notice for players
2. Selig will deal with active players and club personnel in the Mitchell Report. Discipline will be made on a case by case basis.
3. Selig will be proactive in finding new ways to test for steroids.
MLB will work with the NFL for a test for HGH and will hold an HGH summit.
In questioning he says he will take action to protect the integrity of the sport. He will not comment on records or achievements by steroid users. When asked if he is at fault for steroid use in baseball he avoids a direct answer to the question. He also said he has not read the entire report yet.
Not much new here, I wouldn't put too much faith in his efforts.
No current Red Sox on the list but several former players.
Yankees on the list:
the complete list of players is here
All of the players listed in the Mitchell Report took steroids more than 2 years ago and more than half are no longer playing.
not as harsh for Sox as it could have been....Clemens is going to be hurt the most from this report....according to the report Clemens began using steroids with Toronto after leaving Sox.
"McNamee injected Clemens in the buttocks four to six times with testosterone from a bottle
labeled either Sustanon 250 or Deca-Durabolin that McNamee had obtained from Radomski.
McNamee stated that during this same time period he also injected Clemens four
to six times with human growth hormone he received from Radomski, after explaining to
Clemens the potential benefits and risks of use."
The report is under an hour away and could chance the way we look at several players in the game. The news conference will be streamed live on mlb.com but I would bet it will crash due to the number of people watching...remember the Rockies attempt at online ticketing? A second news conference is scheduled for 4:30 pm EST. The questioning of Bud Selig could get interesting in that one. We know that Clemens and Pettitte will be on the list. I'll keep posting updates about the report as soon as I get them.
UPDATE: As speculated yesterday, Tejada is on the list...Merry Christmas Astros. Former Yankee players Mike Stanton, and Chuck Knoblauch are also on the list.
UPDATE 2:Read the entire report here after 2pm EST
I don't know how accurate this is but take a look. Players with Sox connections: Nomar, Gagne, Trot,Clemens, Damon, Offerman, Tek, Mo Vaughn, El Guapo, Carl Everett, and Tavarez. This would be very bad for the Nation if it is true.
Update: The validity of this report has been disputed by MLB...CNBC has now taken down the list. It would be hard to believe that El Guapo juiced.
UPDATE 2: THIS LIST IS NOT ACCURATE for an accurate list look here.
As I speculated yesterday, Roger Clemens will be listed in the Mitchell Report. Sox fans who have been shunned by The Rocket and his choosing the Yankees will now they get a little payback. Clemens* may join Bonds* as the face of the steroid era. This may only be temporary if any Sox players appear on the Mitchell Report.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
It's about to hit the streets...and the earlier reviews aren't good for Major League Baseball. The Mitchell Report on steroids in baseball is going to name names including some of baseball's MVP's and All-Stars.
The 304 page report is likely to bring a dark cloud over what has been a stellar year (at least for the Sox), and raise further questions about Bonds* and the home run craziness of recent years.
So far the Associated Press has yet learn any of the names in the report.
Stay tuned...tomorrow promises to be a grim one for baseball. The full report will be available on MLB.com
Theo's wife gave birth to a baby boy they named Jack. Don't expect a Santana deal today.
Earlier this week I posted about Curt Schilling's aid for John McCain in New Hampshire. The power of the Red Sox Nation voting block is now being targeted by Democratic Presidential Candidate Bill Richardson who is having Luis Tiant campaign for him in the Granite State. Richardson had previously said his dream job outside of politics would be playing center field for the Yankees. Richardson has said before he grew up as a Yankee fan but started liking the Sox after going to Tufts for college.
The O's traded Tejada to the Astros today for Luke Scott, Matt Albers, Troy Patton and Dennis Sarfate, and Michael Costanzo. Without Tejada Baltimore should continue to reside in the basement of the AL East and be a cheaper source of tickets for traveling Red Sox Nation. Tejada is one of the players rumored to be included in the Mitchell Report.
The long awaited Mitchell Report is almost here and the leaks are starting. According to the New York Times there are 50 players named in the report, Bloomburg says as many as 80. There will be a news conference at 2 pm EST in New York (11:00 out here) on Thursday followed by the release of the report. Union officials and MLB Execs looked at the report yesterday to ensure it did not violate any collective bargaining agreements. One person who read the report felt it was "harsh." Let the chips fall where they may.
Update: Is Clemens in the report? From NY Daily News: "Brian McNamee, a former Yankee trainer whose most famous clients have been Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte, has already shown up in news reports about one investigation into the use of illegal substances."
Update 2: Curt Schilling would not be surprised if a member of the Red Sox is listed in the report.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
It is almost unfair that we have to have the Mitchell Report interrupt the holiday season and the continued Red Sox Championship off-season. If Santana arrives before the report no one will even pay any attention to it. However, it may be the first big step to cleaning up baseball. I have heard every argument about why it is the worst thing to happen to baseball to why it is not a big deal. I am on the side that it is cheating and that the MLB Players Union and the worthless commissioner Bud Selig have done nothing for too long. I am hoping the Mitchell Report will be used to clean up baseball from here forward but dragging names through the mud will not help much (unless it is a Yankee player.) Judging from the poll on this site it seems that most believe the Sox are above the steroid cloud....I can only hope you are right.
The latest has the Red Sox and Twins still talking with Ellsbury, Lowrie, Masterson and a yet to be determined 4th player in exchange for Santana. If the 4th player is not Buchholz or Lester the Sox will have pulled off a major trade without giving up too much. Jacoby will have a hard time getting Twins fans to shell out $125 for an autograph.
Jonathan Papelbon joined Josh Beckett in winning a TYIB award. Today the fan's selection was announced as the Red Sox closer. Boston started spring training with Joel Pineiro as the closer but by the end of spring training Papelbon went back to the bullpen as the best closer in the game.
If you still have not found the perfect Red Sox gift you can buy the 2nd DVD released about the World Series this year. NESN started selling "Champions Again" on their website late last week. Early review say it is good and has more focus on the regular season than the Matt Damon DVD. If you want a one of a kind gift, a Danvers bakery created an edible version of Fenway Park that they are selling raffle tickets for. The proceeds will go to the Red Sox Foundation.
Monday, December 10, 2007
I doubt there is a team in baseball that has more players who donate time and money than the Boston Red Sox. This is well know with the Jimmy Fund during the regular season but the team giving does not end with the baseball season. I posted earlier about Julio Lugo and David Ortiz helping victims of flooding in the Dominican Republic. This week Doug Mirabelli organized a coat drive for charities in Michigan and Boston. Julian Tavarez, Kyle Snyder, Brandon Moss and Bryan Corey spent today visiting hospitals with the World Series Trophy. It is nice to see players who don't even know if they will be with the Red Sox next year helping out the Boston community.
Josh Beckett was the fan's choice for the This Year in Baseball Starter of the Year Award. Its not the Cy Young but at least he is being recognized for his great achievements in '07.
Curt Schilling has been busy helping Arizona Senator John McCain during the past 2 weeks. He has traveled to New Hampshire, site of the January 8 Primary, to try to get members of Red Sox Nation support John McCain. In addition to this Schilling posted information about his support for McCain on his blog. Today the McCain campaign released a new ad featuring Schilling. You can watch the ad below.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Boston was unable to sign Kerry Wood for bullpen use next season and Eric Gagne is off to the Brewers. With the pen still needing a solid short reliever the Red Sox are once again looking at Japan. Last year the Red Sox benefited from Okijima as much as they did from Dice-K so they may try to go to the well again. The pitcher in they are looking at is Kazou Fukumori. The Japanese pitcher had a 4.74 ERA last season before having season ending surgery on his elbow. He is healthy now and looking for a 2 year deal in the U.S. The Yankees, Nationals, Rockies and Pirates are also interested in Fukumori but I wouldn't count on Colorado, Washington nor Pittsburgh to win a bidding war.
The buzz continues around a deal for Johan Santana but at a much lower level. The Sox are reportedly talking more with the Twins than the Mets or Yankees lately but there are no indications that Boston has changed their offer significantly. The Twins want to get a deal done soon to restructure their team and Boston needs to figure out what is going to happen with Coco. Crisp's agent told the Herald this week that he will not accept a backup role in '08. I don't think he would have much of a choice if he is not traded; Ellsbury has won the job.