The Baseball Exchange

Pettitte confesses: He used HGH by 27yankees
December 15, 2007, 8:07 pm
Filed under: Steroids, The Mitchell Report | Tags: , , ,

 Pettitte admits briefly using HGH during 2002

Andy Pettitte used human growth hormone to recover from an elbow injury in 2002, the New York Yankees pitcher admitted two days after he was cited in the Mitchell Report. Pettitte said he tried HGH on two occasions, stressing he did it to heal faster and not enhance his performance. He emphasized he never used steroids.

This admission might change the way the Mitchell Report is being viewed and pave the way for more players to admit that they have used steroids before. Andy Pettitte is well respected within the players community and a big name like him sticking his neck out there could be a big deal.

In addition, I think that because he came clean about this, he’ll come out looking good for having the guts to take what comes with being labeled a cheater. The fact that he came clean about it doesn’t change the fact that he did cheat, but it changes the way I view him, and I’m sure it does for a lot of people too. Unlike guys like Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds who avoid coming clean and get entrenched in people calling them cheaters, he put his neck out there and admitted it was wrong. That’s good for baseball.


Initial Thoughts on the Mitchell Report by The Fallen Phoenix
December 13, 2007, 11:59 pm
Filed under: baseball, Baseball History, Steroids, The Mitchell Report | Tags:

My God, I’m posting again! I ultimately scrapped my pythag-record study because people throughout the sabermetric community beat me to the punch (particularly pizza cutter over at–I highly suggest checking out his sabermetric studies and posts, they’re really quite illuminating!).

As we all know, former Senator Mitchell finally released his report on the usage of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball, and I have to admit, I am very, very unimpressed. I’m going to copy and paste a post I made on a message board, since I think it sums up my initial feelings quite well, and I should have a more detailed reaction next week, after I’ve had time to read the report cover-to-cover (and I escape the shadow of my coming finals):

Personally, I think the accusations and allegations of steroid users was ultimately the weakest aspect of the report, both from an investigative standpoint and from an effectiveness standpoint. Especially since this is by no means a comprehensive list, nor is everyone named in the report given equal documentation/corroborative evidence beyond hearsay and testimonial reports. Granted, there’s only so much one can expect from a report without subpoena power, but I think that’s precisely why that should have been an under-emphasized facet of the report. Either you should go all out, or not at all–and personally, I don’t think the costs of such an investigation match the positive results they’d produce.

We can talk all day about how the sexiness of names arouses interest in the report, but a lot of that interest is completely useless if it isn’t made into a positive force: that is to say, people throughout baseball (and ultimately, in the entire sports world, since there are sports that have as bad, if not worse, PED problems than baseball), at all levels and in all capacities, should put some serious effort into changing the culture of the sport in order to prevent such a thing from happening again.

I would imagine that, itself, would be incentive enough to try cleaning up the sport, and that public interest wouldn’t act as an additional motivator. But ultimately, I don’t think public interest even works that way–and if this turns out to be the firing gun that begins another round of fighting between ownership and the union (because, let’s be honest, the union probably isn’t all-too-thrilled with the allegations/accusations the report levies at individual players), then you’ve severely handicapped your ability to strengthen baseball’s anti-PED culture/policies.

It’s pretty sad that one of the first knee-jerk reactions that have been observed, both from the media and fans, was “who was named?”, rather than focusing on the positive aspects of the report, such as the descriptive “why and how did this happen in the first place?” and the prescriptive “what should baseball do about this moving forward, to prevent it from happening again?”

In the second respect, at least, I think Mitchell makes some pretty good points. Therefore, although my first impression of the report–and I’ll admit I did more skimming than reading throughout most of it, so that impression is likely to change–is rather critical, I think the report has the potential for some good. I did more reading than skimming when it came to Mitchell’s suggestions for the future, and I liked more than less of what was there.

I do fear that this report will drive a greater wedge between the owners and the union, which I think would be devastating for baseball moving forward, especially since both sides have been able to work so much better together these last few years (relative other periods of baseball history).

~The Fallen Phoenix

Brand it by red

Marc Ecko has just announced that the votes from his site to decide the fate of Barry Bond’s 756th home run ball have been tallied and the results are:

Banish it: 19%

Bestow it: 34%

Brand it: 47%

Even better is the Hall of Fame’s reaction:

“This ball wouldn’t be coming to Cooperstown if Marc hadn’t bought it from the fan who caught it and then let the fans have their say,” [Hall of Fame President Dave] Petroskey told The Associated Press. “We’re delighted to have the ball. It’s a historic piece of baseball history.”

I’m glad the hall of fame isn’t shying away from this – they are a seperate institution not necessarily officially “endorsed” by MLB, or at least not owned by it. Therefore, it’s their duty to recieve anything donated to them, no matter if it’s contreversial, as long as it is, as Petroskey said, “a historical piece of baseball history,” which it undeniably is. Now, we just have to wait as to how they’re going to “brand” it. Duct tape should do the job.


One Dennis G Carrier in the comments section just pointed out some quite frightening and disturbing racial history of the term “branding.” I don’t really believe that Marc Ecko meant any racist implications, I think often many of those terms get tossed around without knowledge of previous uses and obviously Ecko should reconsider using it. Unless I’m missing a key point of Ecko’s beliefs or opinoins, as far as I know I don’t think he mean any implications like that. If, for example, Ecko had McGwire’s 500th home run or 62st home run ball in his possesion, and again, unless I’m not aware of past specific racist beliefs by Ecko, I doubt he wouldn’t not use the term “Branding.” However, it’s still important to be aware of those things pointed out by Mr. Carrier.

What do we want to do with 756? by red
September 23, 2007, 8:43 am
Filed under: Barry Bonds, MLB, Steroids | Tags: , , , , , ,

If you’ve read some of our previous posts, you’ll remember we mentioned that Mark Ecko, the guy with that clothing line that has something to do with a rhinoceros, is putting it to a vote. So, what do we want to do with the 756th home run ball?

Red says: At first I thought it would be cool to take this artifact of baseball history and just throw it out into space; forget the whole thing, so that we can play baseball in peace without someone always talking about Barry Bonds on the side. We should be focusing on actually playing the game. However, when I thought about it, forgetting past wrongdoings isn’t the solution: we’ve got to remember what happened, remember what was wrong about it, and make sure we don’t do it again.

Obviously there’s no comparison to an actual war and some jerks cheating at baseball, but that’s why there are war memorials – so we don’t forget what happened in some awful wars, and make sure we don’t make the same mistakes again. We’ve got to remember that Bonds, McGwire, Palmeiro, and the like are ridiculed, so that we don’t get something like the sequel in thirty years. So, brand it. And make the hall of fame take it. Isn’t there something in the hall of fame about the Black Sox? Then there should be something on the steroids era.

TwentySeven says: I voted to brand the ball. I know that you may be thinking that I’m a Bonds hater… I’m really not. I was born in New York, but I grew up the the Bay Area where fans have a far more liberal perspective on Bonds, i.e., they don’t mind his antics. This opinion has rubbed off on me, and I’ve also seen the kind of respect the players all give Bonds. You have to respect the fact he’s become the figurehead for steroids, his name synonymous with a syringe.

I voted to brand it more as a statement on the steroids era in itself. I think that if things keep on going as they are right now, soon baseball will be seen in the same light as “professional” wrestling – a farce. We may not realize it, but steroids could be the biggest issue in baseball since the Black Sox scandal.

What I think is interesting is that the Black Sox scandal actually lead to steroids. After the Black Sox scandal, Babe Ruth came along and did his thing, and the teams saw the crowds that brought in, so they started juicing the ball and players started to hit homers. Fast forward 60 years, and instead of only juicing the ball, we start to get the players juiced up because interest in baseball is dying. One lead to the other, and both really hurt the fair game.

TheFallenPheonix says: Clearly, Mark Ecko has deserved the right to do with that ball as he sees fit, being as he purchased it for a rather significant sum. I’ll admit that blasting the ball off into space certainly sounds rather interesting (although I’m not entirely sure how he’d pull that one off), and in a way, kind of fitting as a commentary not on steroids, but just on the economics of sports.

…but that’s not really what the subject of this story is about. On to Barry Bonds, and his home run ball. We know for a fact, from the leaked BALCO Grand Jury testimony, that Barry Bonds has taken steroids at some point, whether knowingly or not. Clearly, the court of public opinion is finding him rather guilty on that count–and I think that the voting will reflect that. I would be rather surprised if donating the ball to the Hall of Fame wins the voting, and I’ll admit I’m rather ambivalent about it. That ball should be a part of Baseball history, and the fact that there is any question about whether it should be, I think, speaks volumes enough about the entire situation.

What do you think? by 27yankees
September 20, 2007, 7:19 pm
Filed under: Baseball History, Steroids

Marc Ecko, the guy who bought Barry’s 756th homer, wants you to vote for what he does to it. Go ahead and vote! You’ll be helping to make a part of baseball history.

In addition to this post, I added a widget on our sidebar which we will take off once the voting ends. Cheers!