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The Sports Daily > Firebrand AL
Andy Pettitte admits using HGH

Wow, this is big.
Andy Pettitte (picture, right, by Nicole Gottwald) admitted using human growth hormone to improve his recovery time while he was on the disabled list and has issued a press release.

If what I did was an error in judgment on my part, I apologize,” Pettitte said Saturday in a statement released by his agent. “I accept responsibility for those two days. …
“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.”

The fact that Andy Pettitte came clean means a lot.
It shows the class of Andy Pettitte. He was “caught” using HGH (implicated in the Mitchell Report) and he’s come clean about it. History smiles on those that come clean. Jason Giambi isn’t the subject of much vitrol on the subject, and as Curt Schilling says:

This is a pretty damn forgiving country. We are all about giving people second chances. The quicker anyone guilty is accountable, the quicker we can all move on and hopefully make this thing go away, and fix what needs to be fixed.

My respect for Andy has gone up a few notches with this. Look, using steroids and/or HGH is deemed illegal, and now Andy Pettitte will forever be known as a cheater. But he will also be known as someone who admitted he made a mistake instead of blustering that he never used HGH (like Marion Jones).
To my knowledge, three of the people implicated in the report have now admitted it is factual: Andy Pettitte, F.P. Santangelo and Gary Bennett.
From the Mitchell Report:

McNamee began serving as Pettitte

Comments

  1. If I'm reading the appropriate passages of the Mitchell Report correctly, Pettitte's interest in hGH tied to his elbow trouble. That's a critical point (I've said it before, in the appropriate contexts)—we're not talking a motive to get an edge on the mound, we're talking about a motive to get beyond an injury. (That, remember, was the original reason Ken Caminiti thought about and tried a steroid.) And I think that, whenever the final call on the juice generation is made, you've got to ponder motivation when passing a judgment call.

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  2. Oh I agree. But here's the complexity in that, Jeff: someone could lie about motivation, no?
    I'm not saying Pettitte is lying. I think he's telling the truth. But what if Clemens used it to get an edge, not to help the team and heal faster? Could he just say he was hurt and wanted to heal faster even if it's not the truth
    Do we forgive at that point?

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  3. The point is, there are degrees to every crime. For some you get a citation and a fine, for some you get jail time, and for a few, you get the chair. I think Pettitte's crime was of a much lower level than many in the report (HGH twice to rehab) and he may have saved himself alot of grief by being the first of the few big names in the report to come clean. Clemens on the other hand, will probably put up a big fight, like Pete Rose, and end up on the chair (no HOF for you).

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  4. I think Pettitte's being honest, too. And God only knows people can lie about just about anything. Just ask the Pete Rose who lied all those years . . .
    But you'd have to take it case by case. And since Clemens has yet to comment about it directly, there's a big question mark, as you suggest.

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  5. I was surprised to hear that he ever used PED's in the first place because I always considered Pettitte to be a classy, respectable guy. Although, given how close he was to Clemens, who was using PED's throughout his tenure with the Yankees, it later made sense. I give credit to Pettitte for admitting his use rather than denying it like Clemens.
    However, given that Pettitte used PED's, I find it hard to believe that he worked out with Roger Clemens for nine years, and never even tried PED's to enhance his workouts. He had to know Clemens was using them and Pettitte's personal trainer supplied them.
    And to all those Yankees fans who said they liked him better now that they knew he used HGH to recover quickly, that logic is crazy. And according to that crazy logic, I guess if he's telling the truth, he really isn't committed to his team, huh? He gave up after two days.

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  6. Furthermore, using HGH to recover more quickly is STILL cheating, regardless of whether or not you consider it cheating to a lesser degree. Just like Clemens' supposed steroids use, it gives Pettitte an unfair advantage that other, honest players don't have. Please stop justifying it by saying it's lesser cheating. Cheating is cheating.

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  7. The bottom line here is that he used HGH…it's illegal…so to me…it doesn't matter. He's a 'professional athlete' which means he's required to play on an even playing field.
    He didn't. I get it…it's a world of competition. I don't cheat at my job…do you?
    So, let me ask you all the question that REALLY matters here…that we are all overlooking….
    Would he have been so 'honest' if he was never part of any report?
    We all know the answer is no. Being truthful with a gun to your head is a whole lot different to being truthful on your own volition.
    Pettitte should be judged just as harsh as Clemens, Bonds, or anyone else…

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  8. This is the aftermath of the Mitchell Report that I was not looking forward to … the discussion
    Every ballplayer that stepped on the field during the last 20 years has been seperated from the rest of the history of the game … Bonds and Clemens should go in the HoF because they were the best during their time … but because of the time they played in … they should never be compared to the greats of the past … no player should be … not A-Rod and not Pujols … these guys can never escape the doubt because of the time they played in … in my mind the words "the greatest ever" should no longer be used to discribe any player … cause we don't know anymore
    That's all the Mitchell Report truly accomplished … it showed the problem for what it was and it forever changed how we look at this era … I'm not saying that because of the Report and because of the roids we should just forget about this era … we just need to look at it differently and not try and hold it up in comparison to other eras … the game was played differently and effected in different ways
    And I especially don't wanna hear this whole discussion over how individual players have had their legacies destroyed … who the hell cares? the whole period has been destroyed and no player who has stepped on the field has escaped it
    I guess I'm dreaming … it's kind of inevitable that the discussions will rage on now that "names have been named" … but IMHO it doesn't matter … I wish we could just label the era as it deserves to be labeled and just move on into the next one with the best intentions possible
    Personally I wish the season started tommorrow so we could get on with watching baseball and enjoying the game for what it is instead of talking about this crap all winter long

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  9. I don't completely believe Pettitte–but at least he admitted to doing something. AFAIK, HGH was not illegal when he used it and, if not, I think he should not be punished or fined, other than perhaps be required to give a few speeches to kids about the harm of it.
    I think they will be able to prosecute Hendricks because of it…I suppose it is protected under "attorney/client" priviledge.
    Clemens, in my mind, is a bold face liar. I hope he never gets anywhere near Cooperstown.

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  10. HGH wasn't illegal when Bonds did it either. I don't think that prevents people from realizing that he cheated. And James is right, he doesn't deserve praise for being honest. He only owned up to it because he was caught, and who knows if he's being honest now or not. Just like the Mitchell Report didn't find everyone who cheated, it likely didn't find to full extent to which the people listed in it cheated.

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  11. I'm glad Andy owned up to his mistake in judgement. It shows his class. I think given the era, we should accept that it happened, learn from it, ban what has to be been banned, create the appropriate policies to ban and discourage use, and punish those who violate after the policies are in place. However, we need to move on and stop the witch hunt for those who violated prior to official polices banning PED's. Clemens should be in the HOF. As for Bonds, he is in another category based on his alleged criminal conduct of lying to a grand jury and being a jerk. I think being a jerk and/or lying to the public makes him unpopular and should not keep him out of the HOF (ie Ty Cobb), but a conviction for lying to a grand jury keeps him out of the HOF.

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  12. Come on, Bonds gets vilified for HGH use before it was made illegal because he's a jerk, but Pettitte doesn't because he's supposedly a "classy" guy who cheated, was dishonest about cheating, then when he was caught red handed, he consulted with his lawyer for a day before he releases a statement admitting to using HGH, but only twice. And in the statement, he never says what he did was wrong.
    We know for a fact that Petitte cheated, he admitted to it, but none of us know the true extent to which he cheated. Pettitte hasn't been honest for half a decade, and we're supposed to believe him now when he admits to the bare minimum of what he was caught doing? Come on, talk about a double standard. If Pettitte was on the Red Sox you'd be singing a completely different tune.

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  13. And for the record HGH actually is illegal, both federally and in MLB. MLB has had a policy for over 30 years stating that the use of any prescription drugs without a prescription is illegal, and federally it's illegal to use HGH without a prescription. Pettitte broke both federal and MLB laws/rules and so I wouldn't be surprised if he is suspended.

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  14. "I guess reports are saying I've used performance enhancing drugs," he added. "I've never used any drugs to enhance my performance in baseball. I don't know what else to say except to say it's embarrassing my name would be out there."
    -Andy Pettitte in 2006 when Grimsley implicated him
    Yup, what an honest, classy guy. Stop looking at him with rose colored glasses so thick that you're practically blind.

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  15. This is the aftermath of the Mitchell Report THAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN.
    What are we talking about here?
    We are talking about baseball.
    Think back…when you were a kid, and you and your pops were talking about baseball…comparing ballplayers.
    We're robbed of that with our kids…because they can't be compared.
    Not now…probably not ever.
    At the same time, that's what baseball is all about. I remember talking to Dad about guys like Joe Jackson, and Pete Rose…and why or why not they should be included.
    We even had a good conversation about Roger Maris. My Dad grew up in the 154 game schedule…and had views on it as a lifelong Yankee fan.
    This is part of what baseball is all about…
    Life.
    It's to be talked about…figured out…and move on.
    Bud Selig can't even screw that up…

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  16. Pettitte admitting this gives validity to Brian McNamee's testimony. This puts Clemens in an even worse spot and I'm more inclined to believe McNamee now.

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  17. Again it is proven that the lawyer here in Texas representing Pettitte and Clemens is a lying sack of… Never being much of a fan of either I at least have a hell of a lot more respect for Andy Pettitte for at least coming clean, be it in full or partial we don't know however Giambi's continued apology while not mentioning for what was also his saving grace.
    Nothing's ever going to make me forget Clemens throwing that half wooden steak piece of bat at Mike Piazza. Actually prior to that event I was a fan of Clemens due to his Texas Native and not so much a fan of Piazza, thinking him a smug prick prior to this event. At the time of that happening I blamed "roid rage" and continue to feel as though that were the case; i.e. drug induced.

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  18. Your heroes of yesteryear used to pop ephedrine like it was candy. Should we kick all the old-timers out of the hall? Players will do whatever they can to get an edge. I'm sure these days they're pounding Red Bulls for an energy boost. You know, caffeine is a performance enhancing drug. I suppose generations of athletes are tainted for drinking coffee. They may as well tear down the HOF.
    Or
    We could calm down and realize that using a substance that hasn't been banned is not against the rules. If something is questionable, ban it. Then punish people who use it. Until then, you have no right to be upset.

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  19. James—-*chuckle* I bet nobody yapping in those years about the 154-game schedule versus the 162-game schedule, when Maris caught and passed Ruth, troubled themselves to look it up that Ruth originally broke a single-season home run record held by a guy who played in a 112-game season. And nobody yapped about Ruth getting an unfair scheduling advantage, even if a lot of people at that time thought the coming of the bomb was going to wreck, ahem, "scientific" (legitimate, as those avatars would have had it) baseball properly played . . .
    (P.S. I'm still inclined to believe that, with the exception of likely masterminds Chick Gandil and Swede Risberg, George Will was right about Shoeless Joe and the rest of the Black Sox: more dumb than dishonest. If only Shoeless Joe hadn't initially accepted that payoff envelope . . .)
    Michael—-Strictly speaking, Pettitte wasn't exactly lying in 2006 if you think about it. Tie that 2006 statement to what he said Friday. There is a distinction between looking to heal a little quicker from an injury (what's inherently wrong with wishing a quicker recovery?) and looking to give yourself an edge on the mound.
    Brigs—-When Bowie Kuhn tried taking Jim Bouton to the woodshed over Ball Four, one of the first things Kuhn wanted to know, supposedly, was more about the greenies that Bouton discussed in the book. And that was where it ended, apparently.

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  20. I really don't think Andy should be judged as hard as guys like Bonds or Clemens. I agree that using to get an edge or using to heal are both cheating. However, I think you need to look at the circumstances of each case. He used it twice while Bonds and Clemens obviously used it more than that, and also used it to get a edge over the competition. You also have to look at the fact that Bonds and Clemens have both denied using. Andy admit he used HGH and he shouldn't be treated the same as those others who continued to deny it or used it to gain an edge over other players.

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  21. From a Lupica article, here's what Pettitte said a year ago: "I've never used any drugs to enhance my performance in baseball. I don't know what to say except that it's embarrassing that my name would be out there."
    So he's a liar and a cheater. Again, I don't see this as class, I see it as the exact opposite. Although I do always respect your opinions, Evan.

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  22. The Mitchell Report in itself is stupid. The only reason for it was so Selig can say that something was actually done about the steroids era. Instead of placing blame on the players, the blame should be placed squarely on Selig who completely ignored that players were taking steroids because of all the money baseball was raking in due to the success of these players. Bud Selig is just as guilty as anyone and if anything his legacy should be tarnished more than any player or anyone else in baseball during this time period. His success and the success of baseball during his time as commissioner is directly linked to the success the players were having due to the steroids. The media as well as a majority of the public are criticizing the players and are not putting enough blame on Selig.

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  23. Jere—To repeat: Tie that 2006 statement to what Pettitte said two days after the Mitchell Report. (I said Friday earlier—my mistake.) There is a distinction between looking to heal a little quicker from an injury (and what

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  24. Jeff-
    how is sitting inactive on the bench instead of pitching not an enhanced performance? If he used illegal substances to get back to playing, it's wrong, nuf ced.

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  25. Sean—I note you said "to get back to playing," and not "to be playing." But a motive of healing when injured is very distinct from a motive of getting a performance edge after you've healed and you've hit the mound again. The former isn't cheating; the latter—pending what we may finally learn in fact about what such substances will or won't actually do for your performance—is.
    You have to account for the entire picture, as best you can, taking it case by case as best you can, before you simply dismiss this or that employer of actual or alleged performance-enhancing substances as just a stinking cheater. And, if you want to see a genuinely earnest effort at getting the substances as far away from baseball as they can be gotten.
    —Jeff

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