Thursday, December 20, 2007

There Is Hope For Baseball

A lot of good posts today with a lot of passion. I'd like to keep them up higher, but this story in the New York Post is beautiful -- it's like a cool rain after some miserable heat wave. It's exactly what I was hoping to hear from Andy Pettitte and others involved in this cheating scandal. Journeyman pitcher Dan Naulty actually approached the commission, offered his testimony and gave a full, heartfelt confession. Please read the entire article; it's really heartbreaking to see the painful repurcussions on Naulty and the people around him (he says he's been haunted by his actions for years) and heartening to know people CAN turn a corner.

10 comments:

Michael in New York said...

I don't want people to grovel or be smeared and mocked and shamed forever in the media or by people. I really think it would be best for them personally and the game as a whole if they take responsibility and recognize the gravity of what they've done. That's the only way they can put it behind them and truly make amends. Naulty says it all:

1. He cheated and he knows it. No excuses.
2. The steroids made his pitches jump to 96 miles per hour.
3. He feels remorse for what he did.
4. He explains how his cheating had a ripple effect throughout the game. Naulty knows he beat out Mike Trombley by cheating when they were both on the bubble, a guy he played with and had his locker next to in the clubhouse. Naulty has been bothered by this for years and apologized through the media to Trombley for what he did. But Naulty goes further -- he knows that because he cheated and beat out Trombley that Trombley got sent down to Triple AAA, which means someone else was sent down to Double AA and someone else down to Single A and someone was dropped for good. Those ripples spread to every batter he got out that he shouldn't have by cheating, to pitchers he out-dueled by cheating, and on and on and on. "My choice has impacted hundreds of people," Naulty told the NY Post.

If he were in the game, Naulty should be suspended for a number of games, if he were eligible for the Hall of Fame, he should never get in (he wouldn't of course). Those are the reasonable punishments people should pay who cheat. But Naulty has my respect today. He can never give back all those other players another genuine chance, he can never undo the damage and avoid being labeled a cheat and part of (one of) the biggest scandals in baseball history. But he CAME FORWARD WILLINGLY (he wasn't even caught, like Pettitte and Clemens and Bonds and Giambi) and he owned up to his mistakes and I wish he'd never cheated but I would gladly shake his hand today. People like Naulty give me hope. I don't admire what he did in the past, but that can't change. I definitely admire what he's done today. I hope more players follow his example. Don't you?

Jason Page said...

If a player used performance enhancing drugs and wants to own up to it, then thats fine. But I don't expect someone to fess up to something if they didn't do it.

Michael in New York said...

Huh?

Michael in New York said...

Wow, how sad that I'm the only one who felt moved by this guy's testimony. HE'S a stand=-up guy, not Giambi and Pettitte who both got nailed publicly. Not McGwire (who proved a fraud) or Sosa (reduced to pretending he couldn't speak English). Naulty is someone I can respect. Like me, like anyone might, he made a mistake and it was a doozy and he benefitted in the short term but has enough of a conscience and decency to realize he's been the loser in the long-term. I love how the guy he beat out for a spot was described. That guy went on to adjust to being demoted by learning a new pitch, getting back to the majors, pitching till 2002 and saying now he held no grudge and wouldn't have traded places by using steroids in a million years. There's an admirable face of baseball and Naulty is the admirable face of the dark side turning a corner.

Jason Page said...

Actually, I read the piece and that it was nice. Am trying to get Naulty on my show for Friday. If I do, I will make the interview available for you all.

Its sad that you're relegated to mentioning guys who haven't been mentioned in any report yet such as Sammy Sosa.

Show me where he's been mentioned thus far??

It seems that he may have taken amphetamine at some point. Thats the only wrongdoing he may have had as of yet. Does that disqualify him from the HOF Mike??

Like I said before, if it does I wanna hear you rail against Willie Mays being in the HOF as well since he and a ton of other players from his era were known to be popping "greenies" left and right.

dasnootz said...

Did Willie Mays ever shatter a corked bat or deny that he can comprehend the english language in front of Congress?

dasnootz said...

I don't think Naulty is as shining an example as Trombley.

Trombley took the demotion like a man and found a way to overcome adversity.

To me, the measure of a man's virtue isn't the ability to appologize or show remorse after the fact.

Michael in New York said...

Dasnootz, I absolutely acknowledge Trombley as the class act above all the others, including his willingness not to be bitter and reproachful -- along with recognizing that cheating punished naulty as well.

Jason, the Mitchell report is far from all-inclusive. Everyone stonewalled him (from Selig to the players) and yet he still felt he had enough evidence to implicate more than 80+ people just from two major sources. That shows how widespread this is. Not being named in the Mitchell report is not exoneration.

I'm glad you're speaking with Naulty. Can't wait to hear it. I'd love to interview him myself.

Like most of America, I felt McGwire and Sosa damned themselves in front of Congress with their testimony. McGwire's was sad and pathetic, Sosa's was laughable. And Sosa is named in the affidavits released today centering around Grimsley. Did you really forget about the Congressional hearings, the very event that forced Selig to get Mitchell to investigate the scandal Selig and the owners had tacitly endorsed all these years?

As for Mays and the record books, you can't go and change the past. Those records will always be there for Bonds et al, however tainted by history. Ditto for the people already in the Hall of Fame. Some people got in early on who would never make the cut today, based on their stats. Some people who get in today would never have made the cut 50 years ago. Every era has different standards. And while I suppose someone could be removed from the Hall (has it ever happened), I think by and large we can agree that once you're in you're in -- which is EXACTLY why you should hesitate before allowing anyone into the Hall who isn't a slam dunk. You don't want to regret it down the road. That's why they have to be retired for five years, for starters. (I'd up that to 10 years by the way.) Gives at least a little perspective on someone's career.

Jason Page said...

This was part of a Washington Post article the day after Sammy Sosa appeared with McGwire and Palmiero in front of a congressional panel on the steroids issue in 2005:

while Sosa -- or his lawyers -- crafted an opening statement in which he said he has never used "illegal performance-enhancing drugs," has never "injected myself or had anyone inject me with anything," and has not "broken the laws of the United States or the laws of the Dominican Republic."

So Michael, get your facts straight for a second. I have been around Sammy Sosa on a couple of occasions and his English does suck. Secondly, he made his denial(unlike McGwire who deflected questions about his own possible steroid use) and hasn't tested positive for anything nor has he been mentioned in the Mitchell report and his mention in the Grimsley document is a passing mention. That he was in a conversation with a few players who were talking about amphetamines. This from the Grimsley story:

Tejada's name was mentioned when Grimsley described a conversation he had with Baltimore Orioles teammates Tejada, Palmeiro and Sammy Sosa about how they would play after baseball banned amphetamines.

I mean seriously........ Slow down. Your going to keep a guy out of the HOF for using amphetamines too??

You've gone over the deep end on this story as far as I am concerned. You're bashing players who looked the other way saying they are as culpable as the guys who are using. If the guys were burning down a building in Manhattan, I think Jeter would report them. I don't expect him to report them to the league for this. MLB did a terrible job policing this stuff and they are reaping the consequences of that. Like I said before and will say again, if I had the distain for the game and this scandal the way you did, I wouldn't be caught dead paying a penny to go watch it.

Anything else is hypocritical in my book.

Stay home and do your part to combat steroid use in sports if thats your cause celeb.(hopefully spelt right)

Jason Page said...

DAN Naulty will appear on my show tonight at 6:30 PM Eastern on Sirius Sports Central Channel 123. Anyone who wants the interview can let me know and I will email it to them.