Feb 18, 2013, 1:47 PM EDT
Buster Olney is usually pretty sensible about PED stories. He’s not an apologist or anything, but nor is he usually an alarmist. He’s a realist, mostly. He doesn’t condone PED use, obviously, but he also sees it as part of the landscape of baseball and a problem to be dealt with as opposed to some moral scourge that threatens the institution.
Which is what makes his column today (sorry, ESPN Insider) so baffling.
In it he takes issue — in a way more agitated state than he normally portrays about, well, anything — with the official statements the Biogenesis linked ballplayers have made since the story broke. He particularly focuses on their comments about how they intend to cooperate with the investigation, calling it “posturing”:
Isn’t it amazing? Everybody who is caught really wants to help, wants to cooperate fully, but can’t answer questions … If those who are busted are truly contrite, they can give money made to charity. If they were truly sorry, they would have nothing to hide and they could answer any question from anybody, as lessons learned and passed on to others.
Olney is confused, I think, about with whom these players have a duty to cooperate. They have a duty to cooperate with Major League Baseball and, if it comes to it, law enforcement. They do not have a duty to “answer any question from anybody.” Indeed, given that they are subject to investigations by their employer and, potentially, the feds, they would be absolutely stupid to be “answering any question from anybody,” and indeed, both Major League Baseball and law enforcement would probably prefer that they didn’t so their investigations aren’t compromised.
In any event, these players do not have a duty to cooperate with the media or to testify in “the court of public opinion,” which 100% of the time means “the opinion of the writer penning the column you’re currently reading.” I gather that Olney would rather have them say nothing at all — he tweeted a few moments ago that he’d prefer a “no comment,” — but how that is acceptable when a short “I’m aware of the information, will cooperate with the investigation but cannot comment any more publicly” is so odious to him, I’m not sure.
But while we’re comparing comments, let’s compare two more, also from Olney’s column. Check out this bit, referring to Melky Cabrera‘s statement that, in taking PEDs, he made a “mistake”:
A “mistake”? Would someone who embezzled money from his company say he made ‘a mistake’? Would someone who used somebody else’s ATM card to take millions claim he made “a mistake”? Note to players who are linked to PEDs: If you get caught, please, enough with the statements that are supposed to convey contrition and sorrow and a desire to fix the problem of drug use in baseball. Just save it. Please, say nothing at all.
Then, a few paragraphs and a change of subject later, Olney tackles Todd Helton‘s DUI apology:
Helton, 39, declined to discuss the nature of help he’s receiving. He told The Denver Post after the news conference that he doesn’t believe he has a drinking problem. However, he reiterated that he’s following a protocol to avoid another misstep and recognizes the gravity of the situation.
Helton talked for 9 minutes, 47 seconds, his voice halting at times as he recalled telling his older daughter, Tierney, about the incident.
“I told her I made a mistake. Just like Daddy forgives you for your mistake. I have to learn from it. When I talk about taking the right steps, I am talking about her too,” Helton said. “She holds me very accountable too.”
What, no angry rant at Helton for having the gall to call his crime — a far more serious one than Melky Cabrera committed — a “mistake?” No demand for more information about Helton’s decision making and his judgment or, alternatively, an invitation to shut up? Why, Buster, are you so agitated at Melky Cabrera copping to a mistake which harmed no one but himself but totally cool with Helton copping to a mistake which could have killed multiple people?
To his credit, Olney rarely if ever traffics in hysterical outrage. I suppose, then, that’s why he’s so uneven in applying it here. Simple inexperience.
May 23, 2013, 11:32 PM EDT
If you watch enough baseball games, you’ll see the occasional error with an in-game graphic. You know how it goes, perhaps a player’s name is misspelled or the wrong name is shown with a particular player. However, we hit the jackpot tonight. In the FOX Sports Kansas City broadcast of the Angels-Royals game, there was…
May 23, 2013, 10:12 PM EDT
Austin Jackson is eligible to return from the disabled list on Monday, but it’s unlikely he’ll be ready by then. According to Chris Iott of MLive.com, Tigers manager Jim Leyland said today that Jackson “really hasn’t done any physical activity” since he was placed on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring on May…
May 23, 2013, 9:05 PM EDT
When Dodgers manager Don Mattingly made some pointed comments about his team yesterday, many thought that it was the beginning of the end for him in Los Angeles. It still might be, but the Dodgers are sticking with him for now. After we learned last night that Mattingly will indeed be the manager for Friday’s…
May 23, 2013, 8:25 PM EDT
After Chase Utley was scratched from the lineup earlier this week due to a “burning sensation” in his rib cage, it appeared unlikely that he would be able to avoid an extended absence, so it comes as no surprise that the Phillies are placing him the 15-day disabled list. Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that…
May 23, 2013, 7:35 PM EDT
After testing his right wrist in simulated games this week, Mark Teixeira is almost ready to take the next step. According to Erik Boland of New York Daily News, Teixeira could begin a minor league rehab assignment next Tuesday with Double-A Trenton. The veteran first baseman said last week that he expected to be back…
May 23, 2013, 6:25 PM EDT
It’s been expected all along that the Mets would keep prospect right-hander Zack Wheeler in the minors until June, in part to delay his service time, but here we are. Mike Puma of the New York Post was told by a “high-ranking team official” that Wheeler is expected to make 2-3 starts with Triple-A Las…
May 23, 2013, 5:30 PM EDT
Rafael Perez, who was released by the Twins earlier this week, has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Red Sox. Not so long ago Perez was an underrated left-handed setup man for the Indians, posting a 3.64 ERA in 329 career innings, but he missed nearly all of last season with a shoulder injury…
May 23, 2013, 4:46 PM EDT
Kelvin Herrera was one of the best relievers in baseball last season as a 22-year-old rookie, throwing 84 innings with a 2.35 ERA and 77/21 K/BB ratio while leading MLB with an average fastball velocity of 98.5 miles per hour. He’s struggled this season, mostly due to serving up eight homers in 20 innings, but…
May 23, 2013, 4:30 PM EDT
I said this morning that I’m a bit uncomfortable with the legend-building surrounding Evan Gattis. I think I’m not alone in thinking that it’s starting to get a little ridiculous. From an Atlanta radio stadion: Unless that’s a straight-up homage and I’m just reading in the satire.
May 23, 2013, 4:19 PM EDT
While pitching at LSU and in the Orioles’ farm system 2012 fourth overall pick Kevin Gausman’s game-day routine involved eating one powdered mini donut before taking the mound and four powdered mini donuts between each inning. Apparently he gave that up recently on the advice of nutritionists, but here’s what was waiting in Gausman’s locker…
May 23, 2013, 4:00 PM EDT
Carlos Zambrano pitched an extended spring training game today and wasn’t half bad: Carlos Zambrano’s extended spring training line today vs PIT at Carpenter Complex: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO, 64 pitches — Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) May 23, 2013 When he was signed and I laughed about…
May 23, 2013, 3:45 PM EDT
Here’s a little twist to the news that the Mariners are going to send Jesus Montero back to Triple-A: Michael Pineda, whom the Yankees acquired for Montero only to watch him get hurt, is almost ready to begin a minor-league rehab assignment. General manager Brian Cashman told Andy McCullough of the Newark Star Ledger that…
May 23, 2013, 3:30 PM EDT
Been staring at this story all day. Thinking I wasn’t gonna link to it. Thinking I had higher standards. But then the crowd thinned out, the bartender said it was last call and the only two of us in the place was me and it, so … The Yankee shortstop was spotted yesterday leaving one…
May 23, 2013, 3:15 PM EDT
Remember all those offseason quotes from general manager Terry Ryan about how the Twins were focused on improving last season’s terrible starting rotation? Their actual moves didn’t quite match the talk, as they signed Kevin Corrreia (who’s been decent) and Mike Pelfrey (who’s been awful) and traded for Vance Worley (who went from Opening Day…
May 23, 2013, 1:50 PM EDT
Derek Lowe, who was designated for assignment by the Rangers earlier this week, has been released after passing through waivers unclaimed. This could be the end for Lowe, who hasn’t posted an ERA under 5.00 since 2010 and allowed 13 runs in 13 innings in a low-leverage relief role for the Rangers at age 40.…
May 23, 2013, 1:30 PM EDT
Craig Robinson lives in Mexico. And based on when he tweets, I get the sense that he stays up late nights after going to Mexican baseball games and stuff. And I’m guessing he also has a lot of conversations with friends that start with “so, like, what if — seriously, now, listen — what if…
May 23, 2013, 1:18 PM EDT
Earlier this week Adam Eaton suffered a setback in his recovery from a sprained elbow ligament, but Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that an MRI exam revealed no structural damage. That’s obviously good news for the 24-year-old outfielder, although according to Piecoro he’ll still take 2-3 weeks off before resuming his rehab. Eaton…
May 23, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT
Not a ton going on today, so Kay and I talk about the pitchers in the mix.
May 23, 2013, 12:16 PM EDT
As you might expect considering he hasn’t played well for two years and is an impending free agent the Red Sox won’t try to negotiate a long-term deal with center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury before he hits the open market. General manager Ben Cherington revealed that on WEEI radio in Boston, saying: “We agreed before the…
May 23, 2013, 11:51 AM EDT
Jon Rauch passed through waivers unclaimed after being designated for assignment last week and the Marlins released the veteran reliever two months into a one-year, $1 million contract. Rauch was terrible for Miami, allowing 14 runs in 16.2 innings, but he had a 3.59 ERA with good secondary numbers for the Mets last season and…
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