Feb 18, 2013, 1:47 PM EST
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.
Dec 6, 2013, 4:50 PM EST
Nate McLouth won’t have to move far, as Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the former Orioles outfielder has agreed to a two-year deal with the Nationals. There’s no starting job for McLouth in Washington, where Bryce Harper, Denard Span, and Jayson Werth all figure to play almost every day, but Rosenthal says he’s “expected…
Dec 6, 2013, 3:42 PM EST
Two seasons into a four-year, $46 million contract the Phillies are trying to trade Jonathan Papelbon, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. Papelbon has been very good for the Phillies with a 2.67 ERA that’s not far off from his 2.33 ERA for the Red Sox, but his strikeout rate and average fastball velocity both…
Dec 6, 2013, 2:29 PM EST
Here’s the rundown of where this winter’s top 150 free agents are landing, continuously updated throughout the offseason. Re-signings are posted in red, while players signing with new teams are in blue. Stars denote players who received qualifying offers and thus will cost their new team a draft pick if they sign elsewhere. (Non-tenders have…
Dec 6, 2013, 1:50 PM EST
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Marlins are close to signing first baseman/corner outfielder Garrett Jones, who was let go by the Pirates last week. Jones lost his job to Justin Morneau down the stretch and the Pirates didn’t want to pay him around $5 million via arbitration. Why the Marlins want him is…
Dec 6, 2013, 1:23 PM EST
Now that the Mariners have signed Robinson Cano for $240 million there’s tons of speculation about their next big move, since the consensus is that Seattle has significant payroll space left to spend and remains aggressive on a number of trade and free agent fronts. Making a run at David Price would be another huge splash,…
Dec 6, 2013, 12:36 PM EST
The Rangers nearly traded for J.P. Arencibia before he was non-tendered by the Blue Jays. Now they have him anyway, signing him to a one-year deal, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. It’s worth $1.8 million and includes $300,000 in incentives, according to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal. Arencibia, who turns 28 next month,…
Dec 6, 2013, 12:14 PM EST
No, there’s very little chance that Robinson Cano will resemble a $24 million player in 2023. But at least he’s better than that now. In a world in which Jacoby Ellsbury is worth $22 million annually and middle-rotation starters get $10 million-$13 million per year, it’s hardly unreasonable to value Cano as a $30 million…
Dec 6, 2013, 11:48 AM EST
After going 12-12 with a 3.86 ERA for the Cubs and Orioles last season, Scott Feldman has landed a fat three-year, $30 million contract from the Astros, according to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal. Feldman had similar peripherals in 2012 with the Rangers, but since it resulted in a 5.09 ERA, his best offer was a one-year,…
Dec 6, 2013, 11:48 AM EST
In a big move that will nonetheless get almost zero attention among New York sports fans today, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Mets have signed former Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson to a four-year contract. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com says it’s worth $60 million. Granderson missed more than 100 games with…
Dec 6, 2013, 11:04 AM EST
As of this morning the New York Daily News was reporting that the Mariners were no longer negotiating with Robinson Cano because of Jay Z’s attempts to raise the second baseman’s price tag at the last minute. As of right now–and for the next 10 seasons–Cano is a Seattle Mariner. Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes…
Dec 6, 2013, 10:30 AM EST
For all the drama being reported this morning about Robinson Cano‘s talks with the Mariners falling apart over Jay Z’s negotiating tactics–and multiple well-respected reporters more or less confirming the story–Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com now says the talks are “still alive.” Who knows what exactly that means at this point, but if nothing else the…
Dec 6, 2013, 10:10 AM EST
UPDATE: Joel Sherman of the New York Post says it’s a done deal: One year, $16 million with some bonuses for innings pitched. ========== Yesterday general manager Brian Cashman seemed optimistic about Hiroki Kuroda ultimately deciding to return to the Yankees and now Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the two sides are close to…
Dec 6, 2013, 9:35 AM EST
Ryan Webb was non-tendered because the Marlins weren’t willing to pay him around $1.5 million despite a very good 2013 season and now Jonah Keri of Grantland reports that he’ll be getting more money elsewhere. According to Keri the right-handed reliever has agreed to a two-year, $4.5 million deal with the Orioles, who’re looking for…
Dec 6, 2013, 8:55 AM EST
Just when it looked like Robinson Cano was ready to say goodbye to the Yankees and sign a massive long-term contract with the Mariners talks have broken down and Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports that “Cano’s chances of landing in Seattle have apparently ended on a sour note.” According to Feinsand…
Dec 6, 2013, 7:57 AM EST
It was reported Wednesday that the Cubs intend to listen to offers on right-hander Jeff Samardzija during next week’s Winter Meetings in Orlando, but they haven’t given up all hope in retaining him for the long-term. Bruce Levine of 670 The Score in Chicago was told by a source that the Cubs have offered Samardzija…
Dec 6, 2013, 12:13 AM EST
The Rangers are zeroing in on catching help on the heels of A.J. Pierzynski leaving Texas for a one-year deal with the World Series champion Red Sox. While Kurt Suzuki was mentioned as a possibility earlier this week, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the Rangers and J.P. Arencibia are “progressing” toward a deal. Arencibia…
Dec 5, 2013, 11:15 PM EST
The Legend of Sam Fuld, it appears, will live on. Fuld was non-tendered by the Rays earlier this week, but Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times hears that the 32-year-old outfielder has received “lots of interest” since hitting free agency. He’s only been on the market for a couple of days and is still…
Dec 5, 2013, 10:40 PM EST
Last we heard, free agent second baseman Robinson Cano was reportedly on a private plane to Seattle to meet with the Mariners, who are prepared to offer him $225 million over the course of a nine-year contract. Meanwhile, the Yankees have been pretty firm about how high they are willing to go in negotiations. And as…
Dec 5, 2013, 9:50 PM EST
According to the Associated Press, Hall of Famer Dave Winfield has joined the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) as a special assistant to new executive director Tony Clark. Clark, who played 15 seasons in the majors, was officially appointed to the position of executive director this week following the death of Michael Weiner last…
Dec 5, 2013, 9:41 PM EST
UPDATE: Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports that Furcal will get $3 million plus incentives. 10:02 p.m. ET: Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel hears that Furcal will receive $3.5 million on the one-year deal in additional to playing time incentives. 9:41 p.m. ET: FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the Marlins…
- Curtis Granderson leaves Yankees for Mets (and $60 million) 61
- Robinson Cano agrees to $240 million deal with Mariners 234
- MLB, NPB nearing new posting system agreement 9
- Report: Talks between the Mets and Curtis Granderson have “intensified” 31
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- Robinson Cano agrees to $240 million deal with Mariners (234)
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- Report: Mariners willing to offer Robinson Cano a 10-year, $240 million deal (143)
- When will the Yankees regret the Jacoby Ellsbury contract? (100)
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