(Main image photo credit: NY Yankees)
The hypocrisy is mounting.
The winds of change have to be on the horizon.
That’s why you need to remember August 23, 2015. It’s the day the New York Yankees looked the other way and honored Andy Pettitte by retiring his number and giving him a plaque in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium.
Move over Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle; there’s a PED-user amongst the greatest players immortalized in Yankees’ history.
Yes, the Yankees are embracing a player tainted by the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Better yet, the plaque doesn’t even mention Pettitte’s transgression.
PED use was supposed to be a death sentence, an ill that baseball wouldn’t be able turn away from. Yet the Yankees apparently are good with it.
Funny because they sure took time to finally warm up to Alex Rodriguez this season. Then again, it was hard to ignore a player that helped get that team to first place.
By honoring Pettitte, the Yankees have opened a door that can only be good news for Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire and others caught up in the steroid era of baseball.
The Yankees’ stance is an opposite view from BBWAA writers who have failed to put any players connected in the steroid era in the Hall of Fame so far.
The idea that Pettitte gets a pass because he was honest and admitted his mistake when he was caught is nonsense.
Either you used PEDs or you didn’t.
If you take five dollars from your grandmother’s purse or steal a million dollars from a bank, you are still the same thing – a thief.
There is no degree, no level that allows you to escape and others must pay the price. It’s becomes a game of favoritism. After awhile, fans will see through that and want equal treatment to all involved.
For sure, the Yankees are stepping out there, opening a door that they might not be able to close. Opening the floodgates to both criticism and applause.
“It’s a recognition of how impactful he was on us,” Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman to ESPN New York. “Listen, everyone makes mistakes.
“Everybody has debits on their ledge, so to speak. But he got less than most people walking this planet. He is as much deserving of the recognition, both professionally and personally. We are very fortunate to have had a guy like that here.”
This is only a great giant step if the Yankees treat all their former players in the same manner. If this is just to make Pettitte feel good, it’s wrong.
If it’s good enough for the Yankees to honor a past hero with issues, putting him next to some of the greatest players in the history of the game, then MLB America just might have to follow their lead.
The next thing to watch is Mike Piazza, the former Los Angeles Dodger and New York Mets catcher. He was always rumored to have been involved in steroid use but, like Bonds, Piazza never tested positive.
Last year, however, Piazza got just under 70% of the votes, garnering 384 of the required 412 votes.
Surprisingly, Piazza’s vote total has steadily increased, giving fans reason to believe that maybe some of the baseball writers have softened their stance against players associated with PEDs.
In reality, the Steroid Era can’t be ignored or disregarded. It happened.
If the New York Yankees’ and Boston Red Sox’s championships, and all the wins and losses count for teams with players that allegedly used PEDs during this untested drug use history in MLB, then all the statistics by these players all count.
And it’s from those numbers that you are supposed to vote for the Hall of Fame.
Either nothing counts from the Steroid Era or everything counts. You can’t fudge it or pick and chose what numbers you want to say are legit.
Worse than that is the obvious eye test that writers have ignored, turning their heads the other way in favor of others.
If you can honestly look at Bonds from the early days until the end of his career and not think he’s a Hall of Famer, you have no clue when it comes to an all-time great of the game.
The Yankees looked at Pettitte – warts and all – and still said yes, Pettitte is an all-time Yankees’ great.
And with that, the flood gates have officially opened.