Wednesday, May 16, 2012

0 comments Jon Heyman Rescinds Andy Pettitte's Hall of Fame Vote for Non-Baseball Related Reasons, Then Accuses Pettitte of Perjury

(It is 10:23pm at night. Jon Heyman is preparing for bed, Tweeting one last Tweet in the hopes of coming off as a true elitist, when the phone rings and Heyman picks up) "Hello. This is Jon Heyman here, I hope you had a great day!"

(Scott Boras) "Jon, it's Scott."

(Jon Heyman) "Hey buddy! How are you? I was just thinki---"

(Scott Boras) "Shut the hell up or I won't take you out for ice cream this Sunday. Let me speak and don't try to speak when I am speaking. Remember 12 years ago at the owner's meetings when Andy Pettitte dinged my new Benzie with his car door?"

(Jon Heyman) "Of course, I remember that day. You were wearing a blue tie with a white shirt and those grey dress pants that always made you look charge."

(Scott Boras) "Enough with the sissy retrospective crap. Do some pushups while I'm talking to you. Remember I told you to do me a favor involving Pettitte at some point, but I don't know when, and it may never happen, but I'll tell you when it does? Don't answer, just nod."

(Jon Heyman nods and then starts doing pushups)

(Scott Boras) "The time has come to repay on that debt and I need you to take down Andy Pettitte today. Not tomorrow. Today. He perjured himself, or just say that he did, and then rescind your Hall of Fame vote for him in print."

(Jon Heyman) "Sure thing, boss. I'm still confused as to why I owe you a debt, but I will take down Pettitte so hard the tears will stain the pinstripes on his Yankees jersey. I wasn't going to vote for him to make the Hall of Fame anyway, but I guess that means it will be easier to take the vote away."

(Scott Boras) "Remember, he perjured himself. Don't bother looking up the facts about this statement, just write it."

(Jon Heyman) "Absolutely. So 6:30pm on Sunday for ice cream?"

(Scott Boras has already hung up)

Here is the offending column that resulted from this conversation between Boras and Heyman.

Yankees pitching great Andy Pettitte may have gotten Roger Clemens out of a jail sentence with his misremembering the other day in court.

I don't believe Andy Pettitte changed his testimony in any way. He thought in 1999 Roger Clemens confessed to HGH use, but in 2005 he states Clemens told him it was Clemens' wife who used the HGH. Pettitte testified in court when asked by the defense if he thinks he could have misunderstood Clemens confessing to his HGH drug use in 1999 and recanting in 2005 and this is what Pettitte said:

“You think it was 50-50 that you might have heard it, might have misunderstood it? Is that fair?”

“I’d say that’s fair,” Pettitte replied.

So Pettitte seems to believe there is a chance he didn't understand his original conversation with Clemens in 1999. This is consistent with his testimony in 2008 under oath to Congress:

Q: It sounds like when you — it sounds like your recollection of the conversation you had with him in 1999, you are fairly certain about that, that he told you he used it. Do you think it’s likely that you did misunderstand what Clemens had told you then? Are you saying you just didn’t want to get into a dispute with him about it so you dropped the subject?

A: I’m saying that I was under the impression that he told me that he had taken it. And then when Roger told me that he didn’t take it, and I misunderstood him, I took it for that, that I misunderstood him.

Basically Pettitte left the option out there in 2005, 2008, and now 2012 that he had misunderstood Roger Clemens in 1999 when he told Pettitte he was using HGH or another PED. Pettitte says it is "50/50" that he misunderstood. He isn't changing his testimony or recanting any part of his testimony. He is simply putting in numerical percentage form whether he believes he misunderstood Clemens or not. Pettitte isn't sure if he misunderstood Clemens. He took it as a misunderstanding in 2008 under oath and he still believes it may have been a misunderstanding in 2012.

I don't see his story as changing. So Jon Heyman is incorrect to claim Pettitte changed his testimony. Either way, Heyman is going to now punitively punish Pettitte for keeping a consistent line of testimony that led to Heyman's assumption of changed testimony.

No Hall of Fame for Pettitte!

But Pettitte's contradictory testimony cost himself a chance of at least one Hall of Fame vote -- mine.

So an off-the-field incident is what is going to lead Jon Heyman to conclude Andy Pettitte's performance on the field doesn't merit Hall of Fame consideration. Doesn't this sound a bit stupid. Is Chipper Jones going to get a vote from Jon Heyman? Jones is a liar and multi-incident adulterer. Do we really need guys in the Hall of Fame who knock up Hooters waitresses? I think not. Plus Jones talks out of the side of his mouth. This is real proof he is a liar.

There are several questions that need to be answered before considering Jon Heyman's childish refusal to vote for Andy Pettitte into the Hall of Fame.

1. Is Pettitte a Hall of Fame pitcher? I probably wouldn't vote for him at this point. Of course, he isn't even retired yet, so I would need a few more years to think about this.

2. If Pettitte is a Hall of Fame pitcher, should we count his admitted PED usage against him? It depends on your point of view about PEDs and the Hall of Fame.

3. If Pettitte is a Hall of Fame pitcher and we aren't going to count his admitted PED usage against him, should we hold off-the-field incidents that are only partially related to baseball against him? In this instance, he "changed" his story under oath. Should we really hold this against him since it has nothing to do with whether his performance on the field merited induction into the Hall of Fame? I say no.

4. Did Pettitte actually change his story under oath? Would this off-the-field incident even apply to his candidacy for the Hall of Fame? Again, I would say no. Whether Pettitte changed his story under oath isn't a matter of fact, it is a matter of opinion. I think he stayed consistent and was simply asked two different questions that he answered in two different ways.

5. Is it okay to test positive for HGH use if you had a really good reason for using HGH? This isn't my question, but instead seems to be a question Jon Heyman considers when voting for a player proven to use a PED. Heyman apparently decides if the player had a good or bad reason for using the PED. You will read more about this in a minute.

Pettitte's candidacy is a longshot, to be sure, and it depends on at least two factors.

You mean one factor? That factor being, was Pettitte good enough during his baseball career to be considered one of the best baseball players of all-time and does this merit his induction into the baseball Hall of Fame? Performance on the field counts. We could use off-the-field incidents from the past to show Hall of Fame voters haven't always taken off-the-field behavior into account. If they did take off-the-field behavior into account Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth possibly would not have made the Hall of Fame.

One, a voter probably has to weigh career impact over career statistics (assuming he doesn't stick around for a few more years and dramatically boost those numbers). And two, a voter probably has to take Pettitte at his word that he only used HGH twice, and only then to recover from injuries.

Yes, but both of these variables were present before Pettitte "changed" his testimony that caused him to lose Jon Heyman's Hall of Fame vote. So why the sudden change in vote now?

Pettitte lied for years when it came to his PED use, denying he ever took any such drugs right up until the day things got serious and baseball-appointed drug czar George Mitchell and the feds got involved. Then Pettitte changed his story to include two instances of HGH use, but only for recovery purposes.

Again, this happened a few years ago...why the sudden change in vote? These are facts. Pettitte denied PED use and then later admitted to it. Again, these are facts, so wouldn't it be easier to base the Hall of Fame vote on these facts? I think Jon Heyman had made up his decision and was still going to vote for Pettitte into the baseball Hall of Fame. It seems that way, doesn't it? Now he's changed his mind.

We who knew Pettitte as an exceeedingly pleasant and God-fearing man nodded right along with him. But now, how can we be so sure he was telling the truth then?

Does the reason WHY Pettitte took PEDs really matter? Isn't the use of PEDs the issue and not the reason behind the use of PEDs the main issue when it comes to Pettitte's Hall of Fame candidacy? If we are drawing lines in the sand on lying and PED use, don't move the line around. PED use needs to be judged simply on the use of PEDs, not on whether a player took them for the right or wrong reasons. I'm not sure we want to jump down the rabbit hole into a discussion of valid and invalid reasons for taking PEDs. So it doesn't matter why Pettitte took PEDs, we just know he took them and that's good enough for me to make a decision on his Hall of Fame candidacy.

Pettitte changed his story about Clemens. And remarkably, he changed it from one day to the next. It is fair to assume he wasn't being completely truthful one of those two days.

It seems Heyman's reasoning for not giving Pettitte his Hall of Fame vote is he believes Pettitte may have lied why he used PEDs, based on Heyman's perception Pettitte changed his story about Roger Clemens' PED use. Pettitte really didn't change his story. So the entire basis for re-considering the Hall of Fame vote is invalid in my opinion.

Let's stay in Jon Heyman's pretend world for a minute where Pettitte did change his story, just so I can tear down his argument on a different level. Why come down hard on Pettitte for lying under oath in 2012 when you know he lied to us previously about his PED use before it was revealed he had used HGH? Pettitte's lie about using PEDs isn't egregious enough to merit losing a Hall of Fame vote, but Pettitte's lie about Roger Clemens' PED use is egregious enough to merit losing a Hall of Fame vote? It seems Heyman is differentiating between severity of lies in an odd way. This isn't Pettitte's first lie. We know Pettitte lied about having used PEDs, but Jon Heyman believed the reason why Pettitte claims he used them and was going to give him the benefit of the doubt. Now Heyman only THINKS Pettitte is lying and this has rocked his view of Pettitte, causing him to question Pettitte's overall truthfulness.

At this point, Jon Heyman is just picking and choosing random reasons not to vote for Andy Pettitte. Pettitte's HGH use isn't enough to lose Heyman's vote. Pettitte's lying about his HGH use isn't enough to lose Heyman's vote. Changing his story about Roger Clemens' PED use IS enough to lose Heyman's Hall of Fame vote. So the criteria to be learned in order for a PED user to gain Jon Heyman's vote are as follows:

1. Have a good MLB career that merits Hall of Fame induction.

2. Use PEDs, but just have a good reason for doing so. Improving recovery time from injury is a valid reason.

3. Feel free to lie about your own personal PED use until the point you are caught.

4. Once you are caught, be a nice guy and admit to it immediately.

That keeps you in Jon Heyman's good graces. The easiest way to lose Jon Heyman's Hall of Fame vote is to be perceived as lying about someone else's PED use or why you specifically used PEDs. At that point, Jon Heyman will assume you just a big, fat liar (despite the fact we know Pettitte has lied before and that didn't bother Heyman) and think you used PEDs for a reason other than to recover from injury. This will cause you to lose Jon Heyman's Hall of Fame vote.

I have a headache. It would be nice if our Hall of Fame voters could base their vote upon whether a player performed well enough during his career to be considered one of the greatest baseball players of all-time. What's crazy is Jon Heyman doesn't care if a player lies about PED use. Instead, Jon Heyman bases his Hall of Fame vote on degrees of lying and the reason a player states he used PEDs. It's madness.

Under questioning by government lawyers, Pettitte, who's trying for a baseball comeback with the Yankees, said Clemens told him about Clemens' own HGH use while the pair were working out together back in 1999 or 2000.

Which is true. This is what Pettitte perceives that Clemens told him in 1999 or 2000.

Then only one day later, under questioning by Clemens' lawyers, Pettitte said he may have misunderstood the key HGH conversation. In fact, it's now 50-50 he misunderstood, he answered to Clemens attorney Michael Attanasio. "I'd say that's fair,'' Pettitte lamely answered to Attanasio.

But in 2008, Pettitte testified to the following:

A: I’m saying that I was under the impression that he told me that he had taken it. And then when Roger told me that he didn’t take it, and I misunderstood him, I took it for that, that I misunderstood him.

Clearly Clemens could have been lying in 2005 when he told Pettitte that Pettitte misunderstood their conversation in 1999. I think Clemens was lying and covering up what he said in order to confuse Pettitte. I don't know if Pettitte is protecting Clemens or not. In 2008, he acknowledged he could have misunderstood Clemens in 1999 when he "admitted" to using HGH. So Pettitte's testimony in 2012 reflects that he isn't sure if understood the 1999 HGH conversation or not, since Clemens claims Pettitte misunderstood it and told him so in 2005. Whether his answer was lame or not, it wasn't entirely inconsistent from his 2008 testimony to Congress.

Pettitte's under-oath changeup is so pathetic, Clemens' defense team is arguing Monday to strike his entire testimony, and I won't blame Judge Walton if he agrees.

No, Clemens' defense team knows Pettitte is a key witness against Clemens. They would probably try to strike his testimony regardless so as to help destroy the case against Clemens.

Pettitte's testimony was viewed by many as the key to the government's case, and now it can be thrown out.

Because Pettitte's testimony is key, the defense wants it thrown out. I don't know their strategy, but I imagine striking Pettitte's testimony would have been on the agenda regardless of what Pettitte testified to during the trial.

Pettitte may have torpedoed a worthwhile yet expensive case of perjury against Clemens with his sudden case of amnesia regarding a conversation he's been testifying consistently about for nearly five years.

I agree that Pettitte has been testifying consistently for five years and if the case is torpedoed it isn't because Pettitte changed his story.

But if Pettitte is willing to bend the truth under oath to aid someone else, why should we believe his own story of two usages of HGH only for recovery and no usages of steroids?

Ah yes, the stupid reasoning for not voting for Pettitte into the Hall of Fame. Not only does Pettitte lose Heyman's vote for non-baseball related reasoning, but Heyman is picking and choosing what lies Pettitte has told and how this will preclude him from being inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame. Shouldn't the fact Pettitte used PEDs be the issue for his Hall of Fame induction and this induction not be based on why he used the PEDs, but the fact he did use them? Every MLB player who used HGH or another PED thought he had a good reason to do so. I don't think Hall of Fame voters should be the judge of what a good/bad reason for using PEDs would be.

If you don't like a player used PEDs, don't vote for him to go into the Hall of Fame. Adding in good/bad reasoning for a player using the PEDs is including an entirely different and (irrelevant) element into the discussion. Jon Heyman has gotten so far from the real criteria he is supposed to use to judge a player's Hall of Fame candidacy, perhaps he should have his vote taken away.

I haven't mentioned this yet, but Jon Heyman is essentially accusing Andy Pettitte of perjury. How much I would like to see Andy Pettitte sue Jon Heyman for accusing Pettitte of this. It's just a pipe dream of course, but I'd still like to see it.

There are people who are going to say Pettitte isn't a Hall of Famer anyway, that he didn't win enough games, strike out enough batters or make enough All-Star teams.

There are also people who don't think Andy Pettitte is a Hall of Famer and use reasons that aren't arbitrary or stupid like using wins, strikeouts or All-Star teams as the main criteria for Hall of Fame induction.

But Pettitte is the only pitcher to begin his career with 16 seasons without a single losing season (Tom Seaver and Grover Alexander started with 15),

A pitcher's wins or losses is a team measurement, not entirely a measurement of how well a pitcher pitched in a given game or season.

his 19 career postseason victories is the most in history (and makes it 259 total victories),

Which can easily be explained by the fact he played for a team that made a ton of playoff appearances in the age of the Wild Card.

Some from the stat set may scoff at individual victories making a Cooperstown case. But there's more. Five times Pettitte finished in the top six in Cy Young voting.

Well, I didn't know Pettitte finished five times in the Cy Young voting. The same Cy Young voting that is tabulated by people like Jon Heyman, a person who wants to take away a Hall of Fame vote based on perceived (and not proven) perjury. Now I'm convinced.

The most similar pitcher to him is Mike Mussina, a clear Hall-of-Fame candidate by most accounts,


So Pettitte is at least a serious Cooperstown candidate based on on-field merit.

Which is the only criteria that should really matter. It isn't the baseball Hall of Fame for Guys Who Were Really Nice People and Good Citizens.

Others may reflexively rule him out based on using HGH at all, and that's up to them.

Others may accuse Pettitte of perjury and then rule him out based on something entirely apart from his HGH use and his record on the baseball field. Those people are Jon Heyman.

But I was of a belief that his impact via big October wins might earn him my vote, and also that I might be able to overlook the two admitted HGH usages as a pair of weak moments for a pitcher with an imperfect elbow.

Now, though, his own sympathetic HGH story comes into serious question.

He still used HGH. I don't believe reasoning should matter. Vote him in or out of the Hall based on this fact and let's not determine if there is a right or wrong reason to use HGH.

If he's willing to suddenly misremember under oath for a good buddy, it's easy to think now Pettitte only admitted to what he had to admit to.

Yes, take away a vote for Andy Pettitte based on pure speculation, while ignoring the facts you could use to base your Hall of Fame vote upon. What could go wrong?

I'd say the chances are 50-50 (at best) that Pettitte misremembered his own supposedly very limited usage.

I'd say accusing Pettitte of perjury, then rescinding your Hall of Fame vote because you pick and choose which type of statement made by Pettitte is a lie or the truth, and then basing your Hall of Fame vote (seemingly) on an off-the-field event is 95.4% stupid.