20 February 2008

Andy Pettitte Interviews Self, Disappointed in Self

Embattled New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte appeared in training camp after a delay that the Yankees had granted for him to deal with the congressional hearings about the Mitchell Report, in which he is a key figure.

Then, in a move reminiscient of Woody Allen in Bananas, Pettitte posed questions to himself about the controversy surrounding his use of PEDs. For nearly an hour, Pettitte patiently and thoroughly answered questions he had posed about the Mitchell Report, steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs, his relationships with Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee, and the season ahead.

Pettitte began his interview with himself by stating that,"Part of me was a nervous wreck and scared to death to come up here today."

Pettitte did not clarify whether it was the "Pitcher" part or the "Interviewer" part of him that was nervous, though both guessed that it was the other. But Pettitte reassured himself that "we're all friends here" and that he need not be apprehensive, that he would be fair with himself.

With that assurance, Pettitte had the following dialogue with himself:

"Was it stupid? Yeah, it was stupid. Was I desperate? Yeah, I was probably
desperate," he said. "I wish I never would have done it, obviously, but I don't consider myself a cheater, no."
Pettitte justified this to himself this way:

"I didn't do it to try to get an edge on anyone. I didn't do it to try to
get stronger or faster or throw harder. I did it because I was that it might be
able to help me," he said.

When he challenged himself on the issue, however, Pettitte had to admit to himself,

"Well, I guess I did it to get an edge on the guys who couldn't or wouldn't use
HGH to try to recover from an injury faster. But that doesn't count, does it?"
"If people think I'm lying, they should call me a cheater," Pettitte said, before he reminded himself that there have been literally thousands of articles, columns and blog entries calling him exactly that.

Pettitte had no comment to himself on that.

Changing his own subject, Pettitte said, "I felt like I need to come out, be forward with this. Whatever circumstances or repercussions come with it, I'll take and I'll take like a man and I'll try to do my job."

He then clarified the statement for himself:

"No, my job as a pitcher. This interviewing gig is just a hobby."

Pettitte then brought up Roger Clemens' name and asked himself if there's any animosity between himselves and Clemens.

"Obviously it's put a strain, I think, on our friendship. I love him like
a brother."
Pettitte agreed that there was a strain there, though it was unclear which Pettitte had been responsible for the rift. When he asked himself about the allegations levied by Clemens that he had "misremembered" one or more conversations with Clemens about steroids and HGH, Pettitte responded,

"I'm just not going to go there. I've had to testify under oath. So has Roger. And, you know, I don't think that's anything I need to sit here and try to elaborate on with anyone else."
"Or even myself," he added.

Pettitte then apologized for bringing up the issue, but promptly forgave himself.

"I am relieved … [because] I felt like I had all this bottled up inside me," he said as he handed a urine sample to a testing technician for Major League Baseball's drug program.

Later in the afternoon, Pettitte got into uniform and worked out for the first time this spring, including throwing 35 pitches off a mound, also to himself.

"I'm hoping that, now that this HGH thing is behind us, I can focus on baseball, and that as I get into game shape, my fastball will return and I won't be able to do that anymore," he said.

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