Monday, March 22, 2010

Pettitte regrets HGH use, Clemens rift

The Daily News presented a nice backstory about how Andy Pettitte came to be a pitcher in the New York Yankees organization, embarking on a path that would lead him to become one of the most successful playoff pitchers in baseball history. But any profile about Pettitte has to address his use of human growth hormone, the great asterisk to his career, and the News doesn't shy away from it.

The story does a good job of trying to reconcile how this deeply religious man who doesn't drink, smoke or do recreational drugs came to be tempted by the quick injury fix offered by HGH. It's something that even Pettitte seems to still struggle with. He points to the frustration he felt about not being able to help his team, but that doesn't quite explain how he could go against everything he believed in to do something he knew was wrong.

What's interesting is how much Pettitte is bothered by the rift his admission and subsequent government testimony created with ex-pal Roger Clemens. Pettitte is clearly troubled by the deterioration of the relationship, which is puzzling to me because it's not really his fault. He told the truth. And if his buddy Clemens had told the truth, he wouldn't be in as much trouble as he is now, with the government investigating him for perjury and his Hall of Fame election in serious jeopardy.

Baseball wise, Pettitte seems completely at peace with his career. He's genuinely humbled by all the talk of a potential Hall of Fame candidacy and his place in the history of the Yankees as one of the team's best starting pitchers.

Next up in the News series on Modern Yankee Heroes: Jorge Posada.

Thanks to Googie man via en.Wikipedia for the photo.

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