Jump to content

We're Friends , Right?


Lucky
 Share

This topic is 5342 days old and is no longer open for new replies.  Replies are automatically disabled after two years of inactivity.  Please create a new topic instead of posting here.  

Recommended Posts

When Andy Pettite, long a favorite of mine, became buddies with Roger Clemens, I was a little disappointed, since I wasn't a big Clemens fan. Now their friendship is being tested, and everyone wonders who is telling the truth. Personally, I don't believe Andy when he say he only used growth hormone twice, since that amount wouldn't do a darn thing for him. But if he was my friend, would I stand by him against a Congressional Committee? The New York Times today takes a look at male friendship and loyalty:

 

IN classic buddy movies like “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” a mismatched pair of friends learn to transcend their differences and forge a lasting, loyal friendship.

 

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/02/10/fashion/10budd600.1.jpg

 

Joshua Roberts/Reuters (left); Tim Sloan/Agence France-Presse - Getty Images

 

THE WAY WE WERE Andy Pettitte, top, and Roger Clemens, above, were in Washington last week to discuss charges of drug use among baseball players.

In recent months, baseball has provided a darker, and some might say, more realistic story line.

 

Brian McNamee, a personal trainer who worked closely with Roger Clemens, told federal investigators that he injected the pitcher with performance-enhancing drugs from 1998 to 2001.

 

Mr. Clemens vehemently denied the charges, and what followed was dizzying: Mr. McNamee makes pleading phone call; Clemens tapes the conversation and releases it to the press. One of Mr. McNamee’s lawyers declares, “It’s war now.”

 

Last week, it was revealed that Mr. McNamee has what he says is physical evidence — used syringes and gauze — that he gave to federal investigators.

 

Caught between the two men is the Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte, a close friend to Mr. Clemens. Mr. Pettitte has admitted that Mr. McNamee injected him with human growth hormone. All three men have dates to testify on Wednesday about the matter, and each other, before Congress. And everyone is wondering, what will Mr. Pettitte say?

 

Friendship hasn’t been this fraught since the days of Linda Tripp and Monica Lewinsky.

 

But to many psychologists and sociologists who study male relationships, this rift is an oft-told tale. In less-rarefied worlds — the office, college, a poker group — these experts say, men face similar choices: When do you rat out a pal? When do you stop a friend from harming someone? When do you take one for your buddy?

 

“These are moments when there’s a clash between two conflicting values connected to masculinity,” said Michael S. Kimmel, a sociologist at State University of New York at Stony Brook and author of “The Gendered Society.” “No. 1, you always do the right thing. And the second is, you never betray your friends.”

 

“When a Serpico comes along,” he said of Frank Serpico, the cop who blew the whistle on corruption in the New York City police department in the 1970s, “he’s both a hero and a villain.”

 

Scholars who study gender differences say that when deciding how far loyalty should go, men make calculations on a case-by-case basis rather than on any gender-specific prescription. Are jobs and livelihoods on the line, as in the insider-trading scandals in which co-workers testified against one another? Is the friendship more valuable than personal fulfillment, as in the case of a man who pursues his friend’s wife?

 

For athletes, the calculus is complicated by an unspoken code. Teams need to be cohesive to work together, sports sociologists noted. It is what has kept teammates, both male and female, they said, from speaking out publicly — not just about illegal or unethical acts like steroid use but private matters like the sexual orientation of a teammate or an affair between a teammate and a coach.

 

“There’s a tendency to protect a teammate or the organization, even at the expense of higher moral principles,” said Faye L. Wachs, a professor at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona who specializes in sports sociology.

 

Jim Bouton, a pitcher and the author of the 1970 baseball memoir, “Ball Four,” said men become “like family and you stick up for each other.”

 

When his book exposed amphetamine use, heavy drinking and fighting among players, Mr. Bouton was labeled a Benedict Arnold by the baseball establishment, some ex-teammates and the press, but he never considered his book an act of betrayal.

 

“There are things I didn’t put in the book because I thought they’d violate the players’ confidences too much,” said Mr. Bouton, explaining that his goal had been to share what it was like to be a ballplayer, which he was with the Yankees and the Seattle Pilots. He described the experience as mostly “fun.”

 

“I did hold back,” he said. “It’s a tell-some book.”

 

In the military, the code of loyalty is strong as well, because combat units must also rely on each other to survive life-and-death situations. In cases where misconduct is ambiguous, meaning it could be viewed as necessary, “People are not going to volunteer information” against a fellow soldier, said Mackubin T. Owens, a professor at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., and a former marine in Vietnam.

 

Mr. Owens pointed to a Pentagon mental health survey of American soldiers and marines in Iraq, released last year, that showed that more than half of respondents would not turn in a fellow service member for mistreating an Iraqi civilian. More than 40 percent of those surveyed, the Pentagon reported, said torture should be allowed to save the life of a soldier or marine.

 

had been to share what it was like to be a ballplayer, which he was with the Yankees and the Seattle Pilots. He described the experience as mostly “fun.”

 

“I did hold back,” he said. “It’s a tell-some book.”

 

In the military, the code of loyalty is strong as well, because combat units must also rely on each other to survive life-and-death situations. In cases where misconduct is ambiguous, meaning it could be viewed as necessary, “People are not going to volunteer information” against a fellow soldier, said Mackubin T. Owens, a professor at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., and a former marine in Vietnam.

 

Mr. Owens pointed to a Pentagon mental health survey of American soldiers and marines in Iraq, released last year, that showed that more than half of respondents would not turn in a fellow service member for mistreating an Iraqi civilian. More than 40 percent of those surveyed, the Pentagon reported, said torture should be allowed to save the life of a soldier or marine.

 

Men often test friendships in social circles, too. Mr. Kimmel cited the “wing man,” who sacrifices his time by walking over with his buddy to an attractive woman at a bar to help seduce her. “It’s sort of the essence of friendship, to sacrifice something to prove your loyalty, he said.

 

Bradford H. Turnow, a 35-year-old elementary school teacher in Long Island who runs the Yankees fan site historyoftheyankees.com and would approve if Mr. Pettitte kept talking, said most men would be reluctant to expose a friend. But that was not the case six months ago when he called a friend in his poker group on an unfair play that affected another player. “Guys are less afraid to speak up in front of a group and say, ‘That’s wrong,’ ” Mr. Turnow said.

 

Half of the eight men sided with Mr. Turnow, he said, and the argument became so heated he walked away from the table for 10 minutes to calm down.

 

In the end, he said, friends patched things up over many conversations, and the group survived.

 

When the lines get blurry, so do the decisions. Tom Chen, a graduate student at Brown, said that an antisexism men’s group he founded in 2006 at Amherst discussed ethical scenarios, like what someone should do if a friend tries to get a woman drunk to have sex with her. Do you stop the friend?

 

Mr. Chen, 23, said most of the 20 men in his group said they would, but many were also concerned about angering the friend, appearing prudish and bucking the norm.

 

The pressure to be “one of the guys” is powerful, said Jackson Katz, an author on issues of masculinity. He said before acting, men often weigh the risk of ostracism and loss of status. “Guys make calculations all the time that it’s not worth it,” he said. Men “have this notion that you try to prove yourself as a man.”

 

Women do seem to have a different notion of friendship. In the research literature, their bonds are described as “face to face,” meaning they share feelings more intensely. Male relationships are “side by side,” less touchy-feely and built around activities like sports or work.

 

But some experts noted that when it comes to loyalty, men and women are not as sharply divided as they once were. In institutions like the police and military, the same code of behavior rules over both sexes, as the torture scandal in Abu Ghraib prison showed.

 

And, of course, women are capable of betraying confidences, and men are capable of extremely generous and selfless acts. The former Dallas Cowboys star Everson Walls, for instance, donated a kidney last year to a former teammate, Ron Springs.

 

Peter M. Nardi, a professor of sociology at Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif., who has written about heterosexual and gay male friendships, said the nature of bonds could also vary depending on ethnicity, sexual orientation and social class. Gay men, for example, share issues of identity and disclose more to each other than heterosexual men do.

 

In any case, friendships are rarely worth criminal charges, as the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick discovered. His friends turned on him, implicating him as the owner and operator of a dogfighting ring. (Mr. Vick was sentenced recently to 23 months in prison.)

 

In the steroid scandal, baseball players could face perjury charges, and that is putting pressure on friendships. Indeed, Mr. Pettitte and Mr. Clemens, teammates on the Astros and the Yankees, are reportedly no longer so close.

 

Mr. Bouton said he doubted that Mr. Pettitte would go out of his way to hurt his friend. But if he has information and he is at risk of perjury, Mr. Bouton predicted, “he’s not going to jail for Roger Clemens.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

According to the New York Times website, Andy Pettitte has asked to be

excused from Wednesday's testimony because he does not want to say anything publicly to hurt Roger Clemens.

 

 

My speculation: Did Clemens follow Pettitte to the Houston Astros in 2004, 2005 and 2006 and to the New York Yankees in 2007 to make sure Pettitte keept his mouth shut?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I personally think that this issue is a bunch of crap.

 

Now, let me start off with a little disclaimer, I lost all respect for baseball players when the strike happened, I was a kid, and looked up to these guys, then they dashed all of my "idol-ness" because they were just in it for the money.

 

Now, if say I was working for a prominent airplane manufacturer and I was using drugs, I would be fired. If I was a cab-driver, and I was drunk behind the wheel, I would be fired.

 

Do you see where I am going with this?

 

Does the fact that they make millions of Dollars disregard the fact that y are breaking rules, and that should nullify their contract, and they should be fired?

 

My late grandfather worked in the business, I never had the chance to discuss with him the matters of Drug-use in the leagues, however, I have to believe that at one time it was acceptable.

 

As are all drugs to a point. But now that it is not, It should not happen.

 

PA :+

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now we can ADD John Rocker into the Steroid Mix! He said recently that he did them in 2000, everyone knew about it Including the Commish! He was at his Craziest around that time, so I doubt he's lying about it.

 

I alway's thought Jose Canseco was telling the Truth in his Book!

 

But then again I've always been a SUCKER for a Hunk! ;-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Four Wharton professors have questioned Clemens's achievements in a way that will make it very difficult for Clemens to talk his way out of. No wonder Pettitte did not want to appear tomorrow.

 

From the University of Pennsylvania's DAILY PENNSYLVANIAN of 2/12/08:

 

"When the use of data analysis seeped into the Roger Clemens steroids saga, four Penn professors shifted their focus from the Wharton curve to the Rocket's splitter.

 

On Jan. 28, Hendricks Sports Management, the agency that represents the seven-time Cy Young Award-winner, released an 18,000-word statistical report aimed at disputing that Clemens had taken performance-enhancing drugs.

 

In Sunday's New York Times, Wharton professors Eric Bradlow, Shane Jensen, Justin Wolfers and Adi Wyner published their own findings on Clemens' career, refuting many conclusions raised in the Hendricks report. They plan to release a full 15-page article in the coming days.

 

"Clemens' people sought to use the statistics as evidence of his innocence, and we think they fundamentally failed to make any reasonable case there," Wolfers said.

 

The professors cite a selection bias in the sample of pitchers included in the report.

 

In explaining the precedent for Clemens' late-career success, the Hendricks study compared Clemens to three pitchers - Nolan Ryan, Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson - that remained successful into their 40s. This tactic immediately caught the professors' attention.

 

"You can't just cherry-pick people with late-career success and say, 'Aha! That proves it. There's other people like that,'" Bradlow said.

 

In their analysis, the professors compared Clemens with a wider range of pitchers that fulfilled the following criteria: at least 15 years in the big leagues since 1968, at least 10 starts each year and no fewer than 3,000 career innings pitched.

 

Using these parameters, they found that Clemens' career trajectory did not appear so typical.

 

"What emerges for pitcher after pitcher is you start off a little raw, you improve, you peak out at about [age] 31, and then you decline," Wyner said. "Clemens gets better, gets worse, then gets better again."

 

Representatives from Hendricks Sports Management - who did not return a phone message seeking comment - released a formal rebuttal of the professors' critiques.

 

"Roger Clemens is not like every other pitcher in this group," Clemens' agent Randy Hendricks said in a statement. "He is considered perhaps the best pitcher of his generation. The professors make the mistake of thinking that his career arc should look like the arc of every other pitcher in their selected group."

 

The professors contend that their work makes no attempt to marginalize the quality of Clemens' performance, but rather that it illustrates how anomalous his path to success was.

 

"We're not talking about quality; we're talking about trajectory," said Wyner, who won last year's Statistics Department fantasy baseball league.

 

"People do not [tend to] have his trajectory of having bad years during their prime and then great years at the end."

 

The Hendricks response also criticizes the professors for ignoring the changes that have taken place in baseball over the last several decades, such as "the lowering of the pitching mound [and] the tightening of the strike zone."

 

According to Wolfers, such an argument is ludicrous.

 

"Things like the tightening of the strike zone actually make it even more unlikely that Clemems would have improved as he got older," said the professor, who made the sports pages last year for his study on potential racial biases in NBA referees. "In fact, the criticism goes exactly the opposite direction from what they wanted to do."

 

Further, the professors argue that there is no statistical basis for Hendricks' conclusion about Clemens' efforts to "adjust his pitching style." One of the chief points raised in the Hendricks report was that the development of Clemens' signature split-fingered fastball - and not performance-enhancing drugs - was responsible for the pitcher's longevity.

 

"There's absolutely no data in the Clemens report about any kind of evolution of pitch selection," Jensen said. "For something that's supposed to be a statistical analysis that makes this claim, it would have been nice to see some statistics to back that up."

 

Despite their problems with the presentation of facts in the Hendricks report, the professors make no insinuations about Clemens and potential steroid use.

 

"I'm a huge Roger Clemens fan," Bradlow said. "We have no ax to grind. Our New York Times article is merely a factual statement about what the data says."

 

With Clemens' long-awaited testimony before Congress looming tomorrow morning, that "factual statement" has landed the professors at the center of a media circus.

 

Jensen, for example, appeared on ESPN's First Take and on the Comcast Network yesterday.

 

"It's been kind of a whirlwind relative to what I'm used to in my career," said Jensen. "But I think we're at the four-minute, 50-second mark of our five minutes of fame."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You know guys I just don’t get it. What the hell is all of the razzamatazz regarding professional baseball player’s use of steroids - a Congressional hearing, fans wringing their hands, owners and coaches claiming ignorance – bull shit. Unless all these people have spent the last thirty years on another planet they can’t be shocked. Over the years we have seen boxers, runner, and bodybuilders all admit to the use of steroids – so why should we be surprised that baseball players use them as well. Furthermore the use of steroids by baseball players has to be minor along side that of football players. I would also we willing to bet a big bunch of change that, god forbid, even basketball players use them. Whenever performance enhancing drugs are available to athletes they are going to be used – period.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been listening to the hearings, and all I can say is that they are both lying. The doses of steroids or HGH that they are talking about are not therapeutic. IF in fact anyone used steroids, they used a lot more than is under discussion.

 

Now we learn that even the honest Andy Pettite left out the fact that he used it more than he said, because his father was getting it for him in Mexico and at his gym.

 

I expect that Clemens was getting it from someone other than McNamee as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yet Pettitte stated that Clemens told him that he (Clemens) was taking H.G.H. Am I correct that if Pettitte left that out, no one would know the difference (except Andy's wife whom he told)? That comments is very damaging for Clemens. Everyone is down playing the anounts they took. Why even do if you are going to use such small amounts?

 

I thought Waxman did a good job (didn't watch all of the hearings).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From what I observed both parties did not look very credible… Still, why is congress wasting time (and my tax dollars) on this nonsense with larger issues looming out there? Actually, a few of the congressional interrogators (from both sides of the aisle) who were trying to act high and mighty probably have committed worse crimes in their personal and political lives.

 

Now if they were really concerned with the steroid problem why not also turn the investigation in the direction of Hollywood… where I am sure an even greater abuse exists…as in, “We’re shooting in four weeks. You need to get buff.” However, that will never happen… too many toes might be stepped on… not to mention too many political contributions placed in jeopardy.

 

For the record, I lost respect for Roger Clemens when he said he was going to retire and then kept on playing like an "over-the-hill operatic diva" on a never-ending farewell tour. That Andy Pettite followed him to Houston was also a major disappointment for me…

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"That Andy Pettite followed him to Houston was also a major disappointment for me…"

 

That's one disappointment you can get over.

 

Clemens followed Pettitte to Houston and then followed Andy back to the Yankees in 2007. Clemens changed his mind about retiring when Andy signed with the Astros in 2004, a team close to Roger's home.

 

As to the congressional investigation, the more the word gets out to kids about the dangers of H.G.H. and steroids the better, whether it's happening in sports or Hollywood.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whoever did the leading or the following... I was disappointed that Pettite got involved with Clemens… actually I always thought they more or less conspired together so as to give Clemens an excuse to continue his career… so my disappointment continues.

 

As for spreading the word about the dangers of Steroids, I dare congress to go the Hollywood route.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lucky, you often post entire articles from the NYT and other sources, but I don't think that's a very good idea, since the NYT requires you to get permission to reprint their content. Otherwise, it's copyright infringement. You're allowed to quote portions of up to 25 words, as long as you link back to the original source. When I want to post something from another source, whether it's the New York Times or a blog or whatever, I always pull out a small part to get the reader's interest, and then include the link so they can read the rest if they're inclined. I think, for Daddy's sake and the sake of this site, that we should all be diligent about making sure this is a policy we follow.

 

Here are answers to frequently asked questions about New York Times rights and permissions: http://www.nytimes.com/membercenter/faq/rightspermissions.html#rightsperqa5

Link to comment
Share on other sites

why is congress wasting time (and my tax

>dollars) on this nonsense with larger issues looming out

>there?

>

As one of the Congressional reps said yesterday at the hearing, the reason Congress is involved is because a whole generation of American children are being exposed to their heros taking illegal substances to gain an advantage in sports. Beyond the issue of cheating, the main threat is to the health of these kids who are impressionable and likely to emulate their heros behaviour.

 

IMO, that is why this is NOT nonsense and Congress should be involved. Frankly, is there anything more important than the future of the country that is invested in today's children???

 

I watched the hearings yesterday on CNN and I have to say that the testimony given by Mcaname (sp?), the trainer, had the ring of truth. Despite all his previous lies and dissimulations, when he came clean I believe he was telling the truth. There is nothing unusual IMO of someone trying to cover up something to protect a client or friend but then spilling the beans when that friend turns on him, as Clemens did when he secretly taped a conversation between Mcaname and his lawyers.

 

I have personally witnessed the taking of steroids at fitness gyms back in the 90's. It was endemic at that time. I don't work out any more at a gym so I don't know if the situation is still the same. But I know some dancers are still taking them and other substances to enhance their looks. One dancer I know has the tiniest balls now after prolonged use of steriods but he sure looks good! :-(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Like most of what congress does this will have little effect… and the way they are going about it is a waste of time and money… lots of grandstanding and why just one sport and only several individuals? Probably another example of good intentions going for naught…

 

I know of a specific example where a teenager admitted steroid use to a healthcare professional after a surgical procedure was unsuccessful due to the steroid use effecting bone regeneration. The doctor, due to privacy laws, never explained all the facts to the parents. I am not sure if that was the correct thing to do, but that is how the doctor decided to approach the situation. To this day the parents still have no clue…

 

I don’t have the answer. Is it better parental involvement? Instilling responsibility in the adults that partake? How do you enforce such things? Well, you theoretically probably can… but in all practicality what happens in the home, in a back ally, in a gym, at a modeling agency, on the back lot of a Hollywood studio, etc. occurs under the radar. Perhaps the answer is better law enforcement at the local level? Still in the final analysis, how do you legislate personal responsibility?

 

I think that we have all seen the effects of steroids, the effects of other banned substances, not to mention the effects of smoking and other activities that have been investigated by congress… and investigated over and over again… and guess what? Kids and adults are going to partake even when they know what the ill effects will be… Unless they have been living under a rock, I can guarantee that virtually every person who is taking the stuff knows the risks… just like those who smoke know the risks… It is a choice… not a good choice… but a choice that will define their lives… Some of us do indeed make better choices than others.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...