• Kaat: I Was Part Of The Problem

    Posted by on February 19th, 2009 · Comments (8)

    Via TCPalm.com -

    Jim Kaat blames himself.

    Or, to be more precise, he takes his share of the blame for the steroids scandal that has tarnished the game he loves.

    “All of us in and around the game during that period, we could see what was going on,” Kaat was saying the other day from his Stuart home. “We could see the size of the bodies. We could see how far the ball was traveling. And none of us made a big deal of it.

    “So we’re all to blame.”

    “I probably should’ve said something,” Kaat said. “Maybe I should’ve called the commissioner and told him what I was thinking. I know Bud (Selig) well enough. He would’ve listened. But I didn’t.”

    Why?

    “Good question,” Kaat replied. “I guess I didn’t feel obligated enough or convicted enough. If I were an active player, maybe I’d have felt differently and said something. But as a media person, I just covered the games. That probably sounds like a lame excuse.”

    Truth is, Kaat was torn.

    How could he rip players for using steroids, particularly when they weren’t illegal in baseball and the game hadn’t yet adopted a testing program, when he wasn’t sure he wouldn’t have succumbed to the same temptation?

    “I was in or around the game for 50 years, I love baseball and I treated it right,” Kaat said. “But if I were playing in that era — when there were no rules against it, no real penalty — and I saw the guy next to me throwing noticeably harder than I was, would I have tried it? I might have. I might’ve been the first in line.”

    I miss Kitty. It would be great to see him get back into the game, somehow, in some capacity, now that the health issue with his wife has come to a close. Actually, he’d make a heckuva bench coach, if you ask me. No knock on Tony Pena – but, Kaat could be what Don Zimmer was to Joe Torre (for Joe Girardi).

    Comments on Kaat: I Was Part Of The Problem

    1. BellaSakura
      February 19th, 2009 | 6:05 pm

      But it wasn’t just “this” era. Why are they acting like these guys introduced steroids to baseball?

      Football players were taking steroids in the 60s and 70s but some media people are acting like they didn’t make their way to baseball.

    2. Raf
      February 19th, 2009 | 6:44 pm

      But it wasn’t just “this” era. Why are they acting like these guys introduced steroids to baseball?
      ———–
      Because it’s their way of feeling self important. Besides, who needs to do any kind of research, when these kind of stories write themselves?

      Look at what’s going on with Rodriguez? This is like manna from heaven for these sports reporters.

    3. February 19th, 2009 | 6:53 pm

      I don’t think Kaat was any more to blame than everyone else around baseball. I hope he doesn’t truly feel burdened by this.

    4. Evan3457
      February 19th, 2009 | 7:35 pm

      Kaat didn’t get more involved for the same reason most of the media didn’t. Nobody wanted to be the first whistleblower; nobody wanted to be the target of the players’ anger. Especially when nothing would’ve happened. All it would’ve done was get the players angry, and the Yankees organization angry, and they would’ve denied him access he felt he needed to do his job.

      A lot of the anger from the media directed at the cheating players who’ve been uncovered is displaced guilt over their own moral cowardice.

      Now, I wouldn’t exactly say this was moral cowardice on the order of those who stayed on the sidelines during slavery, or Jim Crow, or the Holocaust. (Then again, the penalty for going against the tide in those instances was frequently real death, as opposed to career death.)

      But I can’t help feeling a lot of the hypocritcal rage against A-Rod coming from the media and news reporters right now is a sad attempt to play catch-up for not doing more 20 years ago, or 15, or even 10.

      I can’t prove any of that, of course. But it’s the way I feel, reading through all the snark and phony outrage.

    5. February 19th, 2009 | 9:30 pm

      Steve

      Kaat is calling some of the WBC games – as seen here: http://awfulannouncing.blogspot.com/2009/02/your-full-world-baseball-classic.html

    6. February 19th, 2009 | 10:09 pm

      Cool – thanks Sean!

    7. thenewguy
      February 19th, 2009 | 10:25 pm

      I’m glad somebody finally stopped grandstanding. This is a levelheaded response from someone who isn’t simply trying to find the next person to blame and ostracize. I don’t blame anything on Kaat, at least not anymore than anyone else around the game.

      I mean, I’m sure Kaat saw people take greenies. He probably took them himself. Maybe he even saw people do steroids in his day. But these quotes are more honest than most.

    8. JOM
      February 19th, 2009 | 10:51 pm

      Lombardi, that is brilliant. I would be absolutely stoked if Kaat were Girardi’s bench coach.

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