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.”
“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).