Major League Baseball is still buzzing about the shocking half-season suspension of Seattle Mariners second baseman Robbie Cano, which I wrote about here. Among the more unethical buzzes were the comments from former New York Yankee star Mark Teixeira, now a baseball analyst for ESPN, who played with Cano before he left the Yankees as a free agent. Asked about Cano’s testing positive for an agent used to mask steroid use, Teixeira said,
“Yeah, I don’t really want to get into too much detail. I love Robbie. I’m just not surprised. I don’t really want to go too much further, but I think a lot of people are kind of saying the same thing….Let’s just use this situation here. Robbie Cano’s assistant was on the list for Biogenesis. [Biogenesis was the sports medicine clinic involved MLB’s 2013 PED scandal that resulted in the suspensions of 14 players, including Yankee superstar Alex Rodriquez and former National League MVP Ryan Braun.] Now, of course, [Cano] had an assistant, you know, buy stuff for him. Alex Rodriguez got popped by Biogenesis, and [former Yankees outfielder] Melky [Cabrera] got popped. They were best friends. When someone gets lumped into that group, it’s because there’s evidence. There’s a paper trail. There’s a smoke trail.”
Teixeira either said too much or not nearly enough. If he has solid evidence to indicate that Cano, who denied using PEDs in his official statement (he might want to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge, too) not only is a steroid cheat but has been for years (Cano left the Yankees and Teixeira in 2013), then he should spill it. “I’m not surprised” is a cowardly innuendo. He calling Cano a liar, but not directly. Moreover, if he knew his teammate was cheating in 2013 and before, why did he wait until now to blow the metaphorical whistle? Why not when he knew a teammate was breaking MLB rules? If not then, why not when he knew an ex-team mate was cheating for an opposing team? Cano helped defeat the Yankees many times as a Mariner?
I have an ethics problem I discuss in some seminars involving the NASA and Morton Thiokol engineers who tried to get the launch of the doomed Challenger Space Shuttle postponed. One of the multiple choice answers a participant can choose to the question, “Should one or both of the engineers ‘blown the whistle’?” is “After the explosion, but not before.” Typically nobody chooses that option, though that’s what a lot of so-called whistle-blowers do. But that is exactly what Mark Teixeira just did, and in the most weeny-ish and equivocal way possible. Imagine one of those engineers rushing to the news media after the explosion and saying, “Yeah, I don’t really want to get into too much detail.. but I’m just not surprised. I don’t really want to go too much further.”
Let’s take a poll: