Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling says that the team urged him to consider taking banned PEDs to speed up his recover from a shoulder injury in 2008. Steroids are now as much a part of baseball’s past time as Ty Cobb, Pete Rose and the 1994 strike that cancelled the World Series. There are blemishes on baseball’s record and then there’s the decade long battle with performance enhancing drugs that has rattled the sport and crippled it’s credibility.
Schilling says that when he injured his shoulder in 2008 and started missing games due to his rehab, the Red Sox came to him and urged him to consider taking steroids to rapidly speed up the tissue growth in his shoulder so that he could return to the rotation. Schilling never did pitch in 2008 and he never pitched again, but he’s throwing vintage heat at the Red Sox and at major League Baseball.
“At the end of my career, in 2008 when I had gotten hurt, there was a conversation that I was involved in in which is was brought to my attention that this is a potential path I might want to pursue,” Schilling told ESPN Radio.
When pressed as to who exactly approached him, Schilling said he couldn’t tattle anymore than he had but that the persons are no longer with the organization.
“They’re no longer there,” Schilling said. “It was an incredibly uncomfortable conversation. Because it came up in the midst of a group of people. The other people weren’t in the conversation but they could clearly hear the conversation. And it was suggested to me that at my age and in my situation, why not? What did I have to lose? Because if I wasn’t going to get healthy, it didn’t matter. And if I did get healthy, great.”
Baseball has tried to stand firmly against the use of steroids and will begin more hard-lined drug tests in the future. But while Major League Baseball is claiming it’s cleaning up the sport, it’s discouraging to hear that everyone from the top of organizations to the janitor are less concerned with following ethical rules and more concerned with winning.
The question you need to be asking yourself, and it’s a question no Red Sox fan wants to ask, is if Schilling was approached in 2008 and asked to used PEDs as though it was the norm, how long had this being going on in the Red Sox clubhouse? It pains the baseball community a great deal, but the validity of the 2004 and 2007 World Series’ won by the Red Sox has now been called into question.
And that sucks on so many levels for baseball fans. Has every great moment of this generation of baseball been juiced?
But hey, this is American professional sports, what do you expect from the supposed best of the best? The right answer is better, but we’re quickly being conditioned to expect this kind of shady maneuvering around rules in more sports than just baseball.