I spoke to a source with Major League Baseball this afternoon who tells me that MLB will investigate Curt Schilling’s claim on ESPN radio yesterday afternoon that a Boston Red Sox employee told him he should take PEDs when he was suffering from shoulder trouble in 2008.
The source did not say what, exactly, would be done, but it’s hard to see how any investigation of this claim does not begin with Schilling himself. Earlier today Schilling said he would not identify who told him to take PEDs in 2008. It will be interesting to see if he is any more forthcoming to the league.
Meanwhile, Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com spoke with a source who thinks Schilling is making a mountain out of a molehill:
… a source familiar with the situation said, “I’m sure if anyone said something like that, it wasn’t meant to be serious. I would bet my bottom dollar on that.”
Also this afternoon, Evan Drellich of MLB.com reported that team president/CEO Larry Lucchino said that the Boston Red Sox will look into the claim itself. As Schilling noted in his interview, however, the person is no longer employed by the Red Sox.
Baseball news has been dominated by drug stories for the past week and change. It looks like it will continue to be so dominated for a while longer. But it is worth observing that Major League Baseball seems as serious about investigating an allegation relating to team personnel and PEDs as it is in investigating players who allegedly used. Which is a good thing.
The Cleveland Indians will unveil a Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field on Saturday.
Robinson’s tenure in Cleveland was not long, but it was historic. On April 8, 1975, he became the first African-American manager in Major League history. He was a player-manager. One of the last ones, in fact. He spent two years in that role and then a third year — a partial year anyway — as a manager only. Robinson would go on to manage the Giants, Orioles and the Expos/Nationals, compiling a career record of 1065-1176 in 16 seasons. He is now a top MLB executive.
Robinson was, of course, a Hall of Fame player as well, lodging 21 seasons for the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels and Indians. He won two MVP awards and hit for the Triple Crown in 1966. Overall he hit 586 home runs – 10th all time – and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. For an inner-circle Hall of Famer with that kind of resume he is still, strangely enough, underrated. I guess that happens when your contemporaries are Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle.
Anyway, congrats to Frank Robinson for yet another well-deserved honor in a career full of them.
Here’s an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal. It’s about some studies of hitters who use weighted bats or doughnuts on their bats in the on deck circle. Turns out that, contrary to conventional wisdom, using a weighted bat for practice hacks does not speed up one’s swing when one uses a naked bat in the batter’s box. In fact, it slows it down.
There are lots of caveats here. The sample size in the studies are small and they all involve college and high school players, not big leaguers. The results, however, are consistent with previous studies and they do make some intuitive sense. This is particularly the case with batting doughnuts, which add weight to a very concentrated portion of the bat, thereby changing the center of gravity and thus the swing mechanics of the hitter.
Whether this is applicable at large or to higher level hitters or not, I still find it kind of neat. I always like it when people scrutinize ingrained habits and ask whether or not that thing we’ve always done is, in fact, worth doing.