Curt Schilling explains the whole PED thing, says he wasn’t trying to call attention to himself

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Curt Schilling spoke with WEEI’s Rob Bradford last night and gave a thorough explanation of  Someone on the Red Sox Said Schilling Should Take PEDs-gate.

Read the whole thing, but among the key takeaways:

  • Schilling told Red Sox brass after it happened and MLB investigated, but admits he was less-than-forthcoming about it all to MLB because he didn’t want to get anyone in trouble; and
  • When Schilling brought it all up on Wednesday he wasn’t trying to get attention. Rather, he was trying to make a point about how people who take PEDs aren’t necessarily bad people making bad decisions.

Well, OK then. I think his behavior in 2008 — blow a whistle and then not cooperate with the authorities — is curious-at-best for someone who portrays himself as one of the more anti-PED guys. And if he didn’t think his comments on Wednesday were going to cause a stir he hasn’t been paying attention to anything he’s said or done for the past decade or so.  But it is Curt Schilling we’re talking about so anything is possible.

Beyond that: I still feel like there’s a general disconnect in the way all of this has gone down in the past 24 hours. Everyone’s first reaction — Jed Hoyer’s Larry Lucchino’s and Major League Baseball’s — was one of shock, surprise, and lets-get-to-the-bottom-of-this.  Curt Schilling’s first response on Twitter was that he wasn’t going to name names because that wouldn’t do any good.  Then, a few hours later, everyone agrees that, oh yeah, this was all handled back in 2008, nothing to see here.

Just … curious.

UPDATE:  Jed Hoyer, who was the Red Sox’ assistant general manager back in 2008, was asked about Curt Schilling’s comments yesterday afternoon. This is what he said:

“The first I ever heard of that was this morning when I saw it, so clearly, no, it didn’t ring true to me at all,” Hoyer said Thursday on The McNeil & Spiegel Show on 670 The Score. “I can tell you it would be preposterous that Theo or I would be involved in that. So I can comment for the two of us. I obviously wasn’t there. I don’t know the story he’s talking about so I can’t comment on the rest of it. I can tell you certainly it wasn’t Theo or me.”

If there was, as everyone is now saying, a Major League Baseball investigation of the employee telling Schilling to take PEDs, how on Earth does Jed Hoyer not know about it? How is yesterday morning the first time he has ever heard of it? Because Schilling told people about it. From the Bradford interview:

Schilling immediately informed both Francona and Epstein of the incident, telling them, “I had a very uncomfortable conversation.”

So Theo Epstein knew and an investigation happened, but his assistant was kept totally in the dark?  Really?

This stinks.

There is, indeed, an MLB-to-Portland group

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On Monday, Baseball America reported that MLB is prepared to expand to Portland and Montreal. We talked about that at length yesterday. One of the most common responses to that piece has been “Portland? Really?”

There’s good reason for that response. Baseball-to-Portland has been talked about for years, but there has never been any real traction. Past initiatives have failed, significant public funding for a stadium seems to be a political impossibility and, heck, Portland wasn’t even interested in keeping its Triple-A team, turning its stadium into a much more successful soccer venue and not missing the Beavers all that much.

It would seem, however, that the reports are not mere speculation and there is a genuine baseball-to-Portland initiative afoot once again. From the Oregonian:

On Tuesday, former Trail Blazers broadcaster Mike Barrett confirmed to The Oregonian/OregonLive that he is part of the Portland group.

“I am officially involved with a campaign to bring Major League Baseball and a stadium development to Portland,” Barrett said. “There is also a formally organized, sophisticated and seasoned management group running this initiative. We will keep you fully apprised of any/all developments as this project progresses.”

One guy — a broadcaster no less — saying he’s part of a group is not exactly a major needle-mover, of course. But it does contrast with past Portland initiatives that have been well-publicized grassroots affairs. While those may have been more broad-based and while their public nature may have provided some refreshing transparency, the simple fact of professional sports ownership in the 21st century is that well-monied groups who play things close to the vest are more likely to make waves. We’re in an age when technocratic hedge fund-type guys make things happen in this arena, not in an age when flamboyant public personalities do.

None of which is to say that baseball in Portland is a lock or that expansion anywhere is a short term proposition. It’s just to note that, yeah, there is a bit more going on, it seems, than just pointing at a map and saying “yeah, a team would make sense here.”