More fallout from the Curt Schilling controversy from last week. Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston has two sources with direct knowledge of the 2008 investigation into Schilling’s claims that a Red Sox employee suggested he take PEDs telling him that the claim by Schilling was “completely baseless.”
Theo Epstein and a spokesman for Major League Baseball said last week there was an investigation and that it did not result in discipline (more comment from Theo here). This report, however, seems to take it a bit further, suggesting not only was no wrongdoing found but suggesting that Schilling made it all up. For his part, Schilling stands by the story.
This has become such a weird story. I still wonder why initial responses from MLB and from Jed Hoyer suggested no knowledge of the incident. But that could be just a quirk of memory or a matter of people not fully authorized to say things vamping for time until official statements could be made. This stuff — the suggestion that Schilling was crying wolf — was even weirder.
Maybe a function of Schilling’s then well known dispute with the Red Sox about how to treat his injured shoulder? He wants surgery, they suggest treatment and medication and he, being the dramatic sort, takes that to be a suggestion to take PEDs?
No idea, but with Schilling I suppose anything is possible.
Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman has played in exactly one Grapefruit league game this year, and that was way back on March 2. Since then he has been totally absent from the Nats’ big league spring games, playing instead on the back fields in sim games and in minor league contests.
While that’s not an unusual course of action for an injured or rehabbing player, both Zimmerman and the Nationals insist that there is nothing wrong with him. Per this report from MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, they’re saying that Zimmerman “simply prefers to get his work done in the more controlled environment of minor league games, where the rules are lax.” He doesn’t have to dive for balls, he can lead off every inning, etc. Manager Dave Martinez says Zimmerman simply doesn’t like the usual spring training grind and that this is working for him so he’s fine with it too.
Are you buyin’ that? Not sure I’m buyin’ that.
I suppose weirder things have happened. The Minnesota Twins once let Jack Morris go back to his farm in between starts rather than stay with the club. Other accommodations have been made for veterans, especially in spring training. But this is way more in keeping with a team hiding an injury. Though I have no idea why the Nats would choose to hide an injury to Zimmerman. They’ve talked at length about Daniel Murphy‘s knees and Adam Eaton‘s seemingly never-ending rehab. If Zimmerman has some aches and pains, you’d think they’d talk about it.
On the other hand, if this is a legit story and it is simply an accommodation for a veteran who doesn’t like the normal spring training grind, look for Zimmerman to be a trailblazer, because there are a LOT of dudes who hate spring training too and would love to change things up like this.