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.

Rays lose, clinching postseason berth for Athletics

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The Rays lost 4-1 to the Yankees on Monday night, which clinched a postseason berth for the Athletics just as they began their own game against the Mariners. For the 94-62 A’s, it’s their first postseason appearance since 2014 when they lost the AL Wild Card game to the Royals.

Major League Baseball celebrated the Athletics’ achievement by tweeting this fact: The A’s are the first team since 1988 to make the postseason with baseball’s lowest Opening Day payroll ($66 million).

Yay?

John J. Fisher, who has owned the A’s since 2005, has a net worth approaching $3 billion. The Athletics franchise is valued at over $1 billion. Yet the A’s have never had an Opening Day payroll at $90 million or above and have consistently been among the teams with the lowest payrolls. The cultural shift towards embracing analytics has allowed the A’s to get away with investing as little money as possible into the team. Moneyball helped change baseball’s zeitgeist such that many began to fetishize doing things on the cheap and now the league itself is embracing it.

What the fact MLB tweeted says is actually this: John J. Fisher was able to save a few bucks this year and the A’s still somehow made it to the postseason.

The Athletics’ success is due to a whole host of players, but particularly youngsters Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea, Daniel Mengden, Lou Trivino, among others. All are pre-arbitration aside from Manaea. When it comes time to pay them something approaching what they’re actually worth, will the A’s reward them for their contributions or will they do what they’ve always done and cut bait? After reaching the postseason in 2014, the A’s traded away Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, Jeff Samardzija, and John Jaso. Each was a big influence on the club’s success. Athletics fans should be happy their favorite team has reached the postseason, but if the team’s history is any precedent, they shouldn’t get attached to any of the players. Is that really something Major League Baseball should be advocating?