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.

It will take more than a cursory apology for Josh Hader to put this behind him

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If you missed it, Brewers All-Star reliever Josh Hader landed in hot water the minute he stepped off the mound in Washington last night when multiple tweets he made in 2011-12* were uncovered containing some seriously gross, racist, misogynistic and homophobic language.

Almost as soon as it broke, Hader made a quick apology for the tweets, saying that he’s not the same person now than he was when he was 17 years-old. Major League Baseball is investigating the matter and Hader acknowledged that he must and that he will talk to his teammates about this, so the story is not over.

Some commenters and correspondents of mine, however, have said they believe it should be over. Indeed, they said it almost as soon as the news came to light. While a small handful of those folks likely take no issue with the language Hader used — there’s a lot of ugliness out there, particularly noticeable in the anonymous online world — others have simply, and it would appear genuinely, said that we should cut Hader slack for some bad choices he made when he was 17.

I will gladly cut Hader more slack for six and seven-year-old tweets he made as 17 year-old that he apologizes for genuinely than I would if he tweeted that stuff yesterday, but let’s not rush to “aww, he was just a kid” land seven hours and a night’s sleep after it all came to light. Indeed, there are many reasons why this is not a case for instant and automatic forgiveness.

This was not some kid breaking out a neighbor’s window with a slingshot. This was not someone saying “that’s gay” instead of “that’s dumb” in the way a lot of us have in the past. This was not someone using a word or phrase that only recently came to be accepted by most people as unacceptable or said something that, while not containing any awful individual words was insensitive, to use the parlance of the day. It was some seriously ugly language (go read it if you’d like), used consistently, repeatedly and confidently. It’s not from some hazy time in the past like the 1970s. It’s from 2011 and 2012. It’s language that he and everyone else knew, at the time, to be profoundly offensive to a massive number of people and which was unacceptable to use in a public forum. Not just now, with the hindsight of age and time, but then, even at the age he was. The tweets are a window into a really gross and disturbed person’s mind.

Hader should — and he will — be given the chance to apologize and to make amends. No one is suggesting he be banished to an island and he certainly won’t be, so don’t even make a suggestion that he is or will be any sort of victim of P.C. culture or whatever the hell else people cite in order to excuse their awful behavior or the awful behavior of others. At the same time, however, let us not let him off the hook with a cursory apology and a conclusory “I’m not like that anymore” statement to a beat writer five minutes after the controversy came to light.

For one thing, no one else would be given such an easy pass like that. No politician or musician or artist or job applicant or anyone else, famous or non-famous, would simply be able to cite being 17 as a get-out-of-decency-free card. We routinely try criminal defendants that age as adults. We make 17 year-olds of color conform their behavior to the most unreasonably high standards, set by others, in order to avoid being discriminated against or worse. For his part, Hader was an elite high school athlete who knew damn well that what he said and did in public was scrutinized in a fundamentally different way than what others said and did and nonetheless tweeted that garbage anyway. He did it either because his level of empathy and respect for women, blacks and homosexuals was defective and abhorrent or because he knew better and simply didn’t care.

I am not suggesting Hader not be given a chance to apologize and make amends for all of that. I am not suggesting that he not be able to continue to pitch late innings for the Milwaukee Brewers, become rich and famous and live his life happily and freely. I am merely saying that it is not too much to expect him now, less than 12 hours after all of this has come to light, to have to do some actual work to explain and atone for it. To not just say that he’s “a different person” now but to tell us how — apart from getting caught being obnoxious — he became a different person and what that really means. To expect him to explain this and to apologize to his teammates, and not just the two who happened to be in Washington with him last night. To explain and to apologize to his fans, many of whom are women and minorities, and to ask for their forgiveness and understanding.

I am not, to use a phrase someone threw at me last night, “on my high horse” about this. I am not holding Hader to some unreasonable, liberal/P.C/social justice warrior standard in which poor, victimized Josh Hader can simply not win. I am simply saying that this is far more serious than finding out some 80-year-old man jumped a subway turnstile back in 1954 and that the acceptance of responsibility, the apology and the work Hader has to do in light of this is not to issue some quick and cursory one offered to a national beat writer as he towels off after a postgame shower.

I realize our standards and expectations of certain public figures in this country have become impossibly low, but my God, they are not that low, nor should they be.

*There were some putative Hader tweets floating around Twitter of a more recent vintage, particularly one about Trayvon Martin from 2016, but there is reason to suspect at least that one is a Photoshop. Hader has locked his account, however, and it cannot be confirmed. It’s not really important, though, given that Hader has admitted to making multiple ugly tweets, to make such a determination at this moment, so we’ll leave the analysis of each and every individual tweet for another time.