Bret Boone was an All-Star and Silver Slugging second baseman whose career peaked in Seattle in the early 2000s. But by 2005 he had fallen off a cliff, performance-wise, was sent to Minnesota, flamed out in 14 games and never played again.
“I needed a drink. So I had one, and then another. I’d polish off a six-pack of beer and reach for another six-pack. Eventually I made the mistake of switching from beer to clear — from the slow, easy buzz of Bud Light or Miller Lite to the sharper edge of Absolut and Ketel One, a bottle at a time . . . Nobody knew how much I was drinking. To the baseball men I loved and trusted, it seemed like the usual late-career crisis.”
A lot of people have speculated, based on his late career power spike, that Boone used performance enhancing drugs. He denies ever doing so in the book, but one thing is clear: he was definitely doing things that detracted from his performance.
I haven’t seen an advance copy of the book, but here’s hoping the ending — the present — is a happy one and that he has come to manage his addiction.