More Names, More Suspicion

At long last, the steroid accusations have fallen in the Red Sox clubhouse. In an ESPN The Magazine article released this week, former short-lived Sox starting pitcher Paxton Crawford admitted that he indeed also used steroids, that he was introduced to them by someone on the team during minor-league spring training in 1999, and in a follow-up "interview" (more like a one-minute conversation followed by a hang-up) with the Globe, that they were "everywhere," although whether he was referring to the team or the sport is not clear (a Globe headline writer decided it was the sport).

I’d give the link to the magazine report, but you have to be an Insider to read it.

The Sox until now have been spared the ignominy of being swept into the ever-growing steroid/HGH scandal. Thankfully, Crawford is nowhere near the caliber of a Bonds, McGwire, Sheffield or Giambi. No one’s going to be questioning the Red Sox’ 2000-01 laurels (such as they are) because they had Paxton Crawford on their team.

Still, it sucks to see guys like Trot, Tek and Wake even quoted in the same vicinity as accusations of steroid use. For what it’s worth, they question some of Crawford’s accounts of clubhouse incidents and note that just because you’re teammates with someone doesn’t mean you know what they do on their own time, something that sounds a little off to me. I have a hard time believing players don’t know which of their teammates are and are not on steroids. But there’s that code, so whatev…

8 comments… add one
  • I’m not sure it’s at long last. Jose Canseco played 2 years for the Sox. No real secret about his regiment, these days. But let’s just face reality; every team has had its users–and it’s a good bet many still do.

    YF June 22, 2006, 11:40 pm
  • So does hand-wringing about steriods have a direct relationship to how much the steriod-using player produced? I didn’t follow baseball very much that season, and have no idea who Paxton is. But he didn’t contribute much. If Bonds, McGwire, Sheffield, and Giambi only hit .220 and hit just a few more home runs a year, would they fall into the same category?
    I just think it’s interesting that there seems to be a double standard. If you break the rules and suck, no worries. If you start tearing the cover off the ball, well then, THAT’S not fair.
    I do think that there’s a legitimate difference to how much time/effect the steriod users have had with the team. If Wake admits he’s been using, that’s a lot different than Graffanino.
    Then again, my brain’s still fried from Bonnaroo. (Hence not posting for a week) I’m back, and moving to Ohio tomorrow. Whew. Glad to see the Sox slid and then streaked.

    rk June 23, 2006, 12:09 am
  • Well, that’s just the nature of the game, rk. If you suck in general, no one cares as much about you. And if you cheated and *still* sucked, then it obviously didn’t affect the things the sport/players/fans treasure most — rings, awards, records, etc. I didn’t follow baseball closely those seasons either, but it’s pretty obvious that if it had been someone on a higher talent plane, it would be a much bigger dal, involving much more teeth gnashing…
    Anyway, these are the first allegations from a Red Sox player saying he knew of other Sox players (presumably, based on what he said about steroids being “everywhere”) who used, and that a Sox minor leaguer turned him on to the drugs. Canseco always seemed like an outlier to me — a scumbag who probably came up with the idea himself and helped spread it more than being one of the ones it spread to. This actually details, to some extent, use of the drugs inside the Sox’ clubhouse. A pity but unsurprising, as YF said. It was just a matter of when…

    Paul SF June 23, 2006, 1:49 am
  • I agree with YF. There’s no way the Sox were free of users, and this just gives us a specific. YF neglects to name Jeremy Giambi, another admitted bulker, who played for the Sox, and far more recently than Canseco. The Sox, like every other team in the majors, had users, and probably several of them at any given time. I am not so naive as to let my allegiance to the Bosox blind me to the fact that there were guys using, probably every year of the last decade. It’s just a matter of time before we start finding out who they are. That might take years, but I imagine we’re all going to have to wake up to reality, no matter who we root for, over the next 10 years. I also imagine many championships will be tarnished, not just our own, if enough of the truth comes out.
    Sadly, Canseco is looking to be more truthful than most of these guys, particularly those who testified under oath last year, though that doesn’t make him any less of a scumbag, necessarily.

    SF June 23, 2006, 6:22 am
  • I don’t think that Canseco should be given any credit whatsoever for “honesty”. As far as I can tell, the only fact he has uttered is that steroid use was not uncommon and he was probably the biggest user going. He has made any number of asinine allegations, and this whole time his very obvious motivation was publicity and money.
    As I’ve stated previously, I think the whole issue has been devoid of any rational discussion and honest analysis. Paxton Cansecoford adds nothing to the story, since he makes claims that strain credulity, for example his needles being spilled all over the clubhouse floor in front of everyone and laughing. There is no surprise in hearing that one or more members of the Red Sox were using. If Paxton was using as many different drugs as he says, the he is an idiot at best and had no place in professional sports.
    Baseball has had many serious scandals throughout its history, and cheating has a very long and colorful history in the sport. I find the level of focus on performance enhancing drugs in baseball to the near exclusion of its influence in other sports troubling. Frankly, I would guess that steroid and hgh use is probably more prevalent in other sports. Just as an example, how many NCAA and NFL football players do you suppose use human growth hormone??

    Tom sf June 23, 2006, 12:02 pm
  • The big difference between Canseco’s testimony at the Congressional hearings and the other players (EXCEPT McGuire)is his career was long over. He certainly wasn’t going to admit his drug usage during his playing years, and in fact only brought it up after he became a bit of a joke and was claiming he was blackballed, so he had nothing to protect, and was looking for revenge. That certainly doesn’t excuse Palmeiro’s sanctomonious lying, or Sosa’s comical sudden language difficulties, or McGuire’s pitiful mewling. If Canseco gets props, what about Schilling? He is probably the only player who did not make demonstrably untrue statements to Congress.

    Tom sf June 23, 2006, 12:11 pm
  • Ah Canseco. Growing up in the Bay Area I was “this close” to having my hands on a ball that he and Not-so Big Mac were warming up with (’87). Would have been one of the most juiced balls ever.
    I saw an awesome t shirt last year (on a chick on Opening Day) with his Donruss rookie card on the front, but had “NARC” in place of the name. Gotta love that.

    Nate June 23, 2006, 12:42 pm
  • hopefully anyone who does get outed by this guy goes with the venerable gary sheffield deffense. people seem to be just fine with the “i didn’t know what that stuff was, i just rubbed in. as a proffesional athelete i pay very little attention to what i put in my body” defense. it’s worked out well for him.

    sf rod June 23, 2006, 3:57 pm

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