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Thank you Jason Bay

May 8, 2009

“Innocent until proven guilty”……..

Are we at the point now where that has morphed into, “I hope he didn’t,” or, “I’m sure he did,” and both sentiments carry as much validity and weight as the initial belief? I’d sure as heck love to think not, but what possible defense could I offer up that would carry an ounce of weight?

Oh and before going any further, please spare me the “That taints your two World Series with the Sox!!!” emails. A larger load of crap I have yet to hear.

Because if you honestly think that in the last 10 years one team for even one season had NO PLAYERS using Steroids or HGH you’re kidding yourself. As horrifying and pathetic as it sounds, players cheated their way to a level playing field of a different sort. Please save the, “Oh but this guy only did it for one year,” and, “No one knows how long he was doing it.” Save that.

The only thing sadder than the continued “revelations” of new names and new drugs are the excuses following them. Female Estrogen? I didn’t know what I was taking? I had no idea it was steroids? Every one makes me appreciate Pettitte, Segui and the men that made their peace and moved on even more.

Do you honestly for one second think ANY player, ANY professional athlete who has been caught up in this allowed a cream to be rubbed, a needle to be stuck, or a pill to be taken and wasn’t aware that the substance was or was not a steroid? Really? I do believe one guy. I think J.C. Romero did buy an over-the-counter substance that contained something that got him in trouble. I could be completely hoodwinked but as far as I know he’s the only guy that’s actually done something to legally rectify the situation and clear his name.

I’ve never taken steroids, I’ve never taken HGH, and I am not saying that to clear my name or make a statement, I’m saying that because even though I did not, I’ve never drank a protein shake from my strength coach, I’ve never taken medication from a doctor or the team, I’ve never gotten an injection from a team doctor or otherwise that I didn’t ask and wasn’t told exactly what it was. I’m far from svelte or ripped, and never have been. I was never a fitness freak or gym rat — those are the guys that measured every milligram, count every tablet in their regimen. Yet somehow we’re hearing these same people talk about being struck momentarily stupid when West African bullfrog semen is found in their blood. “What? How’d that get there????” Their routines, from reps to nutrition are as mapped out as scouting reports. They eat a certain way, train a certain way, and they play a certain way. There is no ‘black hole’ or ‘hidden formula’ happening in these instances. So you get up at 5am? You eat at 6am? Thirty minutes of cardio, upper body, lower on alternate days, whirlpool for x minutes, maintain x calories of protein and carb intake? You do all that, and at some point you let someone stick a needle in your ass, or throw a ‘protein shake’ or rub a ‘crème’ on you, and for that 30 seconds to 5 minutes you have absolutely no thought, care or concern about the product? A step recognized as vital to strength gain, or recovery, a step to setup the acceleration of your recovery or magnification of gains from your hours of work and you just go dumb?

I heard the news about Manny and was asked for my response. “Not surprised” was all I could really muster. I got emails remarking “how does it feel to be right” or “that’s gotta feel good, huh?”

Nothing could be farther from the truth. Who wishes that on people? Why? I have no respect for the guy for a laundry list of reasons that have to do with actually playing the game and being a teammate, but further ruining the image of the game is certainly not what I’d call anything close to consolation. What goes around comes around for everyone.

More kids are let down today, more parents turn from athletes as their kids’ role models (which is NOT a bad thing) every time these stories hit the news. The sad part is you know somewhere there is someone in the media who’s made it their life’s mission to get those 103 other names on “The List,” and that’s going to find it’s way out. The only reason I’ll be relieved that it does will be that I’ll stop receiving “Your name is on that list, isn’t it?” emails.

For the past 19 years or so I’ve had suspicions, some stronger than others, but to sit here today and say I played on even one team that was totally clean would be denying reality I think. I’ve never personally seen a player inject, ingest, swallow HGH, or steroids but like every other player I played with that had his eyes open I saw the huge weight gains in one winter, I saw the hat size increase, I saw the acne in places a camel would be embarrassed to have it. I watched the player hit 20 more homers in one year than they ever had, then revert back, I saw the pitcher throwing 87-90 come to spring training throwing 95-97, I saw all of that. None of those are ‘no brainers’ — none — but they were hints, and when you get enough hints you can see the answer clearly if you are looking.

I played pretty much my entire career in the Steroid Era.

There, I said it. Not rocket science, not an earth shattering revelation, just an enormously disappointing recognition of the label that will accompany the era in which I was allowed to play this game.

I did so never taking Steroids, HGH, cow urine, horse feces, or West African bullfrog semen, and for that yeah, I am proud. Proud of something that really doesn’t deserve praise, does it? Not committing a crime is something to get lauded and applauded for? Are we really that bad off as a society that we’re looking for the ‘few, the proud,’ the non-felons?

The ONLY saving grace today was that I was mentally a million miles away from all this. I had the honor of visiting with the front line officers of the 4th Infantry Division in Colorado Springs, Colorado. These incredible men and women are being deployed to Afghanistan in the coming weeks. A real dose of ‘hero’ and ‘courage’ and ‘honor’ to quell any ills from this crap.

So after all the BS, I was allowed to say thanks to true Heroes, true Warriors, true Americans, and it felt pretty damn good.

So stop making athletes your icons, they’re supremely gifted, extraordinarily talented human beings, period. After that they’re no different than you, not one bit. They endure the same hardships at home, divorce, drugs, domestic violence, DUI, and every other thing you can read about on page A1 of any newspaper. Don’t make the mistake of thinking the size of the paycheck is relevant to the core of the man. Don’t place more responsibility on them, or accountability, because life doesn’t work that way.

Relish in the Halladays, Rolens, Sabathias, Lowells, Counsells, Variteks, Garnetts, Jameses, Bruschis, Vrabels, the Jason Bays of the world. Relish in men of supreme character and tireless work ethic who respect the game and their teammates and suit up every day to leave it all on the field. If 100 more names come out I can still give you my word there are a lot more great men and phenomenal people in the game than not….

Then go home and raise your own damn kids with your own set of values, integrity and morals. Be accountable to them and responsible for them and stop blaming video games or the 25-year-old kid from the Dominican who can hit a baseball 455 feet but you don’t know and never will, for the ‘problems of today’s youth”. It starts and ends under your own roof. Your kids idolize the people you allow them to, and believe things you don’t refute or discuss, and that’s no one’s fault but your own.

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154 Comments leave one →
  1. Tim permalink
    May 8, 2009 9:57 am

    Amen!

  2. Kathleen permalink
    May 8, 2009 9:58 am

    Thank you.

  3. Anthony permalink
    May 8, 2009 10:03 am

    It sure is interesting how the story flips for you, Curt! When it was ARod and Clemens, you screamed to take away MVPs (two of which occurred after ARod claims he was clean, so innoncent until proven guilty right?) and Cy Youngs, but when the rumors surround guys like Manny, Ortiz, Varitek, Luis Gonzalez, Millar, Mueller, and Nixon, you scream that we need to look at this in the context of innocent until proven guilty and that the wins aren’t tainted- despite the fact that the World Series MVP award winner on the 04 team was a juicer and that he and Luis Gonzalez were both the two main forces behind your other two World Series wins as well. Never let consistency get in your way, old boy!

  4. May 8, 2009 10:06 am

    Well said, Curt.

  5. Rob Moskowitz permalink
    May 8, 2009 10:08 am

    Curt: Kudos to you. I am from Philly and have enjoyed you on and off the field for many years. The only thing I can add in your defense is ” Macho Row” and the fact they shunned you. You were the better one for that!

  6. 2004_2007_Tainted permalink
    May 8, 2009 10:09 am

    2004 and 2007 are totally tainted. The steroid twins, Manny and Big Sloppi, were the heart of both teams. Not to mention the cast of role players who all magically had career years in 2004. Todd Walker knocking in 85 runs, Millar hitting .300 with 17 HR and 74 RBI, Bill Mueller becoming a superstar for 2 years, etc., etc.

    Please, you save it.

    Hell, even 2001 is tainted. With your juiced up Luis Gonzalez getting the game winning hit. But then again, you beat the Yankees who had half the team on steroids/HGH.

  7. Brandon permalink
    May 8, 2009 10:21 am

    Curt

    I’m usually a polar opposite of opinion when it comes to you but, I agree whole heartedly with everything in this article.

    My biggest issue with the “steroid era” is the dramatization of it all. Honestly how is someone on steroids dirty? There are plenty of substances that improve muscle recovery and strength that are allowed in MLB. As you said, you never drank a protein shake, but most players do and they take other supplements. I would almost guarantee that every “clean” player takes the strongest and best supplements legal. So who draws that line? Because steroids are the supreme science and technology those guys are dirtier than guys with creatine and protein shakes? I don’t buy it. Where does it end, is Babe Ruth gonna come screaming from the grave that is bat was of lower quality than Henry Aaron’s????\

    To me it’s a none issue, players 50 years ago abused amphetamines to get back on the field everyday which is the main benefit of steroids. Everyone has this notion that steroids make everyone enormous and magically allow you to hit HRs which is BS.
    Not to mention, ESPN had a great Outisde the Lines piece on the 1962 AFL Champion San Diego Chargers who were given steroids by management. So who’s to say baseball players weren’t using in that era??
    Oh wait, those players are beloved, and those steroids were no good.
    Which brings me back to my point, the whole steroid issue is just an evolution of science and technology, and if anyone thinks it will ever stop, they’re crazy for even caring.

  8. Joe Philippon permalink
    May 8, 2009 10:22 am

    From a baseball fan and a father, thank you Curt!

  9. Rhayader permalink
    May 8, 2009 10:22 am

    Great post Curt, I love the sentiments you expressed here. Paragraph after paragraph is right on the money.

    I will say that I am not so sure that Andy Pettitte isn’t also feeding us a line of crap. “I only did it once to help my team.” Why exactly should we believe that, any more than we believe the other excuses? What incentive was there to stop after one single injection? He had already started down that road; what made him stop? I don’t know for sure of course, but hey, that’s what we’ve come to.

    Anyway, again your perspective on this truly sad situation is a unique and valuable one. And, by the way, Jason Bay is a consummate pro and is quickly becoming one of my favorite guys on the team.

  10. bowltr permalink
    May 8, 2009 10:23 am

    Well said Kurt…………as usual!

  11. Josh permalink
    May 8, 2009 10:32 am

    Couldn’t have said it better myself Curt. Great piece.

  12. Doctor X permalink
    May 8, 2009 10:48 am

    True Story: when “it” happened, an English friend who is a Pirates fan–“why not, they need love and any one can be a Yankees fan!”–wrote to me to tell me the Red Sox “won” the deal.

    Nearly every day I thank him for Jason Bay.

    No, no physician who wishes to retain his license will give a patient HCG without their knowledge and WITHOUT a condition that requires it . . . which, as everyone knows now, is simply not the case. Manny and many others are like your kid with his hand in the cookie jar and chocolate smeared his lips trying to tell you “No! I did not take a cookie!” It is insulting.

    I am sorry, but the only way to clean it up and keep it clean is to ban such from the Hall of Fame. Period. Remove the incentive.

    Baseball fans, I bring you the Now and Future Home Run King: Mr. Hank Aaron.

  13. jjmcs permalink
    May 8, 2009 10:50 am

    Curt,

    With you 100% except I ask one simple question – how do you know that the names you listed at the end are clean?

    Love the honesty, love the candor and love your commitment to family and charity. Different sides of the political spectrum but the same values. Thanks.

  14. Roidmirez permalink
    May 8, 2009 10:58 am

    Well said, Curt. You’re one person I never even slightly thought did steroids. Beeroids, sure, but not steroids. LOL.

    BTW, you should have been world series MVP, not Roidmirez.

  15. May 8, 2009 11:01 am

    Well said. People, including myself, may not always agree with what you say or political beliefs, etc. And that’s ok. One thing I can agree with whole-heartedly is that it all starts in the home. We may have certain celebrities or sports stars that we appreciate, but, it all starts with the parents period. My Dad can’t hit a baseball into the Fenway bleachers and my Mom has never won an oscar or grammy, but, I’m still their number 1 fan. And my son looks at me and his mother the same way. Manny’s a great hitter….that’s it!! He’s a one trick pony.

  16. Manny's PS2 permalink
    May 8, 2009 11:02 am

    Curt, I think you forgot about that one night when you were in the Phils system, you were drinking back then and had that “special encounter” with a
    West African bullfrog.
    Hypocrite. : )

  17. Norm Perry permalink
    May 8, 2009 11:07 am

    Excellent article Curt. As a boy, I grew up with Ted Williams as my hero and luckily, I was taught not to expect or believe he was perfect. No one is save the one who came here for a few brief years and then returned to his Father. Thanks for the perspective.

  18. Elvis Elvisberg permalink
    May 8, 2009 11:19 am

    Great last paragraph. Should be printed on the back of every ticket to every sporting event.

  19. Rick permalink
    May 8, 2009 11:20 am

    Atheletes do not want to be known as role models of kids while playing a kids game, well maybe they shouldn’t have the highest paying jobs while playing a kids game. They (or you) may not want the responsibility of being a role model, perhaps somebody who does should make the millions of dollars these people do. I believe Uncle Ben said it best, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

  20. May 8, 2009 11:42 am

    Relish in the Halladays, Rolens, Sabathias, Lowells, Counsells, Variteks, Garnetts, Jameses, Bruschis, Vrabels, the Jason Bays of the world. Relish in men of supreme character and tireless work ethic who respect the game and their teammates and suit up every day to leave it all on the field. If 100 more names come out I can still give you my word there are a lot more great men and phenomenal people in the game than not….

    Then go home and raise your own damn kids with your own set of values, integrity and morals. Be accountable to them and responsible for them and stop blaming video games or the 25-year-old kid from the Dominican who can hit a baseball 455 feet but you don’t know and never will, for the ‘problems of today’s youth”. It starts and ends under your own roof. Your kids idolize the people you allow them to, and believe things you don’t refute or discuss, and that’s no one’s fault but your own.

    Bravo, Curt Schilling, Bravo!!!!!
    On a different issue you and your family, most especially your son, will be in my prayers.
    Never have had the opportunity to say Thank you for 2004!!!!!!
    I wish you all of the best; love, health and happiness going forward.
    Jean

  21. Bill permalink
    May 8, 2009 11:44 am

    Wow, well said!

  22. Rich Doyon permalink
    May 8, 2009 11:49 am

    Very well put.

  23. David Powis-Dow permalink
    May 8, 2009 11:51 am

    Excellent op-ed piece. Thanks.

  24. Vince Carrillo permalink
    May 8, 2009 11:52 am

    Thank you for the eloquent reply to the Manny thing. I love baseball. Always will, still playing hardball at 52. Even some old pros in our league. Fans number around 3. Usually some guy babysitting his kids. I’ve raised my kids with our set of values. Good values.
    Thanks again.

  25. Nick permalink
    May 8, 2009 11:54 am

    Just a quick point, I believe Pettitte is one of the “I only took it one time” guys who Curt tells us not to believe earlier in the post. Does Curt believe him specifically?

  26. Trisha permalink
    May 8, 2009 11:56 am

    Once again Curt, you tell it like it is. Totally respect you for that. I was at Dodger Stadium Wednesday when the Boys in Blue broke the wins to start the season record…and I was there last night. One of the local media guys stopped me and asked what I thought of the “Manny Situation” my repsonse was honest “I wasn’t a fan of Manny’s yesterday…do you really want to talk to me today.” As an life long Dodger fan I’ve lived through my own teams ups and downs…nothing was more devastating to me then the day the Press Telegram reported that Steve Howe was a cocaine addict. In this day and age, I am sad to say, nothing surprises me anymore. I like to think there are still clean guys on the field…call me stupid…call me naive, but I know that one of the best announced his retirement this year…Curt you are missed on the field!

  27. Bill W permalink
    May 8, 2009 11:59 am

    Question Curt:

    It seems crazy to be playing a 162+ game season, 8 months of baseball activities … all of that on the highest level possible … how is it possible that a body can not get run down? then at that point dip into the drugs.

    I know it’s not realistic, but I would make the regular season 145 games and cut spring training down to 40 days.

  28. Jo Tamas permalink
    May 8, 2009 12:02 pm

    I guess that now that you are no longer pitching, you can hit home runs like this post.

    It inspired me to pose two questions on the Globe’s discussion boards that I know you will appreciate. While the post meanders a bit, the questions are:

    1. Should Manny be investigated by law enforcement and if a crime has been found to be committed should he be charged?

    2. Do you think that if individuals in the management of Major League Baseball know that a crime has been committed, should they be prosecuted if they do not report that crime?

    The answers to these questions define us as a society.

  29. Jillian permalink
    May 8, 2009 12:20 pm

    Curt,

    Thank you. It was well put and I admire the fact that you wanted to point out that athletes are good at what they do, but after that talent..they are just like everyone else. People tend to forget that. I also agree with your statements about Manny. I wasn’t a fan when he was on the team..I didn’t think he was god like some Sox fans..His actions on and off the field..(not being a team player drives me nuts)..really affected the team morale..and that’s why I didn’t respect him..I didn’t knock the guy for his “talent”…but I wouldn’t praise him..because deep down..I knew he wasn’t a hero…like you said..hero’s are people who fight for our country..my brother being one of them….kids should look up to those people..not someone who labels himself “mannywood”….then again..he seems to bring drama wherever he goes..I’m currently living in LA..and I’m wondering when they will take down his billboards (all over the place..I can’t stand seeing his face)..and replace the books about him (in every borders and barnes and nobles) with someone who is a true hero..

  30. Michael permalink
    May 8, 2009 12:21 pm

    Curt….

    Can I just say WOW! Finally someone of your ilk, putting it in perspective.
    It is a family value question. Take responsibility for your own children is the single most important sentence to come out of your piece.

    All the rest is background, facts and knowledge only you can offer.

    We all know you love to express your opinions, some even harbor ill will towards you for it.

    I for one, enjoy listening to someone who speaks sense and offers responsiblity.

    I think I have a man crush on you

    LOL

    Seriously – Good work Curt.. and thanks again for being you.!

  31. BCC permalink
    May 8, 2009 12:25 pm

    Curt,

    That’s probably your best post, ever. Thanks.

  32. May 8, 2009 12:38 pm

    awesome post. was cracking up at the west african bulldog comment. don’t laugh out loud too much but did there. Love the last paragraph as well. Posted on my blog today about the three amigos;Manny,A-Rod and the Rocket. Great book by Jeff Pearlman right now on the Rocket. What a read..

  33. May 8, 2009 12:41 pm

    great post Curt.. love the last paragraph.

  34. steve permalink
    May 8, 2009 12:47 pm

    spot on, tell it like it is…. keep it coming and thank you

  35. edromero permalink
    May 8, 2009 12:51 pm

    Curt,

    The really unfortunate thing about this is that you can no longer say “I know he would never do it”, or…. can we even believe you when you say you have never done it?….No we can’t, no matter how often you say it.
    Don’t be sure that the “great men” you described might have also taken PEDs to step up their game or heal quicker. As you know (see Roger Clemens for example,and from what is said about Manny as well) steroid/PED users still have great work ethics…..you can’t judge by that either.

    Sorry, but that is what happens when Rafael Palmeiro swings his finger at congress vehemently and then gets caught doing it months later. Or when Peter Gammons guarantees Brian Roberts has never has done it (as the Mitchell Report says) and then he comes out and admits to it the next day. Or when Mark McGwire gets memory loss, or when Sammy Sosa suddenly can not speak or understand English, or when Roger Clemens goes to the extent of saying it was for his wife to look ripped for SI, or when Jason Giambi breaks down and cries and apologizes and can’t state why he is apologizing.

    It’s amazing that the only one who has any credibility, because he has been correct to date, is a guy who is more recently known on the celebrity reality show circuit and for wrestling Danny Bonaduce and a 7′-0″ Asian Man.

    The evidence is too damning and wide spread……sorry, we can not believe you, and ones who MIGHT never used, anymore. You guys should have nipped this in the bud early on.

    We love the game as it is between the lines….too bad we can’t say the same for the players anymore.

  36. DINO CHACHUS permalink
    May 8, 2009 1:02 pm

    Curt, you have it pegged. The saddest part of it all is that a guy like David Ortiz looks even more guilty than before. If there ever was a player I’d want my child to look up to, it would have been him. Now, she will just have to settle for a 44 year old, overweight, project manager with a bum knee and back pain. Maybe she is the lucky one.

  37. May 8, 2009 1:07 pm

    Great last paragraph!!
    People think that I am to opinionated because I question what teachers teach or what the government is doing. My kids know where I stand with the issues in the world. My daughter is a pitcher( with a note book) on every game and workout she has done with her coach. She knows hard work,not drugs, will develope her mind and ability. We, as a family, respect the game and the players who earn the fame that comes with it. It did not take long for us to be in awe of Jason Bay. The character he showed when Joba hit him is one reason why he is a name heard often in our house hold. Thanks for what you do for the troops.

  38. Eric permalink
    May 8, 2009 1:09 pm

    You gotta be kidding if you think LeBron James isn’t taking performance-enhancing drugs (along with many others in the NBA).

  39. PO PO permalink
    May 8, 2009 1:13 pm

    Curt, it is great how you speak up on things like this. I say it over and over again to Schilling-Slashers:

    “This is the athlete the media and fans have wanted for years, and now that we have him, we complain that he speaks out too much.”

    You just can’t win.

    Back to the point here with Manny and juicing. I hate to say who cares, because we all should care to a certain extent. Steroids are harmful to everyone’s bodies and especially to high school athletes who use them when their bodies are still developing.

    With that being said, what’s done is done. Obviously there was a significant amount of players in the MLB using PEDs at some point in their careers, professional or amateur. Some we are finding out about through testing, others through clubhouse rats, and others through rumor mills. Some we won’t find out about until they are already in the Hall of Fame…who knows. Call it an epidemic but don’t single those unlucky enough to be uncovered.

    This is not a case like the woman who cheated in the Boston Marathon, by getting a lift in front of the pack and winning in an illegit way. She was the only one who drove half of the marathon.

    Yes, these players are using drugs that enhance their performance, but you are dead on when you said it essentially equaled the playing field. Bill Simmons, as much as bash him, had a great analogy when he said it’s like going 80mph in a 65mph zone…granted you are doing something illegal but most of the other cars on the road are doing it too, and you don’t want to fall behind the pack.

    We need to accept it and move on. It wasn’t just Manny or just AROD or just Clemens, it’s a growing list that will continue to grow. I can’t tell you first hand that in the late mid to late 90s this was huge in Massachusetts High Schools. I never partook but that may be why my college athletic career fizzled at a D3 New England school. I saw plenty of friends, teammates, and acquaintances parlay a cycle into D1 scholarships and some are playing a sport professionally.

    I just wish these sports writers who have had their collective heads up their asses along with Bud Selig for years now realize how widespread it is and was and move on. It’s just like some people who drive home from bars get picked up on a DUI and some coast home without getting caught. Dennis and Callahan make themselves sound so stupid and ignorant when they tear Manny apart. Their argument is so transparent. Enough D&C we know you hate Manny, but he’s not the only cheat. There are good guy cheats out there like Jeff Bagwell too.

    In the end its these stupid writers like Jayson Stark who hold onto MLB records like they are the next coming of Christ. If the MLB didn’t put such an onus on the records then these guys wouldn’t be condemned for life. Look at Bruce Smith who was just inducted to the NFL Hall of Fame. He was suspended during his career for PEDs. John Elway, Terrell Davis, and Shannon Sharpe endorsed andro before it was banned by the NFL. Shawn Merriman was suspended for steroids during a year he won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Rodney Harrison admitted to using HGH and people in this town still view him as a demi-God.

    Sports should be broken down into eras. This doesn’t necessarily have to be the steroid era, but just an era where numbers were inflated across the board.

    Look in Golf. People oggle over how far Tiger Woods can drive a golf ball and compare him to old time sluggers like Bobby Jones and Jack Nicklaus. Meanwhile those guys were using wooden mallets on wooden shafts and rocks for golf balls and Tiger uses a technology wonder on a titanium shaft and hits balls improved so much with rubber bands and a new plastic made to travel further.

    Just like everything else, sports evolves. Unfortunately steroids made sports evolve into something artificial but it was still entertaining and that’s what you guys get paid to do…entertain. It makes guys like you look even better for playing it straight, but I don’t think that guys who jumped on the juice-train should be held out of the hall. Look Manny may have been juicing but he was facing guys like Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, and Kevin Brown who were juicing too.

    Keep it up Schill. I think you are the best thing to happen to sports. I don’t agree with everything you say, but I’m glad you are not hiding behind PR pansies and BS codes.

  40. Rich Hartmann (Miss America) permalink
    May 8, 2009 1:19 pm

    Hello Curt,

    I am a father of a 4 year old who is with the spectrum (PDD). In addition, I am a former minor leaguer with the Cardinals. 1994-96.

    As a parent and former ball player, nothing disgusts me more then the societal acceptance of PEDs within the game. Sure, every few months, when a new player gets caught, we hear a lot of squawking… but let’s face it nothing gets done!

    A few years ago, I started a class action against MLB, the players and the union, for the purpose of seeking legislative change. MSNBC, The NY Daily News, Fox all picked the story up…

    …but once the story got old, it faded away.

    My goal is simple:
    0% tolerance program
    Acknowledge the victims of this era! (the clean minor leaguers that were on the doorstep)

    I’m not asking for bans of past players that used anymore! (Trust me, as an insider, I know how much it was going on!) I can live with a program that moves forward, so long as it’s a legit program, rather then an asinine sound bite program (“3 strikes” oooooh that sounds serious) that in fact promote use!

    Yes, it promotes use! From a socio-economic standpoint, to a marginal player from a diminished background, a suspension is no big deal when faced with the risk reward of a baseball contract.

    I’ve written more about this contained in my financial blog. (yes, I write finance stuff, but every once in a while I take a break and get back on my true love… baseball!)

    To read more:
    http://www.rgemonitor.com/globalmacro-monitor/255886/play_ball__-_a_victimless_crime

    I hope you can help me get that soap box to stand on, to help me scream for “REAL” change. …and also to get the acknowledgement that the “CLEAN” minor leaguers of the steroid era were cheated out of.

    If you like to help me get my message out, I can be reached at: 718-614-1527
    Thank you for your time.

    All the best to you and your family,
    Rich Hartmann

    p.s. Every day I worry less about my son and his future. I see his beauty, and I go to bed knowing that there are others out there like me who will be fighting for a better future for him.

  41. Brad permalink
    May 8, 2009 1:20 pm

    Hi Curt,

    Sox fan since my early years 40+ years ago. Your piece on the ongoing Manny saga is spot on. It’s funny how the true heroes in the world fly under the radar, while we get dosed with stuff like this.

  42. Kyle Nabywaniec permalink
    May 8, 2009 1:32 pm

    Hi Curt,
    I applaud you being completely up front about not using any PED’s in your career. It seems like nowadays players more often choose to be “outed” rather than come forward about their use of drugs. In your comments you alluded to how some players seemingly come out of nowhere to have unbelieveable runs and then resort back to their own mediocrity after whatever it was they were on subsides. I know that you would never rat out a teammate, but I was wondering if anyone had thought of Big Papi in this regard. He came to Boston as an average hitter with no power, became the predominant left-handed power threat in the American League for three years, and has since settled back into a middle of the road ability. Your comment about tainting old World Series teams is completely understood. Being a Yankee fan, I wouldn’t want any of our championships in the late ’90’s to suffer the same fate. But is Manny Ramirez the only guilty party on any of your stellar teams of the recent past and present? As you said, probably not, but do we really have to know is the real question.

  43. josh permalink
    May 8, 2009 1:48 pm

    Curt, that was one of the best articles I have ever read about this era of baseball. I must also say that as a veteran of both OIF and OEF I applaud you for visiting the soon to be deployed. Your kind words about Sabathia and Counsell are spot on. Being from Milwaukee and following Counsells career growing up I have to so that he has always been one of the nicest players I have met at the ballpark.

    Thanks again for everything Curt.

  44. sdl1 permalink
    May 8, 2009 1:53 pm

    Looks like Manny can kiss Cooperstown goodbye.

    In all seriousness, this now seems to be another chapter in what’s now commonplace in all sports. I’m on the MLB media mailing list an it seems that every day I get a press release that some minor leaguer is getting a 50 game suspension for testing positive. Now that it’s Manny, it should be a wakeup call. Interesting to see what happens to A-Rod once he’s off the DL.

  45. joanne robertson permalink
    May 8, 2009 1:54 pm

    Thank you Curt. Although I don’t always agree with you on everything. Your last paragraph speaks volumes. Character development begins and ends in your own home. Every parent should strive to be a hero for their children. That means getting up every day, going to work, treating people with respect and loving the bejesus out of your offspring. Don’t expect the unachievable and praise the small victories in their lives. Then they might grow up with their heads screwed on straight.

  46. May 8, 2009 1:58 pm

    Absolutely – you hit it on the head regarding whom children look up to; truth of the matter is, children’s role models should truly be those who impact their lives on a daily basis — parents, teachers, and other authority figures — yet with the caveat that no matter whom we choose to respect and admire, they are all people just the same. Complete with imperfections and flaws. It is never good to put anyone on a pedestal; there is no where to go but down…

    That being said, I have to say that it was a little surprising to me about Manny; I get that he was a demon in the club house and not a great team mate – but as a spectator in the stands, and as a fan of the team he played with — it was always an enjoyment to watch him at bat.

    In watching the interviews on NESN last night with some of the team – everyone spoken to seemed genuinely surprised and most of all – disappointed.

    I personally think it’s inexcusable. I’m glad that the suspension was handed down. He’s a big boy – he knows the rules, and to have “accidentally” skirted them is inexcusable at this point.

    Additionally, I think part of the reason why Manny is the way he is — is because he has been allowed to be that way. I’ve banged the old “he’s your toy – you wound him up, now you play with him” drum for years now. Maybe now that it’s at a level that is beyond just the locker room, or salary negotiations – something will be done about it.

    But, as a fan of his talent – I’m beyond disappointed.

  47. metro permalink
    May 8, 2009 2:04 pm

    Manny is innocent. This shouldn’t tarnish his reputation or anything that he’s done. As for the Blowhard, it’s easy to say you never took anything now that you are retired and there is no way to prove anything. If you played in the Steroid Era then you are guilty by association. Your entire era is tarnished.

  48. pugs permalink
    May 8, 2009 2:06 pm

    curt,pettite got a pass for his lies.he said he only did drugs once and then he threw his father under the bus.hardly worthy of forgiveness.

  49. Tom Rivers permalink
    May 8, 2009 2:21 pm

    Well said Curt! A very wise man once told me, “If you’re looking for a role model or a hero you shouldn’t have to look any further than across the dinner table”. I’ve done the best I can to be that person for my kids. It’s not easy in this world we live in, but perhaps in some small way the news about Manny will wake more people up to the need to look under their own roof.

  50. May 8, 2009 2:24 pm

    Curt,
    Hey there. I’m a sports writer, nothing more or less, and just wanted to tell you that you’re one hell of a writer. I hope these words are yours, and not enhanced by someone else. That would be performance enhancement of another sort, but something tells me — and this is sincere — that these words are all yours. Don’t know if you need, or even care, to hear from a so-called expert writer (ahem) that you have legit talent in this field … but you do. That is all.
    Gregg

  51. Dean permalink
    May 8, 2009 2:42 pm

    Why aren’t you relishing Big Papi, like you are Lowell and Varitek? Strange that you ignore him when he’s been the biggest producer on the Sox for some time.

  52. Tom Field permalink
    May 8, 2009 2:54 pm

    Well-said, Curt.

    You’re right; Manny’s behavior in no way taints the titles you won with the Sox. God, if you want to start talking “tainted titles,” you have to go back at *least* to Canseco’s ’89 A’s. Not a worthwhile exercise for any of us.

    I can’t say I’m at all surprised, and I don’t even know if I’m disappointed. I am disgusted, though, about having to have the PED conversation *again* with my eight-year-old son. He’s seen two Sox titles in his lifetime, and that’s great. But he’s also seen Bonds, McGuire, Clements, Palmeiro, A-Rod and Manny. What permanent impressions must these incidents be leaving? I hate to think about it.

  53. Doc1107 permalink
    May 8, 2009 2:59 pm

    While I like most of what you say, it’s incredibly hard not to look at those men you mentioned as “men of supreme character” and not think; “maybe they did something too?”

    While there are people who pay their taxes without embellishing their return, while there are people who take a drug test with full confidence they never have taken an illegal drug, while there are people who drive 55 mph on the highway every time they get on, the hard truth is most don’t. If the average Joe can justify lying on their taxes, cheating a life insurance test by not smoking for a month or driving 75 mph because, hey everyone else does it, why are we not supposed to think that athletes with millions of dollars at stake wouldn’t justify it just as easily?

    When “Joe” goes to court and the judge says “do you know how fast you were driving?”, “Joe” will probably answer “No I don’t”, knowing full well he was speeding.

    Now I’m not saying speeding, taxes and job interviews are the same as today’s sports but the bottom line is; we are all human. We all make bad choices. There’s no one out there who hasn’t done one thing that might not have been the best thing to do. It could be something small like lying about why you called in sick or something bigger, something against the rules to give us a completive edge.

    I’ve been a baseball fan all my life. I’ve loved the Sox since my grandfather used to listen to them on his transistor radio while the game was on TV in the other room. Manny was one of my favorite players while he was here. To think he or someone else wouldn’t take dumb advice from an advisor, family member or close friend even though the consequences could be forever damaging when there is so much money on the line, a legacy on the line, to think we all would or should be smart enough to “Just say no” is ludicrous.

    Being a dad, I let my son’s look up to Randy Johnson, Big Papi, and Schilling. I let them look up to them but I teach them everyday how to be as best a person they possibly can be. I teach them to never make a choice you wouldn’t take responsibility for. Do I think they will never make a bad choice, I hope they don’t but they’re human too! It’s easy to justify a wrong; it’s supremely difficult to adhere to our own moral standards.

    I compliment all the men who play the game the right way! I am disappointed by the men who don’t. I don’t judge a player by what they do on the field or off. I have no clue how to judge Manny, JC Romero, Canseco or anyone else.

    Yaz was my favorite player along with Lynn and Rice when I was 12. Now at 43 do I think they never did anything wrong, spoke ill of someone, made choices they wish they hadn’t? No, I don’t, they’re human like the rest of us.

    We will never be able to look at sports again the same way because of the Steroid Era. No sport is safe from the scrutiny, bicycling, golf, the Olympics for crying out loud.

    At the end of the day we all have to look at the bigger picture and see what is really important, Family, Faith and being the best person we possible can be!

    Curt,I commend you for being able to look in the mirror with no remorse. I commend all the athletes who can do the same, I just don’t have any idea who or how many there are?

  54. Gabriel Gomez permalink
    May 8, 2009 3:06 pm

    Hello Mr. Schilling, Im Gabriel Gomez, an architect from Dominincan Republic. I love the blog 38piches.com cause is nice to see the poit of view “from the inside part of the movie” called baseball, and im so dissapointmen with the juiced players, as is everyone here in the country, but im writing you for other reasons…I want to invite you to check this website:

    http://www.projecthdesign.com/

    It have information regarding the Project H Learning Landscape.The playground helps school children learn math through games and play.

    Im serving as the organizer -with no pay, just as a social helper- for the math playground which we hope to construct this August in a rural zone with precarious coditions in the Dominican Republic…so, i write you hoping that maybe you can send this link to other players that can help the Project H with promotions, or anything you consider apropiate we gonna receive gratefull.

    Thanks for read me…

    Gabriel

  55. Chuck Hogan permalink
    May 8, 2009 3:38 pm

    Thanks Mr. Schilling for saying what I have been saying to my kids for 20 years – that personal responsibility begins at home and that there is such a thing as right and wrong and it’s usually pretty easy to figure out which is which. My prayers will be with the real heroes – the troops, as always.

  56. May 8, 2009 3:44 pm

    Curt,

    I may not always agree with your politics, but I LOVE the way you write, and your ability to say what others think but don’t have the guts to say! I heard you speak on the radio about Asperger’s a week or so ago and it made my eyes well up as I was driving. My 10 year old son is on the spectrum and I TOTALLY understand your thoughts and experiences! I wish you and your family all the best!

  57. KenPoulsenFanClub permalink
    May 8, 2009 3:49 pm

    ay to go Curt! Nothing like taking a shot at someone after the horse has left the barn;, raising questions about others (but not identifying them, thus implicating everyone on any team you played for who posted dramatic improvement from one year to the next); claiming suspicions, some strong, about the integrity of the game but not saying anything about it; all in the context of preaching virtue, integrity and morals.

    You formed a belief that the integrity of the game was compromised and did nothing about it and now you want to lecture the rest of the world?

    We will now pause so the sainted one can attack the person making the comment, which is his usual M.O. when challenged.

  58. KC Runkel permalink
    May 8, 2009 3:53 pm

    Excellent blog Curt! For some reason I can actually understand how players felt they almost had to “enhance performance” to keep up with those already “enhanced”. Competitiveness I understand completely and players such as yourself and other non-users get my kudos, having the confidence in your natural abilities and training to compete with enhanced players.
    The downfall of all professional sports today (in my opinion), and what created the steroid era is money – too much money. Sorry, but athletes do not deserve to be compensated with multi-millions per season. I often wish the FCC would ban alcohol and penis pill ads with hope that without their multi-million dollar advertising budgets the revenues of TV and Teams would get shrunken to point where Owners lose 50% of revenue which in turn would require Player contracts to also shrink to more realistic -justifiable values. Would a player cheat, risk getting caught and disgraced, if the dollar compensation reward from an “enhanced” performance was much smaller? But when difference between 15 HR’s vs 30 HR’s can mean an extra 2+ million dollars AND you know many others in your sport are already enhanced, it takes a very strong-confident individual to pass up on this proven technology to help improve their performance and earnings.
    This same scenario has caused our current economic disaster. It was easy to “cheat” the time-proven lending practice system that always kept financial companies very profitable. “Cheating” jumped their short-term profitability to extrodinary non-justifiable profits. Individuals working at financial companies could not resist the urge to jump their salaries to ridiculous, non-justifiable levels, just like pro athletes can’t resist. Just like sports turned a blind-eye because of the profitibility, so did our government by trusting these companies thru reduced regulations to keep their long-term interests above short gained profits.
    The sad, realistic fact of human life is you can personally learn to trust various individuals of their intentions and morals, but you can’t trust a “group” of any kind (Owners, employees, businesses, etc) without diligent oversight and rules/regulations. Although capitalism is still the best alternative, it does create the powerful urge to screw others for personal wealth if they can get away with it. I used to trust the Republican Party for looking out for our countries best interests, they too unfortunately got caught up in greed and power- again because they could (just like the Democratic party in pre-Reagan era). I would abolish political parties and have us vote based on an individual’s charateristics and abilities.
    I wish you weren’t so bull headed pro-Republican Party because it puts you in “that group” who during the Bush era seemed to care more about keeping power and catering to minority groups(Defense contrators, religeous right, etc) than the general population and their problems. So it aint so Curt!

    KC

  59. Joane Fitzpatrick permalink
    May 8, 2009 3:54 pm

    The most sensible reaction to the Manny steroid story I’ve read. You have always been an example of what is right about sports and what keeps us fans. As a NY native Red Sox fan back to the Ted Williams days, you continually make me proud. Don’t disappear into retirement – your voice is needed.

  60. Amy Lavoie permalink
    May 8, 2009 3:54 pm

    One of my favorite blogs yet Curt. Your brutal honesty is one of the reasons I respect you so much off the field. You say what most people are afraid to, or not willing to because they don’t have the guts.

  61. Dawn Liedtka permalink
    May 8, 2009 4:01 pm

    DAMN! That’s all i can say. . .you are RIGHT ON!

  62. May 8, 2009 4:10 pm

    Hey Curt,

    Thanks for your insight into Manny and steroids in general. My only critique would be, to be careful mentioning names (in the second to last paragraph) of players we should look up to because whether it is Lebraun James or Mike Vrabel etc. you and I have no idea if they have or have not done steroids or HGH.

    Sad but true no one is above suspicion.

    Dave

  63. May 8, 2009 4:11 pm

    Hey Curt,

    Thanks for your insight into Manny and steroids in general. My only critique would be, to be careful mentioning names (in the second to last paragraph) of players we should look up to because whether it is Lebraun James or Mike Vrabel etc. you and I have no idea if they have or have not done steroids or HGH.

    Sad but true no one is above suspicion.

  64. Everyone permalink
    May 8, 2009 4:37 pm

    Shutup. everyone hates you. be quiet.

  65. Dan permalink
    May 8, 2009 5:03 pm

    You forgot “the Utleys”.

  66. May 8, 2009 5:04 pm

    Hey Curt,

    Nobody would be sending you any “this taints your World Series titles” emails if Red Sox Nation didn’t throw that bit of nonsense out there about the Yankees first.

    I don’t remember seeing you say anything to defend the Yankees on that matter, and if you did I’d love to read it. In any event, you came blame the denizens of RSN for any emails you get on that subject.

    And I’m SURE it’s just an oversight, but you left David Ortiz off your list of “clean” players.

  67. Brad Potter permalink
    May 8, 2009 5:04 pm

    You tell em Curt. I’ve always admired you for speaking your mind even when I dont agree with you. (I could never have voted for W) A lot of people come down hard on you for it but I think they are the blowhards and I hope you never stop telling it like it is…

  68. May 8, 2009 5:11 pm

    Great points, Curt. I love that you speak honestly about all this. We Red Sox fans miss your pitching and your candor. However, I remain disappointed you didn’t say this in front of Congress when you had the opportunity.

  69. May 8, 2009 5:13 pm

    Curt, just read your thoughts on Manny. Thanks for telling it like it is.

  70. Joe permalink
    May 8, 2009 5:26 pm

    Those that say that the Sox’s two WS titles are tainted must be smoking something, because the whole damn sport has been tainted by all of this. I agree with Curt 100% in that this changes nothing about how much I relish those two championships. Do I think the Yankees’ various WS wins are tainted because of Clemens and Kevin Brown (was Brown even on the Yankees?), or that the Indians’ run to the ALCS is tainted by Paul Byrd? Nope. That’s just the era we’ve watched unfold, which is truly the sad part.

  71. Scott R. permalink
    May 8, 2009 5:27 pm

    Amen Curt! It is so nice to here someone like yourself actually say what is on their mind when news like this comes out. All too often in todays world when a dcelebritty or athlete speaks to the media they give the “Political Correct” version, but with you we never have to worry about not knowing how you really feel. Again Curt from a lifelong Red Sox fan, I say thank you.

  72. Laura permalink
    May 8, 2009 6:29 pm

    Perfect.

  73. Dan DiMicco permalink
    May 8, 2009 6:47 pm

    As an expectant father, thank you.

  74. Parvinator permalink
    May 8, 2009 8:07 pm

    Amen and well said !!!

  75. May 8, 2009 8:17 pm

    Curt,

    Another great article today. I always enjoy reading your posts, whatever the topic.

    Today’s was possibly your best baseball blog, as, as ever, you succeed in maintaining an unswervingly wide sense of perspective, whether your subject is baseball, politics, or just having received great service at a restaurant.

    Your coverage of baseball shows you to always come across as a baseball fan first off. It’s too easy to get bogged down by the state of a team or the actions of a player, and you never seem to.

    Disappointment in the game is temporary; love of it is forever.

    Keep up the excellent work.

    Grant,
    Glasgow, Scotland.

  76. Alex permalink
    May 8, 2009 8:35 pm

    Curt, you are a great American! One of the best!

    (of course, nobody is even within 99% of the greatness of the members of our Armed Services, but you are at the top of that 1% of the greatness range that all civilians fit into!)

    Thank you for having the spine to be a strong Conservative on a team full of Boston Liberals, and for supporting the troops, and for supporting the MMO communities for a decade (even if they are full of angry Liberals).

  77. May 8, 2009 9:29 pm

    Hi Curt,

    Nothing surprises me about Manny (or A-Rod for that fact).

    Nice to see that you are visiting our troops. You met my nephew, PFC Joe Charlonne yesterday in Colorado Springs. He is shipping out soon and we all pray for his safety.

    As usual, my wife and I are always impressed by your humanitarian efforts. Keep it up and hope to meet you at an ALS function one day.

    Al

  78. May 9, 2009 1:36 am

    I expected nothing less from you, Curt. Always one to tell it like it is. And yeah, there’s definitely something to that “omission”. I wish I could go on saying that it was just an omission, that Papi belongs on that list of players who do it the right way, but after Manny got caught using PEDs, I don’t know what to think anymore. I want to just attribute his rise to stardom to the fact that he didn’t get regular playing time in Minnesota and the fact that they did things differently there–I read his book, and it sounds as if they really emphasized “small ball” in Minnesota when he came up–and his subsequent decline as the natural decay that comes with age, and comes more rapidly with, ahem, “heavier” players, but the best comparison among former Red Sox for a player who went downhill early due to struggles with weight is Mo Vaughn, who, well, was named in the Mitchell Report. Not exactly helping Big Papi’s case. Now, there is absolutely NO WAY that 2007 is tainted–that postseason was all about the kids, Pedey and Jacoby and Lester and Beckett and Papelbon. Mike Lowell also had a great series, and he’s not one of the young guys, but I don’t think he juiced, either–and besides, as a survivor of testicular cancer, he has a legitimate medical reason to have testosterone supplements. I just wish I could say the same about 2004. This really is becoming a murky era in baseball history.

    On the plus side, the timing of this story breaking means ESPN won’t be overdosing us with stories about Brett Favre. So at least one good thing came out of all this.

    Chad

  79. May 9, 2009 2:04 am

    The swabbies are out in force on this gem…
    love your candor and the fact that you are highly opinionated
    BUT Please, stay on point, any point, pick a point, Point Given perhaps
    Seriously, we know you love the troops we all do, why throw them into this
    stew of faulkner-esque stream of blah blah blah
    focus curt focus

  80. Eddie permalink
    May 9, 2009 2:34 am

    Curt,

    Thanks for telling it like it is, Curt.

    I am so disappointed and upset. It is disheartening to see a team build up the entire franchise and season around a person just to find out he’s knowlingly been breaking the rules all this time. Not only children but adults find people to admire and respect and when this happens – the trust not only in the person, but sometimes the team itself, is all but destroyed.

  81. brian in jersey permalink
    May 9, 2009 7:08 am

    Curt: you were a good pitcher. However, I distinctly recall that you were a member of the 1991 Houston Astros with such luminaries as Ken “there’s 90% of baseball doing roids” Caminiti, Darryl (RIP) Kile, probably had a heart attack due to roids, Jeff ” my shoulder fell apart from roids” Bagwell, Luis ” I won a world series for you, Curt” Gonzalez, Steve “I hope they don’t catch me with roids” Finley, Kenny ” I’ll play for every team in baseball” Lofton. But you didn’t know about roids? You remember your teammates, don’t you? OR do you just throw anyone under the bus?
    Come on, Curt. If it wasn’t for steroids, you would have no World Series rings, so quit burnin on the minorities, which you’ve effectively shut out of the Hall of fame due to your myopia. Luis Gonzalez, won the world series for AZ. Roids. Manny MVP to break bostons curse, Roids. Curt hand back those rings, or hush up already. GIVE BACK THE RINGS,CURT..if you really have a problem with roids, or you are condoning the use of roids.
    Oh yeah, and tell baseball to move the fences back again. That 10-foot change in fences is lifting the HR rate.
    Lastly, if you weren’t soegotistical, you and came out of games when you were supoosed to you would have had a better shot getting into the Hall. You lost at least 10-15 games due to that alone.

    Even though this is likely the most ignorant and hilariously immature post I’ve ever received, I posted it anyway. People like you should be laughed at from time to time to allow us a chance to unwind

  82. Buck16 permalink
    May 9, 2009 9:37 am

    Hey Curt. We Jays fans (and Canadians) are extremely lucky to watch Roy Halladay and Scott Rolen, night in and night out, and to claim Jason Bay as our own .. y’know, birth right and all.

    Go Jays.

  83. DeniseSoxFan permalink
    May 9, 2009 10:30 am

    Awesome. Love ya, man!

  84. Pete in Florida permalink
    May 9, 2009 11:47 am

    Curt, In a modern world where winning now is the only thing, is it any wonder that many athletes take this road. The pure number of individuals trying to get into professional sports of every kind are all looking for something that will give them that little bit of an edge. Yes, there will always (thankfully) be guys, Dustin Pedroia for a quick example, that choose the path of working just a little bit harder than some of their peers to gain this edge. And, as you stated in your blog, this number will always hopefully outnumber those seeking a quick path to that edge. The fact remains, that as long as there has been competition of any kind, the participants have always sought, that edge, legally or otherwise. And with technology the way it is, I am quite certain that there is someone, somewhere , right now working on the next new substance, not already on MLB’s list to give a whole new crop of hopefuls “the edge”. Human nature. To think that this will ever go completely away with the kind of dollars that are at stake is just not reality. The real problem for a guy like Manny Ramirez as I see it, is related to his episodes of laying down on his teammates, his off the field antics which have been well documented, and his performance as a human being after having attained the staure he holds in the great sport of baseball. Manny has always been a powerful, naturally talented hitter. No question. His work ethic unquestionable as well. Few have worked harder to become the hitter he is. But the minute you start believing you are bigger than the whole of the team, you defy the very meaning of that word. The Dodgers are feeling the effects of that right now. A sad day for the game and its fans.

  85. Leonard permalink
    May 9, 2009 12:11 pm

    Curt,

    I’m surprised to hear you speak out against steroids or former mates getting caught using performance enhancers. The best years of your career were after you turned 31 years old, you never struck out more than 186 batters in a season until 1997 when you were 31 and went on to strike out 300 2 years in a row. I’m not saying you used any performance enhancers but there’s certainly reason to believe you and nearly every other player has. Speaking negatively about your former colleagues certainly doesn’t make you look any better…Leonard

  86. Aaron permalink
    May 9, 2009 12:17 pm

    Curt, a warrior should never be considered a hero. War should never be considered necessary or righteous. As a Christian (you) I’m disheartened that you accept the madness of the world and accept that death is an acceptable avenue for life at times. If you want peace lay down your arms. Rise above the madness and embrace peace. Jesus didn’t fight back, why should we? If we die, we die in truth.
    I am not naive, I am just trying to find my way back to God, as we all are. Bullets and bombs are not our tools. Our souls are.

  87. dave permalink
    May 9, 2009 1:31 pm

    How do we know these hero soldiers aren’t on PEDs? They need adrenaline and strength. I’d love for PEDs to disappear from sports. If that means that a player leads the league with 20 home runs in a season, then so be it. I love seeing great performances in sports, but how enjoyable can it be if you know the athlete is juiced up. Unfortunately it will never be 100% clean. Too many rewards versus not enough risks.

  88. Dave man fan permalink
    May 9, 2009 2:13 pm

    Great frank stuff. One can only hope he is honest. I believe!!

    My hero, Mr Mr Papi protested loudly a while back . Curt does not mention #34 in his list of heroes. Is he next ? Seems to really fit the profile. Would explain a lot.

    If Curt gives back his rings , I would expect lots of other rings in the basket too. Didn’t he face Arod, Giambi Tejada Pettitte and more.

  89. sdl1 permalink
    May 9, 2009 2:54 pm

    “Even though this is likely the most ignorant and hilariously immature post I’ve ever received, I posted it anyway. People like you should be laughed at from time to time to allow us a chance to unwind.”

    Thanks Curt..I got a good laugh out of brian_in_jersey’s post.

  90. KenPoulsenFan Club permalink
    May 9, 2009 4:23 pm

    Excellent post from Brian in New Jersey. It shows what a front-running hypocrite the blowhard is.

  91. CDH permalink
    May 9, 2009 4:46 pm

    As a Yankee fan, I have always disliked you, while admiring your ability, frankness, and apparent common sense. The last attribute is reinforced by your comments on the latest steroid “scandal”. A few comments:
    * Derek Jeter should have been added to the list of players you commend for (supposedly) playing clean.
    * You must be the only other person in America, besides me, who finds it amusing how often people are lauded for doing what is right – what they SHOULD be doing. Pretty said state of affairs.
    *Lastly, as much as I loathe The Red Sox, I agree, their championships are no more tainted than any other team’s championships, including my beloved Yankees, during that era. I believe all were achieved on a more or less even, though tainted, playing field – one rife with PEDs, and rife with the tacit acceptance of The Commissioner’s Office.

  92. Jeff Mills permalink
    May 9, 2009 7:41 pm

    Curt,

    I was on vacation in Florida and at the Braves/Marlins game on Thursday afternoon when the Manny story broke. My initial reaction was surprise, but not shock. Then, I just remember feeling sad. Not for Manny, but for the game of baseball and the fans.

    Major League Baseball is like a child who keeps doing something he/she shouldn’t be doing and the parent has to keep saying “No!” yet they still do it anyway. When is Major League Baseball going to wise up? I know that there are people out there who criticize the media for holding MLB to a higher standard vis a vis steroids than the NFL, NBA and NHL, but MLB was dragged kicking and screaming into taking action on steroids. And that is inexcusable.

    IMHO there should be a “zero tolerance” anti-drug policy which bans any MLB player for life if they test positive for steroids, cocaine, marijuana, HGH, any illegal drug. Period. Let the player’s union challenge that policy and my response would be that I would expose every person who opposed zero tolerance anti-drug policy by naming every name and posting it in newspapers, on the Internet, everywhere.

    Of course, this will not happen unless a new commissioner takes over because Bud Selig will not do anything about this. A 50-game suspension is good, but a year’s suspension would have been better. I used to admire and respect Manny Ramirez, but now I have no use for the guy. His antics on the field and in the clubhouse weren’t amusing to me even though ESPN and most in the sports media didn’t seem to mind and excused it as “Manny being Manny.” Funny how those people aren’t chuckling today, huh?

    Those people in the media were the same people last summer who excoriated the Red Sox for trading Manny for Jason Bay. Some of them blamed that deal for the Red Sox not beating the Rays in the ALCS last year. Of course. It was all Jason Bay’s fault. Never mind the fact that the Rays were a better team. Jason Bay might not be as charismatic as Manny, but he gets his uniform dirty and plays the game right. He might not hit for as much power as Manny, but you know that those 25-30 home runs a year Bay gets weren’t enhanced by steroids. I don’t believe in curses, but I do believe in karma. I don’t know if Jason Bay will ever be in Cooperstown, but I know that Manny Ramirez won’t be going there anytime soon.

  93. 2 Bit Bill permalink
    May 9, 2009 9:04 pm

    How’d you like my birthplace?
    Although it was Camp Carson when I was born.
    Fish

  94. chuck permalink
    May 9, 2009 9:36 pm

    Being a Bosox fan and living in Southern California, I recently had to put up with newspaper comments that the Red Sox Nation should just shutup and stop picking on Manny. Well, there you go. Now, like the 55,000 Yankee fans that you made SHUTUP, Curt, the SoCal sportswriters and the crybaby fans here can SHUTUP. Keep it up, Curt. And thanks for the 2 championships that will never be tainted.

  95. Scott Perry permalink
    May 9, 2009 10:37 pm

    Darryl Kile died of a coronary disease. The cause of death was attributed to a 90% blockage in two coronary arteries.

    Brian in Jersey just shows his arse just like a typical douche bag from NJ.

    Curt, great write up.

    The major problem to me is havving to tell my 10 year old son what happened. I took my son to a game in late September, 2006. It was his first game. Manny made an appearance after taking most of September off. Manny hits a HR and I tell my son that he’s lucky to see a HOF’er hit a HR while attending his first game.

    That was taken away from him as I doubt that Manny gets in the Hall anytime soon.

  96. DiamondGirl permalink
    May 10, 2009 12:39 am

    As always, Curt, you’re drippping in sanctimony. It’s clear you think you’re one of the “great men” of the game, but in my mind you certainly are not. Rather, you are simply the perfect example of the hypocritical Christian.

    Do the family values you teach your children include a self-satisfied rendition of “what goes around comes around” when someone you “have no respect for” has been utterly villified and humiliated? Really? I missed that lesson in Sunday school. Rather, what I learned about are things like forgiveness, not passing judgment, and not throwing stones as we each live in our own version of a glass house.

    To quote Romans 14:

    “But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ…Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.”

    Maybe instead of pontificating, you should spend a little more time practicing the religion you so readily reference – at your convenience, of course.

  97. matthew maher permalink
    May 10, 2009 6:16 pm

    What a crock of $#@!$,,this man spills out,,,,,,good job Curt nice article Curt,,,,I have done a fine job raising my kids ,and have told them its better to shut up and and hide your ignorance ,then to open your mouth and remove all doute

    In your case that appears to be sound advice, lest you remove all ‘doute’ you dope.

  98. Brian permalink
    May 10, 2009 9:09 pm

    Curt, you buried the lead. The last three or so paragraphs should have been at the beginning of you post.

    I absolutely agree that parents do not take enough responsibility for shaping the people that their children become. They don’t ask questions about what their kids are up to. They don’t research what kinds of music, movies, or video games their children listen to, watch or play. They just want to be their “friends”. Parents: you should better have friends your own age, and so should your kids!

    I also agree that athletes are not role models; at least not in the general sense. Some athletes successes (like Chris Coste) are examples of what hard work and determination can get a person.

    Personally, I am sick and tired of the “steroid era”. If the stories are true that ownership didn’t care that ‘roids were rampant because all these moonshot homers were putting money in their bank accounts, then they ruined the integrity of the game, not the players. Sure, the players had a part in it, but ownership was a (very) willing accomplice.

    In regards to the chuckle-head that wanted you to give back your rings; instead of moving the outfield fences back 10 feet, how ’bout raising the mound back to the “dead ball era” height? It would make the post-expansion diluted pitching quality a little better. It sure couldn’t make it any worse.

  99. tinisoli permalink
    May 10, 2009 9:21 pm

    Curt,
    The whole era is tainted, not any one team per se. That is an unavoidable conclusion that we all have to come to. The game was dirty, and dirty for a long time. At first, in the late 80s, Jose Canseco was the anomaly, the freak, the first 40-40 guy. Guys like him meant that the playing field, both contemporaneously and historically, was not level. And then, ironically, the game got even dirtier as a means of leveling it out again, so that Canseco wasn’t such a freak anymore, but rather somewhat normal. It was “parity through impurity.” Suddenly, a ton of guys were bigger, a lot of middling players were getting stronger and faster and better in their mid thirties, and so on and so forth. (Enter Luis Gonzalez, Bret Boone, Steve Finley, Brady Anderson, and all the rest.) We know that now, and we now know why, even if we don’t have all the names from 2003 or whenever. A tainted era it most certainly was. On the other hand, if and when a team or a cluster of key players is outed as a nexus of steroid use, then I think it would be fair to say that that team is more tainted than others. And when we’re talking about championship teams, I think it’s fair to lament how tainted they were, and it’s understandable that we might lament them much more than we lament or groan about, say, the ridiculously juiced 2002 Rangers, or some other team that didn’t win a damn thing. Just as most of us are more pissed off about Barry Bonds’ steroid use than Ryan Franklin’s——one was smashing hallowed records, the other wasn’t——we’re way more pissed off about championship teams that had juiced players than we are about Brian Roberts’ Orioles. That probably seems unfair, especially to a presumably clean player like you, but, as Brian McNamee would say, it is what it is. It absolutely takes something away from the 2004 and 2007 teams to know that Manny Ramirez was, most likely, a juicer throughout his illustrious career. (And that others, too, most definitely we’re doing what Manny was doing.) How could it not! How could anyone possibly maintain the same amount of joy in remembering Manny’s contributions to the 2004 title run, or his Series MVP trophy, for example, knowing that he was just another greedy, gluttonous, lazy egomaniac who didn’t give a damn about his health, the integrity of the game, the game’s history, or anything but his own self? It’s impossible. Likewise, I would expect any honest Yankee fan to cringe at the thought of Clemens and Pettitte, A-Rod and Giambi, Kevin Brown and Kyle Farnsworth. The era is tainted as a whole, but we can’t help but feel sick when specific players from specific teams are outed. And I can assure you that our collective love for the ’04 and ’07 teams will wane if we learn that other Sox were getting an edge through Andro, Clomid, testosterone, Winstrol, HGH, HCG, etc.

  100. May 11, 2009 1:14 am

    Why did you testify before Congress if you were not going to say anything ?
    You seem to enjoy the spotlight and getting your opinions out there-you surely must have know what players were using-you could have named names

    If a source says you did steroids or HGH-you would surely sue them but you would already be tainted because most people are cynical with players of your generation and you would be lumped in regardless of your guilt or not…

    whay is Brian MacNamee retracted everything he said and Clemens did not do steroids ? what is Clemens wins in court? would not matter-hes already been convicted in the court of public opinion. If you truly care about baseball-name names and open the book-clearly no one else…owners,commisioner,players, union will…

  101. Tony permalink
    May 11, 2009 2:14 am

    What a bunch of BS. When it is players who don’t impact Curt, he is pointing fingers, demanding MVPS and CY YOUNGS be stripped, making a big deal. But when it happens to someone on his team, its all, look the other way.

    Oh well, what can you expect. Schilling has always been this way. Its why very few around the game respect anything about him.

    You want someone real to thank, Thank Frank Thomas. He was the only one with the guts to goto Congress and call his sport out. He demanded his team all decline to take tests in 2003 not because of guilt, but because an entire team of “automatic fails” would surely mandate testing. His hall of fame career is one of very few never questioned. He was one of the top 3 hitters in the game during his prime, and maybe the best if you took away the Roids. Even with being screwed out of an MVP by Juice-Ambi, he is first ballot.

    Curt, the truth lies within. You are wrong. As long as Baseball players are on posters on the wall, and kids are amazed at what these athletes do, they will always be a hero to someone. You had them growing up. I had them growing up. Every major league player had them growing up. This whole Charles Barkley I am no Role Model thing is a complete cop out. When you make the league minimuim, 300,000 or so a year, you are doing better then a lot of lawyers, financial advisors, doctors etc. With that money, athletes, any sport, should be above the Gangs, the Drugs, the Violence, the cheating, the lying.

    You try to pawn this off by saying look at real heroes in US Soldiers. And I agree, they have more balls then anyone who suits up in the MLB. But they have there problems too. Should we not look up to soldiers because of the Alcoholism that may face when they return home? Or how about the inability to deal with post traumatic stress disorder? Or the ones who can never readjust to just having a normal life?

    No profession is perfect. Everything comes with flaws. It takes courage to play the game right and by the rules. It takes the same courage for a Lawyer to follow his ethics, a Financial Advisor to not falsify investment forms, a Doctor to treat a patient properly. It takes the same ethics for a Cop to make an arrest by the book and a Pharmacist not to abuse the power they have. The difference is when any of these other professions go over the line, they lose licenses, get disbarred, get banned for life. When a Baseball players gets caught, he gets a slap on the wrist, he gets excuses made, he returns to work in less then 2 months, and he gets an article written by you about why he is not a role model.

  102. Doctor X permalink
    May 11, 2009 6:04 am

    Yes.

    brian in jersey has managed to lose the Internets.

    –J.D.

  103. Casey Wise permalink
    May 11, 2009 7:00 am

    That is a most excellent post, Curt. Everything from the juicing to the parenting, good stuff, keep on blogging bro, yours is some of the best stuff out there.

    I’ve seen the people that juice at my gym(s) and you said the word that I think best characterizes their intake and routine, “calculated.” I smell a steamy pile when ARoid and Manny turn into the “stupid athlete” when asked the tough questions, like “you’ve got to be shitting me, you didn’t know what you were putting Mediterranean Yak estrogen in to your body?” Of course you didn’t you’re a stupid athlete… who just so happens to track his diet and workout regimen not unlike Nasa tracking interstellar anomalies with excruciating precision and deliberation.

    The HOF is gonna recognize players in the steroid era, but you, Jeter, Pujols and all the other guys that blaze trails legitimately will be clearly distinguished as the guys that liegitimately competed on a level playing field. For Bonds, ARoid, Manny, Giambino, Palmiero, Big Mac, Sosa, et ol: asterisks and doubt… if they get in!

  104. Chris Fiorentino permalink
    May 11, 2009 8:49 am

    Curt,

    The reason that “innocent until proven guilty” does not apply to the majority of athletes in professional sports(yes, all of sports, not just MLB, which is unfairly persecuted more than others IMHO) is that A FAIR trial has never happened, and may never happen.

    The fact is that “accused” people are “innocent until proven guilty”…then we have a trial…and then they are either PROVEN guilty or not guilty. The professional athletes of baseball, football, etc. today do not want to prove their innocence. They do not want to be tested for HGH…or BLOOD TESTED for all types of steroids. If they really want us to apply “innocent until proven guilty” to them, then cowboy up, agree to BLOOD TESTING, then we will be able to say whether you are innocent or guilty. Or at least we will be alot closer than we are today.

    The olympics…cycling…and I am sure many more sports that I do not know, test blood. When the Tour de France was won by a doper, he was caught and his title was stripped. There was a proper court of appeals, and he was found GUILTY.

    The same thing should exist in the big professional sports like Baseball and Football. I am sorry, but without more strenuous testing done, I will continue to RIGHTLY assume that ALL baseball and football players are doing SOME banned substance. Whether that is HGH, Steroids, or any of the hundreds of banned substances on the “list”.

    I’ll equate it to this…remember when there were some post office people who were going “postal” and shooting up the offices where they worked. Well, that may have unfairly looked bad on ALL post office employees, but they took it seriously enough to add security and they also added some standards that softened the work environment and made it less stressful(if that is possible). Did they have proof that others would do that? No. But because it happened to quite a few of their employees, they took the stance that it would happen again if they did nothing about it. So they ACTED. And we even got a new saying out of it…”going postal”.

    If you guys want to be “innocent until proven guilty” then you must prove your innocence. With the number of players who have been proven guilty, and the amount of innuendo that is out there, including from YOU in your most recent blog entry when you talk about guys bulking up, hitting home runs, and their hat sizes rising, ALL OF YOU STAND ACCUSED!!

    Chris

  105. Brian permalink
    May 11, 2009 8:54 am

    Thank you, Curt, for saying what needs to be said. I like how you tie things together to the larger social ills, including the absurd idolization of athletes and the responsibility coming down to the parents in the end. You have my utmost respect, sir.

  106. PO PO permalink
    May 11, 2009 12:35 pm

    For everyone critical of Manny’s lame excuse, give me a break! For those fans that look to athletes to be ultimate role models, take a step back and realize they are humans who make mistakes and also cut corners to get ahead. Does it make it right? No, but neither does cheating on finals in high school.

    As far as not copping to everything after they get caught, what human being cops to all of his or her misdeeds when they caught? How many people who get pulled over after having a few drinks, tells the cop that they drank 3 Vodka Tonics, 2 beers, and a glass of wine? No, they say I had a couple beers with dinner.

    These guys are humans. Plenty of people do dishonest things to satisfy themselves and it’s not right but it’s also not the end of the world. They can be forgiven. They also can still be really good at what they do. Kids who cheat on tests still could be smart kids, they just wanted to be a little smarter.

    Manny is a freakish hitter and so is Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez. All three are Hall of Fame caliber players…period. Glenallen Hill, Adam Piatt, and Steve Woodard are not. They were on the Mitchell Report as steroid users…didn’t work fellas!

    Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte were/are high caliber pitchers. Paxton Crawford and Jim Parque were not. All were on the Mitchell Report.

  107. Sharon Donovan permalink
    May 11, 2009 6:15 pm

    Thank you for speaking about Aspergers and making people aware of how it effects so many children today. In having a son with Aspergers I have learned that the true heroes who need to be idolized are the parents who have kids with disabilities and the teachers, doctors and all others who are there to help and support them. While most parents are busy with their own agendas and trying to live vicariously through their kids, the parents of kids with disabilities are just trying to give their kids a normal life of friends, fun and hope for the future and to be accepted by a world that is caught up in “perfection”.

  108. Matt permalink
    May 11, 2009 10:43 pm

    “If you guys want to be “innocent until proven guilty” then you must prove your innocence.”

    Contradiction? You tell me.:P

  109. Chris Fiorentino permalink
    May 12, 2009 9:30 am

    “If you guys want to be “innocent until proven guilty” then you must prove your innocence.”

    “Contradiction? You tell me.:P”

    Matt,

    It is not a contradiction at all…why give them the benefit of the doubt when, as even Curt admits, many are gaining speed on their fastballs or in # of home runs and are doing it completely undetected? Why should we give them the benefit of the doubt when many athletes are now hitting better in their late 30s then they were when they were 25? Or when Roger Clemens appears to be finished in Boston, then magically wins 4 more Cy Young awards after the age of 34? I am sorry, but a guy like Roger Clemens is GUILTY until he PROVES he is innocent. And it is only fair to say that about every other player in baseball, since there is NO TEST FOR HGH.

    I think it is fair to say that steroid use has declined…from everything I have read, MLB is doing a good job of testing urine for steroids and other PEDs, but without the BLOOD test, we can not test for HGH. And HGH is as much of a cheat as steroids and other PEDs.

    Until the BLOOD HGH test is accepted by the players, I will choose to say they are ALL GUILTY until they prove their innocence.

  110. Nick permalink
    May 12, 2009 1:02 pm

    Um, what makes you think any of the guys you listed at the end are clean? I’d be fairly shocked if Lebron James wasn’t on steroids.

  111. Jason permalink
    May 12, 2009 3:31 pm

    This is really sad to say, but I am almost to the point where I dont care anymore. Im am a diehard Dodger fan, and I really cant even get that upset about this. It was not suprising to me that he tested positive, nor would I be suprised by any name being mentioned with a positive test. I enjoy baseball, and I have alot more respect for the guys who didnt use, but how will we ever know who those guys are or were. Because of that, I really dont care anymore. Whats a 50 game suspension suppose to mean for a guy like Manny. Yeah he loses some money, but does anyone really think he cares.
    You know the first thing I heard from a fellow baseball fan was this: “You know the next name to come out will be Pujols”. Now thats a sad statement, and whats even worse is I would not be suprised if it happen. Baseball needs to do something, and do it fast.

  112. immaa permalink
    May 13, 2009 11:56 am

    I always rooted against you because you were not on my team, but always rooted for you because you play the game right and speak your mind. Thanks for your blog and your dead on take.

  113. Dan permalink
    May 13, 2009 2:34 pm

    Tou-freaking-che!
    I respect athletes who acknowledge their responsibility to set an example for kid in a time where it is growing increasingly rare.
    I respect parents who accept their responsibility to teach their kids correct principles even more.
    Here’s to more responsibility all around.

  114. Gregg permalink
    May 13, 2009 3:39 pm

    Let me preface what I am saying by fully admitting that steroids do in fact help players, that much is fairly obvious. My real question is just how much, and why are steroids any different than speed, using a nail file or jell on a pitched ball, corked bats, or even cortisone shots? I think as the years go by, we will start to see that steroids are not a magic pill that turns Jeremy Giambi into Jason Giambi. The Saber community has already started to dabble in this debate, and their general thought process is it may add around 5 home runs a year to an elite player. There was a lot going on earlier this decade besides steroids that contributed to the increase in offense. Expansion was a huge one, smaller ballparks another, and of course there belief in a juiced ball in that era.

    So my question to you would be, what do you say if Alex goes on to win another two MVP’s, with the extensive drug testing that he is subject to now? How does one explain Alex having a career year in 2007 with the amount of testing that he had to undergo? Don’t you believe that maybe, just maybe people have overblown the effects steroids have on performance? Why is it that Aaron admits in his own book to using amphetamines (which were illegal, banned, and without question a PED) the entire year he broke Ruth’s record, and no one writes pieces on his legacy being tarnished?? Where are the pieces on the countless HOF pitchers who have readily admitted to cheating and their legacys?

    Have you seen this piece before?

    http://www.sportsworldny.com/index.php?showtopic=22343

    Let me share a quick story with you. I am 31 and grew up in Staten Island, NYC. When I was a young kid, say 7 or 8 years old, I started to play in the neighborhood and play sports and all the normal little kid stuff. All or most of my friends had older brothers, and they had friends. Growing up, these kids who were 16 or 17 were almost all on steroids. You knew the signs, there was no questioning whether or not they were natural. So when Lenny Dykstra joined the Phillies in ’89, I was 11 years old. We knew, as 11 year old kids, that Lenny was juiced out of his mind. In the above piece, former MLB’er Tom House 7 – 8 pitchers on every staff were dabbling in steroids in the late ’60’s!!! Steroids have been around for ever, just like every other form of cheating. If your telling me Neikro and Whitey Ford are HOF’ers, than so is Bonds and A-Rod.

  115. tinisoli permalink
    May 14, 2009 4:33 pm

    “How does one explain Alex having a career year in 2007 with the amount of testing that he had to undergo?”

    HGH. They cannot detect it via urinalysis. A-Rod and every other juicer knows this. And with side effects that are reportedly less harmful than anabolics, I think we should assume that most players in the league have used the stuff.

  116. mr.navy.bean permalink
    May 15, 2009 11:49 am

    Not sure how I got here, I did a google search on “red food coloring” and it took me here.

  117. May 15, 2009 1:15 pm

    Sadly, you say that you never did steroids, but so did everyone else. Not saying that you did, but pointing out how others have reduced the innocents credibility. “The innocent must suffer to make the guilty convert.”

  118. game6sockwasfake permalink
    May 15, 2009 4:02 pm

    Hello Curt,

    Earth Calling… can we play guess that quote
    (I’ll give you 3, all exact quotes…)

    March 2005 – “the issue (steroid use) was grossly overstated by people, including myself.”

    July 2007 – “everything canseco did should be wiped clean” (MVP to Greenwell)

    May 2009 – “Because if you honestly think that in the last 10 years one team for even one season had NO PLAYERS using Steroids or HGH you’re kidding yourself.” & “spare me the “That taints your two World Series with the Sox!!!” emails”

    hmmm….must be from three different players right?!

    nope people – all from the mouth of your phony media loving hero at 38 pitches…

    guess you cant see a mirror from that soap box you are standing on, but credibility isnt exactly your strength…

    Those were all giving on the same day right? Back to back days? No? Wow, amazing. I had the sack to have my opinion changed, and the balls to admit it? I believed that to be the case in 05, as a non-user I certainly felt that way..
    I still believe what I said in 07 to be true, he never played a day in the big leagues not cheating.
    Is it not plainly clear the last quote is true? As someone who roots for a team that hasn’t been clean for even one season since 1996 I can see why you’d be bitter and pissed, makes sense.

  119. bill permalink
    May 15, 2009 7:40 pm

    every world series from 1995 to 2007 is tainted

  120. Jeff Mills permalink
    May 16, 2009 6:30 am

    First of all, let’s clear up a few myths. #1 the public DOES care. Most fans including myself want to see baseball players achieving success on the merits not with the aid of performance-enhancement drugs. If people didn’t care, then why is Barry Bonds so reviled outside of San Francisco? If it was no big deal, then how come Bonds can’t find a job in MLB?

    #2 Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. I think it sets a dangerous precedent when we start assuming that certain individuals are suspects when they might not have done anything wrong. I will admit there are some guys who I am a bit curious about, but I’ll always give them the benefit of the doubt unless it can be proven otherwise.

    #3 MLB banned a guy from the game for betting on baseball yet there are increasingly signs for casinos and gambling at baseball stadiums and they’ll let guys who cheat back into the game. I don’t get that double-standard. If gambling is supposed to be such a cardinal sin then why would Commissioner Selig be allowing this stuff to happen? Also, why was Selig wanting to have a MLB franchise in Las Vegas? I am not suggesting that Selig is solely to blame, but leadership begins at the top and the commissioner has been derelict in his duties. IMHO Selig should step down and a new commissioner should take his place to begin a new era devoid of steroids.

  121. Babe Ruth permalink
    May 16, 2009 2:10 pm

    LOL Curt!!

    You keep backpeddling on this steroid issue. First you said the Yankees were cheaters and you thought no Red Sox player were using steroids.. now it’s “Oh the Red Sox aren’t tainted and I’m not suprised about Manny”.

    Come on Curt.

    Anyone who called the Yankees cheaters and questioned those championships have egg on their face, including you.

    And as far as Manny goes.. Hows David Ortiz doing? He looks a little lighter and has 0 hr’s… Hmmmmm

  122. Babe Ruth permalink
    May 16, 2009 2:20 pm

    oh yeah and guess what..

    1918

    The last time the Red Sox won without cheating!

  123. May 17, 2009 11:14 am

    Dear Curt,

    First off, thanks. Your blog is easy to read and it gives all of us an unfiltered look into the eyes of a professional athlete, and it’s absolutely priceless in many ways.

    Most of us don’t really know how successful athletes become that way. Certainly part of it is talent, but drive, motivation, sacrifice, an ability to play hurt and succeed against all odds… all of these are traits that heroes are supposed to have, right? And I would argue that most athletes have a higher degree of these traits than most.

    So yes, some people look up to athletes, and maybe in some sense it’s justified. Definitely more than you generally give yourselves credit for. Obviously not all athletes have the character traits we should look up to, but by large, we could certainly do worse than athletes in terms of finding role models. Your bloody sock, for instance, motivates me every time I’m feeling lazy before a marathon training run. Would I be able to train for and successfully complete the marathon without that memory? Probably. But I think you’re selling yourself short if you think you as athletes don’t have the potential to affect a complete strangers’ life. Very few of us are able to do that on a regular basis.

    Either way, there’s a bigger problem at stake here.

    We’re always taught, by our parents, by society, by everyone, that cheaters never win in the long run. We’re always taught that, while some may cheat on school tests or urine samples, for example, they always get caught in the end. But I’m not sure that’s true anymore, or if it ever was.

    Many ball players used illegal steroids during their playing career, and many players (you and Doug Glanville, for instance) were able to compete at a very high level in spite of being clean. But what about the clean minor leaguers that maybe would’ve had a chance in the show if they’d used?

    For these guys, a lot of people had to invest in them first in order for them to even make it to the minor leagues; parents, coaches, teammates, universities, etc. And I would argue that all of these players must have felt a serious obligation to these people to succeed and do the best they could.

    And if there was literally no consequence for taking the cream or HGH or whatever it was at the time, then it’s certainly tempting to use. And if it’s a ballplayer’s obligation and duty to use whatever means they have to make themselves a success, I could see how this might seem like the right call.

    In hindsight, obviously not. But at the same time, I know that if I saw friends and teammates’ heads grow before hitting an additional 30 HRs, and they were continually called up to the show, and everyone knew what was going on… that line gets very blurry very quickly. Because instead of gaining an unfair advantage, taking steroids would help level the playing field.

    Now look, very few of your readers know exactly what was / is going on in baseball (certainly, very few people really do know), but if baseball was turning a blind eye to the problem (and they must have been, otherwise no whistle would have needed to be blown in the first place), then maybe some of the ballplayers saw the power spikes and big league contracts, and saw firsthand that some cheaters were getting ahead without getting caught. Obviously after the Mitchell Report, things are hairy and steroids are wrong…

    But at the same time, was it so wrong to juice in an era of juicers? If the people you played with had juiced their way into the big leagues? Certainly the substances are illegal, and that makes it wrong… but there’s more to it than most of us generally consider.

    I was reading a report the other day that suggested the ratio of steroid users / abusers is around the same as it has always been, just now the testing methods, and consequences, are much harsher.

    Either way, maybe cheating is a part of the world. Maybe the value in this entire episode is listing the consequences of getting caught… but some would still argue that a 50 game suspension and a tarnished reputation is a relatively small price to pay compared to the cost of potentially never making it, not realizing your dream, and / or not being able to provide for yourself and / or your family. I think I would be one of those people to argue that point as well.

    Obviously it’s a tough call and it’s one that I would never want to force anyone to make. But I doubt it’s as easy or clearcut as most of us are making out to be.

    Take care, Curt. Love the blog. Thanks again for keeping it updated.

  124. game6sockwasfake permalink
    May 17, 2009 11:27 am

    Curt –

    In response to your response…

    You can change your opinion any time, but the flip-flopping is pretty sad for someone who has spent significant time in an MLB clubhouse & makes headlines as much with your mouth as with your fastball…

    You are far too smart to know you can’t have it both ways, MVP to Greenwell means lots of things… WS MVP to? (not Manny), release a bunch of names, truly clean up the sport? (ha-ha)

    And who I root for has nothing to do with you being inconsistent about this, would be the same if you were a yankee… or a marlin…

    Im no more bitter than any patriots fan (or red sox fan for that matter) just someone who is able to see that baseball hasnt been a real sport for a long time… its an entertainment industry just like the WWE. & I agree on canseco, he’s in the same class as belicheck – always a cheat…

    Bottom line is the players union made this all possible… get some real testing or quit bleeping whining about mike greenwell… recognize baseball for what it is… every team is juicing on some level… Look at DHEA & HGH – one is allowed & one is untraceable!

    The owners dont care & have no balls because most of them are too busy pocketing the money from revenue sharing.

    Yanks and the Redsox should be GETTING money from the other teams for the revenue they bring with additional fans from out of town games, not the reverse…

    Baseball is a capitalistic entertainment industry and the winners are no longer measured by trophy’s, just balance sheets… thats reality, and it bites

  125. Fusco permalink
    May 17, 2009 2:14 pm

    Curt, I’m an idiot and I apologize for being so stupid. I appreciate everything you’ve done and I am a turd. Oh and I posted this from an anonymous email because I didn’t have the guts to be gotten ahold of in case someone wanted to call me on it, for being gutless.

  126. May 18, 2009 6:56 am

    Curt,

    This is actually the first time I’ve read your blog. Aside from the subject you were writing about, I really enjoy your metaphors and the pace of your writing. In terms of the subject, I’m just tired of hearing about it. Like you said there was an even playing field when everything was accounted for, so let’s just move on. I feel like the more attention the steroids issue gets, the more that high school and college kids get the idea in their head to stop using. People only react to tragedy in the very short term, thus people will be out driving drunk again and the next Ken Caminiti is naive enough to believe they will not see the nastiest effects happen to them.

  127. john v celentano permalink
    May 18, 2009 8:37 pm

    mr schilling,
    appreciate ur thoughts. makes sense. having not been there, however, i am likely foolish to suspect that ‘more did than didnt’.

  128. Petey G. permalink
    May 18, 2009 9:13 pm

    Way to go Curt, I couldn’t agree more with your sentiments. And we miss your being around Fenway. You are the real deal, my man. Forever in your debt for what you did to bring respectability to the Red Sox.

  129. Phillies World Champs permalink
    May 18, 2009 9:31 pm

    Hey Curt, when you get elected to the Hall of Fame whos hat do you want to wear?

  130. Matt permalink
    May 19, 2009 1:48 am

    Nice work Curt,

    First off, very well written piece. Secondly, I haven’t gone through most of the responses, but banning caught players from the HOF could really help the game for the better. Sure, a lot of player’s are using the juice now, and drug-testing all of them would probably ruin a lot of the MLB’s credibility, but if these great players who have used steroids are denied the Hall, the other players in the league will realize that if they get caught – their reputations will be tarnished. But then again there’s always kids coming up like Jordan Schafer who get caught when they’re young, then eventually get the call and start in the big leagues.

    Sincerely,
    a disgruntled fan

  131. Javan permalink
    May 19, 2009 8:34 am

    Dang, Curt. What a post. Every baseball fan – and parent – ought to read this one.

  132. May 19, 2009 6:01 pm

    Hi Curt, great article, I can just agree, especially what you said about educating the kids… it is just the one and only truth: Value must be provided at home by the parents.

    Unfortunately there is another truth also, that we have to honestly face. Sports and any kind of entertainment are kind of public services which depend on market, means these industries live from topping itself on and on. The fans want records (the more the better), well and the “gladiators” are supposed to deliver… honor and sportsmanship – nowadays it is just about winning not about being honorable… sadly 😦

    This explains why someone like Manny is so good as a player (I guess, in this we agree)… he does not have such honorable values, he does not even have the capacity to question his vanity, that’s why he can focus on doing whatever is required to get whatever he wants – regardless of the consequences. It is a kind of savagery that you learn only in the streets of the not so good neighborhoods (all over the world). I am German you are American (with a typical German name btw.), we have a certain educational level and culture which people who are coming from the third world do not necessarily have and actually cannot even learn once they are grown ups (for sure there are also exceptions – I am just talking about the average). This is not their fault but it is a reality we have to accept.

    Since a few years I live in Venezuela so I am pretty much confronted with such issues every day. Just to give you an example: I guess you also heard Magglio Ordoñez (who makes in the meanwhile almost 19 million bucks a year) saying before the season that Chavez is a great guy and socialism is also great, which means that he is either an a..hole or a no-brainer. Everybody who lives here (in Venezuela) and has a certain level knows that this country is about to go down, because exactly the two reason that Magglio considers as great. I am not authorized to judge other people’s opinion, however such a statement reveals that he is mentally still a poor guy, with way to much money and too much power than he can intellectually manage. I think that’s the real problem that has to be solved, in sports and in the entertainment industry…

    Curt, I feel guilt as a fan, because I want to see the Red Sox win no matter how… we all close our eyes (I apologize) and it is not only in sports… if you once have a minute I invite you read the article on my blog http://igifischer.wordpress.com/2009/05/08/manny-being-manny-unable-to-read-the-ped-list/… it describes that if you go the cause and effect list backward you just can get to the conclusion that most things we call culture and have influenced us to develop values have been done by using PEDs… my article ends up sarcastically telling that public interest needs its stories… you were a story when you destroyed the Yanks while bleeding in this amazing game (unforgotten), Zidane is a story, O.J. is a story and Manny is a story and many more… we are fans and we are voyeurs and we have craving for dirty stories. We are hypocrites even we pretend we are good…

    However Curt, I like the way you think and I am glad that there are still people like you out there… thanx – stay the way you are.

  133. Kurt B permalink
    May 20, 2009 8:40 am

    Just wanted you to know I am sorry, I suck.

  134. May 20, 2009 8:50 am

    Buster Olney just wrote an interesting column on Cal Ripken getting involved with cleaning up the game on ESPN.com. You think that’s something you would be interested in?

  135. megenthal permalink
    May 20, 2009 12:38 pm

    schilling,
    i’m quite certain i wouldn’t like you at all if we hung out. i am a yankee fan and a liberal/pacifist. i do like that you cut through most of the bs and you’re comfortable being blunt. this is a compelling, honest and ballsy blog post. i agree with most everything you said. however, i think it’s a touch of naivete to claim the following: “Your kids idolize the people you allow them to…”

    The person who claims this would probably also sing the praises of abstinence programs. The teenage mind can be tamed in certain cases but there are certain biological needs that will cause a desire to have sex and a desire to pursue idols outside the home. You can lay moral groundwork w/in your home, but in American culture, we never have 100% control as parents. The best you can do is instill a system of ethics in your kids, but you’re never going to stop your kids from appreciating the talents and world view of a pop star, an athlete or a poet.

    Growing up, I idolized Kurt Cobain, for what I still think are the right reasons (feminism, anti-homophia, individualism and creativity, non conformity). My father was, of course, at odds with this, calling him a junkie and a terrible role model. There was nothing he could’ve done to “pick my idols for me.” All he could’ve done was instill the proper set of values so that I would be able to take from such a hero what would help me as a person, and leave the destructive parts alone (drug use, suicide).

    When writing a piece, perhaps we get swept up in the drama of it all, but I wanted to point out my disagreement with that particular line. Other than that, great job.

  136. Topher D. permalink
    May 21, 2009 12:48 am

    love the brackets, i hope to see more, maybe involving relief pitchers and/or hitters. what do you think about K. Foulke taking a shot at you??

  137. Kurt B permalink
    May 21, 2009 10:05 am

    Curtis, again I apologize for being a dope, you’re a good guy.

  138. DeniseSoxFan permalink
    May 21, 2009 3:08 pm

    Hey Curt, this was a great post! We’re in withdrawal, though – hope you post again soon!

  139. BruceB permalink
    May 22, 2009 9:31 am

    Interesting read. I too thought you wanted to take away awards won by steroid users at one time. And maybe you did. But we all should re-address our views from time to time. I think this was a great statement and I agree that 04 and 07 should not be thought of as tainted. Each accused player has to be addressed on an individual basis and acted upon as required. 50 ganmes for Manny being Manny is a start. Should Pappi be tested? Yes. Everyone should be tested. And if there is a conflict between over-the-counter interaction and hard core use, the the benefit of the doubt has to go to the player, and then re-test. Finally, children will idolize the people that more closley reflect the way they are brought up. We can not stop that. Simply raise your kids with love, respect and honour. Thanks for the thoughts.

  140. Kurt B permalink
    May 22, 2009 10:11 am

    Thanks again for making me realize what a gutless internet troll I am. In addition to being a fat toad, and I apologize again for being such a moron.

  141. JohnInMaine permalink
    May 23, 2009 4:33 pm

    Thanks for the good read … it is nice to see professional athletes that don’t have their heads up their own asses.

    Nice job.

    I wish there were more Jason Bays in the league …. I know there are but then there are some are crap. You know … just like in real life as you’ve explained in this nice read of a blog entry.

  142. eli permalink
    May 23, 2009 9:13 pm

    people like Curt should be laughed at. He has contridicted himself many times with this Steroids Era. I wouldnt have a problem with you changing you stance. But, How can you say Conseco should loose his MVP, and then the RedSox championships still are good? Im pretty sure Manny and/or Papi were both doing steroids during at least the first one. How do you know these two were not taking steroids there entire career? simply,you don’t.

  143. eli permalink
    May 23, 2009 9:16 pm

    as far as Athletes are not roll models, Well I have never picked an Athlete to be my hero, they are in front of these children more then there parents. They are on T.V., all over the Internnet, Get payed millions of dollars. Being responsible comes with that. I could join the Marines ,but I wont because I am against war. You could be a baseball player ,but don’t if your gonna mess up and get torn apart in media. Just make the right decisions.period.

  144. Ken Brown, MD permalink
    May 24, 2009 4:58 pm

    Curt,
    I don’t always agree with your opinions, but you are right on here. Especially the part about the absurd incredulity that any major leaguer would take a substance without knowing exactly what the contents and effects were. Which brings to mind the shameless and embarrassing interview of A-rod by Peter Gammons where he never asked the key follow-up questions about allowing someone to give him at 26 (no baby) drugs without questioning what they were. He used to be a columnist of substance but has shrunken to a very lazy suck-up. As you probably know he actually parroted Boras’ no mea culpa for Manny about being given an drug for a medical condition, without bothering to check with his own ESPN reporters who broke the story about the elevated testosterone levels that put taking HCG into exact context. Shame on him. Thanks for your honesty; you don’t see that very often on a current or former major leaguer.

  145. Chris Fiorentino permalink
    May 27, 2009 12:50 pm

    Has Jason Bay taken a full BLOOD TEST that I missed? If not, then why exactly are you thanking him when he could be on HGH just like any other baseball player who hasn’t given a BLOOD TEST?

  146. Patrick m walsh permalink
    May 31, 2009 10:32 pm

    Well said Curt….as usual.

  147. paul baranofsky permalink
    June 3, 2009 9:39 am

    i was a s big a manny fan as anyone.But the way he dogged it and quit on the team and then was traded was and still is the right move.Now Theo get off your ass and SIGN JBAY!!if they let jason bay walk to the frigging yankees I will be one pissed off red sox fan.If JD Pooh(as my niece calls him.She cannot stand the fact this stiff is [aid what he’s paid)is worth $14M per year Bay is worth $15M plus.

  148. Marcia permalink
    June 8, 2009 4:37 pm

    Curt….You nailed it baby….Only one thing to say in all of this, “what comes around goes around.” In life, one ALWAYS and EVENTUALLY has to answer to his actions. Period!!!

  149. June 9, 2009 7:19 pm

    I don’t have kids, and I know that baseball players are human, not heroes. I am going to make one exception. You. Not just for your talent as a player, although I do salute you for that.

    Just for your amazing strength, your spirit, and your tell it like it is attitude. Lets just say I’m glad Massachusetts can still call you a citizen. Hope you stay for a long long time.

  150. June 15, 2009 12:52 pm

    Hey Curt,

    I’m a yankee fan living in rhode island and I respected you when you were on the phillies, the diamondbacks, and finally the red sox. I’ve acknowledged all your accomplishments. The 2004 ALCS was grueling to watch but that was a great pitching performance you put on. In the back of my mind even after the series was 3-0 yanks, I had a bad feeling the sox that year were capable of coming back (no i’m not lieing). But anyways, that’s besides the point. What you said in this blog was 100 % correct in my opinion and I don’t think it could have been said any better (although I think you shouold have included Derek Jeter in your list of players who play the game right).

  151. Bob Rishar permalink
    June 18, 2009 5:29 pm

    Curt why didn’t you “tell it like it is” when you had the eyes of the USA on you in front of congress? Now I know I’m getting older and my memory isn’t what it used to be-but I seem to recall you doing your best Ralph Kramden impersonation there-a-hamma-na,a-hamma-na,a-hamma-na. When Jackie Gleason did it it was funny-but when Curt “never at a loss for words” Schilling did it, it was pathetic. Hey you played with and against these guys and even trained with Roger Clemens-so in my eyes the fact that you did nothing and said nothing when it mattered makes you full of crap and as guilty as they are.

  152. Bob Rishar permalink
    June 18, 2009 5:31 pm

    While people admire you for the “bloody sock game” it turns out you weren’t much of a man when it truly counted!

  153. Bob Rishar permalink
    June 18, 2009 7:47 pm

    A Sports Illustrated article by Tom Verducci from June of 2002 talks about how “rampant” steroid use was at that time. The article begins with the following:

    Arizona Diamondbacks righthander Curt Schilling thinks twice before giving a teammate the traditional slap on the butt for a job well-done. “I’ll pat guys on the ass, and they’ll look at me and go, ‘Don’t hit me there, man. It hurts,'” Schilling says. “That’s because that’s where they shoot the steroid needles.”

    And from later in the article:

    Schilling says that muscle-building drugs have transformed baseball into something of a freak show. “You sit there and look at some of these players and you know what’s going on,” he says. “Guys out there look like Mr. Potato Head, with a head and arms and six or seven body parts that just don’t look right. They don’t fit.

    But yet in front of congress 3 years later all you do was call Canseco a liar?

    You know Curt if you tell you truth-you don’t have to worry about keeping your stories straight!

  154. Bob Rishar permalink
    June 18, 2009 8:13 pm

    Hey Curt if your memory is fading like mine is-just google Curt Schilling and steroids-it’s all there.
    It’s pretty sad that when you look at the players who were in congress that day-of all those so-called men – Jose Canseco turned out to be I guess about the only real man in the bunch! And none of those other so-called men would be man enough even today in 2009 to offer Jose an apology.

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Curt Schilling's Official Blog

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