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Curt Schilling claims members of Boston management/front office suggested he use PEDs in 2008, but has since clarified that Terry Francona had nothing to do with it.
UPDATE: Schilling spoke with a Boston radio station last night and clarified/explained his comments. He said the suggestion that he used banned PEDs was made by a member of the Red Sox medical staff who is no longer with the team. Adding:
"Call it naive, stupid or say whatever you want, when I said what I said that it was somebody formerly in the organization I assumed that would end any legitimate big conversation about it. But it did the opposite because it whittled the list down to a select group of people and now everybody is trying to figure out who it was," he said. "That was just stupid on my part, because it wasn't Tito [Francona], it wasn't Theo [Epstein], it wasn't Jed Hoyer, it wasn't a baseball ops person. Think about the clubhouse. Who would actually be in the clubhouse to talk about something like this."
I find Schilling's claim that he didn't think his comments would cause a big stir somewhat disingenuous, but I'm glad he's clarified things and removed suspicion from the higher profile members of the organization, the people I think he fully knew people would suspect.
In a radio interview with ESPN on Wednesday, former All-Star (and failed video game producer) Curt Schilling said that in 2008, injured and nearing the end of his career, he was encouraged by "members of the Red Sox organization" to take performance enhancing drugs in order to get himself back on the field and prolong his career. Schilling did not give specific names, but added that the conversation (which he described as "incredibly uncomfortable") took place in the Boston clubhouse, with multiple others present, and involved "former members" of the organization.
Perhaps it's a tendency to be drawn to the biggest names (or potential names), something on display in the Biogenesis situation, where Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez's names have garnered so much more attention than anyone else's (Schilling discussed the two of them in the interview as well), but Schilling's comments immediately led me to think of Terry Francona and Theo Epstein, the two highest-profile members of the Red Sox organization in 2008, both of whom fit the "former members" description Schilling gave.
I don't have a particularly high opinion of Schilling as a person (he's worthy of the Hall of Fame as a player though), he's proven himself something of an attention whore since retiring, and if told a former player had made big but vague statements that were sure to grab a lot of attention, Schilling would have been one of my first guesses. For that reason, I'm not willing to take Schilling at his word. He didn't name Francona or Epstein (or anyone else in particular). I think he knew those two were where many minds would jump, and if he DIDN'T mean to implicate them, he should have gone out of his way to exclude them from his claims. I think Schilling wants people to think Francona and/or Epstein were involved and he enjoys the spotlight this puts on him.
Even if he'd given names, I wouldn't automatically think it were true (though specific allegations are easier to believe than vague ones). That said, I don't think it can be automatically dismissed either. If MLB is looking into the Biogenesis situation, this allegation seems worthy of their attention as well. Whether such an investigation would lead to Terry Francona or not, of course I don't know. I also don't know what (if any consequences) there would be for Francona (or Epstein), if they were involved in something like this. The CBA spells out what happens to players very clearly, but I'm not sure if there are set guidelines for management involvement.
Though no one has been singled out in his accusation and his word alone is far from enough evidence to be convincing, this is worth keeping an eye on.