Well, this one comes as a shocker. It appears that Curt Schilling wasn’t just letting his imagination run wild after all. After Schilling’s revelation on Wednesday that someone in the Boston Red Sox organization encouraged him to use performance-enhancing drugs as a means to return from injury, the responses around baseball weren’t kind to the former pitcher.
Red Sox team president Larry Lucchino immediately separated himself from the story by saying that he was “surprised” and that the news “came out of left field”. Former assistant GM Jed Hoyer, now with the Chicago Cubs, piled on by saying that Schilling’s account was “preposterous” and that “it didn’t ring true to (Hoyer) at all.” But now, the MLB front office has broken its silence on the issue and is backing up Schilling’s account 100 percent. They gave this statement today:
“At the time of the incident in question in 2008, the Boston Red Sox immediately reported the allegations to Major League Baseball as required by our investigative protocols. Once the Red Sox reported the matter, Major League Baseball assumed sole responsibility for the investigation. The club handled the matter consistent with all MLB rules and requirements and in a manner that was above reproach. Major League Baseball thoroughly investigated the allegations and considers the matter closed.”
So now, the pendulum swings back to Lucchino. If Schilling was telling the truth all along, why would Lucchino lie about it? Both Lucchino and Hoyer made statements that cast tremendous doubt on Schilling’s story, and frankly, the public was more than happy to believe that the former Red Sox ace was full of hot air. Now it’s Lucchino who has to answer to the public. Is it possible that, based on the statement from MLB, Lucchino—the team president—really knew nothing about this. In the words of Jed Hoyer, I find that idea preposterous. The Red Sox are a team that’s fallen under an avalanche of criticism and scandal during the last two seasons. If Lucchino’s not being honest about this, Red Sox fans have to wonder what else he’s been hiding.
(JM Catellier is the author of the book Fixing Baseball, a guide to restructuring the Hall of Fame. Follow him on Twitter: @FixingBaseball and Facebook, and check out his site: www.fixingbaseball.com)