Pitching That Game, High On Cocaine
Alternate titles considered for this post were Shut Up And Pitch, as well as Shut Up And Snort.
Former Boston Red Sox and Meridian, Mississippi native Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd has admitted to being under the influence of cocaine for two-thirds of his major league mound appearances. Boyd is the man who threw a tantrum when left off the All-Star team, who cried when his manager pitched a teammate in Game 7 of the World Series, and who threatened to sue the Red Sox when they didn’t invite him to spring training.
This is shocking, shocking! We’d all been led to believe Boyd was merely a drunk (hence the nickname Oil Can).
Even though it seems unlikely that someone held a gun to Boyd’s head and made him snort, he’s still bitter.
“The reason I caught the deep end to it is because I’m black. The bottom line is the game carries a lot of bigotry, and that was an easy way for them to do it,” Boyd said. “If I wasn’t outspoken and a so-called a ‘proud black man,’ maybe I would have gotten the empathy and sympathy like other ballplayers got that I didn’t get; like Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, Steve Howe. I can name 50 people that got third and fourth chances all because they weren’t outspoken black individuals.”
We all know how deep racism runs deep in professional sports.
For the record, Steve Howe was white, was suspended seven times in a 17-year career, including the entire 1984 season. Strawberry has a long list of legal and “personal problems” as does Gooden. I’m hopeful they’ve all put those issues behind them, but let’s be real: if it’s true Boyd didn’t get the extra chances they did, it’s because he wasn’t nearly as good at his baseball job.
Why is Boyd spilling his guts now? To plug his book, of course.