Wow, does Curt Schilling like to talk or what? Seems like a guy that you either love or want little to do with based on how opinionated he is. Anyway, Schilling’s most recent editorializing came on Wednesday on a Philly radio station where he had lots to say about the use of Performance Enhancing Drugs in baseball.
Schilling joined 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia to talk about why he thinks power numbers are down so much this year and conversely why pitchers are faring so well, how and why he thinks there’s less cheating in MLB today, how he believes it’s the fault of his generation of players for letting the problem get out of hand, how he and others suspected that the ’93 Phillies team probably had players on it that were juicing, and what, if anything, players could have done differently to stop the rampant use of PEDs.
On why he thinks power numbers are down and so many pitchers are doing so well this season:
“Oh, no, no. Steroids, no question. There’s a lot of really good pitchers in the game now, but far fewer people are cheating. When it’s all said and done, one of the bigger reasons they did it is because it allowed them to be April fresh in September, and that helps you hit home runs. Anybody that ever says Performing Enhancing Drugs doesn’t help players produce offensive numbers is full of crap. If you think about it’s September 1st and the turf at the Vet is 195 degrees, and there’s a guy at the plate feeling April fresh, he’s going to have a huge advantage over everybody else. And that’s one of the reasons I think, more than anything, that those guys cheated.”
And he thinks a lot of that cheating has been filtered out?
“I think a lot of it has, a lot of it has. The unfortunate part for me when I look back on this and the changes in the game, is that’s what’s going to carry through my generation. The best hitter of my generation, and arguably the best pitcher — though I’d call [Greg] Maddox the best pitcher of my generation — are cheaters and they’re trying to stay out of jail. We as players let it happen. We all had an idea, we knew to some degree, but I keep telling people if you put my hand on a Bible in a court of law, I could not tell you I saw them, I could not tell you I ever saw anybody inject or take them, but that doesn’t mean players weren’t doing it. We now know they were doing it a lot more than we thought, and that’s going to be one of the legacies of my generation that absolutely 100 percent belongs on the shoulders of the players to take responsibility for.”
If he suspected that members of the ’93 Phillies were using steroids:
“Oh, absolutely. Sure, sure. We all thought to some degree, some people did and didn’t here and there. But again, it wasn’t something you’d walk up to someone and talk about or ask them. So you had your ideas. I mean, when guys showed up with 25 extra pounds on them after three months and you’d seen them kind of during the winter time, you had an idea. And there were a lot of guys on a lot of teams. I would tell you, any fan of any team that goes ‘ohh, no..’ Because I hear a lot from the 2004 team with Ortiz and Manny and blah blah blah, and it’s usually from Yankees fans who had a roster full of them. There isn’t a team in the last 20 years that’s won clean. And that’s unfortunate.”
On what exactly he thinks players could have done or do better to stop the prevalence of cheating:
“Rick Helling who was a close friend of mine and a player rep, stood up ten years ago and said we have to do something about this. And it was like ‘ah, let’s move on, shut up, what’s our per diem next year going to be?’ I mean, the Players Association didn’t want to push it, and the owners sure as hell didn’t care because the home runs were putting more people in the seats.”