Curt Schilling: Playing Against A-Rod Never Felt Genuine Because He Wanted the Same Respect as Derek Jeter Without Earning It

February 8, 2013 – 6:50 am by Steven Cuce

During an ESPN Radio interview on Wednesday, Curt Schilling admitted that he was encouraged to use performance-enhancing drugs late in his career with the Red Sox by “former members of the organization” in the team’s clubhouse. The admission was another shocking blow to the world of baseball, but it’s not surprising to have this come from one of the most outspoken former players in all of baseball.

Schilling wasn’t done yet this week. Appearing on ESPN New York on Thursday, Schilling took some cheap shots toward Alex Rodriguez.

Curt Schilling joined ESPN New York with The Michael Kay Show to discuss being offered PEDs by ‘former members’ of the Red Sox organization, the level of importance this person had in the organization that offered him PEDs, players around baseball being asked to use PEDs, Alex Rodriguez hiding behind his statement of not using them, everyone hating Rodriguez and Rodriguez not being genuine.

It blows my mind how you were a clean player your whole career and someone in the organization suggested to you to take PEDs?

“One of the things you have to look at is the context the conversation can happen, which number one, where I was at in my career and what was going on at the time. I was in the final year of my career. Everybody knew that. I was hurt and not playing. I don’t think anybody believed I was going to play at that point in 2008 because of the course of treatment I was forced under early in the season and not being allowed to have the surgery. I just think this person thought that it was a potential option.”

Was the person who told you to take PEDs someone important in the Red Sox organization?

“It wasn’t somebody in the front office and it wasn’t somebody in one of the uniform personnel. The challenge is that becomes the game now. If I say so and so, and in hindsight I know I’ve said some things in the past more than once and when I look back on this and when I had the conversation … I don’t even remember the conversation or the question Colin Cowherd had presented to me to spark this conversation. What I am saying in my mind was relevant . I am not there anymore. I am retired and this person is no longer in that organization. As far as the relevancy to the Red Sox? I didn’t feel like it was that big of a deal, but I clearly wasn’t thinking and then it became when I said this person is no longer with the Red Sox, instead of it being a non-issue, now everybody said, ‘OK, who was with the Red Sox then and isn’t now?’ People started playing pin the tail on the donkey. I talked to Terry Francona today briefly because he is getting crushed by people coming and trying to ask is it him? Clearly I wasn’t thinking ahead and that was a mistake on my part.”

Do you think it’s typical around baseball that players are being told to use PEDs?

“I don’t think it’s typical.  I don’t think any of this stuff is typical, but it’s also — it was a conversation. It wasn’t offered; it was suggested. Right. That’s different if someone comes up to you and has a vial of HGH and steroids and asks you to take this … That wasn’t the conversation. The conversation was, ‘Listen, you should probably think about taking this course of action because you’re probably not going to play anymore and what do you have to lose?’ I guess the reason I had the conversation with Colin Cowherd was not to exonerate anybody. Everybody makes their own decisions, but at the same time there are times when it’s not players making this — not players openly making this — decision. … My thought was, I am at the end of my career. I am done, or whatever, but what if this conversation happens with a 22-year-old young player? I had this followup conversation with someone else and it grew into this big thing. Like I said, this was a very serious deal. There was an investigation and I was called in and it was very disappointing to be in, but at the same time I was encouraged by the fact that the process worked.”

Do you think Alex Rodriguez should come out and not hide behind his statement?

“I thought he should have come out a long time ago. I always go back to guys like Andy Pettitte. Whether that was the only time Andy Pettitte ever used human growth hormone, it’s not really relevant. It’s not something we talk about anymore. He came out and I said, ‘I made a mistake and I did it and move on.’ It’s seems like everybody who’s done that we’ve moved on from.”

Why does everyone hate Alex Rodriguez so much?

“It goes back to Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire, right? I mean, I thought Mark McGwire was a good guy, a nice guy. I didn’t think Barry Bonds was. I felt very different about them as cheaters. I’m disappointed that Mark did it. I wanted him to be who he said he was. He wasn’t. I’m mad at Barry; I don’t like him. It’s a personal thing; it’s personal for all of us. That’s why, because Alex Rodriguez has done and said things that people don’t like, like I have. People just aren’t going to like you. Ninety-nine percent of these people don’t know you. The fans know Alex by the things you say and do and by the things he says and does and by the things the media reports on him saying and doing. You don’t know these people.”

You don’t seem to like Alex Rodriguez?

“He was easy not to like. [Micheal Kay: Why?] Because of the whole act. It was all an act and nothing — playing against him, nothing ever felt genuine ever. He always looked like he was trying to be as respected as Derek Jeter was. You don’t get that. You play for that. You don’t ask for it.”

Listen to Curt Schilling on 98.7 ESPN New York here

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