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Former Sox Admits to Steroid Use

Paxton Crawford, who pitched in the Red Sox organization from 1995 to 2002, admits to using steroids and HGH while with the Red Sox (subscription required).

Crawford wrote the article himself, and it was honestly hard to read because of all the things he said. It's shocking to think about all the things he did and what everyone else was doing at the time.

I always envied the guys with rubber arms. I was the type who was always in pain. During minor league spring training with the Red Sox in 1999, some of the other guys saw I was hurting. They told me that if I took this stuff, it would make the pain go away and cut my recovery time in half. Shoot, why not? I'm just a country boy; I didn't even think twice. It seemed like everybody else was doing it, so it wasn't a big deal, right? But steroids are like any drug: Once you try them and they make you feel good, you're always going to want more.

There's much, much more:

I started off injecting myself in the ass with 1 cc of Deca every week, a lot less than some guys were taking. I was also introduced to Winstrol, or Winny. That was the big thing with pitchers -- a combo of Winny and Deca. Winny would improve your fast-twitch muscles and help you gain velocity. Deca, which is oil-based, would keep your tendons and joints lubed up and make you feel better the next morning.

I wish I could post the whole article, but it will be in the next ESPN Magazine. But, before ESPN threatens to cut my access to Insider away, here is some more:

When I started using, I noticed my fastball jumped from 92-93 to 95-96 mph. But the biggest change for me was consistency. My breaking pitches had more velocity and sharper break.

On human growth hormone:

I got a kit with two bottles: One was filled with some kind of water, and the other was filled with these tiny crystals. I put a few drops into the crystals and -- poof! -- it became liquid. I thought, Boy, what the hell are you putting into your body? But I did it anyway.
Back in 2001, I thought I was the man. I had no shame, and I thought nobody could touch me. One time, I walked right into the Red Sox clubhouse with a bunch of needles wrapped in a towel and left them on my chair. A few minutes later, one of my teammates came running over, saying, "Paxton, someone knocked your chair over and your freaking needles are all over the floor!" Man, we just died about that. He said it was the funniest thing he'd ever seen, told me I was nuts. But that's the way it was back then.

ESPN is going to send the dogs after me...

Sometimes I feel like it's my fault, like I brought this on baseball. I'll never name names, but I know it wasn't just me. Steroids had a hold on the game. Guys were walking around like zombies. Baseball is mostly mental, and all these things you're putting into your body are going to affect how you think. In 2001, that started happening to me. I was taking way too much stuff, and I'd get rattled. You can't get rattled in the big leagues. And then I messed up my back. I think the steroids had something to do with that, too.

It's like playing with fire.

If you don't have Insider, then somehow read the whole article. I posted a good amount of the article, but there is quite a bit more that needs its attention.

I'm extremely shocked by this. And the worse part it, Crawford makes it sound like a lot of Sox players were using steroids. I believe it, but I really don't want to.