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Curt Schilling PED Story: Much Ado About Nothing

Curt Schilling says he was encouraged to use PEDs in 2008, but nobody should care.

Jared Wickerham

In the five years since he last pitched for the team, Curt Schilling has done a lot of talking about the Red Sox. And, at least in my book, it's often unwelcome. While Schilling has cemented his place in Red Sox lore with his role in the 2004 and 2007 World Series teams, he always seems to be there to light some sort of fire in the media, or to stoke the flames whenever the team is in the midst of difficult times. He brings to mind the retired veteran who talks about how much better things were in his time, which--true or not--is not terribly helpful.

So of course with the Red Sox enjoying the calm before the spring training storm after a successful offseason that struck the required chord between disciplined and ambitious, Curt felt now was the time to speak. Yes, his story about once being encouraged to use PEDs is relevant thanks to the Biogenesis scandal that's running its course right now, but one wonders why Schilling suddenly felt compelled to talk now, rather than any other time in the last five years when steroids were front-and-center.

Now the story is out there, though, and we can only hope that the lack of attention in the media is not simply a matter of a delayed reaction, but a widespread understanding that this is, in fact, much ado about nothing.

Let's review the facts:

  • In 2008, someone in the Red Sox organization suggested to Schilling that he should use PEDs to make his way back from injury.
  • Schilling did not think it was meant to be a joke.
  • The individual in question was not a member of baseball ops or a player, and is no longer with the team.
  • Players were nearby and heard the conversation.
  • Schilling went to Theo Epstein with the information, and Theo passed it on to the league, which performed its own investigation.
  • Schilling was surprised that Epstein had to go to the league with the information.

I think the third and fifth points there are really the most important ones. There are countless people involved in running a team from ownership and the GM right on down to the guy who lays out the spread before every game. Frankly, given that the person was neither in uniform nor part of baseball ops, and given that Schilling was surprised that Theo had to go to the league with the information, it sounds like some random guy who worked for the team was talking about things he really shouldn't have.

Even if it was someone more involved than a caterer or security guard or something, though, it's clear this was not a concerted effort by the team to get something out of their investment. Theo immediately went to the league, who investigated it without any sort of fanfare. Chances are someone got fired, and chances are that's what Schilling was expecting to happen (or at least a serious reprimand) when he went to the boss with his information.

In the end, there's really no story here, at least not with the information we have. If Schilling has any other revelations on the way then that might change, but from what we know right now it sounds like a non-incident which the organization was completely upfront about just to be safe. Until that proves not to be the case, it's the last I'll bring it up.