Curt Schilling on M&M: ‘I think his entire career [Alex Rodriguez] has used performance-enhancing drugs’
|08.06.13 at 1:05 pm ET|
ESPN baseball analyst Curt Schilling joined Mut & Merloni on Tuesday to discuss the PED suspensions that were handed out Monday.
While 12 players accepted 50-game suspensions, Alex Rodriguez chose to appeal his 211-game ban and made his 2013 debut Monday night in Chicago, where the Yankees played the White Sox. Rodriguez met the media before the game but was evasive, refusing to answer direct questions about whether he again used PEDs.
“There’s two answers to, Did you cheat, did you take steroids, did you take HGH: No, or any other answer. And any other answer means yes,” Schilling said. “I know that there are a lot of legal issues, and hey, you don’t want to say this, and there could be some actual real-world legal implications, but no means no. And anything other than no means yes. That’s the world we live in.
“Twice yesterday they put him on the spot where he could have said, ‘I did not do this, these charges are false’ — which none of them have done. None of them have denied this.”
Added Schilling: “I’ve talked to some people that were intimately involved and are intimately involved in this process. As late as Saturday, his camp was trying to get a ban of a hundred games. The people on the baseball side were incredulous, like, ‘Wait, what? You’ve seen what we have. There’s no way you’re getting out of this. Just take the punishment, shut your mouth and maybe you’ll get to play a little bit after this is over.’ Now I can’t imagine that they’re not going to go for the whole ball of wax.”
Schilling has been involved in his share of controversy during and after his playing career, but he made it clear he never cheated the game like these players have.
“I’m not talking from a place of perfection. Certainly I’m not,” he said. “I’ve made a ton of mistakes in my life. But I didn’t cheat. But I didn’t cheat. I didn’t take steroids, I didn’t take HGH. And he did multiple [times].
“I still believe, if you look at the body of evidence around [Jose] Canseco and BALCO and all the things that have come out in the last 10 or 15 years, the connections to Miami and the University of Miami, I honestly think he’s Jose Canseco. I think his entire career he has used performance-enhancing drugs.”
Schilling, who said he’s sure A-Rod’s Yankees teammates will welcome him back because they want to win and they think he might be able to help them, noted that the player’s recent press conferences have only added to the difficulty of the situation.
“The one word I kept coming back to was awkward,” Schilling said of watching Rodriguez speak to the media. “It was so awkward and uncomfortable to watch. Because it feels like he is the only guy in any of this that has no clue what’s going on.”
A former player rep, Schilling said he wants to see tougher penalties, but he’s concerned about a false positive causing a player’s career to be ruined.
“I would be all for overwhelming evidence on a strike and you’re done — overwhelming evidence being defined as something significant that the players would agree to,” he said. “But I’ve got to believe we’re headed to a two-strikes-and-you’re-done-forever scenario. That’s the only way. Hitting the pockets of the players is the only way to change this.”
Touching on the Red Sox, Schilling said he’s very impressed with Felix Doubront‘s ability to pitch well when he doesn’t have his best stuff, and he noted that Jon Lester is in the midst of changing his approach.
“I would tell you that [Lester] is about four starts into a transition,” Schilling said. “If you notice now, he has started to pitch away. … He started pitching away. In talking with him … this is a guy with 20-win stuff. He still has it. And if he can find a way to make that transition from inside-out — I always felt like he was Al Leiter. Al Leiter was 94 in, cutter in. Randy Johnson‘s the only left-handed pitcher I’ve ever played with or seen that I think could pitch in and stay in completely. Because he was 6-11, he threw a hundred and he was intimidating. I don’t think you can do it as a left-hander.
“I saw Jon start to make a transition four or five starts ago. It was the Orioles game, and the start before it, the Tampa game, when [Wil] Myers hit the home run off of him, he gave up two solo homers and he won [6-2]. He pitched differently. He pitched away. If Jon Lester understands and grasps that pitching-away concept and starts to do that, he’s got two or three trips around the league when he can make them pay. Because everybody’s coming to the plate looking in on him. But he’s made the adjustment before that. And that, to me, is huge. I think he’s going to have a monster second half.”
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