Friday, June 23, 2006

Fact and Fiction

When I first saw Paxton Crawford in headlines this week it took me a minute to place the name. Why would ESPN and the Globe do a story about this guy? I vaguely remember him from the 2000 and 2001 teams (I think I am in the minority) and I thought the next time I would see him it would be in a stalking/robbery/sex scandal type deal (no offence Albert Bell, Jeff Reardon or Denny Neagle). So when I saw the steroid and HGH story I was a little shocked, but it makes sense when you think about it. He had an “incident” in the parking lot of a Pawtucket game, he fell on a water glass while getting out of bed in Ottawa and from then on it was the questionable back and shoulder injuries usually attributed to extra legal substances. Also, wasn’t he the brother of a famous juicer? Oh, wait… that was Jeremy Giambi.

All of a sudden there are stories about steroids and HGH “rampant” in the Sox clubhouse. Crawford even says that he once dropped his needles on the ground and people laughed at him because it was so commonplace. Manny Alexander (who got popped for ‘roids in 2000) and Jose Canseco (who used everything but gamma radiation) were once on the Sox… so maybe the problem continued into the clubhouse that Crawford was a part of.

However, according to some of his former teammates (Wakefield, Tek, Jeff Frye and Mike Stanley) there seems to be some doubt about widespread usage of performance enhancers. Wake specifically places some doubt on Crawford’s credibility:
“If he admits to taking steroids, that's his fault. He shouldn't deface the organization by saying someone else told him to take it. That's stupid. To me he sounds like a guy who's bitter at the organization. He should be thankful they gave him an opportunity to play. No one forced him to take anything. I remember him not being too bright. That's what I remember about him." –Tim Wakefield tells the Boston Herald

I have to agree. Crawford’s story is too far fetched. It makes him sound like a guy upset at a team that released him and angry with a body that failed him. Besides, it’s going to be really hard to prove ‘who did what’ with a guy who made 7 starts over 5 years ago. Why would Crawford bring this up now? This reeks of a guy who misses the spotlight.

Now can’t there be more of focus on positive stories? Like the 43 year old pitching mercenary having a $700,000 mediocre outing… or the spousal abuser that will be pitching in Fenway on Saturday? Why do we have to concentrate on the negative?