The 80s were a wild time, at least according to Bret Easton Ellis novels. So when a new story comes out of Oil Can Boyd’s mouth, after already admitting to doing cocaine before two-thirds of his starts, make it none too shocking. Now though, Boyd has stepped up it up a notch, now claiming that he smoked crack before his starts in Boston and that the team knew about it.
Boyd tells about a start against Oakland in 1986:
“I can remember going and locking myself up in the bathroom and smoking some dope right there at the ballpark. I was afraid that they knew and that the clubhouse manager had smelled it, he was gonna tell on me. So I gotta get rid of it.
“I had it under the bib of my cap, inside the crease inside of the cap. And when I was warming up in the ballgame — third, fourth inning — it fell off my head.”
Boyd’s violent delivery often led to his cap falling off.
“Every other pitch I pick it up, put it on. So it’s one time, you know, I’m so into what I’m doing, I forgot that the dope is under my hat. So I look on the ground and I’m like, ‘Damn, there’s little rocks everywhere, man.’ So I play it off as I’m walking back, I pick it up like — dirt — picking up (expletive), mashing it into the ground.”
Boyd also claims the team officials knew of his drug use which, if true, are some serious allegations. After the steroid era, we know teams were complacent in the usage of the drugs because 1) it wasn’t against the rules and 2) it seemed to help the player perform on the field. However, crack is another story entirely and you would hope team officials would realize that even if a player is currently able to perform, they would try and keep them clean for both the good of the player and the team.
Then again, this was over 25 years ago, before even the cocaine scandal that rocked the league. Substance abuse issues, while nothing new, were certainly not made as public with no Celebrity Rehab or Intervention to turn to for guidance. And while I wouldn’t want to claim that Boyd has any reason to lie, the passage of time does strange things to one’s memory and the fact that he’s on the publicity trail before the release of his book does make for some strange timing.