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Thursday, February 09, 2012

Oil Can Boyd says he used cocaine with Red Sox

He said Oil Can!
Oil Can what?

Dennis “Oil Can’’ Boyd’s new tell-all book, “They Call Me Oil Can: My Life in Baseball,’’ which hits bookstores in June, should be a blockbuster if the stories are similar to what the former Red Sox pitcher told WBZ’s Jon Miller yesterday at JetBlue Park.

Boyd, who spent eight of his 10 major league seasons with the Red Sox, admitted he was under the influence of cocaine two-thirds of the time he was on the mound.

“Oh yeah, at every ballpark,’’ he said. “There wasn’t one ballpark that I probably didn’t stay up all night, until four or five in the morning, and the same thing is still in your system. It’s not like you have time to go do it while in the game, which I had done that.

...Boyd, who will paint a picture of support and disdain for some of his former Red Sox teammates in his book, said, “All of them didn’t rally around me. All of them knew and the ones that cared came to me. The Dwight Evanses and Bill Buckners . . . it was the veteran ballplayers. Some guys lived it; they knew what you were doing, and the only way they knew was they had to have tried it, too.’’

Boyd contends he was blackballed from baseball and his career cut short because he was different. “The reason I caught the deep end to it is because I’m black. The bottom line is the game carries a lot of bigotry, and that was an easy way for them to do it,’’ Boyd said. “If I wasn’t outspoken and a so-called ‘proud black man,’ maybe I would have gotten the empathy and sympathy like other ballplayers got that I didn’t get; like Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, Steve Howe. I can name 50 people that got third and fourth chances all because they weren’t outspoken black individuals.’’

Repoz Posted: February 09, 2012 at 05:13 AM | 46 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, red sox

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   1. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: February 09, 2012 at 05:31 AM (#4056985)
I LEARNED IT BY WATCHING YOU!

edit to add: It couldn't possibly have been that his career ended because he had a wonky shoulder, chronic blood clots, stopped striking people out, and got absolutely destroyed in the second half of '91. No, no. It was because he was outspoken.
   2. Bug Selig Posted: February 09, 2012 at 06:44 AM (#4056997)
I can name 50 people that got third and fourth chances all because they weren’t outspoken black individuals.


I think when you're an idiot, it is generally best not to be outspoken - black or white.
   3. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: February 09, 2012 at 06:56 AM (#4056999)
I think when you're an idiot, it is generally best not to be outspoken - black or white.

you're a brainist
   4. ray james Posted: February 09, 2012 at 07:38 AM (#4057005)
I'm sure Darryl and Dwight are pleased to see Boyd refer to them as "not proud".

I guess this explains why he was passed over for game 7.
   5. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: February 09, 2012 at 07:48 AM (#4057010)
Oil Can Boyd used cocaine while playing baseball. This is news?
   6. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: February 09, 2012 at 07:49 AM (#4057011)
Wait...I just reread that paragraph. He claims that he was not on cocaine one-third of the time that he was on the mound. That is news!
   7. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 09, 2012 at 08:10 AM (#4057014)
At least he never admitted to using chicken.
   8. ray james Posted: February 09, 2012 at 08:14 AM (#4057015)
I like the part where he says he has no regrets.

Just wondering. Who will actually read this book? What publisher would think the public has a degree of interest in the life of Dennis Boyd that it would merit a biography? I doubt even hardcore Red Sox would be much interested in this. The only interesting angle I can see is the "professional athlete falling to temptation and ruining career" angle, which has already been told 1000 times and about people far more interesting than Boyd.
   9. Justin T steals bases with his bat Posted: February 09, 2012 at 08:14 AM (#4057016)
Would have been cooler if he was admitting to using it with the 2011 Red Sox.
   10. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: February 09, 2012 at 08:48 AM (#4057027)
Just wondering. Who will actually read this book? What publisher would think the public has a degree of interest in the life of Dennis Boyd that it would merit a biography? I doubt even hardcore Red Sox would be much interested in this. The only interesting angle I can see is the "professional athlete falling to temptation and ruining career" angle, which has already been told 1000 times and about people far more interesting than Boyd.


I'll read it. Of course I'm precisely the hardcore Red Sox fan who grew up in the 80s that would be the market for this. I can't imagine there is a particularly big market but just about any player who had some success has to have some fans.

The other thing is that having a good story to tell (and Oil Can was never dull) is key. Just thinking back Jay Johnstone wrote a couple of books, Bill Lee, Jim Bouton wasn't exactly Hall of Fame material, Dirk Hayhurst, Steve Fireovid....each of these had a "hook" I suppose but if I was looking for a player from that era who would have an interesting take on things Oil Can would be a good candidate. You've got the Red Sox link, Roger Clemens (to keep things timely) plus he was teammates with a couple of other Hall of Famers.
   11. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 09, 2012 at 08:54 AM (#4057031)
I'm pretty confident that the story of the life of Oil Can Boyd will be a fascinating one.
   12. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: February 09, 2012 at 09:15 AM (#4057045)
"Oil Can" Boyd is one of the all-time great nicknames.
   13. zonk Posted: February 09, 2012 at 09:21 AM (#4057051)
I think being a scab didn't help, either...
   14. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 09, 2012 at 09:22 AM (#4057052)
edit to add: It couldn't possibly have been that his career ended because he had a wonky shoulder, chronic blood clots, stopped striking people out, and got absolutely destroyed in the second half of '91. No, no. It was because he was outspoken.

How do you not add "was a big-time coke-head" to that list?

I mean, you're a starting pitcher. You've got four nights out of five to get high as a kite. If you can't lay off the night before your start, to the point you're out to 5 in the AM, you are a huge addict.
   15. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: February 09, 2012 at 09:28 AM (#4057056)
I'd probably read it too - he's an interesting guy, if nothing else.
Last year in the bigs: age 31.
Last year in pro ball: 110.1 innings with indy Brockton - at 45.
   16. Blubaldo Jimenez (OMJ) Posted: February 09, 2012 at 09:53 AM (#4057080)
I mean, you're a starting pitcher. You've got four nights out of five to get high as a kite. If you can't lay off the night before your start, to the point you're out to 5 in the AM, you are a huge addict.


This was my first thought. I mean, go to bed early, get up, do some coke, head to the park!
   17. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 09, 2012 at 09:57 AM (#4057082)
Just wondering. Who will actually read this book? What publisher would think the public has a degree of interest in the life of Dennis Boyd that it would merit a biography? I doubt even hardcore Red Sox would be much interested in this.

In a world where there are in fact lots of books about the lives of baseball players, he's one of the players I would most expect to have a book written about him, actually. It would be more interesting than the life story of, say, Dwight Evans.
   18. JL Posted: February 09, 2012 at 10:21 AM (#4057107)
I have to assume the Tin Man will buy a couple copies for his family.

I always loved his nickname as a kid. I am a big Tigers fan but found Boyd entertaining, even though he played for the Red Sox. I probably won't go out of my way to buy the book, but would not run from it either.
   19. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 09, 2012 at 10:26 AM (#4057111)
Just wondering. Who will actually read this book? What publisher would think the public has a degree of interest in the life of Dennis Boyd that it would merit a biography?

We've already seen a few people here who say that they'll shell out the $17.13 for it, but unless "Triumph Books"** is limiting the initial press run to about 10,000 copies or less, within a year or two you'll be seeing this book offered for a penny. Stupid ballplayer confessing to stupid recreational drug habit that everyone could have figured out to begin with by watching him is an interesting story only if the stupid ballplayer was also a great ballplayer, and I've never heard "great" used to describe Oil Can Boyd.

**Small publishers are generally a lot smarter about keeping their first printings down, so there's a chance that the price won't drop quite as quickly as it would if it'd been Simon and Schuster or Random House.
   20. dejarouehg Posted: February 09, 2012 at 10:35 AM (#4057125)
I'm sure Darryl and Dwight are pleased to see Boyd refer to them as "not proud".


I'm sure if Steve Howe were around, he'd be a little miffed to find out he wasn't a proud black man either.

OCB needs a little help in learning how to play the race card.
   21. Charles S. will not yield to this monkey court Posted: February 09, 2012 at 10:47 AM (#4057138)
Oil Can Boyd's nickname was the first time I had ever heard "oil" as slang for beer. That made Pete Townsend's line "Men not fit for marriage took their refuge in the oil" make much more sense.
   22. Darren Posted: February 09, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4057159)
I'm sure Darryl and Dwight are pleased to see Boyd refer to them as "not proud".


Actually, they're not "so-called" proud.
   23. andrewberg Posted: February 09, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4057206)
He used coke with the Red Sox? Which Red Sox? Hey, where are Lackey and Beckett? At least it's not fried chicken.
   24. zenbitz Posted: February 09, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4057211)
The real question is... Did he pitch better or worse when he was coked up?
   25. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 09, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4057216)
Oil Can Boyd's nickname was the first time I had ever heard "oil" as slang for beer. That made Pete Townsend's line "Men not fit for marriage took their refuge in the oil" make much more sense.

That's funny. I never heard of "oil" as slang for beer, just "oil can" as slang for the jumbo beer cans, b/c they look like oil cans.
   26. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: February 09, 2012 at 12:21 PM (#4057220)
Oh, I'm waiting 'til it's under a buck - I'm cheap and patient.
   27. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 09, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4057240)
Would have been cooler if he was admitting to using it with the 2011 Red Sox.

Unnecessary; it's axiomatic that anyone who followed the 2011 Red Sox ended up with a drug habit.
   28. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 09, 2012 at 01:24 PM (#4057283)
I think being a scab didn't help, either...


Hey, coke habit ain't cheap.
   29. tfbg9 Posted: February 09, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4057305)
IIRC, at the height of his fame, Boyd used to drive around in an Olds Duece and a Quarter with "The Can" spray-painted on the side.
I was a big fan of his back then.
   30. toratoratora Posted: February 09, 2012 at 01:40 PM (#4057310)
Although he was always a few steps off beat, Can was one of my favorite pitchers to watch. He felt like a throwback to the old negro league days, this tall lanky, wafer thin man who threw anything and everything from a variety of arm angles with neither rhyme or reason to his pitch selection and placement. He was one of the games great eccentrics of the last half decade or so.
One of my favorite live games ever was 6/9/85 when he 3 hit the O's, a masterful performance where, IIRC, nobody got past second base. More importantly though, it was one of those rare days when a pitcher has everything working, which made the game unfair as Boyd toyed with the O's all day, changing speed, keeping them off balance, just owning them.
It was a joy to watch.
   31. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: February 09, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4057318)
an Olds Duece and a Quarter

Wasn't the Deuce and a Quarter a Buick?
   32. tfbg9 Posted: February 09, 2012 at 01:50 PM (#4057324)
Wasn't the Deuce and a Quarter a Buick?


Yes. You are correct sir. The Buick Electra 225...my bad.
   33. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 09, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4057329)
I loved the Can. Will always believe he would have won Game 7, regardless whether logic and Mets fans say otherwise.
   34. Bruce Chen's Huge Panamanian Robot Posted: February 09, 2012 at 01:57 PM (#4057331)
Yeah, Oil Can, I'm sure your 6.68 ERA for the Rangers in 1991 had nothing to do with your career being cut short.
   35. scotto Posted: February 09, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4057357)
I loved the Can.

Me too. I loved Roger Moret, and Pedro too. All three were/are a little bit nuts, and a lot of fun.
   36. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 09, 2012 at 02:43 PM (#4057379)
Eh, I'm not feeling it. That "We want the Can" chant from Mets fans in Game Seven didn't come out of nowhere. And the Sox saying, "Stay seated, Boyd-on-6-days-rest, we're going to give this Schiraldi thing another try" says a lot. Of course, the man the Sox needed to bring in was Mike Scott.

1986: not a good postseason for relievers.
   37. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 09, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4057389)
Eh, I'm not feeling it. That "We want the Can" chant from Mets fans in Game Seven didn't come out of nowhere. And the Sox saying, "Stay seated, Boyd-on-6-days-rest, we're going to give this Schiraldi thing another try" says a lot. Of course, the man the Sox needed to bring in was Mike Scott.


As compelling as the chanting of Mets fans is as evidence of Can's impending suckitude is, I remain unconvinced.

I never understood why Mac didn't go to Can in relief, though it's possible that the emotionally fragile young man didn't deal well with getting bypassed for the start.

He pitched poorly in Game 3 of the ALCS, then rebounded to win Game 7. That's what I was banking on (that, and I didn't have a lot of faith that Hurst would have a lot left in the tank on short rest).
   38. tfbg9 Posted: February 09, 2012 at 02:56 PM (#4057395)
then rebounded to win Game 7


Game 6...Roger Clemens won Game 7.
   39. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 09, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4057412)
Game 6...Roger Clemens won Game 7.


Yes, Game 6.



   40. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: February 09, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4057428)
Yes. You are correct sir. The Buick Electra 225...my bad.

Only knew that 'cause I had one in high school. A 1970 Electra. My god, that car had its own area code. And 7.5 MPG!

Is it weird that I miss it? It was my first car, but still.
   41. Mark Armour Posted: February 09, 2012 at 03:57 PM (#4057451)
I really liked Boyd at the time, but when a man suggests that he was coked up 2/3 of the time, it might shed a little light on why he was not used in Game 7. Who knows what state he was in? The guy left the team in 1985 and 1986, both times in protest for not making the All-Star team. When the Red Sox tried to get him to see a psychiatrist in 1986, something he likely could have used, he publicly accused them of trying to paint him as a drug user because he was black. Howard Bryant came to his defense in his book "Shut Out." I also bought into the "he's just emotional" and "he marches to his own drummer" canards myself. It turns out he was just a drug addict.

I was one of the Red Sox fans pissed when they dumped Carbo in 1978, but having read about his own confessions I assume I would have tried to get rid of him too.

Boyd and Carbo were both interesting guys and fun to watch play. But I would not want them on my team.
   42. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: February 09, 2012 at 04:07 PM (#4057460)
I never understood why Mac didn't go to Can in relief, though it's possible that the emotionally fragile young man didn't deal well with getting bypassed for the start.


The story is out there that Oil Can was hungover as all hell the day of Game Seven. The story as I've seen it is that once he got passed over he went out and tore it up in frustration. Not sure it's true but it's certainly reached urban legend status but does not sound at all implausible.

According to Lou Gorman the plan was to go to Clemens in relief in Game Seven. Why Mac didn't do that no one seems to know.

The "We want the Can" chant was a function of their need. The Mets couldn't win the series without going to Game Seven.

I also bought into the "he's just emotional" and "he marches to his own drummer" canards myself. It turns out he was just a drug addict.


There is no reason those things can't all be true. Oil Can always struck me as similar to Bill Lee, a guy who was legitimately different but at the same time did some self destructive things to his body that probably exacerbated that differentness.
   43. billyjack Posted: February 09, 2012 at 04:39 PM (#4057495)
One of my favorite live games ever was 6/9/85 when he 3 hit the O's, a masterful performance where, IIRC, nobody got past second base. More importantly though, it was one of those rare days when a pitcher has everything working, which made the game unfair as Boyd toyed with the O's all day, changing speed, keeping them off balance, just owning them. It was a joy to watch.

Later that month, I went to the Fri June 28 and Sat June 29 games, again vs Baltimore (at home)... spent a great weekend with my brother as a 17 yr old in Boston... Hurst was on his last leg... rumor was that he was going to get this one last start... and that if he sucked again he'd either be sent to Pawtucket or maybe cut... anyway... it would be his last opportunity to start... and he pitched a 6 hitter over 7 innings... and then ran off a string of good games... enough to keep his job... the next afternoon Boyd got lit up by Floyd Rayford and others...

I just realized two things:
1. Many parts/events in my life I link to baseball... broke arm on day of '73 Game 1 Millan error... cousin married day after Jeffrey Maier... great weekend in Boston with my brother on Hurst/Boyd weekend at Fenway...
2. I wrote this message in the manner of the old annual "Complete Handbook of Baseball"... with the three dots after each thought... :o)
   44. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 09, 2012 at 06:49 PM (#4057604)
The "We want the Can" chant was a function of their need. The Mets couldn't win the series without going to Game Seven.

No, the chant happened during the 7th or 8th inning of Game Seven. What Boyd had ever done to displease the Mets or their fans, I have no idea.
   45. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 09, 2012 at 07:15 PM (#4057625)
The Dwight Evanses and Bill Buckners

Huh, I hadn't realised there was more then one of each of these guys...
   46. Guy LeDouche Posted: February 09, 2012 at 07:43 PM (#4057637)
Brings back memories of "Oil Can" looking in for the sign and his chains dangling and the Blue Jays asking the ump to make him tuck them in his shirt or take the off. Gamesmanship!

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