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Friday, September 09, 2022

Twenty years after his World Series moment, Scott Spiezio puts his life back together [$]

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It was April 4, 2018. And Spiezio had spent the last 13 years in a self-destructive spiral. Of all the inexplicable decisions he had made in that time, this was perhaps the most mind-boggling. He was ignoring indisputable signs of an at-risk liver.

Over the course of his decade-plus addiction, Spiezio was told numerous times that his liver enzymes were dangerously elevated. He often responded by staying clean just long enough to quell the danger, if not eliminate it. He didn’t take the threat seriously this time, either.

Spiezio saw a doctor who confirmed the suspected diagnosis. It was a disease that, if left untreated, could become extremely serious. He refused to be admitted. In fact, he continued drinking the next day. He asked his good friend and housemate, Tonia Boyer, to go get him Arby’s as she begged him to see a doctor.“I can call an ambulance,” Boyer said. “But he’s not dumb, he knows he can refuse an ambulance.”

Over the course of his addiction, Spiezio, a two-time World Series champion, got divorced twice. His net worth went down to almost nothing. He went to rehab 12 times. He was arrested five times, including once for domestic battery. His three oldest children all were adopted by their stepfather. His parents didn’t talk to him for years.

The health problems, physical and mental, also mounted. A year earlier, in 2017, Spiezio had been put on a ventilator at the hospital with a heart issue. A bad back and itchy skin accompanied his jaundice in 2018. At times he caught himself considering death to be the lesser of two evils.

Spiezio was not that far removed from his prime years as a professional athlete. His body had deteriorated under the pressure of consuming, on average, a gallon of vodka a day.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 09, 2022 at 05:02 PM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: scott spezio

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   1. Howie Menckel Posted: September 09, 2022 at 07:19 PM (#6095531)
2-time WS champ whose father also was a 2-time WS champ.

"A side street up the road from the school was once given a “Scott Spiezio Dr.” sign. More than half the sign has since been ripped off; it now just says “zio Dr.” It hasn’t been fixed.

But Spiezio’s exile from the community is no more, even if the sign is still split in half. He was invited back to give the graduation speech for the school last summer.

He spoke about his career and his life — sparing the gory details, but alluding to a lot of struggles. He cried during the speech, unable to get the words out. Parents and teachers yelled out, “You got this, Scott.” It made him even more teary-eyed.

“The people that are sitting next to you? Stay in contact with them,” Spiezio said. “They know you better than you know yourself lots of times. And when you’re lost, they’ll help you find yourself.”


[SI now is a zombie website and brand. The Athletic is your father's (or grandfather's) SI. the signup promos can be criminally cheap. but lots of really good stuf....]
   2. Sleepy was just looking for porta potties Posted: September 09, 2022 at 08:15 PM (#6095542)
I remember Scott spiezio more fondly than he probably deserves, but he was a lot of fun to root for in 2006.
   3. greenback does not like sand Posted: September 09, 2022 at 09:23 PM (#6095551)
When TLR and Rolen had their one day spat during the 2006 NLCS, TLR plugged Spiezio at 3b, where he went 2-4 with a walk. One of those hits was a game-tying two-out two-run triple in the top of the 7th. It's Game 2 of the NLCS, not Game 6 of the World Series, but Spiezio was Bernie Carbo to So Taguchi's Carlton Fisk. The Cardinals were down a game already, and I think that NLCS was the first post-season series that TLR ever won where his team trailed. It was kinda a big deal really. (Of course you put the two big hits in Spiezio's career together and you still can't match Freese's Game 6... Lord, it's been fun being a Cardinals fan).

I really don't know how Spiezio did it, since his bat speed looked obviously slow. I know the guy was ridiculously strong (and apparently when he was drinking in 2007, it took a couple of teammates to restrain him), and I assume he was using all kinds of PEDs, but it was weird seeing the ball jump off his bat even though it looked like he was swinging through water.
   4. cardsfanboy Posted: September 09, 2022 at 09:33 PM (#6095553)
When TLR and Rolen had their one day spat during the 2006 NLCS

In Milwaukee, there is a bar by the stadium called 4th base, apparently it was owned by a Pirate fan who located to Milwaukee as most of the paraphernalia was Clemente/70's Pirate based... In a cubby hole they had a signed wine bottle from 2006 Cardinals, signed by Rolen and TLR. (also for what I thought was a hole in the wall dive bar, I had one of my best restaurant cooked steaks ever.)

I get the feud they had, Rolen wanted to play even when he was injured, even when the data showed if he took a day or two off, he performed better etc... but at one point in time they did get along together.
   5. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: September 10, 2022 at 12:38 AM (#6095567)
Spiezio's 3-run homer off of Felix Rodriguez in game 6 is iconic in my memory. I'm sad to see the guy's had a terrible lie since leaving the big leagues.
   6. TOLAXOR Posted: September 10, 2022 at 08:33 AM (#6095572)
   7. The Mighty Quintana Posted: September 10, 2022 at 12:28 PM (#6095590)
Yes, was trying to think of his band! Glad he got it together, always root for Baseball/Music guys:

Jack McDowell
Jim Walewander
Barry Zito
Scott Spiezio
Bernie Williams
Bronson Arroyo
   8. The Mighty Quintana Posted: September 10, 2022 at 12:29 PM (#6095591)
Well, except Joe West.
   9. salvomania Posted: September 10, 2022 at 01:17 PM (#6095596)
always root for Baseball/Music guys:

Don't forget Scott Radinsky!
   10. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 10, 2022 at 03:17 PM (#6095619)
Going back a few decades, outfielder Lee Maye was also a doo-wop singer of note.
   11. Walt Davis Posted: September 10, 2022 at 03:35 PM (#6095624)
And Dick Allen had a doo-wop group. And Carmen Fanzone had his trumpet.
   12. Mr. Hotfoot Jackson (gef, talking mongoose) Posted: September 10, 2022 at 04:13 PM (#6095630)
Tony Conigliaro cut a single. Denny McLain played the organ. Mudcat Grant sang on his own Twin Cities variety show.
   13. baxter Posted: September 10, 2022 at 10:30 PM (#6095721)
Yeaaah sure (to quote Jim Gosger)
Until you've listened to "Third Base Bag"
and "One Game at a Time"
each crooned by the Penguin, you ain't heard nothin
Now, the songs might have been a little more misgoynistic if the lyrics had referred to what used to be called baseball annies.
Third base bag takes on a whole new meaning; other song could be retitled "One Dame at a Time"
   14. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: September 11, 2022 at 12:29 AM (#6095733)
Wow, a 4th Base reference. in a city with a zillion great hole in the wall, dive bars, 4th Base is a really good one. When my wife was a resident years ago, she had a rotation or two at the VA, across the street, and I befriended a vet that would more or less drag his ass across the street for a meal a couple days a week at the 4th Base. this was before '06.

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