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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Oil Can Boyd: It Turns Out That He Wasn’t Just a Choker and a Flake, but a Junkie and a Racist in the Bargain, Too

 

Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd/AP

 

By Nicholas Stix

People sometimes ask why sports writers are so pc. The reason is that they are alleged journalists and, as such, are no more or less pc than their colleagues in other departments. The difference is that alleged reporters still have to sometimes feign objectivity in their writing, whereas sports writers get carte blanche to talk in their columns the way their colleagues can only talk in the newsroom or other venues where civilians won’t hear them.

Which brings me to someone writing under the handle “‘Duk.” What that stands for, I don’t know. “The ‘Duk of Death,” maybe.

Back in the 1980s, the Red Sox has a pitcher called (Dennis) “Oil Can Boyd.” He had a couple of good seasons with the Sox, a couple of so-so ones, threw a lot of innings, and then his arm fell off. At one point in his career, he almost died of a blood clot.

The two things most fans knew about Boyd in that pre-Internet were that he was a choker and a flake.

It turns out that he was also a complete coke head, and a racist who talks like he has an IQ in the minus range. And in the tired-and-true tradition of narcissistic morons, he wants everyone to know about both.

In any event, he doesn’t lack for self-esteem.

It’s a black thing, you wouldn’t understand.

There seems to be a can-you-top-this competition among sportswriters and non-sportswriters getting gigs to write on sports figures these days, to see who can sing the praises of the most despicably racist black athlete.

Back in the 1990s, Allen Barra, writing for the leftwing New York Observer, contended that whites should make Albert Joey Belle their hero.

Albert Joey Belle was a violent racist who once retaliated against white fan Jeff Pillar, who razzed him from the stands about his drinking problem, by throwing a baseball at him, and hitting him squarely in the chest. (“Hey, Joey, keg party at my place after the game, c’mon over.”) It’s a wonder Belle, who as a kid was offered a scholarship to play quarterback for Notre Dame, didn’t kill the guy.

Belle’s racism aside, he was so surly that if you believed in reincarnation, you’d swear he was the second coming of Ty Cobb. So, why would a sportswriter argue for making Belle a poster boy for white fans?

And then in 2002, a lefty political propagandist named David Grann, who knew so little about baseball that he thought big league teams were managed by “coaches,” was commissioned by the equally ignorant Adam Moss, the editor of the New York Times Magazine, to write a long puff piece trying to make Barry Bonds look like a righteous black man who was the victim of racist white sportswriters.

What racist white sportswriters?

(Grann’s “qualifications” for the job were that his mommy was “the undisputed queen of New York’s book business,” and he was a lefty.)

It’s a white lefty writer thing, you wouldn’t understand.

Comes along Bleacher Reports’ ‘Duk of Death, to tell us that whites’ impression that Oil Can Boyd was a loser was simply the expression of their own racism.

What a pathetic excuse for a column. Boyd is racist trash, but the writer tries to make him sound credible. “Outspoken black man” is what racist blacks call themselves or other blacks, when they want to put lipstick on a pig.

However, what I recall from Boyd’s playing days wasn’t even that he was a racist, but that he was choker, and one of the biggest flakes in the game. And that concerns only his behavior on the field and in the dugout, because like other fans, I had no idea the guy was a cokehead. He brags about his abuse of the white powder, maintaining as well that he was a victim of racism.

Writes the “‘Duk”:

Boyd's autobiography "They Call Me Oil Can" is scheduled for release this summer… His claims are also believable. The era that he pitched — the 1980s — played host to [sic] number of cocaine controversies from Dwight Gooden to Steve Howe to the Pittsburgh Seven. Boyd says he was never drug tested, but that his teams threatened him with rehab. He says he didn't get the sympathy or help that other drug users like Darryl Strawberry and Gooden received because he was an outspoken black man. (As many have noted, Strawberry and Gooden's talent levels may have also had something to do with that.)

Boyd says he could have won twice the amount of games had he not battled a drug problem — he finished with a 78-77 career record with a 4.04 ERA over 10 seasons — but he also says he has no regrets….

His claims are also believable.

His claims are not at all believable. There were no “cocaine controversies from Dwight Gooden to Steve Howe.” Gooden and Howe simply both got caught abusing cocaine, in Howe’s case many times. But no one at the time got caught falling off the wagon as often as Howe. What was the “controversy”? The proper English word is “scandals.” (The Darryl Strawberry soap opera was 10 years away.) The media had to have been covering for Gooden and Strawberry at the time, much in the way this writer is covering for Boyd now—because they were black. Unlike the repulsive Boyd, however, they also could be very charming, especially Strawberry, who was one of the great personalities of the game.

And hwta is this crap about Boyd “battl[ing] a drug problem”? He didn’t say he “battled” cocaine, but that he luxuriated in it. Oh, but he’s a black man, so The ‘Duk has to give him an aura of heroism.

In retrospect, a statement Tommy Lasorda made when Strawberry was malingering in 1992 and 1993 with the Dodgers was revealing, and was probably censored. Straw hardly played during those two years, and claimed he was hurt, but Lasorda said he was stealing the team’s money. Given Lasorda’s straightforward style and loyalty to the Dodgers, he probably explained how Strawberry was stealing from the team, which he wouldn’t have said of a player nursing a legitimate injury, and the writer probably deleted that part. (At the time, Lasorda also said of Strawberry, “He is not a dog; a dog is loyal and runs after balls.”)

The claim that “everyone’s doing it” is a common refrain of racist blacks. (Ditto for the claim that someone suffered for being “an outspoken black man.”) But if everyone was coked up, how come Boyd won only 78 games, while other pitchers won 150, 200, 250 and 300?

Plenty of players tried some coke during the 1970s and ‘80s, and some became addicted, but when The ‘Duk treats Oil Can Boyd as a credible witness, he impeaches his own credibility.

The real cocaine scandals involved players on St. Louis and Pittsburgh, but this writer has no interest in history, because the history doesn’t help advance his story line.

The ‘Duk is not only a racist fool, but he could also use a remedial writing class. Consider his concluding sentence:

I find it interesting that most of us will probably react to this story in the same way as this wasn't a record-breaker admitting to juicing or a burned-out phenom coming clean on the real reason he never lived up to the hype.

If he were literate in English, he would have said something like the following:

Most of us will probably react to this story dismissively, as this wasn't a record-breaker admitting to juicing or a burned-out phenom coming clean on the real reason he never lived up to the hype.

* * *


Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd claims he used cocaine before a majority of his games
By 'Duk | Big League Stew – Thursday, February 9, 2012 9:59 a.m. EST
Bleacher Report

As a former pitcher who's remembered more for his famous nickname than his average talent, there are few things that Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd can do to grab the public's attention in the year 2012.

But saying that he used cocaine before "two-thirds" of his games with the Boston Red Sox, Montreal Expos and Texas Rangers is one of them.

Jonny Miller of WBZ NewsRadio out of Fort Myers, Fla., had the interview on Wednesday in which Boyd admitted that a little snow was more of a pregame routine than a bowl of Wheaties ever were.

"Oh yeah, at every ballpark," Boyd 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.

"Some of the best games I've ever, ever pitched in the major leagues I stayed up all night; I'd say two-thirds of them. If I had went to bed, I would have won 150 ballgames in the time span that I played. I feel like my career was cut short for a lot of reasons, but I wasn't doing anything that hundreds of ball players weren't doing at the time; because that's how I learned it."

Boyd's autobiography "They Call Me Oil Can" is scheduled for release this summer, so it makes sense that he's stirring up headlines with something other than a claim he'd like to pitch in the bigs again. His claims are also believable. The era that he pitched — the 1980s — played host to number of cocaine controversies from Dwight Gooden to Steve Howe to the Pittsburgh Seven. Boyd says he was never drug tested, but that his teams threatened him with rehab. He says he didn't get the sympathy or help that other drug users like Darryl Strawberry and Gooden received because he was an outspoken black man. (As many have noted, Strawberry and Gooden's talent levels may have also had something to do with that.)

Boyd says he could have won twice the amount of games had he not battled a drug problem — he finished with a 78-77 career record with a 4.04 ERA over 10 seasons — but he also says he has no regrets. I find it interesting that most of us will probably react to this story in the same way as this wasn't a record-breaker admitting to juicing or a burned-out phenom coming clean on the real reason he never lived up to the hype.

 

[N.S.: There were some decent comments from white baseball fans, as well as the usual rants from racist blacks and white lefties.]

Scott S • 2 days 7 hours ago
You were a coke head. Thats why you eventually got run out of baseball, not because you were black!

EDDIE D • Dalton, Georgia • 1 day 5 hours ago
I can just hear his Mama now- Oil Can, get your greasy black #$%$ in this house....

BeagleOwner • 7 hours ago
Oil Can, It wasn't racism. It's because you are an arrogant, self-absorbed jerk who didn't put the team first.

Louis • Butler, Pennsylvania • 7 hours ago
Why do boneheads like oil can boyd say they battled a drug problem when they used coke for their entire career. Also he claimed he didn't get the brakes others got because he is a outspoken black man, he re's a good idea....keep your mouth shut and don't do coke.

Robert • New York, New York • 2 hours 41 minutes ago
I remember when he was supposed to pitch game seven of the world series but the game got rained out and the Red Sox went with Bruce Hurst with an extra day. Oil Can Boyd cried like a baby after that happened.

Robert S • New York, New York • 7 hours ago
Oil Can was "Oiled"? Oh, so that was the reason he was mediocre. Has nothing to do with the fact he was a short righthander with very ordinary stuff. Always felt comfortable when he was on the mound against the Yanks that the Bronx Bombers would prevail. Must be something about pitching in Boston... More

greg • 10 hours ago
that explains why he thought the ocean looked so pretty in cleveland.

madison • Tucson, Arizona • 1 day 10 hours ago
different era....if he played in the 90's, he be writing about about needles and HGH...then they'd call him Oil Can Roid....just another racist, claiming he is a victim of racism...

Al • 2 days 13 hours ago
Here is his autobiography is a shortened form. I did coke, I was a baseball player, thanks for buying my book so I can get more coke. Oh, by the way, did I say I did coke?

jack-in-the-box • Plymouth, Michigan • 2 hours 17 minutes ago
His name is Oil Can for Gods sake, what does he expect?

DD Sims • 5 hours ago
And now we know why he never made it to the Hall of Fame.

Gary • 2 days 11 hours ago
so which are you blaming your lack of success on? whitey or coke? was it whitey that made you do coke? coke made ya do whitey? and let me get this part straight, if another black succeeds it's because he sucks up to whitey, right? no wonder you failed.

Andy B • Columbus, Ohio • 2 days 13 hours ago
Just another #$%$ who wants to throw out the race card because he was too stupid not to do drugs and reach his potential. Ignorance for people like him is really straight to the bone.

Malan • 2 days 0 hours ago
Andre Agassi started this bull, come clean to sell your book, so you can afford more coke.

Timothy • 2 days 15 hours ago
Typical that instead of blaming his poor career and problems on the cocaine, he blames it on racism - the "whitey kept be down" line, few if any of his contemporaries used.How about some personal responsibility for bad decisions. He's just another Bill Cosby skit "Cocaine intensifies your personality, man" "Yeah, but what if you're an #$%$"

Bill • 1 day 16 hours ago
He claims racism, the cites Gooden and Strawberry as players who received better treatment? Aren't they also black men? I hope someday he realizes that being outspoken may have forced teams to threaten sending him to rehab, but it had nothing to do with him being a black man. What's the team supposed to do? If he stayed quiet, they could claim the didn't know he was using. But when he's telling everyone who will listen that he's using, it puts the team in a situation of looking horrible if they don't do something. In the end, it's his fault he was using cocaine - nobody else's.

Ron L. Detroit Sports Nut ... • New Haven, Michigan • 1 day 12 hours ago
The fact that he admits his excessive drug use, and in the same breath states he has no regrets says a lot about the man. And thats a sad example to set for yourself, and to others.. It sounds a lot like he is still enjoying it. Not race or any other excuse has anything to do with his choice of lifestyle. The man sabatogged his own career.

• TOETALLY TIM • McLean, Virginia • 2 days 15 hours ago
Duk, way to go...now you are turning it into a race issue?!? The reason Hamilton gets the publicity and support are numerous. You can't compare the two.

1) Hamilton WANTS to defeat his addiction - He isn't hideing from it and quite opposite he is being open and transparent and asking for help. - not cashing in on a book deal

2) What Hamilton did - (drinking 4 beers and NOT driving ) ISNT illegal.

3) Hamilton is currently playing - which makes him relevant.

4) A closer comparision would be Oil Can to Jose Canseco....both selling out in hopes to get $$ from book deals.

so now let me shrug my shoulders and move on to the next thing.

Steven B • 10 hours ago
"Outspoken black man". Translation: "I hate whitey".

Gary • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania • 1 day 14 hours ago
Forget about everything including he was black, probably better at pitching because he was taking dope during the games, being an outspoken critic and probably not a nice teammate. He just does not seem to have any remorse about cheating or being a drug addict. Nice roll model Oil Head.

Bill • 1 day 16 hours ago
He claims racism, the cites Gooden and Strawberry as players who received better treatment? Aren't they also black men? I hope someday he realizes that being outspoken may have forced teams to threaten sending him to rehab, but it had nothing to do with him being a black man. What's the team supposed to do? If he stayed quiet, they could claim the didn't know he was using. But when he's telling everyone who will listen that he's using, it puts the team in a situation of looking horrible if they don't do something. In the end, it's his fault he was using cocaine - nobody else's.

Slugs4Thugs • Kansas City, Missouri • 9 hours ago
So the Oil Can was always lubed up,it figures!

Jason J. Connor • Masontown, West Virginia • 2 days 15 hours ago
I was going to comment but I already forgot what the story was about...

Andy B • Columbus, Ohio • 2 days 13 hours ago
You're right... racism IS alive and well. It is used by ignorant people like yourself, Oil Can Boyd, and others to try to call into attention the fact that a black person has failed and you don't like it. The players you mentioned weren't given chances, not because of their race,but because they are trouble makers and not worth the money they sought. If they would have shut the hell up and played the game and have been team players, then they might have gotten opportunities to extend their careers. To say that it is because they are black is a completely ignorant statement on your and any person's behalf who makes that kind of comment. If I am an employer and I am looking for someone on the down side of his career to try to fill my bench and that might help my team out, I am going to take the player who is the least headache and who will truly be a team player. If to be a team player is to "sell out," then perhaps you and your ilk should not play team sports. And you are in serious error about Larry Brown... he wore out his welcome in every city he coached because he is a headcase. At least get the facts straight. Stay racist if you like, but at least get your facts straight.

And of course, there were some standard issue black racists and white lefties.

Sir • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania • 1 day 15 hours ago
How do you account for Mark McGuire getting back into baseball??? He was a DOPER, and some white man vouched for him, right??? That along with some PHONY TEARS!!!!

Sir • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania • 1 day 15 hours ago
Hey STUPID GARY,

They're both white, right??? Coke and the white man, seems like a perfect combination to me!!!

dagoldeneagle • 2 days 14 hours ago
He's right. And racism is still alive and well in sports today. If a black athlete is authentic, keep it real, and doesn't sell out, he gets blackballed. Steve Francis called David Stern a racist after the Carmelo-Nate Robinson fight incident and he got blackballed. Black baseball players like Gary Sheffield, Kenny Lofton, Jermaine Dye, Ray Durham were still very productive in their last season in baseball. Terrell Owens was one of the best wide receives last season and no team even worked him out. The biggest injustice is the operation to sabotage Allen Iverson's career starting with ref Steve Javie's questionable officiating, dress code, and culminating in 2008-2009 when his contract was up. He set career high in shooting percentage, assist to turnover ratio, and averaged 27 points 7 assists the year before while leading the Nuggets to a then-franchise record in wins and got benched (not even 6th man minutes but 20 minutes a game) a few months later and the media said he should come off the bench? Gimme a break. Larry Brown supported him and ended up getting blackballed himself. Brown begged for an assistant coach job with the Celtics or even some college jobs (UNLV, Oklahoma, etc). No one want to touch him. After the lockout, scrubs like Mike James, Jerry Stackhouse (who shamelessly supported the owners during the lockout), Eddy Curry, Larry Hughes, and Jamaal Tinsley all somehow got signed but A.I. will always be blackballed.

JIMY • Victoria, Canada • 2 days 9 hours ago
Hey don't forget whitey can spread the hatred around now ! He's got Latinos and Muslims frigging up his Paradise ! LOL

Fakename70 • 8 hours ago
What? Where was I when Darryl and the Doc got "sympathy"? I think he means Josh Hamilton there, because, THAT guy has had it easy by comparison to anything Darryl & the Doc received in terms of media attention and public opinion.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes, sportwriters and columnists have long been openly left wing. This attitude really kicked in during the mid-60's. They lavish extravagant praise on "outspoken" black athletes.

Even now they can't go over blacks at one time being excluded from baseball and never tire of producing abject columns and articles on the subject.

David In TN