The news that former big league pitcher Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd claims to have played many games while high on cocaine would be alarming if it did not align with a disappointing trend. Too many athletes only reveal their transgressions when they find themselves in a situation where they want something back. Here a few examples.
Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire refused to speak about steroid use to Congress in 2005, famously using the line, "I am not here to talk about the past." That all changed in the winter following the 2009 season, when the Cardinals hired McGwire to be their hitting coach. Then, suddenly, McGuire felt the need to do a one-hour television interview with Bob Costas and admit his nearly decade-long use of steroids.
Fans of professional tennis probably knew nothing of Andre Agassi's drug use during his career, not to mention his subsequent lies to tennis authorities to avoid repercussions. That is, they didn't know until Agassi published his autobiography, Open, which came out in 2009. Cynics are left to wonder of those events would have ever seen the light of day had Agassi not wanted to sell copies of the book.
Pete Rose offers perhaps the most pathetic example. After years of denials about gambling on baseball games, he admitted in 2004 what most people already knew - that he had indeed bet on games, many of which he was managing at the time. The double whammy of this dubious confession was that Rose was trying for two things. He wanted MLB commissioner Bud Selig to reinstate him to the game so he could be elected to the Hall of Fame, of course. But coincidentally (or not), Rose was also releasing a book at the time, My Prison Without Bars.
When Boyd tells us that he did drugs before, after, and for all fans know, during games, it's a sad, but not particularly unique. When we realize he is telling us this to sell copies of his upcoming book, we realize we've heard this story before.Brad Boeker is an avid follower of MLB. He has rooted for the Cardinals for over 40 years.