One of the most colorful and popular players in Red Sox and PawSox history, dropped a bomb on us the other day. Nothing really surprises me any more, but Dennis Oil Can Boyds’ revelation that he very often was high on cocaine while he was pitching for the Sox, was a bit of a stunner. We live in a “tell-all” society and the Can has decided to tell on himself. Ironic, when you consider how hard others work to keep their dirty little secrets.
His book, “They Call Me Oil Can” is scheduled to come out this Summer. Give Boyd credit. He knew exactly how to whet the appetites of Red Sox fans. Boyd admitted to cocaine use, down in Fort Myers, as fans, hungry for the latest about the Sox, were getting ready for the loaded equipment truck to go south. Boyd was an average Major Leaguer in his 10 years in the “Show”. He was 78-77 with an ERA around 4.00 through his career. He claims a lot of things. That he could have won 150 games if he was clean. That “everyone” was doing it back in the ’80s. That he did it in every city and every ballpark. Says he was never tested. Oddly, the lanky right hander claims that he has no regrets. I tend to think that he’s lying. If he had been clean and had won 150 games, it’s less likely that he’d be airing his own dirty laundry at this stage of his life. Why else “come clean” for other than financial reward?
Boyd played parts of four seasons in Pawtucket. He notched 129 strikeouts to lead the club in 1983. He twice struck out 15 players in a game while a member of the PawSox, a team record he shares with Jin Ho Cho. One has to wonder if his bad habits began in the Big Leagues, or if he began cultivating them while he was on the road to the Majors.
We knew about guys like Darryl Strawberry, Doc Gooden and Steve Howe. I sat back and smiled smugly, content that none of “my” guys were ever incriminated. What a joke. First Roger Clemens and his steroid mess and now Oil Can and his admission. What a 1-2 punch to the gut! The Rocket is scheduled for trial next month and Boyd’s book hits the shelves this summer. Hope they both get what they deserve.