Sox Training Staff in Trouble for Handing out PED’s
Published: Saturday, February 23, 2013
Updated: Sunday, February 24, 2013 16:02
In 2011, the Boston Red Sox went from the best team in baseball to nothing more than a daytime soap opera. The September collapse of 2011 led to the Bobby Valentine sideshow of 2012, and now 2013 has been tainted with a new controversy. This time the Sox trainers are on in the spotlight and facing charges of giving players PED’s against their knowledge. The most crushing thing about this is that Sox fans across Boston have lambasted so many other teams (cough Yankees cough) for juicing, yet our own players were told to drug up before games.
Curt Shilling recently came out with the report that he was offered performance enhancing drugs by the Sox training staff, since then some new sources have come forward stating that Shilling was not the only player. Mike Reinold is the trainer in question, and was fired after the 2012 season, however the suspicion surrounding his questionable practices has not left Boston.
To be clear, Reinold never injected anabolic steroids into his players, the MLB has been much stricter when it comes to those types of PED’s, but that is not to say Reinold could not get his hands on a substance of a different nature. The drug of choice for Reinold was Toradol, a super strong and somewhat unknown painkiller. It’s a cousin of Advil but much more potent. Due to the mystery surrounding the drug there are state laws against its use, some of which Reinold is suspected of breaking.
What makes this situation even sketchier is that Reinold is not legally allowed to administer injections of any kind. He is a licensed physical therapist and trainer, which does not give him any right to administer an injection without the supervision of a doctor—that is something he has definitely never had.
Curt Shilling has been very outspoken about Reinold’s illegal actions regarding the Sox. Shilling described the sketchy ways Reinold would lead a player to the back room of the training office and administer the shots of Toradol before games and how there was never a doctor present during these sessions.
Shilling recounts his experience with Toradol during his career and his frequent use of the drug. Telling Yahoo Sports that he “had a Toradol shot almost every single game for the last 10 years of [his] career.”
There is no surprise why though, from what Shilling describes Toradol sounds like the miracle drug, a true painkiller that can enable any player to reach his peak potential. The former ace recounts an experience when had such unbearable neck pain that he could not make it through a bullpen session, yet one Toradol shot later and he threw a one-hitter while racking up 17 K’s.
There are some issues with this drug though; suppose a player was badly injured yet never felt it, could he then possibly do worse damage while masking the pain? Could it be that the Sox training policy is to get the players on the field no matter the cost? The Sox players certainly seem to think so, as many of the veteran players rejected his treatments for fear of worsening their injuries and ending their careers. Still most of the Sox staff complied with Reinold’s treatments and used the drugs, although at a price. Many may remember when Clay Buchholz was mysteriously sent to the ER in 2012 due to stomach bleeding. He originally claimed it was due to taking Aspirin for back pain, yet now he suspects it was due to taking too many shots of Toradol, which eased his pain yet also put his life in danger.
Former Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon is another player to speak to the media on the subject. He claims he used Toradol frequently while with the Sox, however he has been off the drug since his trade to the Philadelphia Phillies.
"[The Phillies] told me, 'We don't do that here.' That kind of surprised me. Papelbon told ESPN, "I haven't had a single Toradol shot since. But here's the thing you have to understand. There are so many organizations that do it…[the Phillies] use safer anti-inflammatories here, have other ways to keep you strong."
GM Ben Cherington has refused to comment on the issue until further information has been revealed, until then the controversy will continue to snowball as the Sox decide whether or not they want to ban the painkiller from their training office. While banning the drug outright may be a bit drastic, there is no doubt that it has the potential to adversely affect the healthy of the Sox staff and thus should be used wisely and under a doctor’s supervision, not in the back corner of a dark training room.