YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Playing Take-Away

Schilling says Clemens should lose his last four Cy Young Awards unless he fights for and gets retraction from Mitchell Report

December 20, 2007|Bill Shaikin | Times Staff Writer

Curt Schilling challenged Roger Clemens to come out from behind his prepared statement, calling on Clemens to surrender the final four Cy Young Awards he has won unless he obtains a retraction for his citation in the Mitchell Report as a user of steroids and human growth hormone.

In a scathing indictment of several of the biggest names in the game, the outspoken Boston Red Sox pitcher Wednesday urged baseball to strip Clemens of his statistics and records over the past decade unless he can refute the Mitchell Report, called the career of Jose Canseco a drug-aided "sham" and "hoax" and expressed concern for the sport that Clemens and Barry Bonds each has yet to clear himself amid evidence each used performance-enhancing substances.

"What does that say about this game, us as athletes and the future of the sport and our place in it?" Schilling wrote on his blog, "The greatest pitcher and greatest hitter of all time are currently both being implicated, one is being prosecuted, for events surrounding and involving the use of performance-enhancing drugs."

The Mitchell Report cites Clemens for using steroids and human growth hormone from 1998 to 2001, starting after he joined the Toronto Blue Jays in 1997. Clemens has won the Cy Young Award a record seven times, including in 1997, 1998, 2001 and 2004.

On Tuesday, Clemens issued a statement denying he had used performance-enhancing drugs "at any time in my baseball career or, in fact, my entire life." On Wednesday, Schilling said Clemens must back his denial by retaining lawyers to obtain a retraction and public apology so his name can be "completely cleared."

"If he doesn't do that," Schilling said, "then there aren't many options as a fan for me other than to believe his career 192 wins and three Cy Youngs he won prior to 1997 were the end. From that point on the numbers were attained through using [performance-enhancing drugs]. . . .

"The four Cy Youngs should go to the rightful winners and the numbers should go away if he cannot refute the accusations."

The Baseball Writers Assn. of America administers the Cy Young Award -- and baseball's other major awards -- and BBWAA President Bob Dutton said he was unaware of any such precedent.

"We didn't take anything away from [Pete] Rose when he was banned from baseball," Dutton said. "If Roger said he didn't want them, I don't know what we'd do."

Clemens is far from the only award winner named in the Mitchell Report. Eric Gagne won a Cy Young Award, and the most-valuable-player winners include Canseco, Miguel Tejada, Jason Giambi, Mo Vaughn and Ken Caminiti.

The runners-up would not necessarily be free of suspicion. Canseco edged Wally Joyner for the 1986 American League rookie of the year award; Joyner admitted in the Mitchell Report that he used steroids later in his career.

Schilling saluted Canseco for shattering the code of silence on steroids in baseball but rebuked him for building his career upon them.

"He never belonged in the big leagues and anything he ever did in the major leagues is a hoax," Schilling said. "He made it clear that he would not have been the player he was had he not cheated. His statistics should be erased, his MVP given to the runner up and he should go down as the guy who broke the silence on a horrible period of the game, period."

Schilling credited the players who had admitted to drug use cited in the report, including backup catcher Gary Bennett, signed by the Dodgers on Monday.

"Gary Bennett is a guy who I always respected because I never figured him as a guy that would be able to play as long as he has," Schilling said. "He was always a hard worker and a nice guy and I always enjoyed throwing to him because he cared about his game calling skills.

"He's made a nice career for himself and my hope is that it was more through his hard work and effort than through cheating, either way he's a friend of mine and always will be."

Los Angeles Times Articles