Oil Can Boyd says he pitched under influence of cocaine most of his starts
Former MLB pitcher Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd admitted Wednesday that he was under the influence of cocaine for about two-thirds of his starts.
“Oh yeah, at every ballpark. 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,” Boyd told WBZ. “It’s not like you have time to go do it while in the game, which I had done that.”
Boyd, who pitched 10 seasons in the majors, says he wasn’t doing anything different from many other players. He also believes the excessive coke use and partying hurt his career.
“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,” said Boyd. “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 went 78-77 with a 4.04 career ERA. He played for the Red Sox, Expos, and Rangers, and says he only received support from a few teammates.
“All of them didn’t rally around me,” he said. “All of them knew, and the ones that cared came to me. The Dwight Evans and Bill Buckners… It was the veteran ball players. Some guys lived it… They knew what you were doing, and the only way they knew was they had to have tried it too.”
Oil Can also believes he didn’t receive the same sympathy for his drug problems as guys like Darryl Strawberry, Doc Gooden, or Steve Howe. He thinks race is a big reason why he had a bad reputation.
“The reason I caught the deep end to it is because I’m black. The bottom line is the game carries a lot of bigotry, and that was an easy way for them to do it,” Boyd said. “If I wasn’t outspoken and a so-called a ‘proud black man,’ maybe I would have gotten the empathy and sympathy like other ballplayers got that I didn’t get; like Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, Steve Howe. I can name 50 people that got third and fourth chances all because they weren’t outspoken black individuals.”
Boyd says he was never drug tested during his entire MLB career. His drug admission coincides with the publishing of his autobiography, which is scheduled for publication in June.