Former members of the Red Sox organization approached pitcher Curt Schilling in the team clubhouse in 2008 and encouraged him to use performance-enhancing drugs to help recover from an injury, the three-time World Series champ said on ESPN Radio on Wednesday.
Schilling, an outspoken critic of those who've used PEDs, said the people who made the suggestion are “no longer there.”
“It was an incredibly uncomfortable conversation,” Schilling said. “Because it came up in the midst of a group of people. The other people weren't in the conversation, but they could clearly hear the conversation. And it was suggested to me that, at my age and in my situation, why not? What did I have to lose? Because if I wasn't going to get healthy, it didn't matter. And if I did get healthy, great.
“It caught me off guard, to say the least. That was an awkward situation.”
Schilling missed the entire 2008 season with a shoulder injury and retired after the year. The six-time All-Star, who was often in Cy Young contention after a rocky start to his career, was 9-8 with a 3.87 ERA during his final campaign in 2007. He helped the Red Sox win their second World Series title in four years that season.
Eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame for the first time this year, Schilling failed to gain induction, garnering only 38.8 percent of the vote. Players need to be named on at least 75 percent of ballots to be elected.
Schilling also said he doesn't believe Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez, recovering from January hip surgery and embroiled in a developing PED case, will play again.
“I think he's done,” Schilling said. “I think he's done because I think everybody that has a say in him coming back wants him to be done.”
Current estimates have Rodriguez missing at least the first half of the season while he gets healthy.
Rodriguez admitted during the Spring of 2009 to using PEDs while with the Texas Rangers from 2001-2003. But Schilling said there were questions surrounding the superstar long before the confession.
“Given where he came from, from a college perspective, and given all the stuff that's coming out, and it seems that Florida is a hotbed for a lot of this stuff – I know there were always questions,” he said. “There were a couple of guys that were in the conversation well before this became a topic of conversation. There were a couple of guys that guys wondered early in their careers, that were in the conversation.”