Oil Can’s drug abuse startling

The fact Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd battled drug addiction for much of his baseball career is hardly newsworthy.

But an ESPN report detailing the extent of Boyd’s abuse of crack cocaine, particularly during Boston’s World Series season of 1986, nevertheless is staggering.

Boyd says he used the drug “every day” during the 1986 season after a dealer introduced him to it during spring training.

Of particular note is Boyd’s recounting of a May 1986 start in Oakland when he used the drug in a clubhouse bathroom before the game and placed the remaining supply under his hat during the game.

Crack was the next step in a progression for a troubled player who said in the interview he started drinking alcohol at age 7 and was high on marijuana in every game he played in from “Little League all the way through college.” He moved on to cocaine while playing winter ball in South America in the early 1980s.

The interview, which aired Tuesday on “E:60,” also detailed Boyd’s reaction to learning he would not be starting Game 7 of the World Series. Spoiler alert: He went to a crack house.

Boyd had a career-high 16 wins for the Red Sox in 1986.

Roger Clemens also was on that team, not that drugs of any sort aided his career, mind you.

■ NOT BEARING GIFTS – Whoever is running the New England Patriots’ official Twitter account set up holdout wide receiver Wes Welker with a perfect opportunity to lobby for a new contract.

The team Twitter account posted “Happy Birthday to @WesWelker” in recognition of the receiver’s 31st birthday Tuesday.

Welker, who is threatening to sit out the team’s mandatory June minicamp if he doesn’t have a new deal, was quick to respond to the team’s tweet.

“Guess what would be the perfect Birthday gift? :)” he responded.

Sleeveless hoodie and spy equipment? Oh, no, wait, wrong Patriot.

■ GOTTA BE THE SHOES – Rivalries can be fierce in the basketball shoe market, but a tweet from a Nike designer last weekend has sparked outrage and prompted an apology.

Just after adidas pitchman Derrick Rose went down with a torn ACL late in Chicago’s Game 1 win over Philadelphia on Saturday, Nike’s Jason Petrie, the designer of LeBron James’ shoes, went to social media to blame Rose’s choice of footwear for the injury.

“You got only one guy getting stronger, and one guy breaking down before our very eyes.” Rose “chose poorly” and “#shouldasignedwithNIKE #GWS (Get well soon),” he tweeted.

Petrie’s right.

If Rose had signed with Nike, he could have avoided the injury by wearing the same shoes LeBron wears that make him disappear in the fourth quarter.

■ TOO EASY – Former Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict is a top-five talent that went unselected in the NFL Draft last week because of off-field issues and questions about attitude and drug use.

He was quickly signed after the draft had concluded by, who could have guessed, the Cincinnati Bengals.

Seriously. The Bengals.

Sometimes this stuff writes itself.


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