Schilling supports Robinson position

Red Sox star also feels Oriole's career statistics deserve to be invalidated

Cheating In Sports

Rafael Palmeiro


August 25, 2005|By Dan Connolly | Dan Connolly,SUN STAFF

For the second time in two days, a high-profile member of the baseball community has blasted Orioles first baseman Rafael Palmeiro, questioning the validity of his impressive statistics.

One day after Hall of Famer Frank Robinson said Palmeiro's offensive numbers should be erased because he failed a drug test, Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling told WEEI radio in Boston he agreed with Robinson.

"Yeah. I read something the other day about his career, his career numbers and how a lot of his career numbers coincide with certain dates, and he obviously sat next to me in Washington [before Congress] and lied," said Schilling, who also testified in March before the Committee on Government Reform.

"So I don't know there's any way to prove that anything he did was not under the influence of performance-enhancing drugs."

Schilling also said he didn't think Palmeiro's pledge to teach children about the dangers of using steroids would have much credence.

"My hope is that Raffy does whatever he can possibly do in his position to help further the message that baseball needs to send to kids and to people," Schilling said. "Whether he's going to be able to do that, given what he's done, to me is doubtful.

"He has no credibility, I don't think, in that area," Schilling added. "I think that's going to be a tough one. I just hope his life gets righted and he does the right thing."

Palmeiro was read excerpts from Schilling's interview after last night's Orioles loss. Palmeiro shrugged and swatted the air with his right hand - as if to dismiss Schilling's pointed words.

"No comment," Palmeiro said.

He was asked if he was angered that colleagues were commenting without hearing his side of the story.

"No, it's all right. That's the way it is," Palmeiro said.

Palmeiro has said repeatedly he can't discuss the failed drug test until Congress has reviewed his arbitration statements and has decided whether he may have perjured himself in March when he declared under oath that he had never taken steroids.

Members of the committee are expected to comment about the perjury investigation this week. Several sources have said Palmeiro did not make a clear case for his innocence while talking to the arbitrator.

Before yesterday's game, Palmeiro addressed the comments by Robinson, the Washington Nationals' manager and former Orioles great who told "Where do you go back, stop and say, `OK, when did he start using steroids?' To eliminate all that, and get the players' attention, you wipe the whole thing out."

Palmeiro said he didn't hear Robinson's statement and wouldn't comment on it.

"He's entitled to his opinion, but I am not aware of anything he said. I really don't want to get into it," Palmeiro said. "I respect Frank, but I am not going to comment on that."

Robinson, a longtime Orioles player who was once an enforcement administrator for Major League Baseball, seemed inclined yesterday to let the matter drop.

Asked about the comments at a pre-game news conference, Robinson initially raised questions about whether he had made the remarks - or at least about whom he made them to. He was then reminded of the comments, but the manager had no more to add.

Palmeiro's manager, Sam Perlozzo, also was read Schilling's comments after last night's game.

"There's more than Curt Schilling out there that has negative opinions," Perlozzo said. "Everyone has an opinion. If he wants to voice it, that's his business."

Until he knows the whole story, Perlozzo said he is standing by his player.

"Obviously, some people are willing to jump out and criticize someone when they don't know all the facts and I don't think that's the right way to go about it," Perlozzo said.

"We all are waiting for Raffy to speak. I know it's frustrating for all the people out there to have to wait, but you've got to wait."

Sun staff writer Jeff Barker and the Associated Press contributed to this article.

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