September 20, 2002
Baseball happenings

Talk Left points to this story which alleges that as many as seven Mets players have used pot regularly during the season. Though Mets management denies that the problem is that widespread, three players have admitted that the story is true for them.

Jeff Cooper and Eric McErlain have it pretty well covered from a Mets fan point of view. I agree that the pot smoking is unlikely to have been a cause of the Mets' bad season. The Mets' problem was a lack of good players, and the few good players they do have are not apparently involved.

Not that star players have never had substance abuse issues. Ken Caminiti's problems are well known. Dave Parker would likely be in Cooperstown by now had he not used cocaine during his career. I don't know if Mickey Mantle ever said the word, but it's clear from his own autobiography as well as other books about the Yankees during his career that he was an alcoholic. Didn't stop him from being a great player, but sometimes you have to wonder what might have been.

In other weird baseball news, a father-son lowlife combo charged out of the stands to attack Royals' first base coach Tom Gamboa. Travis Nelson has a pretty amusing take on it. Astros Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio recalled similar incidents for which they were present, in 1999 when a Brewers fan attacked Astro outfielder Bill Spiers and in 1995 when Cubs pitcher Randy Myers was charged on the mound.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on September 20, 2002 to Baseball