Hall Of Fame reliever Rich Gossage appears in the space roughly every 10 months, usually to decry the gaudy statistics amassed by those suspected or having admitted to using performance enhancing drugs. Every now and then, he’ll opine that modern relievers couldn’t carry his lunch, but usually he’s beating the PED horse. So fully credit to the NY Post’s Ken Davidoff, who after hearing Gossage rail against records being broken “under false pretenses”, asked, “do you feel the same way about guys who used greenies?”
GG: Oh, You’re not even talking about the same. …I used greenies. I’ve done them. I didn’t have to get up unless I drank a case of beer and stayed up all night. I might take a greenie just to stay awake in the bullpen. But it wasn’t a performance-enhancing drug.
KD: It was illegal, though, right?
GG: Yeah. Does the crime fit the punishment? Are you saying that greenies and steroids, you’re talking about aspirin and whatever.
KD: I guess, guys like (Bob) Gibson and Schmidt, Mike Schmidt, have said, “Hey, if we had access to steroids, I’m not sure I could have passed.” I feel like guys from the ‘60s and ‘70s used the best stuff available to them, which was greenies. And then the stuff got better.
GG: Greenies is like me drinking 10 cups of coffee.
KD: Yeah. Except it’s illegal.
GG: OK. So I’ll admit that I did it. It didn’t make me better. It didn’t make me throw harder. It made me stay awake. And I said this, too: If they deem it that greenies are on the same level as PEDs, then take my plaque down. I suffer the consequences like these __ do.