Wade Boggs | 30 Years Ago this Month
ESPN reported that Bruce Hurst said one of the reasons he wanted out of Boston was because of the scandal about you and Wade — he didn’t approve of it.
I don’t doubt that whatsoever. If you were a person with the kind of beliefs that he has, you wouldn’t want to be around that kind of thing.
What was Bruce Hurst like?
Wade roomed with Bruce one year in the minors before I met him. He’s a very devout Mormon, and Wade told me Hurst would get up early and open the curtains. Wade sleeps until noon every day and that was kind of hard for him, so he got his own room. Same thing with Reid Nichols. When Reid became religious, he used to play religious songs early in the morning. It drove Wade nuts.
Bob Ojeda, now with the New York Mets, isn’t one of Wade’s favorites, is he?
He couldn’t stand him. He thought he was a baby. I remember when I first started traveling with Wade, [Ojeda] was always my favorite player — not personally, because I didn’t know him — but I liked when he pitched because they always won. Bob came up with the term “Pseudo Mrs. Wade Boggs.”
What about other superstars in baseball? Jose Canseco?
I had told Wade that I thought he was handsome, and Wade said, “Well, he takes steroids. That’s the only way he can hit like that.”
Wade Boggs actually told you Canseco took steroids?
He told me that two years ago, when Canseco first started playing [although, Canseco subsequently denied it].
What about Keith Hernandez?
Wade would jokingly say Keith was a homosexual.
Is it true that Wade is a fan of Pete Rose?
Just like he feels about George Brett, he’s in total awe of Pete Rose. Even as a manager, he’s a player’s player. He’s a get-down player — the kind of guy Wade really isn’t. The kind of hustle where Wade would say, “It’s not worth stealing that base to hurt myself, to ruin my career,” where Pete Rose never thought like that. And because I was friends with Pete and had known him for a long time, it gave Wade a kind of a kick and gave him some closeness. Pete would tease Wade in spring training and say, “Hey, I see what you’re hitting, boy. You’re getting that hitting pussy.”
What did Wade think about Dave Winfield’s book?
When I told him I wanted to buy it, Wade told me not to waste my money. He and some of the other players were pissed at Winfield for “selling them out” in the book. They thought that if he were married, he wouldn’t have broken the rule and talked about other players’ extra-marital affairs.
What were your impressions of the “Christian” ballplayers, some of whom do the “Be good and say no to drugs” commercials?
Of course you can’t lump them all together. But I did see many of these self-proclaimed “Christian” players — including one future Hall of Famer — who did drugs and had extra-marital affairs.
By the way, what did Wade think about Boston’s greatest hitter, Ted Williams?
That he was a guy that thinks he knows everything about hitting and doesn’t. When Wade did an interview with [Don] Mattingly and Ted Williams for Sports Illustrated in 1986, both Don and Ted said that they could actually smell the burning of the bat when they hit the ball a certain way. Wade said they were both full of shit. Wade was always pissed about Ted Williams coming down to spring training and talking to the rookies so the Red Sox would publicize it. It would piss Wade off. There were sportswriters who thought that Ted Williams had taught Wade how to hit, even though their styles are totally different. He didn’t like even the connotation that his hitting had anything to do with Ted Williams.
Did Wade have a problem with Don Mattingly?
Intense, intense jealousy. Mattingly gets labeled as the all-around player and Wade doesn’t. No matter how hard Wade worked on his fielding, he didn’t get credit for it. But Don Mattingly does.
Was there a drug problem among the Red Sox players?
The only time that I ever had a drug situation with Wade was during spring training of 1985, and it had to do with caffeine pills. The term they use is “launching” — when they take the pills before a game. Wade would joke and say, “I guess I’m going to have to ’launch’ tomorrow and steal a base.”
Professional athletes often strive for the reputation Wade Boggs developed in his Major League career. As with sports, though, it always comes with a price.
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