Indians resident Christian Paul Byrd is preparing a book in which he describes the spiritual journey that he has taken throughout his career. He talks about his struggles with pornography and players cheating, with the role of faith in the clubhouse. He writes about his funky old-school windup and how when he underwent shoulder surgery in the early part of this century he prayed for a way to stay in the game despite not having the dominant stuff of other pitchers.
In the book, Byrd also talks about the role HGH played in his career. And on the eve of Game 7 of the ALCS, the most important Cleveland Indians game in a decade, the story is exploding.
Apparently Byrd bought $25,000 of HGH and related supplies between 2002 and 2005, putting the purchase on his credit card. Byrd told FoxSports.com he never hid his HGH use because he received it via a prescription, and Indians GM Mark Shaprio is supporting his player. Still, could the timing of this revelation be any worse? Well, if Byrd were starting today's game, it could be.
But as the 2007 season implodes around the Indians, this is a story that's not going away whether the Indians win or lose today. Eric Wedge's grinders are grinding themselves into sawdust the last couple of days. First Ryan Garko, the guy who went to Stanford, lost a war or words with the Boston himbo, Manny Ramirez.
Baseball's resident flake simply made his own fans mad when he said about a possible Red Sox loss before Game 5, "If it doesn't happen, who cares? There's always next year." Meanwhile, Mr. Stanford said before Game 6 about the Indians possibly winning, "The champagne tastes just as good on the road as it does at home." Apparently such a disparaging quote inspired the Red Sox to humiliate the Indians last night.
Now this. For all their playoff success, the Indians are only 1-3 in series-elimination games in the Jacobs Field era. The lost in five to the Mariners in the ALDS in 2001, in five to the Red Sox in the ALDS in 1999, and in seven to the Florida Marlins in the 1997 World Series. The Tribe's only elimination victory came in the 1997 ALDS against the Yankees.
Paul Byrd might have thought God worked in mysterious ways before he arrived in Cleveland. Now he's getting a first-hand look at a real mystery. And we get a close-up of just exactly what happens when you put your heart and soul into a Cleveland team.