Now, a radio station in New York has a mess of its own on its
hands after a prankster posing as a former Yankee implied on air
that Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera had used PEDs.
Shane Spencer played in 345 games for the Yankees during their
late-90s heyday, hitting 43 home runs with the club and winning
three World Series titles from 1998 to 2002. On Monday, ESPN Radio
104.5 in Albany believed Spencer had called into the program
— and, boy, did they think they hit the jackpot when he
started talking steroids.
First, the would-be Spencer admitted to “dabbling”
in performance enhancing drugs during his career, which also took
him to Cleveland, Texas and back to New York (with the Mets) before
his final season in 2004. Then “Spencer” dropped a
bombshell, confirming that Roger Clemens used PEDs, but also
warning people to “be careful with the assumption” that Jeter and
Rivera — the two faces of the Yankees franchise over the last
couple decades — are clean.
The audio was taken off the 104.5 site, but Deadspin salvaged
the clip, and you can hear the Jeter and Rivera accusations around
the 10-minute mark below:
The problem, of course, is that the “Shane Spencer”
you hear above isn’t actually Spencer, who is the hitting
coach for the independent league Somerset Patriots. And after he
heard about his controversial radio appearance, he called the station to clear his name.
“It’s unfortunate, you know, it’s embarrassing,” the
real Spencer said. “It really is embarrassing. Not only am I very
upset that my name is out there because I am here working in New
Jersey. I do a lot of stuff at Yankee Stadium, I work with kids,
I’m a good role model and to see how this might affect me is
very disappointing and I’m going to make sure that I clear my
I know everyone is on a witch hunt to out PED users, but the
last couple weeks have shown us that some stories really are too
good to be true. There are almost certainly other ballplayers using
steroids who haven’t been — and may never be —
caught, and I don’t think it would surprise anyone if
prominent players are among the unknown users.
But steroid accusations are a serious, potentially
career-destroying business — so when dealing with such
claims, it’s probably best to not always believe everything