Note to radio producers: If you’re going to have a former Major League Baseball player on your program to talk about a sensitive topic such as performance-enhancing drugs, it might be a good idea to vet them, first. ESPN Radio 104.5 in Albany, N.Y., failed to do just that and got burned in a pretty spectacular way Tuesday.
Shane Spencer occupies a place in Yankees lore that far outweighs his actual contributions to the team during his seven-year career (five with New York). Though the outfielder owned a .754 career OPS, he’ll always be remembered for hitting 10 home runs, including three grand slams, in September 1998, his rookie season.
So, on the face of things, it wouldn’t be too surprising to hear Spencer giving an interview to a New York radio station discussing steroids.
However, a man purporting to be Spencer gave a 22-minute interview to ESPN Radio, supposedly admitting to “dabbling” in PEDs during his career. What’s more is that the fake Spencer implicated Yankee greats Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, saying it would be “extremely naive” to assume the pair didn’t use banned substances.
However, Jeter himself got word of the interview, and asked the Yankees to investigate, according to Deadspin. The Yankees called Spencer, currently a hitting coach for the Somerset Patriots, who denied giving any such interview.
“I listened to [the interview] for about a minute and I about threw up,” Spencer told ESPN.
The radio station has since released a statement apologizing for the incident and deleted the interview from its website. However, it’s still unclear who carried out the hoax.
Listen to the interview in the audio embed below, with a tip of the hat to Deadspin for retrieving it from the bowels of the Internet.
Photo via Twitter/@JAWbats