Remember former Red Sox pitcher Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd? He also pitched for the Expos and Rangers, but the overwhelming majority of his career was with the Boston Red Sox. He was a significant part of the rotation on the 1986 World Series team. He also evidently liked to pitch while under the influence of cocaine.
“Some of the best games I’ve ever, ever pitched in the major leagues I stayed up all night; I’d say two-thirds of them,” said Boyd (CBS Boston), after admitting that he was under the influence of cocaine "in every ballpark" he'd ever pitched.
Oil Can wasn't done, saying not all his teammates did enough to help him:
“All of them didn’t rally around me,” he explained (CBS Boston). “All of them knew and the ones that cared came to me. The Dwight Evans and Bill Buckners… It was the veteran ball players. Some guys lived it… They knew what you were doing, and the only way they knew was they had to have tried it too.”
And that race was part of the issue:
“The reason I caught the deep end to it is because I’m black. The bottom line is the game carries a lot of bigotry, and that was an easy way for them to do it,” Boyd said (CBS Boston). “If I wasn’t outspoken and a so-called a ‘proud black man,’ maybe I would have gotten the empathy and sympathy like other ballplayers got that I didn’t get; like Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, Steve Howe. I can name 50 people that got third and fourth chances all because they weren’t outspoken black individuals.”
Boyd, 52, was 78-77 with a 4.04 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 799 strikeouts in 10 major-league seasons. He has a book -- "They Call Me Oil Can" -- coming out this summer.