BOSTON -- Talk about bad timing for the Indians. On the morning of Game Seven of the ALCS, the San Francisco Chronicle writers who have been following the Barry Bonds steroid case dropped this bombshell in today's editions: Indians pitcher Paul Byrd bought nearly $25,000 worth of human growth hormone and syringes from the Florida anti-aging clinic that has been the focus for illegally distributing performance-enhancing drugs.
Indians GM Mark Shapiro has issued the following statement: "We aware of the story regarding Paul. I have spoken with Paul about the situation, however, at this time I don't feel I have enough information to make any further comments on the matter. He has been an important member of this organization - on and off the field – over the last two years and we support him in this process.”
FOXsports.com has just released a story that Byrd acknowledges the Chronicle report but said he used HGH prescribed under a doctor's care in part because he has a tumor on his pituitary gland at the base of his brain.
Byrd is not starting tonight (Jake Westbrook is) and that's a good thing. Imagine if Byrd was the starter. But if the Tribe wins, this will undoubtedly be a major distraction during the World Series for the veteran who has been Cleveland's most reliable starter in the postseason.