In an exclusive interview with Fox Sports, Cleveland Indians' pitcher Paul Byrd admits to taking doctor-prescribed human growth hormone as recently as 2005 for a tumor on his pituitary gland that caused him to have sleeplessness. In his upcoming book, The Free Byrd Project, he writes:
"Even though there were good things like my time with God that came out of my aloneness in the night, the sporadic periods of fatigue and lack of sleep have really bothered me on the baseball field. Chronic sore throats, an inability to recover and throw bullpens and times of tiredness have all affected while standing on the mound. At the insistence of a close friend, I went and had my hormones checked . . . To my surprise, the doctor told me that I was producing very little growth hormone and prescribed a dosage to help me out. I didn't like sticking a needle in my inner thigh each night but I sure did enjoy the sleep that occurred afterwards. My life changed during that time and I was able to work out more, experience less fatigue and recover quicker from pitching."
Hmm, the effects of HGH sound like heroin. And it adds MPH to your fastball, too? Aspirin my ass, this is the real wonder drug.
"I wondered if I doubled my prescribed dose, whether or not I would throw harder and have a better and possibly longer career. After all, I had a prescription. Some strange silent voices ran across my brain and had conversations with me as I pulled back the syringe. I remember having thoughts that doing better on the field could mean more money for my family, my charities and even supporting churches. Then I prayed and realized that God was in control of my life and he wouldn't want me making money through cheating the system."
Unless God has a "special interest" in the game, right? I bet even the Father Almighty uses a bit of inside information when transacting business with heavenly bookmakers. -KD