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The Buchholz Charity Scandal

In case you missed it, Boston sports radio and twitter blew up this morning at the news that Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz, fresh out of the hospital, attended a charity event last night. Here’s how it went down, and what they’re saying.

Storified by · Thu, Jun 28 2012 09:29:59

Interesting…….a little bird just told me there’s a damn good pool party going on at MGM Grand Foxwoods…Clay Buchholz is there #peptoScott Zolak
Team source: Clay Buchholz attended but did not drink at Foxwoods charity event less than 24 hrs after hospital release Speier
#RedSoxTalk Buchholz, too sick to travel to Seattle with the #RedSox, reportedly attended an event at MGM Foxwoods
CLAY BUCHHOLZ didn’t travel w the team to the west coast, but was at a vodka-sponsored pool party at MGM Foxwoods last night. Details NEXT.Toucher and Rich
AUDIO: Clay Buchholz attended a pool party at MGM Foxwoods on Wednesday night rather than traveling with the team to…
Some people have a problem with Clay Buchholz going to a charity event? Really?Clay Buchholz just got out of the hospital for esophagitis. Less than 24 hours later, the team has confirmed, he attended a charity event…
#RedSox Clay Buchholz reportedly attended a pool party at Foxwoods on Wednesday… Big deal or non-story? The Sports Hub
Buchholz attends an event for Greg Hill. Greg Hill is one of @Toucherandrich’s main competition. @Toucherandrich make a big deal about it.Adam Nappa
Footage of Bucholz at the MGM pool party! Curtis
This Buchholz/Foxwoods story makes me hate being a member of the media. It’s a total non-story but people will act like he committed murder.Michael Berger
I tweet something that was pure info, & the national media uses it as ANOTHER excuse to crap on Boston sports fans. and Rich
This is what the Buchholz/Foxwoods story comes down to: The majority of folks who are outraged work in the media. Fans generally don’t care.Michael Berger
Methinks using the phrase "a little birdie told me" makes you sound like a tool, not informed. #RedSoxRyan Hadfield
#RedSoxTalk Clay Buchholz was at a charity event last night. That OK with you? The Uno’s Sports Tonight guys discussed.
So Buchholz gets OK from medical staff, goes to a charity event to help a friend out, shows up doesn’t drink, yet he’s getting killed for itLou Merloni
Gresh & Zo: Buchholz Attends Pool Party: Gresh and Zo kick off Thursday’s show talking about Buchholz attending … & Zolak
Can confirm @LouMerloni report that Buchholz granted permission by Sox medical staff to go to Foxwoods last night. There endeth the story?Michael Giardi
I’m all for blasting a player when it’s deserved, but attending a charity event with medical clearance from the team doesn’t qualify.Kirk Minihane
if going to the event was no big deal, why would he ask for clearance from sox staff? if it’s not a big deal then why do you need permissionGresh & Zolak
@GreshandZo If it was a problem why didn’t Sox say no? If he went without permission you’d be blasting him for not asking for clearance.Kirk Minihane
I love how everyone at EEI is contorting themselves into a pretzel to make the Bucholz appearance a non story, comical.Chris Curtis
Clay Buchholz Attends Charity Fundraiser, Boston Media Reports He Attended Vodka-Sponsored Casino Pool Party | The Big LeadBoston pitcher Clay Buchholz recently spent five days in Massachusetts General Hospital with esophagitis. When he was released, he did no…
Report: Buchholz Attends Foxwoods Pool PartyBOSTON(CBS) – Clay Buchholz just went through a "frightening ordeal," spending five days in the hospital fighting esophagitis. Given what…
I guess Clay only drinks during games, not at Stoli sponsored pool parties..Chris Curtis
Pool party for Clay BuchholzWhile the rest of his teammates are in Seattle to begin a four-game series against the Mariners beginning tonight, Red Sox pitcher Clay B…
It’s one thing to be angry about how last year ended. It’s another to leap down every #RedSox throat when you’ve got maybe half a story.Jon Couture

17 thoughts on “Tracking The Buchholz Story

  1. I’ve seen hardballtalk and thebiglead absolutely torch the media here here over the story. Beyond the nice timeline above, what are we supposed to think about it? (I’m asking for an opinion, yes)

    I saw the “story” on Sports Tonight on the re-run this morning. I turned it off right after because it seemed like a non-story. Did I miss anything?


  2. There’s a lot to dig through with this story. Let me say this based on whats posted above. WEEI doesn’t think its a story, TSH is over-selling it. Seems to me like sour-grapes on WEEI getting scooped by a member of TSH. In contrast, TSH is pumping their own tires a little bit, giving the story more life than it actually deserves. However here’s my take:

    1) This is a story. This is not the media’s fault its the story, its the players.
    Because of what members of the RedSox pitching staff took part in last year, this is a sensitive subject. Like it or not, they made this bed, they have to lie in it.

    2) Buckholz has had struggles the last two years, and is quickly developing into a PWP, pitcher with problems. He’s gaining a party-boy reputation and coupled with lack of success, this makes him a target.

    3) Whether this is for charity, he had permission, or he was feeling better, the Sox and Bucky-boy need to be smarter about their public image. We can probably all agree that the Sox ownership group are extremely PR conscience, though I personally feel they do a horrible job of handling these things. Case in point, how they handled the Francona firing, last years collapse.

    4) I think WEEI looks like a joke in all this, based on their tweets above, worse than TSH’s self appreciation. Because they didn’t break the news, they “poo-poo” the story as a non-issue. Either that or they are so far in the bag for the Sox, they lost their integrity.

    My concern are Buckholz’s priorities. It’s not because of this specific issue, but due to a body of work. Evidence shows he is more concerned with BPH (beers per hour) rather than Fastball MPH.


    1. Pre/1) WEEI seems to be “upset” lately when being scooped by TSH on anything/everything/whatever. I listened to G+Z and they read a text from someone who said, “It looks like your competitor is trashing you for making a big deal over this.”

      I’ve noticed that D+C will “snipe” (usually without calling our Felger or F+M, but it’s obvious to any seasoned listener), much more, as of recent.

      2.) I heard that it was his dip that could have caused this. I asked a military friend if any folks ever had something similar. (Some military guys can burn a can in half a day if not more.) He’s heard about it but only when guys have gone overboard, in the range of over a log (10 cans? I was told) a week. So, not like it matters (don’t 90% of pitchers dip?), but the combo of the tobacco juice + all the anti-inflammatory he must take for his back must not be good. We’ll never know but probably have to speculate because this can be really nasty.

      3.) We again hit this “they seem to really care” but then “do really stupid things” dichotomy..

      4.) It seems like each station now treats whatever issue like things are in politics, you know? “OH YOU REACTED THIS WAY SO WE MUST REACT THE OPPOSITE. MAKE FUN OF OTHER FOR NOT ACTING THE WAY WE DO; OTHER DO THE SAME; REPEAT.”


      1. I agree. Both stations take opposite stances of hot Boston topics, even furthering the divide. It’s Hatfields v McCoys, Republicans v Democrats, USA vs Russia on issues like this.

        Again, I just want to convey this before anyone calls me out. This is a story, but only because of all of the variables I previously listed. I wish it wasn’t and if it was any other player not named Beckett, then it probably would be mentioned. If Ellsbury was seen in Foxwoods last night at that same party, would this be happening? Doubtful! This is because of the PLAYER’s recent history on top of the TEAM/OWNER’s BS since last Sept.

        Random Note: Is there a difference between the effects of swallowing dip and chewing tobacco? This is a question because I really don’t know. I know typically dip stays in a small pouch in the front lip, while chew is usually much larger wads wrapped in gum. I wonder if there are differences between swallowing each one. Also, a college roommate once swallowed some dip spit (not his own, about half a Poland Springs bottle) as part of a bet for 5 dollars in quarters. Besides the immediate vomiting the followed, he was fine lol!


        1. Inquired with the same friend:

          Chew/dip are usually the same thing, he said. “Like the difference between Skoal and

          Copenhagen”. He said chew is sometimes more “old school” where guys either get some custom/rare brand and it is bigger/stuck in gum, but the modern or “thing you do” is with the Poland Spring/soda bottle. He said as long as you “spit” you’re fine. Swallowing at anytime is a huge no-no and usually beginners do it and wind up vomiting. Still, he said you’ve got to be swallowing a bit before something will go wrong in the stomach.


          So, the Peter Gammons theory on swallowing the juice, in combination with the anti-inflam potency could easily have “caused it”.

          Asked a family member who is a medic/works at a hospital: dip+anti-inflam could easily combine to cause but you would feel it long before hospitalization unless you had some undiagnosed condition.


          To close: as my military friend said, “It’s like being seen at the bar the night of calling into sick bay. Your CO can’t do much on the record but expect to be picked for all the sh*t jobs over the next month.” (ie: bad perception)


    2. I listened to a portion of each show today on EEI… didn’t hear anyone try to “poo-poo” the story except Merloni. In fact John Dennis and Dale spent a significant amount of time this morning talking about why Buchholz shouldn’t have gone. You’re taking a few tweets from Michael Berger (who’s neither a host or weei .com writer) and making the assumption that everyone at the station feels that way.

      At least WEEI seemed to have people debating both sides of the issue, while everyone on 98.5 was clearly pumping the story up.

      If this happened the day after Gronkowski’s surgery, you can bet Zol-hack woulda been waiting outside the hospital in a limo ready to drive down to Foxwoods if it meant he could watch Gronk dance shirtless like a drunken moron. He’d just have to make sure to find somebody else to clean Robert Kraft’s pool that day.


    3. I agree with Winning Again. If this was the story of a pitcher who was cruising along like a Verlander who just happened to get sick and then decided to go to a “charity” event at a casino 24 hours after he got out of the ICU (which, I doubt he really needed to be in anyway), I wouldn’t give it a second thought. However, the pattern with this pitching staff is very clear and damming. Moreover, Clay’s own past behavior is damming. I think we have a case here where we have a slightly-built starting pitcher with great stuff, but who has a 10 cent head and consistently makes not great choices about his health.


  3. Yet another reason in the long file that Boston’s sports radio is pathetic. Only the media cares so they can write their outraged stories in pathetic attempts to garner ratings … damn Buchholz for attending a charity event …


  4. I think this is a bigger picture story. WEEI is not making a big deal about it because the charity event was the Greg Hill foundation. Greg “Hillman” Hill works for WEEI’s sister station 107.3 WAAF. That’s why TSH and T&R are making a big deal about it. They can create a little outrage and tweak a competitor. There is no love at all between the Hillman show and T&R. Plus it gives TSH yet another point to reference when they say the players “don’t get it.” Total non-story if you ask me.


  5. I wonder if Felger still wouldn’t trade Clay Buckholz for Albert Pujols straight up?


  6. If everything about the Buchholz story was the same except it was a NE Patriot player you can bet Scott Zolak aka Bob Kraft’s lawn jockey would have shot that little birdie.
    Zolak is dumb as a stump and is embarrassing to listen to on any topic other than football. Genuinely uneducated.
    This Buccholz story is why poeple hate the Boston media and the Sports Hub is quickly gaining a reputation as a personal smear machine. Think about it. Their line-up consists of 4 shows that attack people in a personal way on a regular basis.



    The Minihane interviewing Eric Wilbur.. im not even sure what to make of this? Maybe put it on a “Greatest Hits” of what NOT to do?

    Again, I’m missing something here but the blowing up is almost comical. I’ve not paid enough attention to really care but Minihane goes into previous columns he’s written.. etc…

    How soon before we have WEEI/TSH members dumpster diving on Yawkee Way putting back together shredded documents?


  8. My mom, who could careless about all sports and anything to do with sports. The only sport she might even care about is baseball.

    This morning, “Who is Drew Brees and what is this bounty thing?”
    -try to explain and wonder how she even knew who he was-
    Asked if she even remembered him from commercials, because he did a few after the Superbowl.

    “Nope. But he’s a nice looking guy.”
    -end convo here because I can’t explain everything, nor does she care to know.

    I guess Brees was on Letterman last night. Good job hitting the non-sports crowd there. If these guys are innocent or being railroaded by the NFL to save them billions in a lawsuit, they’re putting up the fight of their life.

    As I stated before, I emailed two national radio guys the same question that someone here asked about why there wasn’t this much questioning/pushback with Spygate. Nothing so far but I also only listen to one (DP).


    At this point, I think many people want to see more evidence and aren’t cool with the NFL, no?


  9. When did Wilbur’s attitude & writing make this shift? Was it before the Brady post-Super Bowl piece? Don’t recall him sounding like such a tool until this year.


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