8/14/2013 3:23 P.M. ET
Former Yankee Spencer responds to radio hoax
By Joey Nowak / MLB.com
A day after an imposter used Shane Spencer's name to tell listeners in New York that he used performance-enhancing substances during his career, the former Major Leaguer went on the radio Wednesday morning to defend himself.
Spencer played for the Yankees from 1998-2002, then split time between the Indians, Rangers and Mets for the next two seasons. He hit 59 career home runs and never more than 12 in a season, which was in 2003.
But a caller phoned into ESPN Radio 104.5 The Team in Albany, N.Y., on Monday, claiming to be Spencer, and said, according to CBS 2 in New York: "I have used steroids in the past. … Did I ever see anyone using them? Absolutely. … Here's the one thing I would say is that most people did not use steroids in a public forum. Most people didn't make it -- it wasn't like you would walk into the Yankees' locker room or any other team I played for and people were just using steroids or people would be openly talking about it."
According to the CBS report, the audio of the interview was posted on the station's website until Tuesday evening before it was taken down. Spencer himself then called into WFAN in New York on Wednesday to join Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton to clear the air. At that time, Spencer denied ever using performance-enhancing substances.
"Absolutely not," he said on the air Wednesday. "No, maybe I'd still be playing. No, I don't know. I never did. I spent so many years in the Minor Leagues and then finally … no, I had a decent career, and my body just started giving out on me. … I took pride in just doing everything on my own."
Spencer is now the hitting and third-base coach for the Somerset Patriots in the Atlantic League.
The ESPN station in Albany also released a statement on the incident: "Yesterday, we ran an interview we thought was with Shane Spencer. Unfortunately, after the interview was aired, we learned that the interview was with an imposter. During the interview, the Spencer imposter said that he used performance-enhancing drugs and accused other players of doing the same while pretending to be Spencer. The real interview was scheduled to take place in advance and was set up through the official Major League Baseball Players Association.
"The real Shane Spencer agreed to come on the air and conduct an interview setting the record straight. We here at 104.5 The Team ESPN Radio thank Shane for coming on the air and clarifying this unfortunate situation. We, along with Shane, share the opinion that such criminal actions are not funny, have no sense of purpose, are bad for the individuals involved and are bad for baseball as well as radio in general."