After playing with four different teams between the years of 1998 and 2004, Shane Spencer now finds himself as the manager of the independent-league Somerset Patriots. On Monday, ESPN Radio 104.5 in Albany host Mike Lindsley believed that was who he was talking to.
He had to have believed he had just pulled off a sports media miracle: The man on the other end of the phone admitted to steroids himself and even went so far as to implicate the legendary Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter as PED users.
However, Lindsley was not talking to Spencer, but rather a prank caller. The interview (which you can listen to in its entirety below) spans 13 minutes and Lindsley literally has no idea that the man he is talking to was never a professional baseball player.
In fact, Jeter himself heard the radio interview and approached his former teammate about it. At that point, the real Spencer was disgusted.
From ESPN New York:
“I listened to (the interview) for about a minute and I about threw up,” Spencer told ESPNNewYork.com by telephone Tuesday night. “I just want it out there that it wasn’t me.”…
“Someone called into the station claiming to be me and spoke on my behalf regarding some very sensitive topics surrounding baseball. This caller spoke as me about topics ranging from steroids, to my time with the New York Yankees, Roger Clemens, and my feelings about the great Mariano Rivera.
“I am outraged that someone would do this and at the same time disappointed that the station believed it to be me despite not coming from the contact information they had for me.”
In terms of pranks, this is pretty impressive. That being said, steroids accusations are incredibly serious and have tarnished the careers of many that had been seen as greats prior to failed drug tests or even rumors of failed tests. It is impressive that this caller remains on such an even keel, but at the end of the day, what was he thinking?
The station released a statement apologizing for the prank.
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…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.
[H/T: For The Win]