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Scott Proctor blames alcohol, not overuse, for his downfall

Mar 1, 2013, 6:05 PM EDT

Scott Proctor AP

In camp with the Giants after spending last year in Korea, Scott Proctor told the San Francisco Chronicle’s Henry Schulman that his collapse was more about his struggles with alchoholism than arm problems caused by Joe Torre’s rough handling of him.

“I think some things that happened and some poor choices on how I lived my life led to it more than anything,” he said.

Part of that was not eating right or sleeping enough, the basics of being a good athlete, but that was not the killer. He said he had a “serious drinking problem,” a binge drinker who stopped when he ran out of booze or passed out.

Proctor is the last major league reliever to throw 100 innings, ending up at 102 1/3 in a league-high 83 appearances for Torre’s Yankees in 2006. Not as effective the next year, he was traded to the Dodgers over the summer. Still, he made 83 appearances for the second straight season in 2007, covering 86 1/3 innings.

Proctor and Torre reunited in Los Angeles for the 2008 season, but it didn’t last long. Proctor’s elbow started acting up, putting him on the DL in June, and while he tried to keep pitching, he was forced to have Tommy John surgery in May 2009. He returned to struggle in spot duty in 2010 and ’11 before going to Korea. In total, he has a 6.59 ERA in 86 major league appearances since the beginning of 2008.

Proctor did have a successful season in Korea last year, saving 35 games with a 1.79 ERA. He says he’s perfected the splitter he used to throw in majors on occasion, and he’s thrown two scoreless innings for the Giants so far this spring.

More importantly, he says he’s been sober for four years now. He’ll open to accepting a Triple-A assignment should he fail to make the Giants, so it seems likely that we’ll see him back in the majors again at some point.

  1. officialgame - Mar 1, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    Refreshing, good for him!

  2. Reggie's Bush - Mar 1, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    Us binge drinkers rock!

    • yankeesfan25 - Mar 1, 2013 at 8:14 PM


  3. bigharold - Mar 1, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    BS, .. Torre burned him to the ground like he did to a number of other guys.

    He’s being nice to Torre for some unknown reason. I’m sure the drinking didn’t help and I’m glad he’s apparently dealing with it but Joe Torre ruined more than his share of middle relievers and Proctor is one of them, i.e. Ramiro Mendoza, Tanyon Sturtze.

    • dondada10 - Mar 1, 2013 at 7:35 PM

      So, your submitting that Proctor is lying about his alcoholism?

      • jwbiii - Mar 1, 2013 at 8:33 PM

        I’ve heard of a drinking problem being referred to as an “elbow problem,” but I’ve never heard of it leading to a torn UCL. I have no doubt he also has/had a drinking problem and I wish him continued success in combatting it.

      • bigharold - Mar 2, 2013 at 8:51 PM

        “So, your submitting that Proctor is lying about his alcoholism?”

        In fact I stated that the drinking likely didn’t help and it’s good that he’s deal with it. My point is that Torre was a horrible manager of pitchers. And, I provided a number of examples to support that opinion.

    • mscxvd - Mar 2, 2013 at 2:27 AM

      Agreed! Mendoza was way over used as well!

  4. jcmeyer10 - Mar 1, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    Just saw my pops get his five year chip. Gotta give the man credit for owning up to his problems and can only wish him the best in recovery.

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