Ex-Yankee Shane Spencer Victim of Radio Impersonation in Steroid Allegations

Chris Stephens@@chris_stephens6Correspondent IIAugust 14, 2013

06 Apr 2002 :  Shane Spencer of the New York Yankees hits a home run against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays during the  game at Yankee Stadium  in the Bronx, New York. The Yankees won 3-0. DIGITAL IMAGE.  Mandatory Credit: Al Bello/Getty Images
Al Bello/Getty Images

With the recent suspensions in the Biogenesis scandal, steroids are a topic of discussion in many circles.

However, there are some people that take it to a different level, perpetuating lies for air time.

Last week it was Jack Clark on his radio show, who claimed that Albert Pujols' trainer told him Pujols took PEDs. Thankfully Clark was fired for those comments.

This week, it was a person pretending to be former major leaguer Shane Spencer, claiming he took steroids while with the New York Yankees.

According to ESPN New York's Wallace Matthews, the interview happened with host Mike Lindsley of ESPN Radio 104.5 The Team. By the time it was revealed that the interview was a hoax, word had already reached the Yankees:

By then, the content of the interview—the bogus "Spencer'' claimed to have taken steroids as a Yankee—had reached the Yankees clubhouse; Derek Jeter, whose name was mentioned by the hoaxster, listened to it shortly before Tuesday's game against the Angels and had Charlie Wonsowicz, the Yankees head video coordinator, call the real Shane Spencer in the clubhouse of the Somerset Patriots of the independent Atlantic League, for whom he serves as the hitting coach.

"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.''

"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..."

While station officials said they are still investigating who perpetuated the hoax, a message must be sent once again.

Lindsley has no excuse for allowing the interview to go on, knowing full well an agreement on an interview wasn't reached. Maybe there was nobody else to fill that time slot, but what happened is sickening, especially considering how volatile the subject of steroids is.

Radio and TV personalties, and writers need to be held accountable for the words they say or write. There's a difference in stating your opinion than stating your opinion as fact.

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Clark can believe all he wants that Pujols took steroids, but when he attributed that claim to someone else, he was presenting a "fact" to his listeners.

The same goes for Lindsley. When he was having the interview with the fake Spencer, listeners believed it was the real Spencer. When it's found to be a fallacy, that takes away from the credibility of not only the show, but the station itself.

While we have all enjoyed the daily jokes on Alex Rodriguez and other confirmed PED users, throwing a name out there to see if it will stick is inexcusable.

I understand the radio game is all about ratings, but you should never drag someone's name through the mud for the sake of ratings.

Doing so puts you on the same level as Ryan Braun and Lance Armstrong, both of which ruined people's careers just to save themselves.

I expect an apology and some type of disciplinary action from the radio station. This sort of stuff should not be tolerated.