The real Shane Spencer did beaucoup damage for the New York Yankees as a rookie in 1998, particularly by hitting three grand slams over 10 days in September.
A reportedly fake Shane Spencer did beaucoup damage to the real Spencer's reputation, along with that of some former Yankees teammates, by going on ESPN Radio in Albany, N.Y. on Monday and telling steroid-laced lies about himself and Roger Clemens, along with other falsehoods about Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera.
The person pretending to be Spencer admitted to "dabbling" in steroids, said that Clemens took them "no question," and that nobody should assume that Jeter and Rivera didn't. He also tried knocking Jeter down a few pegs on the leadership totem pole.
Well, it was Jeter who was listening to the interview a day later and came to the rescue (of course), having one of the Yankees staff call Spencer to alert him. That's why he's the Captain!
Spencer, who told ESPN New York by phone that he heard a portion of the interview and "about threw up," confirmed that he and ESPN Radio 104.5 The Team host Mike Lindsley had been trying to set up an interview through email. A connection on the air was never made, yet someone pretending to be Spencer called in and conducted an interview anyway — much of which you can hear here.
Spencer also issued a statement:
"In response to an interview that ESPN Radio 104.5 FM host Mike Lindsley claims to have done with me on Tuesday afternoon, I would like to set the record straight that I did not participate in any such interview.
"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.
"I am hearing about this interview from friends, family, former teammates, and fans. It is very disappointing that someone was able to go on the air as me and speak for me about these topics.
"I would like to set the record straight that the interview was not done with me and all the opinions were not mine.''
He was hacked! Though it seems unlikely, somebody might have intercepted Spencer's email correspondence (such software/hardware exists and is readily accessible) and hijacked his identity for a while. Spencer, who played in parts of seven seasons with the Yankees, Indians, Rangers and Mets, won three World Series titles with the Bronx. So he was around, even as a bit player. He would know things. But it wasn't him talking to ESPN, and he says all of the allegations are untrue.
After leaving the interview podcast posted online for more than a day, the station took it down Tuesday night. It's a good thing that, despite the PED hysteria of the moment, word of Spencer's interview didn't become widespread until after it became known as fake.
Now, Spencer can go back to his job as a batting coach for the Somerset Patriots of the independent Atlantic League. What, nobody has any questions about that?