Scott Proctor has pitched with big name teams such as the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees but as he’s trying to make a comeback at age 36, he admits to still getting nervous, even in Spring Training.
“Once I’ve jogged from the bullpen and haven’t tripped, I’m fine,” Proctor said. “That’s the nervous part for me.”
In a piece that ran earlier today on SF Gate, Proctor opened up about his past struggles with alcohol and right now, he’s in camp with the defending champion San Francisco Giants, trying to work his way back to the Majors.
The popular narrative when Proctor was a member of the New York Yankees was that he was abused, or more that his pitching arm was abused by then-Manager Joe Torre. Proctor was a key member of the Yankees’ bullpen in 2006 and 2007. Proctor says that contrary to popular belief, Torre relying on him so much was not the reason for his downfall, alcohol was.
His binge drinking was so severe, he’d stop either when he ran out of booze or when he passed out. Proctor even said that teammate Mariano Rivera had tried for a long time to get him to admit that he had a drinking problem. Proctor finally decided to stop while he was rehabbing from Tommy John surgery and he has been clean for four years.
Proctor spent the last year in South Korea pitching for the Doosan Bears.
“I was put in a role where I was able to make an impact being a closer,” he said. “I just got with some good guys over there, some good coaches, and thank the Lord I had a good year.”
Proctor, who had been tinkering with his sinker when he was with Atlanta, perfected it last year and it helped him save 35 games for the Bears.
I’m very happy for Scott Proctor. Stories of redemption are always great to see. I’m glad he was able to turn his life around, to get healthy and I hope that he pitches well enough to earn a job with the Giants.