Here at UmpBump, we slog through 409-page congressional reports so you don’t have to! Thus we proudly present the Mitchell Report, slightly condensed to provide only the juiciest gossip and none of that boring crap.
I am currently reading through the Mitchell Report. I will post excerpts I find interesting as I go, updating along the way. To kick things off, a rather touching story about David Segui:
Segui’s name, with two addresses and several telephone numbers, is listed in the address book seized by federal agents from Radomski’s residence. Radomski’s 2004-05 telephone records include eleven calls made by Radomski to Segui’s number between July and October 2004, when Segui retired from baseball. Segui is the only player who called Radomski after news of his plea agreement was reported in the media. Segui asked Radomski if there was anything he could do for him. Radomski told Segui that he likely would have to tell the government about Segui’s steroid and growth hormone use, and Segui responded that he did not care. (pp 151-152)
Rondell White‘s story probably illuminates the motivations of many players for taking performance-enhancing drugs:
Radomski recalled teaching White “a lot about steroids and HGH” and “walking him through the HGH injections for two hours on the phone one night.” White has had injury problems during his career (including four trips to the disabled list) and told Radomski that he needed performance enhancing substances to “stay on the field.” (p 167)
And the truth behind Roger Clemens‘ sudden resurgence in Toronto, after he was thought to be “in the twilight of his career” by the Red Sox. It also explains that Clemens was likely using steroids to keep from tiring in the second half of the season as he aged:
In 1995, McCleary was hired as the assistant general manager for the Toronto Blue Jays. In 1998, that club hired McNamee as its strength and conditioning coach, and he served in that position from 1998 to 2000. Roger Clemens signed with Toronto in 1997, after spending the first thirteen years of his career with the Red Sox. After McNamee began working for the Blue Jays in 1998, he and Clemens both lived at the Toronto SkyDome (there is a hotel attached to the stadium). McNamee and Clemens became close professionally while in Toronto, but they were not close socially or personally.
Jose Canseco was playing for the Blue Jays in 1998. On or about June 8-10, 1998, the Toronto Blue Jays played an away series with the Florida Marlins. McNamee attended a lunch party that Canseco hosted at his home in Miami. McNamee stated that, during this luncheon, he observed Clemens, Canseco, and another person he did not know meeting inside Canseco’s house, although McNamee did not personally attend that meeting. Canseco told members of my investigative staff that he had numerous conversations with Clemens about the benefits of Deca-Durabolin and Winstrol and how to “cycle” and “stack” steroids. Canseco has made similar statements publicly. Toward the end of the road trip which included the Marlins series, or shortly after the Blue Jays returned home to Toronto, Clemens approached McNamee and, for the first time, brought up the subject of using steroids. Clemens said that he was not able to inject himself, and he asked for McNamee’s help.
Later that summer, Clemens asked McNamee to inject him with Winstrol, which Clemens supplied. McNamee knew the substance was Winstrol because the vials Clemens gave him were so labeled. McNamee injected Clemens approximately four times in the buttocks over a several-week period with needles that Clemens provided. Each incident took place in Clemens’s apartment at the SkyDome. McNamee never asked Clemens where he obtained the steroids. According to McNamee, from the time that McNamee injected Clemens with Winstrol through the end of the 1998 season, Clemens’s performance showed remarkable improvement. During this period of improved performance, Clemens told McNamee that the steroids “had a pretty good effect” on him. McNamee said that Clemens also was training harder and dieting better during this time.
In 1999, Clemens was traded to the New York Yankees. McNamee remained under contract with the Blue Jays for the 1999 season. In 2000, the Yankees hired McNamee as the assistant strength and conditioning coach under Jeff Mangold. According to McNamee, the Yankees hired him because Clemens persuaded them to do so. In this capacity, McNamee worked with all of the Yankees players. McNamee was paid both by the Yankees and by Clemens personally. Clemens hired McNamee to train him during portions of several weeks in the off-season. McNamee also trained Clemens personally for one to two weeks during spring training and a few times during the season. McNamee served as the Yankees’ assistant strength and conditioning coach through the 2001 season.
According to McNamee, during the middle of the 2000 season Clemens made it clear that he was ready to use steroids again. During the latter part of the regular season, McNamee injected Clemens in the buttocks four to six times with testosterone from a bottle labeled either Sustanon 250 or Deca-Durabolin that McNamee had obtained from Radomski. McNamee stated that during this same time period he also injected Clemens four to six times with human growth hormone he received from Radomski, after explaining to Clemens the potential benefits and risks of use. McNamee believed that it was probably his idea that Clemens try human growth hormone. Radomski instructed McNamee how to inject human growth hormone. On each occasion, McNamee administered the injections at Clemens’s apartment in New York City. McNamee said that he and Clemens did not have any conversations regarding performance enhancing substances from late 2000 until August 2001. McNamee did, however, train Clemens and Andy Pettitte during the off-season at their homes in Houston. Clemens often invited other major league players who lived in the Houston area to train with him.
McNamee’s training relationship with Clemens and others has been described publicly. Peter Gammons reported during spring training 2001:
Brandon Smith, an apprentice trainer with the Yankees, describes Roger
Clemens’ day as follows: “He’s one of the first players in every morning,
runs, does his program with Andy Pettitte, does the team program
workout, goes to the weight room, leaves, plays 18 holes of golf and
finally meets (trainer) Brian McNamee at 6 .. . . and a few other players –
for another workout. It’s incredible how much energy Roger has.”
According to McNamee, Clemens advised him in August 2001 that he was again ready to use steroids. Shortly thereafter, McNamee injected Clemens with Sustanon or Deca-Durabolin on four to five occasions at Clemens’s apartment. According to McNamee, he again obtained these drugs from Kirk Radomski. McNamee concluded from Clemens’s statements and conduct that Clemens did not like using human growth hormone (Clemens told him that he did not like the “bellybutton shot”). To McNamee’s knowledge, Clemens did not use human growth hormone in 2001.
McNamee was not retained by the Yankees after the 2001 season. After that season, Clemens never again asked McNamee to inject him with performance enhancing substances, and McNamee had no further discussions with Clemens about such substances. McNamee stated that Clemens did not tell him why he stopped asking him to administer performance enhancing substances, and McNamee has no knowledge about whether Clemens used performance enhancing substances after 2001.
During the years that McNamee stated he facilitated Clemens’s use of steroids and human growth hormone, McNamee’s discussions with Clemens about use of these drugs were limited. McNamee assumed that Clemens used performance enhancing substances during the second half of the season so that he would not tire, but they did not discuss this directly. It was Clemens who made the decision when he would use anabolic steroids or human growth hormone. McNamee stated that he tried to educate Clemens about these substances; he “gave him as much information as possible.” Clemens continued to train with McNamee after he was dismissed by the Yankees, according to both McNamee and press reports. In October 2006, after the Los Angeles Times reported that the names of Clemens and McNamee were among those that had been redacted from an affidavit in support of a search warrant for the residence of Jason Grimsley as allegedly involved with the illegal use of performance enhancing substances, Clemens was reported to have said: “I’ll continue to use Mac [McNamee] to train me. He’s one of a kind.”
On May 15, 2007, the New York Daily News reported that Clemens had cut ties to McNamee. McNamee denied that and told us that he trained Clemens after the article was published. He added that Clemens now has a home in the New York area, and McNamee personally installed a gym there.
Radomski knew McNamee was acting as personal trainer for Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, and Chuck Knoblauch (among others), and he suspected McNamee was giving the performance enhancing substances to some of his clients. Occasionally, McNamee acknowledged good performances by Knoblauch or Clemens by “dropping hints,” such as “[h]e’s on the program now.”
Clemens appears to be one of the two people associated with baseball – Andy Pettitte is the other – who have remained loyal to McNamee after he left the Yankees. Clemens has remained a source of income for McNamee up to and including 2007. (pp 168-175)
Andy Pettitte’s story reveals the pitcher’s eagerness for artificial help recovering from injury and also his anxiety about getting caught:
McNamee began serving as Pettitte’s personal trainer and started assisting Pettitte in off-season workouts after the 1999 season. According to McNamee, during the 2001-02 offseason, Pettitte asked him about human growth hormone. McNamee said that he discouraged Pettitte from using human growth hormone at that time.
From April 21 to June 14, 2002, Pettitte was on the disabled list with elbow tendonitis.395 McNamee said that Pettitte called him while Pettitte was rehabilitating his elbow in Tampa, where the Yankees have a facility, and asked again about human growth hormone. Pettitte stated that he wanted to speed his recovery and help his team.
McNamee traveled to Tampa at Pettitte’s request and spent about ten days assisting Pettitte with his rehabilitation. McNamee recalled that he injected Pettitte with human growth hormone that McNamee obtained from Radomski on two to four occasions. Pettitte paid McNamee for the trip and his expenses; there was no separate payment for the human growthhormone.
According to McNamee, around the time in 2003 that the BALCO searches became public, Pettitte asked what he should say if a reporter asked Pettitte whether he ever used performance enhancing substances. McNamee told him he was free to say what he wanted, but that he should not go out of his way to bring it up. McNamee also asked Pettitte not to mention his name. McNamee never discussed these substances with Pettitte again. (pp175-176)
And here’s a charming tale from HOF balloteer David Justice:
Radomski said he made one sale to Justice, which occurred after the 2000 World Series. Justice played for the Yankees that year. Justice paid Radomski by check for two or three kits of human growth hormone. Radomski said that he cashed this check. Brian McNamee recalled that Justice asked him about human growth hormone in 2000 or 2001, while McNamee and Justice were both with the Yankees. According to McNamee, Justice admitted in this conversation that he had obtained human growth hormone from Radomski.
We interviewed David Justice before we had knowledge of the Radomski and McNamee allegations. Justice denied using performance enhancing substances himself, but he provided the names of many players who, he suspected, had used steroids. He emphasized, however, that he did not have direct knowledge of any use by these players. (pp181)
As for the see-no-evil-hear-no-evil attitude of MLB, this story about Chris Donnels does the trick. Nice to know the trainers care about the health of the players in their charge:
Donnels said that he told Dodgers athletic trainer Matt Wilson that he was considering using performance enhancing substances. Wilson told him to “look it up on the computer” and said “I don’t need to hear anything about it.” (193)
During the recitation of offenders, the report mostly stays away from editorializing (though as is obvious above, the editorial POV can be made clear through a careful use of quotes and the thoughtful juxtaposition of certain facts), with this notable exception, in the section about Adam Piatt:
After Radomski’s guilty plea was publicly announced, Piatt’s lawyer contacted us. We later interviewed Piatt, who voluntarily admitted his use of performance enhancing substances. He accepted full responsibility for his actions and said that he had learned an important life lesson as a result. Piatt should be commended for his candor, for his willingness to admit that he made a mistake, and for accepting responsibility for his actions. (p199)
Piatt’s honesty results in an interesting look at what one player went through while trying to decide whether or not to use steroids. In 2001, just a year after getting called up, Piatt suffered a viral infection and “lost 24 pounds in 10 days.” After the illness, he struggled to get back in shape and be the player he’d been before. And so he started researching PEDs.
Piatt believed he initially obtained human growth hormone and either testosterone or Deca-Durabolin from Radomski. The substances sat unused for a long time, however, before he tried them. He was more concerned with the possible long-term health risks than with the ethical issues.
He also thought about the problems he was having in baseball. A friend on the team told Piatt that he lacked the bat speed he had enjoyed before his illness. Ultimately, Piatt began using performance enhancing substances during the 2002-03 off-season. Piatt’s typical regimen was to take one shot of testosterone per week for three to five weeks. He also injected himself with human growth hormone every day until he contracted carpal tunnel syndrome. He talked to Radomski about this side effect and then decreased the frequency of his use.
Survey drug testing was conducted in Major League Baseball in 2003. Piatt did not change his regimen because of that testing. He was tested sometime during the summer. Piatt retired from baseball in 2004 at the age of 28 because he had lost his love for the game. He believes that he could have played longer. According to Piatt, the time he used illegal substances was the only time he did not enjoy baseball. He thought he had “compromised something.” (pp199-200)
Piatt’s testimony also provides a second angle on Miguel Tejada, aside from the details in Jose Canseco’s book Juiced and aside from the “vitamin” scandal with Rafael Palmeiro:
In 2003, Adam Piatt’s locker was located next to Tejada’s in the Oakland Athletics clubhouse. According to Piatt, Tejada asked specifically if he had any steroids. Piatt believed that Tejada asked him because Piatt was in good shape and generally friendly with him.
Piatt had several conversations with Tejada before a transaction occurred. Piatt admitted he had access to steroids and human growth hormone and agreed to obtain them for Tejada. Piatt recalled that he provided Tejada with testosterone or Deca-Durabolin, as well as human growth hormone. Piatt emphasized that he did not know whether Tejada actually used the substances. (p202)
Piatt’s bank provided two checks deposited into Piatt’s account that had been written to him from Miguel Tejada. The checks are dated March 21, 2003 and are in the amounts of $3,100 and $3,200 respectively.
More front office complicity comes to light in the case of Paul Lo Duca:
According to the notes of an internal discussion among Los Angeles Dodgers officials in October 2003 that were referred to above, it was reportedly said of Lo Duca during the meetings:
Steroids aren’t being used anymore on him. Big part of this. Might have some value to trade . . . Florida might have interest. . . Got off the steroids . . . Took away a lot of hard line drives. . . Can get comparable value back would consider trading. . . . If you do trade him, will get back on the stuff and try to show you he can have a good year. That’s his makeup. Comes to play. Last year of contract, playing for 05.
On June 26, 2004, Lo Duca wrote a check to Radomski for $3,200. On July 30, 2004, the Dodgers traded Lo Duca, Guillermo Mota, and Juan Encarnacion to the Marlins.420 On August 7, 2004, Lo Duca issued another check to Radomski for $3,200. In January 2005, Lo Duca signed a three-year contract with the Marlins. (pp209-210)
And I guess we can finally put the mystery of Eric Gagne‘s sudden suckage to bed, too:
Paul Lo Duca and Gagné were teammates with the Dodgers from 1999 to 2004. Although he is not sure when, Radomski recalled that Lo Duca called Radomski and told Radomski that Gagné was with him and wanted to buy human growth hormone. Gagné then came onto the phone and asked Radomski a question about how to get air out of a syringe. This is the only time Radomski spoke to Gagné. Radomski said that Lo Duca thereafter placed orders on Gagné’s behalf.
Radomski said that he mailed two shipments to Gagné, each consisting of two kits of human growth hormone. One was sent to Gagné’s home in Florida; the other was sent to Dodger Stadium. (p217)
And it seems that paying for steroids can get very complicated. So far, I’ve read about one player mailing money to his dealer in a team yearbook; many players sending personal checks and some sending cashiers checks. But so far, this takes the cake:
Radomski said that, on one other occasion, Gagné sent Radomski $3,200 in cash by FedEx. (p218)
But the biggest mystery of all is yet to come. It may require a separate special investigation by Senator Mitchell. Because logic cannot explain why Theo Epstein went ahead with the Gagne trade after the following exchange:
When the Boston Red Sox were considering acquiring Gagné, a Red Sox official made specific inquiries about Gagné’s possible use of steroids. In a November 1, 2006 email to a Red Sox scout, general manager Theo Epstein asked, “Have you done any digging on Gagne? I know the Dodgers think he was a steroid guy. Maybe so. What do you hear on his medical?”
The scout, Mark Delpiano, responded,
Some digging on Gagne and steroids IS the issue. Has had a checkered medical past throughout career including minor leagues. Lacks the poise and commitment to stay healthy, maintain body and re invent self. What made him a tenacious closer was the max effort plus stuff . . . Mentality without the plus weapons and without steroid help probably creates a large risk in bounce back durability and ability to throw average while allowing the changeup to play as it once did . . . Personally, durability (or lack of) will follow Gagne . (p219)
There was a similar exchange inside the Sox FO about Brendan Donnelly, who was not offered a contract by the Red Sox (in news that was oh-so-coincidentally announced this morning). Donnelly had a solid start to the 2007 season but had to shut down. He had Tommy John surgery and will not return until late next season (if at all).
In considering whether to trade for Donnelly in 2007, Red Sox baseball operations personnel internally discussed concerns that Donnelly was using performance
enhancing substances. In an email to vice president of player personnel Ben Charington [sic] dated December 13, 2006, Zack Scott of the Red Sox baseball operations staff wrote of Donnelly: “He was a juice guy but his velocity hasn’t changed a lot over the years . . . If he was a juice guy, he could be a breakdown candidate.”427 Kyle Evans of the baseball operations staff agreed with these concerns, responding in an email that “I haven’t heard many good things about him, w[ith] significant steroid rumors.” (p224)
For the cynics out there who say steroids increase the entertainment factor of the game, here’s a chilling, if admittedly slightly funny in a not-funny-at-all-way, note from the Chad Allen file:
Allen said he experienced a surge in female hormones that resulted in the development of cysts in his chest. Radomski sent him a drug called Femara to counteract that effect. (p227)
Did I miss any particularly juicy bits, sportsfans? Put ‘em in the comments!