The fallout from George Mitchell's 409-page report
(pdf) into baseball's Steroids Era (Mitchell's words) is yet to fully drop. We're still combing the report for the most explosive revelations -- no big surprise that Yankee greats Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte juiced -- but for now, this Yankee fan wants to bring you his moment of schadenfreude
. To wit: the 2007 World Champion Boston Red Sox. According to Mitchell, Sox general manager Theo Epstein acquired flop reliever Eric Gagne nearly a year
after learning of serious circumstantial evidence of Gagne's steroid use.
Gagne and Paul Lo Duca were teammates in Los Angeles from 1999 to 2004. During that time, Gagne used Lo Duca, who went on to a beloved career catching for the Mets (sorry, Paul), as his hook-up to steroid and human-growth hormone pusher Kirk Radomski. The Red Sox scouted Gagne, once a valuable relief pitcher, after the 2006 season, when Epstein began overhauling the Sox pitching staff. Yet a certain concern lingered. On November 1, 2006, Epstein emailed his scout, Mark Delpiano, "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?"
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 [sic] self. What made him a tenacious closer was the max effort plus stuff.
Yet the Sox picked up Gagne from the Texas Rangers at the trade deadline during the 2007 season. What does that say about Epstein's commitment to a steroid-free championship team?
Sour grapes from a Yankee fan? Yeah, guilty as charged. But if there's a silver lining here, it's that Gagne, a juicer, stunk, and a certain thoroughly-unlikeable-but-steroid/HGH-free slugger is going to redeem baseball's holiest record.