Mitchell Report and the Nats

So lots of people are named in the Mitchell report. Hooray for hearsay, I’m not that into this whole thing, but I figured people would be curious about the Nationals and big name former Nats on the list. So here we go, #1 on the list of Nationals players is Paul Lo Duca. Also included are Nook Logan and Jose Guillen. The Lo Duca one is very intriguing because it shows that the teams knew perfectly well about the steroid use as well. I’m leaving them unedited, without commentary (internally) so you don’t have to scour the PDF to read what it says about these guys. If it’s in italics, it’s the direct quote from the Mitchell Report. I got it here on espn.com.

Paul Lo Duca

Paul Lo Duca is a catcher who has played with three teams in Major League Baseball since 1998, the Los Angeles Dodgers (7 seasons), Florida Marlins (2 seasons), and New York Mets (2 seasons). He has appeared in four All-Star games.

Todd Hundley referred Lo Duca to Radomski when Lo Duca played for the Dodgers. Radomski estimated that he engaged in six or more transactions with Lo Duca. In some transactions, Radomski sent the performance enhancing substances by overnight mail to Lo Duca’s home or to the Dodgers clubhouse and Lo Duca sent Radomski a check a week or so later.

Radomski produced copies of three checks from Lo Duca, each in the amount of $3,200. All are included in the Appendix. Radomski said that each check was in payment for two kits of human growth hormone.

Lo Duca’s name, with an address and telephone number, is listed in the address book seized from Radomski’s residence by federal agents. During that search, federal agents also seized a note from Lo Duca to Radomski. It read:

Kirk,

Sorry! But for some reason they sent the check back to me. I haven’t been able to call you back because my phone is TOAST! I have a new # it is [Lo Duca’s phone number is listed here]. Please leave your # again because I lost all of my phonebook with the other phone.
Thanks
Paul

In 2002, Lo Duca was quoted by Sports Illustrated in an article responding to Ken Caminiti’s admission of steroid use. Lo Duca was reported to have said: “If you’re battling for a job, and the guy you’re battling with is using steroids, then maybe you say, ‘Hey, to compete, I need to use steroids because he’s using them . . . Don’t get me wrong. I don’t condone it. But it’s a very tough situation. It’s really all about survival for some guys.”

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 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. 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.

The handwritten note shown below on Dodger Stadium stationary from Lo Duca to Radomski was seized from Radomski’s house during a search by federal agents. Radomski said that this note was included with a check Lo Duca sent Radomski as payment for human growth hormone.

Makes the loudmouth leader sound a little two-faced at the least. Hey, now Elijah Dukes isn’t the only one on the team with experience with illegal substances.

On to the next guy, as of Wednesday Logan can be filed under “former” National, he was non-tendered. He gone.

Exavier “Nook” Logan

Nook Logan is an outfielder who has played in Major League Baseball since 2004 for the Detroit Tigers and Washington Nationals.

Rondell White, a Tigers teammate, referred Logan to Radomski. Radomski stated that he sold Logan one kit of human growth hormone just before federal agents searched Radomski’s house in December 2005. Radomski mailed the package to Logan, who paid by money order. Radomski recalled having between six and eight conversations with Logan about the use of performance enhancing substances. In the course of one of these conversations, Logan confirmed that he had received the shipment from Radomski. Radomski still had Logan’s phone number in his cell phone directory at the time of his final interview with me and provided me with the phone number.

In order to give Logan the opportunity to respond to these allegations, I asked him to meet with me; he declined.

I’m happy to say the Nook Logan is no longer a Washington National. Not because he was named in the Mitchell report, but because of the .265/.304/.345, numbers as shameful as any steroid allegations.

Jose Guillen

In an article on November 6, 2007, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Seattle Mariners outfielder Jose Guillen purchased human growth hormone, testosterone, and other steroids through the Palm Beach Rejuvenation Center in multiple transactions over a three year period between 2002 and 2004 and possibly also in 2005.

According to the article, Guillen placed his first order with the center on May 1,
2002, when he was playing for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He paid $2,180 by wire transfer for human growth hormone, testosterone cypionate, nandrolone, and syringes. On September 19, 2003, when he was playing for the Oakland Athletics, he used a credit card to purchase $2,083 worth of human growth hormone (Genotropin), testosterone propionate, stanozolol, and syringes, which were shipped to him at the Oakland Coliseum. In July 2004, when Guillen was playing for the Anaheim Angels, he “placed a $6,000 order for [human] growth hormone, testosterone propionate and syringes,” in addition to clomiphene and Novarel. The article also reported that records reflected two additional orders from Guillen for human growth hormone and syringes: in September 2003, when he was playing for Oakland and in June 2005, when he was playing for the Washington Nationals. The article said that it could not be verified from the records the reporters reviewed whether these orders had been sent to Guillen.

The Chronicle article suggested that at least some of Guillen’s purchases of human growth hormone were based on prescriptions that had been written by the same suspended dentist who reportedly wrote prescriptions for human growth hormone for Paul Byrd.

Neither I nor any member of my investigative staff had any prior knowledge of
any allegation about Guillen. The Commissioner’s Office met with Guillen to discuss the allegations. On December 6, 2007, the Commissioner’s Office announced a 15-day suspension of Guillen for violation of the joint drug program, to take effect at the start of the 2008 season. According to news reports, Michael Weiner, the general counsel of the Players Association, said that Guillen would appeal the suspension.

The whole thing isn’t all that exciting. People were named, but most of them were due to suspicion, really just hearsay. People were not named, and probably there are lots of them that should have been but didn’t get discovered. It doesn’t tell us all that much different. This is probably all I will say about this whole report, unless I need fuel to disparage Lo Duca at some point during the season. What I do hope comes from this report is change in policy, hopefully this will help reduce the number of performance enhancing drug users in the sport.

One Response to Mitchell Report and the Nats

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