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Mitchell Report unveiled on baseball

Mitchell Report unveiled on baseball

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers did not have a player on their current roster named in former Sen. George Mitchell's report that was released on Thursday afternoon.

But a number of former Rangers were prominently mentioned in the long-awaited report, including some of the biggest names in franchise history.

Most notable was Jose Canseco, whose memoir, "Juiced," was quoted a number of times. Also named were former Rangers All-Stars Juan Gonzalez, Rafael Palmeiro, Kevin Brown and Gary Matthews Jr. as well as pitcher Eric Gagne and Jerry Hairston Jr. Gagne and Hairston played for the Rangers last year.

"Each of the 30 clubs had a player or players involved in taking illegal substances," Mitchell said on Thursday in New York in releasing the report.

Sammy Sosa's name was in the report, but only that he declined to be interviewed by the Mitchell Committee. There were no allegations or evidence brought up in regards to Sosa, who testified before a Congressional committee in March 2005. The report also only touched briefly on Canseco's time with the Rangers in 1992-94 and only in relation to Palmeiro.

"It's too bad that some guys were named, because some of it was he said, she said," said Rangers pitcher C.J. Wilson, the club's player representative. "But realistically it's good that we can finally get this chapter finished. The closer we get to a level playing field through testing, the better it will be for everybody -- players and fans.

"We're never going to be completely clean, there are always going to be guys who make bad choices. But it's good to get the drug policy where it needs to be where guys know they can't get away with anything. As a pitcher, I don't want my competitors to be cheating. Those of us who are clean need to stand up and say that it's a great thing. We're going to move forward and usher baseball into a new era."

Hairston said he was "extremely disappointed" and would have a statement in the next few days. The Mitchell Report stated that Hairston bought human growth hormone from former Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski on "two or three occasions during 2003 and 2004." The report included a photocopy of a check made out by Hairston to Radomski dated June 16, 2003.

Radomski told the investigative committee that he sent two shipments of HGH to Gagne while Gagne was pitching for the Dodgers, one to his home in Florida and another to Dodger Stadium. The report included a photocopy of an Express Mail receipt of a package from Radomski to Gagne dated Aug. 7, 2004.

Gagne pitched for the Rangers this past season until being traded to the Boston Red Sox on July 31. The Rangers expressed interest in re-signing him as a free agent this winter, but Gagne, instead, signed with the Milwaukee Brewers.

"I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a sense of relief and a sense of pride that none of our current players were involved," general manager Jon Daniels said. "I don't want to get into speculation about guys who were named. My preference would be not to have any ties to any of these issues. But this is an issue that touches all corners of the industry. We're no different in that regard but I'm focusing on the fact that no current players were involved."


"As an organization, the Texas Rangers applaud the Mitchell Report."
-- Rangers vice president Jim Sundberg

Other former Rangers named in the report were David Segui, Gregg Zaun, Mike Stanton, Chad Allen, Ismael Valdes, Steve Woodard, John Rocker, Manny Alexander and Randy Velarde.

"As an organization, the Texas Rangers applaud the Mitchell Report," Rangers vice president Jim Sundberg said. "The use of performance-enhancing drugs is a serious issue in our sport. We support the changes that have already been made and stand ready to implement new testing procedures and protocols, when approved by MLB.

"Since June 2006, the franchise has worked thousands of hours to fulfill requests from Senator Mitchell's office. We supplied information to assist the Commission in its conduct of a thorough, transparent and straightforward report. Finally, we are hopeful that the blame game will indeed come to an end and that all parties associated with the game will unite to present a shared solution to a shared problem."

The report pointed out that the Rangers have retained Dr. Jay Hoffman, a professor in health and education science and a former National Football League player, as a confidential resource for players regarding performance-enhancing substance use.

The report stated: "Jamie Reed, head athletic trainer for the Texas Rangers and President of the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainer Society, told us that because Dr. Hoffman is a former athlete, players respond very well to his anti-steroid message and are more open to accept his attestations concerning its use. Other athletic trainers and strength coaches echoed the opinion that Dr. Hoffman is an effective speaker on these issues."

"We've tried to be an industry leader in the last few years and be a forefront in educating our players about performance-enhancing drugs," Daniels said. "That fact that Jamie and Jay were named in the report is reflective of that."

The report did make mention of the Rangers re-signing Gonzalez before the 2002 season even though then-general manager John Hart was well aware of an incident that occurred the year before in Toronto. Gonzalez was playing with the Indians at the time when custom officials found steroids and other paraphernalia in unidentified luggage.

The luggage was identified as having belonged to Angel Presinal, who was Gonzalez's personal trainer. Presinal said the steroids belonged to Gonzalez.

Presinal followed Gonzalez to Texas and was seen in the Rangers clubhouse until Major League Baseball's security department ordered him not to be allowed inside.

Sundberg said if the Rangers had concerns about Gonzalez at the time, the club could not have acted upon them because of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

"We just can't second-guess what was done four years ago," Sundberg said. "Obviously, at the time, Juan seemed to be a good person to add to the club. The results of that decision have been well-documented."

Gonzalez, in his second tour with the Rangers, spent two injury-filled years with them in 2002-03 and was not the same player as he was in 1991-99, when he won two Most Valuable Player Awards and led the team to three division titles.

The report also said Daniels, in exchanging e-mails with owner Tom Hicks in December 2005, brought up concerns about then-Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada's alleged steroid use. The Rangers were apparently having trade discussions with the Orioles at the time.

"It was in one of my conversations with Tom," Daniels said. "We were talking baseball in general, and this was just one of the ideas. It wasn't something we were ready to act on. Every time you're looking at players, you look at all the factors involved to determine whether you're still going to get the production that the player has given you in the past."

The Rangers have not had a Major League player test positive for steroids since the new program was put in place two years ago. Minor League pitcher Francisco Cruceta tested positive last season and served a 50-game suspension.

The findings of Mitchell's report concerning use of performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball were released at 1 p.m. CT Thursday.

Several high-profile, superstar-caliber players were among those named in the Mitchell Report, the product of a 21-month, multimillion dollar investigation that could shape decisions, prompt punitive actions against active players, and usher in the next era of the sport.

Free agent Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte of the New York Yankees, Paul LoDuca of the Washington Nationals, Gagne and Tejada were among the most prominent former and current All-Stars to be mentioned in the lengthy report, which spans 311 pages of text, plus multiple exhibits, including photocopied evidence of signed checks, handwritten notes and shipping receipts.

The entire report is available for viewing here in a searchable, clickable version.

While the report detailed drug use in baseball by naming those accused, the report also contained 19 separate recommendations for the sport to move forward from this point, proceeding after a culture of steroids and performance enhancement grew exponentially in the late 1990s.

Mitchell's report named both Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association in assigning blame, charging leadership -- from the Commissioner to club owners and general managers -- for allowing the issue to proliferate.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"content":["drug_policy" ] }
{"content":["drug_policy" ] }