Radomski at heart of Mitchell's findings

Radomski at heart of Mitchell's findings

NEW YORK -- A man whose primary functions in the Mets' clubhouse 20 years ago were handling players' laundry and general housekeeping today has a higher profile than some of the celebrities he served. Kirk Radomski now occupies a conspicuous place in baseball history -- unwanted as it may be. He stands as a purveyor of the highest order in two areas, having peddled performance-enhancing drugs and, more recently, information about his clientele.

Information provided by Radomski clearly was the primary ingredient that fueled the investigation of former Sen. George Mitchell into steroid use in Major League Baseball. That investigation culminated Thursday afternoon with the release of a widely anticipated and -- in some corners -- dreaded Report that names names and details transactions involving players.

The 311-page document identifies 89 active and former players with allegations of involvement in the latest episode of baseball's ongoing battle with performance-enhancing drug use and the game's effort to protect the sanctity of its on-field product and the integrity of its records.

Big leaguers who sought to strengthen their bodies by questionable and sometimes illegal means in a quest for achievement and salary sought out Radomski during an 11-year period, 1995 to 2005, that followed his 10-year tenure in the Mets' employ. And once Radomski was indicted, Mitchell called on the 37-year-old former batboy to strengthen his report.

In April, Radomski pleaded guilty to distributing steroids. His cooperation in the 21-month Mitchell investigation was part of a plea agreement. He has admitted to providing scores of players and/or their associates -- not necessarily members of the Mets -- various substances, including anabolic steroids and human growth hormone.

Not yet sentenced, Radomski faces as much as 25 years in prison and $50,000 in fines. He was seen as a primary provider of drugs for baseball players following the closing of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative in California in 2003.

Eighty-four pages in the Report are devoted to Radomski, his history and his involvement. Copies of checks and money orders he received and saved are included. No other name appears as often as Radomski's does. Sixty-four players, many of them current and former members of the Mets and Yankees, are implicated in his 84 pages. The players include former Mets Lenny Dykstra, Todd Hundley and Todd Pratt, and former Yankees Roger Clemens, David Justice and Chuck Knoblauch.

In response to a question posed during his news conference at the Grand Hyatt on Thursday, Mitchell pointed out that the prevalence of New York players could be attributed to Radomski living in the state.

The Mitchell Report specified which players were involved with Radomski. It had been reported, months before the release of the Report, that Radomski had turned over documents detailing his business with big league players. The Report makes mention of Radomski's "address book," which it characterizes as "a collection of unbound papers that lists names, addresses and telephone numbers."

The Report links Radomski to former Yankees and Blue Jays strength and conditioning coach Brian McNamee, and links McNamee to Clemens. McNamee, the Report says, injected Clemens with steroids while each was with the Blue Jays.

Radomski told investigators the genesis of his involvement was in his responses to players' inquiries. He had used steroids at one point in the early 1990s because he was interested in competitive bodybuilding. His appearance at the Mets' 1993 Spring Training camp was noticeably different, the Report said, and players' inquiries began. His business grew as a result. The Report addresses the amounts of money that changed hands in some, but not all, scenarios.

The earliest scenarios discussed in the Report appear to be those involving Dykstra. Radomski is quoted as saying he had become "very close with Lenny," and that Dykstra's "increased size was noticeable" in Spring Training in 1989. Dykstra had also appeared quite larger the previous spring, when he denied having used steroids. The Report says Dykstra acknowledged his steroid use to Radomski.

The Report also tells of a time in 1994 when Radomski injected former Mets reliever Josias Manzanillo with steroids in the team's clubhouse at Shea Stadium, and says Manzanillo told investigators that Radomski had encouraged him to purchase the drugs.

Radomski was identified as "Murdoch" by Manzanillo, a nickname given to him by his co-workers in the Mets' clubhouse because of his habit of embellishing stories, similar to a character of that name on "The A-Team."

The report also includes a copy of a note to Radomski from Lo Duca -- written on Dodgers stationary -- that was seized by federal agents during a search of Radomski's home. Radomski told the investigators it arrived with a check covering the cost of human growth hormone.

Radomski now runs an auto-detailing business on Long Island. He had no comment for reporters parked outside of the facility, Pro Touch Detail Center, on Thursday.

Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.