Steroids in Baseball: Ken Caminiti, Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Jason Grimsley, Gregg Zaun, Ron Villone, Chris Donnels, Miguel Tejada and Stephen Randolph

Okay, I've been spending some time with the Mitchell Report -- all 409 pages. And to answer the question: if you took the over in the over/under of seven I gave out this morning, you win.

George Mitchell named nine former/current Astros in his report: Ken Caminiti, Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Jason Grimsley, Gregg Zaun, Ron Villone, Chris Donnels, Miguel Tejada and Stephen Randolph.

I've got some comments.

First, thank you, thank you, thank you, that Jeff Bagwell was not named. Bagwell was always a personal favorite of mine, so I'm happy to see him not on there.

Next, George Mitchell wrote a legal document, what is known in the business as a brief. It's a very dry document, a very long read. Cancelled checks from players to steroid suppliers are attached. As with most legal documents, the conclusions reached in the report are based on inferences and interviews. Roger Clemens did not speak to George Mitchell, but Brian McNamee did. Brian McNamee was a personal trainer for Clemens, and McNamee cooperated with Mitchell as part of a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorneys office. And McNamee details his work with Clemens, dating back to 1998 when Clemens was with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Another source for Mitchell was Kirk Radomski, a former personal trainer for the New York Mets, who also cooperated as part an agreement with the U.S. Attorneys office. It's from him we learn of Miguel Tejada.

A total of 53 of the named players were named by Radomski or McNamee, including Clemens, Pettitte and Tejada.

The only evidence that these 53 took steroids or HGH is the testimony of Radomski and McNamee and cancelled checks from some of the players to Radomski or McNamee. David Segui, one of the named players, also admitted to steroids use and provided some names, as did Jason Grimsley, who had his house raided after receiving HGH.

George Mitchell asked to speak with most of the players on the list, and they refused.

Lance Berkman was interviewed by David Dalati on 790 KBME and said that he had the choice of believing Pettitte and Clemens or believing McNamee, who's trying to prevent a long jail sentence, so he's going to go with Pettitte and Clemens. To which I respond, this is what the Pete Rose apologists said. That he was being ratted out by guys trying to avoid long jail terms. That these guys couldn't be believed. Imagine the shock these people had when Pete Rose, over a decade later, admitted to actually betting on baseball.

But overall, the report is flawed. At the end of this report, the only players that we know who definitively took steroids or HGH are David Segui, Ken Caminiti, Rafael Palmeiro, Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds, Gary Sheffield, Jason Giambi, Jeremy Giambi, Jay Gibbons and Jose Guillen. There are a lot of inferences. A lot of drawing conclusions based on assumptions.

There's a lot to read. And it's going to take a while, and I'm going on vacation, so I'll write more next week. Maybe.

Oh, and if you're curious, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa are not named as steroid users because Mitchell was not able to find evidence beyond the statements of Jose Canseco.

I'm also curious as to whether Clemens and Pettitte are now going to be met with the same contempt as Barry Bonds. Are there going to be asterisk placed next to Rocket's Cy Youngs? Does this mean that Rocket's not going into the Hall? I somehow expect to find out that Clemens and Pettitte are going to be dealt with a little differently than Bonds. But only time will tell.

P.S. There were a total of 83 names. Among those named who hadn't been linked to steroids before are: Houston's Chuck Knoblauch, Mo Vaughn, Paul Lo Duca, Kevin Brown, Eric Gagne, John Rocker and Matt Williams. -- John Royal

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