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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Copy of Eric Gagne receipt from Kirk Radomski, August 9, 2004. Eric Gagne awarded Cy Young immortality.

Below copy of Eric Gagne Express Mail receipt from Kirk Radomski, Aug. 9, 2004, from the Mitchell Report. Was this the first time for the 2003 Cy Young winner? Oct. 2003 Dodger notes said "he probably takes medication." There are still over 100 secret 'positives' from 2003 the year Gagne received immortality. Aside from Ryan Braun, only Arod's name is mentioned as a tainted award winner in the article below and without detail that his was the only name 'officially' leaked from the 2003 list. "ADDITIONAL NOTE: 7:38 p.m.: A couple of you have written to ask about whether the fact Braun tested during the playoffs -- technically after all BBWAA voting was done at end of regular season -- should matter. Not to me. First, it would be incredibly naive to believe a player would take drugs for the first time (and risk experiencing side effects on his body) during that one-or-two-week period after the regular season and with his team playing its biggest series of the year. Second, this award is for the 2011 season and folks will remember the playoffs as much as they remember anything from that year or any other season. The BBWAA should not have to be embarassed by announcing an award symbolic of that season when MLB officials knew ahead of time the player tested positive. I'm not about to let a guilty player skate on the flimsiest of technicalities. I'll let others do that, if that's the best case they can make.

Stunning news today that Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun failed a test for performance enhancing drugs weeks before he was named National League Most Valuable Player.

Nothing had been made public yet because Braun has appealed the findings. His representatives say there are highly unusual circumstances surrounding the case but that will be up to them to prove.

It's worth noting here that no player has ever successfully appealed a positive test result. There's a first time for everything, I suppose. And Braun seems pretty convinced he'll be exonerated. We'll see.

But what concerns me is that members of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) were allowed to vote Braun in as MVP while Major League Baseball officials kept everyone in the dark. Now, I can understand why those officials would want to keep quiet and protect Braun's right to an appeal.

But in fairness, I'd hope they also also understand that BBWAA members should -- if the appeal does not succeed -- be given a chance to re-cast their votes for MVP.

This isn't the first time an active player linked to performance enhancing drugs has been given an award by the BBWAA -- as former MVP Alex Rodriguez can attest.

But this is the first time baseball officials were aware of a positive test before writers were asked to vote on the player suspected.

I'm all for due process and Braun's right to appeal.

But that doesn't change the fact that he should not be allowed to keep his award without a re-vote if he fails -- as has every player so far -- to successfully appeal. Because let's be honest; we all know there's no way on earth Braun would have won that vote over Matt Kemp of the Dodgers had writers known of the failed test beforehand....

I have a big problem with the fact baseball officials knew ahead of time that one of the biggest BBWAA awards given out each year was going to a guy who was -- in all likelihood, barring a landmark successful appeal -- going to be exposed as a cheat.

So, an easy solution.

Conduct a re-vote. Create a precendent for this kind of thing. If a guy tests positive before results are announced, make it clear that he will not be allowed to keep any award without it being put back in the hands of voters.

This isn't revolutionary thinking. In the Olympics, medal winners are stripped of their medal awards all the time if they test positive. Sometimes, it takes years to do the retroactive thing....

Again, if Braun wins on appeal, he can keep the MVP award.

But even if he does win, the BBWAA should immediately inform baseball officials that this will be the rule going forward. Anyone who tests positive before voting results are announced will be subjected to a re-vote."...

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""No one's asking him to return the Cy Young Award."

"But more importantly, and lest we forget for a millisecond, excluding a bio paragraph, here's the section of the Mitchell Report devoted to Eric Gagne.

"Paul Lo Duca and Gagné were teammates with the Dodgers from 1999 to 2004. Although he is not sure when, [Former Mets' staffer and performance enhancing drug dealer, Kirk] Radomski recalled that Lo Duca called Radomski and told Radomski that Gagné was with him and wanted to buy human growth hormone. Gagné then came onto the phone and asked Radomski a question about how to get air out of a syringe. This is the only time Radomski spoke to Gagné.

  • Radomski said that Lo Duca thereafter placed orders on Gagné’s behalf.

Radomski said that he mailed two shipments to Gagné, each consisting of two kits of human growth hormone. One was sent to Gagné’s home in Florida; the other was sent to Dodger Stadium. Federal agents seized from Radomski’s home a copy of an Express Mail receipt showing a shipment to “Dodger Stadium, c/o Eric Gagne – L.A. Dodgers Home Club, 1000 Elysian Park Ave., Los Angeles, California 90012” dated August 9, 2004. A copy of this receipt is included in the Appendix and is shown below. Radomski said that this was for one of the shipments of human growth hormone to Gagné.

Lo Duca paid Radomski for one of the shipments to Gagné by cashier’s check in the amount of $3,200. The Lo Duca checks supplied by Radomski reflect two payments of $3,200 (each the cost of two kits) within a six-week time frame during the summer of 2004.

Radomski said that, on one other occasion, Gagné sent Radomski $3,200 in cash by FedEx.

According to notes of the October 2003 meetings of Dodgers officials, it was reportedly said of Gagné that: “he probably takes medication and tendons and ligaments don’t build up just the muscle.”

When the Boston Red Sox were considering acquiring Gagné, a Red Sox official made specific inquiries about Gagné’s possible use of steroids. In a November 1, 2006 email to a Red Sox scout, general manager Theo Epstein asked, “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?”

The scout, Mark Delpiano, responded, '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 self. What made him a tenacious closer was the max effort plus stuff…Mentality without the plus weapons and without steroid help probably creates a large risk in bounce back durability and ability to throw average while allowing the changeup to play as it once did…Personally, durability (or lack of) will follow Gagne.'

In order to provide Gagné with information about these allegations and to give him an opportunity to respond, I asked him to meet with me; he declined."

The "I" in the above sentence refers to George Mitchell."

Below is a graphic of the Express Mail receipt referenced earlier.... [posted above, ed.]

So what if Gagne's tired of talking about it. No one's asking him to return the Cy Young Award, or the last $20 million L.A. paid him to accomplish absolutely nothing."...

"The Dodgers' Eric Gagne won the National League Cy Young Award on Thursday, the first relief pitcher to be so honored in 11 years.

Gagne...received 28 of 32 first-place votes and 146 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Assn. of America.

In Gagne's honor, a huge Canadian flag flapped in the breeze beside Old Glory beyond the center-field fence at Dodger Stadium on Thursday afternoon.

"It's so good for baseball in Montreal and Quebec and all of Canada," said Gagne...

The Dodgers finished with an 85-77 record and failed to make the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season....

Only in the All-Star game, when Gagne gave up a two-run go-ahead homer to Texas' Hank Blalock in the eighth inning, did the Dodger right-hander fail to hold the lead for his team. The AL defeated the NL and earned home-field advantage for the World Series....

How that success will affect contract dealings with the Dodgers remains to be seen.

Scott Boras, Gagne's agent, said Wednesday he expected the team to reward Gagne

  • with a lucrative contract befitting a pitcher of his stature."...
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5/18/2008, "Feds Have 104 Positive [2003] MLB Drug Tests," Newser

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11/18/2009, "The Cy Young Award changes your life forever,” said Sutcliffe, leaning back in a chair, placing hands behind his head and taking a look back at a memorable season that took place 25 years ago. “For one year – one magical year – I was the best,” said Sutcliffe."...

"Even after the revelation that Alex Rodriguez headed a list of 104 players who failed a steroids test six years ago, the executive director of the players' union called it "unlikely" that his association would follow the recommendation of several players to release the entire list."

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