The Mitchell Report Revisited, Part VI
Donnels, a teammate of Todd Hundley with the Dodgers in 2000, admitted to George Mitchell that Kirk Radomski was supplying Hundley. As for himself, Donnels was trying to overcome a shoulder injury in 2000, and he started researching HGH. During a rehab assignment at Triple-A Albuquerque, he discussed the topic with strength and conditioning coach Todd Seyler and, according to Seyler, Donnels admitted taking HGH. In 2001, after a back injury, Donnels reportedly purchased a variety of ‘roids from Radomski, someone he first met back in 1991 or 1992. Between 2000 and 2004, Radomski apparently sold Donnels both HGH and steroids at least eight times. Donnels was interviewed for the Mitchell Report and he told investigators that he first was exposed to steroids in 1993 when he was a member of the Astros and a teammate of – you guessed it – Ken Caminiti, however, it would be another seven years before Donnels succumbed to juicing. Further, Donnels was apparently a good provider of references for Radomski, steering many players to him for his services. Two of those were Stephen Randolph and Chad Allen, who will discuss later in this series. Donnels was a part-time player and fringe major leaguer who played 450 games over eight seasons. In his brief time (34 at bats) with the Dodgers in 2000, he looked great, smacking four home runs. But after just two more seasons as a bench player, he had played his last big league game.
Carreon is yet another Radomski client, a player Radomski said he supplied Dianabol to when Carreon was nearing the end of his time with the Giants, a team he toiled for from 1994 to 1996. Carreon declined the chance to be interviewed by Mitchell for the report. Carreon, generally a bench player/fourth outfielder type over his career, enjoyed his finest season in 1993. Three years later, he was done, having racked up 69 career home runs in ten big league seasons.
Morris was connected to the ‘roid scandal by — surprise, surprise – Radomski, who said he sold the first baseman two different drugs in late 1999. Morris’s name and address appeared in Radomski’s little black book, and has been confirmed as correct. While Morris himself declined to go on record for this report, he did have his lawyer send a letter that stated Morris denied ever using steroids in his career. He didn’t, however, actually deny buying or possessing steroids, so Mitchell sent a followup letter asking him if he denied ever buying or possessing the stuff. Morris’s lawyer responded by saying he had already addressed the issue of whether Morris had ever taken PEDs and felt no need to respond to any follow-ups. Draw your own conclusions. Morris probably enjoyed his best season in 1990, more or less his first full year, when he hit .340 in 309 at bats, although he also had a big season in strike shortened 1994 (.335, ten homers in 436 at bats). By 1999, he had been reduced to a part-timer and although he experienced a bit of a renaissance after a deal to Detroit halfway through 2000, he never played another big league game after that season. Overall, Morris hit 76 homers and was a career .304 hitter in 1,246 big league games.
When he was playing for the Mets, Franco apparently met Radomski, and Radomski said there was one steroid transaction between them, occurring in 2000. Franco engaged in a telephone interview for the Mitchell Report, stating at the time that he had never taken any steroids, nor had he ever met, known or even talked to Radomski. In fact, until Radomski pleaded guilty, Franco claims to have never even heard of him. Uh, okay. Franco’s best season was a bench player with the Braves in 2002, when he smacked six homers in 81 games and 205 at bats. He struggled the following season before heading off to Japan for a couple of seasons. Franco never played in the majors again, recording a career OPS of 740 in 661 major league games.
Radomski says White began buying ‘roids from him back in 2000 and he had plenty of evidence to support his claim. Later, White played pimp for Radomski, introducing him to Nook Logan. White’s best season was probably in 2001, when he recorded an OPS of 900 in 95 games for the Cubs. Injuries constantly plagued him, and he retired after the 2007 season, having hit .284 with almost 200 homers in 1,474 games over 15 seasons.
According to Radomski, Knoblauch was one of the players who was using Brian McNamee as his personal trainer, and Radomski further said he suspected that McNamee was supplying some of his clients with PEDs. According to the federal officials who investigated McNamee, he told the officials that he had supplied Knoblauch, among others, with ‘roids. In fact, McNamee admitted that he acquired HGH from Radomski in 2001 that was for Knoblauch. He said that he injected Knoblauch seven to nine times from the start of Spring Training through the early portion of that season. Knoblauch reportedly paid Radomski through Jason Grimsley, but occasional paid him through McNamee. Knoblauch declined the opportunity to be interviewed for the report. Knoblauch, the 1991 AL ROY and a four-time All-Star, enjoyed his finest season in 1996 with the Twins, when he hit .341 with a 965 OPS, scoring 140 runs and swiping 45 bases. After the following season, he was dealt to the Yankees, and never again approached those overall totals. He retired after the 2002 season, having accumulated a lifetime BA of .289 through 6,366 at bats, with almost 100 homers and over 400 steals.
In Part VII of the series, we’ll look at Gregg Zaun, F.P. Santangelo, Adam Piatt and others.