Eric Gagne has found an interesting way to hype up his new book: proclaiming that 80 percent of his Los Angeles Dodgers teammates were using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) while he was with the team. And seeing as he's an admitted cheater himself, Gagne would know something about other folks' juicing habits.
"It was sufficient to ruin my health, tarnish my reputation and throw a shadow over the extraordinary performances of my career," Gagne wrote of his PED use (via ESPN).
Gagne initially acknowledged using PEDs two years ago, and he apparently revisits that topic several times in his writing. After noting his own experiences, the former Dodgers closer drops this bomb:
"I was intimately aware of the clubhouse in which I lived. I would say that 80 percent of the Dodgers players were consuming them.”
He then proceeds to not name any of the players, of course.
Fortunately, the good folks at USA Today were kind enough to compile a list of potential candidates. Here are the guys he played with, from 1999-2006, who were tied to the infamous Mitchell Report:
Dodgers catcher Paul Lo Duca, who was traded from Los Angeles to the Florida Marlins in July 2004, was interviewed last week by Major League Baseball officials as part of a probe into Lo Duca's former agents, Seth and Sam Levinson, and whether they helped supply clients with performance-enhancing drugs.
Lo Duca was identified in baseball's 2007 Mitchell Report as a clubhouse linchpin of sorts on a club in which several players, some of them prominent, received performance-enhancing drugs from former New York Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski.
Other Dodgers of that era identified in the Mitchell Report include All-Star pitcher Kevin Brown, catcher Todd Hundley, relievers Matt Herges and Mike Judd and infielder Chris Donnels.
Guillermo Mota, a Dodgers reliever from 2002-2004, later received a pair of suspensions from MLB for testing positive for banned substances, including a 50-game ban this season with the San Francisco Giants.
Gagne’s 80 percent revelation isn’t earth-shattering by any stretch of the imagination. We already knew that PEDs were prevalent back in those days. That said, it seems like every single time one of these guys comes out, we get a clearer and clearer picture of just how skewed the numbers from that era are. Just how fake everything we saw truly was.
Were four-fifths of Gagne’s teammates really juicing? It’s impossible to know for sure. But it’s a safe bet that the number, if it’s exaggerated, isn’t exaggerated by much.