Five ex-Twins linked to Mitchell Report
Knoblauch among alleged transgressors of drug policy
MINNEAPOLIS -- At least five former Twins were among the long list of players named in the report compiled by former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell concerning the use of performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball.Outfielders Rondell White and Chad Allen, infielder Chuck Knoblauch and pitchers Denny Neagle and Dan Naulty were all named in the report, which was released at 1 p.m. CT on Thursday. No one on the Twins' current 40-man roster was included. White spent the last two seasons with the Twins and plans to retire this winter. He was linked in the report through checks to former Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski, who pleaded guilty in April to federal charges of distributing steroids and money laundering. According to Radomski, he began supplying White with performance-enhancing substances in 2000. The report stated that White bought both human growth hormone and Deca-Durabolin. At least seven checks from White to Radomski were included as exhibits in the 409-page report. Federal agents also seized a copy of a FedEx US Airbill from Radomski's home that reflected a delivery to an "R. White" in 2005. "White has had injury problems during his career [including four trips to the disabled list] and told Radomski that he needed performance-enhancing substances to 'stay on the field,'" the report read. All of the purchases appear to have occurred before White joined the Twins at the start of the 2006 season. Mitchell said in his report that he requested to meet with White to discuss the allegations, but White declined the invitation. White declared for free agency this offseason, but it was considered a paper move. During the final week of the season, White said that he was "99 percent" sure that he would retire during the offseason. In his two seasons with the Twins, White hit .229 with 11 home runs and 58 RBIs. Minnesota general manager Bill Smith didn't want to comment on individual players named in the Mitchell Report, but said any action to help clean up the game is supported by him and team administration. "The Twins organization is 100 percent behind the Commissioner's efforts to get steroids and performance-enhancing substances out of the game," Smith said.
Knoblauch, a four-time All-Star and Rookie of the Year with the Twins in 1991, was also implicated in the report through Radomski. Former Yankees assistant strength coach Brian McNamee said he purchased human growth hormone from Radomski for Knoblauch in 2001. McNamee then said he injected Knoblauch at least seven to nine times with the HGH from the beginning of Spring Training until the early part of the season that year.The only one of the former Twins indicated in the report who appears to have used while a member of the organization is Naulty. A 14th-round Draft pick for the Twins in 1992 who pitched for the club from 1996-98, Naulty admitted to using steroids off and on for seven years. It was a span that began before the 1993 Minor League season because he needed to put on weight. After he began using the substances, Naulty said he reported to Spring Training having gained 20 pounds and throwing five miles per hour harder. Naulty was quoted as saying in the report that he went "from an A-ball pitcher to a Major League prospect in a matter of two years." Despite the early feedback, Naulty also said in interviews that he believes his use of steroids made him prone to injuries. He expressed remorse over using steroids when speaking with Mitchell and told him, "if I could give back a little bit of something good then I would like to."
Howie Clark, who signed a Minor League deal with the Twins last month, also was named in the Mitchell Report.
Several high-profile, superstar-caliber players were among those named in the Mitchell Report, the product of a 21-month, multimillion dollar investigation that could shape decisions, prompt punitive actions against active players, and usher in the next era of the sport.
Free agent Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte of the New York Yankees, Miguel Tejada of the Houston Astros, Eric Gagne of the Milwaukee Brewers and Paul Lo Duca of the Washington Nationals were among the most prominent former and current All-Stars to be mentioned in the lengthy report, which spans 311 pages, plus multiple exhibits, including evidence of signed checks, handwritten notes and shipping receipts.
The players listed in the paragraph above are by no means the only players listed in the report, but in MLB.com's first, quick, review of the document, those names stood out by their notoriety. Our coverage will continue minute-by-minute through the course of the proceedings and for the foreseeable future thereafter, but the entire report is available for viewing here at MLB.com.
While the report detailed drug use in baseball by naming those accused, the report also contained 19 separate recommendations for the sport to move forward from this point, proceeding after a culture of steroids and performance enhancement grew exponentially in the late 1990s.
Mitchell's report named both Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association in assigning blame, charging leadership -- from the Commissioner to club owners and general managers -- for allowing the issue to proliferate.
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.