Royals players cited by Mitchell
Former Senator's report names current, former stars
KANSAS CITY -- Outfielder Jose Guillen was the only current Royals player named in the Mitchell Report that was released on Thursday. Several former Royals also were mentioned.
Guillen, as the report noted, has been suspended for 15 days at the beginning of the 2008 season for violation of Major League Baseball's Drug Prevention and Treatment program.
The suspension was announced a week ago, just after the Royals confirmed that free agent Guillen had signed a three-year contract, believed to be worth $36 million. The Players' Association has filed an appeal of the punishment on behalf of Guillen.
Guillen could not be reached for comment on Thursday, but after being introduced in Kansas City a week ago, he said: "My lawyers and the union handled that real well. It's going to get better, nothing is going to get worse. The only thing that bothers me is a lot of the stuff they're saying is not true. But I just let my lawyers handle that."
The Mitchell Report refers to allegations published on Nov. 6, 2007, by the San Francisco Chronicle that Guillen purchased human growth hormone, testosterone and other steroids through the Palm Beach Rejuvenation Center in a three-year period between 2002 and 2004 and possibly 2005. Former Royal Paul Byrd, now with the Indians, was also named in connection to the Signature Pharmacy investigation conducted by the New York Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement.
The report also implicates former Royals players Jeremy Giambi and Benito Santiago as part of the BALCO investigation, and former Royals Hal Morris, Rondell White, Chuck Knoblauch, Jason Grimsley, Gregg Zaun, Phil Hiatt and Kevin Young in connection with former Mets batboy and clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski, who testified about players for whom he said he procured performance-enhancing drugs or witnessed taking the drugs.
"For some time now we've known that this day was coming," Royals president Dan Glass said in a statement released Thursday afternoon. "The lifeblood of our game is its integrity, and restoring any integrity that might have been lost during this period in baseball should be everyone's priority. Today's report is the culmination of an extensive investigation into past improprieties within our game. Our goal today must be to move forward under the current policies in place and regain the trust of our fans, assuring them that this is part of our past and not our future."
Moving forward also struck a responsive chord with outfielder Mark Teahen, the Royals' assistant player representative.
"I agree with just letting the past be the past. There's no point in going back and doing a witch hunt on who did it and who didn't," Teahen said. "I'm sure they'll find a lot of names to throw out there, but there'll be a lot of names not mentioned or touched on."
Although former Sen. George Mitchell alluded to toughening policies, Teahen disagreed.
"A 50-game suspension for a first time testing positive is intense. That's one-third of the season, and for a lot of guys, one-third of a season can't be lost or otherwise their career is done."
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 initial review of the document, those names stood out for 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. View the complete Mitchell Report.
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.
"Even if everyone he mentioned did do steroids or whatever, there's a lot of guys out there that didn't," Teahen said.
For Teahen, there was a sense of relief that, aside from Guillen -- whose case had surfaced earlier -- no current Royals player was mentioned in the report.
"That one was already out there, so it's nice to know that no one else has to deal with it," Teahen said. "Hopefully, we can just deal with it and move on and put it in the past."
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.