How Big Is This Story?

From The NY Times.

Kirk Radomski, 37, who worked as a bat boy, equipment manager and clubhouse assistant for the Mets from 1985-95, admitted to selling banned drugs, including anabolic steroids, amphetamines and human growth hormone, from 1995 through 2005, according to a plea agreement filed in the United States District Court in the Northern District of California.

The search warrant affidavit in Mr. Radomski’s case described how his drug distribution worked. Although the names of his clients were blackened out in the affidavit, it said that Mr. Radomski had been distributing performance-enhancing drugs to professional baseball players, including at least one major league player “who was publicly identified as being associated with Balco Laboratories.”

The affidavit listed 23 check transactions with names of current and former Major League Baseball players and their affiliates. Those checks ranged from $200 to $3,500. Mr. Novitzky wrote that Mr. Radomski was running a cash business, for the most part. Mr. Radomski’s financial records from 2003 to 2005 were analyzed. Major League Baseball did not have a steroid testing policy until 2003 and did not suspend any players for a positive test until 2005. Since then, 15 major leaguers have been suspended for violating the drug policy.

I’m thinking, not so big. At least, it’s nothing to get excited about yet. A former NY Mets bat boy—though he is not accused of dealing drugs while working for the team as a teenager—admits to selling PEDs to a few players. So what? We know that some players have used steroids, because a few players have failed tests. They had to get their stuff from somewhere. The number of players, dollar figures, and the stature of the figure involved are all small. This isn’t the Pablo Escobar of PEDs. Until we see more, this guy is a small-time pusher.

Yes, there is a chance that this list includes a dozen All-Stars who recently signed free agent contracts, but until I see some bigger fish this is a minor story.

Oh yeah, and Tom Boswell still thinks HGH is a real story.

What the game needs is for everyone — from players, union leaders and agents to owners and executives — to rediscover their collective conscience. It’s not lost, just misplaced. If they need help in that task, perhaps they should focus on the image of a 15-year-old boy who came into a culture they created and controlled and who, after 10 years of intimate contact with their game, chose to become a criminal who enabled their wealthy cheaters.

Hold that thought as you decide what forms of drug testing — including blood tests to detect HGH — are appropriate. Think of this Batboy Bust as you decide whether baseball should transform itself from the most lax of American team sports into the most stringent. (emphasis added)

I guess he doesn’t read his own newspaper.

One Response “How Big Is This Story?”

  1. Geoff Young says:

    Hmmm, I think I’ve heard of this Radomski fellow. Seems the story did get a tad bigger. ;-)