In the midst of the stunning allegations that Alex Rodriguez tested positive for steroids in 2003, it had me thinking about the Mets and their own history with steroids.
Kirk Radomski, former clubhouse man, was dealing steroids to players and was one of George Mitchell’s primary sources for the Mitchell Report. Radomski was caught and pleaded guilty to dealing anabolic steroids, along with several other charges. He received 5 year’s probation and an $18,575 fine because he cooperated in Senator Mitchell’s investigation.
In 2007, Guillermo Mota was primed to be one our bullpen’s key men. Omar Minaya had given him a two year extension worth $5 million. Our bullpen was set; it was the one thing that didn’t need to be fixed (oh how the times have changed). Instead, Mota tested positive for a banned substance and received a 50-game suspension. Upon Mota’s return, he became a scapegoat amongst Mets fans, even if he didn’t pitch.
Since the new steroids policy has taken effect, eight Mets minor league players have been suspended, including Grant Roberts, who was suspended for 15 games in 2005 and Jorge Reyes, who was suspended twice, once for 50 games and once for 100. Of the 144 minor leaugers suspended, I was relieved to see that only 8 of them were Mets, even though it seems like a lot more.
Under the new testing policy, the only Mota was suspended during his tenure on the Major League roster. Scott Schoeneweis was also using steroids, but it was tied into his treatment for testicular cancer and the Mets were aware of his use. “It was just trying to get normal, not above normal. It’s all well-documented,” Schoeneweis stated in the Mitchell Report.
I’m glad the Minor League players are getting caught early and doing their time. As is the case with A-Rod (and probably half of the 2000 Yankees), some Major League players don’t get caught until they’ve received that MVP or that World Series ring or hit 756 home runs.