Noon (Arizona time) sees the release of the long-awaited, much-dreaded Mitchell Report on steroids in baseball. According to the Associate Press, it exposes a "serious drug culture within baseball, from top to bottom," fingers MVPs and All-Stars and calls for beefed-up testing by an outside agency to clean up the game. Here's a thread to discuss it, rake over the muck, point fingers and post recriminations.
Here's the most significant section about the D-backs.
D. Shipment of Steroids to Arizona Clubhouse, September 2000
Sometime in mid-September 2000, a clubhouse employee with the Arizona Diamondbacks discovered a bottle of anabolic steroids and several hundred pills in a package that had been mailed to the Diamondbacks’ ballpark in Phoenix. Clubhouse attendants knew that the package had been intended for Alex Cabrera, then a player on Arizona’s major league roster, who had been searching for the package for several days. They gave the box to the team’s athletic trainer and told Cabrera that the package probably had been lost.
After he learned of the incident, Joe Garagiola, Jr., the Diamondbacks’ general manager at the time, reported the discovery to the Commissioner’s Office. The Commissioner’s Office retrieved the package and sent the drugs to the Drug Enforcement Administration for evaluation, which confirmed that the vial contained Winstrol (stanozolol), an injectable anabolic steroid, and that the pills in the box were over-the-counter diet pills.265 By the time the DEA confirmed that the shipment to Cabrera had contained steroids, his contract had been sold to the Seibu Lions in the Japan League. Manfred therefore did not seek permission from the Players Association to subject Cabrera to "reasonable cause" testing for steroids.
With "reasonable cause" testing unavailable, Hallinan and his staff were given clearance to conduct an investigation into the shipment. Using a combination of local private investigators and employees of the Commissioner’s Office, baseball conducted a substantial investigation over the following several months that included interviews of several witnesses in both the United States and Venezuela, including ultimately Cabrera, who asserted that he did not know why a package addressed to him from Martinez contained "greenies" and steroids. As a result of the investigation, the security department learned that players with the El Paso Diablos, a minor league affiliate of the Diamondbacks, regularly crossed the border into Mexico to purchase steroids.
Manfred and his then-deputy Frank Coonelly of the labor relations department would not agree to seek permission from the Players Association to interview active major league players who might have had relevant information about the incident, telling security director Kevin Hallinan that it would be "tough sledding" to get the Players Association to agree to those interviews. As a result of the investigation, the security department held training sessions for minor league teams in El Paso, Wichita, and Tulsa about the dangers of steroids and of hangers-on who might facilitate the illegal purchase of steroids.
265 Letter from Special Agent Lewis Rice Jr. to Kevin M. Hallinan, dated Oct. 16, 2000.
14 with D-Backs ties in Mitchell Report
Pitchers Jason Grimsley, Darren Holmes, Stephen Randolph, Matt Herges, Ron Villone and Jim Parque all were named in the report. Of those players, Randolph, who pitched in 95 games for the Diamondbacks in 2003 and 2004, had the most significant role with Arizona. Outfielder Jose Guillen, first baseman/outfielders Jack Cust and Alex Cabrera, infielder Chris Donnels and catcher Bobby Estalella were also named.