Friday, April 27, 2007

Waiting for the hammer to fall

update, May 4, 2007 - ESPN's Gene Wojciechowski got the memo. He nicked my domino metaphor, too, though it wasn't exactly well-hidden.

The authors of Game of Shadows, Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, escaped jail time, but it looks pretty bad for a lot of the folks they were writing about. Even juiced dominoes fall once the first one tips, and today comes breaking news that a particularly largish piece may have just dropped into investigators' laps.

Kirk J. Radomski, a New York Mets clubhouse employee between 1985 and 1995, has pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in San Francisco to distribution of a controlled substance - a schedule three anabolic steroid - to "dozens of Major Leaguers on teams throughout the league." He also pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering.
This looks like the smoking gun to me. Up til now it's been the players getting caught, or their various "nutritionists," "personal trainers," and "therapists" on the hook for the distribution. Now we've got a former baseball employee who used his daytime job as access to players for the purpose of making a buck off the juice. HUGE news.

The documents we reviewed ["we" are the Sports Illustrated reporters, Luis Fernando Llosa and Jon Wertheim -NF] - an affidavit for an application for a search warrant - indicates [sic] that: "Numerous significant deposits from current and former [Major League Baseball] players and some affiliated individuals" were made to Radomski. According to the documents, he received more than $23,000 in more than 20 different payments between 2003 and 2005 that are alleged to have been made in conjunction with steroids purchases. Already cell phone numbers belonging to current and former MLB players have been identified.
So he made his contacts, developed his client list, and eventually reached a critical mass with the players. He didn't need the day job anymore; they would find him.

At least one Major League baseball player associated with BALCO has also been implicated in this investigation. ... Also, we're told that Radomski, as part of the plea agreement, is cooperating with former Senator George Mitchell's investigation into steroid use in Major League Baseball. ... "This individual was a major dealer of anabolic steroids and performance enhancing drugs including human growth hormone," says Matt Parrella, a federal prosecutor working on the case . "[His] clientele was focused almost exclusively on Major League Baseball players and [his] work spanned a decade.
Worse and worse. At this point I wouldn't be surprised if they searched Barry Bonds' locker and found a cassette tape with 18½ minutes erased.

Radomski, 37, is a former bodybuilder with a listed residence in Lindenhurst, N.Y., which was allegedly his base of operations, warehouse and communications base.
And that's just the capper. "Former bodybuilder" (riiiiight) who just happens to have worked for my favorite baseball club, operating out of my birthplace. I am SPORTS TYPHOID. I'm like the Sipowitz of fankind - everything I root for or am associated with breaks, loses, gets hurt... or goes to jail.

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