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Eric Gagne says 80 percent of his Dodgers teammates used steroids

Sep 26, 2012, 8:23 AM EDT

Erig Gagne 2

Former Dodgers closer Eric Gagne has a new biography coming out. And he’s droppin’ bombs: He says that 80 percent of his Dodgers teammates were using PEDS:

In the book, Gagne does not provide any names of players he says used PEDs. Baseball began stricter testing in the spring of 2006. Players are subject to HGH testing during spring training and in the offseason, but not during the season.

“I was intimately aware of the clubhouse in which I lived. I would say that 80 percent of the Dodgers players were consuming them,” Gagne says in the book.

That’s … a lot.

Gagne played for the Dodgers from 1999-2006. His best season — 2003 — came right before the onset of PED testing. On that team was Mitchell Report veterans Paul Lo Duca and Kevin Brown.  Two-time testing loser Guillermo Mota was there too.  There are other interesting names who played on those early 2000s Dodgers teams too, in big and small roles. Many of whom — if they were specifically outed — would create quite an uproar.

If he’s telling the truth it certainly paints an even more stark picture of PED use in that era.  But it also reveals just how unfair it is to single out certain individual players from that era and pretending that they were uniquely villainous.

  1. delawarephilliesfan - Sep 26, 2012 at 8:30 AM

    Ryan Braun.

    It would come up sooner or later – so there, I said it. Let the sane discourse proceed……

    • koufaxmitzvah - Sep 26, 2012 at 9:06 AM

      How Big Macho of you.

  2. brewcrewfan54 - Sep 26, 2012 at 8:33 AM

    Time for the newest installment of “My Career is over so its time to take others down to make more money”. Even if I could read french Eric Gagne didn’t have a compelling enough career for me to waste money on buying his book. Anything good will come out in the excerpts.

    • dcfan4life - Sep 26, 2012 at 9:19 AM

      Its as much about making money post career because so many athletes go broke but also they like being in the spotlight. Certain athletes can’t stand the thought of no one talking about them, even when their career is over. Charles Barkley and Deion Sanders are the best examples. Others do crazy things cuz their dead broke. Jose Conseco may have blown the lid on steroids writing what, 3 books all saying the same thing, but he also does celebrity boxing, and kept trying to play. Gagne could be broke or in need of some love. Either way i do agree its sad.

  3. vallewho - Sep 26, 2012 at 8:37 AM

    I see no reason not to believe him…Now, since I don’t follow LA-LA-land, a list of the players who played on those teams please???

    • dwrek5 - Sep 26, 2012 at 9:15 AM

      • kevinbnyc - Sep 26, 2012 at 1:08 PM

        James Loney hit .284 that year??? He MUST have been juicing.

    • scatterbrian - Sep 26, 2012 at 3:06 PM

      How is it that you are on the internet, yet you don’t know where to find something like a Dodgers roster from the mid-2000s?

      • vallewho - Sep 27, 2012 at 4:51 PM

        perhaps a poor choice of words on my part. It”s not a question of finding info, everything and then some is available with a few keystrokes. But more of a question of off-hand knowledge. I try not to have discussions based on info or facts that I have to Google first.

    • atlrod - Sep 26, 2012 at 4:16 PM

  4. stex52 - Sep 26, 2012 at 8:43 AM

    He’s going to have to provide some backup for that one. Want to make some money out of sensation? Be ready to take the heat.

  5. jayscarpa - Sep 26, 2012 at 8:43 AM

    Look at the 2003 roster…. 80% is not likely

    • gloccamorra - Sep 26, 2012 at 9:04 AM

      Good point. I looked at that roster, and if any were taking, they should track down their supplier and demand their money back.

      • paperlions - Sep 26, 2012 at 9:10 AM

        Or….you know….people could just realize that HGH does essentially nothing for a young healthy adult with normal GH levels….and that many anabolic steroids do not add substantial muscle mass without a LOT of time in the gym.

        Have people looked at the players regularly busted for PEDs the last 5 years or the list of names in the various reports? Not a lot of big buff players….a lot of flabby pitchers and guys with slight builds.

        You can’t tell who used what based on performance or the pixels….sorry.

      • pauleee - Sep 26, 2012 at 11:23 AM

        Well paper, it’s obvious from all the thumbs down that you’re dead wrong. In reality, PEDs are just like spinach to Popeye. Immediately upon use, the muscles burst from your body and hand-eye coordination goes through the roof. But what you may not know is that it…slows down time! It takes nearly 6 seconds for the ball to get to the batter and it looks the size of a beachball. Rotation is super easy to pick up this way. That’s why these guys hit for such a greater average than anybody else. All the details will be shared in a book I’m writing. Look for it on Amazon, just after the World Series.

        Need some advanced proof? I follow the Angels. So I KNOW what a beachball looks like!

      • badintent - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:21 PM

        You’ve never been in my gym or any other gym obviously. I know just looking at a dude what he’s on, HGH or roids or Keratine. See a guy with huge arms and only doing curls but still skinny, he’s on roids. See a guy with a great ripped body and does very little workout, HGH. Massive bulk but not ripped , roids. Puffy muscles like water ballons, Keratine. Andro is a pre-curser to roids, works the same way , but needs a lot of weight training with it for results. You can dial up Mark McGwire about that.Some dudes with $$ use both HGH and Roids, their body are so freaky, big and ripped , they look like Sly.Smell like him too.

      • paperlions - Sep 26, 2012 at 3:33 PM

        Bad Intent:

        No, you don’t. HGH has no affect whatsoever, not on recovery, not on strength, and not on muscle mass.

        Did you mean creatine? Because that crap has been studied extensively and no study can find a measurable affect on its use…in other words, like so many products at GNC, it is useless crap.

        ….and the vast majority of baseball players don’t spend anywhere near the time in the gym or take the level of steroids (or such easily detected steroids) as the juice-heads you are talking about.

    • dwrek5 - Sep 26, 2012 at 9:17 AM

      2004 had Beltre’s career year.

    • jayscarpa - Sep 26, 2012 at 9:30 AM

      I wasn’t referencing the stats. Hideo Nomo…Rickey Henderson…Shawn Green…Robin Ventura…Fred McGriff…etc. Not very likely

      • paperlions - Sep 26, 2012 at 9:37 AM

        Why? Because people like them? People liked Sosa, McGuire, and Ortiz too.

      • kiwicricket - Sep 26, 2012 at 9:49 AM

        I don’t understand why no one ever mentions Henderson when mentioning PED’s. I would bet my left foot he was involved with them at some point in his career.

      • b7p19 - Sep 26, 2012 at 10:04 AM

        Thats the kinda $h!t that really makes me mad “kiwicricket.” You have no proof whatsoever, but you decide to drag someone into the PED cellar just because they were good. Maybe, just maybe, he didn’t take PED’s? You know, it’s possible that his name didn’t come up because he’s never done it.

        Of course, you are obviously very very smart, so if you’re willing to put your left foot on the line, then lets call ESPN and get Rickeys face splashed all over the site with the letters PED right below. And, since I am ALSO very smart. Let’s say Bo Jackson was on performance enhancers too. Oh, and do you remember that Michael Jordan guy? I heard he was on PED’s. Just breaks my heart that all these guys would take the plunge.

      • Francisco (FC) - Sep 26, 2012 at 10:05 AM

        Watch out Kiwi! Cur might decide to take on that bet. And if you lose, well… have you ever seen a Beaver chew off a man’s foot?

      • stlouis1baseball - Sep 26, 2012 at 10:17 AM

        I can’t agree Jays. The 2006 roster has tons of guys who I would not be surprised to learn took PED’s. It was rampant throughout the late 80’s…90’s and early to mid 2000’s. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that THREE of the names you mention above were taking. Especially during the late stages of their careers. It was widespread. It was MLB’s fault (in my opinion).

      • jayscarpa - Sep 26, 2012 at 10:19 AM

        I don’t particularly like any of them..well, maybe Rickey.

        Nomo? Really? LOL

        Shawn Green wouldn’t play on Yom Kippur but he’d juice?

        Rickey says Rickey don’t need to juice, Rickey got enough naturally.

        None of these guys has even has a whisper about them (except here); no outrageous physical changes; no evidence of any kind, ever.

        It’s crap.

      • kiwicricket - Sep 26, 2012 at 10:31 AM

        FC- Beaver attacks are on the rise! Statistical fact!

      • indaburg - Sep 26, 2012 at 10:52 AM

        Yes, kiwi, I too am surprised Henderson’s name has never been associated with PEDs, however, unlike the others, I would totally believe him if he claimed, “Rickey didn’t know what Rickey was taking.”

      • cur68 - Sep 26, 2012 at 11:17 AM

        Not only are Beaver Attacks on the rise, they have risen from their 2 month slumber and decided to win some ballgames, too. Your left foot is their lunch, Kiwi. Anyhow, the giant rats seem to have the rabies, if reports of what’s happening American lakes are accurate. You may not lose that foot but you’ll go mad and start hankering for sweet, sweet brains, too. Everyone: do your cardio.

        As for this “80%” stuff: attention grab? Maybe. Empty ploy to make some dough? Sure. True? Could be. Given that these guys wear “energy necklaces” believe in streaks, have superstitions like my dog has fur, and its worth mega bucks if they make it to the Majors and stick…I think it could be true. Fits with all the other stuff any rate.

        I’d love to believe that McGriff, Henderson, Green, Nomo etc were clean, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were not. Gimme some evidence though. And I aint talkin backne, either.

      • kiwicricket - Sep 26, 2012 at 1:36 PM

        Being attacked by rabid beaver? Sounds like something Justin Bieber has to deal with. I fear Moose and Moose related byproducts.

  6. realgone2 - Sep 26, 2012 at 8:46 AM

    So does he name names in the sequel?

  7. bleed4philly - Sep 26, 2012 at 8:46 AM

    I wish I knew about all this when I was playing high school ball… I coulda been a contenda.

    • Ben - Sep 26, 2012 at 11:04 AM

      I knew about this all in high school. There were a couple multi-sport athletes at my high school who were caught doing steroids. It’s not uncommon at scary-young ages. But I like the reference.

  8. paperlions - Sep 26, 2012 at 8:50 AM

    This is fun: “Gagne admits that he used human growth hormone over five cycles in a three-year period toward the end of his career.”

    In other words, he used HGH after his 2nd Tommy John surgery and it didn’t magically transform him back into the pitcher he before….and he continued to…you know….suck.

    • gloccamorra - Sep 26, 2012 at 9:16 AM

      Irrelevant. Every sportswriter knows these drugs have magical powers – they’ve been telling us that for nearly two decades. If Gagne used HGH and sucked, he probably would have sucked even more if he hadn’t taken it. Or maybe his dealer “cut” it with oregano and he didn’t get the full effect. The consensus is clear: it’s a performance enhancing drug.

  9. amhendrick - Sep 26, 2012 at 9:10 AM

    Fred McGriff wasn’t using, so that’s 79% right there.

    • thefalcon123 - Sep 26, 2012 at 9:31 AM

      1. This is some terribly depressing math. Fred McGriff did not make up 11% of Eric Gagne’s teammates.

      2. Says who?!? If there is anything we should have learned from the steroid era, it’s that we have no idea who actually was or was not doing steroids. For god’s sake, Wally Joyner admitted to doing it.

      • b7p19 - Sep 26, 2012 at 10:06 AM

        You need to read more Rickey Henderson quotes.

  10. thefalcon123 - Sep 26, 2012 at 9:28 AM

    I always thought there was something suspicious about Cesar Izturis’ sudden 2004 power surge. I mean, his home run total increased by 400%! He hit as many home runs that year as he did in his first 1,200 plate appearances!

    It’s going to make me super pissed when Izturis goes to the Hall just because he didn’t get caught.

  11. yahmule - Sep 26, 2012 at 9:33 AM

    Ah, yes, the old “but everybody was doin’ it” excuse. I first used it myself in kindergarten. Like most people, I got over it before the end of elementary school. Of course, most people don’t spend their entire lives in the perpetual arrested adolescence that is professional athletics.

  12. mondzy805 - Sep 26, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    This, bum. Trying to sell a Book.

  13. juanhughjazz - Sep 26, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    for 10 years, I’ve just assumed every athlete did them. That way I don’t have to think about who did or didn’t.

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 26, 2012 at 10:21 AM

      I understand where you are coming from Juan. I just assume everyone who played from the late 80’s – mid 2000’s were using. It makes it far easier to wrap your head around it.
      It also makes it far easier to fall into the ole’ (add an asterisk to the record book and include them all) frame of mind.
      Cause’…after all…MLB turned a blind eye and ultimately created an environment in which everyone had free reign to do as they chose.
      All in the name of rotating turnstiles.

      • juanhughjazz - Nov 30, 2012 at 8:48 PM

        and before steroids, they took amphetamines. and if you think about it, painkillers are PEDs(especially if you couldn’t play without it)

  14. makeham98 - Sep 26, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    Mitchell Report: The Wikipedia of PED investigations.

    • thefalcon123 - Sep 26, 2012 at 10:39 AM

      This Metaphor: Something That Makes Zero Sense.

      • stlouis1baseball - Sep 26, 2012 at 11:09 AM

        Falcon: I think Ham is trying to say with the Mitchell Report you would be wise to take the information with a grain of salt (much like Wikipedia).
        You know…don’t be the farm on it as the be all…end all (much like Wikipedia).

  15. jhorton83 - Sep 26, 2012 at 10:51 AM

    Wow, nice way to throw your former teammates under the bus. What a dick.

  16. blockedprospect - Sep 26, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    Guys who played on those LAD teams during Gagne’s glory years of 2002-2004, & who were just reminded all over again what a pain he was:
    Adrian Beltre
    Milton Bradley
    Kevin Brown
    Joey Cora
    Steve Finley
    Shaun Green
    Marquis Grissom
    Mark Grudzielanek
    Rickey Henderson
    Todd Hundley
    Cesar Izturis
    Edwin Jackson
    Brian Jordan
    Eric Karros
    Paul LoDuca
    Fred McGriff
    Hideo Nomo
    Brad Penny
    Dave Roberts
    Robin Ventura
    Jeff Weaver
    Jayson Werth

    And of course, the immortal Omar Daal.

    That’s not to say ANY of these guys used. Believing the opposite of what Eric Gagne says is generally good policy.

    Congrats, Quebec – you’ve finally made it, with your own Jose Canseco!

  17. slk018 - Sep 26, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    Adrian Beltre—Juice
    Milton Bradley–Juice
    Kevin Brown—-Juice
    Joey Cora—-Shoulda juiced
    Steve Finley—Prob juiced
    Shaun Green—doubtful
    Marquis Grissom—-Juice
    Mark Grudzielanek—doubtful
    Rickey Henderson—JUICE!!!
    Todd Hundley—Most likely juiced
    Cesar Izturis—-??
    Edwin Jackson—doubt it
    Brian Jordan—JUICE
    Eric Karros—JUICE
    Paul LoDuca—JUICE
    Fred McGriff—probably
    Hideo Nomo—-Doubtful
    Brad Penny—JUICE
    Dave Roberts—Doubtful
    Robin Ventura—Nah
    Jeff Weaver—Nah
    Jayson Werth—Juice

    • dondada10 - Sep 26, 2012 at 4:09 PM

      Shawn Green, doubtful? He had a Brady Clark-esque 45+ homer year out of no where.

  18. willclarkgameface - Sep 26, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    I believe this about that 2006 team and I believe it now about Major League Baseball in general. Bud Selig wanted to throw an after-hours party at Chili’s to celebrate the NFL and their idiotic business practices since last October when the league started negotiating with the officials and now this.

    Until someone steps up and makes a ballsy move on the PED issue, people will continue to laugh. It’s just that simple. Bud is a pushover and is only interested in making money for himself and the other owners.

    He didn’t want Melky to win this batting title this year because people would have talked about it all the way into the next scandal, which I feel is coming sooner rather than later.

    Bud is an idiot and he will never be responsible for cleaning up the game because he has no back bone.

  19. nobody78 - Sep 26, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    Not to be schoolmarmish about this, but even if it’s true that 80% of players juiced, that doesn’t make it ok.

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 26, 2012 at 12:08 PM

      Agreed 78. What does make it hard for me to get so pissed off about it is the absolute fact that MLB turned their freaking heads while dudes were swelling up like houses…hitting 425′ frozen ropes and filling ballparks soon after the strike. What does MLB do? Nothing. Except maybe allow people to believe it was the baseballs. To the point of someone (maybe 60 minutes?) doing an expose at the factory in Puerto Rico.
      Gotta’ keep those turnstiles moving. Especially when people are freezing you out after the strike. Sammy, Big Mac…home run duel. Ring a bell with anyone? What time was this?
      How soon after the strike? Attendance was increasing in droves. Which is precisely what MLB wanted (and needed) at the time. Now…they are all about the integrity of the game. Keeping it clean. Slapping Wrists. Waving fingers. Holier than thou bullshit.

  20. elmo - Sep 26, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    Dites ce n’est pas si, Eric!

    • jimeejohnson - Sep 26, 2012 at 12:54 PM

      Translation (so nobody thinks elmo is telling Gagne to go f-ck himself): “say it ain’t so, Eric!”

  21. illcomm - Sep 26, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    paperlions. I hope u r really not dumb enough to believe hgh or steroids do not improve performance. if you truly believe this then u r pretty naive.

    • jayscarpa - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:02 PM

      They do not improve performance. They give the user the ability to work harder and heal faster and maybe add some bulk.

      If you can’t hit than PED’s are not going to help you. You’ll hit the ball harder/farther if you hit it. And then only if you work out and add muscle.

      Same goes with pitching. You may be able to throw the ball harder but if you can’t pitch then you’re Ricky Vaughn without the specks.

      The thing Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, etc. had in common was that they worked out like demons.

  22. skerney - Sep 26, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    Use does not necessarily equal high performance. What it certainly does do is allow a player to play 162 games and feel some semblance of energy and strength. You know how at the end of the work week your feet hurt and you can’t wait to sleep in? Now imagine if your schedule and physical load was that of a catcher, shortstop or middle reliever. That is what steroids and HGH do for players. Recovery and ability to continue to perform and lift weights are the name of the game.

  23. lew24 - Sep 26, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    I worked for the Dodgers in their front office for the 2000-2001 seasons. I totally agree with Gagne. Kevin Brown, Sheffield, Todd Hundley, Lo Duca and Beltre were on that team as well. I could see what he is saying.

  24. flavas - Sep 26, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    The Dodgers represent a microcosm of the whole league. And I don’t doubt that what Gagne is saying doesn’t also apply to 2012.

    Poor policies create loopholes. And the MLB PED policy is a joke. That’s just the way MLB wants it…

    Personally, the game would be a whole lot more interesting if everyone was allowed to juice…

    • kiwicricket - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:03 PM

      It’s interesting you mention this. I think there are a great deal of PED’s still being used in MLB. It’s decreased with the advent of testing, but still a decent chunk of people willing to create an unequal playing field(for their own satisfaction and personal financial gain).

      Conte believes you are an idiot if you are caught. He would know, the guy helped the most famous athletes on earth pass the most stringent drug tests of the time for nearly a decade.

      Marion Jones never failed a drug test, she was one of the most tested humans on earth at one point. A former Olympic sprinter suggested you would never make it into the final heat, let alone place for a medal if you were not doping up to your eye-balls.

      Do I particularly care? Not at all. Go nuts I say. I just think it’s foolish and slightly naive to think PED’s have been eradicated down to 1-2% of the league.

      Am I tarring everyone with the same brush? Not sure, really. All I know is that I don’t separate the players through suspicion.

  25. materialman80 - Sep 26, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    And that’s why all these records are bogus BS. If you cheat to set a record, you didn’t set a record. This is a stain on the game of baseball that has pretty much destroyed the integrity of the game. These players were selfish and greedy and had no self respect.

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