Ready to talk
First active player volunteers to meet with Mitchell
Posted: Tuesday November 6, 2007 4:07PM; Updated: Tuesday November 6, 2007 4:12PM
ORLANDO -- Twenty months into his investigation of steroid use in Major League Baseball, former Sen. George Mitchell for the first time has obtained voluntary cooperation from an active player.
According to a source familiar with the investigation, the player, whom the source did not name, volunteered to speak with Mitchell in the coming weeks, ending the wall of silence Mitchell had encountered in trying to get active players to cooperate without the leverage of subpoena power.
The source described the player as one of several players Mitchell wanted to question because of their previous public comments opposing steroid use, not because the player was connected to any steroid use of his own. The source said the interview with the player was scheduled to take place "very soon."
Until now, New York Yankees designated hitter Jason Giambi has been the only active player to cooperate with Mitchell's investigation. Giambi, however, did so only because commissioner Bud Selig put Giambi at risk of discipline if he refused to cooperate.
Selig compelled Giambi's cooperation after Giambi made a tacit public admission of steroid use, telling USA Today on May 18 that he was "wrong for doing that stuff." Giambi met with Mitchell's team on July 13 under carefully arranged ground rules in which he was not expected to provide names or other information about other players he knew to have used steroids.
Selig said he had "no knowledge whatsoever" of any active players cooperating with Mitchell. Mike Weiner, general counsel of the players association, when asked about an active player talking to Mitchell, replied, "I'm not going to comment one way or the other. I'm not going to confirm or deny that, whether it's one [player] or zero or more than one."
Mitchell is expected to issue his report next month. He is expected to link dozens of players to steroid use -- many of them for the first time publicly -- primarily through the cooperation of Kirk Radomski, the former New York Mets clubhouse attendant who admitted to providing steroids to ballplayers from 1995 through 2005. Mitchell has asked to speak with at least 45 players to provide them an opportunity to respond to the allegations and evidence, but has gotten no cooperation.