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Radomski's story was the tale of steroids in baseball as never told before: out from the shadows, personalized, a made-for-TV movie that covered the entire arc of the use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball. Radomski had parlayed his connections as a Mets clubhouse attendant in the early 1990s into a thriving business with a clientele that expanded by word of mouth, even after he left the club in 1995 to run a car-detailing shop. More and more players saw the lack of institutional control as an open door to juice.
As Segui, who befriended Radomski when he played for the Mets in 1994 and early '95, told SI last week, "I wouldn't call it a mistake because I knew what I was doing. If there was testing, I wouldn't have done it. It's like if there were no speed limits posted on the highway, would you drive 55?"
Radomski told his story to the feds, and also to Mitchell. Part of his account involved McNamee, Clemens's trainer, whom the Yankees hired in 2000 on the ace righthander's advice. McNamee had wanted a Lexus and was put in touch with Radomski, who knew a dealer of the luxury car. Soon McNamee started ordering steroids from Radomski—steroids, McNamee told Mitchell, that he injected into Clemens. The Mitchell Report states that McNamee shot up Clemens between 16 and 21 times with at least three different steroids and HGH over the 1998, 2000 and '01 seasons. He also injected lefthander Andy Pettitte, Clemens's close friend and frequent training partner, with HGH in 2002.
By July, McNamee was talking to Mitchell, having been identified by the feds as a Radomski customer and possible steroid distributor; in return for his full and truthful cooperation, McNamee would avoid prosecution. The game had changed.
As he did with all players connected to the report, Mitchell asked in a letter, sent through the union, to speak with Clemens. "In the initial letter, I identified the team the player was with and the year in which the allegation occurred," Mitchell told SI last Friday, explaining his protocol. "There was some confusion about whether I had intended to provide them with information. I had said publicly on many occasions that I had. A couple of months ago, that was clarified.
"They understood clearly that I would provide them with whatever information I had. I would give them a chance to review [the allegations] with their attorney and respond. And almost without exception the response I got was a letter from the players' association saying they declined."
As of Monday, Clemens had remained silent since the report was released. His attorney, Rusty Hardin, denied that Clemens used steroids, pointed out that Clemens never tested positive (there was no drug testing in the years McNamee said he gave steroids to Clemens) and characterized McNamee as a "troubled man" pressured by the feds. Last Saturday, though, Pettitte verified that he used HGH in 2002 to help recover from elbow tendinitis, just as McNamee had told Mitchell.
Roger Clemens is a student of baseball history. As he neared 300 career wins and then grew his total to 354, becoming the winningest pitcher alive, he would read up on the pitchers he passed on the list. Sometimes the Yankees' public relations department would hang a photo in his locker of the next dead pitcher he was about to pass. The statistics of the game connect generations seamlessly.
Until now. Until too many players—given unchecked access to drugs that made them bigger and better—disconnected their generation from the baseball mainland. They are statistical defectors.
Clemens, for instance, was 6--6 with a 3.27 ERA with the 1998 Blue Jays when he came home from a trip to Florida that, according to the report, included a visit to the home of Jose Canseco, a former teammate who in 2002 would admit to being a steroid user. After that trip, McNamee told Mitchell, Clemens asked him for his help injecting steroids. For the rest of the season Clemens went 14--0 with a 2.29 ERA. The Mitchell Report renders his 354 wins no more believable than Bonds's 762 homers.