White Sox studying Mitchell Report
No current players, four former players named
CHICAGO -- No current White Sox players were named Thursday in former Sen. George Mitchell's 311-page report to Major League Baseball about performance-enhancing drugs, but four players with past ties to the organization were included in the report.
Left-handed starter Scott Schoeneweis received six shipments of steroids at U.S. Cellular Field, listed as Comiskey Park in the report, from Signature Pharmacy while playing in Chicago. The report goes on to explain how Dr. Ramon Scruggs of the New Hope Health Center reportedly prescribed the drugs.
According to ESPN, Schoeneweis spent $1,160 on steroids, including testosterone and stanozolol. Schoeneweis, who pitched with the White Sox during parts of the 2003 and 2004 seasons, denied the report. The Commissioner's Office met with Schoeneweis to discuss these allegations, and on Dec. 6, 2007, announced there was "insufficient evidence of the joint program in effect at the time of the conduct in question to warrant discipline of Schoeneweis," according to the passage in the report.
Schoeneweis, who survived a battle with testicular cancer while attending Duke University, has since pitched for the Blue Jays, Reds and, most recently, the Mets. Pitching coach Don Cooper worked with Schoeneweis as a member of the White Sox but had no idea of any shipments coming to the ballpark.
"[Heck] no," Cooper said. "I heard his name had come up before, but my understanding was Schoeney was taking things for a condition he had from recovering from cancer.
"When Schoeneweis was cleared [by the Commissioner's Office], I said, 'Good for him.' I thought he had a condition that warranted it."
Other former White Sox players named in the Mitchell Report are Armando Rios (2003), Jim Parque (1998-2002) and Jose Canseco (2001). Parque was named under the investigation of former New York Mets clubhouse assistant Kirk Radomski, with the report stating Radomski made two sales of growth hormones to Parque when he was part of the Devil Rays organization.
Radomski also had two checks from Parque totaling $4,800, which were shown in the report. In a conversation with the Chicago Sun-Times on Thursday, Parque admitted to writing the checks in order to purchase "a bunch of supplements, some creatine, vitamins, some stuff to increase my red-blood-cell count and some herbs from South America that were supposed to help with my injuries."
But Parque vehemently denied the accusations attributed in the Mitchell Report to Radomski, whom Parque was referred to by a former teammate at Triple-A Durham.
"Either someone isn't telling the truth, or steroids really don't work because I was throwing 80, 81 mph before the report said I took them, and I was throwing 80, 81 mph after I allegedly took them," said Parque, who was with the Devil Rays from 1998-2003 but retired after an attempted comeback with Seattle last season. "You have a guy that was trying to plea-bargain to save [himself], so of course he's going to throw as many names as possible out there.
"Do I feel this report tarnishes what I did in baseball? Not at all. I was tested every year. The thing that bothers me is that a guy who is trying to cover [himself] is immune to all of this whistle-blowing, but where is the evidence on my end? Where is the positive test that says I did this? They should have a positive test that shows the results of me taking these things I allegedly took."
Through a team spokesman, the White Sox declined comment on Thursday's findings presented through the Mitchell Report.
"It should be interesting reading," White Sox general manager Ken Williams said of the Mitchell Report.
"I thought to myself today, 'It won't be a Merry Christmas in a lot of households,'" Cooper added. "I give baseball credit for wanting to make a level playing field and cleaning up America's game. I'm all for it. I'm glad it's happening. It is clearly a problem in society, so let's see if we can do our piece and clean up baseball."
Several high-profile, superstar-caliber players were among those named in the Mitchell Report, the product of a 21-month, multimillion dollar investigation that could shape decisions, prompt punitive actions against active players, and usher in the next era of the sport.
Free agent Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte of the New York Yankees, Miguel Tejada of the Houston Astros, Eric Gagne of the Milwaukee Brewers and Paul Lo Duca of the Washington Nationals were among the most prominent former and current All-Stars to be mentioned in the lengthy report, which spans 311 pages, plus multiple exhibits, including evidence of signed checks, handwritten notes and shipping receipts.
The players listed in the paragraph above are by no means the only players listed in the report, but in MLB.com's first, quick, review of the document, those names stood out by their notoriety. Our coverage will continue minute-by-minute through the course of the proceedings and for the foreseeable future thereafter, but the entire report is available for viewing here at MLB.com.
While the report detailed drug use in baseball by naming those accused, the report also contained 19 separate recommendations for the sport to move forward from this point, proceeding after a culture of steroids and performance enhancement grew exponentially in the late 1990s.
Mitchell's report named both Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association in assigning blame, charging leadership -- from the Commissioner to club owners and general managers -- for allowing the issue to proliferate.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.