Retired Twins OF Rondell White implicated in Mitchell Report
MINNEAPOLIS -- Veteran outfielder Rondell White, who retired after two seasons with the Minnesota Twins, used performance-enhancing drugs to try to overcome injuries and stay in the game, according to the Mitchell Report.
White played for seven teams in a major league career that began in 1993, and is the only player from the Twins' 2007 roster implicated by the investigation. A handful of former Twins, including Chuck Knoblauch, are also mentioned for alleged drug use after they joined other teams. Also, manager Tom Kelly once told a team employee to dispose of a used syringe found in the visitors' clubhouse, the report said.
The allegations in the report against White all involve conduct before he joined the Twins. The report said White bought human growth hormone and the steroid Deca-Durabolin starting in 2000 from former Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski, who provided information for the investigation as part of his plea agreement in a federal steroids case.
The report's author, former Sen. George Mitchell, noted White's problems with injuries during his career, and said he told Radomski he needed the substances to "stay on the field."
Radomski produced seven checks drawn on White's account, including one for $3,500 dated Sept, 29, 2005. White signed with the Twins on Dec. 22, 2005. The report also said federal agents seized from Radomski's home a copy of a Federal Express airbill for a delivery to an "R. White" on a date in 2005 that was "otherwise illegible."
"Radomski recalled teaching White 'a lot about steroids and HGH' and 'walking him through the HGH injections for two hours on the phone one night," the report said.
Radomski also told Mitchell that White often overpaid him.
Mitchell wrote that he asked White to meet with him to discuss the allegations, but White declined.
A message left with White's agents, Seth and Sam Levinson, by The Associated Press was not immediately returned Thursday.
When Twins general manager Bill Smith was asked about White's name appearing in the report, he replied, "The Minnesota Twins are fully supportive of Commissioner Selig's efforts to get steroids and illegal performance-enhancing substances out of the game."
As for Knoblauch, the report alleges the four-time All-Star used human growth hormone "at least seven to nine times" when he was with the New York Yankees in 2001 -- well after he left the Twins in 1997. Knoblauch did not respond to Mitchell's request for a meeting.
One former Twin who did speak to investigators was pitcher Dan Naulty, who played for the Twins from 1996-98. He told them he used steroids as he tried to break out of the minor leagues into the majors and that he had quit by the time he joined the Yankees in 1999.
"During his telephone interview, Naulty admitted to using steroids, on and off, for seven years, and human growth hormone for one year," the report said.
Naulty said he started using steroids as a minor leaguer to try to put on weight.
"After starting his steroid regimen Naulty reported to spring training for the 1993 season approximately 20 pounds heavier and throwing five miles per hour harder than he did the year before," it said. "Naulty said that he went 'from an A-ball pitcher to a major league prospect in a matter of two years."
The report said Naulty was remorseful.
"He told us that 'if I could give back a little bit of something good then I would like to," it said.
Other former Twins implicated in the report included Denny Neagle and Chad Allen.
Kelly, who stepped down as manager after this past season to become a special assistant to the general manager, was the subject of one paragraph in the 409-page report. Sometime in 2000 or 2001, it said, a visiting clubhouse manager who worked for the Twins found a used syringe on top of a trash can in the visitors' clubhouse. The report said he told Kelly, who told him to dispose of it carefully.
"Kelly confirmed the incident and said that he did not report the incident to anyone because he felt it 'wasn't any of (his) business' and that it was the other team's issue to address," the report said.
The Twins declined to make Kelly available for comment, pointing to a statement issued by Major League Baseball on behalf of each team:
"We look forward to carefully reading the results of Sen. Mitchell's investigation. Protecting the integrity of our game is vital and we intend to study his findings and recommendations and will not comment until we have done so."
Associated Press Writers Gregg Aamot and Dave Campbell contributed to this report.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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