Parque admits using HGH

Updated: July 23, 2009, 2:22 PM ET
ESPNChicago.com

Much of the reaction in the Chicago White Sox clubhouse on Thursday to Jim Parque's confession in the Chicago Sun-Times that he used human growth hormone reflected ambivalence or admiration of Parque's honesty.

Parque played for the Sox from 1998-2002, and he played for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2003. He finished with a 31-34 career record and 5.42 ERA. Parque admitted using HGH six times during his stint with the Rays.

"With my career in jeopardy, I turned to performance-enhancing drugs, like some other players did," Parque wrote for the Sun-Times. "I never had needed them before, but with a shoulder that wouldn't heal, it was realistically the only thing I could turn to."

Parque said he researched HGH and ordered it on the Internet, and while it wasn't banned by Major League Baseball, he admitted knowing the drug was unethical and controversial.

"When the HGH arrived, it was unmarked -- just some needles and vials," Parque wrote. "I was very nervous about injecting the substance because it was unmarked. The needles and boosters looked like they were for an elephant, and some of the vials contained fluids with different consistencies and colors."

In a Sun-Times article after the Mitchell Report was released in 2007, Parque denied using performance-enhancing drugs. But he admitted using HGH to a group of parents and children at a camp in 2006.

The reason for his latest admission, apparently, was to clear the air.

"Jim hasn't been here in so long, he hasn't been in the big leagues forever," said Paul Konerko, one of two current Sox players -- along with Mark Buehrle -- who were teammates with Parque. "To me he was a good guy, a good teammate, a funny guy with a funny sense of humor.

"He really hasn't been here for years. For me, this is kind of a meaningless story. To me and everyone else around here. He didn't take the ones that make you bigger, I guess."

In the article, Parque apologized to Sox general manager Ken Williams for comments he made after Williams released him in 2002.

"I didn't read the article," Williams told ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine. "If that is in fact what he said, he has come out at a time when he doesn't have to say it, and he doesn't have to expose himself like that.

"That was a tremendous amount of courage and character. Whatever he's done in the past, these are things he and others like him will have to live with.

"Good for him. He's probably washed away a lot that has been on on his conscience."

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen also admired Parque's candor.

"There are three things you do it for, when you admit something," Guillen said. "You're going to make money out of that? I don't think anybody would buy the [expletive] book. Sleep at night well or to be noticed? Or to be in the public eye? I think this kid did it to sleep well. He wants to show people out there that when you do the wrong thing, it's still not working.

"I wish I could be his father. I'd be proud of him for coming out and saying that."

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