A steroid life in baseball's fast lane
RIVERHEAD, N.Y. -- Kirk Radomski didn't set out to be a drug supplier when he hired on as a bat boy and clubhouse attendant with the New York Mets in 1985. Though street-wise beyond his years, he was just a 15-year-old from the Bronx who had stumbled into a dream gig because Mets equipment manager Charlie Samuel lived down the street and liked to hire kids from the neighborhood. Suddenly, Radomski was tending to the needs of marquee talent such as Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry and Keith Hernandez.
He estimates that by the time federal agents showed up at the door of his Long Island home in December 2005, his client list had included more than 300 ballplayers through the years, ranging from marginal characters such as Pete Rose Jr. scuffling just to get a taste of the bigs to accomplished major leaguers such as Kevin Brown, Eric Gagne, Paul Lo Duca, Todd Hundley and -- indirectly, Radomski claims -- Miguel Tejada.Forced to cooperate with the government and turn over financial, shipping and other documents as part of a plea deal (he pleaded guilty to distributing steroids and laundering money and was sentenced to five years' probation), Radomski, 39, later surfaced as the central figure in the Mitchell report on the use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball. Radomski supplied the drugs to personal trainer Brian McNamee, who has testified that he provided performance enhancers to Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte and Chuck Knoblauch. Now, he has told his story in a book -- "Bases Loaded" (Hudson Street Press), scheduled for release this week -- that chronicles his role as a key figure in baseball's steroids era. In it, he touches on several hot topics, including his take on the shortcomings of the $20 million Mitchell report. As part of the marketing for the book, Radomski agreed to interviews with ESPN.com and ESPN, and he elaborated at length about his life in baseball. Among his contentions are:
Witness for the Prosecution
In addition to his role in the Mitchell report, Kirk Radomski appears to be one of the star witnesses in the government's investigation into whether Roger Clemens committed perjury when he told a congressional committee that he had never used performance-enhancing drugs. Already, Radomski has given testimony in front of a grand jury. ESPN.com has followed Radomski's story since his name first surfaced as a primary source of PEDs.• Radomski: I believe McNamee, not Clemens
• Grand jury convenes in Clemens probe
• Radomski says new HGH receipt found under TV
• Radomski opens up about steroids
"Dealing with as many guys as he was dealing with, I assumed there was going to be a point where he was going to get caught," Segui says. "All it was going to take was one player getting caught with it and you know what they are going to do. They're going to throw everybody under the bus. That is just the way it goes. So I assumed at some point, especially as more and more guys [were] going to him, that he was eventually going to get caught."As a teenager, Radomski says he was something of a fitness freak, dabbling in competitive bodybuilding shows and hanging out in gyms. He says he started using steroids himself about the time he began advising Dykstra, based on what he'd learned from the bodybuilding community. Eventually, he reached the point that he was writing up off-season workout and supplement regimens for players. He later began tracking down steroids for Dykstra and Segui, then his phone started ringing. He lived a double life, not even telling his wife about his steroid dealings with players.
He still speaks highly of his dealings with Mitchell, and he says he appreciates that Mitchell acknowledged his cooperation when the report was released in December 2007. Mitchell, Radomski says, also confirmed his good work to the federal government and picked up the $63 in parking costs incurred for the three Manhattan meetings.But, as Radomski sees it, he provided the names and relevant new information in the 409-page report, which might have saved Mitchell from taking an embarrassing shot to his reputation and from having to defend the estimated $20 million bill he presented to MLB for his work. So, a little more than a year later, Radomski is irked that Mitchell declined at least two overtures to be interviewed for his book.