Cust questions source behind his inclusion in Mitchell report
One, that he was accused of using steroids. And two, that he apparently was assigned a locker beside former minor league teammate Larry Bigbie -- the source behind Cust winding up in the report.
In his first public remarks, Cust told Bay Area media that he has never used performance-enhancing substances.
"No. No. Not even one game," he said Saturday.
Cust then challenged the information Bigbie gave in a conversation with Mitchell's investigators.
"At the beginning of the 2003 season, Cust and Larry Bigbie were both playing for Baltimore's Class AAA affiliate in Ottawa," the report, released Dec. 14, read. "Bigbie's locker was next to Cust's. Cust eventually asked Bigbie if he had ever tried steroids. Bigbie acknowledged he had, and Cust said that he, too, had tried steroids.
"Cust told Bigbie that he had a source who could procure anything he wanted, but Bigbie informed him he already had a friend who could supply him," according to the report.
Speaking Saturday at the A's annual FanFest, Cust said the circumstances surrounding his inclusion in the report were "unfair," adding he doesn't remember speaking with Bigbie about steroids and that the two were not locker neighbors while playing for Ottawa.
"He was a teammate of mine five years ago and we haven't talked since," Cust said. "I don't remember any conversations about [steroids]. He might have misinterpreted something I said, but I don't remember anything.
"I read the report, and he said he had the locker next to me. I didn't have a locker next to him. I don't know how something like that gets misinterpreted, but I haven't talked to him in five years. ... A lot of people say the same thing, that it seems weird my name is in there when there were other cases where there was a lot more [evidence] accrued."
Cust said he followed the players' union's advice and did not speak to Mitchell's investigators.
"I had nothing to hide," Cust said, "but they advised me not to talk, because then they try to get something on other guys you've played with."
Cust, a veteran minor leaguer, provided Oakland with a great source of power last season with 26 home runs and 82 RBIs in 395 at-bats.
Cust, 29, joined the A's last May in a trade from San Diego. Prior to carving out the full-time role at DH, he had 144 at-bats in the majors -- and only three with the Padres in 2006.
"The people who have played with me know I work harder than anyone else," Cust said Saturday, "and people who've known me my whole life know I've had power my whole career. Hopefully, people stand by me. People have opinions but it's important to me to make this a positive thing and be a positive influence."
A's general manager Billy Beane told the San Francisco Chronicle that he spoke to Cust about the Mitchell report this winter and that he was satisfied with his player's answers.
THE MITCHELL REPORT
The Mitchell report• Mitchell delivers his report | Read it (pdf)
• Players: Who's named in the report
• Recommendations from the report
• Report reaction: What they're saying
• Drugs listed in report | The Dope On Steroids
• Evidence may limit Selig's punishment choices
• Mitchell defends naming stars in report
• Owners praise Selig, support extended tenure
• Seligs hopes to finish review by spring
Clemens news• Reports: New name surfaces in Clemens saga
• Date set for Clemens, McNamee depositions
• McNamee unlikely to get congressional immunity
• Mitchell reportedly tried to contact Clemens twice
• McNamee's attorney defends immunity request
• Source: Clemens hedges on giving deposition
• Report of Clemens abscess raises more questions
• Astros unsure if Clemens to help at camp
• Clemens' accuser meets with federal prosecutors
• Rocket reps: McNamee 'avoiding' being served
• Source: No immunity expected for Clemens
• Laywer: McNamee 'avoiding' being served papers
• Clemens denies steroid use in taped conversation
• Trainer's lawyers alert Congress to second tape
Pettitte news• Pettitte undecided if he'll testify before Congress
• Pettitte gets new lawyer for congressional hearing
• Pettitte admits using HGH in 2002
Grimsley/Radomski documents• Unsealed documents: Radomski | Grimsley
• Federal agent Jeff Novitzky's sworn affidavit
• Watson denies allegations in Grimsley affidavit
• Hearst wants goverment. to explain conduct
Other News• Players, owners try to modify drug agreement
• Fehr: Foreign players deserve equal drug penalties
• Pujols bans TV station that erroneously named him
• MLB establishes drug investigations unit
• Report: Knoblauch ends silence on steroid report
• Kent: Players should undergo blood testing
• Rose investigator says Mitchell undermined report
• Report: Congressional hearing postponed
• MLB to crack down on clubhouse security
• Congressman blasts Selig on steroids policy
• Report: Players may still testify at hearing
• Report: MLB players won't testify for Congress
• Rose says users 'making a mockery' of game
• Selig defends baseball's drug-testing program
• Post-'03 cases face most MLB scrutiny
• Congress calling new hearings on steroids, HGH
• Report: Deal with feds led to McNamee testimony
• Report: Roberts admits one-time steroid use
• Nats prez: Team had no advance copy of report
• Indians' Byrd discusses HGH use with MLB
• Vina admits HGH use, but disputes steroid claims
• MLB's man: Progress in urine test to detect HGH
• O's respond to Mitchell findings
• A-Rod's reply to Canseco: I never doped
• Bush: MLB must take report seriously
• Pujols sets record straight on inaccurate report
• Reliever Donnelly 'sick' over inclusion in report
• Former D-back Cabrera denies using steroids
• Lowell calls for stronger steroid testing
Analysis• Munson: Delay means Congress serious
• Wojciechowski: Rocket's logic fizzles
• Assael: Clemens throws up and in at McNamee
• Munson: Clemens' lawsuit is part propaganda
• Olney: There's one thing Clemens can't change
• Crasnick: A tale of two Rockets on "60 Minutes"
• Neyer: Time to stop behaving like a child
• Bryant: Odds are against Clemens in interview
• Munson Q&A: Clemens, McNamee on the hot seat
• Neyer: Investigate all players
• Wojciechowski: Time for Clemens to speak up
• Neyer: Does HGH enhance performance?
• Hill: Pettitte's apology was a joke
• Stark: Pettitte no different than Pats' Harrison
• Stark: Clemens, Bonds tales similar, yet different
• Bryant: Selig must address steroids era records
• Santangelo admits HGH use; will 'face the music'
• Helyar: Not good for short-term business
• Fish: Baseball's steroids crisis management
• Crasnick: Clemens' Hall of Fame chances?
• Gammons: Drug culture quite slimy
• Hall of Fame voters speak out on Clemens
• Stark: Indelible impact on the game
• Wojciechowski: Thaw needed in cold war
• Bryant: Mitchell report flat without feds
• Fainaru-Wada: Report sheds light on Bonds
• Crasnick: Recently acquired players named
• The man behind Clemens, Pettitte bombshells
• Munson: Legal challenges troublesome
• Fish: Congress reacts quickly to report
• Helyar: Anti-doping experts don't agree on report
• Nelson: Fehr, MLBPA kept in dark on report
• Neyer: Non-surprising names
• Neyer: Scout's telling take on Gagne
Video• Complete coverage
Audio• David Justice on The Herd
• Best of Mike & Mike, on report's fallout
• PTI discussion over report's release
• Michael Kay Show
• ESPN.com's Keith Law
SportsNation• SportsNation reacts to Mitchell report
• What do you think of it?
• Fan blogs: How fans are reacting
More• Mitchell investigation timeline
• Kirk Radomski timeline
• List of suspended MLB players