The Mitchell Report Reaction: Clemens, Pettitte, Canseco, Rodriguez, Donnelly, Cabrera
The reaction to the Mitchell Report is pretty split. Some players have admitted to some or all of what’s in the report, others have completely denied the allegations. Alex Rodriguez even got roped into the discussion by Jose Canseco.
Clemens has yet to speak publicly, but through his lawyer, Rusty Hardin, Clemens has categorically denied that he has ever used any performance enhancing drugs.
“Roger Clemens vehemently denies allegations in the Mitchell report that he used performance-enhancing steroids, and is outraged that his name is included in the report based on the uncorroborated allegations of a troubled man threatened with federal criminal prosecution.”
The troubled man, of course, is Clemens’ former trainer, Brian McNamee, who described Clemens’ use of steroids in detail for George Mitchell and his investigators. Even after McNamee was reported as being in the Jason Grimsley affidavit (along with Clemens and Andy Pettitte among others), Clemens defended McNamee.
From an October 2, 2006 article, the New York Daily News quoted Clemens as saying he would still train with McNamee.
“(McNamee is) very good at what he does. I’ll train with him any time. He gets the most out of you… And he’s not one of those guys that want to hang around with you or be around you. He wants to get your work done and get you where you need to be and be done with you.”
Nevertheless, Hardin made some legitimate points about the validity of the investigation and the potential damage.
“(McNamee) has repeatedly denied these current claims, including in June of this year when he was first contacted by federal investigators… After a day of repeated denials to federal investigators, he changed his story under the threat of federal criminal prosecution. He says he was then forced by those federal prosecutorial authorities to tell the same story for inclusion in the Mitchell report.”
“I am at a total loss to understand how it is proper for federal prosecutorial authorities to use the threat of criminal prosecution to help in a private business investigation… I respectfully suggest it is very unfair to include Roger’s name in this report. He is left with no meaningful way to combat what he strongly contends are totally false allegations. He has not been charged with anything, he will not be charged with anything and yet he is being tried in the court of public opinion with no recourse. That is totally wrong.”
Pettitte confessed to using human growth hormone in 2002.
“In 2002 I was injured. I had heard that human growth hormone could promote faster healing for my elbow… This is it — two days out of my life; two days out of my entire career, when I was injured and on the disabled list… I wasn’t looking for an edge. I was looking to heal.”
Jose Canseco and Alex Rodriguez
Canseco reportedly tried to attend George Mitchell’s press conference but was told it was “media only.”
“It’s a slap on the hand. The report proved nothing. It just proved what we already knew… I saw the list of players, and there are definitely a lot of players missing… I don’t know what they accomplished or what they are trying to prove.”
When asked about Alex Rodriguez, Canseco said:
“All I can say is the Mitchell report is incomplete. I could not believe that his name was not in the report.”
Canseco had previously told WEEI-Radio in Boston that Rodriguez would be featured in his next book, but would only say “Wait and see” when asked directly if Rodriguez used steroids. Many parts of Canseco’s first book, Juiced, focused on things like night life or women or other non-drug related dirt.
Rodriguez told “60 Minutes” that he has never even been tempted to use performance enhancing drugs.
“In 2004, I was having multiple physical problems and was concerned about not getting back on the field for even close to the level I had experienced. I made a phone call to Radomski. We discussed Anavar… Upon learning that Anavar was classified as a steroid, I realized that was not an option. That was the end of it. Yes, I called him. But I did not purchase or receive anything from him. I never took Deca or Anavar.”
In September 2000, an Arizona Diamondbacks employee discovered a package containing anabolic steroids and diet pills that was addressed to Cabrera. Cabrera’s denied the allegations and suggested that he was a scapegoat.
“I couldn’t have used the substances that are identified… I never had possession of the alleged box that supposedly contained the pharmaceutical drugs… It was easier to suggest that a recently acquired rookie whose contract had been sold to Japan was responsible for the phantom box, which I never saw.”