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The [Steroid] Papers

The Cubs and White Sox were plenty present in the Mitchell Report released last week. Let's take a look.

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"Mitchell blasts the 'code of silence' of players and managers, such as former Cubs skipper Dusty Baker," Rick Telander writes.

"Baker long has said he knew nothing of steroid usage by any player during his years as manager of the Giants.

"The Mitchell Report shows Baker knew at least one of his player, Marvin Benard, had used steroids, but Baker 'did not report Benard's admission to anyone in Giants management or the Commissioner's Office.'"

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Of course, Barry Bonds played for Baker all those years in San Francisco.

Dusty Baker: The Sgt. Schultz of Major League Baseball.

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Baker is the new manager of the Cincinnati Reds. Here's what the Cincinnati Enquirer reported:

"In 2003, Giants outfielder Marvin Benard admitted to Baker that he took steroids.

"Baker told investigators he was 'completely shocked' when allegations of steroid use by Benard were made. The report says Baker asked Benard if the allegations were true. Benard, Baker said, admitted using steroids in the past but said he'd stopped. Baker, the report said, did not disclose this to Giants management or the commissioner's office. That could make Baker the subject of discipline.

"Baker did not return a call from The Enquirer Thursday."

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Not to elevate Jim Parque to a position of prominence, but his non-denial denial is total bullshit.

Besides, he had his chance.

"Parque, who lives in Seattle, where he operates a baseball academy, said he was contacted by the Mitchell team but refused to talk."

To be angry now about what the report says after refusing to speak to investigators is an act of Bakerish bullshit artistry.

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I'm certainly not the first to say it - in fact, I'm about the last - but hail Frank Thomas.

"The report stated that Thomas and New York Yankees slugger Jason Giambi were the only current players to speak with the Mitchell team about the so-called 'steroid era,' and Thomas did so voluntarily," the Sun-Times reported.

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Jim Parque runs a baseball academy?

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Among inactive players, former White Sox and Cubs reliever Matt Karchner was one of the few who met with investigators, "though he wouldn't identify the Cubs players he watched inject themselves with steroids during spring training 1999," the Sun-Times reports.

"He said one of the players brought the steroids to the apartment but was afraid of needles and therefore asked the second player to administer the shot," the Mitchell Report says. "The second player injected the first player with steroids in the buttocks and then injected himself.

"Later that season, Karchner was offered steroids by certain of his Cubs teammates. Karchner would not disclose the . . . players who offered him steroids, but he said the conversations he had with them involved the general cost of steroids and discussions of 'stacking' to build lean muscle . . . for pitchers. Karchner did not report either of these incidents to anyone at the time."

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I'm struck by how many ballplayers are afraid of needles.

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"Sosa was mentioned in the report just once," Greg Couch writes, "where it said that he didn't respond to a letter asking questions."

Maybe his translator wasn't available.

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Couch's column focuses on the legendary Wrigley Field home run hit by Glenallen Hill in 2000.

"In the stadium, players past and present, and fans, too, were buzzing. Ron Santo and Mark Grace, though, both told of baseball's dirty secret, that the ball was juiced.

"'Not to take anything away from Glenallen,' Grace said at the time, 'but no human being can do that.'"

Hill was named in the Mitchell Report, leading Couch to observe that maybe it was the players who were juiced, not the balls.

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"Hill said in the report that he didn't use the steroids he had bought because he was having marital problems. There is no explanation for whatever that means," Couch writes.

Maybe he was having problems in the bedroom and didn't want his balls to shrink.

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Todd Hundley got off easy here in Chicago compared to his treatment by the New York Times as one of the major links in baseball's drug network. Hundley is the son of legendary Cub Randy Hundley, still a popular figure in these parts.

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Online reports cited by the Tribune that Kerry Wood and Mark Prior were on the list were wrong. My apologies to everyone I called that afternoon with the news.

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Sammy Sosa wasn't named in the report, but he did test positive for cork.

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Sosa and McGwire react to the Mitchell Report.

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Finally, the Beachwood Performance Enhancing Affairs Desk has spent the last few days reading the 409-page Mitchell Report and we've culled the best excuses players have given for using performance enhancing drugs.

- "I was walking down the stairs and I slipped and fell on the steroids. Every day. For three years."

- "Yes those are steroids in the pants I'm wearing, but these aren't my pants."

- "Sure I took steroids. But I never inhaled."

- "What's the big deal? I mean, Obama did a little blow and he's running for president."

- "It was my mistake. I thought this syringe had undetectable HGH in it but it was actually Winstrol steroids. So, yeah, my bad."

- "If you can prove that Cy Young didn't take steroids, let me know."

- "I have to wear uncomfortable polyester clothing for hours at a time. You deal with that and not take steroids.

- "I just wanted to spend more time with my family, while suspended."


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