Former Met Employee Indicted for Steroid Distribution

Steroid needleThe latest twist in the MLB steroid story involves the New York Mets.

Relax, though, they’re not fingering any CURRENT Mets — not yet, anyway.

37-year-old Kirk J. Radomski, a former personal trainer and employee for the Mets from 1985-95, was nailed by the feds for distribution of performance-enhancing drugs. Speculation is that Radomski’s business was focused on MLB players, and that he sold drugs to “dozens” of Major Leaguers. Radomski laundered the revenues from his drug sales, and that’s how the feds caught up with him. He has already pleaded guilty to the indictment, and as part of a plea bargain, has agreed to cooperate with the group led by former Sen. George Mitchell.

This is VERY bad news for baseball. If indeed he sold drugs to “dozens” of players — reportedly from 1995 to 2005 — then there will be a lot of unhappy people in the coming months. The FBI was ready to release the names of players who failed drug tests, based on information seized from Quest Diagnostics, but the move has been blocked by appeals courts.

However, the latest indictment of Radomski means that there is now an avenue for names to be named, because Radomski agreed to testify at any grand jury proceeding requested by the government. The FBI and IRS (led by bulldog agent Jay Novitzky) can and will call Radomski to testify — that is the whole point of giving him the plea bargain. It may take a while, but eventually, we will find out who was doing what.

In addition, Radomski agreed to participate in undercover activities; in other words, he was recently wired while setting up / making deals. If you think the Jason Grimsley case from last year shook up some players, imagine what’s going through the minds of guilty parties now. My guess is that anyone who made a deal with Radomski in the last six months has to be concerned.

So where does this tie in the Mets? Hopefully it doesn’t; right now, the only link is that Radomski worked for the Mets as a bat boy, ball boy, clubhouse assistant, and similar duties from 1985-95. He left the organization some time in 1995 to go on to “bigger and better things” (pardon the pun). While it was over ten years ago that he worked for the Mets, it’s not hard to connect the dots. Like any successful businessman, he obviously built a lot of relationships, and used them to build his distribution network. It’s probably not a coincidence, for example, that several New York Mets farmhands were busted for failing steroid tests over the last few years (ex. Grant Roberts, Jon Nunnally, Brian Walker, Felix Heredia, Waner Mateo, Jorge Reyes, Timothy Haines, Yusaku Iriki).

The best thing to happen to Radomski’s burgeoning business was the busting of BALCO in 2003. With that major distributor out of the picture, Radomski seized the opportunity to expand his business. He was doing pretty well — an affadavit listed 23 checks worth more than $30,000 that were deposited by individuals associated with Major League Baseball into his personal bank account between May 2003, and March 2005 — until an FBI agent posed as a buyer and busted him.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Parrella said of Radomski, “This individual was a major dealer of anabolic steroids and performance-enhancing drugs whose clientele was focused almost exclusively on Major League Baseball players. He operated for approximately a decade.” Yikes.

Radomski’s tie to the Mets puts PR man Jay Horwitz in crisis mode at the moment, but in the end this is more about MLB as a whole, and less about the Mets. Unfortunately, this is only the tip of the iceberg, and MLB is the Titanic.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
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