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ESPN Baseball Tonight analyst and former Mets general manager Steve Phillips admits that if any names come out from the latest steroids investigation news, he hopes it doesn't include any of his former players. Story
Kirk Radomski's plea bargain, and his cooperation with both federal investigators and Major League Baseball's George Mitchell-led investigation, could be the biggest break in uncovering some of baseball's steroid use. He could turn out to be to baseball what Sammy "The Bull" Gravano was to the Mob. Consider:
• As a clubhouse employee for the Mets for 11 years, and then in his later work as a personal trainer, Radomski would have had contact with literally hundreds and hundreds of players. A source said Friday evening that the federal case involved "dozens" of players, and someone who has seen an investigation affidavit indicated that Radomski told investigators -- to paraphrase -- that if they thought the allegations in Jose Canseco's book were explosive, they would be blown away by what Radomski could report.
• Since agreeing to cooperate with federal investigators, Radomski has apparently been working in concert with them for months. The sealed affidavit in Radomski's initial bust was dated December 2005. That means he could have been cooperating with federal investigators for as long as the last 17 months, perhaps distributing performance-enhancing drugs to players under the guise of the investigators, perhaps wearing a wire, having his phone conversations recorded. And while Radomski could speak to his own alleged distribution, he also could tell all that he knows about performance-enhancing drug use that he saw while he was with the Mets. It's conceivable that it was Radomski who helped lead investigators to the implication of Jason Grimsley one year ago.
• This has presumably given the Mitchell investigation its biggest break so far. As one source said, with this, federal investigators have effectively handed over a "Tiffany box" full of steroid information to Mitchell's team -- leads to be followed up with requests to speak to current and former players.
-- Buster Olney is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine
• Buster Olney has more on baseball's steroids investigation on The SportsBash. Listen