Thursday, November 29, 2007
Moreno on Mitchell report: 'There's going to be names'
ESPN.com news services
It remains to be seen if the players contacted by George Mitchell's investigators are actually named in the report, which is due for release sometime before Christmas.
But Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno raised the bar Wednesday when he said the report on the use of performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball will include names of players.
"The names of players will come out that people will be mad about," Moreno, quoted by The Los Angeles Times in Thursday's editions, said. "Some of my information is secondhand, but I know there's going to be names."
Moreno apparently did not elaborate as to why he felt players, fans, management officials and others would be angered by the identity of any names that come from the report.
The subject came up after the Angels held a news conference to introduce center field Torii Hunter, who was signed last week to a $90 million free-agent contract, and right-hander Jon Garland, who was acquired from the White Sox.
Moreno did not say how he came upon such information. He told The Times he has urged commissioner Bud Selig's office to be "proactive" in ridding the sport of banned substances.
"Anyone who tries to cheat the system shouldn't be in baseball," Moreno said, according to The Times.
"If you've got dirty laundry, get it out there and get rid of it."
Moreno's comments came a day after a former trainer for the Cincinnati Reds and Florida Marlins told Florida Today that he was interviewed four times by investigators for Mitchell's team intent on learning names.
"Obviously, they would love to have names, and I told them right off the bat that there wouldn't be names," Starr said in a telephone interview with the New York Times published Thursday. Starr was a trainer with Cincinnati from 1972-92 and Florida form 1993-2002.
Starr said he talked to a man he identified as lawyer Jeffrey Gordon, who worked for DLA Piper, a New York-based law firm that has helped the Mitchell investigation.
"He asked if there was anything that was suspicious, was there anything that was a red flag on a player?" Starr said, according to the Times. "Was there someone that ever came up to me and admitted using it or did I see a player using it? Or were there any circumstances where you had to handle a situation with any evidence?"
Starr said he told Gordon he wouldn't violate a trust he had with players
According to a report in early November, a union official told agents that no more than 11 players from this year's free-agent class were asked to speak with Mitchell, the former senator.
Michael Weiner, the union's general counsel, made the statement to agents attending a meeting in New York, two people with knowledge of the session said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the remarks were intended to remain private.
Weiner said the union didn't know whether any names would be included, those with knowledge of the meeting told The Associated Press.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.