Red Sox ties in Mitchell Report
Former, current MLB players implicated in 21-month probe
NEW YORK -- Like every team in Major League Baseball, the Red Sox were part of the Mitchell Report on performance-enhancing drugs, which was released on Thursday.
However, there were no star players from Boston's World Series championship teams of 2004 or 2007.
The two most noted players with Red Sox ties on the report -- Roger Clemens and Mo Vaughn -- have long since departed
Former Sen. George Mitchell's alleged findings on Clemens (with Boston from 1984-96) started when the right-hander joined the Toronto Blue Jays. Mitchell reported that Mo Vaughn (Boston's first baseman from 1991-98) purchased human growth hormone (HGH) while he was with the Angels in 2001. Vaughn won the American League Most Valuable Player Award while playing for the 1995 Red Sox.
The two players on the 2007 Sox in the report are relievers Brendan Donnelly and Eric Gagne, the latter of whom is a former Cy Young Award winner. In both cases, Mitchell's investigation contained association of performance-enhancing drugs while the players were with other teams.
The Red Sox issued a statement regarding the release of the Mitchell Report which read as follows: "The Boston Red Sox have supported and fully cooperated with this investigation initiated by Commissioner [Bud] Selig and conducted by Senator Mitchell. The senator and his staff should be thanked and commended for their dedicated and independent efforts in producing this important Report.
"It is imperative that we continue to educate our players on the dangers and unfairness of performance-enhancing drugs, and to do everything we can to eliminate them entirely from the game of baseball.
"We are confident that that adoption and implementation of Major League Baseball's and the Major League Baseball Players Association's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, the toughest in all of professional sports, will also result in helping to achieve this goal.
"Until we have had the opportunity to read and review more thoroughly the Mitchell Report released today, we will have no further comment at this time."
The players were also still in the process of digesting the contents of the massive report.
"I am just about to get online and have not read the Report," Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell e-mailed MLB.com at 6:04 p.m. ET on Thursday.
Mitchell uncovered some dialogue in the Red Sox's baseball operations staff when the club was courting both Gagne and Donnelly.
Though the Red Sox didn't land Gagne until July 31, 2007, they courted him last offseason when he was a free agent.
The Mitchell report detailed an e-mail from Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein to scout Mark Delpiano on Nov. 1, 2006, which said, "Have you done any digging on Gagne? I know the Dodgers think he was a steroid guy. Maybe so. What do you hear on his medical?"
Delpiano's response in Mitchell's report reads as follows: "Some digging on Gagne and steroids is the issue. He had a checkered medical past throughout his career including Minor Leagues. [He] lacks the poise and commitment to stay healthy, maintain body and re-invent self. What made him a tenacious closer was the max effort-plus stuff. ... Mentality without the weapons and without steroid help probably creates a large risk in bounce-back durability and the ability to throw average while allowing the changeup to play as it once did. ... Personally, durability (or lack of) will follow Gagne."
Gagne struggled mightily in his three months with the Red Sox, and the right-hander recently signed with the Milwaukee Brewers as a free agent.
As for Donnelly, who didn't pitch after June because of Tommy John surgery -- as with Gagne -- Donnelly's alleged use came when he was with another team, the Angels. Mitchell reported some research the Red Sox did before signing Donnelly.
Mitchell wrote that, "In considering whether to trade for Donnelly in 2007, Red Sox baseball operations personnel internally discussed concerns that Donnelly was using performance-enhancing substances."
Mitchell then printed an e-mail exchange that was sent from Zack Scott of the Red Sox baseball operations staff to Ben Cherington, the club's vice president of player personnel.
"He was a juice guy, but his velocity hasn't changed a lot over the years," Scott wrote. "If he was a juice guy, he could be a breakdown candidate."
Kyle Evans of Boston's baseball operations staff then chimed in with an e-mail that said, "I haven't heard many good things about him, w[ith] significant steroid rumors."
Donnelly is a free agent after being non-tendered by the Sox on Wednesday.
Other players with Red Sox ties who were named in the Mitchell Report are: Jose Canseco (1995-96), Paxton Crawford (2000-01), Jeremy Giambi (2003), Steve Woodard ('03), Josias Manzanillo ('91), Chris Donnels ('95), Mike Lansing (2000-01), Kent Mercker ('99) and Mike Stanton ('96, '05).
Several high-profile, superstar-caliber players were among those named in the Mitchell Report, the product of a 21-month, multimillion dollar investigation that could shape decisions, prompt punitive actions against active players and usher in the next era of the sport.
Clemens, a free agent, Andy Pettitte of the New York Yankees, Miguel Tejada of the Houston Astros and Paul Lo Duca of the Washington Nationals were among the most prominent former and current All-Stars to be mentioned in the lengthy report, which spans 311 pages, plus multiple exhibits, including evidence of signed checks, handwritten notes and shipping receipts.
The players listed in the paragraph above are by no means the only players listed in the Mitchell Report, but in MLB.com's first initial review of the document, those names stood out by their notoriety. Our coverage will continue minute-by-minute through the course of the proceedings and for the foreseeable future thereafter, but the entire Report is available for viewing here at MLB.com.
While the Mitchell Report detailed drug use in baseball by naming those accused, it also contained 19 separate recommendations for the sport to move forward from this point, proceeding after a culture of steroids and performance enhancement grew exponentially in the late 1990s.
The Mitchell Report named both Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association in assigning blame, charging leadership -- from the Commissioner to club owners and general managers -- for allowing the issue to proliferate.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.