09/26/2012 8:39 PM EST
Gagne throws PED blanket over ex-mates
By Lyle Spencer / MLB.com
Gagne admitted to using human growth hormone in a three-year period near the end of his career and alleged that 80 percent of his teammates were using performance-enhancing drugs.
Gagne, who has been out of baseball since the end of the 2008 season, provided no names of players he claims used PEDs.
"I was intimately aware of the clubhouse in which I lived," Gagne is quoted as saying. "I would say that 80 percent of the Dodgers players were consuming them."
His allegations are dated and unrelated to any current players or teams. The generalizations are obviously unfair to whatever percentage of teammates did not use illegal enhancers at the time.
Adrian Beltre, a Dodgers third baseman from 1998 through 2004, did not appreciate the implications when informed of Gagne's comments on Wednesday before his Rangers faced the Athletics in Arlington.
"He should have named the names," said Beltre, an American League Most Valuable Player candidate. "I know I'm not one of them.
"I didn't read the book and don't want to read the book. Everybody has the right to write a book. He can say what he wants to say. But if you write a book like that, you should name names."
Told that the book is in French, Beltre said: "My French is not too good."
Beltre finished second in the National League MVP race in 2004 before signing a free-agent contract with the Mariners after the season. He has been a driving force for Texas the past two seasons, signing as a free agent after spending the 2010 season in Boston.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura finished his brilliant 16-year career as a role player with the Dodgers in 2003-04, playing in a total of 151 games.
"Apparently, I'm the 20 percent," Ventura said. "I don't, I mean, I was never around it. So it's just one of those [things] that maybe he knows something I don't."
Ventura said he got along with Gagne as teammates.
"Yeah, he was fine," Ventura said. "I think that's different than what he's talking about. But it's just his own business and what he perceives. But I guess I'm going to have to go back and look at the roster."
Ventura laughed, tongue obviously in cheek.
Nationals starting pitcher Edwin Jackson was a prospect, trying to crack the Dodgers' staff, when Gagne was blowing hitters away. From 2002-04, Gagne registered 152 saves while blowing only six opportunities. The Montreal native was perfect in 55 save situations in his 2003 Cy Young season and converted a record 84 consecutive saves.
"I was just a puppy," Jackson said. "I was oblivious to everything. All I know was I was in the league. At that time, I was 20, 22. I was just worried about being in the league. I was just happy to be there. Everything else, I was out of the loop."
Gagne, who began his career as a starter with the Dodgers in 1999, struggled in that role until 2002, when he emerged as a popular figure in Los Angeles in the closer's role with his colorful "Game Over" persona.
An elbow surgery in 2005 limited Gagne to a total of 16 appearances in 2005-06. He signed a free-agent deal after the '06 season with the Rangers, who dealt him to Boston midway through the 2007 season. The Red Sox acquired David Murphy, Kason Gabbard and Engel Beltre in the deal. Gagne finished his career with the Brewers in '08.
Admitting to his use of PEDs, Gagne in the book says, "It was sufficient to ruin my health, tarnish my reputation and throw a shadow over the extraordinary performances of my career."
Gagne first made public his use of HGH in 2010.
Guillermo Mota, Freddy Galvis, Marlon Byrd, Melky Cabrera and Bartolo Colon have been suspended this year under terms of the program.
Mota, a Giants reliever, joined the Dodgers in 2002 and was 18-14 with a 2.79 ERA in 232 appearances before he was sent to the Marlins in a multiplayer trade on July 30, 2004.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.