Former All-Star closer Eric Gagne has done the impossible—he has presented shocking information on the use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball.
In a world saturated with tales (mostly coming from Jose Canseco) of the widespread use of PEDs in baseball, Gagne's comment that "80 percent" of his teammates were taking HGH knocks me in the head like a Justin Verlander fastball.
Gagne makes this claim in his new book, Game Over: The Story of Eric Gagne, and ESPN's Mark Saxon passed along the following excerpt:
I was intimately aware of the clubhouse in which I lived. I would say that 80 percent of the Dodgers players were consuming them.
Gagne pitched for the Dodgers from 1999-2006. He spent parts of 2007 with both the Red Sox and Rangers, and had a 50-game stint with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2008.
Like every other piece of information emerging about the use or non-use of PEDs, this needs to be met with a certain amount of skepticism.
Perhaps Gagne—who, as Saxon points out, admitted to using HGH in 2010—is simply inflating the number in an effort to help drive up sales of his book.
But then again, there have been enough accounts of widespread use that this claim can't be completely discounted.
And the sad reality is, at this point, it is hard to even care. There will never be any clarity on which players were on PEDs and which weren't. Or what gains those who were using actually benefited.
It is all just a cloudy picture of accusations, bloated stats and bloated records set that many fans now view as hollow. There have been Congressional hearings to try to get to the bottom of this, and, really, we are no closer to knowing the truth than we were when we first accepted the fact that PEDs in baseball was a big problem.
Gagne's comments are indeed shocking, but they will have very little impact.