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Kirk Radomski worked in the New York Mets clubhouse for a decade. In 2007, the Mitchell Report on steroids in baseball drew heavily from his testimony in revealing the names of players who took performance-enhancing drugs.
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For anyone seriously interested in baseball's steroid situation, this is essential reading. To be sure, the book has its flaws, including the author's frequent reminders of his many self-perceived good qualities. As we might expect from a person who made it his life to serve professional athletes, Radomski seems to think he was important because he spent time with big name athletes who made a lot of money. And like other "trainers," Radomski seems to want a lot of credit for what "his guys" accomplished on the field.
But the flaws are easily tolerated, and what cannot be ignored is the way this book pushes the debate on steroids and human growth hormone. Like Jose Canseco, Radomski sees the substances so many have harshly condemned as things that enhanced player health. According to Radomski, Senator Mitchell was surprised that he "continued to defend the use of steroids and growth by baseball players."
While stories about Radomski's relationships with various athletes probably fill too many pages, here's a very knowledgeable user and observer who says "growth hormones increased a player's healing ability." He says that although HGH doesn't "build muscle like steroids," it allowed athletes to "play at the peak of their abilities every day without enhancing their performance." Radomski sees HGH as something that let's the body heal more quickly than normal. Since "growth hormones promote healing while cortisone simply reduces pain," Radomski can't help but wonder why HGH is still illegal.Read more ›
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Kirk Radomski is a former New York Mets clubhouse boy who grew from a fifteen-year-old gopher... for multi-million dollar Major League ballplayers... doing everything from picking up dirty, sweaty, jocks... to picking up bats and balls... to sweeping up the sloppy aftermath of spoiled ballplayers post-game messes... and eventually graduated to become one of the main figures in Senator George Mitchell's campaign to expose and "clean-up"... the awful... illegal... drug problem... that has stained... and tarnished... the grand-old-game-of-baseball. On April 26, 2007 Radomski "signed a plea agreement with the U.S. attorney in San Francisco, pleading guilty to one count of distribution of anabolic steroids and one count of money laundering." The author admits wholeheartedly without even a stammer... or an excuse... that he was definitely guilty. And in addition to the illegal drugs... Radomski admits his involvement with illegal "corked" bats... and twice providing Doc Gooden with his own urine... to pass baseball drug tests. And it's from this point... that this story is told.
I am an "old-school" baseball fan... and like most true fans... am mad at what has been done to the reputation of the game that was part of almost every American boy's youthful dreams. Though this story is told from a different perspective than the Canseco books... there is one distasteful trait that both authors have in common. They are both so egotistical about their "talents" and "expertise" in the use of steroids... human growth hormone (HGH)... and all the other illegally used drugs that have damaged the game... and sullied... the holiest... of holy... records. Where Canseco would brag that he was the pioneer of steroid use in baseball... the Godfather of steroids...Read more ›
This book is must reading for anyone who really wants to get a complete understanding of the steroid/PED problem in baseball. Radomski, who had been in baseball for years, does an excellent job of explaining the game's culture that drove player after player to use PEDs. For players who always tried to keep up on whatever their peers were doing to help them perform better (look at all the players wearing those magnetic necklaces), it was virtually no different than getting the inside tip on a good tailor in each town. "Cheating" was not even part of the conversation. And Radomski lays out a good case why the baseball hierarchy -- from coaches, managers, and owners up to the commissioner -- all knew what was going on, but all kept quiet. He also correctly predicts the entire A-Rod saga, including A-Rod's rationale for using. After you read this book, you'll have no doubt the majority of MLB players did something, and many continue to use. (And why wouldn't anyone use HGH? MLB is not testing for it). For baseball fans, the book is ultimately disillusioning, but in my opinion better to know the real story. Not recommended for young impressionable idealistic fans.
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I didn't get into too much trouble as kid, but when I did I always had a supposedly good excuse up my sleeve:
"So-so told me too" "He started it" "It wasn't me" "I didn't know" "Everybody else did it"
That last one is my favorite because even full-grown adults use that lame excuse every day. Bases Loaded by Kirk Radomski is one big fat steroid-filled excuse. Much like Jose Canseco's Juiced, which signified the beginning of the end of the visible steroid era, Radomski spends the entire time trying to justify his actions and blaming everyone else for his problems.
Throughout the book, he tends to contradict his own beliefs. He regrets getting into the steroid world yet is happy he "helped" his baseball friends. He understands why his friends were silent during the investigation yet furious when no one talked. He is disinterested in baseball yet treats the game with great respect. He believes steroids make no difference for a good athlete, yet shows example after example how athletes would have been nobodies without steroids.
This book is extremely interesting. Without Kirk Radomski's testimony there would have been no Mitchell Report and Major League Baseball would have had their heads in sand for a little while longer.
The visible steroid era will be a constant black eye for baseball. There is no single victim and there is no one single culprit. Commissioner Bud Selig, the Players' Association, the press, and all the PED pushers are responsible for visible steroid era and no matter how hard we try to forget - dismissing records, shutting people of the Hall of Fame, etc, - the steroid era was a bad mistake that we all turned a blind eye to because we were having too much fun.
Except for me...I was too young to know what was going on.:)
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