Steroids Stoolie

The man who started the whole Radomski-McNamee wing of the steroids business has been outed by The Smoking Gun:

The snitch recorded his phone calls with ballplayers, wore a wire to meetings with FBI targets, and ordered steroids and human growth hormone at the direction of federal agents. For a year, he expertly gathered information that would spawn grand jury investigations, government raids, the Mitchell Report, Radomski’s felony conviction, and the ongoing criminal probe of Clemens. With brio, he dimed out acquaintances who were unaware that their pal was a convicted felon who, in a bid to avoid a five-year maximum prison sentence, had turned FBI informant and was assiduously working the street . . .

. . . A lengthy TSG probe has identified the talented FBI informant as Andrew Michael Bogdan, a Baltimore resident who cultivated friendships with Orioles ballplayers and then passed on incriminating information about them to his handlers at the bureau. A review of court records and interviews with Bogdan and other sources has allowed TSG to trace the 43-year-old’s arc from white- collar criminal to government informant solely responsible for triggering a chain of events that continues to roil baseball.

First, great gumshoeing by the Smoking Gun.

Second, one of my criticisms of the Mitchell Report was that it seemed to focus so much on Radomski clients without much of an effort, it seemed, to explore or even allude to the fact that there was probably a whole different world of steroid suppliers and users out there. Now it seems clear that Mitchell was simply handed Radomski because the feds were simply handed Radomski.

I imagine that if anyone was interested in going beyond the low-hanging fruit like this, we could one day have half a clue as to the scope of baseball’s PED problem. Since that’s unlikely to ever happen, the George Mitchell All-Stars will forever be the poster boys.

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Comments

  1. Pete Toms said...

    I’ve made this comment before but I feel strongly about it, so I’ll make it again.

    This is part of what I don’t like about the MR.  You’re in it if your steroid peddler/personal trainer/nutritionist/gym rat – whatever – was investigated by the feds.  If you were fortunate enough to get your juice from a supplier who avoided investigation by the feds, you’re ok.  That’s BS.

    As Neyer ( I think it was him ) pointed out, when the identity of those who tested positive in the “anonymous” (a great misnomer) testing become public, we’re gonna go through this again.  The players are getting royally screwed on this “anonymous testing”.  Isn’t there still an unsettled (my legal speak is poor, pardon) legal case concerning this?  Is it moot, as it will probably be leaked anyway? 

    Ugh.

  2. kranky kritter said...

    So which is more just? For everyone to have gotten away with cheating, or for only a subset to have gotten caught?

    In the real world, the norm is that only a subset ever gets caught. Cheerfully granted, catching Bonds and Clemens isn’t as good as catching everyone. But they got the pitching Capone and the hitting Capone of the steroids generation. And that seems desirable.

  3. pete said...

    The Capone analogy fails in that the entire government that later prosecuted him was not complicit in his operation.

    Crucify anyone you catch, as long as you crucify everyone and don’t let Selig & Co. skate.

  4. kranky kritter said...

    Meh. I don’t quarrel with the notion that MLB powers were neglectful of their responsibility to protect the integrity of the game. Obviously the cheating went on for longer than it should have.

    But there’s no way I can see to raise such negligence to the same level of sin as that of the actual cheaters.

    The negligence of the ruling powers is further mitigated by their eventual actions in going after the cheaters and taking on the big names.

    We can’t unbreak this egg. But at least MLB finally cleaned up the mess.

  5. Pete Toms said...

    I’ll go a couple steps further than Pete.  Not only did the owners and MLB know, so did management, baseball writers and fans.  Everybody shrugged it off when it was reported that Big Mac took andro…we all knew, for many different reasons for a long time….

    Why is it more just that Bonds and Clemens got caught than a player who never rose above AAA or was a bench player or long reliever?  Because they prospered more?  Shouldn’t it be about the principle?  And I repeat, I can’t stand either player although the juiced Bonds was the greatest hitter of my time.

  6. kranky kritter said...

    I know I didn’t shrug it off. I think lots of other people didn’t either. Whoever did, that reflects on their character or at least their worldview.

    Sportswriters? Many of them known cynics, and baseball writers are probably the worst when it comes to believing they can’t afford to be ostracized by players.Oh well.

    I come at it from the perspective of caring about the integrity of the game and its greatest tales.Obviously every instance of cheating is regrettable, but let’s face it, little difference was made due to steroids changing the exact identify of whoever the marginal players were. But for sure, the guys who played it straight and suffered have a legitimate beef. Guys like Mike Greenwell, who say he deserves the MVP award Canseco got.

    I’m not sure what you’re asking by saying “shouldn’t it be about the principle?” since I don’t think my view lacks care for principles. That includes thinking that its unsportsmanlike to cheat by using PEDs, and that those most lionized while cheating are most deserving of approbation now.

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