The current Phillies came off relatively clean but the fans have more reasons to doubt Lenny Dykstra and a better idea why they booed David Bell.
In baseball's Mitchell Report, which was released yesterday, Dykstra and Bell were linked to performance-enhancing drugs while playing for the Phillies, although their names and allegations had appeared in previous media reports.
Other former Phillies named - Jason Grimsley, Jeremy Giambi, Ryan Franklin, Benito Santiago, Todd Pratt, Gary Bennett Jr., Bobby Estalella and Paul Byrd - allegedly obtained their performance-enhancing drugs while playing for other teams, according to the report.
"The Phillies join commissioner [Bud] Selig in thanking Senator Mitchell for his comprehensive work and the resulting report issued earlier today. We agree with the commissioner's desire to rid our game of performance-enhancing drugs and support his willingness to accept Senator Mitchell's recommendations," the Phillies said in a statement.
"Our fans' trust in the integrity of the game is of utmost importance to the Phillies. We hope that our game took a significant step forward as a result of today's developments."
But new details emerged about Dykstra, who had a relationship with the linchpin of the Mitchell Report long before he wore a Phils uniform.
According to the report, former Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski first met Dykstra when he was playing for the Mets and became "very close with Lenny."
According to Radomski, when Dykstra reported to spring training in 1989, "his increased size was noticeable." When Radomski asked him about his increased size, Dykstra admitted to taking steroids. Dykstra was traded to the Phillies later that year.
The report also states the Phillies suspected Dykstra used illegal substances and did little about it, although the culture in baseball has changed from 1993 to 2007.
Baseball did not begin testing for steroids until 2002.
Former Phillies general manager Lee Thomas told investigators he had suspicions Dykstra might have been using performance-enhancing drugs when Dykstra arrived at spring training in 1993 noticeably bigger. Thomas told Dykstra he hoped he hadn't done anything to jeopardize his health.
Dykstra told Thomas he didn't use steroids.
Thomas couldn't be reached for comment yesterday, but he recalled that conversation in an interview with The Inquirer in 2005: "He came to spring training looking bigger and stronger [that year]. I said, 'You've been working out.' He said, 'Yeah.' I said, 'I just hope you're not doing anything that would hurt your health.' He said, 'Everything is cool.' "
Former Phillies trainer Jeff Cooper told investigators that during that period he observed a player whose steroid use was "obvious." Cooper didn't reveal the player's name, but Thomas told Cooper he should raise his concerns directly with the player. Cooper did, and the player told Cooper to mind his own business.
The report said the matter went no further.
But the report also stated that Dykstra admitted to Kevin Hallinan, baseball's senior vice president for security, and others in 2000 that he had used steroids. Dykstra said he used them to "keep his weight up" and because it eliminated the need for him to work out during the season.
Dykstra for years has publicly denied steroid use, although he has said in the past he used "real good vitamins" or "special vitamins" to get bigger.
Dykstra could not be reached for comment.
Phillies assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. played with Dykstra in 1993. Amaro issued a no comment regarding the Mitchell Report. Pratt, who was named in the Mitchell Report and also played with Dykstra in 1993, said in 2005 that he had no knowledge of Dykstra's steroid use.
"I can't comment on it because I don't know anything about it," Pratt said. "I was a young kid back then. I didn't hang out with them. I hardly knew those guys."
Both Dykstra and Pratt went to Radomski to allegedly acquire steroids, according to the report.
Radomski sold performance-enhancing drugs to players until late 2005. He built a widespread network around baseball as players referred other players to him. Radomski told Mitchell investigators everything he knew, and provided them with paper trails he had, including copies of checks, bank statements, telephone records and telephone numbers in his address book.
He told investigators that he did most of his business over the phone, and that he shipped the drugs to the players' homes, hotels or clubhouses.
The report also mentions the possibility that a Phillies clubhouse attendant crossed the border into Mexico from San Diego to acquire illegal substances. In September 2002, former Montreal Expos bullpen catcher Luis Perez told Hallinan that players and clubhouse attendants often crossed the border to acquire illegal substances. Perez specifically named a Phillies clubhouse attendant.
Hallinan's deputy, Martin Maguire, later interviewed that Phillies clubhouse attendant, who denied involvement in acquiring drugs for players.
"Major League Baseball advised us of the allegations," Phillies vice president for public relations Larry Shenk said. "They conducted their own investigation and kept us informed, and advised us of their conclusion that there was nothing there."
Shenk said the clubhouse attendant interviewed by baseball was not a full-time employee, but an hourly employee.
"They found nothing there to be concerned with, so it didn't go any further," Shenk said.
Bell, whose brother Mike also is named in the report, purchased six packages of human chorionic gonadatropin (HCG) from a pharmacy in Alabama in April 2005, when Bell was playing for the Phillies. HCG is a hormone created during pregnancy. It is taken by steroid abusers to counteract the effects steroids have on the body's natural production of testosterone.
Bell received a prescription for HCG from an Arizona anti-aging facility. He acknowledged the purchase to reporters from Sports Illustrated, but said he needed them for a "medical condition." HCG is not a human-growth hormone and not banned by baseball.
That the report named no other Phillies does not necessarily mean the Phillies were a completely clean clubhouse. Investigators could not subpoena players, so almost every current and former player declined to be interviewed. In an Inquirer article in March 2006, a Phillies player said he had used amphetamines every day. He also estimated that "half the position players in baseball did it almost every day."
Baseball banned amphetamines before the 2006 season.