13 Ex-Diamondbacks Named in Mitchell Report

Former Arizona Diamondbacks Matt Williams, Jason Grimsley, Jose Guillen, Troy Glaus, and Jack Cust were among 13 ex-Diamondbacks players linked to baseball's drug scandal by former Senator George Mitchell. Perhaps more interesting than the Diamondbacks listed are those who failed to appear in Mitchell's report.

The thirteen players on former Senator Mitchell's report who played in the Diamondbacks organization are Matt  Williams, Troy Glaus, Jack Cust, Jason Grimsley,  Jose Guillen, Chris Donnels, Stephen Randolph, Matt Herges, Jim Parque, Alex Cabrera, Darren Holmes, Bobby Estalella and Ron Villone.  Mike Bell, a former player who managed the short-season affiliate Yakima Bears last season, also found his name in Mitchell's report.

This may not affect Bells status within the organization, as Matt Williams performs several roles with the Diamondbacks, and had the full support of the front office when Williams' use of human growth hormone in 2002 had been revealed last month.  Williams had also been the team's starting third baseman when the Diamondbacks won the World Series in 2001.

Like Williams, Grimsley, Guillem and Glaus had previously been linked to baseball's drug scandal.  Among the new names, only Jack Cust's stands out as a prominent player.  Cust was drafted in the 30th round of Diamondbacks' first ever draft back in 1997.  He played only three games with the Diamondbacks in that Championship 2001 season before being traded to the Colorado Rockies for sidearming southpaw Mike Myers.  His only significant major league action came last year with the Oakland Athletics, when Cust clubbed 26 homers and drove in 82, but led the league in strikeouts despite logging fewer than 400 at bats.

The most interesting aspect of the report from a Diamondbacks fan's perspective is the absence of Luis Gonzalez in the report.  Ken Kedrick, one of the part-owners of the Diamondbacks, mentioned "whispers" of Gonzo having used steroids in the past in an effort to sour the fans adoration of him.  This tactic came just before the club would announce that Gonzalez would not be back for the 2007 season.

Jay Bell, Reggie Sanders, and Steve Finley's breakout power numbers with the Diamondbacks also created some suspicion, but none of their names were ever uttered by a front office member in a defamatory manner.  Also, Steve Finley's conditioning regimen was well-documented in Charles Euchner's book, The Last Nine Innings.

The absence of these players' names from the report in no way exonerates them from suspicion.  But an examination of the names in Mitchell's report reveals that there's no solid reason to suspect a Luis Gonzalez of using performance enhancers any more than a Tony Womack.  While it appears that many Major League Baseball players have reaped benefits from the use of banned performance enhancers, there are at least as many who idled in mediocrity despite their usage. 

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