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Marlins abuse rampant between 1998-2001

The title is of this post is not mine, it's the Miami Herald's headline for the article written by Mike Phillips.  A better title would've been how to sensationalize the opportunity of the moment.

Mr. Phillips starts out:

The Mitchell Report revealed steroid and other drug use on the Marlins from 1998 to 2001, when bullpen catcher Luis Perez was providing them.

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In an interview with Kevin Hallinan, the commissioner's senior vice president for security, and his deputy, Martin Maguire, Perez admitted he was the main source for not only steroids but other illegal drugs to just about every Marlins player.

The report states that Perez said ``two players asked if he could obtain steroids for them. After he was successful in doing so, word spread and he became a source of players to acquire steroids and other drugs.

``Perez alleged that he had witnessed widespread use of steroids and other drugs. According to Hallinan's memo, Perez told baseball officials ``that virtually every player on the Marlins was doing something from steroids to greenies to marijuana etc.''

The report also states that after Perez became the bullpen catcher in Montreal in 2002 that he ``also claimed that every pitcher in Montreal's bullpen was on some form of steroids.''

And then he goes on.

The report states that Perez's attorney gave Hallinan and Maguire a ``typed list of players and their drugs of choice. The list identified eight players [Astros, Marlins and Expos] who had acquired anabolic steroids and 12 others who had obtained other drugs.''

At this point Mr. Phillips leaves out the rest of the report which is.

...the players identified by Perez were evaluated by Dr. Millman and Dr. Solomon, and thereafter those players were subjected to "reasonable cause" drug tests.  The tests were conducted long after the allegations were made. None of the players tested positive for the use of performance enhancing substances.

I'm not sure what "long" means time-wise but the fact still remains that all of the players he fingered didn't test positive.  Something he conveniently left out.

However, Mr. Phillips does get this part of his article basically correct.

Major League Baseball never would have interviewed Perez about steroid use, but in 2002 while working with the Expos, Perez asked a Marlins clubhouse attendant to take a bag back to Florida for him.

The bag was padlocked, which caused Marlins equipment manager John Silverman to be suspicious. Silverman opened the bag to find one pound of marijuana. Montreal police were called in and Hallinan interviewed Perez, who later was fined $5,000 for the incident.

Actually, the initial interview wasn't because MLB was concerned about steroids. Kevin Hallinan, senior vice president of security and his deputy, Martin Maguire went to Florida to interview Perez about why he was attempting to traffic illicit drugs across international borders.  It was only then that Perez decided to tell his tales.

Are Mr. Perez's accounts accurate, I don't know.  But on a witness stand in court of law, convicted druggies don't make the most credible witnesses.

All of that aside, Mr. Phillips puts the timeline backwards in his article.  First, Perez was convicted of possession then the interview took place.  After that the players he fingered where tested and none tested positive for performance enhancing drugs.

But you never get that from reading his article.