Matt Williams and the Mitchell Report

Some counsel from Matt Williams
Some counsel from Matt Williams (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Matt Williams hit 378 home runs and compiled 1218 RBI during his 17-year career spanning from 1987-2003.  He made 4 all-star teams and finished in the top 6 in the MVP voting 4 times. He played in 5 postseasons, including 2 World Series. As a Diamondback, he earned a World Series ring during the classic 7-game series against the New York Yankees. 

Matt Williams had a great, but short of a Hall-of-Fame, career.  Indeed, he received only 1.3% of the vote his first time on the ballot in 2009.

It’s probably just as well Matt Williams fell just short of Hall-of-Fame numbers because he wouldn’t be elected anyway.  In 2007, he was one of 89 MLB players named in the Mitchell Report, the league’s official investigation into performance enhancing drugs.

Here’s what the Mitchell Report had to say about Williams:

the San Francisco Chronicle reported that retired infielder Matt Williams purchased human growth hormone, steroids, syringes, and other drugs from the Palm Beach Rejuvination Center in 2002, when he was playing with the Arizona Diamondbacks…According to the article, Palm Beach Rejuvination Center records show that on March 9, 2002, Williams ordered $5,693 of testosterone cypionate, human growth hormone, clomiphene, Novarel, and syringes, and on May 8, 2002, Williams ordered $6,000 worth of testostorone cypionate, nandrolone, clomiphene, Novarel, and syringes….The article reported that Williams admitted that a doctor told him that human growth hormone might help him heal from an ankle injury that he suffered in 2002…

 Williams did not deny the allegations.  After the publication of the Mitchell Report, Williams reiterated that he took the substances on the advice of a doctor, and discontinued their use the following season.

Matt Williams played in the steroid era.  He is far from the only former player his age to have performance enhancing drugs on his resume.  The former players of the previous generation, Davey Johnson among them, did not have to answer questions about their drug use.  Matt Williams is the next generation–the tainted generation.  This is the new normal.

Nationals set to hire Matt Williams as new manager (hardballtalk.nbcsports.com)

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