But when he came in, the game was almost literally over.
Now, he's busy throwing former teammates under the proverbial bus -- kinda.
In Gagne's biography, aptly titled, "Game Over: The Eric Gagne Story," Gagne said roughly 80 percent of his Dodger teammates used some type of performance-enhancing drug. From his book:
"I was intimately aware of the clubhouse in which I lived. I would say that 80 percent of the Dodgers players were consuming them."Thankfully(?), he didn't name names.
Gagne admitted to human growth hormone use in 2010 -- two years after his last Major League game. He pitched for Quebec in the Independent League in 2009.
Whatever happened to no snitchin'? Disclosing this information doesn't help anyone -- it didn't really help the Dodgers in those days. At least, it didn't help the hitters.
Gagne was a member of the Dodgers from 1999 through 2006. He pitched for one of the most inept offensive teams to grace the game -- the 2003 Dodgers, which averaged a paltry 3.54 runs per game. That team nearly gave up more runs per game than they scored (3.43). In the eight years, the team averaged 4.55 runs per game. Not bad, but not exactly the '27 Yankees.
The Dodgers had a few players who were either linked to PEDs or were suspected (rightly or wrongly) of PED use, such as Adrian Beltre, Kevin Brown, Luis Gonzalez, Guillermo Mota, Paul Lo Duca and Gary Sheffield, just to name a few.
I suppose it sheds some light on a situation most already knew -- players in the late-90s and early-2000s abused the hell out of PEDs. Thanks, Eric. Perhaps a book about the sun rising every day or water being wet should be your next endeavor?
And to think, I bought an authentic jersey of this guy -- the only one I've ever purchased. Makes me feel a little dirty.
I'll admit, I absolutely loved watching Gagne pitch. He was the most dominant reliever I've seen in my life -- enhanced or otherwise. It's a shame it wasn't legitimate.
Photo credit: Octopushat, Flickr