OAKLAND, Calif. - Jack Cust still wonders why his name appeared in the Mitchell Report. Now, the Oakland slugger has a more pressing question: How come some prominent Red Sox were missing?
"To me it was kind of a joke, the whole thing," Cust told The Associated Press last weekend.
Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell released his report in December 2007 and of the 85 players mentioned, none of them were Boston stars. Mitchell has been a director of the Red Sox since 2002.
Last month, The New York Times reported former Boston teammates Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz were among 104 players who allegedly tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003, according to a list compiled by the federal government.
"With all the other stuff going on, with a lot of the guys coming out recently — big-name guys — to me it's kind of funny they spent all that money on the Mitchell Report and a bunch of hearsay and the guy who made all the money off it happened to work for the Red Sox," Cust told the AP.
"Were there any Red Sox on the report? To me, that's kind of a joke. How does that happen? It's coming out now with guys on that team. The guy worked for the Red Sox — they spent all kinds of millions of dollars — and then no one there had their name brought up," he said.
The 409-page report was compiled after 20 months of investigation and interviews by Mitchell and his staff. Mitchell was hired by commissioner Bud Selig.
Cust said he has never had a positive test that would put him on a drug list. The Mitchell Report said Cust and Larry Bigbie played for Baltimore's Triple-A Ottawa team in 2003 and discussed steroids.
According to the report, "Cust eventually asked Bigbie if he had ever tried steroids. Bigbie acknowledged he had, and Cust said that he, too, had tried steroids. Cust told Bigbie that he had a source who could procure anything he wanted."
Charles Scheeler, an attorney who worked with Mitchell, defended the report in a statement Tuesday.
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.
"Mr. Cust was invited to meet with us to respond to the evidence that we had received, and he declined to do so. In conducting the investigation and preparing the report, we followed the evidence wherever it led without any predisposition for or against any player or team," he said.
Cust said he's been tested "a couple of times" already this year after being tested at least five or six times in 2008. Baseball began testing with penalties in 2004, and began revealing all first-time offenders for steroids the following year.
HBT: Carlos Ruiz was lifted from Sunday afternoon’s game against the Reds after straining his right hamstring while running the bases in the bottom of the second inning.
Taking a look at some of the greatest catchers off all time.