On Sunday, Kirk Radomski, the convicted steroid dealer who spilled his guts to the Mitchell Report, claimed that former Met and Yankee Dwight Gooden asked him to take urine tests so that the pitcher's cocaine use would evade wrongdoing. On Tuesday, Gooden answered back.
"That never happened," Gooden told The New York Post. "I don't know what he's talking about. I've made mistakes through the years, and I've admitted them, but that never happened. And the way the tests were administered, it couldn't have happened. I've done enough wrong on my own, I don't want to get blamed for something I didn't do."
Would anyone's opinion about Gooden change if Radomski did pee into a cup for him? Probably not. He'll always be a poster boy for wasted talent and anything more that comes to light about how he wasted the talent is just piling on.
David Justice, another former Yankee, was called a steroid user by Radomski in his soon-to-be released book and was also named in the Mitchell Report. Justice responded by calling allegations of drug use "a bald-faced lie." When asked if he'd sue Radomski, Justice responded in the negative.
"OK, so I go ahead and sue him, just so a couple of other people believe me? I'm not going to waste my money to hire lawyers," Justice said. "I'm not going to spend 200 or 300 grand and go flying all over this country and walking into courtrooms to appease a few people. It's not that serious to me anyway. I'm going to speak out and go back to living my life. I'm not going to let the guy just say anything. Suing him gives his book a little more power and keeps him in the news, which is what he wants. I'm not going to do that."
Justice should take a look at his surname before throwing the legal options out the window. Yes, he would give Radomski more publicity and it might be a pain in the neck to deal with courtroom proceedings, but it would give his denials a bit more heft. If he didn't care about people believing him, wouldn't he just ignore the allegations altogether?
The public is right now inclined to believe almost any steroid allegation because of how many players have first denied and then ultimately admitted to using performance enhancing drugs. A denial without anything behind it has no currency at this point and, fairly or unfairly, Justice will be tarred unless he fights back. Unlike Gooden, Justice's reputation was never sullied by allegations of drug use during his playing career, so it would be worth it to convince the baseball-watching public that he was clean.