Thursday, December 13, 2007

Kevin Young was a good dude

There was one name that jumped out at me (and I'm sure at you) in the Mitchell Report when it was released this afternoon: Kevin Young. I was honestly never a big fan of Young, he had a few good years, signed a cripplingly ginormous contract, and was never really good again. What I do seem to remember about him is that he just seemed like a really good guy to me. If I'm remembering right, he was genuinely crushed when the Pirates released him in 2003 because he actually liked being a Pirate. You just don't see that happen very often.

Anyways, coupled with his all around good guy aura and his general badness at baseball, Young's name surprised me today. Here's the key excerpts from the report on old KY (can you believe we actually called a player that?): Radomski first met Young in New York City during the 2000-01 off-season. Young later called Radomski. While Radomski could not remember who introduced him to Young, he did remember that he was asked to bring two kits of human growth hormone to this first meeting. Radomski said that he went to lunch with Young and afterward went up to Young’s hotel room where Radomski sold him one or two kits of human growth hormone.

Young did not call Radomski again until 2003, during the final season of his career. Radomski said that he sold Young five or six kits of human growth hormone on this second occasion. He noted that he did not view this amount as unusual because Young needed the human growth hormone to recover from lingering injuries, and Radomski believed a five or six-month supply of human growth hormone was necessary to complete such a recovery.
You know what jumps out at me there? Young met Radomski after he signed his giant contract.
He signed his 4-year/$24 million extension after his career year in 1999. Things went in the tank in 2000, and he went out and tried to do something about it. This was a guy on a painfully small market team (remember, this was before PNC Park and revenue sharing) that was very obviously going nowhere (they had just fired Gene Lamont), and he was still meeting with shady clubhouse attendants in hotel rooms to try and get some magic stuff and get back on the top of the mountain. So raise your glass for a second to Kevin Young, one of the few Pirates of the last 15 years that cared enough to cheat. Thanks, Kevin. We could use a few more guys like you.