Eric Gagne might be known for his 84 consecutive saves recorded, but thanks to some explosive allegations in his upcoming autobiography, he could have a new reputation brewing.
In "Game Over: The Story of Eric Gagne," the former major league reliever suggests that 80 percent of his teammates on the Dodgers were using performance-enhancing drugs while he was there.
While Gagne doesn’t name any names in the French-language tome, with a number that big, the odds aren’t doing any of his former teammates any favors.
"I was intimately aware of the clubhouse in which I lived," he writes, according to ESPN. "I would say that 80 percent of the Dodgers players were consuming [PEDs]."
From 2002 to 2004, Gagne recorded 152 saves for the Dodgers, posting a 1.79 ERA and an absurd 13.3 strikeouts per nine innings. Despite the gaudy numbers, however, the three-time All-Star and former Cy Young winner seems to recognize that his cheating might not have been worth it.
"It was sufficient to ruin my health, tarnish my reputation and throw a shadow over the extraordinary performances of my career," he writes.
"Throwing a shadow" might be putting it lightly, since many baseball fans dismissed Gagne as a blip on the Steroid Era radar the moment he was listed in the Mitchell Report as an HGH user. The suggestion that 80 percent of his teammates were users, however, cuts back to the core of what will be the big debate surrounding baseball for years to come.
Gagne elevated himself to greatness for a few short years, apparently with the help of performance-enhancing drugs. But if four out of five of his teammates were also on the juice, then it’s not unreasonable to extrapolate that number to the rest of the league. That in turn would validate Gagne’s performance as dominant, however, since the argument can easily be made that the playing field was (80 percent) level and Gagne was still able to shut down any and all challengers.
It’s a tricky subject and one that isn’t going away any time soon. Gagne wouldn’t appear on many Hall of Fame ballots when it comes time to vote, but one has to wonder if we’re a few years away from the next book revealing that Cooperstown has already been infiltrated by a PED user.