Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Rotten Lazy Sunday Gets Worse

On a Lazy Sunday where the focus should be tonight’s Game 7 (which I’ll hit later today), a dark cloud has formed in the Indians’ locker room, particularly over the head of Paul Byrd amidst a report in the San Francisco Chronicle that Byrd bought 1,000 vials of HGH worth nearly $25,000 between August 2002 and January 2005.

Some excerpts from the story:
Byrd made 13 purchases from the Palm Beach Rejuvenation Center between August 2002 and January 2005, according to the records. During those years, he pitched for the Kansas City Royals, the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Angels.

Paying with a credit card, Byrd spent $24,850 to buy more than 1,000 vials of growth hormone, an injectable prescription drug with muscle-building properties, and hundreds of syringes.

The records reviewed by The Chronicle included Byrd's purchase and shipping orders, payment data and other information, including his birth date and Social Security number. The records were provided by a confidential news source, who said the orders were consistent with an athlete's personal use of growth hormone.

Many of the shipments reflected in the records were sent to Byrd's home in Alpharetta, Ga., north of Atlanta. But in March 2004, while he was pitching for Atlanta, a $1,050 order of syringes and somatropin, the generic name for synthetic growth hormone, was sent to Byrd in care of the Braves' spring training facility at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Fla., the records show.

On July 22, 2004, according to the records, $2,000 worth of somatropin and syringes was shipped to Byrd at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City, where the Braves were playing a series against the Mets. The Braves were scheduled to stay at the Grand Hyatt during that trip, according to media information distributed by Major League Baseball.

Baseball formally banned the use of growth hormone on Jan. 13, 2005. One week earlier, Byrd made his final purchase of growth hormone from the Palm Beach Rejuvenation Center, spending $2,000 for six boxes of somatropin, company records show.

Two of Byrd's prescriptions for growth hormones were not written by a physician, according to a law enforcement source. Instead, the prescriptions were written by a Florida dentist, said the source, who asked not to be quoted by name because he was not authorized to comment. The dentist's license was suspended in 2003 for fraud and incompetence, state records show.

As if the Indians have enough to think about, here’s another distraction that won’t exactly go unnoticed by the Boston media and the Fenway Faithful, particularly if Byrd is called upon at some point in Game 7. And, if he is, will the bad taste in my mouth come back as the “Crisco” that I joked about Paul Byrd using for the past year just got a new, more concrete, much more damning identification – HGH.

As pointed out by sbricker in the comments section, Paul Byrd has not only admitted to's Ken Rosenthal that he took HGH, but says that it was under a doctor's prescription:

Byrd says he never hid his use of HGH because it was prescribed to him under a doctor's care. He paid for the substance with his own credit card. At one point, he had it sent in his name to the Braves' spring-training facility in Kissimmee, Fla.

In an exclusive interview with, Byrd did not dispute a San Francisco Chronicle report stating that he received nearly $25,000 worth of HGH and syringes from a Florida anti-aging clinic that was targeted by law enforcement for illegally distributing performance-enhancing drugs.

Byrd said that three different doctors diagnosed him as suffering from adult growth-hormone deficiency. In spring training, he said, he was diagnosed with a tumor on his pituitary gland at the base of his brain, a condition that may have contributed to his deficiency, doctors told him.

"I have not taken any hormone apart from a doctor's care and supervision," Byrd said. "The Indians, my coaches and MLB have known that I have had a pituitary gland issue for some time and have assisted me in getting blood tests in different states. I am currently working with an endocrinologist and will have another MRI on my head after the season to make sure that the tumor hasn't grown."

More than meets the eye to this story, but there's something else going on before this whole thing gets sorted out.


Cy Slapnicka said...

i'm sure those publishers byrd spoke of lining up to sell his book are loving this. if you haven't read the page 2 article, i suggest you do so. my favorite quote:

"Are you willing to take steroids? Because that's available. People viewed that as me being weak. Like, "This guy doesn't want to win."

Way to sow them you really do want to win, you f-ing hypocrite. Might want to add your name to that manila folder.

Hopefully Brook can silence this stuff tonight and justify the rally pie the baltimorian received last night.

Jason said...

Didn't he finish purchasing the HGH before it was formally banned? How was that cheating?

s_bricker said...

Anonymous said...

People need to realize that HGH is not the same thing as anabolic steroids, which is what people generally mean when they use the term "steroids". HGH mainly helps with recovery time and fat loss and does not have much of an ability at all to help gain muscle.

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