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Old 01-13-2008, 10:36 AM   #721
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Just re-reading it, you know, as you do. Spotted this:

CHAPTER 5:
Theo
March 15, 2003
Theo Garner came this morning. We were sitting in the locker room, Latino guys black guys and white guys.

---

Should be this:

CHAPTER 5:
Theo
March 15, 2003
Theo Garner came this morning. We were sitting in the locker room, Latino guys, black guys and white guys.

Looking forward to the next installment
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Old 02-03-2008, 12:13 AM   #722
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Old 02-16-2008, 03:17 PM   #723
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How soon do you think the new chapters will be here?
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Old 03-06-2008, 04:06 PM   #724
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I was thinking about this story today, I haven't checked on it in months. Tib you out there? Is Dave still out there?
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Old 05-11-2008, 04:26 PM   #725
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I was thinking about this story today, I haven't checked on it in months. Tib you out there? Is Dave still out there?
I am still here, but am very limited in my time these days.

My new work assignment is making it difficult to find the time to write. I have not forgotten.

Also, I am spending more time with my kids (as they grow older), so coaching and everything else is making it difficult as well.

Thanks again for your patience. I am working on new chapters as the time comes.
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Old 09-29-2008, 04:20 AM   #726
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tib View Post
I am still here, but am very limited in my time these days.

My new work assignment is making it difficult to find the time to write. I have not forgotten.

Also, I am spending more time with my kids (as they grow older), so coaching and everything else is making it difficult as well.

Thanks again for your patience. I am working on new chapters as the time comes.
Tib? I know your life got busy and the book stopped, wondering if you could put out one more and kind of wrap up the story, just so we can all know where you were taking it
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The Island Warriors are 21-23 in World Series play.

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Old 04-01-2009, 12:25 AM   #727
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I hope it's not too much of a cop out to say the story is going to go where the game takes it. All the on-field results are 100% performed by the game itself. As for the off-the-field events in Dave's life, well, those are going to have to remain a secret.

Basically, I am hoping for the same things all Dave's fans are hoping for: a championship, perhaps a batting title or a Defensive Ace Award, a more info on his reconciliation with Moose.

I have a lot planned for Dave; some pretty heady things. I hope to get to them after I wrap up the drug investigation -- where we left our story. The chapter is complete, but not the best thing I've ever written. I'm afraid it'll have to do until I can get up to speed again.
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Old 04-01-2009, 02:59 AM   #728
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I can't wait for the update. I printed the whole story out one day so I could read it at work.... I left it on the lunch table in the break room and I guess some co workers read it and loved it. Just so you know, if you ever get it published, you have more fans than you know.... it has New York Times Best Seller's list potential!
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Old 04-01-2009, 12:06 PM   #729
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CHAPTER 53

The Ayala Scandal

I got my letter from the league three weeks later. It came in a plain but thick white envelope with the CBA legal department return address on it. I wasn’t surprised. In fact, I had been expecting it. I told Gwen to expect it too.

“But you didn’t do anything,” she said angrily. “Why are they dragging you into this?”

But she knew why. I played in the Atlanta organization. I played with Cristobal Ayala. I played with many of the people who were going to be interviewed – among them Dave Guevara, Steve Ugarte, Theo Garner, Lino Lopez, and a certain catcher named Steve McCammon.

Like my association with the Bassones and the Castle Cove scandal, I wasn’t involved in anything illegal, but I was there. I was nearby. Now I was being summoned to the league inquiry. Like it or not I had to go.

“You don’t have to go,” argued my wife. “It’s not like a grand jury. They can’t legally make you go.”

The letter from the United States Grand Jury came the next day.


The Ayala Scandal shook the Big Leagues. On the heels of a great championship, at a time when baseball was on a tremendous upswing, the implications of this affair caused panic among the ranks. Players stumbled over each other to distance themselves from Ayala. Front offices produced a press conference a day for a month, proclaiming their innocence and righteously demanding stricter regulations. Perhaps worst of all, the Cleveland Hammers filed a lawsuit against the Atlanta Generals and the CBA alleging they tampered with a professional sporting event. The Hammers suit claimed the Generals “knowingly ignored” the unauthorized presence of Ayala in their locker rooms both at home and on the road in the weeks prior to the Series. It also claimed the CBA was complicit in any illegal activity because they knew the FBI was investigating Ayala and did nothing about it.

Atlanta countered by saying Ayala was authorized to travel with the team because he was one of their Latin American scouts. As an employee he had clearance to speak with players all the time, they said. But scout or not, what was he doing in locker rooms during the playoffs? It made little sense. It made people mad. It made the media’s entire month of October. It made the cover of Time. But mostly it made every baseball fan in America sick to their stomach.

I know much has been written about the scandal, including a very well written account by my friend Del Harrison, but I’m going to try to describe my experience with both of the investigations and how they affected me personally and professionally.


Baseball in 2012 was as high tech as it comes. It was the most “interfaced” of the major sports, I think because the pace of play made it easy to stay connected and still follow the game. Football had its sideline sensors, titano-plastic helmets and ExoBrace protective gear. Basketball had light-up 3-point lines. Even tennis officiating was by now almost completely automated. But when it came to technology, baseball was way ahead -- and that included everything from internet ports mounted in box seat armrests to performance enhancing “shadow” drugs capable of appearing as common medications on lab tests.

Nothing happened overnight. It was a gradual seduction. Baseball is above all else a traditional sport. Bringing in things like a close-play camera at first base and Sensorballs with GPS to measure homeruns was groundbreaking on its own. Even things we take for granted today like ceramic bats and MedWire uniforms were the cause of much heated debate before they were accepted, and even then only after years of testing in the minor leagues. This was also the case with drugs.

Early on, as most people know, performance enhancing drugs, or PEDs, were crude concoctions administered under the very lax league radar. As far back as the mid-1980s players were bulking up with these drugs and beginning to put up some serious numbers. But the practice was far from perfect. Substances were still literally mixed together by hand; hydrosyringes hadn’t been invented yet. Neither had synthetic urine. As the homers increased so did attendance. As attendance increased so did the league’s apparent indifference to the problem.

And it was a problem, even in the early days. Players had side effects. Some went on rapid weight purges so severe they were hospitalized for “exhaustion”. Some were unable to manage the potent mood swings associated with some of the drugs they were taking. The drugs were labeled as workout and dietary supplements, but everyone knew what they were – substances designed to meet the loose criteria of the league while offering a potential for career best batting statistics. It was a gamble many were all too willing to take. Even All-Stars.

In 1985 I was only 1 year old, too young to remember when the body of Hamlin Brooks washed up on the shores of Buffalo Lake in the suburbs of Greensboro, North Carolina. Brooks was an outfielder for the Indianapolis Trackers, an All-Star who enjoyed a reputation as a hard working player and devoted father of four girls. When his eldest daughter came down for breakfast that morning she looked out the bay window in the kitchen and saw a body floating in the lake near her family’s dock. She ran upstairs to tell her parents, but found only her mother asleep in bed.

Afraid of the worst, Gina Brooks hurried downstairs in her housecoat. She knew her husband was fond of training early in the morning. She knew about the new “supplements” he had been taking and distrusted them. They made him irritable and short-tempered. They made him sweat at night. They also helped him hit 33 home runs last season, so she knew he wasn’t going to stop, in spite of her concerns. When she reached the bottom of the steps leading to the dock, she froze, mute with terror. Hamlin’s body turned slowly in the water, face down. His kayak floated nearby, like a faithful dog waiting for its master to wake.

Brooks suffered a fatal stroke after a strenuous morning tour around the lake. He was 36 years old. His death was the shock that was all too necessary and long overdue. A famous man once said, “Mankind learns from failure, but learns best from tragedy.” Hamlin Brooks’ death was the tragedy that led to the first substance abuse policies in the CBA.

Since then it has been a game of cat and mouse. Whenever the league created a new way to test, players found new ways to beat the test. Every time the league identified a new substance, players found new substances to try. Perhaps the worst part of it all was that eventually even the players couldn’t tell who was using and who wasn’t. The records fell, and with each one the ability to identify a legitimate accomplishment faded away.

Finally, with the successful mapping of the human genome and the creation of the chromosomal isolation test (or C.I.T.), identification of banned substances reached the microbiological level. Players tried, but there was no fooling Mr. DNA. Fines, bans and tearful admissions followed, but no government action.

Then, in 2008, a new strain of drugs hit the league. Biogenetic augmenters, known also as Jennies or Augies, fought fire with fire. If the league was going to use DNA to see the drugs in their systems, then players would use DNA to hide the drugs in their systems. They cost a fortune, but fortunes are easy to come by in the Bigs. They worked, too. Players suffered minor side effects, but were able to train their bodies much harder, increasing stamina and strength. There was one unanticipated side effect, however: the Federal Government.

When I began my career the government was already involved in regulating organized sports. When Congress passed the Prescription and Controlled Substances Act (PACSA) in 2002, it established stricter penalties for the unauthorized or unlicensed movement of legal prescription drugs across state lines. And after the drug scandals of the 2010 and 2012 Olympic games, the U.S. Supreme Court made the testing for banned substances even more pervasive by upholding the California Supreme Court’s decision that the random 24-hour testing of its professional athletes by the Continental Football League was not a violation of the athletes’ civil rights, but rather that a professional athlete who enters into a contract with a league that has a substance abuse testing policy must comply with the terms of that policy. Further, the Court established that, for the purposes of drug testing, a professional athlete in any sport is a public figure and as such is not entitled to deny drug testing at any time.

The unions went nuts, of course. Lawsuits and arguments followed, and after they got done with that they debated the legitimacy of records. Faith in professional athletes eroded. When Ross Watts hit 66 home runs everyone whispered “steroids.” When career .500 pitcher Juan Montez went 25-5, a feat he never repeated, everyone whispered “steroids”. It seemed like the solid foundation of baseball was collapsing under the pressure of suspicion.

But the game endured, as it always seems to do. Players played, pitchers pitched, and runners ran. If there was any concern over increased ability, it appeared to be set aside, at least momentarily, as the records fell. And boy, did they fall. Individual records for single season hits (241), extra base hits (113), strikeouts (343) and slugging (.626) fell like dominoes. Just about all the team records fell as well. It was a strange time. When a record was broken half the fans were excited about witnessing history. The other half condemned the accomplishment and whispered of steroids.


Accompanied by James Land, my lawyer, I walked into the CBA league offices on November 12th at nine o’clock in the morning. I had been told this was a voluntary inquiry and the league had no power to subpoena anyone. I had been told the league only wanted to understand what happened from people who knew those involved. I had been told I didn’t need a lawyer. Yeah, right. Pull the other one, why don’t you?

It started easily enough, but quickly got complicated. It’s clear to me now what they were doing, but at the time I couldn’t have seen it coming. I should have known; the lawyers were asking all the questions.

You’ll have to get the Keyes report if you want to read the whole thing. Since I know you don’t want to thumb through 13,000 pages of testimony, I’ll save you some time: it’s on pages LI6-241 through LI6-255.
Essentially, they wanted to know what I knew about Ayala. Was he on the team when I played? Yes. Was I aware of any offers by Ayala to supply players with PEDs? No. Did Ayala ever offer PEDs to me or anyone else on the team? No, not in my presence. And so it went, until the CBA lawyer, Alfred Snodgrass, said, “Were you teammates with Dave Guevara that year?”

And there it was. I one thing I didn’t want to hear.

Looking back now, I was so na´ve. What was I expecting? That a league inquiry into that Gents season wouldn’t reveal Dave’s drug problem? I guess I just didn’t want to believe things would ever get so bad. I guess I thought somehow the Ayala scandal couldn’t possibly reach me or my friends.

I knew they were desperate to link Ayala to drug use in the league, to make him a scapegoat. If it was true he deserved it, but the problem of PEDs in the CBA was not the work of one person. It was a network of people, from wives and girlfriends and personal trainers to lab rats and agents and perhaps even the teams themselves. Everybody knew it. The men sitting across from me knew it. It would be easy to link Ayala to Dave Guevara’s drug problem, but to pull Dave into this simply to illustrate a point struck me as the worst kind of opportunism. What’s more, Ayala’s career was over. Dave Guevara’s career was not. Dave Guevara just helped the Atlanta Generals with a World Championship.

And the heartbreaking truth was: I really didn’t know if Ayala did supply PED’s to Dave. That was the crazy part. I wanted so badly to defend my friend because I saw firsthand what he went through to get right. I wanted to feel righteous in saying, “No, Dave Guevara never took any drugs.” But I couldn’t. When I left the team Dave was straight, but I could have been duped. He could have been lying to me all along. How could I say for sure?

That’s what the whole shadow of drug use in baseball had created. It was a dark cloud of fear and paranoia, with tentacles of mistrust that could grab anyone and pull them into the darkness. Right now those tentacles had a firm hold on me.

It makes you feel isolated, this type of singling out. I knew lives could be ruined by this inquiry, professional reputations destroyed. And mine along with them. Even though I never saw Ayala and Guevara together that season, I wasn’t out of the woods yet. In fact, I was so deep in the woods I could small the bark. What did they know? What did they think I knew?

Then a very strange thing happened. To this day I’m not sure how much the Board members knew. I’m not sure why some questions were never asked. I suppose I should be thankful, in light of the final results of the inquiry. But after I answered, “Yes, I played with Dave Guevara”, the questions changed.

“There is some evidence Mr. Guevara used illegal drugs. It is the purpose of this inquiry not only to shed light upon the dealings of Mr. Ayala, but to exonerate those who had nothing whatsoever to do with him. This includes you, Mr. Driscoll.”
“I welcome the opportunity.”
“Have you ever seen Dave Guevara take an illegal substance?”
“No.”
“Have you ever taken an illegal substance provided by Mr. Ayala?”
“I have never taken an illegal substance, period.”
“During the time you were a teammate of both Mr. Ayala and Mr. Guevara, how would you characterize their play?”
“I’m sorry, --.”
“Did they play well, while you were with the team?”
“Uh, well, actually, not really, no. Dave was a good fielder, but he never hit well while I played there. Ayala seemed to have lots of potential, but never hit very well either. Theo kicked him pretty quick, as I recall.”
“You refer to your manager at the time, Theo Garner?”
“Yes.”
“Did Mr. Garner have any knowledge of potentially illegal substances in his clubhouse?”
“I couldn’t say. You’d have to talk with Mr. Garner.”
“We have. Mr. Garner was emphatic that he never knew about any drug use going on at the ballpark.”
“I don’t recall anything like that going on at the ballpark.”
“Steve McCammon was a catcher on the team, is that correct?”
“Yes. He was also my roommate.”
“Was he involved with Ayala socially or otherwise?”
“No. Steve didn’t care for Chris.”
“And as his roommate, you would have known if Steve had been taking PEDs?”
“We were close friends. I like to think I would have known.”
“Have you ever seen Mr. McCammon take a substance you knew was provided to him by Mr. Ayala?”
“No.”
“Did Mr. McCammon ever mention he was getting PEDs from Mr. Ayala?”
“No.”
“Did Mr. McCammon ever mention he was getting PEDs from Dave Guevara?”
“No.”
“Thank you, Mr. Driscoll.”

Just like that it was over. The grand jury questioning focused more on Ayala than on Moose or Dave, so I was never made to say the things I dreaded. The Generals kept their Championship. Dave Guevara kept his integrity, at least as far as people believed he was clean. Moose kept playing baseball, as did many others who were questioned as part of the investigation. Six months and a slew of “insider” books later, Ayala went to trial and was convicted of conspiracy to transport illegal substances across state lines. He received six years in prison, but only served three. He lives in the Dominican now.

Over 400 interviews. Hours of digital recordings. The disillusioned scrutiny of baseball fans everywhere. Months of speculation. Finally, it was over.

No big leaguer was indicted. No fines were levied. In the end the politicians and the courts -- and the powers that be in baseball – let it die away.

No, I shouldn’t say that. There was one thing that came of all that. The Union agreed to random drug testing twice a year, once during Spring Training and once after the Trade Deadline. And the public – the Public never forgets. I was one of the lucky ones the Public forgave, but for some the sentence was far worse. They were sentenced to Suspicion for the rest of their lives. Everything they do, every appearance they make, every speech they give, they are looked on half with curiosity and half with suspicion. They have to endure the whispers they aren’t supposed to hear: “He was involved in the Ayala Scandal.” “That’s one of those Ayala guys.” “They never found anything on him, but, where there’s smoke, you know?”

For some, I’m sure the suspicion is deserved. For others, being judged like that must be the hardest thing in the world to endure. I’ve been involved in a couple of issues like that in my life. It can ruin your faith in people’s common sense. It can turn a sense of fairness into a search for blame.

But then again, that’s what drugs do, don’t they? They ruin common sense. They destroy people’s sense of fairness – make them think you were involved. They create blame and darkness; the kind of blame that sticks to anything and the kind of darkness that blots your life forever.

They say one great thing about winning something is that the accomplishment can never be taken away from you. The tragic thing about drugs is that once you are linked to them the suspicion is never fully lifted. For many in baseball when I played, winning and drugs were linked. They believed you couldn’t have one without the other. The technology made it easy to believe so.

Many players were willing to risk a lifetime of suspicion for one chance at accomplishment. That’s what the Ayala Scandal showed us. And the relatively small repercussions did not deter new players from trying. Sadly, we are still paying the price today.

Last edited by Tib; 04-01-2009 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 04-02-2009, 03:06 AM   #730
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That was a very powerful chapter, way to go!! I know myself and the guys at work will be buzzin about it for a while. Thanks.
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:04 AM   #731
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As always Tib, I love when new stuff comes out. You continue to impress.
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Old 04-10-2009, 01:48 AM   #732
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excellent.
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Old 04-20-2009, 12:35 AM   #733
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Wow, I only just discovered there was a new post here. Gonna have to read it and possibly the last few chapters during the coming days to refresh myself with the story. It's always fantastic when a dynasty that's been on hiatus for a time comes back to life.
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Old 08-07-2009, 11:51 AM   #734
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Awesome

This story is phenomenal, I hope you have the time to keep plugging away at it, its one of my favorite reads.
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Old 08-24-2009, 03:24 PM   #735
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Enjoyed it as always.

One thing I noticed: "In fact, I was so deep in the woods I could small the bark"

I am pretty sure, small is supposed to be smell.
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Old 11-06-2009, 06:43 PM   #736
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Tib,
hope you are well. Just read your last post, I hope there is more coming. I love this story
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Old 11-06-2009, 10:32 PM   #737
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Tib,
hope you are well. Just read your last post, I hope there is more coming. I love this story
Ditto... Nearly 2 years between chapters... I'm dying for my dose of Driscoll!

I have a hard time reading any other dynasty reports. This one reads like a true autobiography.. i get caught up in it and at times forgot it's fictional. Simply put, this has been one sweet read.
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Old 11-12-2009, 06:23 PM   #738
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Thanks for hanging with me, guys (and girls). My time to write has been used up lately, due to my current assignment, which requires many hours of writing a day. My assignment will end in June of 2010, so I anticipate much more time to write by then.

In the meantime, I do have two more chapters written, but not edited. I will try to have them out by Xmas.

I appreciate everyone's comments very much and hope to give you more regular doses of Dave in the near future.
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Thank you for this post:
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Old 12-03-2009, 05:40 PM   #739
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Crossing my fingers Santa (Tib) brings me more chapters this Christmas.
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Old 12-22-2009, 11:07 AM   #740
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With ITP being so old, if I do something like this, I'll have to use OOTP.
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