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Gary Matthews Jr. still isn't talking

T.J. SIMERS

The Angels outfielder was linked to HGH shipments in the Mitchell Report, but he won't comment on the allegations these days.

April 08, 2009|T.J. SIMERS

I worry about kids and dogs, some kid maybe mistaking it for an energy drink, or some dog lapping it up and trying to outrun a car, the frisky little feller instead getting squashed.

For three seasons now I've been trying to find out what happened to the missing vials of HGH that Gary Matthews Jr. allegedly ordered before joining the Angels.

As you know he's been in steady decline ever since, a disgruntled No. 5 outfielder now, and although he said he never used HGH, "Matthews did not deny that human growth had been shipped to him," the Mitchell Report noted. "And he declined to answer reporters' questions about the omission."

I've gone to him countless times to ask about the missing vials to maybe save the life of some critter out there, and although admittedly I have no idea what the stuff does to athletes, I'm convinced one of the side effects could be losing one's voice.

I've heard Matthews utter only a single sound in three seasons, a cuss word, getting silence once again Tuesday.

So I checked with Manager Mike Scioscia, who might've finally offered the first hint of what happened to the stuff.

"I'm not going to go down that road," said Scioscia, and although no one can blame him, it still leaves open the question, which road -- all those little bottles of genotropin just waiting to be discovered by some poor soul.

FRANKLY, I don't think Arte Moreno has gotten enough credit for signing Matthews to a five-year, $50-million contract.

That's a ton of money to spend on such a flop.

But as you know, Arte cares deeply about Angels fans. He does whatever he can to help families enjoy the baseball experience -- mothers and fathers now able to point to Matthews sitting on the bench and educating their kids on what can happen to someone mentioned in the same sentence as HGH.

A public service, if you will.

Matthews had one good year in the steroid era of baseball, and then signed with the Angels -- his name later linked to a shipment of human growth hormone and used syringes in the Mitchell Report. That almost implies he's a slob too.

The Mitchell Report noted the HGH order came from the same clinic "connected to Jose Canseco's purchases." It makes you wonder if one day we'll be watching Matthews on "The Surreal Life." He's not doing much these days, if they need someone.

Maybe another owner cuts Matthews just on principle for pouting and stinking up the joint. But Arte is different.

He claims he's really tough on drug users, so every game he gives Angels fans the most hideous example of what can happen to a player linked to the stuff by continuing to employ Matthews.

By now I think everyone understands Matthews is really no angel.

Take away Matthews' one good season during the steroid era, and he's a lifetime .248 hitter now dealing with delusions of grandeur -- needing a day off to handle the Angels' opinion he isn't good enough to be their No. 4 outfielder.

I thought the Angels were trying to deceive the public when all this surfaced, demanding Matthews come clean when linked to HGH -- Matthews needing only 16 days to think of something to say.

He issued a statement, and although we might never know if it was enhanced by others, he said he never used HGH. That seemed to satisfy the Angels, who didn't give a hoot whether he had ordered it.

The Mitchell Report dug a little deeper, investigators talking to a Matthews teammate who owned the condo where the HGH was delivered. He had been allowing Matthews and another player to stay with him.

When the owner of the condo left to play elsewhere, Matthews and a companion remained behind. When the owner of the condo returned, the Mitchell Report says, "he found unused syringes in a drawer. (He) did not know who left the syringes behind. . . . "

None of us will ever know whose syringes those were or on which road he might've dumped the stuff, but here's hoping he remembers.

And not just for kids or dogs locally.

The way he's played here, and with nobody about to take on his expensive contract, everybody would be better off if he found the stuff.

And this time -- used it.

SPEAKING OF syringes, four years ago trainer Milkshake Mullins said, "If you bet on horses, I would call you an idiot."

Jeff Mullins made a good point because it was hard for racing fans to know when he was cheating. For some reason they don't note such things in the racing form.

Mullins has been penalized repeatedly in California for cheating, including the suggestion he was milkshaking horses, which is putting a hose up the nose of a horse and giving it stuff to reduce fatigue.

You'd run faster too, if someone always wanted to stick a hose up your nose.

A few days ago Mullins was caught with metal syringe in hand in New York giving cough medicine to a horse about ready to run. The horse was scratched because Mullins was caught cheating.

"An honest mistake," is how Mullins described it, racing dying across the land because "honest mistakes" make it almost impossible for bettors to figure out who might win -- without having all the information necessary to do so.

Mullins had it right, all right, "if you bet on horses" these days, I would call you an idiot.

TODAY'S LAST word comes in e-mail from Philip Anaya: "It's only the first game. If you expect Manny to get a hit in every game, you are a fool like those baseball insiders you talked about. Do L.A. a favor, quit your job because your articles are like you -- boring and fool of nonsense."

You're just fulling with me, aren't you?

--

t.j.simers@latimes.com

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