F.P. Santangelo: Baseball (Closestthingtheycanfindtoa) Hero
Santangelo admits HGH use, says he'll 'face the music'
By Wayne Drehs
Updated: December 14, 2007, 10:18 PM ET
As he sat in front of his television Thursday, waiting for the official release of the Mitchell report, former major league outfielder F.P. Santangelo feared the worst. He knew he had purchased human growth hormone from former New York Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski. He knew Sen. George Mitchell's investigators had asked to speak with him, a request he had denied.
And yet as Santangelo watched ESPN reporter Jeremy Schaap on live TV, quickly thumbing through the report's 409 pages before Mitchell eventually spoke, Santangelo prayed that his name wouldn't be read.
"I just kept saying, 'Please Lord, don't name me right here, right now. Don't be one of the first guys. Don't be one of the first guys,'" Santangelo told ESPN.com on Friday. "And I wasn't. That was a relief."
But the relief didn't last long. Minutes later, when the report was released online, Santangelo was one of at least 86 people accused by Mitchell of using performance-enhancing drugs.
Yet Santangelo has handled the 24 hours after his appearance in the report differently. While the aftermath of the report's release has been littered with no comments and vehement denials, there was Santangelo, who now works on Sacramento's KHTK Radio as a member of, "The Rise Guys" morning show, on the air Friday morning, admitting what he had done and taking calls from listeners who were equally eager to praise and condemn him.
In an emotional two-hour radio appearance, the seven-year major league veteran, who last played with the Oakland A's in 2001, confessed to using human growth hormone, explained how and why he did it and publicly apologized to his two kids, his ex-wife, his parents and listeners. He talked about the difficulty he had in explaining it all to his children, and the concern he had that his son, F.P. Jr., would be teased Friday in middle school.
He even shared a story of reporters hiding outside his home Thursday evening and the guilt he felt each time the doorbell rang and he saw a look of fear on the faces of his kids.
"That was the part that made me feel, as a Dad, as bad as I've ever felt," Santangelo told listeners. "They were scared. That was the one thing that really hit home is that I made these bad decisions and now my kids are scared. I almost felt like a pedophile." (story continues)
So this is what passes for remorse in America now? This is penance, this is reconciliation, this is a sympathetic figure? No doubt this is just the beginning of a landslide of major league baseball apologies and confessions by dozens of the 86 names in the Mitchell report. And, just like Michael Vick and Sean Taylor's killers, FP Santangelo is sorry for one reason: because he got caught.
He has a two-hour radio show in the Bay area. If he was really haunted by the spectre of what he's done in the past, if he really felt bad for his kids, if he really felt any real remorse at all, he had hours on the air every week to make things right. All it would have taken was a few seconds: "I took HGH, and I'm sorry."
This is bull. This isn't sorry. Sorry is when you confess and make things right because of your conscience, because of internal motivations. This is like when you hit your little brother and your mother grabs your arm and makes you say you're sorry; you mumble "I'm sorry," but you still love the way you made him cry. FP Santangelo, who Mama Mitchell forced into the open, isn't sorry enough to give a big portion of his salary--which he earned by cheating--to a steroid education charity. He just wants to get this over with and hopefully keep his radio show.
Plagiarists and people who steal research lose their jobs. They lose their money, they lose their grants, they lose their reputations, and they lose their awards. This is exactly the same, exactly the same.
If it takes being caught for you to know what you did is wrong, you don't know a damn thing about right and wrong.