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Verducci on Caminiti: "His personal accountability was stark and courageous."

Tom Verducci broke the steroid story back in 2002 when Ken Caminiti went on the record about his use. Jeff Pearlman talked to his colleague about his experience with Ken Caminiti in a recent Q&A.

It was a long conversation. All afternoon. He never flinched. Ken had problems in his life with substance abuse, and it seemed like he was working his way through his problems with counseling and support groups. I imagine he was at a time in his life where honesty with himself was a priority. He told me he had nothing to hide. Not once, not even off the record, did he mention the name of any other player. His personal accountability was stark and courageous.

I loved Caminiti but I could never condone his use of steroids. Still when other players were lying about playing dirty, there's something to be said of those that come clean.

Same with Alex Rodriguez. I asked him about steroids in 2002 while working on the Caminiti story. It was in his hotel suite in Chicago after a game one night. He looked at me like I had two heads. Steroids? Gee, why would anybody take them? What do they do? I don’t know anything about it . . . I walked out of the suite shaking my head about his complete and theatrical lack of knowledge about the worst kept secret in the game. It would be seven years later that we all discovered, by his own admission, that he was loaded to the gills on steroids at that very moment.