On the day Gagne arrived at Dodgers camp to begin what he hopes is a return to the majors, he responded to questions about his past connections to performance-enhancing drugs by saying "There are a lot of regrets." Giambi famously apologized without ever saying what he was apologizing for.
Gagne, the 2003 Cy Young winner with the Dodgers, was included in the Mitchell Report in 2007. Since then he's had failed stints with the Red Sox, Rangers and Brewers.
"I've said it 150 times, it's always going to be on my resume for the rest of my life," Gagne told reporters. "People will second-guess everything I do and if I have a good year they'll all second guess. That's normal. I'm not expecting anything else. But for me it's over. I have to go on. I can talk about it every day. It doesn't matter. I still have to go out and pitch and perform."
In an interview with T.J. Simers of the Los Angeles Times published later on Saturday, Gagne went a little further in admitting his use of performance-enhancing drugs.
"You were using HGH, weren't you?"Gagne looked alarmingly slender as he stood in the Dodgers clubhouse on Saturday, the day before the first official workout for pitchers and catchers. He said he's lost 10 to 12 pounds because of a "crazy workout" program to help prevent further back trouble.
"I did," [Gagne] says. "I hate to talk about it. It just doesn't do anyone any good. But I thought it would help me get better when I hurt my knee. I just don't want that to sound as an excuse.
"I'm so ashamed. It wasn't smart. If I knew what I know now ... I didn't need it. I regret it so much, just now maybe getting over the guilt. It was stupid."
Whatever happened to the old Gagne, he is back after a year away from the majors to try to revive his career at age 34. The Dodgers signed him to a minor-league deal, guaranteeing $500,000 if he makes the Opening Day roster. He can make another $500,000 in incentives.
Gagne's chances of making the roster seem to be remote, with an established bullpen core of Jonathan Broxton, George Sherrill, Hong-Chih Kuo, Ronald Bellisario and Ramon Troncoso locks for five relief spots, barring injuries. Presumably there will be one long reliever, James McDonald or Jeff Weaver. That leaves one spot for another short reliever, and Gagne is in the mix with Cory Wade and Jon Link.
"I'm not expecting anything," Gagne said. "I just want to go out and throw to hitters and try to get people out. If it do that and stay healthy, everything should take care of itself."
Staying healthy will be the issue. Gagne said he was not right when he was with the Brewers. And last year, while he was pitching/coaching for the independent Quebec Capitales, he was rehabbing on his own from rotator cuff surgery.
Gagne said he actually enjoyed his year out of the big leagues.
"I just basically played for fun," Gagne said. "I haven't done that in a long time. It was a good experience."