Thursday, December 13, 2007

Paul Lo Duca and the Benefits of Social Networking


Now that I've completed my NTN/Buzztime trivia fun (today's scores won't be posted until tomorrow, but you can check out my OEMPER NTN/Buzztime trivia profile if you like), I can look at the Mitchell Report.

And, for those of you who wonder about the benefits of networking, the Mitchell Report provides more than enough evidence of said benefits.

From page 208 of the report (256th page in the file):

Paul Lo Duca is a catcher who has played with three teams in Major League Baseball since 1998, the Los Angeles Dodgers (7 seasons), Florida Marlins (2 seasons), and New York Mets (2 seasons). He has appeared in four All-Star games.

Todd Hundley referred Lo Duca to [Kirk] Radomski when Lo Duca played for the Dodgers. Radomski estimated that he engaged in six or more transactions with Lo Duca. In some transactions, Radomski sent the performance enhancing substances by overnight mail to Lo Duca’s home or to the Dodgers clubhouse and Lo Duca sent Radomski a check a week or so later.

So you see the value of networking, namely the fact that it was Todd Hundley that referred Lo Duca to Kirk Radomski. But, as any LinkedIn user can testify, the links that you make in a network provide you with access to other links. The Mitchell Report documents this:

Adam Riggs played several positions in portions of four seasons with three teams in Major League Baseball between 1997 and 2004, the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, and Anaheim Angels. He also played in the minor leagues for eleven seasons. Since 2004, he has played professional baseball in Japan.

According to Radomski, Lo Duca referred Riggs to him.

And Riggs isn't the only one. The Mitchell Report indicates that Lo Duca introduced many baseball players to Radomski, including Kevin Brown, Eric Gagne, and Matt Herges.

And one of the benefits of expanding your social network is the ability to host some really fine parties. From page number 231 (or page 279 in the PDF):

The five players and [Albuquerque Dukes coach Todd] Seyler all injected themselves with the steroids at the apartment. Seyler witnessed Herges and Williams inject themselves in the buttocks with syringes containing Deca-Durabolin. Seyler also observed Lo Duca and Judd inject themselves with either Deca-Durabolin or Winstrol, although Seyler could not remember where they injected themselves or which of the two substances they used. Seyler further observed Stone inject himself in the thigh with Deca-Durabolin. Seyler injected himself in the thigh with Winstrol. Seyler said he was inexperienced in the use of anabolic steroids and needed Herges to explain to him how to perform the injections.

You'll also note one other wrinkle in the social networking saga. Note that your social network is not only able to provide you with products (in this case, the drugs), but can also provide you with services (namely, Matt Herges' expertise in injections).

As you can see, attention to networking detail can help you bulk up your network. But unfortunately, some activities may not necessarily help your disposition, as this September article notes:

Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca was ejected in the ninth inning of New York’s game against Philadelphia on Friday night for arguing after he took a called third strike. Lo Duca immediately started arguing with plate umpire Paul Emmel after the call, and was turning to go to the dugout when he was ejected. Lo Duca wheeled around and went to argue with Emmel again before manager Willie Randolph came out.

But never fear, because the Washington Nationals were proud to make this announcement on December 12:

The Washington Nationals introduced catcher Paul Lo Duca and outfielder Lastings Milledge to the media yesterday in a press conference at their downtown offices.

Lo Duca, 35, signed a reported one-year, $5 million contract with the team to become its new everyday catcher. He is a career .288/.338/.414 hitter in ten big league seasons, with 80 home runs to his credit. Last season for the Mets he hit .272/.311/.379, all season low totals since becoming a full-time player in 2001. "I'm excited to be part of a team that's young and has a chance to win this division," Lo Duca said.

In the introductions, Nats GM Jim Bowden went to particular lengths to make sure why Lo Duca was being brought in. "He's a winner. He has never been with a losing team. Ever," Bowden said. "He wins, that what he does." Lo Duca is a four time all-star who has played with the New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers and Florida Marlins.

But I know why the Nationals wanted Lo Duca. They wanted him because of his connections. Hey, Kevin Brown is an experienced pitcher - perhaps Lo Duca can get Brown into a Nationals uniform. And Todd Seyler is a valuable asset; he apparently knows a lot about conditioning. And don't forget Kirk Radomski...

More coverage at Bandwagon L.A..

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