'NY Times' Reporter 'Had a Plan' to Get Steroid List Names

By Strupp, Joe | Editor & Publisher, July 30, 2009 | Go to article overview

'NY Times' Reporter 'Had a Plan' to Get Steroid List Names


Strupp, Joe, Editor & Publisher


Despite being only 25 and a New York Times reporter for less than two years, Michael S. Schmidt has already earned a spot as one of the paper's best sports investigators.

In June, he broke the story that slugger Sammy Sosa was on the infamous list of 100 baseball players to test positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003.

Today, he added two more names -- Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz -- to the list in a bombshell story that already has Boston Red Sox beat writers talking.

A former Times news clerk who first came to the paper in 2005, he freelanced for a year and returned in 2007 as an "intermediate" reporter. His beat: off-the-field news. Translated: steroids and other bad stuff.

"I had a duty to look into it," he says of his success in finding three of the biggest names on the list. "I had to at least put in the effort."

Schmidt says he increased his pursuit of the 2003 list after Sports Illustrated in February revealed that Alex Rodriguez was one of the names. "After that, people would always ask me 'when is the list going to come out?'" he recalls. "I never had a good answer. I started to realize there was a real interest people had in this."

That is when he set out a plan, to speak with anyone who might have seen the 2003 list. …

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