In February, ex-Cub and current Angels outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. covertly received a box of illegal steroids that had been mailed to the home of a friend Matthews has known since grade school, and seemed to have gotten away with it. This week, however, a $15 rebate claim form bearing Matthews’ name, signature and real address was received by the product’s manufacturer. The product’s order number and serial number as written on the form are said to match those of the package delivered to Matthews’ friend Joey Adamley of Tuscon, Ariz.

Matthews had previously denied the story and said that his name was being smeared. He had only admitted that he is a friend of Adamley. But now Matthews admits that he did in fact receive the drugs.

“I ordered the steroids online through an Internet cafe under Joey’s name and I used his credit card,” Matthews said. “It was a perfect plan. I reimbursed Joey in cash with a little something extra to keep him quiet.”

It was the lure of the rebate that finally did Matthews in.

“The previous day I had received an Epson Stylus C88+ ink-jet printer that I ordered through Epson’s Web site,” Matthews said. “I filled out Epson’s rebate form with my real information. I guess I just forgot to keep my identity secret when I filled out BALCO’s rebate form.”

Matthews says he has already returned the steroids.

“Most of the mistakes I make in baseball are mental and not physical anyway,” he said. “Whether I’m throwing to the wrong base or attempting a steal for no reason other than reach the 20-20 club.”

heckler editorial staff