Weeks later a trainer told him, "You tested positive." Horn thought it was a joke. He was about to turn 31 and was a known drug cheat in Double A in his 10th minor league season. He analyzed the situation, calculated the odds of getting another opportunity and came to a quick decision: He retired. His big league dream was done. "For a number of years I felt like a failure because I didn't quite get there," Horn says. "Now I know that's not the case. No one thinks about the guys that never get there."
Legault and Horn played together at every level of the minors. They roomed together through six spring training camps. But until a reporter told him last month, Legault didn't know that Horn had used steroids.
"He did?" Legault says. "I thought maybe, but, no, not Jeff Horn."
"It's overwhelming," Horn says, recalling the pressure to cheat. "You're a young man, and you're not fully developed intellectually; and you're forced to make some challenging decisions, and man, it's tough.
"As close as Kevin and I were with the Twins, we never really talked about it. When I made the decision it was very private. It's not black and white. I can understand how it might seem that way to people not in the industry. I didn't make a decision overnight. I went weeks and weeks thinking about it and being nervous.
"If I had to do it again, those would not be the decisions I would make. It's something you want so bad, and you spent so many years in the minor leagues, and you're watching guys leapfrog you.... I just wanted to get there to prove to myself and the people who didn't have much faith in me that I could do it. It was not a decision to get as big as I could and make millions. I was looking for some kind of personal validation."
Dan Naulty rode down the Canyon of Heroes in 1999, met the President, cashed a World Series check for $307,809, got a world championship ring and bought himself a Corvette. But that winter, the emptiness still gnawed at him. Meanwhile, the Yankees traded him to the Dodgers—the Dodgers!—his hometown team, the team that launched his dream in the first place. But by the time spring training began, he didn't want to play for the Dodgers, or anybody for that matter.
He was thinking about being a pastor.
He did report to spring training in Vero Beach, Fla., but his heart wasn't in it. Every morning he would meet with a pastor for breakfast and explain he wanted to quit. "Well, you don't know what you want," the pastor advised. "You should keep going. Maybe this is what God has planned for you."
One day Richard, his father, came to visit. They went out to dinner. What little relationship they did have was dysfunctional.