Damn, Rumors and Rants already used that joke, and have even advanced the common assumption that Eric Gagne was using steroids. And a year ago, we would have probably agreed with them. But to dismiss Gagne's meteoric rise as steroid abuse might be a little bit of a disservice. Plenty of closers were once failed starters. Dennis Eckersley was probably the most famous to go from starter to dominant closer when his career stalled. Eck was a one-time 20-game winner who became an average starter before his career was reborn in the bullpen. Dave Righetti was an decent starter (with a no-hitter) who became a dominant closer. So it's not unusual for it to happen.
Gagne was pretty strong in the early part of his starts, but was taken apart during his second time through the order. A problem he wouldn't have as a closer. Besides, he never looked like a juicer like Barry Bonds or Jeremy Giambi. That can only lead to one possible conclusion:
He was on the juice. Sorry baseball. All players of this era are going to be guilty until proven innocent. This wouldn't be the case if you had taken care of the problem earlier. So now every record will draw a raised eyebrow.