Thursday, June 08, 2006

Barry Bonds breathes a sigh of relief, as Jason Grimsley unleashes armageddon.

Just when you thought it was safe to enjoy baseball again. Barry Bonds has hit 715 and passed the Babe and now he has just kind of gone away. Roger Clemens is coming back and on his way he is going on sort of a retro barn storming tour with his first stop in Lexington. That was a special moment for fans in that area as well as baseball as a whole. Then you wake up to find that some journeyman pitcher named Jason Grimsley may be about to unleash hell upon Major League Baseball.

Apparently Grimsley received a package of illegal performance enhancing drugs and the Feds knew about it and came to his door the day he received it. Rather than cause a big scene Grimsley decided to cooperate with investigators. That included naming names of others using performance enhancing drugs and placing a call to his distributor with the Feds listening in. The Feds then wanted Grimsley to wear a wire and talk to other players and get some evidence on Barry Bonds. Whether this was for steroids, Bonds' alleged perjury charges, or for his alleged tax evasion was not made clear. Grimsley then talked to a lawyer and stopped cooperating.

About this time the court papers of his conversations with the government came out. You can find them online and read it yourself. The names of the players he named as having used performance enhancing drugs have been redacted or blacked out. According to some the number of players Grimsley named is anywhere from 8 to 15.

I listened to the Dan Patrick show yesterday and Keith Olbermann was on and they were discussing this situation. Patrick said that a source has told him some of the names that had been redacted and Patrick that those names would shock fans. Grimsley also said that since the drug testing in baseball has started, the players are now only using human growth hormone (HGH) because HGH cannot be detected by a urine test, which is the only test MLB uses.

Olbermann said that because MLB only takes urine for drug testing and this case seems to be dealing more with HGH, for which you need a blood test to discover, MLB needs to go as far as shutting down the rest of the season to get the player’s union to agree to blood testing. Another idea was to save the urine that had been taken and when there is a urine test for HGH to then retest the samples and those who are still playing that test positive would be suspended and those who are retired that test positive would be outed.

This whole thing is going to get worse before it gets better. I have already heard many in the media that say we will hear those names that have been redacted. Somehow, some way they will come out. Grimsley has played for 6 or 7 teams in his career, including the New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, and Philadelphia Phillies. We may find out in the coming weeks and months just how prevalent steroids and other performance enhancing drugs were and still are in the Major Leagues.

We also should begin to realize that the steroid issue does not begin and end with Barry Bonds. He has brought most of this scrutiny and hardship on himself, but it will come out that he was one of hundreds of players who looked for an easy way to boost their numbers. And as Keith Olbermann suggested on the Dan Patrick show, if I were Jason Grimsley, I would hire a bodyguard because there are sure to be several players out there who are not happy with him, especially if they were one of the names named. It’s just like the mob, just when we think we are out, they pull us back in.

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