(Long Island, NY) First we had Congress holding hearings on Capitol Hill last year. Then former Senator George Mitchell was appointed by Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig to investigate past steroid use in America’s Pastime. And most recently, we learned that the FBI, IRS, FDA and Postal Inspectors were involved in a case against former Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Jason Grimsley. What agency will step up to the plate next?
An affidavit filed in the U.S District Court in Phoenix was made public this week and revealed that a ‘controlled delivery’ was performed by a Postal Inspector on April 19th of two kits containing Human Growth Hormone (HGH) to the residence of Grimsley, who had purchased them and was expecting the package. After accepting the package, the federal agents went to his house and informed him that they were aware of the contents. They confiscated it from him and he agreed to accompany them to another undisclosed location to answer questions. He informed them that he had been using steroids, amphetamines, and HGH for years and that he switched to HGH after baseball started testing for steroids in 2004. (HGH is undetectable through a urinalysis). He further stated that up until last season, baseball clubhouses had coffee pots labeled ‘leaded’ (with amphetamines) and ‘unleaded’ (without). He also told the investigators a number of other baseball players’ names that were involved in performance enhancing drugs. These names were redacted from the documents that were made public.
What is disturbing about these new revelations is that Grimsley is a 38 year old journeyman pitcher with unimpressive stats. His career numbers are 42-58 with a 4.77 ERA. He has pitched in the big leagues since 1989 when he broke in with the Philadelphia Phillies. He also has pitched for the Cleveland Indians, California Angels, New York Yankees, Kansas City Royals, and Baltimore Orioles. He signed with Arizona in the off-season and was released following the announcement of the court documents. The fallout from this may be very wide spread.
If a player such as Grimsley has been using these drugs for a period of time, who else may be? Superstars like Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Jose Canseco may be obvious. But a marginal pitcher? This takes it to a different level altogether. Selig may be in over his head, regardless of who he recruits to clean up the game.