Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Jason Grimsley Is Still In the League?

I may have had a different reaction than most people to today’s story about Jason Grimsley’s steroid use. Sure, it’s weird that Jason Grimsley (Jason Grimsley!) has become the Elia Kazan of the steroid era, but unlike Mark McGwire, I did not come here to talk about the present, I came to talk about the past.

Because, you see, this isn’t the first time that Jason Grimsley (at left, presumably before he got on the juice) has come up when the subject is cheating.

Back in 1994, my own beloved Cleveland Indians were in the midst of their first good season in my lifetime. They had a powerful team, a beautiful, brand new stadium that had just opened, and they were challenging the Chicago White Sox for the division title. Of course, then the strike happened, but all that was a month away on July 15, 1994.

On that day, the Indians were playing the rival White Sox at Comiskey Park, and Sox manager Gene Lamont complained that Indians star Albert Belle’s bat was corked. The umpires confiscated Belle’s bat, intending to inspect it after the game. In the interim, the bat was placed in the umpire’s locker. In a ridiculously clumsy attempt to get Belle off the hook, the Indians dispatched a player to crawl through a small crawl space in the ceiling above the umpires locker room, and replace the bat with a cork-free model (this failed miserably, as the bat he replaced Belle’s with clearly had first baseman Paul Sorrento’s name written on it).

The player who wriggled through the ceiling?

Jason Grimsley, the Zelig of baseball perfidy.

1 comment:

Billy said...

Most ballplayers today are taking homeopathic growth hormone oral spray because it's safe, undetectable, and legal for over the counter sales. As time goes on it seems it might be considered as benign a performance enhancer as coffee, aspirin, red bull, chewing tobacco, and bubble gum.