Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse for Major League Baseball, they did. It was disclosed yesterday that Jason Grimsley of the Arizona Diamondbacks had his home searched by federal agents, and has now admitted to the use of Human Growth Hormones. (HGH) In this investigation, Grimsley has admitted to the use and receipt of steroids, amphetamines, and HGH for the purpose of enhancing his on-field performance. He then provided details on other athletes who have used these drugs.
There are a few issues in the latest black mark against Major League Baseball. First of all, MLB has known there is a problem with HGH, but as there is not a reliable test for the drugs, there has not been an effort to enhance testing, or work to develop a reliable test. Secondly, one of the big questions is who will be implicated in this case? Will Barry Bonds finally have his name formally attached to allegations of the use of performance enhancing drugs? Who else will be named, and what are the consequences and ramifications for Major League Baseball? Are we now talking lifetime bans for those who use these drugs, and what in the world will be done about this?
Grimsley is a fringe ballplayer whose career is now over. Now that he has implicated current and possibly former players, he will never be able to even coach Little League. His name will forever be associated with ratting out other players and could end their careers as well. I do have to give Grimsley credit for doing what he did. Yes, he was under just a little bit of pressure with FBI agents hounding him and asking him about his and the others involvment in this mess. At least he had the guts to give names, and I hope that something is done about performance enhancing drugs not just in baseball, but in sports as a whole.
What do I propose? I propose a ZERO tolerance policy for steroids and other performance enhancing drugs. If you are caught, and I don't care what caliber of player you are, you are gone. Gone, done, bye-bye, and hasta la vista baby, you are banned from baseball for life. I know, I know, there is the pressure to succeed, and the pressure to win titles and put more Ben Franklins in their pockets, but it has to be done based on natural ability and hard work; not by using drugs to get ahead. What sort of message is this sending to the kids who want to play in the Major Leagues? It tells them that ability doesn't mean squat!! All one has to do is work out a bit, and take loads of drugs and that will make them millions. Forget working at it, just cheat, that is all it takes!! Good Lord.......
Another question is if Grimsley will spend time in jail for his alleged possession, distribution of illegal drugs, and the allegation he laundered money as well. I think he does need to serve time if for no other reason than to send a message that this type of activity simply will not be tolerated. Even though Grimsley says he will retire, he needs to be served with a lifetime ban from baseball on both the major and minor league levels. I want to make sure he does not represent the game I have coached, played, umpired, and will cover for as long as I am around. I love this game. I love baseball as much as I do anything with the exception of my beautiful wife and my family. (Sorry baseball gods, nothing comes before them.) I grew up watching games and wished I could play professionally. Alas, with bad wheels and the inability to hit a curveball, I will only be playing slow pitch softball. I do not want to see yet another black mark be placed on the game I love.
More on the show on Saturday at 9:00 on WFAD.