Thursday, June 08, 2006

Bonds, Grimsley, the Clueless Press and the Feds

Jason Grimsley, a pitcher for a number of teams for 16 years in the major leagues, got caught up in a Federal investigation that reaches into money laundering, wire fraud, abuse of the mails, and drug trafficking all related to baseball players using steroids and human growth hormone (HGH). I have a couple of observations:

How lame is the media that sends numerous reporters to every game that is played in major league baseball, who live with and travel with the players they cover, and yet did not have an inkling that illicit drug use was so pervasive in clubhouses that there were coffee makers labeled “Leaded” for the ones that contained amphetamines? Or were these reporters so complicit with illegality in the clubhouse that they deliberately did not report what they knew, for whatever reason?

Barry Bonds should be very afraid. According to the affidavit that the lead investigator on this case (who, not incidentally, is an IRS Agent) Grimsley attracted the attention of investigators when they developed information that he was going to receive HGH in the mail from a supplier. The investigator received a warrant to search Grimsley’s home on the theory that he possesses illegal drugs, has distributed illegal drugs to other players for profit, and then laundered the money. The Feds attempted to get Grimsley to collect evidence against Barry Bonds in exchange for leniency, and when he would not cooperate in that effort, they publicly exposed him. The reason Bonds should be afraid is that this entire task force of DEA, FBI, IRS, Customs, Postal Inspectors and US Attorneys are looking to make a case against Bonds and are strong arming associates of his to do it. I would say he is in deep kimchi. To Bonds illustrious titles of “wife beater” and “bad sport,” we can add “tax cheat,” “drug user” and “fraud.”

And yet, even with all these Federal law enforcement agencies, all over the US, looking into one person, who is also watched every day by scores of credentialed media, we read not a word of suspicion or analysis in any newspaper or on any sports show about what might be forthcoming. It is as if the paying news consumer would not be interested to know that virtually everyone playing baseball, including the “best player in this generation” is juiced up. Unless someone hands a press release to one of these high paid, clueless windbags in the media describing the location of his own ass with an included map, he would not be able to find it even with both hands.

Sports journalism is a disgrace. Barry Bonds is a disgrace. Baseball needs to clean house, and soon.