as far as i can tell, the regular media aren't touching yesterday's disclosures at deadspin re albert pujols' trainer. haven't found an article anywhere; checked the dailies in st louis, phoenix, and kansas city, and there's nothing in print. yet. but keith olbermann mentioned it on his tv news show last night, according to somebody over at bernie miklasz's forum, and they say dan patrick and olbermann -- without naming names, although they claim to have seen them -- were talking about how the (inevitable) leaking of the blacked-out names will "rock baseball."
how prominent of a player would have to be implicated, directly or indirectly, for baseball to be "rocked" by this scandal? i can only think of three: roger clemens. derek jeter. albert pujols. these are the only guys who transcend the sport -- are household names as joe dimaggio used to be -- and haven't already been linked to steroids.
but if deadspin's information is accurate -- and i believe that it is -- does that truly implicate albert as a steroid abuser? you'd have to be high on some pretty strong amphetamines to draw that conclusion, based on current information. all the affadavit says is that 'redacted' (presumably mihlfeld) -- and i'm now quoting from page 14 of the affadavit -- "once referred him [grimsley] to an amphetamine source." redacted probably shouldn't have done that, but let's put it into context. on page 12 of the affadavit, grimsley says that "until last year, Major League clubhouses had coffee pots labeled 'leaded' and 'unleaded' for the players, indicating coffee with amphetamines and without." until last year -- ie, through the 2004 season -- mihlfeld worked for grimsley's team, the kansas city royals. so if the statement about spiked coffee is accurate -- and it's right there in the affadavit, with no redactions -- then the royals were directly supplying amphetamines to grimsley and all the other guys in mihlfeld's clubhouse. the team was doing that -- mihlfeld's employer.
if his employer was openly supplying these drugs in the clubhouse to every player, why would mihlfeld hesitate to direct one player to other sources of amphetamines? why would he consider that an ethical breach of some kind? for that matter, why should we be surprised that mihlfeld knew where to send grimsley for greenies? somebody was supplying the royals' training staff with whatever they brewed into their "leaded" coffee.
if that's as far as it goes -- mihlfeld referred grimsley to a source who could provide amphetamines -- well whoooooop-de-doo. that don't prove nothin' -- not about chris mihlfeld, and certainly not about albert pujols.
but what if it goes farther than that?
what if we learn that mihlfeld routinely sent players to the same drug pusher he referred grimsley to -- that it was part of a pattern? what if we find out that greenie usage was an integral part of mihlfeld's training methods -- that he "prescribed" them, if you will, to enhance his clients' results? then it becomes considerably murkier. and if it should surface that grimsley was not the only mihlfeld client to use hgh, i will have a hard time believing that pujols is clean.
we don't know these things yet, so it's way too soon to accuse pujols of anything. but it's also too soon to say, with full confidence, that he has never taken hgh. i'm sure we'll learn a lot more about chris mihlfeld in the coming days and weeks -- and what we learn will either deflect suspicion away from albert, or intensify it.
may it be the former.
joe strauss claims the cardinals' trade talks are intensifying. wasn't that really, really important a couple days ago? yesterday morning? . . . it still is, and will soon return to the forefront of our thoughts. the sooner the better.
a final note: gateway redbirds has posted an interview with colby rasmus, using questions submitted by forum members.