Pitcher Grimsley's Steroid Controversy a Wake-Up Call

ByABC News
June 8, 2006, 12:30 PM

June 8, 2006 — -- Before Tuesday, Jason Grimsley's biggest claims to fame were: (A) he's the guy who once crawled through the drop ceiling at the new Comiskey Park (now called U.S. Cellular Field) to rescue Albert Belle's corked bat, and (B) he was once traded, even-up, for Curt Schilling, just before Schilling became Curt Schilling.

But from now on, Jason Grimsley is going to have a different claim to fame. What Jose Canseco was to the steroid mess, Jason Grimsley now represents for the human growth hormone crisis, which is soon to erupt in a congressional caucus, or in a commissioner's office, or on a talk-show frequency near you.

Why is it such a monstrous deal -- for baseball and all the major pro sports -- that Grimsley allegedly was caught, red-handed, with HGH? Not to mention that he reportedly has since named a slew of names and told the feds all kinds of fascinating stories? Here are four big reasons:

1) The government is still targeting baseball

Months after the four BALCO defendants plea-bargained and served their time, the government's lead investigator in that case, Jeff Novitzky, is still on the baseball beat. Which tells us BALCO was never just about Victor Conte or Greg Anderson. It was about the federal government's relentless fervor to clean up pro sports in general and baseball in particular.

Remember, it was the attorney general of the United States who personally announced the BALCO indictments. And the book "Game of Shadows" meticulously details the government's near-obsession with exposing the widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs by some of baseball's biggest names.

But when those BALCO defendants copped their pleas, it looked as if the heat was off.

Uh, guess again.

First, it was Barry Bonds being aggressively targeted by the BALCO grand jury for a possible perjury indictment. Now comes more evidence that the same investigators who brought you the BALCO case are still roaring away, looking into other players and their use of a wide variety of substances.