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Enough with the Barry Bonds steroids books. No one wants to hear, read or see any more about Bonds and steroids.
But how about a book chronicling the career of a lesser-known baseball player who has been linked to steroids? Someone terrible at baseball like Jason Grimsley -- owner of a 42-58 career record and 4.77 ERA over 15 extremely forgettable seasons?
A book like that would shed a different light on the subject -- and it's my plan to write that book. So far, I have only a general time line of Grimsley's steroids experiences the past eight years, but I think it's a good start:
April 1998 -- Grimsley begins taking steroids and sees immediate results. In his first game of the season, he walks the bases loaded, then gives up a bases-clearing ground-rule double that bounces off the warning track in dead center field and over the wall. He tells friends that if it weren't for the steroids, he's sure it would have been a grand slam.
August 2000 -- In the midst of another awful season, federal investigators get Grimsley on tape asking his supplier: "Are you sure you gave me actual steroids and not placebos or something? These don't seem to be working. I'm still quite terrible."
November 2001 -- Sitting at home watching the Yankees play the Diamondbacks in the World Series, Grimsley sees Arizona reliever Byung-Hyun Kim blow back-to-back games, putting the Diamondbacks on the brink of elimination. Grimsley grows extremely jealous of Kim for gaining national attention as an awful reliever and tells a friend: "I'm going to start using HGH so I can extend my career and prove I'm the most mediocre pitcher of all time. Byung-Hyun Kim doesn't deserve this attention. I do."
May 2002 -- In his second season with the Royals, Grimsley tells friends he is starting to worry that his teammates disapprove of his use of steroids because he often notices them glaring at him. He later discovers they merely dislike him because his ERA is well over 5.00.
February 2003 -- Grimsley goes to a party thrown by BALCO founder Victor Conte featuring several high-profile athletes, including Bonds, Bill Romanowski and Marion Jones. About an hour into the gathering, Conte pulls Grimsley aside and asks him to bring out more hors d'oeuvres. Grimsley explains that he is not a waiter but a pitcher for the Royals. Conte apologizes, then asks Grimsley not to tell anyone he uses BALCO products because doing so would hurt the company's brand image.
March 2004 -- Grimsley takes part in a card show in Arizona that features numerous major league stars and charges guests $15 for an autograph. The pitcher tells an associate that he can make thousands of dollars in cash at the show and not report it to the IRS. Luckily, though, he narrowly avoids future tax evasion charges when no one is willing to pay money for a Jason Grimsley autograph.
June 2005 -- Major League Baseball representatives appear at Camden Yards to test Orioles players as part of baseball's new drug policy. Grimsley is sure he will test positive if he submits his urine, so in an act of desperation, he hands the nurse his baseball card and tells her to look at the numbers on the back. "Obviously, I'm not on steroids. So why not save some time and let me skip the test?" he says. She agrees, and Grimsley manages to slip through the system undetected.
There you have it. It's not much. And I can't back up any of it yet. Not a word. So I suppose it's more historical fiction at this point. But if there are any book publishers reading this, please give me a call if you want to do the book. I'm thinking of calling it "Game of Grimsley." Or "Grimsley of Shadows." Or maybe "The Grim(sley) Truth." Or maybe I should just leave the title up to the publisher because I've been told I'm not good at them. For the book I actually do have coming out in a few months, I had my only two title ideas rejected: "I Deserved a Bigger Advance." Then they also turned down: "No, Seriously. I Did Deserve A Bigger Advance."
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Three Things I Thought I Thought While Deeming Jerry Stackhouse a "Next Jordan" Candidate
1. Congratulations to boxer Robert Bell. Sure, most people might say he "lost" when he was knocked out by Notre Dame safety Tommy Zbikowski 49 seconds into the first round Saturday night when the pair fought at Madison Square Garden, but things aren't always so black and white. I just don't see how anyone can call Bell a loser when he lived a dream of millions by getting to punch a Notre Dame player in the face repeatedly without fear of prosecution.
2. So I had the Mavericks-Heat opener on Thursday night and I suddenly went into a panic. When does the new season of "The Closer" debut, I wondered? Why is Kyra Sedgwick's giant, witchlike visage not popping onto the screen amid the action on the court? How am I supposed to make it through a Mavericks game without getting frequent updates on that show I've never watched? Luckily, though, right before I went into a total panic, I received a knock at my door. And who should be there but Kyra Sedgwick shining a gigantic flashlight in my eyes. I asked her how Kevin Bacon is doing. She said that he's doing well but that he's embarrassed to be reduced to doing Hanes commercials with Michael Jordan. Anyway, after a few minutes of chitchat, she said that since TNT is no longer showing playoff games, they're making her go door-to-door across the country to spread the word about the season premiere of "The Closer." Despite all that, I can't remember for the life of me when it is.
3. Classy move by Shaq, though, to skip out on the media completely after his five-point game Sunday night. No good one-liners about getting outplayed by Erick Dampier, Shaq? Where be your gibes now? Your gambols? Your songs? Your flashes of merriment that were wont to set the press corps aroar? Not one now to mock your own grinning? Quite chapfallen? (Sorry, I broke into some "Hamlet" there for a second. But I bet Shaq likes "Hamlet." Mostly because it has "ham" in it.)
DJ Gallo is a regular contributor to ESPN The Magazine as well as the founder and sole writer of the award-winning sports satire site SportsPickle.com. He also contributes headlines to The Onion.