AP argues in court filing for release of ballplayers' names linked to drug raid

Updated: July 19, 2007, 9:54 PM ET
Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO -- The public, Major League Baseball players and the league would benefit if the names of players listed on a search warrant for former Arizona pitcher Jason Grimsley's home were revealed, The Associated Press argued in court papers filed Thursday.

Investigators raided Grimsley's Scottsdale, Ariz. house last year after intercepting a shipment of human growth hormone as part of the federal government's five-year probe into performance-enhancing drug use among professional athletes.

Grimsley, who was released by the Diamondbacks last season, initially talked with investigators and allegedly implicated several other players before he stopped cooperating. The names of those players were included in the second of two warrants used to search Grimsley's house.

But the players' names were blacked out in the publicly released search warrants. The AP argued Thursday that the names should be released to show the government's investigation has been fair and worthwhile.

"The public has a legitimate interest in learning about conduct that affects the manner in which these players perform," David Bodney, AP's lawyer, argued in court papers filed in Phoenix federal court, "especially where that conduct threatens to undermine the legitimacy of the game and the records being broken by today's players."

In papers filed last week, federal prosecutors opposed making the players' names public, arguing that to do so would jeopardize the ongoing investigation based in San Francisco.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Parella wrote in the government's filing that the AP's argument on behalf of the public good "is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to benefit financially by disclosing the names of individuals identified in the investigation."

A judge is scheduled to hear arguments in the case on July 26 in Phoenix.

In a related case being argued in a Central Islip, N.Y. federal court, two Hearst Corp.-owned newspapers are working for the release of blacked-out baseball players' names included on a search warrant used to raid the home of former New York Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski.

The Major League Baseball Players Association filed papers opposing the release of names in both cases.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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