Thursday, December 13, 2007


For the record, here's what the Mitchell Report says about Jays catcher Gregg Zaun, who's been the subject of lively debate here, but strictly for his ballplaying.

Seriously, the only thing about Zaun that's scandalous is learning that his legal name is Gregory. Where does he get off adding the extra G?

We all knew this day was coming. As Mike Wilner just pointed out on the FAN 590, "it's a toothless investigation with no subpoena powers." George Mitchell says the players should not be punished for past use. Besides, the authorities in the U.S. are more interested in nailing the makers and suppliers of steroids.

It's really more about catharsis and a good old-fashioned witchhunt.

The revelations about Roger Clemens allegedly shooting up in his apartment at Rogers Centre and former Jays conditioning coach Brian McNamee are easier to live with, since (a) Jays fans consider Clemens a Benedict Arnold; (b) a lot of this was out already and (c) no one has fond memories of those 1998-2000 teams from the Interbrew SA era that were forever playing 9-7 games.

We all knew this was coming. With regard to Zaun, start with the second graf, since the first just covers what teams Zaun has played for:

"(Kirk) Radomski believed that Jason Grimsley referred Zaun to him when they both played for the Royals in 2001. Someone else (Radomski could not remember who) called and ordered steroids for Zaun. Although Radomski never spoke to Zaun about the transaction, Radomski received a check from Zaun for the steroids. Radomski produced that check, a copy of which is included in the Appendix and is shown below.

"Radomski confirmed the payment was for Deca-Durabolin and Winstrol. He also stated that he sent the drugs to Zaun at the Kansas City Royals clubhouse. The address for the Royals ballpark was found in Radomski's address book.

"Radomski's statement that he sold steroids to Zaun is not the only allegation is not the only allegation of use by Zaun. As discussed earlier in this report, in September 2002 Luis Perez, a bullpen catcher for the Montreal Expos, was arrested for possession of a pound of marijuana. In January 2003, he was interviewed by investigators from the Commissioner's Office. Perez told those investigators that he had personally supplied anabolic steroids to Zaun and seven other major league ball players.

"Tony Muser, Kansas City's former manager, recounted an incident in which Zaun denied steroid use. According to Muser, while he was managing the Royals he once discussed the dangers of performance enhancing substance use with Zaun while the two were sitting on the bench before a game. Specifically, Muser told Zaun the story of how Don Rowe, a pitching coach for Muser in the minor leagues, had used steroids and developed serious health problems as a consequence. Muser explained to Zaun that he was not accusing him of steroid use, and Zaun denied any such use.

"In order to provide Zaun with information about these allegations and to give him an opportunity to respond, I asked im to meet with me; he declined."
That would get laughed out of any court (well, maybe not in Texas). Zaun was doing what he had to do to stay in the major leagues; that doesn't make him evil. It's just that baseball has gone from having no standards to some selectively applied standards designed to win a PR game, not protect the impressionable youth of America or some such BS. At the very least, yours truly has been bracing for the possibility it would come to this for more than a year and a half. Every player had the taint potentially put on him.

"...any ballplayer who has a sudden jump in performance is suspect. Just look at the comments over at Deadspin -- it's gotta be him .... no, it's him.

Just compare the improvement in the OPS (on-base and slugging averages) of three players so far this season compared to all of last year:

Player A: .929 vs. .818 in '05
Player B: .918 vs. .744
Player C: .962 vs. .729

Those players are Frank Catalanatto, Reed Johnson and Gregg Zaun, all platoon player types on my Blue Jays." -- June 7, 2006
The point wasn't to use that as evidence to implicate Zaun. It was simply to point out that as a baseball fan, you have to distruct some of what you've seen over the past decade or so, due to baseball's tortoise-like response. It's just a matter of how much you view what you're seeing with a healthy skepticism. So stay strong, Zaunie -- no pun intended.

That's all for now. Send your thoughts to

1 comment:

Jim Bur said...

Forget Zaun! Howie Clark, and his 3 career HR's are now firmly tainted.

Perhaps AROD screamed "ROIDS" when rounding third to distract him.

Say it ain't so Howie.