Born: August 7, 1967|
|September 8, 1989, for the Philadelphia Phillies|
|Last MLB appearance|
|May 31, 2006, for the Arizona Diamondbacks|
|Earned run average||4.77|
|Career highlights and awards|
Major League Career
Like many relief pitchers, Grimsley began his career as a starting pitcher, but he became a full-time reliever while a member of the Yankees.
Philadelphia Phillies (1989–1991)
Grimsley began his career in 1989 and pitched very poorly, surrendering 13 runs in 18 1⁄3 innings. The following year, he went 3–2 and made 11starts. In 1991, he went 1–7 with a 4.87 ERA in 12 starts. Following the 1991 season, he was traded to the Houston Astros for Curt Schilling.
Out of the League and Cleveland Indians (1992–1995)
He spent the entire 1992 season in the minors and on March 30, 1993 he was released by Houston and signed with the Cleveland Indians. In his first season with Cleveland, he went 3–4 over 10 games, and in 1994, went 5–2 with a 4.57 ERA in 14 games. Grimsley is known for his leading role in the 1994 Bat Burglary involving Albert Belle and an allegedly corked bat that was taken away by umpires for examination by the league. Grimsley was the player who crawled through a Comiskey Park air conditioning duct to reach the room where the confiscated bat had been secured. He took the corked bat and replaced it with a clean bat. The incident made ESPN.com's "Biggest Cheaters in Baseball" list at number 4 and Foxsports.com list of the biggest cheaters in baseball history at #5. The next season, he was used mostly as a reliever, making only two starts. Following the season, on February 14, 1996 he was traded to the Angels.
California Angels (1996)
Out of the League Again (1997–1998)
Grimsley signed with the Tigers on January 17, 1997, but was released following spring training. On April 3, he signed with the Brewers and on July 29, was traded to the Royals for Jamie Brewington. He was granted free agency on October 15. On January 8, 1998, he was signed with the Cleveland Indians. He did not appear in a major league game that year and was granted free agency on October 15.
New York Yankees (1999–2000)
Grimsley signed with the Yankees on January 26, 1999. With the Yankees, he rebounded, going 7–2 with a 3.60 ERA in 55 relief outings, 25 as a closer, but earned only one save. Grimsley did not pitch in the 1999 American League Division Series or the 1999 American League Championship Series, but pitched 2 and 1/3 innings of two-hit, two-walk ball in the 1999 World Series. In 2000, he was 3–2 with a 5.04 ERA. In the 2000 ALCS, he pitched one scoreless inning and earned his second World Series ring when the Yankees defeated the Mets in five games despite not pitching in the World Series. On November 20, he was released by the Yankees.
Kansas City Royals (2001–2004)
Grimsley signed with the Royals on January 19, 2001. In his first season in Kansas City he was 1–5. In three and a half years in Kansas City, he never posted a record better than .500 (he was 3–3 in 2004). He was 1–5 in 2001, 4–7 in 2002, and 2–6 in 2003. Grimsley also gave up the famous home run to Scott Hatteberg that gave the Oakland Athletics their 20th straight win in 2002, as immortalized in the film Moneyball. On October 29, 2003, he was granted free agency, but re-signed on December 7. In 2004, he went 3–3 with a 3.38 ERA before being traded on June 21 to the Orioles for Denny Bautista.
Baltimore Orioles (2004–2005)
Grimsley went 2–4 in 2004 with Baltimore. In 2005, he posted a dismal 1–3 record with a 5.73 ERA, and was granted free agency on October 27.
Arizona Diamondbacks (2006)
In 2006, he was 1–2 with a slightly better 4.88 ERA in 19 games before being released on June 7. He subsequently retired.
Illicit drug use
On June 6, 2006, it was reported that Federal officials had raided Grimsley's home looking for evidence that he was distributing human growth hormone (HGH) and other performance-enhancing drugs.
The Arizona Diamondbacks released him at his request, shortly after it became public in June 2006 that he had admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs. The Diamondbacks announced they would not pay the rest of his 2006 salary, an estimated US$875,000. Grimsley's agent Joe Bick stated that Grimsley would contest the decision. Michael Weiner, general counsel to the players union stated that the union would file a grievance on his behalf.
On June 12, 2006, Grimsley was suspended for 50 games for violating Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. This penalty would take effect if Grimsley ever signed a contract with a major league team and was placed on a 40-man roster. He was the fourteenth Major League Baseball player to be suspended for use of performance-enhancing drugs.
ESPN reported that court documents showed that Grimsley had failed an MLB-administered drug test in 2003; he subsequently confessed to the use of human growth hormones, amphetamines and steroids.
His drug use began in 1998 while in Buffalo, New York. After a nine-year MLB career, he was in the minors trying to get back to the majors after a shoulder injury. Among the drugs he has used are Deca-Durabolin, amphetamines, human growth hormone and Clenbuterol. Prior to the use of performance-enhancing drugs he had earned a total of $1 million; subsequently he earned $9 million. His ERA dropped by a run.
On September 30, 2006, the Los Angeles Times reported that Grimsley told federal agents investigating steroids in baseball that Houston Astros pitchers Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte were users of performance-enhancing drugs and that Baltimore Orioles's Miguel Tejada, Jay Gibbons, and Brian Roberts were users of "anabolic steroids."
On October 3, 2006, the Washington Post reported that San Francisco United States attorney Kevin Ryan said that the Los Angeles Times report contained "significant inaccuracies." All five players named (Clemens, Pettitte, Tejada, Gibbons, and Roberts) denounced the story, with Clemens calling it "dangerous and malicious and reckless." Gibbons was later implicated in the steroid scandal by Sports Illustrated, who uncovered receipts issued by a Florida steroid mail order company in his name.
On December 20, 2007, the report was unsealed by a U.S. magistrate, who harshly criticized the L.A. Times for what he called "irresponsible reporting"...or "manufacturing of facts." Neither, Roberts, Clemens nor Pettitte's names were mentioned by Grimsley in any context whatsoever. The Times announced that it would publish a correction and apology for their misrepresentation of the facts. Grimsley had told investigators that he got amphetamines, anabolic steroids and human growth hormone from someone recommended to him by former Yankees trainer Brian McNamee. The fact that McNamee was a personal strength coach for Clemens and Pettitte apparently prompted the Times to leap to the erroneous conclusion that Grimsley had implicated them in his statement.
The Tarkington Independent School District named the high school baseball field in his honor, being the school he graduated from.
On January 21, 2005, a small plane crashed into the back of Grimsley's house in Overland Park, Kansas. Grimsley was not home at the time, but his wife, daughter, and nanny were; they escaped unharmed. The pilot and four passengers were killed.
- Quinn, T.J. (June 6, 2006). "Feds raid D-Back hurler". New York Daily News.
- "Pitcher Spills Steroid, Speed Secrets". The Smoking Gun. Retrieved 2006-06-09.
- "Arizona reliever's home searched in steroids probe". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2006-06-09.
- "MLB slaps Grimsley with 50-game suspension". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2006-06-13.
- "Grimsley suspended 50 games for doping violation". Reuters. Retrieved 2006-06-12.
- "Report: Feds wanted Grimsley to help implicate Bonds". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2006-06-09.
- "Tom Verducci: Grimsley scandal to have major ramifications". Sports Illustrated. 2006-06-07. Retrieved 2006-06-09.
- Pugmire, Lance; Tim Brown (1 October 2006). "Clemens named in affidavit". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
- "U.S. Attorney Says Report Alleging Drug Use Contains 'Inaccuracies'". Washington Post. 2006-10-03. p. E02. Retrieved 2006-10-04.
- Mitchell, George (2007-12-13). "Mitchell Report on Steroid Use in Baseball" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-12-13.
- E&P Staff and The Associated Press (2007-12-21). "'L.A. Times' Will Run Correction on Roger Clemens Drug Report on Friday". Editor & Publisher. Retrieved 2007-12-21.
- Fish, Mike. "The life and times of Jason Grimsley since the affidavit". ESPN.com. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors), or Retrosheet, or Venezuelan Winter League, or Grimsley affidavit