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tk13
06-10-2006, 01:21 AM
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/14785004.htm

KC-area trainer says he’s clean
Mihlfeld is linked to Grimsley investigation but claims his name is not mentioned in affidavit.

By WRIGHT THOMPSON
The Kansas City Star

Mike Sweeney smiled thinly and, once again, talked about steroids. This time, the innuendos were about his friend, a trainer named Chris Mihlfeld, who in 24 hours had gone from quietly helping athletes in his Kansas City-area gym to hearing his name on MSNBC. For Sweeney, it was just another day in the new national pastime: figuring out who is and who isn’t.

“Well, that’s our culture now,” Sweeney said. “It’s sad that somebody’s life could be ruined by a rumor.”

Mihlfeld, personal trainer for baseball stars Albert Pujols and Sweeney and a former employee of the Royals, was linked by an Internet report to the federal investigation of former Royals pitcher Jason Grimsley. Mihlfeld told The Star that he is not named in Grimsley’s now-infamous affidavit, saying he has been told so by Grimsley and Grimsley’s attorney.

“I just don’t want my name to be part of this,” Mihlfeld said. “It’s not fair to me. It’s not fair to my family. It’s not fair to the other players I work with. It’s not fair to the kids I work with.”

Sweeney reiterated his friend’s statement. He described the gym Mihlfeld runs as the culmination of a lifelong dream and hoped that the past day of negative publicity wouldn’t damage that.

“I know names,” Sweeney said, “and I know the name of the trainer, and it’s not Chris.

“I promise you the name Chris Mihlfeld is not on there. … He doesn’t have millions in the bank. He has a wife and three kids. And people are trying to ruin what he’s trying to accomplish for his family.”

This all started Tuesday, when news leaked that Grimsley’s house had been raided by federal agents and that he had admitted to taking a wide range of performance-enhancing drugs, most recently human growth hormone. That’s not all he said. In the 20-page affidavit that is sweeping baseball as fast as people can hit forward on their e-mail, he named names. Players. Suppliers. A former personal fitness trainer of a team he once played for who referred him to a speed dealer.

But the names were redacted, blacked out. So, starting Tuesday, everyone from reporters to team executives to fans tried to use context clues to find out the names behind those strips of black. They counted letters. They looked back at all the teams Grimsley has played for.

Almost immediately, the whispers began to suggest that the unidentified trainer was Mihlfeld, who runs a baseball/training facility in Liberty. Mihlfeld had helped Grimsley, a former Royal, recover from Tommy John surgery faster than expected, a feat that has now attracted suspicion. On Thursday, the blog deadspin.com identified Mihlfeld as the unidentified trainer.

“It’s a bootleg Web site, at best,” Sweeney said. “It’s a rumor mill, and there’s zero truth. Very soon the names will all come out, and there will be no Chris Mihlfeld.”

Any connection between Mihlfeld and Grimsley would also, for the first time, provide a connection between performance enhancers and Pujols, who has been followed by allegations. Since Pujols started the season on pace to break Bonds’ single-season homer record before he was injured, there have been suggestions of steroid or other drug use. Mihlfeld insisted the St. Louis slugger is clean.

“I can guarantee you that one, too,” he said. “I’ve known Albert since he was 18 years old. Albert won’t even drink his protein shakes anymore during the season because he’s scared they’re contaminated. That’s been part of his training for the last five or six years, and all of a sudden he won’t even do that. He’s tired of it. I’m tired of it. I’m tired of people putting this kid down. He’s a great kid. Let him be great. He’s clean.”

Mihlfeld said he has spoken to both Grimsley and Pujols since this scandal broke. He described Pujols, who went to high school in the Kansas City area, as frustrated.

“You know why he’s frustrated?” Mihlfeld said. “Because he cares. He cares what every little kid thinks about him. He cares if some kid picks up a magazine and they start talking about steroids. He cares that little kids will always link that to him. He’s sick about it. He hates it.”

OnTheWarpath58
06-10-2006, 11:07 AM
Interesting concept this Wright Thompson has.

Actually speak to some of the parties involved, as opposed to the "throw it on the wall and hope it sticks" journalism over at deadspin.

“Well, that’s our culture now,” Sweeney said. “It’s sad that somebody’s life could be ruined by a rumor.”

nychief
06-10-2006, 11:08 AM
lets see what happens. I hope this is true.

StcChief
06-10-2006, 01:47 PM
Interesting concept this Wright Thompson has.

Actually speak to some of the parties involved, as opposed to the "throw it on the wall and hope it sticks" journalism over at deadspin.

“Well, that’s our culture now,” Sweeney said. “It’s sad that somebody’s life could be ruined by a rumor.”

My point about journalism and guys wanting to make a quick name for themselves Trying to break a story....

too bad nothing is really done to the reporters of these type of stories.
Seems like a 'Oh well' might of had something...