The Kansas City Royals, pathetic performers in the 2000s, also appear to be a pathetic PED/'roid/HGH users. Does history point at the Royal's ex-trainer Chris Mihlfeld as the source of the HGH scourge?
The revelation today of Paul Byrd receiving deliveries of HGH while a pitcher for the Royals, leads us to speculate about the relationship between former Royal Byrd, nailed HGH/steroid user and former Royal Jason Grimsley, and the former Royals trainer Mihlfeld.
The Royals put together an incredible run in 2003, without Byrd but with Grimsley, then collapsed into the losing mess they mucked around in prior to that year. Many injuries, including those to Royal's stud Mike Sweeney, plagued the team in the 2000s.
This Royals blog notes the bizarre injuries to the team, which was brought up in the context of Mihlfeld's 2004 firing as trainer of the hapless Royals.
Today the Royals finally ended their horrific season. It was quite simply a season where absolutely nothing went well. Every single player played below expectation. The Royals ended the season near the bottom of every category.
But what really tells the story of the season, and what finally came to a head this year, is the injuries. For the last several years, the Royals have been plagued with a litany of bizarre injuries. For example, I can think of at least 3 players who lost several weeks to oblique injuries over the last 2 years. Now, it looks like the Royals finally have taken notice and will try to do something about it. Buried at the bottom of the wrap-up article on kcroyals.com is this little item:
"Jason Estep, the Royals' minor league strength and conditioning coordinator, will take over the same job with the Major League club. He replaces Chris Mihlfeld, who resigned."
While listening to the post-game news conference, I heard GM Allard Baird say that they are revamping their strength and conditioning from top to bottom. Good news, as far as I'm concerned.
One wonders if Jason Grimsley's -- and Royal's trainer -- Mihlfeld introduced team members to PEDs like 'roids and HGH; complications would have occurred, as noted with use of the PEDs (here, and here). Or was the trainer pushing HGH to the often injured Royals?
As Deadspin noted about the time of the Grimsley affair, Mihlfeld associated with several players noted for comebacks. We would wonder if a guy like that also brings his own poison to a locker room, as well as bringing bizarre injuries.
(UPDATE: OK, we've taken our head out of the microwave long enough to update you a bit. Here's a "diary" Grimsley wrote about his quick recovery from Tommy John surgery. (At MLB.com!) He thanks Mihlfeld for helping him with his recovery.