Posted: Friday June 9, 2006 1:00PM; Updated: Friday June 9, 2006 5:57PM
Chris Mihlfeld signed a then-18-year-old Albert Pujols to play for him at Maple Woods Community College in Kansas City.
Clay Patrick McBride/SI
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And let's get this straight: Even if that is Mihlfeld's name under the black ink on page 14 of Novitzky's affidavit, that's a long way from his being charged, let alone convicted, of anything. Grimsley's statement said the personal trainer in question merely referred him to a source for amphetamines, not supplied him with them.
But the whispers are out there already, the suspicions are raised. Sweeney, who has conducted clinics at Mihlfeld's gym and withstood rumors about alleged steroid use for years, faced reporters again on Wednesday and, again, strongly denied ever using performance-enhancing drugs.
"I'll put my hand on the Bible or my children's [head]," Sweeney said. "I know I've never taken any steroids, any performance-enhancing drugs or any growth hormones."
The connections between Mihlfeld and Sweeney, between Mihlfeld and Pujols and between Grimsley and just about everyone he ever played with already are being made. Mihlfeld's ready to head it all off.
"He's just like me," Mihlfeld said of his friend Pujols, whom he signed to play at Maple Woods Community College in Kansas City when Mihlfeld was head coach there in the late 1990s. "He's got nothing to hide."
That may well be true. Let's hope, for Mihlfeld's sake and for Pujols' sake -- heck, for the sake of baseball and everybody who ever has taken a little bit of enjoyment in watching it -- that it is.
But right now, truth has little to do with this. The rumors are running.