Perhaps you remember the tastefully named Gregg Zaun as a utility catcher for the Orioles or Marlins or Rangers or Royals or Astros or Rockies or Blue Jays. Or perhaps you remember Gregg Zaun for being the nephew of former MLB catcher Rick Dempsey. Or if you're like me, you remember Gregg Zaun as the celebrity athlete movie reviewer for ESPNet Sportszone way back in 1997, the antediluvian days of the four-letter's Internet presence. Either way, Mr. Zaun is back in the news today as he finally broke his silence on his appearance in the Mitchell Report. Follow me after the jump as we examine Gregg's latest revelation:
So why did Zaun's name show up in the Mitchell Report anyway?
"According to the Mitchell Report, which cited the testimony of Kirk Radomski, a former Mets employee who aided the investigation by providing names of players as part of a plea bargain with the federal government, Zaun sent him a check worth $500 to purchase steroids when he was with the Royals in 2001.
Well that makes sense to me. Seems like a pretty clear cut case of Gentleman A purchasing steroids from Gentleman B. Happens all the time. But wait, Mr. Zaun has an excuse, and it involves notorious corked bat accomplice Jason Grimsley, one of Mr. Mitchell's star witnesses:
"The 36-year-old catcher said that he owed Grimsley $500 -- possibly for losing a bet on a basketball game -- and he gave the check to the pitcher without penning Grimsley's name on the document. From there, it's Zaun's belief that Grimsley scribbled Radomski's name on the check and used it to buy steroids."
Oh, Gregg, you know that nobody believes you, right? I don't care about the steroid purchase. I don't even care about the entire steroid controversy. Honestly? I don't even care that you lied. But to make up an excuse like that hurts and embarrasses us all.
""You're talking about one check of thousands that I've written over the last seven years," Zaun said on Friday. "I'm supposed to recall why and when and to whom and where? That was nearly impossible for me to figure out, but when I went through the document and I looked at it, I could tell right away that the only parts of the check that were mine were my signature and possibly the $500 in the box."
Hmm. Maybe Gregg has a point here. I'd sure like to hear what a handwriting expert has to say about this. Although seriously, who in their right mind would ever give a blank check to a journeyman relief pitcher? Could you not spell Jason's name properly?
"As for why he'd write a check without making it out specifically to Grimsley, who was a teammate and close friend of Zaun's in Kansas City, Zaun said he's done that before "dozens of times." In all likelihood, if Zaun owed the money over a lost bet, the catcher said he probably wrote the check quickly and tossed it in disgust at the pitcher."
Seems like the only thing of which Mr. Zaun is guilty is being a terrible prognosticator. Stick with being a serviceable Major League catcher and that whole movie thing, Gregg. Although I bet you hated the ending of No Country for Old Men.