Steroid probe hits Grimsley

Federal investigators searched the house of Arizona Diamondbacks reliever Jason Grimsley yesterday as part of their investigation of steroid use in baseball.

Thirteen agents searched Grimsley's house in Scottsdale, Ariz., for six hours, according to Internal Revenue Service Agent Mark Lessler, who would not say what they found.

In seeking a judge's permission for the search, investigators who cracked the BALCO steroid scandal here said Grimsley, an Oriole in 2004 and 2005, initially cooperated in the probe. He withdrew his assistance in April, but not before he allegedly made "extensive statements" about illegal drug use, "for the purpose of performance enhancement," according to the court documents.

IRS agent Jeff Novitsky told the federal judge that investigators wanted to search the right-hander's house for "any and all records showing contact or relationship with any and all amateur or professional athletes, athletic coaches or athletic trainers" regarding illicit drug use and purchases.

According to Novitsky, Grimsley told him the names of other players he believed were using, but the names of those players were blacked out of the court records.

"I have no comment about that and no idea about that," Grimsley told the Arizona Republic yesterday, hours before the Diamondbacks played the Philadelphia Phillies.

According to court documents, Grimsley failed a league drug test in 2003, the year before he joined the Orioles. Authorities said when he was cooperating, he admitted to using human growth hormone, amphetamines and steroids.

He added that amphetamine use was prevalent in pro baseball, and that it was placed in coffee in clubhouses, marked "leaded" or "unleaded," Novitsky wrote.

• Clemens // Roger Clemens, 43, showed pinpoint control and a sharp fastball during his tuneup for the Houston Astros' Single-A Lexington Legends. Playing alongside his son, Koby, he gave up a long home run but otherwise looked like his old self in three innings of work against the Lake County Captains, a Cleveland Indians affiliate. "I wouldn't expect really any soreness whatsoever," Clemens said. "My arm is great. ... One step down, two to go." Next up is probably a start Sunday at Double-A Corpus Christi, Texas, followed by another one June 16 at Triple-A Round Rock, Texas. Clemens could be pitching in the big leagues by June 22 against Minnesota. In other Astros news, pitcher Roy Oswalt was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 30. Oswalt, 5-3 with a 3.11 ERA, has been diagnosed with a mid-back strain on the left side and is scheduled to return on June 14.

• Draft // Hard-throwing right-hander Luke Hochevar, back in the draft after failing to reach a deal with the Dodgers, was selected by the Royals with the No. 1 pick. Also, Preston Mattingly, the son of former Yankees star Don Mattingly, went to the Dodgers with the 31st pick - the first selection of the compensation round. The shortstop is hitting .475 with 38 RBIs for Evansville Central High School in Indiana, and is considered a better all-around athlete than his father. Other familiar names included: Florida shortstop Marcus Lemon (son of Chet), who went in the fourth round to Texas; Cal Poly third baseman Josh Lansford (son of Carney), who was taken in the sixth round by the Cubs; and UCLA outfielder Josh Roenicke (son of Gary), who was selected by Cincinnati in the 10th round.

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