KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A trainer linked by Internet reports to the federal investigation of pitcher Jason Grimsley denied on Friday his involvement in any illegal activity.
Chris Mihlfeld, who is also the personal trainer for baseball stars Albert Pujols and Mike Sweeney and once worked for the Royals, told the Kansas City Star he is not named in Grimsley’s now infamous affidavit.
‘‘I just don’t want my name to be part of this,’’ he 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.’’
A report late Thursday, on the blog deadspin.com, attempted to answer the most popular question in baseball: Who are the blacked out, redacted names listed in Grimsley’s affidavit? In the 20-page document, there are numerous names hidden from public view. The baseball rumor mills have spent the last week filling them in.
When Grimsley mentioned a former trainer, Mihlfeld’s name quickly surfaced. Mihlfeld helped Grimsley, a former Royal, recover from Tommy John surgery faster than expected, a feat that has now attracted suspicion.
‘‘They’ve got the wrong name on that deal,’’ Mihlfeld said.
The trainer said both Grimsley and Grimsley’s attorney told him he was not in the document. Edward Novak, a Phoenix criminal defense lawyer representing the pitcher, didn’t immediately return a voice mail and an e-mail seeking comment.
‘‘He was in baseball 18 years before I got to meet him,’’ Mihlfeld said. ‘‘If you think in the last three or four years, that I’m the one getting him to do this, it’s just ignorance.’’
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. Mihlfeld insisted that the St. Louis slugger is clean.
‘‘I can guarantee you that one, too,’’ he says. ‘‘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 as frustrated.
‘‘You know why he’s frustrated?’’ he 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.’’