There was a big hangup in the contract between Barry Bonds and the San Francisco Giants this season because the Giants demanded a provision that they could terminate the contract if Bonds was found guilty of perjury in the ongoing federal BALCO investigation. It took a while for the deal to be worked out but it was the kind of protection that the Giants deserved while making an investment that could reach $20 million this year based on incentives.
Here's hoping the Angels put the same clause in their contract with Gary Matthews Jr. The Albany Times-Union has reported that Matthews' name appears on the customer list of a Mobile, AL pharmacy that's been indicted by an Albany County grand jury. The case is centered on steroid trafficking via the internet, which is how an upstate New York investigation led to a raid on Signature Pharmacy in Orlando yesterday and the indictment of the Alabama one. Matthews isn't the only athlete caught up in this mess.
- Disgraced former major leaguer Jason Grimsley was a customer of the Orlando outfit as was the team doctor for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
- Evander Holyfield and steroid gadfly Jose Canseco join Matthews on the list of customers of Applied Pharmacy Services.
The Angels signed Matthews to a $50 million contract in the offseason largely on the basis of a 2006 season that saw him set career highs in every offensive category. Nothing here has moved beyond the allegedly stage, of course, but what does it say about the level of testing going on in MLB or the NFL if they're truthful. Team doctors aren't buying this stuff for themselves, after all, and if players can still flout the bans so easily there's really no end in sight to the "steroid era" of professional sports.