Thursday, March 03, 2005

Sandy Krum: whistle blower or rat?

When I was a kid I was taught by my parents and teachers that you should always tell the truth and point out injustice. As I get older I wish life were this simple. Life does not exist in the black and white of good and bad, true and seems to be an infinite amount of shades of gray.

Former Cub trainer Sandy Krum is among the shades of gray. Krum could be labeled a whistle blower or a rat depending on your point of view. Following an article in Wednesday's Bright One Krum(along with his lawyer) hit the talk show trail joining The Scores midday show. As Krum pursues a wrongful termination lawsuit against the Cubs his allegations threaten to cast the shadow of 2004 on the Cubs 2005 season.

According to Krum on August 15, 2004 he went to Cubs GM Jim Hendry and told him that Cubs head trainer Dave Groeschner was practicing without a license. That's a no-no in Illinois. Groeschner had been the third trainer in San Fran and came to the Cubs at the recommendation of the Cubs manager Dusty Baker. In addition to telling Hendry that Groeschner did not have the needed license to practice in Illinois, Krum gave Hendry a laundry list of 40 complaints of things he had seen in the Cub clubhouse. Krum and his lawyer would not reveal what those 40 complaints include.

After being fired at the end of the season, Krum claims that Cub manager Dusty Baker has phoned him three times. The last phone conversation is pretty unusual:

"He (Baker) said, 'You're not having suicidal thoughts or crazy thoughts, are you?'''
Krum said. "'You're not going to file a lawsuit [against the Cubs], are you?'''

Krum acknowledges that he knew he was committing career suicide when he walked into Hendrys office on August 15.

In today's Sun-Times Dusty claims that he was calling Krum because he was concerned for his well-being. "I felt bad for him because I knew how much he loved it,'' Baker said. "So I just called him to see if he was all right. I have known Sandy since he was a bat-boy kid.''

It's funny how the Cub manager found the time to phone a fired assistant athletic trainer THREE times during the offseason. This is the same manager who didn't find the time to call Sammy Sosa and clear up their differences until after the slugger was traded.

  • Why is Dusty so concerned with Krum filing the lawsuit?
  • What are the 40 complaints about what was happening in the Cub clubhouse?
  • Will we ever find out?

While Krum prepares for life after Baseball, Groeschner has found his way back to San Fran. "Someone needs to take a good look at San Francisco and see what's going on and do a thorough investigation'' Krum states. With the connection Dusty's Cubs have to the Giants I find this quote fascinating. Barry Bonds' Grand Jury testimony and the steroid controversy that now surrounds the game makes me wonder how much the Cub manager knew in Frisco and what did he or "his guys" bring to the Northside.

If this reaches trial (I have real doubts that it ever will) Krum's attorney, Robert Fioretti would like the depositions be made public. "We would take depositions of everyone in the clubhouse, and I think the depositions should be open to the press,'' Fioretti said. You know the Tribsters and MLB have other ideas.

Is Krum a whistle blower? Is Krum a rat? Is Krum just trying to cash in on baseball's offseason blackeye? Many shades of gray exist in the baseball world today.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sandy just did the right thing. It's his job to put the players and their safety first. Bringing these misconducts to light was a brave action. Wish he was still in the game.