Anthony Bosch’s, now defunct, Biogenesis of America clinic reportedly distributed Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs aka steroids) to several MLB and minor league players. This story was reported months ago, and since that time the MLB has been trying to obtain evidence from Bosch. Well, Bosch has now decided to cooperate with the MLB and give up the information that he has. This could mean big trouble for the following players (among others), as the MLB is seeking 100 game suspensions (50 for PEDs and 50 for lying):
- Ryan Braun, Brewers
- Everth Cabrera, Padres
- Melky Cabrera, Blue Jays
- Francisco Cervelli, Yankees
- Bartolo Colon, Athletics
- Nelson Cruz, Rangers
- Fautino de los Santos, Free agent
- Gio Gonzalez*, Nationals
- Yasmani Grandal, Padres
- Fernando Martinez, Astros
- Jesus Montero, Mariners
- Jordan Norberto, Free agent
- Jhonny Peralta, Tigers
- Cesar Puello, Mets
- Alex Rodriguez, Yankees
*According to ESPN’s sources, Gio Gonzalez only received legal substances
There are several problems with the MLB’s vendetta against steroids that may or may not have come from the Biogenesis clinic.
First, Bosch has about as little credibility as a person can possibly have. There is no-way what he says will stand up in court especially with the money the Players’ Association will have available to fight the allegations. He has already denied all steroid involvement in the past, so he would be flopping his story. Next, it is rumored that he only decided to cooperate with the MLB after Alex Rodriguez refused to financially back Bosch in his legal battles. The last time I checked, blackmail is not something a credible person attempts.
Second, relying on testimony and documents is a he said, she said argument. Documents can be manipulated very easily. Especially since it has been reported that Bosch’s electronic records referred to players by codes. Now you have to trust Bosch (refer to #1) about the accuracy of his decoding.
In exchange for Bosch’s full cooperation, sources said, Major League Baseball will drop the lawsuit it filed against Bosch in March, indemnify him for any liability arising from his cooperation, provide personal security for him and even put in a good word with any law enforcement agency that might bring charges against him. Sources said negotiations over the agreement, which lasted several weeks, stalled over the last point, as Bosch wanted the strongest assurances he could get that MLB would help mitigate any prosecution.
Will Bosch realize that the MLB has no authority to stop Federal prosecution against him and decide to renege on his cooperation? It’d be hard for him to back considering all the reports that he is completely broke and cannot afford to defend himself (another reason his testimony would not be credible).
Lastly, some of these players (Colon, Cabrera and Grandal) have already served 50 game suspensions for PEDs that were potentially linked to Bosch’s clinic. These players will have extra ammunition to avoid suspension, arguing that they already served a suspension for the crime.
The MLB was finally starting to get past the steroid era. The Mitchell Report was a long time ago. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa & Mark McGwire all were eligible for the Hall of Fame and neither of them got close to getting in as the voters sent their message about steroids.
Now steroids is front and center again, and my feeling is that the MLB can’t get over how Ryan Braun successfully appealed his suspension. They want him bad and they are willing to go to extreme lengths to make him serve his suspension.
As a fan of the MLB, I hope this story fades away and doesn’t linger for years. There is no-way the MLB can move past steroids, if it keeps harping on the past. The MLB has a vastly improved steroid policy, now with HGH testing. It should trust its system to keep the game clean moving forward and let the steroid era die.
[Photo Credit: BleacherReport.com]