Archive for STEROIDS!
Via NYDN: Alex Rodriguez‘s legal team is internally discussing a plea deal with MLB regarding the Biogenesis scandal. A-Rod was interviewed by the league’s investigators on Friday, at which point they basically laid out all the evidence they have against him. MLB is believed to have broached the subject of a settlement with Ryan Braun and others as well.
“I can see a scenario where if they’ve got multiple offenses (against A-Rod) that rather than going for his career with an arbitrator, baseball might settle on something like 150 games,” said one of the NYDN’s sources. The Joint Drug Agreement doesn’t have any penalties of 150 games — 50 games (first offense), 100 games (second), and lifetime ban (third) only — so I’m not sure where that number is coming from and why anyone would plea down to that. Either way, the saga continues.
Via Jon Heyman: MLB investigators are convinced there will be at least some suspensions handed down in the wake of their investigation into the South Florida performance-enhancing drug hub Biogenesis. League officials believe they could announce the suspensions before the appeals process begins even though the Joint Drug Agreement says otherwise.
The lack of failed tests means MLB will build their case around “non-analytical positives” and require a ton of corroborating evidence. Former Biogenesis chief Anthony Bosch recently agreed to cooperate with the investigation in exchange for a variety of things, but not before allegedly trying to extort a six-figure payout from Alex Rodriguez. The league also met with primary whistle-blower Porter Fischer on three occasions according to Tim Elfrink. MLB is looking to suspend upwards of 20 players, but the appeals process will take time regardless of when the announcement is made.
Via the NY Daily News: Biogenesis chief Anthony Bosch tried to extort money from Alex Rodriguez before agreeing to cooperate with MLB’s investigation into the South Florida performance-enhancing drug pipeline. A-Rod refused the apparent six-figure request.
In return for cooperating with the investigation, MLB will drop their lawsuit against Bosch, cover any legal bills and civil liability, and provide him with bodyguards. Trying to extort Alex before rolling over for the league doesn’t exactly help Bosch’s credibility here. This is some shady business.
That part is not new; we’ve known MLB wants to hand out suspensions the whole time. The new information is that Biogenesis chief Anthony Bosch has agreed to cooperate with the investigation and will sign an affidavit saying he provided performance-enhancing drugs to various big leaguers. Obviously, all hell is about to break loose between MLB and the union.
5:41pm: Christian Red, Mark Feinsand, and Michael O’Keeffe report that Cano’s name is not listed in any of the Biogenesis documents obtained by MLB. Cruz’s name appears briefly and she purchased something other than PEDs.
4:04pm: Via T.J. Quinn & Mike Fish: MLB is investigating Robinson Cano for potential ties to Biogenesis, the South Florida clinic that allegedly supplied performance-enhancing drugs to various athletes. Sonia Cruz, a spokeswoman at Cano’s foundation, is listed on the clinic’s client list for a weight-loss program. Cruz denied Robbie had any connection to Biogenesis, which Cano just reiterated to reporters in Tampa.
Long story short: MLB is investigating Cano because Cruz, Melky Cabrera (his best friend), and Alex Rodriguez (his teammate) all showed up in the various Biogenesis documents. It’s is a pretty loose connection obviously, but a connection worth investigating apparently. My only concern right now is Cano’s image more than anything. It doesn’t take much for fans to label someone a PED cheat — a label that sticks forever — and I really hope that label doesn’t applied to Robbie after this flimsy little connection. That would be a damn shame (unless he actually did them, of course).
5:31pm: Via Michael Schmidt: MLB may have evidence that a representative of Alex Rodriguez purchased documents from the Anthony Bosch-led clinic Biogenesis for the purpose of having them destroyed. Unsurprisingly, A-Rod’s camp has flatly denied the allegations. MLB has purchased documents from a former employee of the clinic to help further their investigation into players who may have received performance-enhancing drugs from Bosch and Biogenesis, and the league recently filed a lawsuit against numerous parties involved (no players) as well.
This isn’t much of a surprise, but Brian Cashman confirmed this afternoon that Clay Rapada (shoulder bursitis) will indeed start the year on the DL. The left-hander threw 15 fastballs from a mound this morning, but is still a ways off from returning to game action.
Meanwhile, Joe Girardi indicated Phil Hughes (bulging disk) is likely to start the season on the DL as well. That is not yet set in stone, however. Hughes threw 57 pitches in a minor league game today, but it’s unclear if he’ll be stretched out enough to join the rotation when the season begins. Like I said, not much of a surprise.
Via Jeff Passan: MLB is primarily targeting Alex Rodriguez (and Ryan Braun) for potential discipline as part of their investigation into Anthony Bosch and his Biogenesis clinic in South Florida. “There’s no question in my mind they want those two guys,” said one of Passan’s sources.
A-Rod, 37, was linked to Biogenesis and performance-enhancing drugs back in January. MLB’s investigation isn’t gaining much steam, so the league has considered offering other players immunity (!) in exchange for cooperating with their efforts to bring down A-Rod and Braun according to Passan. That would be hilariously hypocritical. Apparently MLB is so concerned with PEDs that they’re willing to let some cheaters go unpunished just so they could beat their chest after bringing down some big names. How exactly would that make the game clean? Baseball would be dirtier than ever.
Via Steven Marcus: Alex Rodriguez tested negative for performance-enhancing drugs in a recent MLB-mandated screening. MLB tested Gio Gonzalez — both blood and urine — two days after he was connected to the South Florida clinic Biogenesis, and I assume A-Rod went through the same thing. They probably ordered everyone in the report to be tested as soon as possible. MLB is still investigating Biogenesis, Anthony Bosch, the players, all of that stuff.
10:19pm: Cervelli released a statement because he’s a real live baseball player: “Following my foot injury in March 2011, I consulted with a number of experts, including the Biogenesis clinic, for legal ways to aid my rehab and recovery. I purchased supplements I am certain were not prohibited by Major League Baseball.”
8:00pm: Via Jeff Passan: Frankie Cervelli is among the new batch of players connected to the Anthony Bosch-run South Florida clinic that allegedly distributed performance-enhancing drugs. You know what I’m talking about, the same mess Alex Rodriguez is currently dealing with. If Cervelli did take a banned substance, I hope he did it recently. The Yankees need all the offense they can get out of their catchers this year.