I hear there’s yet another big PED scandal going on in MLB. Well, sort of. It’s the whole Anthony Bosch/Biogenesis thingy again. This time Big Bad Bud Selig and the gang are going to try and suspend marquee-name players like Ryan Braun and the ever-popular Alex Rodriguez with the testimony of the very credible Bosch. Forgive me if I don’t care.
It’s not that I don’t care about trying to catch athletes who cheat by regularly testing them for performance-enhancing drug use; I do. It’s that I don’t care about a case that really amounts to a witch-hunt. It’s a thinly veiled attempt by Bud Selig to try to clean up his own legacy as the commissioner who let PED use reach epic proportions under his watch.
Bud Selig is allegedly seeking 100-game suspensions for many of those implicated, under the rationale that their association with Bosch is one offense (50 games) and their denial of being associated with him is another offense (another 50 games). Yes, MLB is basing a good chunk of their case on the grounds of guilt by association. Seems like a sound legal argument, right?
This whole scenario is going to rest on the testimony of Bosch, the snake oil salesman, er… owner of the Biogenesis anti-aging clinic who cut a deal with MLB after going broke trying to fight a lawsuit MLB filed against him. It’s been reported by the New York Daily News that Bosch approached A-Rod for money, but brokered the deal with MLB after Rodriguez turned him away. Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon and Yasmani Grandal, who are among the players implicated in the Biogenesis scandal, have already been caught by MLB’s testing and served their suspensions. Ryan Braun got off after he failed a test because the proper protocol for testing his sample was not followed. A-Rod has actually never failed a test, but admitted to PED use back in his Texas Rangers days when there was no standard testing in place. (How convenient.)
Rodriguez finally released a statement addressing the scandal. It read: “Myself and others are being mentioned in a media report before the process is even concluded. I would hope this thing would follow the guidelines of our Basic Agreement. I will monitor the situation and comment when appropriate.” In other words, follow the rules, Bud, or there will be lawsuits.
The whole situation smacks of desperation on Bud Selig’s part. It makes him look even more incompetent because it gives the appearance that MLB’s testing doesn’t work. In fact, MLB has one of the better testing programs in all of professional sports. Please don’t talk to me about the NFL and how wonderful their testing is. No one really knows the parameters, and all I have to do is use my eyes to see that 90 percent of football players are on some sort of PED. Bud Selig should let the testing do the talking and work on making it even more stringent if MLB doesn’t feel it’s tough enough. The testimony from one man of dubious character is just not going to hold up against the inevitable lawsuits that will be filed by the Baseball Players Association if there is no evidence other than Bosch’s word and his little notebook.
By using the testimony of Bosch to implicate players, MLB is also doing damage to its own brand. Bud Selig may want to embarrass these players in the court of public opinion, but doing so is also going to harm the game more than help it. Hey fans! Come to the ballpark and over-pay for everything from nosebleed tickets to crappy domestic beer to watch a bunch of millionaire cheats smack a ball around. Not a smart move during a time when people are being as cost-conscious as possible thanks to the economy.
I’m not defending the players implicated in the Biogenesis scandal. I’m sure many of them are guilty. Heck, we know for certain several of them are PED users. I would just love for baseball to get its house in order and really be able to make a dent in PED use. They need to get the testing right and make sure players are truly onboard with being clean. Scandal and finger pointing is only going to make the situation worse and continue to darken the stain that currently soils our national pastime.