In what could become the biggest PED story in the history of PED stories, Major League Baseball is seeking to dole out suspensions to 20 or more players within the next two weeks, according to ESPN.com’s “Outside the Lines,” and the headliners are Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun. Each superstar is expected to receive a 100-game suspension according to the report.
According to ESPN, Biogenisis founder Tony Bosch has reached an agreement to cooperate with MLB, which means names, code names, records and direct testimony from Bosch will likely lead to suspensions of numerous players. The negotiations between MLB and Bosch have been ongoing for several weeks, and in return for his cooperation, Bosch will be indemnified from any liability arising from this investigation. MLB will also drop its lawsuit filed in March against Bosch.
Bosch’s willingness to cooperate escalates this story to the top of the charts in all-time sports PED scandals. Braun and A-Rod are the two biggest names, as well as the players with the most to lose: reputation, endorsements and public favor. And let the debates begin over A-Rod’s career and whether it will continue with the Yankees or any other team. Considering that the Steinbrenners renegotiated A-Rod’s contract with the expectation he would be breaking several all-time records in a Yankees uniform, this is an embarrassment that could trigger the end of his days in pinstripes. Don’t be surprised if the Yankees give A-Rod his walking papers and take the financial hit. The PR nightmare of having A-Rod return from this suspension and fail to produce could be more than the Yankees brass is willing to deal with.
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In addition to Braun and A-Rod, players under a microscope and targeted for possible discipline or additional discipline include: Bartolo Colon, Yasmani Grandal, Nelson Cruz, Francisco Cervelli, Jesus Montero, Jhonny Peralta, Cesar Puello, Fernando Martinez, Everth Cabrera, Fautino de los Santos and Jordan Norberto. And the list could grow longer since MLB expects to identify some of the code names previously reported in Bosch’s notes.
The timing of this breaking story is unfortunate as it will overshadow the 2013 MLB draft, set for June 6 at the MLB Network studios in Secaucus, New Jersey. The MLB draft has been gaining popularity as a media event, and the media will be present for all the wrong reasons this year.
Stay tuned. This story is just beginning.