June 04, 2013

Lyin Braun may finally get nailed, and A-Fraud; who else?

Lyin Braun, aka Juices Maccabee, names I give Ryan Braun because Milwaukee Brewers fans insist on calling him the Hebrew Hammer, may finally, speaking of hammers, get hammered for roiding by Bud Selig. As may A-Fraud, Alex Rodriguez.

Bud Selig is at bat, and now-shuttered Biogenesis "medical" clinic director Tony Bosch is in the on-deck circle:
Tony Bosch, founder of the now-shuttered Biogenesis of America, reached an agreement this week to cooperate with MLB's investigation, two sources told "Outside the Lines," giving MLB the ammunition officials believe they need to suspend the players.

One source familiar with the case said the commissioner's office might seek 100-game suspensions for Rodriguez, Braun and other players, the penalty for a second doping offense. The argument, the source said, is the players' connection to Bosch constitutes one offense, and previous statements to MLB officials denying any such connection or the use of PEDs constitute another.
Now, given that Biogenesis has been on the back burner for about a month, why did Bosch "roll" now?

Here's why, according to the story:
In a recent interview with ESPN, his only one since the scandal broke, Bosch said he knew nothing about performance-enhancing drugs and that media accounts of his alleged PED distribution amounted to "character assassination."

"I have been accused, tried and convicted in the media. And so I think [I] have been falsely accused throughout the media," he told ESPN's Pedro Gomez. "I've done nothing wrong."

But sources said Bosch has been feeling pressure from both the MLB lawsuit, which claims tortious interference, and a potential criminal investigation, and that he sees full cooperation with MLB as one of his only refuges. Several attorneys have said they don't think the lawsuit could survive a legal challenge, but Bosch likely would have to put up a costly fight in order to have the case dismissed. Several sources have told ESPN that Bosch is nearly broke, living alternately with family members and friends, and has tried unsuccessfully so far to revive his "wellness" business.
That said, I'm assuming the jail time clock for A-Roid doesn't start ticking until he comes off the DL. That means Hank Steinbrenner can officially be disappointed for the rest of this year, and possibly several weeks into 2014.

And, if the Hankster wants to shit more bricks, top player Robinson Cano has some connection, tenuous though it may be, to Biogenesis.

That said No. 2, besides our dynamic duo, at least the 20 or so names originally tied to Biogenesis could get suspended. Word is Bosch might have yet more names in his pocket.

And, is this why Melky Cabrera is now expressing regret for his roiding time with the Giants? Wow, how many more grovelings will we see in days ahead?

And, speaking of Cabrera, now with the Jays, Nelson Cruz is probably the other likely-to-be-suspended player most hurt by this. Like Cabrera a year ago, his presumed big free-agent payday will go down the drain.

That's going to be half the fun: The groveling, lies and mock indignation in days ahead.

Hammer away, Bud.

At the same time, how Bud got to this point, as noted above, is, I agree with this column and many others, pretty skeezy, but not anything new in the skeeziness department. Until baseball goes after the suppliers, not the users, we'll have wash, rinse, repeat.

Tim Brown at Yahoo offers the flip side of skeeziness, though. For the players involved, dealing with a pseudo-doctor running a pseudo-clinic out of a strip mall? What did you expect from such a guy? Unlike Victor Conte at BALCO, you knew he would roll on you once the pressure got tough.

But, there's another "scandal." As Jeff Passan notes, Braun, Rodriguez, Cabrera and Bartolo Colon, among others, are all repeat offenders.
The Biogenesis scandal that has ensnared baseball is more painful and embarrassing and harmful (than BALCO) because it happened in the supposed post-Steroid Era, when Major League Baseball's drug policy was supposed to eradicate PEDs from the game. 
So, is MLB's testing not good enough? Penalties not strong enough?

Probably a bit of all of the above. Passan says that if Bud approaches the issue as a problem to be managed, rather than a war to be won, we'll be better off.

Meanwhile, Jonah Keri's got a good backgrounder, including how this ties in with Bud's "legacy" and how the union could derail that.

And, to me, that's the most skeezy factor of all: Bud worried about his "legacy."

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