Before I give you my opinion, I do not condone what anyone claims to have or have not done in this case.
I say this, because this entire situation has been people just shoveling piles of crap onto a large steaming mountain of more crap. It continued last night, when Anthony Bosch, the owner and chief operator of the now defunct anti-aging clinic Biogenesis, interviewed and opened up to 60 Minutes’ Scott Pelley.
This interview is coming off the heels of Alex Rodriguez, the New York Yankees’ most expensive mistake and third-baseman, receiving a 162 game suspension by federal arbitrator Frederic Horowitz, a shortened version of MLB’s original 211 game ban.
To really get into the details of why everyone’s neck deep in verbal sewage, let’s get to the heart of this matter and work our way out.
Last year, a report broke out that this clinic, Biogenesis, was serving MLB players a variety of banned substances from baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. 13 players were included on the short list of customers, notables included Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta, Ryan Braun, and Alex Rodriguez. MLB began an investigation on Biogenesis, this shortly after Braun won his appeal due to a flawed positive drug test to overturn his suspension. As this investigation began groping around for details, A-Rod began trying to cover his alleged tracks, by buying documents from the clinic, among other things to try and burn the evidence.
Bosch was uncovered by the media, and denied vehemently the entire thing.
In late July, MLB then issued suspensions to all 13 players who were involved with the clinic. 11 players were given the standard 50 games for a first offense, Ryan Braun was given 65 games (the remainder of the season) for the same reason plus the fight he put up, and A-Rod was given 211, which was to cover from that date until the end of the 2014 season.
12 players accepted the punishment, and issued apologies to everyone with their heads hanging low and tails between their legs. One player did not.
A-Rod immediately challenged the ruling, and played the rest of the season under protest, all while still accruing as much legal stance as he could gather, to avoid any suspension.
After the season, a series of trials were brought to court, ending with A-Rod’s storming out of court when Bud Selig wouldn’t testify, in front of arbitrator Horowitz.
That brings us to Saturday, when the hammer was lowered and A-Rod was suspended for all 162 games this year, for his involvement with performance enhancing drugs (all sans a positive test), and his continued fight against the league. As he did before, Alex filed another suit, appealing his suspension again.
This time, it’s different. This time, a federal arbitrator made the call, not MLB. So the court he decides to go to must find some wrinkle against the arbitrator to see if there was something fishy. The chances of this are apparently slim to none, and A-Rod is fighting a lost cause.
That’s when Tony Bosch interviewed with 60 Minutes, revealing many disturbing details, involving A-Rod paying him to lay low, A-Rod asking him to leave the country, threats for his life by A-Rod’s people, the fact that nothing at all goes on without A-Rod’s consent, and the most important detail that people wanted, “proof” that A-Rod did steroids.
“I was very good at what I did. I had a track record. I have been doing this for many years.”
“If you had the knowledge that I had, the experience that I had, and you know the truth about the testing and the flaws, it was almost a cake walk actually.”
“Alex is scared of needles, so at times, he would ask me to inject…”
He gave all that and more. MLB’s COO Rob Manfred mentioned that MLB payed for Bosch’s security and legal fees among other things to get information against A-Rod. He also mentioned that in front of legal court, under oath, A-Rod never denied usage of PED’s.
This whole entire fiasco was blown out of proportion, if you ask me.
A-Rod has long been known as an egotistical player. His main goal was to hit magical home run number 800. He wants to get his $25M salary in full from the Yankees. He doesn’t want his face shamed and painted as the face of the steroid era. He doesn’t want to be the bad guy.
Tony Bosch also has personal interests in mind. He was payed by MLB for information they wanted, by providing him with everything he wanted/needed, so that he isn’t in a life-threatening pickle anymore. He knowingly and willingly (according to his interview) gave MLB players illegal drugs, for his own profit. He isn’t even licensed medically.
MLB payed for all of this information, in order to clean their image. We all know baseball by nature is a flawed game. The system is a flawed system. Some of us enjoy that, many others don’t. In order to save that image of being a perfect game, they need to be clean of all PED’s, according to them. They were acting in the best interest of MLB, not necessarily baseball. Just ask MLBPA.
Adding all of this together; the fact that A-Rod had and still has the belief that he’s innocent until proven guilty, and should still play baseball in search of baseball immortality, the fact that Bosch was paid off by the league for information the league wanted, and that MLB wants to clean their image, I can’t find any ground to stand on.
There is nowhere to turn, despite lots of evidence, to side with the correct party.
One guy says that it isn’t true, while the other guy, who was paid by the company to say that it is true, says it’s true? That sounds like you won’t get anywhere to me. It makes this whole scenario a bunch of he-said/she-said, and it’s one person’s word against the other.
I know there are the documents and text messages and the fact that Bosch says that “it’s a cake walk” to pass drug tests. All of this points to A-Rod being proven guilty. But we don’t know this for sure, because Bosch was paid to say all this. I think A-Rod is guilty, and I think he should serve this ban, because he turned this whole case of baseball cleaning up into a dirty no-holds-barred Tables Ladders and Chairs match for this suspension that WWE would be jealous of.
But Bosch lied before. Who’s to say his “opinion” wasn’t influenced by some money and some more years to his life (allegedly)?
We may never know.