Are we weary of PED talk yet? Judging by the reaction this Miami New Times report, there is a voracious appetite for drug speculation. Depending on your desire for outrage, there is enough in the MNT report to feed an army.

There are names – famous names and familiar names and new names in the baseball drug sphere. There are details of a sloppily-run medical clinic with questionable bookkeeping and details of creams, shots, and significant payments. There is enough to reignite the steroid debate anew.

The names are the real draw here. Surely South Florida is lousy with fly-by-night clinics passing phony prescriptions for cash. How many clinics boast Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, Nelson Cruz, Melky Cabrera, Yasmani Grandal and Gio Gonzalez among their clientèle?

The names give the story traction, the details and timing give it legs. No matter how much (if any) of the story is true or fabricated, this story will not go away soon. The clients of the Biogenesis clinic paid handsomely for the expectation of anonymity, that their drugs and their names would remain imperceptible. Anthony Bosch and his associates only held up one half of that bargain, it seems.

Drugs in baseball occupy such a strange place in our collective imagination. This story breaks against the backdrop of Super Bowl Media Day, a sport battling its image as modern bloodsport. A sport in which players gaining physical advantages over each other stand to benefit greatly. But in the NFL, performance enhancing drugs are as close to a non-story as it gets.

But baseball is different. The hands will wring long into the night. The league will launch investigations and, eventually, someone will fall on their sword for this indiscretion. The league and players association allow the commissioner the right to suspend players with “just cause” rather than positive tests alone.

Will previous losers like Melky Cabrera and Alex Rodriguez get slapped on the wrist once again or will the judgement fall on the new names, previously “assumed” to be clean? How will Gio Gonzalez fare – linked to this story though none of the products attached to his name are banned by baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement? Greeted as a hero and cast out like a leper?

Anyone wishing for the season to start and for this story to fade away will not get their wish. For whatever reason, these stories resonant in the baseball world. Both sides of this debate are dug in and entrenched and, frankly, ugly. The pendulum swings between misanthropy and sanctimony, making no stops in between.

There remains a gulf between baseball fans – those who want to see cheaters run from the game and those who remain dispassionate and indifferent. As always with drug issues, it has more to do with the league and players association managing optics and gauging consumer confidence rather than “cleaning up the game” – a dubious concept at best. There are legal aspects to this story, though it is too early to discern how much they will factor into the 2013 season.

The league already issued a statement, expressing their “disappointment” over the report and come with the hammer in the final paragraph:

We remain fully committed to following all leads and seeking the appropriate outcomes for all those who use, purchase and are involved in the distribution of banned substances, which have no place in our game.

This will not end well for Anthony Bosch, the Miami area man at the centre of this controversy. The only question is who else will go down with him?

Comments (11)

  1. Sanctimonious Misanthropy would be a pretty decent name for a black metal band.

  2. Should’ve known Gino Gonzalez was using PED’s, I wonder if P.J. Wilson was as well.

  3. If the story checks out, would Melky have to serve additional punishment on top of the 50 games he already served last season?

  4. Any chance Melky is being implicated from last years use? Or is this definitely for the current/ post his suspension? …..

    • It appears the records go as far back as june 2012. So it looks like a case of of double jeopardy where Melky is concerned might apply. This may explain one of the reasons why he went to so much trouble to create that fake website to blame his ped use on inadvertence, if they knew the source all his MLB fellow users would go down and he would lose his supplier. I wonder if these guys sat in the waiting room as other MLB players came in going. “hey, there’s so and so, I knew he couldnt produce like that without help”.

  5. I can’t imagine the MLBPA would allow any of these guys to be suspended without actually failing a drug test. No one was suspended as a result of the BALCO list or the Mitchell Report so I can’t imagine Selig and company would be able to handle this instance differently, even if they wanted to.

    • I agree. Should point out though that the BALCO/Mitchell lists and the one here are very different situations. For BALCO and Mitchell MLB had no drug restrictions, so no players could be punished retroactively. Since MLB has drug testing in place, and has since 2005, the situation could be looked at differently here: if any players are conclusively proven to have juiced through this program between 2005 and today, maybe there’s more grounds for suspension. On the other hand, they never failed any tests, so maybe you can’t suspend them the same way…yeah this is just some messed-up shit right here.

  6. I am completely indifferent on this and am pretty tired of reading these stories and I feel for guys like Drew that have to write them over and over. However, can we stop blaming other media for overdoing it and stop crying about steroids in football or DUI’s every time these stories surface. It’s so petulant. It reminds me of stealing cookies when I was 6 years old and yelling about my brother not cleaning his room when I got caught, like it was going to somehow make what I did ok. Anyone getting caught nowadays is clearly breaking rules they know about and have nobody to blame but themselves. Stop fucking taking banned substances and your good. Simple.

    • I should clarify that I do agree that having your name pop up in some assholes black book, is no grounds for suspension. Failing a test should be the only route to a suspension. Well maybe getting caught pass out naked with a hooker and a stanzonol needle stuck in your ass, and maybe a fat line of HGH(now in powdered form!) on a mirror beside you. That might do it too. Unless you were Steve Howe of course.

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