Detroit Tigers v New York Yankees - Game One

So maybe Major League Baseball is even more determined to attack drug cheats than previously thought. After reports the Drug Squad’s dogged pursuit of Ryan Braun and other stars failed to yield anything substantial, a New York Times report suggests the League will instead file a lawsuit against Biogenesis claiming “the individuals damaged the sport by providing some of the game’s biggest stars with performance-enhancing drugs.”

This is a huge, albeit desperate, step in the efforts to rid the game of performance-enhancing drugs. The big question is: will it work?

Hard it say. Filing a suit will allow MLB a more proactive method of proving its players used drugs. Testing is ineffective and ultimately wasteful as the testing process will forever be one step behind those looking to cheat the system.

By filing suit against the clinics, the league believes they can acquire direct evidence linking players to illegal substances, removing the element of doubt long clouding the process. From the New York Times report:

A lawsuit, if allowed to proceed, would give the sport the ability to subpoena records from the clinic [Biogenesis], which is now closed, and compel depositions. Some of the information uncovered could then conceivably be used by baseball to justify disciplinary actions against players.

The suit seeks monetary compensation from the clinics, a bald-faced attempt to generate leverage and lean on the clinics and providers by making the punishment far greater than the reward.

The risk for the league is suing an already disreputable establishment for records likely destroyed long ago (Ed note: related.) Not to mention pushing those players still seeking/requiring an unlawful edge even further underground, where the immediate health risks are increased in addition to introducing possible criminal elements to this shady business.

After floating possible immunity for links to high profile players, one thing is very clear: Major League Baseball is not playing around any more. This Biogenesis clinic looks like the battle they’ve chosen as the make or break. If the league doesn’t get their pound of flesh here, maybe they won’t at all. Either way, they are doing their best to send a message – the only people damaging the MLB brand will be Major League Baseball, thank you very much.