Bring out the witches!

I’ll be blunt: as I said on last night’s podcast, I’ve been a bit uneasy about the allegations that Tony Bosch was running a massive PED ring out of his anti-aging quackfest since they first surfaced in the Miami New Times. I certainly wouldn’t call it out and out disbelief or anything, but the combination of a small outlet beating the big boys like Yahoo or the New York Times to a major story like that and the inclusion of 2012 Cy Young candidate Gio Gonzalez in the report even though he admittedly was not linked to any banned substances gave off a distinct vibe that the paper was primarily trying to be the first ones to post a list of juicy names and claim a sure-t0-be-huge story as their own.

Well we’ve certainly reached that point now, haven’t we? The latest reports in the story amount to nothing more than an airing of certain names who appear in Bosch’s records (including Francisco Cervelli and Jesus Montero), even though said records don’t seem to tie them directly to doping, and apparently without seeking comment from the accused first. If nothing else, it’s a convenient reminder that the vast majority of prominent baseball writers simply can’t be trusted to treat a story with any semblance of objectivity or basic journalistic professionalism once there’s a doping angle in play.

The pinnacle of that phenomenon at the moment is, of course, Ryan Braun, who can more or less expect to be hounded by the zealots for the rest of his life simply for having the audacity to successfully defend himself against doping charges. That Braun was in Bosch’s documents, linked “again” to banned substances, was the big lead in the new round of reports. Except that it now appears as though there’s nothing of substance there. Braun is one of the players who aren’t directly linked to banned substances a la Alex Rodriguez or Melky Cabrera, and Braun and his lawyers now claim that Bosch was used as a consultant in his appeal. Of course, that’s no deterrent to national sportswriters, since everyone knows that one well documented effect of “PE”DOTTUBHA is to make J-school graduates experts in every conceivable area, including the common practices of high priced attorneys.

Which is not to say that this is wholly without merit. Last night was not a good night for A-Rod, for example, because the explanations offered up by Braun and Cervelli do more or less authenticate at least some of Bosch’s records, adding a lot of credibility to the evidence agaisnt Alex. Of course, I haven’t seen that mentioned anywhere, because thus far it’s all been a mad rush to tar Braun once and for all. And to be clear, I’m not saying there might not be something here, merely that you simply can’t trust the media here at all. If you’re really interested in facts, your best bet is to wait for MLB and the government to finish their investigations.

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

About Brien Jackson

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

24 thoughts on “Bring out the witches!


  1. "your best bet is to wait for MLB and the government to finish their investigations"

    I want to 100% agree with that comment, Brien, but lordy, since when have either of those two organizations been correct/forthright/coherent/complete with any investigation?

    That said, your point about the ARod (and others) not having a good night due to the fact that Braun corroborated the evidence is not one I considered at the time, but I completely agree. Great point.

  2. The corroboration of the legitimacy of the records is the most significant part of the story; I agree with that.

    Regarding Braun, I am an attorney, and it is credible that his lawyers would have hired an expert in doping to consult with them. Apparently one of Braun's lawyers is named in the records, and Braun said there was a payment dispute, which is also credible (experts can be paid a fixed fee or by the hour; if Bosch was the latter, it's imaginable that there was a dispute over the number of hours worked).

    But for the same reason, the other players named have a bigger cloud over their heads. Why would you be in the client list of a Jedi Doping Master like Bosch if you weren't doping? Did anyone really go to Balco for vitamins? Montero, moreover, is a client of the Levinsons, just like Cabrera, who was caught doping. That would be a helluva coincidence if Montero wasn't doping. The concomitant to innocent until proven guilty is, you lie down with dogs, you get fleas. If you're in Bosch's books, right now you got some fleas on you.

  3. I'm all for skepticism, but don't let it cloud your judgement.

    For starters, the fact that the New Times beat out larger media outlets for the story really doesn't affect the veracity of the story. They most likely got the story because they are the MIAMI New Times. Their reputation makes a difference in their believability, but not their size.

    While Braun is not listed with specific treatments, the "Braun advantage" is referenced regarding (presumably) Melky Cabrera. If Braun consulted Bosch solely in defense of his case, what is the "Braun advantage"?

    Also, as a point of clarification, Passan did say on MLB Network last night that all of the "new" names were contacted in advance of the story's publication and that none of them replied.

  4. Why is it so hard for some people to accept that there are baseball players who still use PEDs? There is no vast conspiracy here. Braun got off on a technicality last year. Is it really so hard to fathom that he actually used PEDs and his connection to this Bosch goes beyond a "consulting" arrangement? Perhaps Cervelli is telling the truth but let's not pretend that PED use ended the day MLB implemented testing. The best cheaters will always be one step ahead of the testing, or fall victim to it as Melky demonstrated last year.

  5. When it comes to the mainstream Mediots, you have to realise — Journalism had become all but extinct by the '90s. What *used* to be standard fodder for the front of The National Enquirer is what now passes for "News". Anyone familiar with what used to be known as "News Journalism" among the mainstream is now confined to the Interwebs.

    What the mainstream is bringing you is no more than a gossip mill. Why do y'all think all the writers for the "major" mediot outlets are on Twitter & the like, being no different than the grapevines at any workplace?

    I visit forums & blogs with knowledgeable writers and fans, and let them sift everything out before coming to conclusions. Anything seen in a mainstream "paper" or on "evening news" is half-truth/gossip at best.