Not tired of this A-Rod business yet? Then IIATMS has you covered! Join Stacey and me for an impromptu episode of On the Money to cover all of the bases. Stacey and I will share our full thoughts on the matter, and Bryan Hoch of MLB.com will join us to share the latest news. Show starts at 9:00, and you can listen live here.
I’ve got something of a reputation for defending guys accused of using steroids, especially when the accusers are overtly indifferent to quaint concepts like “proof,” but I’m gonna have to get off the boat here:
Ryan Braun never had a chance. He was guilty in the eyes of the public from the moment his positive test for synthetic testosterone was leaked. Alex Rodriguez is guilty of everything the Miami New Times report says he is – guilty, that is, if you listen to what the public has already decided about the situation. Jeff Bagwell is guilty too, just because.
Slow your roll a little bit. Ryan Braun’s sample was improperly handled so, officially, the positive test result never happened. As such, there’s technically no evidence at all that he broke any rules. The case against Bagwell, such as it is, is that he played during the steroid era and had big muscles. This, tp put it mildly, is no evidence of any kind, circumstantial or otherwise. The problem with accusing these guys is that it’s all done based upon suspicion, with no real evidence backing it up.
Say what you will about some of the dumb responses various columnists have pumped out over this news, but there’s no question that there is at least evidence that A-Rod has been juicing. An actual newspaper reviewed hundreds of documents detailing the sale of banned substances to A-Rod and others by a clinic operator who is being investigated by the federal government. It’s true that those documents could be fabricated, but that’s a pretty wild assumption that shouldn’t be given the benefit of the doubt.
According to Rob Bradford, the Yankees may be close to a deal with former Cleveland DH Travis Hafner. Hafner, who hit .228/.346/.438 in 263 plate appearances in 2012, fits the Yankees’ profile as a power and patience slugger, but health is a major concern, to say the least. Hafner has appeared in at least 95 games just once since the 2007 season, and he’s more or less incapable of being anything but a designated hitter at this point, even on an irregular basis. Still, the Yankees have a pretty significant need for a DH right now, and the left-handed Hafner owns a 117 career wRC+ against southpaws, so a reasonably priced deal would seem to be a great fit.
Victor Conte discusses the A-Rod situation on Tuesday’s Geico SportsNite:
The idea of the Yankees attempting to void Alex Rodriguez‘s contract pops up every now and then even when A-Rod isn’t in the middle of a major ongoing story involving continued use of banned substances, so I certainly can’t say that I’m surprised it’s become all the rage with columnists both national and local since the Miami New Times story came out yesterday. Still, there’s no more chance that the Yankees can actually do it today than there was last week.
The first, and biggest, problem for the Yankees to clear is that A-Rod’s contract is guaranteed, and iron-clad under the rules of the CBA. The Yankees can not simply decide, unilaterally, to abrogate the contract, nor can they go before a judge or an arbitrator making ad hoc arguments as though the law had to be made on the fly due to unclear rules or something. Disciplinary reasonings won’t help either, since the CBA also spells out in detail the exact punishments for A-Rod’s alleged offense, and they don’t include the voiding of a free agent contract. If the league decides to take action, Alex will be suspended for 50 games as stipulated by the rules, and that’s that. Indeed, the fact that the punishment is explicitly prescribed by the CBA more or less shuts this whole discussion down, as there’s no way the Yankees can expect to find a judge who would find that they are somehow special and can operate outside the parameters of the CBA, which is exactly what they’d be doing.
Need a quick interlude in the latest episode of “As A-Rod Tuns?” Well here you go: via Ken Rosenthal, Andy Pettitte will not participate in the World Baseball Classic this spring. Pettitte was originally slated to play for Team USA and former manager Joe Torre, but was not on the provisional roster that was recently released. That coincided with reports that the Yankees didn’t approve of the idea, though they couldn’t bar Pettitte from participating. Now, however, it seems to be official.
“The news report about a purported relationship between Alex Rodriguez and Anthony Bosch are not true. Alex Rodriguez was not Mr. Bosch’s patient, he was never treated by him and he was never advised by him. The purported documents referenced in the story — at least as they relate to Alex Rodriguez — are not legitimate.”
With the language here, Alex is actually denying not only that he used illegal drugs, but the other stories that he was even connected to Bosch. Meanwhile, the paper has published every mention of A-Rod from the files they reviewed.
Something tells me A-Rod is going to regret this statement.
After the Daily News reported over the weekend that a Miami anti-aging clinic was under federal investigation for supplying HGH and other banned substances to professional athletes, the Miami New Times has an explosive story out this morning that connects at least half a dozen MLB players, including Alex Rodriguez, to banned substances through Anthony Bosch and his clinic, Biogenesis. The Times reports that the personal records kept by Bosch detail illegal doping by A-Rod, Melky Cabrera, Yasmani Grandal, Barolo Colon (the last three, of course, having all failed drug tests in the past year), Nelson Cruz, and Gio Gonzalez (though it’s a little unclear that Gonzalez is actually being accused of doping).
Here’s what the paper claims about A-Rod’s doping, which they claim includes HGH use as recently as 2012:
Take, for instance, one patient list from Bosch’s 2009 personal notebook. It charts more than 50 clients and notes whether they received their drugs by delivery or in the office, how much they paid, and what they were taking.
There, at number seven on the list, is Alex Rodriguez. He paid $3,500, Bosch notes. Below that, he writes, “1.5/1.5 HGH (sports perf.) creams test., glut., MIC, supplement, sports perf. Diet.” HGH, of course, is banned in baseball, as are testosterone creams.
That’s not the only damning evidence against A-Rod, though. Another document from the files, a loose sheet with a header from the 19th Annual World Congress on Anti-Aging and Aesthetic Medicine, lays out a full regimen under the name Cacique: “Test. cream… troches prior to workout… and GHRP… IGF-1… pink cream.”
IGF-1 is a banned substance in baseball that stimulates insulin production and muscle growth. Elsewhere in his notebook, Bosch spells out that his “troches,” a type of drug lozenge, include 15 percent testosterone; pink cream, he writes, is a complex formula that also includes testosterone. GHRP is a substance that releases growth hormones.
Yuri Sucart, A-Rod’s cousin who was implicated in running PEDs for Alex, also appears in the records, as do transactions involving HGH, IGF-1, and other banned substances.
It’s hard to say what this will mean for A-Rod at this early juncture (he’s already going to miss most of the season and I don’t think MLB can suspend anyone without a failed drug test), but you can definitely bet that this will be huge tabloid fodder and hang over Alex all season, if not longer. If proven true, I’d also wager that it likely means A-Rod has better than even odds at never making the Hall of Fame, what with going back on that contrite apology in 2009 and lying about when and how he was juicing.
If you like it when I get into delivering long, not always on point thoughts on sports, well then this is the show you’ve been waiting for my friend. I start the festivities by reflecting on what may have been the most awesome experience of my sports loving life this morning in Baltimore, before proceeding to deliver a rant about Luke Scott (and the Rays’ “bad apples” in general) two years in the making. In between, Kevin Gengler of DRays Bay joins us to talk about the 2013 Rays. We end the show with a little bit of everything. Nick Johnson, Carl Pavano Michael Kay, Javier Vazquez, Juan Rivera, and Randy Choate all make rhetorical appearances. Oh, and A-Rod. Go figure, huh? Enjoy!