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.