Some new details emerging from the Biogenesis story. ESPN’s T.J. Quinn and Mike Fish spoke to a source who claims that Alex Rodriguez got special treatment from the Biogenesis clinic. Owner Anthony Bosch, Quinn and Fish’s source says, would personally go to A-Rod’s Miami home and inject him with HGH.
Bosch and A-Rod have denied everything related to the reports of these past few days, of course. It’s also worth noting that Quinn and Fish’s source tells of a time last year when A-Rod allegedly got mad at Bosch after Bosch “had trouble locating a vein,” despite the fact that HGH injections are not intravenous (Quinn and Fish note this disconnect).
Also of note, no one down in Miami can confirm that the DEA has opened an investigation at all and there is no evidence of an ongoing investigation. It’s possible that the DEA is just playing it cool and operating with unusual stealthiness. It’s also possible that, while this is a big story for baseball, the DEA in Miami (or all places) has bigger fish to fry than a now-closed anti-aging clinic.
That part is of some significance. For only the government has subpoena power here. Bud Selig does not. And if the government is not involved in this, or is not moving particularly quickly, Major League Baseball is unlikely to have more at its disposal than (a) a newspaper report; (b) copies of uncorroborated medical records; and (c) the denials of all the players involved.
If so, could they even suspend these guys on a “just cause” basis pursuant to the Joint Drug Agreement?
On Monday we passed along a report that Major League Baseball and the MLBPA are negotiating over an international draft. That report — from ESPN’s Buster Olney — cited competitive balance and the well-being of international free agents as the reasons why they’re pushing for the draft.
We have long doubted those stated motivations and said so again in our post on Monday. But we’re just armchair skeptics when it comes to this. Ben Badler of Baseball America is an expert. Perhaps the foremost expert on international baseball, international signings and the like. Today he writes about a would-be international draft and he tears MLB, the MLBPA and their surrogates in the media to shreds with respect to their talking points.
Of course Badler is a nice guy so “tearing to shreds” is probably putting it too harshly. Maybe it’s better to say that he systematically dismantles the stated rationale for the international draft and makes plan what’s really going on: MLB is looking to save money and the players are looking to sell out non-union members to further their own bargaining position:
Major League Baseball has long wanted an international draft. The driving force behind implementing an international draft is for owners to control their labor costs by paying less money to international amateur players, allowing owners to keep more of that money . . . the players’ association doesn’t care about international amateur players as anything more than a bargaining chip. It’s nothing discriminatory against foreign players, it’s just that the union looks out for players on 40-man rosters. So international players, draft picks in the United States and minor leaguers who make less than $10,000 in annual salary get their rights sold out by the union, which in exchange can negotiate items like a higher major league minimum salary, adjustments to the Super 2 rules or modifying draft pick compensation attached to free agent signings.
Badler then walks through the process of how players are discovered, scouted and signed in Latin America and explains, quite convincingly, how MLB’s international draft and, indeed, its fundamental approach to amateurs in Latin America is lacking.
Read this. Then, every time a U.S.-based writer with MLB sources talks about the international draft, ask whether they know something Ben Badler doesn’t or, alternatively, whether they’re carrying water for either the league or the union.
I don’t know why Bill Murray is in Washington today. I don’t know why he’s at the White House. But I do know that he was there in Chicago Cubs gear, standing at the lectern in the press briefing room, voicing his full confidence in the Cubs prevailing in the NLCS, despite the fact that Clayton Kershaw is going for the Dodgers tomorrow night.
“Too many sticks,” president Murray said of the Cubs lineup. And something about better trees in Illinois.
Four. More. Years.