With MLB increasingly desperate to get their hands on any evidence to discipline players connected to the Biogenesis clinic, they have come up with an interesting new strategy. According to Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times, MLB plans to file a lawsuit on Friday against multiple people connected to Biogenesis, including the clinic’s owner, Anthony Bosch, and Juan Nunez, who has worked for the Levinson brothers at ACES Group and was an associate to Melky Cabrera.
And get this, the lawsuit will allege that “the individuals damaged the sport by providing some of the game’s biggest stars with performance-enhancing drugs.” While MLB will try to recoup money from those targeted, the main goal is to get some sort of cooperation with their investigation, either through “documentary evidence or witness testimony.” MLB is having a tough time building a case against players who didn’t test positive for performance-enhancing drugs, so if the lawsuit was to proceed, it could allow them subpoena records from the clinic and potentially give them the evidence needed to hand down suspensions. Subpoena power is a big key, as MLB hasn’t been able to get any cooperation from law enforcement up until now.
While you have to credit MLB for their creativity here, many are skeptical whether it will hold up in court. For what it’s worth, sources told ESPN’s T.J. Quinn that it’s believed that Bosch destroyed all remaining documents from the clinic. So even if the lawsuit proceeds, MLB might not get the evidence they want.
There have been multiple reports over the past week that MLB has focused their investigation on Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez, even offering immunity to those willing to provide information. However, MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Wednesday that every player who has been connected to Biogenesis and the Miami New Times report is being investigated with “equal vigor.”
As you get ready for Memorial Day weekend and whatever it entails for you and yours, take some time to read an excellent article from Mike Bates over at The Hardball Times.
The article is about Eddie Grant. You probably never heard of him. He was a journeyman infielder — often a backup — from 1905 through 1915. If you have heard of him, it was likely not for his baseball exploits, however: it was because he was the first active baseball player to die in combat, killed in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in October 1915.
Michael tells us about more than Grant’s death, however. He provides a great overview of his life and career. And notes that Grant didn’t even have to go to war if he didn’t want to. He was 34, had the chance to coach or manage and had a law degree and the potential to make a lot of money following his baseball career. He volunteered, however, for both patriotic and personal reasons. And it cost him his life.
Must-read stuff indeed. Especially this weekend.
The Cleveland Indians will unveil a Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field on Saturday.
Robinson’s tenure in Cleveland was not long, but it was historic. On April 8, 1975, he became the first African-American manager in Major League history. He was a player-manager. One of the last ones, in fact. He spent two years in that role and then a third year — a partial year anyway — as a manager only. Robinson would go on to manage the Giants, Orioles and the Expos/Nationals, compiling a career record of 1065-1176 in 16 seasons. He is now a top MLB executive.
Robinson was, of course, a Hall of Fame player as well, lodging 21 seasons for the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels and Indians. He won two MVP awards and hit for the Triple Crown in 1966. Overall he hit 586 home runs – 10th all time – and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. For an inner-circle Hall of Famer with that kind of resume he is still, strangely enough, underrated. I guess that happens when your contemporaries are Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle.
Anyway, congrats to Frank Robinson for yet another well-deserved honor in a career full of them.