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Report: A-Rod’s representatives purchased the Biogenesis documents

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Admit it: In your heart, you knew it was A-Rod. It’s OK. I thought it might have been too.

Last night the New York Times reported that Major League Baseball’s was attempting to purchase documents from the now-defunct Biogenesis anti-aging clinic.  These documents, as was reported back in January, purport to show that multiple major league ballplayers — as many as 90 by some estimates — obtained banned performance enhancing drugs from Biogenesis and its operator Anthony Bosch.

The documents have formed the basis of a series of eye-opening reports on the matter, but thus far have only been obtained by various media outlets who have chosen not to share them with Major League Baseball. Major League Baseball, of course, would like to see them in order to investigate the reports of PED-using players and, ultimately, discipline said players.  Two weeks ago baseball sued Biogenesis in an effort to get the documents. Now the reports are that Major League Baseball is simply trying to buy them.

According to the New York times, these efforts were spurred by more than a mere desire to get them for baseball’s own sake. Rather, there were rumors that a ballplayer named in the documents was himself trying to purchase them, with an eye toward destroying them and, presumably, head off discipline. Delicious.

Now, Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times reports who that player is:

The full New York Times report, in which it is alleged that an associate of Alex Rodriguez purchased the documents, can be read here. For his part, Rodriguez’s representatives are flatly denying the report.

If there is an actual basis to this, one wonders if MLB might consider it enough, in and of itself, to consider A-Rod uncooperative with their investigation and thus suspend him summarily pursuant to the Joint Drug Agreement which requires players to cooperate with the league.

At the moment, though, I think MLB would really have to explain why it believes A-Rod was attempting to destroy them. What the basis for that is. Because that’s a pretty serious accusation to hurl without a strong foundation for it.

Either way, however, this story is getting out of control.  If A-Rod did destroy the documents he’s gone super villain on us.  If he did not, and MLB or its surrogates are spinning innuendo, they’ve gone mad instead.

Report: Phillies close to signing Joaquin Benoit

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Joaquin Benoit #53 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during the seventh inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim  at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 15, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
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Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.

Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.

Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.

The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.

Report: The new collective bargaining agreement reduces players’ meal money

ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, JAN. 18-19 - This Jan. 15, 2014 photo showing new baseball union head Tony Clark during an interview at the organization's headquarters, in New York. Clark has big shoes to fill _ and not just as Michael Weiner's replacement as head of the baseball players' union. Moving from Arizona to New Jersey, the former big league All-Star also needed to find size 15 snowshoes.  (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
AP Photo/Richard Drew
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ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.

Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.

Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.

EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.