Florida health officials refer Anthony Bosch case to prosecutors

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The wheels grind slowly, but they grind:

The Florida Department of Health, which sent a cease-and-desist order to Biogenesis founder Anthony Bosch last month, says it has referred the case to the Miami State Attorney’s office and the Florida Attorney General’s office.

Ed Griffith, a spokesman for Miami State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, said local prosecutors can’t initiate a criminal investigation into Bosch — who allegedly provided performance-enhancing drugs to Alex Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera and two dozen other Major League Baseball players — until health officials provide prosecutors with evidence of criminal activity.

All of this is relevant for baseball only insofar as heat can be applied to Bosch in a manner which gives him an incentive to call out baseball players.  Whether that is something that is at all valuable to the health officials who have thus far investigated him or prosecutors who will now consider the matter is an open question.

It was something interesting to federal prosecutors back in the Mitchell Report days and their desire to go after ballplayers has done absolutely nothing to benefit the careers of any federal prosecutors. Quite the contrary, actually. So it’s quite possible that all the Florida attorneys will care about is shutting down a crooked clinic and getting its owner behind bars.

Best way to do that: give ballplayers immunity and sealed testimony to sink him, actually. Which does not exactly help the aims of MLB in its desire to find dirt on these guys.

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.

Rockies sign 30-year lease to stay in Coors Field

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Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.

As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.

Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”

The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.