Drug case arbitrator: Anthony Bosch’s “credibility is everything”

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Here’s an interesting take on the potential for mega discipline against scores of players arising out of Biogenesis.

Richard McLaren is an attorney who has presided as an arbitrator over multiple arbitration cases exactly like the one which may involve Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun and others in the event they get disciplined: appeals of non-analytical cases. Meaning drug suspensions based on testimony or other evidence as opposed to a positive drug test.

He appeared on on the MLB Network Radio channel on SiriusXM with Mike Ferrin and Jim Duquette today, and talked a lot about the potential Biogenesis appeals and how difficult they may be for Major League Baseball given that their star witness is Anthony Bosch. The key takeaway: “Credibility is everything. If he turns out to not be a credible witness, there’s not much of a case.”

Not that it’d be impossible. McLaren notes what anyone who has dealt with criminal doings or drug-related unseemliness knows: there are a lot of scumbags hanging around. And he talks about ways Major League Baseball can deal with his prima facie credibility problems.  But it’s impossible to deny that if Major League Baseball does proceed with Bosch out front of its case against the players, making any discipline stick is going to be a pretty risky proposition.

Dodgers top Giants, clinch fifth straight NL West title

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The Dodgers are NL West champions for the fifth time in a row. They clinched with a 4-2 win over the Giants on Friday night, taking their first and only lead on a mammoth record-breaking home run from Cody Bellinger in the third inning.

Rich Hill turned in another quality start, going six innings with five hits, a run and nine strikeouts to keep the Giants at bay. He tacked on an RBI hit of his own, too, lashing a double to left field for his first extra-base hit since 2007.

The Giants, meanwhile, deployed Jeff Samardzija and his 4.42 ERA for 4 1/3 innings. Samardzija was on the hook for the Dodgers’ four-run spread in the third and took his 15th loss of the season. Pablo Sandoval came through with a solo home run in the ninth, but the rest of San Francisco’s offense wasn’t so lucky against Kenley Jansen, who struck out the side to clinch the game — and the division.

After Friday’s showstopper, the Dodgers are just two wins away from their first 100-win season since 1974. If they win the remaining eight games of the season, they’ll beat out the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers for the most wins in franchise history.

Watch: Cody Bellinger breaks NL rookie home run record

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Cody Bellinger helped the Dodgers to their first lead on Friday night, going deep for his 39th home run of the season and setting a new National League rookie home run record in the process. With two on and two out in the third inning, the Dodgers’ slugger launched a 2-1 pitch from the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija, skimming the right field fence to give the team a three-run cushion:

The three-run bomb was Bellinger’s sixth of the season. In what is undoubtedly a Rookie of the Year award-worthy campaign, he’s logged 21 solo shots, 11 two-run blasts and a single grand slam. His historic home run topped former NL rookie leaders Frank Robinson and Wally Berger, at 38 homers apiece.

The Dodgers need to stay on top of the Giants to clinch the NL West or, barring that, have the Marlins pull off a win over the Diamondbacks. They currently lead the Giants 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Marlins, meanwhile, are staying just ahead of the D-backs with a 9-7 lead in the top of the sixth.