MLB accused of “bullying” witness in Biogenesis case

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MLB will reportedly receive cooperation from Biogenesis founder Anthony Bosch in their investigation into performance-enhancing drugs, but they aren’t having as much luck with one of his former associates. In fact, the attorney for Carlos Acevedo is accusing MLB of “bullying” his client, per this report by Mike Fish and T.J. Quinn of ESPN.com.

The attorney for Carlos Acevedo, who along with Bosch and three others was named in a civil suit brought by MLB in March, told “Outside the Lines” he has filed a motion to have his client dismissed from the suit. Martin Beguiristain expects his motion to be heard Wednesday in a Miami-Dade County circuit court.

Acevedo, a former partner with Bosch in a wellness clinic, could presumably be helpful to baseball in supporting and corroborating information presented by Bosch, who even MLB officials acknowledge has credibility issues. The two worked together at Biokem, located in the same Coral Gables office that eventually would house Bosch’s Biogenesis of America clinic.

Beguiristain said he has spoken with MLB officials within the past week, but they never have met with Acevedo. Nor have they presented an offer similar to what Bosch received for his cooperation.

As for the “bullying,” Beguiristain claims that baseball has gone out of its way to antagonize his client and other defendants in the civil suit. This includes MLB allegedly sending investigators to Acevedo’s house who are “threatening” and “intimidating” him.

Beguiristain expects to successfully argue for his client’s dismissal from the suit on the grounds it’s frivolous and that baseball committed an error by not naming the MLB Players Association. He also said that if the matter gets to a hearing Wednesday, his client is unlikely to ever cooperate with MLB.

Getting Acevedo to cooperate in the investigation would obviously add some credibility to Bosch’s testimony, but MLB reportedly has “tons” of other witnesses at their disposal.

Cubs fire pitching coach Chris Bosio

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In something of a surprising move, the Chicago Cubs fired their pitching coach, Chris Bosio on Saturday. Bosio had held the job since the 2011-12 offseason.

The Cubs made the NLCS this year, but were nowhere as near the formidable as their 2016 World Series champion iteration. While there were several reasons for that, one was that the pitching staff, which featured multiple, better-than-expected performances in 2016, but took a step back in 2017. Some of that was personnel — Joe Maddon did not have Aroldis Chapman to call on in the postseason like he did last year — and a lot of that was mere regression from veterans like Jon Lester and John Lackey. A lot of it had to do with a much higher walk rate this year than in the past.

Still, there was no chatter during the season or at the time of the Cubs’ playoff exit the other day that Bosio might be a fall guy. The Chicago Tribune reports that it was Joe Maddon’s call and that he had grown displeased with Bosio. The Tribune report suggests that Cubs pitchers will be displeased with the move as they were devoted to Bosio. Coaches, of course, come and go, so I suspect they’ll get over it.

Whatever the case, Bosio likely won’t say unemployed for long. He is widely credited with helping Jake Arrieta transform from a project to an ace and for the considerable and the somewhat unexpectedly successful development of Kyle Hendricks. The Tribune suggests that he’d be a good fit in Minnesota, where his former teammate Paul Molitor is in search of a new pitching coach.

There are several intriguing coaches available at the moment, most notably Mike Maddux, who has been the Nationals pitching coach but whose status is now in flux given the firing of Dusty Baker. Maddux’s brother Greg, of course, is a spring training pitching instructor for the Cubs. The Tribune adds that Maddon may look to his old Tampa Bay Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey or, possibly, even recently fired Red Sox manager John Farrell, who made his bones as a pitching coach.