Tony Bosch, the founder and honcho of Biogenesis and the man who was the star witness in the enforcement action which led to Alex Rodriguez’s year-long suspension, surrendered to the Drug Enforcement Agency this morning. He will eventually plead guilty to a conspiracy to distribute steroids.T.J. Quinn of ESPN was the first to report on the matter.
Eight others, including Yuri Sucart, the cousin of Alex Rodriguez and former supplier of performance enhancing drugs to Rodriguez, were arrested as well. A full report on the arrests can be read here.
Quinn reports that the charges against Bosch and the others will not be limited to their interaction with major league baseball players. Rather, they will include charges that steroids were distributed to minors as well, both in this country and in the Dominican Republic. However, baseball’s involvement will not end here, as it was reported later in the day that at least two and possibly more baseball players have been identified as Biogenesis clients to the DEA and that their names will, eventually, be released. That should lead to more suspensions by Major League Baseball.
As was widely reported last year, Major League Baseball got Bosch to cooperate with its investigation of Rodriguez by striking a deal with him. That deal, detailed in the recently-released book about the Biogenesis case, “Blood Sport,” was reached over drinks at a Miami dive bar. It includes a promise from Major League Baseball that it would vouch for Bosch to any law enforcement agency which might threaten him with arrest. The agreement reads as follows:
“MLB will inform such agencies of the value and importance of Bosch’s cooperation in its efforts to achieve the important public policy goal of eradicating performance enhancing substances from professional baseball, and request that such agencies consider his cooperation with baseball.”
So someone at MLB now gets to send a letter or make a phone call to the DEA, I suppose, explaining that they should go easier on Bosch on charges that he sold drugs to kids because he helped nail Alex Rodriguez.
Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News reports that the Giants have signed catcher Nick Hundley. It’s a major league deal worth $2 million.
Hundley, who is 33, but who seems like he’s been in the bigs for about 27 years, hit .260/.320/.439 with 10 homers in 83 games for the Rockies last season. Obviously he will be the backup given the presence of Buster Posey.
Major League Baseball has experienced inconsistent progress in its efforts at promoting diversity and social responsibility in recent years despite making it a league priority. Today it has announced several changes in its leadership structure in these areas, with Commissioner Manfred saying, “As the sport of Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente, we have a responsibility to uphold and honor their legacies, especially in ensuring that our sport and business practices are as inclusive, diverse and socially-conscious as possible.”
To that end:
- Billy Bean has been promoted to Vice President and Special Assistant to the Commissioner. This is a newly-created and elevated position in which Bean will continue his efforts at promoting human rights issues important to Major League Baseball, with a particular focus on LGBT and anti-bullying efforts. He has done such work since 2014 as its Ambassador for Inclusion, but putting him at the vice presidential level and having him answer directly to Commissioner Manfred increases his profile and that of his mission;
- Renée Tirado, has been promoted to Vice President of Talent Acquisition and Diversity & Inclusion. Tirado had previously served as Senior Director of Recruitment. She will direct the implementation of recruitment plans and procedures to support MLB’s staffing objectives and will oversee MLB’s Diversity Pipeline Program. As you may recall, Major League Baseball has struggled mightily in these effort in recent years, and has admitted as much; and
- Melanie LeGrande has been promoted to Vice President of Social Responsibility. She previously served as MLB’s Director of Community Affairs. Her job will be to develop and enhance the initiatives that support MLB’s position in the community and oversee MLB’s community investments, nonprofit/non-governmental organization partnerships, large-scale disaster relief efforts and employee volunteer engagement.
Manfred said, “the promotions of Billy, Renée and Melanie reflect our commitment to have strong, innovative leadership in place that aligns our industry objectives with a desire to be effective corporate citizens.”
While all of these are current employees who have served in roughly similar roles. A business’ organizational chart says much about how much that business values various functions and initiatives. In keeping with Manfred’s comments, that all three of these people have been promoted to the vice presidential level is a strong signal from MLB about what it wants.
Now all it has to do is follow through and get what it wants.