Ken Rosenthal’s report over the weekend that some in Major League Baseball are considering whether Alex Rodriguez could be subject to greater discipline in the Biogenesis matter by virtue of steering players to Anthony Bosch or “distributing” PEDs is interesting. But buying any theory along these lines requires a hell of a lot of magical thinking.
I take no issue with Rosenthal’s analysis of the matter. His sources are telling him what they’re telling him and, given how Rob Manfred has been shown to be nothing if not creative and opportunistic in devising new and exciting ways for MLB to gain power over the players in imposing drug punishments over the years, no theory MLB could devise to hammer A-Rod more than they have already would truly surprise me. It’s possible, if MLB has the will, that it would go down in exactly that manner.
But for it to go down in exactly that manner — and for MLB to find the will to do it — would also require a tremendous, tremendous amount of amnesia, disingenuousness and chutzpah on the part of the league. I say this because the notion that Alex Rodriguez steered players to Anthony Bosch and/or distributed PEDs ignores the fact that Bosch was a well-known source of PEDs for as long as a decade before the Biogenesis case broke in January 2013. Maybe even longer.
Let’s go back to June 2009, when Manny Ramirez was, for a time, the poster boy of PEDs. Then it was widely reported that the source of his drugs was one Pedro Publio Bosch, the father of Anthony Bosch, and that Anthony Bosch was allegedly the go-between for his dad and Manny. And both the DEA and Major Leaguer Baseball were well aware of it:
Investigators believe the prescription for human chorionic gonadotropin, known as hCG, was written by Pedro Publio Bosch, 71, a physician who has practiced family medicine in Florida since 1976. His son, Anthony Bosch, 45, is believed to have worked as a contact between his father and Ramirez. It’s unclear how far along the DEA is in its inquiry but sources indicated that investigators want to know whether either man ever procured improper or illegal prescriptions for other people. DEA officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
The report went on:
Anthony Bosch is well known in Latin American baseball circles, sources say. His relationships with players date at least from the earlier part of the decade, when he was seen attending parties with players and known to procure tickets to big league ballparks, especially in Boston and New York.
Then-MLB president Bob DuPuy — who was Rob Manfred’s boss — said “We’re aware of the investigation and our department of investigations is cooperating with the DEA.” So this is no mystery to the league either.
I suppose it’s possible for someone to keep a straight face and say that the reason Anthony Bosch and his 70-something-year-old father were “well known” among Latin American baseball circles for far more than a decade by the time the Biogenesis story broke was because of A-Rod. But it certainly strains credulity to say such a thing. Given how disliked A-Rod is around the game and how competitive he is, one would think he’d not be introducing a good chunk of the league to his source. More to the point, given how much incentive anyone popped for PEDs in Biogenesis or, for that matter, any of the many people criminally-charged in the matter have to implicate A-Rod as a kingpin instead of a user, one would think we would’ve heard about it before now. Indeed, rather than a potential federal witness, A-Rod would be the target of some very serious federal charges courtesy of the DEA.
But he’s not. What he is is the subject of a lot of new tongue-wagging because someone revealed (perhaps illegally) his statements to the DEA and because of some tabloid nonsense. That’s all quite interesting, but none of that explains why now, after more than a decade of Bosch being well known by baseball as a go-to source for drugs in Florida, Major League Baseball suddenly has decided that A-Rod is the Pied Piper of Biogenesis. As such, if they do decide to do more to Rodriguez, they had better have a good story. A damn good story.