Author: Matthew Pouliot

Bud Selig

A mass Biogenesis suspension would be a massive fail


MLB will let Tony Bosch off the hook, if he just gives them A-Rod and Braun.

That’s the crux of Tuesday’s Outside the Lines article. Tony Bosch, the fake doctor who ran the Biogenesis Clinic exposed by the Miami New Times earlier this year, merely has to tell MLB everything that went on at his defunct business. In return, the league will drop its lawsuit against him; “indemnify him for any liability arising from his cooperation; provide personal security for him and even put in a good word with any law enforcement agency that may bring charges against him.”

So, forgive the dealer, punish the users.

I’m good with suspending steroid users, but I’m not comfortable with that kind of arrangement. I’m also not comfortable with punishing players who never failed steroid tests, and I’m simply not interested in seeing a couple of dozen major leaguers benched for a big chunk of the season so that Bud Selig can prove his point. It’s not cleaning up the game. It’s a power play, and the real losers in all of it are the fans rooting for the teams affected by the suspensions.

What’s more, the OTL report indicates that the league will aim for 100-game bans, rather than the 50-game standard:

One source familiar with the case said the commissioner’s office might seek 100-game suspensions for Rodriguez, Braun and other players, the penalty for a second doping offense. The argument, the source said, is that the players’ connection to Bosch constitutes one offense, and previous statements to MLB officials denying any such connection or the use of PEDs constitute another.

Good luck getting that to stand up. Like it or not, the CBA says its a 50-game suspension for a first offense. The idea that lying about their PED usage constitutes a second offense is laughable.

MORE: A-Rod, Braun among those MLB will reportedly suspend for Biogenesis link

This whole thing stinks like something long dead. I don’t like steroids, but I don’t want to see the season ruined because a cluster of users were outed for something they did the year before. It’s not like these 20-25 players that MLB might try to suspend are the extent of cheaters around the game. There are at least dozens and maybe hundreds more with secrets best buried who were merely lucky enough to be dealing with people smarter than Bosch. Almost all of the players associated with Bosch have strong Miami connections; this is just one subset of the players who have tried to game the system by getting ahead. Even if they deserve their punishments, the fans don’t.

In trying to suspend several stars, none with positive tests, MLB has a lot to lose and very little to gain here. Bud Selig believes Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun have embarrassed the game with their previous evasions and may think this grand gesture will add to his legacy. In so doing, he’s getting into bed with a sleazy criminal possessing pretty much zero credibility. Besides the lawyers looking at a grand payday, I can’t imagine anyone coming out a winner in this.

Report: Likely top-five draft pick Jonathan Gray tests positive for Adderall

Jonathan Gray

Sources told ESPN’s Keith Law that University of Oklahoma right-hander Jonathan Gray, who was widely expected to go at the top of the first round in Thursday’s MLB draft, sampled positive for Adderall during a predraft test.

One source with MLB that the positive test won’t result in a suspension, but will result in additional testing after he begins his pro career. Only those players with a prescription and a waiver are allowed to use Adderall in the majors and minors, and Gray reportedly had neither.

Expectations were that the Astros would take either Gray or Stanford right-hander Mark Appel with the first pick in Thursday’s draft and that the other would go to the Cubs second overall. However, that has changed in recent days; many now believe the Astros will go with a position player at No. 2 and that either Gray or Appel could slide to Colorado with  the third pick or Minnesota with the fourth pick. If teams choose to shy away from Gray because of the news, he could slip to the Red Sox at No. 7 or the Pirates at No. 9.

Gray, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound Junior, is 10-2 with a 1.59 ERA and a 138/22 K/BB ratio in 119 innings for Oklahoma this year.  He’s expected to face LSU in regional play this weekend.

Hapless Marlins sweep Haplesser Mets

David Wright

The Mets had Matt Harvey on the mound today and they got three homers for the offense. That should be a sure recipe to snap a little two-game losing streak, right?

No, not even close. The Mets blew a 6-4 lead as the bullpen gave up seven runs in three innings Sunday in an 11-6 loss to the Marlins. It gave Miami its first three-game sweep of the season.

The Marlins were 13-41 and were averaging 2.7 runs per game this season before busting out for 24 runs in the three games against the Mets. Ed Lucas, a 31-year-old who just made his major league debut Thursday, went 4-for-4, and rookie Marcell Ozuna drove in four runs. Greg Dobbs punctuated the win with a three-run homer off LaTroy Hawkins in the eighth.

Harvey had a rare off day for the Mets, giving up four runs in five innings, but he still left with the lead. Of course, that didn’t last. Scott Rice came in to start the sixth and followed up a groundout with three straight walks. For some reason, he was allowed to continue, and Ozuna delivered a two-run double to erase the lead.

Rice, whose only value is as a lefty specialist, was allowed to face seven batters in all and gave up four runs. He took his fourth loss to go along with three victories. It’s a truly remarkable number of decisions for a guy who should be getting one or two outs most games. He’s been involved in three more decisions than anyone else who could be considered a lefty specialist (Tampa Bay’s Jake McGee and the Yankees’ Boone Logan are both 2-2). It doesn’t make Terry Collins look good that the most inconsequential pitcher on the staff has been that much of a factor.

The lone good news for the Mets today was that Ike Davis had a two-run homer and an RBI single. The homer, which was estimated at over 420 feet, was his first since April 25.

The Mets are now 22-32 on the season. Only the Marlins and Brewers have worse records in the NL.

Mitchell Boggs blows save, gets sent back down

Jeff Francoeur, Mitchell Boggs

Surely, the homer Mitchell Boggs gave up to Jeff Francoeur wasn’t the only reason he was demoted to Triple-A Memphis by the Cardinals on Friday.

It was mostly that, though.

Boggs, who opened the season as the Cardinals’ closer, was optioned to the minors for the second time this year after taking a blown save and a loss to the struggling Royals on Thursday night. It was the third time in four appearances since his return from Triple-A that he gave up a run.

Mike Matheny made the choice to go to Boggs in a 2-1 game in the ninth last night with Edward Mujica and Trevor Rosenthal worn out and needing a rest, and Boggs gave up the game-tying homer to Francoeur on his second pitch of the evening. It was only Francoeur’s second homer in 153 at-bats this season.

Boggs went on to walk the next batter he faced and was pulled afterwards. The runner later came around to score off Victor Marte. The outing took his ERA to 11.05 for the season. He’s allowed 20 runs — 18 earned — and walked 15 batters in 14 2/3 innings.

Boggs also allowed exactly 20 runs last year, 18 of which were earned. He threw 73 1/3 innings then and finished with a 2.21 ERA.

Reliever Keith Butler was called up to replace Boggs on the roster.