Someone improperly leaked confidential information regarding Josh Hamilton’s recent relapse and the subsequent investigation into it. That’s a violation of the Joint Drug Agreement and, if it can be established that a given party leaked such info, that party is subject to discipline.
The information was leaked to L.A.-based reporters, one of whom covers the Angels for a living. As I’ve argued in the past, Josh Hamilton certainly didn’t have a big reason to do it. And, after MLB’s decision not to discipline him came out, Angels officials sure were vocal with their displeasure and made a point to let the world know that they think he’s a bad guy with big problems. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the Angels did the leaking, but it’s not at all unreasonable to do the math and see that they’re the prime suspects.
But suspects are the worst they’ll ever be with respect to this business, because MLB is not going to look into the matter:
Commissioner Rob Manfred indicated that he will not investigate whether the Angels released confidential information about outfielder Josh Hamilton.
“I have no reason to believe the Angels did anything inappropriate,” Manfred said during a visit to Safeco Field for Wednesday night’s game between the Angels and Seattle Mariners . . . “Confidentiality is an important component of the drug program,” Manfred said. “Unfortunately, the more people that know about something, the less likely it is that it’s going to stay confidential.
The people who knew about this were Manfred’s own folks in the commissioner’s office, the Angels, Josh Hamilton and his agents and/or lawyers. Which is the same general universe of people who will know about any problem that arises with respect to any player under the JDA. So, in effect, it seems Manfred is saying that he’ll never, ever investigate leaks of this information because a lot of people “know about something” and, well, I guess stuff happens.
So, congratulations Major League Baseball, you just wrote out a key section of the JDA. One which runs seven full sections over seven pages in a 58-page document and which is considered to be, by its own terms, “essential to the Program’s success.” And you did it because you are unwilling to even investigate — not just punish, but even investigate — a clear violation of the JDA when it means that you may have to make a club uncomfortable.