Who is Anthony Bosch?

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In the wake of ESPN’s Tuesday night report about Major League Baseball’s investigation and potential suspension of as many as two dozen players linked to the Biogenesis clinic in Miami, the spotlight has shone on one man more than any other: Anthony Bosch, the owner of the Biogenesis of America clinic and now the man who is reportedly prepared to turn over everything he knows about his famous clients to Major League Baseball.

But who is Anthony Bosch? What do we know about him?

Not much. We know he was born in Miami and grew up in comfortable circumstances. His father, Pedro Bosch, has been a successful physician for nearly 40 years. He has had multiple marriages and multiple failed businesses, with Biogenesis being the last.

Biogenesis was an “anti-aging” clinic that, superficially anyway, was like many in Florida. It was just across U.S. 1 from the University of Miami, housed in what was once a motel. Like other anti-aging clinics, it was a quasi-medical establishment which offered its mostly wealthy clients assistance in weight loss, physical fitness, and in some cases psychological services. Better living through therapy and chemistry. Such clinics are not licensed or regulated by the State of Florida.

The “quasi” part of that comes from the fact that Bosch is not a physician. His only known degree was obtained in 2009 from the Central America Health Sciences University in Belize, which he claimed to be a medical degree and displayed it on his office wall. According to the Miami New Times he wore a lab coat with “Dr. Tony Bosch” on it and gave the impression to many that he was, in fact, a doctor.

He did something else only doctors are allowed to do: as the New York Times reported in February, Bosch would obtain prescription drugs for his patients, including human growth hormone. His methods of doing so is unknown and are subject to an investigation by the Florida Department of Health and referrals to the Miami State Attorney’s office and the Florida Attorney General’s office. The New York Times report on Biogenesis in February described Bosch’s clinic as disheveled and disorganized. A former business partner of Bosch’s was surprised that Bosch was alleged to have worked with high-profile athletes, saying “I don’t know how the guy can tie his shoes, let alone have A-Rod as a client.”

But his business records, obtained by the Miami New Times suggest that he did indeed supply performance enhancing drugs to many ballplayers, A-Rod included. Most of the drug distributions were reported to have been made through intermediaries rather than to the ballplayers themselves. One of the alleged intermediaries was an employee of player agents the Levinson brothers. In the case of Alex Rodriguez, however, Bosch is alleged to have actually injected the player personally, doing so at Rodriguez’s home. All involved have denied the allegations.

Bosch himself denied any allegation that he supplied performance enhancing drugs to players, telling ESPN in April that such allegations are lies:

“I have been accused, tried and convicted in the media. And so I think have been falsely accused throughout the media … I am a nutritionist. I don’t know anything about performance-enhancing drugs.”

But that has all changed now. Major League Baseball sued Bosch in March, alleging that he tortiously interfered with baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement, damaging the game. On Thursday morning it was reported that, some time after that suit was filed, Bosch approached Alex Rodriguez in an effort to obtain his financial assistance in the face of the lawsuit and other investigations into his activities. Rodriguez is reported to have denied any assistance to Bosch.

Now, Bosch and Major League Baseball are reported to have come to an agreement in which the lawsuit will be dismissed against him, he will provide testimony and documents to Major League Baseball in furtherance of its investigation into Biogenesis-connected ballplayers and will indemnify him for any legal repercussions occasioned by his cooperation. While the baseball officials have not yet spoken to Bosch, it is reasonable to assume that the league’s cooperation with Bosch is based on him providing information which would implicate ballplayers in the use of performance enhancing drugs.

Mike Piazza presided over the destruction of a 100-year-old soccer team

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Mike Piazza was elected to the Hall of Fame in January of 2016 and inducted in July of 2016. In between those dates he purchased an Italian soccer team, A.C. Reggiana 1919, a member of Italy’s third division. In June of that year he was greeted as a savior in Reggio Emilia, the small Italian town in which the team played. He was the big American sports star who was going to restore the venerable club to its past and rightful place of glory.

There were suggestions by last March that things weren’t going well, but know we know that in less than two years it all fell apart. Piazza and his wife Alicia presided over a hot mess of a business, losing millions of dollars and, this past June, they abruptly liquidated the club. It is now defunct — one year short of its centennial — and a semipro team is playing in its place, trying to acquire the naming rights from Piazza as it wends its way though bankruptcy.

Today at The Athletic, Robert Andrew Powell has a fascinating — no, make that outrageously entertaining — story of how that all went down from the perspective of the Piazzas. Mostly Alicia Piazza who ran the team in its second year when Mike realized he was in over his head. She is . . . something. Her quotes alone are worth the price of admission. For example:

Alicia, who refers to Mike’s ownership dream as “his midlife crisis,” offered up a counter argument.

“Who the f**k ever heard of Reggio Emilia?” she asked. “It’s not Venice. It’s not Rome. My girlfriend said, and you can quote this—and this really depressed me. She said, ‘Honey, you bought into Pittsburgh.’ Like, it wasn’t the New York Yankees. It wasn’t the Mets. It wasn’t the Dodgers. You bought Pittsburgh!”

In their Miami living room, Mike tried to interject but she stopped him.

“And imagine what that feels like, after spending 10 million euros. You bought Pittsburgh!”

At this point it may be worth remembering that Piazza is from Pennsylvania. Eastern Pennsylvania to be sure, but still.

Shockingly, it didn’t end all that well for the Piazzas in Reggio Emilia:

One week later, the Piazzas returned to Reggio Emilia, and were spotted at the team offices. More than a hundred ultras marched into the office parking lot, chanting and demanding answers. Carabinieri—national police aligned with the military—showed up for the Piazzas’ safety. The police advised the Americans to avoid the front door of the complex and exit through the back. Mike assured them it wouldn’t be necessary—he had always enjoyed a good relationship with the fans.

The carabinieri informed him that the relationship had changed. The Piazzas slipped out the back door, under police escort.

The must-read of the week. Maybe the month. Hell, maybe the year. The only thing I can imagine topping it is if someone can tell this story from the perspective of the people in Reggio Emilia. I’m guessing their take is a bit different than the Piazzas.