Report: Biogenesis source agrees to cooperate with “the biggest scumbags on Earth”

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According to TMZ, former Biogenesis employee Porter Fischer has struck a deal with Major League Baseball in which he will turn over all information he has and Major League Baseball will pay Fischer a “consultant” fee. Major League Baseball is apparently in the process of interviewing him.

Fischer, you may recall, recently described Major League Baseball as “the biggest scumbags on Earth”  in an interview with the Miami New Times. There he complained that baseball has using high-handed and hardball tactics in an effort to get Biogenesis information and claimed he was more or less screwed over by the league and by Anthony Bosch and that the whole mess has led to threats to his property and safety. Now things are different, apparently and he, Bosch and MLB are all on the same side.

As I noted in my followup to the Fisher business, this guy comes off as something less than a straightforward, reliable narrator. Maybe he has the goods on some players. Maybe he doesn’t. But based on what he’s said in that interview just two weeks ago, he’s either going to have to (a) testify that his fellow witness-against-the-players Anthony Bosch is an evil duplicitous person who can’t be trusted; or (b) admit that he himself lied in that interview and now, once he’s being paid by MLB, he’s being truthful.

So good luck with that.

Tommy La Stella talks about his refusal to report to the minors in 2016

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In late July of 2016, Cubs infielder Tommy La Stella was demoted to Triple-A. It wasn’t personal. It was a roster crunch situation and La Stella had options left so, despite the fact that he had been an effective player to that point of the season, it made sense to send him down.

La Stella didn’t take the demotion well. In fact he refused to report to Iowa and went home to New Jersey instead. It was not until August 17 that he finally reported and then only after prolonged discussions with the Cubs and the assurance that he’d be back in the majors once rosters opened up. Which he was, after spending just over a week down on the farm.

Such a move by a player would, normally speaking, make him persona non-grata. His teammates would shun him and the organization would, eventually, cut bait, with the press characterizing him as a me-first player as he walked out the door. That did not happen with La Stella, however, who remains with the Cubs two years later and, by all accounts, is a popular and important guy in the Cubs’ clubhouse, even if he’s not one of the team’s big stars.

Today Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has an in-depth story about La Stella, what went down in 2016 and how he and the Cubs have proceeded since then. The story is subscription only, but the short version is that there was a lot of understanding and empathy on the part of the Cubs organization and their players about what was going on in La Stella’s head at the time and how everyone allowed everyone else the space to work through it.

I’m happy to read this story, because all too often we only hear about such incidents as they occur, with little followup. To the extent the story is told, most of the time its completely one-sided, with the player who acts out being treated like a bad seed with little if any explanation of his side of things. And, yes, there are always two sides to the story. Sometimes even more.

Kudos to Rosenthal for telling this story. Here’s hoping the next time a player is involved in a controversy that, in the moment, makes him appear to be a bad seed or have a bad attitude, we hear more about it then too.