Several Biogenesis players are stunningly equally ashamed of themselves

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Here are the official press releases from seven of today’s 13 suspended Biogenesis players. These are words coming straight from the heart, let me tell you.

Antonio Bastardo:

Today, I was notified by Major League Baseball that I have been suspended for 50 games for violation of the Joint Drug Agreement. I have decided to accept this suspension and will not exercise my rights under the Basic Agreement to appeal. I made significant errors in judgment during the 2012 season and I accept full responsibility for those errors. I look forward to regaining the trust and respect of the Phillies’ organization, Phillies’ fans and my family, and look forward to helping the Phillies win a championship in 2014.

Fautino De Los Santos:

I was notified by Major League Baseball that I am to be suspended for 50 games for violation of the Joint Drug Agreement. I willingly accept this suspension and will not exercise my rights under the Basic Agreement to appeal. I made certain unsound decisions during the 2012 season and I accept full responsibility for those decisions. I look forward to regaining the trust and respect of the Padres’ organization, their fans and most importantly, my family. I look forward to helping the San Diego Padres in 2014.

Sergio Escalona:

I was notified by Major League Baseball that I have been suspended for 50 games for violation of the Joint Drug Agreement. I will accept this suspension and not exercise my right under the Basic Agreement to appeal. I made errors in judgment during the 2012 season and I accept full responsibility for those errors. I will make every attempt to regain the trust and respect of the Astros’ organization, their fans and most importantly, my family. I am hopeful that I can make significant contributions to the Astros in the 2014 season.

Fernando Martinez:

I have been notified by Major League Baseball that I am to be suspended for 50 games for violation of the Joint Drug Agreement. I accept this suspension and will not exercise my right under the Basic Agreement to appeal. I made a serious mistake during the 2012 season and I accept full responsibility for this mistake. I look forward to regaining the trust and respect of the Yankees’ organization, their fans and most importantly, my family. I am hopeful that I can make significant contributions to the Yankees in 2014.

Jesus Montero:

I have been notified by the Commissioner of Major League Baseball that I have been suspended for 50 games for violation of the Joint Drug Agreement. I have decided to accept this suspension and not exercise my rights under the Basic Agreement to appeal. I made certain mistakes during the 2012 season and I accept full responsibility for those mistakes. I look forward to regaining the trust and respect of the Mariners’ organization, Mariners’ fans and my family. I look forward to making significant contributions to the Mariners in 2014.

Cesar Puello:

Today, I was notified by the Commissioner of Major League Baseball that I have been suspended for 50 games for violation of the Joint Drug Agreement. Out of respect for the Mets’ organization, my teammates, and my family, I have decided to accept this suspension and not exercise my rights under the Basic Agreement to appeal. I made certain mistakes during the 2012 season and I accept full responsibility for those mistakes. I look forward to regaining the trust and respect of the Mets’ organization, Mets’ fans and my family, and ultimately helping the club win a championship.

Jordany Valdespin:

I have been notified by the Commissioner of Major League Baseball that I have been suspended for 50 games for violation of the Joint Drug Agreement. I have decided to accept this suspension and not exercise my rights under the Basic Agreement to appeal. I made certain errors in judgment during the 2012 season and I accept full responsibility for those errors. I look forward to regaining the trust and respect of the Mets’ organization, Mets’ fans and my family, and look forward to contributing to the Mets in 2014.

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Yes, you guessed it, all seven share the same lawyer.

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.