An arrest is made in the impossibly unseemly theft of the Biogenesis documents

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Boca Raton, Florida police announced the arrest of  a tanning salon worker for the theft of the Biogenesis documents Major League Baseball is now using to go after Alex Rodriguez. His name is Reginald St. Fleur. He’s a known associate of Porter Fischer, the former Biogenesis employee who initially obtained the documents and who, at one time anyway, was cooperating with Major League Baseball. St. Fleur is also an associate of Gary Jones, the man who sold the records to MLB.

It all stinks to high heavens of course.

Deadspin’s rundown on it all notes that there are two possibilities, and neither make Major League Baseball look good. Baseball was offering to buy the documents from Fischer, and the two sides were in negotiations to that effect. Either (a) St. Fleur and Jones, who knew about it all, set up Fischer and stole the documents so that they could sell them to MLB; or else (b) Fischer was in cahoots with St. Fleur and Jones and staged the break-in so the documents could be sold to MLB without  Fischer having to be the seller.

Option (b) makes sense given that, in the interim, MLB had sued Fischer and others in an effort to merely subpoena, rather than buy the documents. Option (a) makes sense, however, given that — as Fischer has noted — already had an offer on the table from MLB and faced all kinds of risk in cooking up a theft story.

But what is undeniable here is that Major League Baseball bought documents that were either, by definition, stolen or, at the very least, got to MLB as the result of a criminal conspiracy of some kind. And as the Deadspin article notes, MLB was fully aware of this given that they made an inquiry to the police about the theft prior to purchasing the documents from Jones.

Does that make any of the evidence against Alex Rodriguez false? Of course not. But it makes the provenance of that evidence outrageously shady and supports Alex Rodriguez’s argument that MLB would literally stop at nothing — including inserting itself into some sort of crime — in order to nail him.

More position players have pitched this year than ever

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Yesterday, in Milwaukee, utilityman Hernan Perez pitched two scoreless innings, and backup catcher Erik Kratz pitched one himself, mopping up in a blowout loss to the Dodgers. In doing so they became the 31st and 32nd position players to pitch this season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that is the most position players who have taken the mound in a season in the Expansion Era, which began in 1961. Presumably far fewer ever did so when the league had only 16 teams.

It’s pretty remarkable to set that record now, in this age of 13 and sometimes 14-man pitching staffs. That’s especially true when teams shuttle guys back and forth from the minors more often than they ever have before and when, due to the shortened, 10-day disabled list, it’s easier to give guys breaks because of “injuries” than it ever has been.

Pitcher usage is driving this, however. While teams carry far more relievers than they ever have before, they actually carry far fewer swingmen or mopup men who are capable of throwing multiple innings in a blowout to save other pitchers’ arms. Rather, teams focus on max-effort, high-velocity relievers who go one or two innings tops, thus requiring catchers and utility guys to help do the mopping that actual pitchers used to do.

I don’t know if that’s a bad thing necessarily — some of these backup catchers throw harder than a lot of pitchers did 30 years ago and it’s always kind of fun to see a position player pitch — but it is yet another way the game has changed due to a focus on specialization and velocity when it comes to pitchers.