Tony Bosch, the shady founder of Biogenesis, a now-defunct clinic in Miami that allegedly provided some major league players with performance-enhancing drugs, has now agreed to supply the MLB investigation with documents and sworn testimony that is said to indict at least 20 major and minor leaguers.
The list includes big names that are unsurprising, like Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun, previous offenders like Bartolo Colon and Melky Cabrera, as well as well known players Jhonny Peralta and Nelson Cruz.
MLB is looking to hand out 100-game suspensions to some of these players (Braun and A-Rod included) in an effort to publicly assert their staunch stance against PEDs, their willingness to punish players for violating the rules and their ability to obtain information on players who might otherwise believe they are untouchable.
While the long-term repercussions of what will be a continuing massive attempt to stamp out illicit substances in major league baseball are likely good for the game, the short-term effects will be largely negative.
In trying to clean baseball up, MLB is allowing the nefarious aspects of the sport to dominate, becoming front-page headlines rather than the actual going-ons of the 2013 season.
No one will be talking about Chris Davis’ out-of-nowhere threat to Miguel Cabrera’s second Triple Crown, or heartwarming stories like Evan Gattis’ rise to fame, or the day-to-day narratives that baseball tells in every game.
Bosch’s decision to cooperate with MLB even has the chance to overshadow the upcoming MLB Draft, symbolic of the future being overlaid with misdeeds of the past.
Furthermore, Bosch’s evidence and testimony will not make these suspensions a done deal. You can bet that with their good names on the line, Braun and Rodriguez will fight the allegations tooth and nail; and with Bosch already established as a man with tenuous ties to various organizations and people, some of whom so not seem to be entirely legitimate, the arbitration will likely be a long and arduous process, further taking focus away from what has been an exciting 2013 season up until now.
I am certainly not suggesting that the suspension and rightful punishment of players who have violated MLB’s policy regarding PEDs is a bad thing. In fact, I think that in the long run, it might convince some players to abstain from the use of banned substances, or at the very least send a clear message that the league has not forgotten or given up on their fight to obliterate the taint of steroids from their sport.
However, while the goal to remove taint, this investigation and Bosch’s decision to cooperate will add taint in the short run, and will be what people associate with baseball this season rather than the good, clean play the league is trying to promote.