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Get ready for the resurrection of Anthony Bosch’s character

Jun 5, 2013, 8:20 AM EDT

Anthony Bosch

When the Biogenesis story hit back in January, one of the primary narratives that emerged from it among the baseball commentariat was that A-Rod, Ryan Braun and others were awful for, among many other reasons, getting in bed with a shady weasel like Anthony Bosch of Biogenesis. And words were not spared on just how sleazy Bosch was supposed to be. Here are some phrases describing him from Mike Lupica’s February 6 column:

  • “a two-bit South Florida scammer and drug pusher named Anthony Bosch”
  • “a guy you now imagine is a couple of steps away from working out of his garage”
  • “a lawyer with an 800 number he sees in a late-night television commercial”
  • “a ‘medical’ consultant”
  • “a known drug dealer like Anthony Bosch”
  • “a small-time ‘biochemist’ named Anthony Bosch”
  • “Bosch the ‘biochemist'”
  • “a PED pusher like Anthony Bosch”

Note the scare quotes and the utter disdain for Bosch dripping off of every word. The guy is clearly a slime in Lupica’s eyes. But then note this passage toward the end:

There is only one way for Major League Baseball and for the rest of us to get the answers we need on Bosch the “biochemist” and Braun and A-Rod and all the other misunderstood ballplayers who have made the PED version of the Dean’s List, known as Bosch’s List: Get everybody in front of a grand jury and make them tell their stories under oath, not to their PR men. Make them all explain why they were associating with a PED pusher like Anthony Bosch in the first place.

But now, today, Lupica is far less dismissive of Bosch’s word and, apparently, no longer thinks that the “only way” for Major League Baseball to learn about Biogenesis is to hear from the players in a law enforcement setting. To the contrary, he sees Bosch’s own words — as spilled to Major League Baseball in a decidedly non-legal setting — as potentially sufficient basis for suspending A-Rod for 100 games, voiding his contract and ending his career (a prospect Lupica is positively giddy about):

If Anthony Bosch, the anti-aging king of South Florida and alleged distributor of baseball drugs, really is about to flip and really is about to cooperate fully with Major League Baseball, then Bosch becomes the worst nightmare for all of the players whose names appeared in his books. It means all those named in the original Miami New Times article about Bosch and all his baseball friends. There have been other guys who flipped in the past in stories like these. Never the guy dealing the drugs. Never the kingpin.

Now he’s not some sleazy, two-bit hustler working out of his garage. He’s a kingpin! The center of a vast drug empire whose cooperation would be invaluable and unprecedented.* Yes, Lupica does still have a poor opinion of Bosch — he calls him a “two-bit scammer” and says Bosch “looks more like some loser on Collins Ave. trying to give you a tip on the third race at Hialeah” — but he nonetheless identifies him as the man whose word — and his word alone — can and should form the basis of unprecedented and maximal discipline against scores of major leaguers.

And more importantly, nowhere does Lupica acknowledge that maybe — just maybe — said discipline should not rest on just the words of Anthony Bosch. He is not a bit skeptical of a case built on that foundation. Not a bit skeptical of Major League Baseball’s motives here. He does not acknowledge that Major League Baseball is not law enforcement and cannot be presumed to have law enforcement’s fact-finding, justice-doing motives. Indeed, in using Bosch to build its case against A-Rod and Braun MLB is far closer to Ryan Braun’s alleged legal consultations with Bosch than it is to cops talking to an informant. And Lupica considered the notion of Braun consulting with Bosch to be preposterous. It’s not so preposterous now, apparently. It’s the first step on the march to justice and comeuppance for some players Lupica hates.

Watch that pattern unfold all over the place in the coming days. The rehabilitation of Anthony Bosch. The guy who everyone and his brother considered a sleazeball back in January, but who now is the man whose word and his word alone is supposed to form the basis of a righteous case against the ballplayers. Watch as very few are critical of Major League Baseball’s case against those ballplayers because, it seems, Anthony Bosch is to be trusted for some reason.

*Note: it would not be unprecedented, as PED dealers Kirk Radomski and Brian McNamee previously cooperated with MLB

103 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. tycobbfromfangraphs - Jun 5, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    Get ready for every steroid apologist to blog hourly trying to play lawyer and apply the rules of a capital crime to this situation.

    “Beyond of reasonable doubt” Because you watch too much TV and are a wannabe lawyer.

    Blah blah blah he’s a bad guy….that all these players still went to get his help for them to cheat and beat the system.

    Steroid apologists and contrarians, idiots who think they are smart.

    • Old Gator - Jun 5, 2013 at 12:46 PM

      No, “beyond a reasonable doubt” because Craig actually is a lawyer, and has worked within the justice system long enough to understand how horribly things can go wrong when the basic constellation of protections surrounding “innocent until proven guilty” are shortshrifted. Do your homework first.

      • tycobbfromfangraphs - Jun 5, 2013 at 12:53 PM

        No kidding and as a lawyer he should know that this expectation for everything needing to be “beyond a reasonable doubt” is laughable.

        This is not a murder investigation, k?
        Do you people think courts rule all cases based on this requirement?

        Sorry to break reality to you but the VAST majority of courts are only looking at “What is most likely to have happened”

        So spare everyone your Law & Order routine, your Matlock routine and realize that this can be EASILY judged as “What is Most Likely upon preponderance of the evidence”

      • 3yardsandacloud - Jun 5, 2013 at 3:14 PM

        Well Tycobb…

        The issue, for starters is drug use, specifically PED use, is not only banned by baseball, but is also illegal, from a criminal standpoint. So from that standpoint, “beyond a reasonable doubt” applies to any criminality arising from the use of the PED’s. I do not think baseball is going to use a proof beyond a reasonable doubt standard.

        The larger issue, as pointed out by Craig, is that the drug dealer here previously made statements inconsistent with the position he is now going to set forth. Therefore, every lawyer worth his salt is going to burn him on the change in his position. It goes like this…

        Q: You now say the player took these drugs?
        A: Yes
        Q: You were asked about this when the story broke, weren’t you?
        A: Yes
        Q: You said the player didn’t take the drugs?
        A: Yes
        Q: Now you are claiming player did take drugs?
        A: Yes
        Q: So were you lying then, or are you lying now?
        A: Uhhhh…

        The witness then has no credibility. Even if you consider “what is more likely”, it’s not a clear win for suspending these guys, unless you find some other evidence that can add credibility to the equation. Frankly, if baseball only relies on this testimony, these guys shouldn’t be suspended because it wouldn’t even carry a “more likely than not” burden.

        Accusations do not equal guilt. Especially when the guy making them has credibility problems

  2. ahrmon - Jun 5, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    “everyone and his brother” = you and your fellow media hacks, Craig. Don’t dump this crap onto us and pretend like you guys aren’t the culpable party. So weak.

  3. jargon1682 - Jun 5, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    It’s a shame these guys don’t illegally obtain their PEDs from from more upstanding citizens, then we could know the truth!

    In seriousness I think Craig is overreacting because he understandably distrusts the court of public opinion. But statements like…

    “And more importantly, nowhere does Lupica acknowledge that maybe — just maybe — said discipline should not rest on just the words of Anthony Bosch. He is not a bit skeptical of a case built on that foundation. Not a bit skeptical of Major League Baseball’s motives here.”

    …come off as extreme to me.

    First of all, how do we know that his testimony is the “foundation” of the case. There could be DNA, financial and medical records, corroborating witnesses. Then again there could be none of the above, but it seems like Craig is jumping to the same type of conclusions about MLB’s investigation that he dislikes when they are made about the players.

    As for motive, you can feel about it how you like, but to me the easier thing for baseball to do would be to ignore this whole mess. If they are doing all they can to follow up on a tip, I applaud that, even if it’s a painful and ugly process. Everyone knows that drug tests can be beat (just ask Lance Armstrong), Do you want them to do everything they can or just ignore it like they used to?

  4. billyboots - Jun 6, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    This may have already been said, but yesterday when Lupica was on the Today Show discussing this story he certainly tried to put on the air of being a completely neutral and impartial reporter, but his sleaze and distaste of A-Rod came out pretty clearly for those of us who are familiar with his writing. I was really hoping that Craig was going to be their guest since he is now part of the NBC family.

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