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MLB issued subpoenas to Fed-Ex, AT&T and T-Mobile as part of Biogenesis investigation

Jun 6, 2013, 7:02 PM EDT

Bud Selig AP AP

Here’s the latest development as MLB continues its investigation into players suspected of acquiring performance-enhancing drugs from Anthony Bosch and Biogenesis.

According to Ronald Blum of the Associated Press, MLB’s lawyers issued subpoenas to Federal Express, AT&T Mobility and T-Mobile USA in an attempt to gather records for their investigation.

The subpoenas were issued May 23, according to a case file in Florida’s Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, where MLB sued Biogenesis of America, anti-aging clinic head Anthony Bosch and five others in March.

MLB asked Federal Express to turn over shipment records for Biogenesis, Bosch, the other defendants and a long list of individuals who appeared to be affiliated with Bosch.

MLB asked the phone companies for call records, texts and subscriber info for the phones of Juan Carlos Nunez, an associate of outfielder Melky Cabrera who was banned from big league clubhouses last year, and Porter Fischer, who was affiliated with the now-closed anti-aging clinic.

In addition, a subpoena was issued for Biogenesis and related entities in March, seeking records involving major leaguers and 70 banned substances. No players were mentioned by name.

It’s unclear how MLB was granted this power, but the AP story states that there’s nothing in the files to indicate that the companies planned to challenge the subpoenas. In fact, a spokesman for FedEx said that the company “complies with all valid subpoenas,” but declined any further comment. Meanwhile, a spokesman for AT&T said he was looking into the matter and spokeswoman for T-Mobile hasn’t responded to inquiries for comment.

Bosch has reportedly agreed to cooperate with MLB’s investigation, but since potential suspensions will likely result in a contentious appeals process from the players’ union, records from Fed-Ex, AT&T and T-Mobile could provide valuable evidence to add to his credibility.

  1. uyf1950 - Jun 6, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    Just to follow up on what the piece mentioned. I wasn’t aware that MLB had subpoena power.

    • ezthinking - Jun 6, 2013 at 11:33 PM

      It’s through the pending case.

    • hockeyflow33 - Jun 7, 2013 at 2:23 AM

      The courts do

    • pjmarn6 - Jun 7, 2013 at 6:01 AM

      Remember the Chicago Black Sox Scandal: The damage to the sport’s reputation led the owners to appoint federal judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis as the first Commissioner of Baseball prior to the start of the 1921 season. With the unprecedented powers granted to him by the owners, and using a precedent that saw Babe Borton, Harl Maggert, Gene Dale, and Bill Rumler banned from the Pacific Coast League for match fixing,[12] Landis placed all eight accused players on an “ineligible list”, banning them from major and minor league baseball. Comiskey supported Landis by giving the seven who remained under contract to the White Sox their unconditional release.
      So Selig the Commissioner of Baseball has a precedent. Does he stand idly by and let this get swept under the rug or does he try and ferret out the damaged goods.
      Anyone found using drugs should receive not a suspension but a ban. That is the only remedy that makes sense and will put the fear of God in these players. Their salaries are too high and the risks too low.
      The game is ruined as all the yard sticks, statistics are meaningless.
      The Philadelphia Bulletin published a poem which would quickly prove to be ironic:

      Still, it really doesn’t matter,
      After all, who wins the flag.
      Good clean sport is what we’re after,
      And we aim to make our brag
      To each near or distant nation
      Whereon shines the sporting sun
      That of all our games gymnastic
      Base ball is the cleanest one!
      It has gone full circle. The players don’t want a clean game and Selig should be applauded by trying to clean up the game. Bring the salaries back down to earth, ban the players. They knew what they were doing from the start was wrong and illegal and sue them to return the money they stole.

  2. wogggs - Jun 6, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    “It’s unclear how MLB was granted this power…”

    Generally, as an attorney, when you file a lawsuit, you can issue subpoenas for records from third parties. Sometimes you have to get a court to issue the subpoena, usually in blank with the court seal, but it is really no big deal. This is standard operating procedure in any case.

    • jwbiii - Jun 6, 2013 at 7:39 PM

      But didn’t they drop the case against Bosch in exchange for his cooperation? Do they have other suits in their closet?

      • Craig Calcaterra - Jun 6, 2013 at 9:04 PM

        They’re going to want to keep the case pending so they can issue subpoenas. Eventually the judge may ask them to dismiss it, but they have time.

  3. jfk69 - Jun 6, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    Bud Selig must really be pissed off at having to pay Braun. This is why you have an independent Baseball Commissioner. If I was the Networks I would want a refund on last contract based on the fact Selig loved the juice heads when they were generating feel good nightly news stories on make believe home run titles and record chases.

    • fanofevilempire - Jun 6, 2013 at 8:00 PM

      Selig is mad at players because attendance is down.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 6, 2013 at 8:57 PM

      If I was the Networks I would want a refund on last contract based on the fact Selig loved the juice heads when they were generating feel good nightly news stories on make believe home run titles and record chases.

      $7B in revenue last year, Dodgers were sold for almost $1.5B and network contracts are through the roof. The league is rolling in dough. Why are you complaining?

  4. jfk69 - Jun 6, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    THE GRAND INQUISITOR SELIG has the power over all. Here is an excerpt.from Buds rule book….
    “What is good for baseball and the owners is good for all Americans. We may use any means possible to arrive at a truth we I MEAN I deem correct. Further more..We will lock them out if necessary..Fans and contracts be damned.”

  5. jdvalk - Jun 6, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    I should subpoena MLB to open all of its books as I investigate their blackmail games which yielded untold billions in public funds for stadiums. Such an effort wouldn’t be a waste of time unlike this MLB crony cap power play.

  6. asimonetti88 - Jun 6, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    Who does MLB think they are, the NSA?

    • rightherenow123 - Jun 6, 2013 at 10:10 PM

      It is not even funny at this point, it is down right scary. I understand if they were arrested or distributing…unless the Feds were involved, but that is not the case. Plus, look what happened in all the other cases. A victim you will make….

  7. onbucky96 - Jun 6, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    Bud Selig=confused old man. See Bud. See me. See me flipping off Bud. See Bud holding his arms out just like at his tied All-Star game. Bud, don’t go away mad. Bud, just go away.

  8. rightherenow123 - Jun 6, 2013 at 10:08 PM

    This is getting creepier and creepier by the minute. If FedEx allows this, couldn’t any employer subpoena their employee in a civil matter for anything under the sun? Maybe you bought pills, sex toys, maybe you did it on company time? I do not get this one bit and it is scary as anything.

    Btw, found this….

    Can the company’s adversary subpoena the company’s internet service provider or telephone carrier and obtain relevant e-communications directly from the electronic service provider? The courts that have addressed this question have consistently held that a subpoena to an electronic service provider is unenforceable pursuant to the Federal Stored Communications Act of 1986 (the “Act” or “SCA”).2 The reason is that under the SCA, electronic service providers are not permitted to disclose electronically stored information (“ESI”) except in limited exceptions. A subpoena in a civil action is not an exception.

    • bla bla bla - Jun 7, 2013 at 6:44 AM

      Nice find.

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