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Suspensions likely in Biogenesis probe

Jun 19, 2013, 1:32 PM EDT

Ryan Braun AP AP

Jon Heyman talks to some MLB insiders and reports that, yes Virginia, suspensions are looming in the Biogenesis scandal:

Major League Baseball has started interviewing big leaguers linked to the Miami PED investigation, and people who have spoken to MLB investigators are convinced there will be at least some suspensions handed down in the explosive case.

This is just speculation on my part, but given that Heyman tends to be more plugged-in on the player/agent side, those “people who have spoken to MLB investigators” could very well be the lawyers and/or agents for players interviewed. Worth noting that, in my experience, when your client is interviewed by authorities of any type, they tend have a good sense of how much trouble they’re in.

So if suspensions are coming, that leads one to ask (a) when?; and (b) will it be public?  For as Heyman also notes, one of the more interesting issues is whether or not MLB is obligated to keep the names of suspended players confidential pending their appeal.  MLB believes that they don’t have to if the names have already been made public, many of which have here. The union believes, however, that per the Joint Drug Agreement, suspensions can only be announced after appeals have run their course.

My reading of the JDA supports the union side. But practicality suggests that keeping it confidential will be close to impossible due to the fact that the appeals here will involve multi-day and possibly multi-week hearings with players and lawyers going back and forth and into and out of office buildings on offdays or, quite possibly, game days. It’s gonna be known.

Anyway: brace yourselves. A circus is coming.

  1. baseballici0us - Jun 19, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    Hi Craig – After is all set and done “within” baseball, is it possible for players to sue/appeal to federal courts?

    • Joe - Jun 19, 2013 at 1:46 PM

      I imagine if they believe the CBA is violated they could sue.

      • baseballici0us - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:10 PM

        Gotcha. It just seems that MLB is going way out of it’s way (and beyond the boundaries of it’s authority).

      • baseballici0us - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:10 PM

        PS: Thanks.

      • cjasfenton - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:37 PM

        It depends on the language of the CBA, which I admittedly don’t have on hand. Most of the sports CBA’s (and in fact most in general now a days) require all disputes under the CBA be handled via arbitration. An appeal to the courts on the arbitrator’s decision can only be overturned on the loosey-goosey standard of whether the arbitrator violated the “spirit or essence” of the CBA. Even if that happens, the court can’t decide the issue. It has to go back to the arbitrator to try again. That’s why you rarely, if ever, see an arbitration decision actually appealed.

  2. kollin7 - Jun 19, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    I’m so tired of this story. I’m just ready to see how it ends. And really did anyone ever really care that much about this story?

    • dwrek5 - Jun 19, 2013 at 1:49 PM

      This is just the beginning my friend…

      • badintent - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:55 AM

        Put your helmet on , strap your seatbelt on , and light up a fat one, it ‘s gonna get Reallllly weird.Bud will don his Viking helmet, and call on the ghosts of Vince , The Judge and Bowie to give him the Messiah power of the Gods. With hockey and NBA almost done, the mess will dominate the headlines for months…………………….

    • natslady - Jun 19, 2013 at 3:06 PM

      • stlouis1baseball - Jun 19, 2013 at 3:17 PM

        Totally uncalled for Lady!

      • natslady - Jun 19, 2013 at 3:25 PM

        @STL, that is for people–ok, females–who are tired of biogenesis stories. It’s by request.

      • sabatimus - Jun 19, 2013 at 3:51 PM

        I bet he’s wearing a cup under that…though I don’t want confirmation.

      • evanwins - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:28 PM

        You’re a stalker Natslady. Give it a rest and realize no one cares about Harper in his underwear the way you do and stop shoving that fucking picture in everyones face.

        Besides that he’s proving himself to be quite a clown. (The only self-proclaimed Baseball Warrior who will “never stop playing hard” while at the same time also says he “should have gone on the DL weeks before” he did)

        You need help with your weirdo psycho-ex-girlfriend stalker routine over a guy you never met. Get help before you go shooting someone to get his attention.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:49 PM

        Yeah! It’s unconscienable how you shoved that in his face by posting the link for him to click on of his own free will. I mean, it didn’t even forewarn you with “bryce+Harper+underwear+images” in the url. Dammit, woman!

      • Ben - Jun 19, 2013 at 5:15 PM

        Downvoted for using Bing. C’mon!

  3. jxegh - Jun 19, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    And what will Braun’s excuse be this time?

    • sabatimus - Jun 19, 2013 at 3:57 PM

      Given how unsavory MLB is, he shouldn’t need one.

  4. specialkindofstupid - Jun 19, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    Sounds exciting. No, wait, that’s not the word I meant. Boring. It sounds very boring.

    • Liam - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:24 PM

      Interesting. No, wait, the other thing: tedious.

      • number42is1 - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:33 PM

        I feel so full of … what’s the opposite of shame?

      • paperlions - Jun 19, 2013 at 3:41 PM


      • Old Gator - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:58 PM


  5. heyblueyoustink - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    Circuses can be entertaininng, even if they try to sell you a unicorn goat for a unicorn.

    Also, whatever happened to being suspended as a mark of being cool. Now when I hear the word I shudder like a chilling breeze is passing by.

    • historiophiliac - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:15 PM

      That’s a clown comment, bro.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jun 19, 2013 at 3:06 PM

        Taco Bell…w/ lots of fire sauce.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:19 PM

      Are you trying to tell me that a Unicorn is better than a Unicorn Goat?
      What makes a regular Unicorn better than the Goat variety of a Unicorn?
      Moreover…what if I have room for the Unicorn Goat but NOT enough space for the regular ole’ full-size Unicorn? And what about the cost differences? I guarantee you a Unicorn Goat is far cheaper to own the a regular ole’ full-size Unicorn. Additionally, Unicorn Goats are more exotic. You see Unicorns everywhere. People are always talking about them.
      Almost as if they are as common as regular household pets.
      You NEVER…EVER…see and/or hear about a Unicorn Goat. You aren’t an expert Blue.
      I will own whatever type of Unicorn I want.
      It’s my choice. Not yours.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:39 PM

        Damn. What’d you have for lunch?

      • heyblueyoustink - Jun 19, 2013 at 3:21 PM

        St Louis, that makes my work day much smoother

      • heyblueyoustink - Jun 19, 2013 at 5:38 PM

        B.T.B, the only redeeming thingTom Cruise has really done was save the last of the unicorns.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jun 19, 2013 at 5:59 PM

      Risky business wasn’t too bad. And I was (still am)…a big fan of Rain Man.
      But yeah…Tom Cruise. Pffft!

  6. dondada10 - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    What these guys, and non Biogenesis users, did is wrong and should result in suspensions.

    Still, I can’t help but feel that Selig is making up for a career of looking the other way with a good old fashion earth scorching.

    • flamethrower101 - Jun 19, 2013 at 6:25 PM

      If he truly is, I give him “some” credit for trying, keyword “some”. But if this is just some sort of witch hunt – and the more time passes, the more I’m starting to believe it is – then he’s only going to have more egg on his face if his pursuit fails, especially if it turns out by some miracle that Braun, A-Rod and everyone else listed in the documents did use use or purchases PED’s.

  7. sdelmonte - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    Hey, how come nothing here about today’s A-Rod tidbit from the Daily News? Which I found rather spurious, so maybe it’s best we skip it.

  8. rhmurphy - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    But I was told that Biogenesis was a bunch of crap! And then I was told that suspensions couldn’t possibly result from all this and that baseball was just wasting everyone’s time!

    When the suspensions come through, can we have a mashup of all the condescending snark published?

    This labor fetish is the biggest blind spot among analytically-minded sports journalists right now.

  9. nbjays - Jun 19, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    “The union believes, however, that per the Joint Drug Agreement, suspensions can only be announced after appeals have run their course.”

    Of course! Isn’t this how things are supposed to work? I mean, look at the Ryan Braun case in 2011… oh, wait…

    Yeah, the union can believe what it wants, but Smug Bud and his minions have never been ones to follow the JDA or any other agreements.

    • flamethrower101 - Jun 19, 2013 at 6:29 PM

      MLB and MLBPA continue to insist that the Ryan Braun leak was an “isolated incident” and that they know who did it. But they have never made that name public and frankly I think they should. They at least owe it to Braun. His rights in the Joint Drug Agreement were violated when his positive test was leaked to the media.

      I’m not ignoring that he tested positive. That is a red flag. But the fact that MLB has seemingly ignored that fact while still going after Braun is an even redder flag. If that test is never leaked, we never hear about Braun’s successful appeal, and we’d still be under the illusion that nobody has ever successfully appealed a test.

  10. bankboy2012 - Jun 19, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    Just follow the kangaroos and you’ll find the hearings.

  11. sabatimus - Jun 19, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    Awesome. I hope this means Bud will get suspended.

  12. baseballer28 - Jun 19, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    I hope they nail Gio to the wall. Piece of shit threw 92-94 in oakland and then comes east and starts hittin 97? 98? get outta here with that, not to mention he’s bigger physically and has that ‘swelled” look to him. I don’t believe his story for one minute.

    • evanwins - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:34 PM

      Yeah, everyone was going to biogenesis for PED’s but not Gio….Noooo, he was going for legitimate treatment. Such an odd clinic to chose for actual real medical treatment though, isn’t it?

    • paul621 - Jun 19, 2013 at 5:46 PM

      Did he kick your dog, too? Glancing at pitch info on fangraphs, it doesn’t look like he’s ever hit 98. Maybe 97 an insignificant number of times. In his 2 full seasons with the A’s, 2010 and 2011, he averaged 92.2 and 92.8. With the Nats, he’s been 93.3 and 92 .8. So yeah, 98. And don’t get me started on the unprecedented addition of muscle in his mid-20s! That POS.

    • rarson - Jun 19, 2013 at 9:30 PM

      Snore. PEDs don’t improve your aim or make you a better pitcher. Throwing balls faster doesn’t necessarily make you harder to hit. Personally, I don’t give a shit about PEDs because PEDs don’t make players better… hard work and intelligence make players better.

      • dwdive - Jun 20, 2013 at 12:00 AM

        you are an idiot. If Barry Bonds didn’t take everything under the sun X10, he wouldn’t be the all time HR leader, and would have never set any single season records either. In fact, he’s not the only one, but the most obvious one. He went from hitting 25-30 HR’s a yr, to 50-71? STOP THE MADNESS ALREADY. Wake up dumba$$

      • rarson - Jun 20, 2013 at 12:14 AM

        Yeah? Maybe you should check the statistics of the “PED era” versus modern numbers. Did PEDs enable Bonds to see the ball better? Was Bonds the only person using PEDs at that time, or are you just the dumbest idiot to ever pound out an argument on a computer keyboard? My bad, that’s an exaggeration, but reality is obviously closer to the second option than the first.

        So according to you, if I want to hit 60 HRs in a single season, all I have to do is take PEDs. Awesome. I can be a Major League slugger just by doping. Time for me to go make millions.

  13. yashraba - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:06 PM

    I guess I’m just naive but I don’t see how MLB can suspend players based on a handwritten list of players names. Don’t they need concrete evidence in the form of possession of PED’s or a positive test result or does the JDA really allow suspensions to be given based on pure heresay? Braun tested positive and the union still got him off on a technicality, how can they let multiple players get suspended with zero tangible evidence?

    • evanwins - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:39 PM

      I think the MLBPA is going to start acting in the best interest of the MAJORITY of the players – the ones that dont cheat using PED’s as opposed to putting up a big fight for the ones that did.

      It’s my guess that this case will be very different from all previous ones and therefore move a lot quicker with less resistance.

      Players are tired of the cheaters prospering while the straight ones aren’t and there have been a lot of players’ comments saying exactly this.

  14. mvp43 - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    Is Bud really trying to clean up the game or just really pissed that Braun’s appeal was successful?

    Whether Braun was (really) guilty or not shouldn’t matter in this case. What should matter is that his test results were leaked and were not supposed to be known to any of us. Braun would’ve won his appeal and nothing would’ve been said. Braun’s the one who should sue MLB for their negligence. I have no doubt that other players have popped on their tests and won their appeals, but never in the public eye……. which is why Bud is on this witch hunt.

    • flamethrower101 - Jun 19, 2013 at 6:39 PM

      I think Bud Selig and MLB do not give a damn that the results were leaked, which is odd because it’s directly in the Joint Drug Agreement. If it turns out this is just a witch hunt and they are dead wrong about the players I would not be shocked to see A-Rod & Braun sue MLB (if for nothing else just because their egos are so inflated it’s ridiculous. Still)

  15. muskyhunter2542 - Jun 19, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    Nothing to see here people… Move along, nothing happening!!!

  16. muskyhunter2542 - Jun 19, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    Please correct me if I’m wrong. But, wasnt the whole Ryan Braun thing about him testing positive for a banned substance and not a PED?

    • stlouis1baseball - Jun 19, 2013 at 5:58 PM

      Just a hunch…but I am betting you are wrong.

  17. 13arod - Jun 19, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    They can’t suspended anybody yet they have to have all the evidence it isn’t fair to the ball players I would sue MLB

  18. 13arod - Jun 19, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    And the CBA says the can’t suspended anybody without failed drug test so I don’t thing suspensions will be handed

  19. sickcub - Jun 19, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    Although everyone knows Braun is guilty, I can’t see how he gets suspended this time. Too many sketchy characters on both sides.

  20. scdocal - Jun 19, 2013 at 10:40 PM

    Evanwins ur an idiot. Let the lady have her fun and you know you don’t have to click on the link. I say fuck the players that used don’t care if they didn’t piss dirty. If they have documents showing that they payed for shit and money was exchanged then I am okay with that. Braun dagger that carrier threw the mud and probably won’t be able to find a job cause he pissed dirty and diet want people to find out. Are people really standing up for Arod. Dudes as guilty on.

    • rarson - Jun 20, 2013 at 12:07 AM

      I’m not standing up for A-rod (I hate the guy on a personal level), but I am standing up for the fact that PEDs don’t magically make great baseball players. PEDs won’t make you see the ball better and they won’t make you choose better pitches. Hell, they won’t even make you bigger unless you bust your ass in the weight room. PEDs by themselves do nothing. If anything, baseball would probably be better served by actually regulating them and ensuring players are using them safely, and that all players have equal access to the stuff they’re going to use anyway to give themselves the best performance edge (here’s a hint: the competitive edge disappears once everyone has equal access).

      The only problem I see with PEDs is that the old fogies who think that stats and records mean everything think they taint the game because they don’t understand that the game constantly changes anyway. Can we really compare Ty Cobb’s numbers to a modern player when Cobb played in a time when half the rules that we have now didn’t even exist back then? Just accept the fact that regardless of PEDs, direct comparisons are weak at best and pretty much meaningless. Great players are great players within their own time, regardless of who is using what (as if those old guys weren’t “enhancing” their own performances by whatever means were available back then).

      Times change, rules change, the game itself changes. Accept it and move on. Let’s put player safety first instead of trying to make excuses for why great players who aren’t on our favorite team suck.

  21. scdocal - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:32 AM

    PEDs make you stronger. Guys in the minors have good enough eye hand coordination they usually just don’t have the strength. So all these guys busting their shit to make it to bigs the right way will never make it because the bonds’ and the arods who put up these gaudy numbers. I say stick it to them, hand down longer punishments and hopefully we can get back to the good ol days of baseball. Maybe wishful thinking I know

  22. scdocal - Jun 20, 2013 at 1:38 AM

    Rarson don’t you think you the integrity of the game might be compromised a bit. H are not seriously saying let players cheat. Name a player that doesn’t use the weight ? Baseball is a game of numbers and statistics and allowing players to use would open up pandora a box on a whole other bunch of problems. Stupidest thing comment ever.

  23. maynardstool - Jun 20, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    The brewers would be lucky to get any Braun suspension out of the way this year. They’re terrible,

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