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So, if MLB suspends Braun and A-Rod, what’s next?

Jul 9, 2013, 6:55 PM EDT

Home plate umpire Additon calls time as Tampa Yankees' Rodriguez grimaces after he was hit by a pitch during a Single A baseball game with the Brevard County Manatees in Melbourne Reuters

T.J. Quinn and Mike Fish reported Tuesday that MLB is prepared to suspend Ryan Braun, Alex Rodriguez and “as many as 20 players” in connection with the Biogenesis scandal “sometime after next week’s All-Star break.” Outside the Lines got this from several sources, some likely from within the commissioner’s office. MLB hasn’t been shy about leaking info in the case.

Of course, “after the All-Star break” is pretty general. One would think it’d have to be pretty much right around the All-Star break for there to be even a slim chance of any suspensions being served this year. It’s typically a couple of months between when a player is notified he tested positive for a banned substance and the appeals process plays out (which is all supposed to be happening in secret). In this case, it could be considerably longer, given that there aren’t any positive tests.  MLB may announce the suspensions all at once, but there are going to be 20 or so distinct cases here, all of which could be argued separately.

With the appeals process to be played out, it’s just not very realistic to think that anyone is going to end up serving suspensions this year. That’s true even though it’d seem to be best for Braun and A-Rod to serve suspensions now rather than next year, given the Brewers’ disappointing record and the state of Rodriguez’s hip. Braun hasn’t been willing to admit any wrongdoing, and hasn’t cooperated with MLB’s investigation. Does anyone think he’ll give up his right to appeal now?

There are also key figures for contenders in the mix. The Rangers’ Nelson Cruz and the Tigers’ Jhonny Peralta are among those rumored to be in line for suspensions. The Nationals’ Gio Gonzalez is mentioned in Biogenesis documents, though reports have him being in the clear since he obtained only legal substances.

If MLB wants to suspend the players, the time to do it is either now or after the World Series. Overshadowing the pennant races by doing it in August or September would be profoundly dumb. Even though MLB likes to parade its dirty laundry for all to see, it’s not that stupid. But even if the players are suspended now, this almost certainly will turn into an offseason matter. 12 weeks isn’t enough time to work through the biggest set of suspensions in league history.

  1. braddavery - Jul 9, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    Craig Calcaterra will crap a brick, trash the MLB for handing out the suspensions and support the players who were suspended and their appeals. That’s what will happen.

    • zacksdad - Jul 9, 2013 at 7:37 PM

      I think Craig has his whole investment portfolio in HGH and other performance enhancing drugs. He probably still thinks Lance Armstrong is innocent.

    • mybrunoblog - Jul 9, 2013 at 7:42 PM

      In the moments following the announcement of the 100 game suspensions expect Calcaterra to experience the following. Strong chest pains, racing heart, difficulty breathing, dizziness and a feeling of impending doom. Then the heavy stuff will set in and Calcaterra will simply turn to dust and disappear but not before leaving one final “in defense of cheaters” post.

      • Ben - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:09 PM

        i defy anyone to show me a single instance where CC was angry that someone was suspended. not that he has contempt for those who think steroids are the worst thing that ever happened, not that he believes that MLB failed in their efforts to prove Braun did it, but that he was genuinely upset that a player–such as ManRam, such as Melky, such as innumerable minor leaguers and AAAA types–was suspended.

        alternatively, show me one instance where he said that it’s okay for people to use steroids. just one.

        i bet you can’t. or, more likely, you show me something where you have to say “but what he really means is…”

      • Kevin S. - Jul 9, 2013 at 9:06 PM

        He was probably angry about JC Romero’s suspension.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jul 9, 2013 at 11:04 PM

      Yeah, due process and following prescribed rules…those things are for losers. We should just witch-hunt PED users, but only the ones we don’t like. Brian Roberts is a hero and Papi is a loveable teddy bear. Let’s upend labor harmony on the word of paid drug dealers.

    • kcfanatic - Jul 9, 2013 at 11:51 PM

      Hold on. Is it against the rules to purchase steroids or HGH? I don’t think so. While it is illegal to purchase I’m not sure that it is against the rules. These documents to not prove that any of these people took the substances. We know they did, but it isn’t proven. Can MLB suspend without a dirty test?

  2. banpeds - Jul 9, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    Suspensions are coming next week after the As game and there will be a few big unknown names getting suspended. MLB has so much real documented proof on these guys it is not even funny. check the court records if you want to see for yourslef how many people ahve cooberated and not jsut Tony B and Porter fisher. If any of the players appeal, they probably will never play again as no team would touch them. almost all of them will take their medicine and not appeal and be back playing for the last 20 or so games this year.

    • echech88 - Jul 9, 2013 at 7:42 PM

      Right.

      Remember when Melky Cabrera tested positive, lied, made a fake website to back up his lie and then just served it?

      Didn’t he get picked up by the Blue Jays and people even went as far as to praise it as a smart move?

      Remember Bartolo Colon? That guy that also tested positive and served his suspension? Isn’t he the A’s only representative next week in New York?

      Don’t fool yourself.

    • Ben - Jul 9, 2013 at 7:57 PM

      god you’re effing stupid.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 9, 2013 at 9:09 PM

        i appreciate that you went all ee cummings for the evening.

  3. captainwisdom8888 - Jul 9, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    So many asterisks…

    • Old Gator - Jul 9, 2013 at 7:30 PM

      No, those are black fly bites.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 9, 2013 at 11:08 PM

        SWAT!!!!!

  4. beavertonsteve - Jul 9, 2013 at 7:30 PM

    The only outcome that is certain here is that some lawyers will end up getting paid.

    • padraighansen - Jul 9, 2013 at 10:59 PM

      Not SOME lawyers. A lot of law firms. It’ll be interesting to see if Rob Manfred’s former firm is retained as counsel for any of the players or the Union.

  5. datdangdrewdundunituhgin - Jul 9, 2013 at 7:35 PM

    the lawsuits will fly fast and furious if any suspensions are handed out. no way in HELL players are gonna roll over and take a monetary loss for ALLEGED drug use and you’re naive if you think otherwise.

  6. dondada10 - Jul 9, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    Teams have ~80 games left. Teams who are going to lose players are better off with the suspensions happening sooner rather than later.

    • Ben - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:01 PM

      and i’d be better off if someone gave me a zillion dollars. whatever your fantasy is, the players are going to protect themselves. to think that they are going to do something for the good of the team, because a fan or group of fans or a group of sportswriters or because of appeals to some kind of morality is foolish at best and duplicitous at worst. i doubt anyone thinks that teams should pay players extra money for any reason, or that teams should go out of their way in any way in some kind of effort to play nice. it astounds me that so many people, who would not give up their rights in similar circumstances, ask others to simply roll over.

      • dondada10 - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:04 PM

        I never said the players won’t pursue appeals. I just said the teams are better served if the players just serve them.

        Just making small talk, friend.

  7. barkleyblows - Jul 9, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    Do it next year!!! Lifetime bans for these cheaters and criminals.

    • Ben - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:05 PM

      also astounding: people who call others cheaters and criminals–that is, people who criticize others for breaking the rules or breaking the law–who themselves have no respect for the rules or the laws according to which these cases are adjudicated. there is a Joint Drug Agreement that MLB is party to. the JDA is sanctioned by the US Constitution and the laws that follow from it. you can’t simply throw out the rules just because you’re really really pissed. if everyone is so guilty, if we know everyone really did it, why don’t we trust the process designed to catch them? and don’t tell me “technicalities.” all law is technical. it’s only a technicality that steroids are against the rules and against the law. it could be otherwise. that does not mean, btw, that i would like it to be otherwise, only that it could be but for the fact that someone or some group agreed as such.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jul 9, 2013 at 11:07 PM

        You and your logical reasoning are not welcome here! This is the Internet!!

      • basedrum777 - Jul 10, 2013 at 3:57 PM

        Actually this isn’t a case where due process is required. They’re not going to jail if they get caught they’re essentially being disciplined by their employer. If they don’t like the rules being dictated by the employer they can either sue to argue it was against some law (what they did) or you can find another job. They’re not be discriminated against so I don’t see that working. They’re being suspended from their jobs per an instance of breaking a rule established by their employer in conjunction with their union related to their conduct as employees.

    • DJ MC - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:28 PM

      You should really post under your own name, since your strategy is obviously to make sure you never have to serve on a jury.

  8. wheels579 - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    This whole thing is shaping up just like the NFL’s Bountygate. I’m sure everyone here would gladly accept suspensions without pay from their jobs without any positive drug tests and based on the testimony of dealers and proven liars desperate to cash in.

    • braddavery - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:17 PM

      You truly believe that MLB would levy suspensions to it’s players based SOLELY on the testimony of scoundrels, don’t you.

      • DJ MC - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:30 PM

        You don’t?

        When you are involved in a witch hunt, you tend to go off of the word of anyone claiming that they got turned into a newt.

      • paperlions - Jul 9, 2013 at 9:05 PM

        I have never been lied to by a person who was turned into a newt. Ever! True story.

      • braddavery - Jul 9, 2013 at 9:30 PM

        No, I don’t. The BioGenesis people will need actual evidence to back up their claims. MLB is not going to waste their time suspending players with no evidence whatsoever. Their not going to suspend anyone based ONLY on testimony. Get real.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jul 9, 2013 at 11:12 PM

        This is all very Kenneth Star. Make them get in front of a ruling body and ask about anything and everything…hopefully someone says something untrue (even if completely irrelevant to the original line of questioning) so we can create the appearance of moral turpitude. Then suspend him for that instead of the real issue which MLB will inevitably fail to prove. Classy.

        Take away that anti-trust exemption and let’s see how quick MLB is to alienate their players.

      • basedrum777 - Jul 10, 2013 at 4:00 PM

        You’re forgetting that they are associated with a known drug supplier who provided illegal banned substances to individuals. This isn’t whether they claimed too much charitable contribution on their tax return.

  9. wheels579 - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    Until I see credible evidence, yes. Paying said scoundrels for questionable documents and testimony seems inadequate to me. Perhaps my standards are too high.

    • ctony1216 - Jul 10, 2013 at 8:14 AM

      Right. Also, the source they quote for these stories (Anonymous) isn’t always the most reliable.

  10. onbucky96 - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:50 PM

    What happens when the players appeal? MLB fired the last arbitrator that ruled in Braun’s favor, you don’t think that’ll weigh in the decision of the new arbitrator? Bud, you disappoint me. Never come back to Wisconsin.

  11. soberlyf - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    Right now, about 40% of all pro ballplayers are breathing a sigh of relief that they weren’t clients of Bio, because most estimates have that number as the percentage who’ve at least done a cycle in their lives..it’s assumed that’s a conservative number. Doesn’t take a genius to figure out if a relief pitcher, a 41 yr old and a light-hitting 2nd baseman have already been busted, do you think the guys that get paid to drive a ball 475 feet use it? No, you don’t think so? Sorry boys, but your “ARod” has most likely juiced too, but he got caught so we don’t have to hate on a player not on the Yankees.

  12. soberlyf - Jul 9, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    Of course they’ll appeal, putting doubt they might be innocent is crucial. look at how we all believed Braun was framed (well, not me but I have a brain stem). With hundreds of millions at stake, the teams will insist they fight it.

  13. tgthree - Jul 9, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    Can someone please explain to me the grounds for objecting to these suspensions? I’m not a mindless steroid witch hunter. I think Barry Bonds is the home run king, and I think Mark McGwire should be in the Hall of Fame. But I do believe that they should punish the guys that they can catch.

    I get that there is some discomfort with the reputations of the Bosch and his cohorts, but I love how many commenters are saying “the players will appeal and take to the courts,” as if MLB doesn’t already know that. You can think Bud Selig is incompetent if you want, but this isn’t exactly the decision to end the 2002 All-Star Game in a tie. They’ve had an army of people–investigators, lawyers, baseball administrators–look at this and consider it and try to anticipate what will be the inevitable fallout. Not all those people are braindead, and I don’t buy either that Selig has the sort of absolute power that would allow him to singlehandedly push this through, if the lawyers were saying MLB’s case would never stand up in court in a million years.

    • paperlions - Jul 9, 2013 at 9:08 PM

      I think the issue most people have is that there doesn’t appear to be any actual evidence. Just the say so of known liars and con men (anyone that works for an anti-aging clinic is a conman) who are getting PAID for their cooperation. That doesn’t exactly scream reliability.

      I’ll reserve judgement until I see the evidence, if there isn’t any…well…that will make for a very flimsy case on MLBs part.

      • tgthree - Jul 9, 2013 at 9:16 PM

        And the issue I have with that stance is twofold:

        1) “There doesn’t appear to be any actual evidence.” There’s actually a massive incentive here for MLB to NOT reveal all its evidence up front.

        2) “[The testimony of known liars] doesn’t exactly scream reliability.” And these objectors think there is NO ONE involved in the process of deciding how to handle this investigation–not any upper-echelon MLB officials, not any insanely-paid lawyers or consultants–who understands that?

      • paperlions - Jul 9, 2013 at 9:23 PM

        I am just explaining why many people view the rumor of charges/suspensions with suspicion.

        There are plenty of highly paid and smart lawyers that pursue baseless cases because they think they can win them anyway. Indeed, those same smart lawyers put innocent people in jail every year (if the % of cases over tuned for guys on death row once DNA evidence became available is any indication, there are probably 100s to 1000s of innocent people in jail for murder).

        To date, no actual evidence has been provided. Indeed, even the “evidence” with Braun’s name on it didn’t mention any PEDs, just that he owed $30K with no explanation for what.

        Heck, MLB didn’t even reveal the proceedings from Braun’s appeal, wonder why that is?

        As I said, I am reserving judgment until I see what is presented…but MLB has shown that they are far more interested in witch hunts than in trusting and following the their CBA.

      • tgthree - Jul 9, 2013 at 9:45 PM

        First of all, I recognize and appreciate that you’re just playing devil’s advocate here, and that you personally are reserving judgment. But now my question is where you get your basis for saying the MLB has a history of being “far more interested in witch hunts than in trusting and following the their CBA.”

        I think jumping to any conclusions from the way MLB handles or doesn’t handle internal proceedings is folly. If I understand correctly, they are and were under no obligation to make the Braun proceedings or Biogenesis evidence public. How often do you see private organizations (read: companies) putting any more information in the public’s hands than they absolutely have to? It’s not always a question of corruption or wrongdoing behind the scenes.

        And as has been pointed out, and as MLB well knows, this particular mess is going to end up in court, where they’ll have to put all their cards on the table for the public. Perhaps their lawyers are acting (in concert with MLB officials) under a corrupt, witch-hunting motive. But I don’t see any evidence yet to draw that conclusion, and if they get away with it, unfortunately the courts are at fault for that and we may never know it.

      • padraighansen - Jul 9, 2013 at 11:13 PM

        You both – thankfully, I might add – are making well reasoned points. And I know PaperLions usually does. TGTree, welcome.

        I’m a bit suspicious of MLB as well. I know Rob Manfred was a brilliant Labor attorney when he was in private practice. He’s insanely smart, but also a bit of a wild card. To TGTree’s, point, you have to wonder if MLB feels they have sufficient proof to withstand appeals.

        On the flip side, though, always be cautious with organizations who leak “scoops” to reporters who will write the way the leak wants it written. By leaking this to ESPN, MLB has essentially invalidated the appeals process, and definitely the confidentiality of the JDA. The problem is that the reporters will never reveal their source, so it’s nearly impossible to tie the leak back to MLB. But they are out in front of the court of public opinion.

        Keep in mind, I’m not defending the players accused. I don’t know if any of the players that are maintaining their innocence actually used banned substances or not. I am, however, defending their right to be innocent before proven guilty, even though this is not a courtroom.

        I fully understand PED fatigue that many people have – from those who were let down by Armstrong to those that are sick of seeing the Bonds’ of the world breaking records with a needle in their butt.

        But something in the way this is being handled by MLB (and to a degree, by the MLBPA) absolutely stinks, and raises some red flags.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jul 9, 2013 at 11:19 PM

        MLB has shown that they are willing to put on a show of PED indignity in the name of saving face. The Mitchell report was largely theater. The Bonds and Clemens investigations and subsequent prosecutions were largely theater as well. MLB and the Union set up rules for handling PED violations, but MLB now seems to want to go above and beyond to make a statement. I can’t help but feel that it is personal with Braun and ARod, since perhaps MLB feels embarrassed by failing to catch them in any meaningful way previously.

        Against that backdrop, I am not willing to give MLB the benefit of the doubt in the case.

    • tgthree - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:43 AM

      padraighansen, the whole point I’m making is that MLB must feel like they have SOME leg to stand on in the inevitable appeals process that will follow, especially when you consider the high likelihood that such a process will end up being presided over by a judge rather than a league-friendly arbitrator. In general, baseball has been lauded for being ahead of the curve in its drug policies, especially compared to other sports leagues, so there’s a lot at stake for them. I’m not saying they have a smoking gun somewhere that we don’t know about, but given the number and caliber of people involved in this for MLB, I find it hard to believe that either (a) they’re oblivious to how hard the players will fight this; or (b) they think they can get away with just indiscriminately slinging 100-game suspensions around.

      As for the leaked information, it’s just hard to know the circumstances of the leak, but in these sorts of high-profile disputes/lawsuits, I just fully expect both sides to fight dirty. I don’t think Quinn’s report is heavily pro-MLB anyway.

      sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo, you’re entitled to your speculation, so long as you recognize that what you “can’t help but feel” is entirely subjective and not really grounded in fact. MLB and the Union set up rules for handling PED violations, and those rules INCLUDE the right and ability of the league to use circumstantial evidence to prove PED use. As for the theater piece, I can’t say I disagree with you. But I think it’s up to MLB to motivate its players to follow the rules, and if it takes a couple pieces of theater involving a couple guys who are not guilty in the eyes of the court but clearly not innocent by the standards of the game of baseball, so be it. In both cases, I posit that MLB got exactly the result it wanted, and if Bonds and Clemens are unhappy about that, maybe they shouldn’t have used PEDs in the first place. (Or, in Clemens’ case, maybe he shouldn’t have filed the lawsuit that resulted in his own name being publicly dragged through the mud.)

      I don’t understand what’s wrong with PED indignity, because I’m indignant about PED use (present PED use, that is, not Steroid Era PED use). Why does Major League Baseball exist if not to get me (the fan) what I want? They have to do that within the confines of the law, and of the CBA, of course, but I don’t think the Mitchell Report or either of the prosecutions you mentioned (again, remember Clemens initiated his own lawsuit) violated either of those.

  14. barkleyblows - Jul 9, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    Clearly the only way to get a head in life is by cheating.

    And when you get caught… Deny. Deny. Deny

  15. wheels579 - Jul 9, 2013 at 9:16 PM

    Sure. Why are they paying drug dealers and known liars for evidence or testimony? You wouldn’t object to a suspension without a positive test when a collectively-bargained testing policy is in place? When the CBA has provisions for suspensions without positive tests at 15-30 games while MLB may be seeking 50-100? When you’re being treated as a retroactive second-time offender without having committed a documented first offense? In other words, if this were a card game, you’d fold with all your chips in on the ASSUMPTION they have a great hand without wanting to see all their cards?

    • tgthree - Jul 9, 2013 at 11:01 PM

      1) Why not pay drug dealers and known liars for evidence and testimony? That’s cheap relative to the value of what you might turn up?

      2) I will admit that I have not read the CBA, but isn’t there a provision for suspensions based on circumstantial evidence?

      3) I absolutely think MLB should “seek” the maximum that it thinks it can get. That’s MLB’s job in my opinion, and that’s why there’s an official independent appeal process. You don’t see people get all up in arms when the league suspends a brawler for six games only to see it reduced on appeal. There’s a huge difference between a debate of suspension vs. no suspension and a debate of 100 games vs. 30 games.

      4) To be fair, Quinn’s report said they are “considering” treating Rodriguez as a second-time offender, and again there may be leeway in the CBA to count his public admission of use as a quasi-positive test. Couldn’t personally say for sure.

      5) I didn’t say I’d fold in this card game. I’m just objecting to all you folks who are going all in AGAINST the league.

  16. serbingood - Jul 9, 2013 at 9:35 PM

    Wow! If all the anger and hatred expressed here was directed to something meaningful, like Congress’ inability to hold anyone on Wall Street responsible for the financial mess we are in, or would use their energy to stop voting in the idiots that allow this crap to continue, the country would be better off and baseball would have the perspective that it needs. It’s a game played by overpriced ‘athletes’ with teams mostly owned by greedy multi-millionaires.

    There has been shame going on in baseball since day one. This approach of suspending players without a positive test smacks of McCarthyism. So we are back in the 50′s, guilty until proved innocent? Shameful.

    • bla bla bla - Jul 10, 2013 at 10:37 AM

      Yes, yes, yes… and yes.

  17. wheels579 - Jul 9, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    How did Bountygate work out for Roger Goodell? Did Vilma just take their word for it and take a year off with his career and reputation at stake? Did the NFL try that farce without all kinds of lawyers and consultants at their disposal? Did all the player suspensions hold up based on affidavits from individuals who first denied the allegations before reversing their stories to save their own bacon? If you didn’t follow that story, the answers are disastrous, no, no and no. Lots of tough talk and posturing suggesting a mountain of evidence, only to find out no such evidence was credible. Sound familiar? I’m waiting for credible proof this time. If it exists.

    • tgthree - Jul 9, 2013 at 11:14 PM

      1) I don’t think Bountygate was so disastrous for Goodell, except insofar as NFL fans will blame him for anything. The ruling that came from the judge and Tagliabue–with the judge basically concluding that coaches were responsible, not players (yeah, SURE) and even as Tagliabue vacated the players’ suspensions, he issued an outright statement that the players (except Fujita) had harmed the game of football–was the real farce. And after all of that, you can bet players are thinking twice before doing another bounty program.

      2) Of course Vilma did and would fight. So will the MLB players. There will be a court case if suspensions are issued. But the MLB will have a strong chance of winning that case, just as the NFL did.

      3) Yeah, the NFL did have lawyers and consultants. And their case turned out to be too weak, but hardly baseless or toothless.

      4) No, the suspensions didn’t hold up. But see point #1.

      I’m waiting for credible proof, but you’re not. By your tone and by even referencing Bountygate, you’re intimating that you think the league is witch hunting and there’s no chance this all stands up.

  18. wlouden77 - Jul 9, 2013 at 10:06 PM

    This is a sticky situation for MLB, especially where Braun is concerned. If any alleged evidence linking Braun to doping then the question will be when did it happen? If it was from when he was already suspended and successfully appealed then baseball could not legally suspend Braun. It is called double jeopardy. Braun could legally sue MLB for way more than he makes playing and have a good case.

    MLB has engaged in witch hunts and cast aside players before. Clemens and Bonds were accused but never tested positive. McGwire has been vilified in the past or doping but he told everyone what substance he was taking and baseball had no problem. Especially when he was electrifying fans and bringing butts back to seats after the strike.

    If these suspensions do indeed go down this season, it will cause an interesting set of circumstances where playoff races are concerned.

  19. wheels579 - Jul 9, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    The MLBPA will not allow suspensions to be served this season for anyone who utilizes the appeal process. The NFL couldn’t do it in far more than three months once the courts were involved and the MLBPA learned at the knee of Marvin Miller to fight tooth and nail to the very end in any situation. I also believe MLB is testing the new leadership of the players union. We’ll see how well that works out.

  20. wheels579 - Jul 9, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    Good luck with criminals & proven liars against defense attorneys, especially after you’ve paid them for their cooperation. Brian McNamee couldn’t even beat a crackpot like Rusty Hardin. Yes there is a provision for suspending without a positive test but I believe it is 15-30 games and this is where the liars and criminals factor in as your paid evidence suppliers. I do happen to “get all up in arms” over those brawl suspensions, especially when Hinske gets five games reduced to one – one game is all he should have received pre-appeal. The Quinn report on ARod is old news and they allegedly want the same from Braun for lying. Make of this what you will, but the point is that over zealousness is not practical especially when MLB needs MLBPA cooperation the next time the drug policy needs revision or once the CBA expires. Nailing Braun & ARod this way solves nothing except providing incentive for other Tony Bosches to get paid. This doesn’t clean up baseball.

    • tgthree - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:56 AM

      Just so you’re aware, by writing the first sentence of your post, you are saying that you, wheels579, are smarter than Bud Selig, Rob Manfred, Joe Torre, and all the legions of folks that they’ve hired to work on this investigation. Maybe you’re right, but just understand that that’s your implication. Because all those people I just mentioned are obviously taking their criminals and paid proven liars (and, perhaps, other evidence, by the way) against defense attorneys (assuming Quinn’s report is accurate). That’s the choice they’re making, and if you think they don’t recognize that there could be a slight problem going to court behind no one but Tony Bosch, you’re flat, dead wrong.

      Also, telling me what you “believe” the CBA says just makes you look bad when you end up being wrong. In section 7 of the JDA, titled “Discipline,” the number 15 appears exactly once, by my count: a player can receive a 15-game suspension under section 7.C.1 if he fails to comply with a treatment program for a “drug of abuse” (i.e., not a PED). The number 30 appears several times, but only modifying “days” (i.e., things that have to be done within 30 days of something else).

      It’s your prerogative to be upset about excessive suspensions, but again that’s what MLB is for, and it didn’t cost anyone anything for them to shoot high and get it reduced on appeal. I don’t think they are at all worried about MLBPA cooperation on the next CBA or JDA because public pressure is too high. The only way I see that this costs them is if it ends up all getting overturned, AND the public finds out that the MLB dragged innocent names through the mud needlessly. In other words, if you truly are smarter than all the people running MLB.

  21. wheels579 - Jul 9, 2013 at 11:46 PM

    Your logic on the NFL scandal is ridiculous. It was a huge embarrassment to Goodell and the league to have that backfire. Players will never trust him as long as he presides as judge, jury and executioner. If you can’t see the damage done by that failure, I don’t know what else to tell you.

    Your theory that I’m unwilling to wait for credible proof is incorrect and unfounded. I do not believe it will hold up based on known factors, but if MLB produces credible evidence before the process concludes, then players involved deserve punishment appropriate to their crimes. But I do not like how MLB is cooperating with criminals to suspend ball players who may be taking but not dealing illegal drugs and that hypocrisy weighs heavily on my conscience. That’s simply bad business. Get your evidence elsewhere, like with the testing system that you worked so hard to achieve.

    • tgthree - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:07 AM

      Bountygate is only a huge embarrassment to Goodell because how many of the people terming it an embarrassment have actually read Tagliabue’s 22-page ruling? Have you? Did you see the part where he said, “I affirm Commissioner Goodell’s factual findings as to the four players. I conclude that Hargrove, Smith and Vilma — but not Fujita — engaged in ‘conduct detrimental to the integrity of, and public confidence in, the game of professional football…’”? The damage was done because of misguided public perception, not because of the commissioner’s failure. And to be honest, the Commish, it seems, got exactly what he wanted. No one stopped watching the NFL because of this, and now you can bet he’s got a bounty-free league.

      With respect to your second point, if prosecutors couldn’t use other criminals for evidence…let’s just say there’d be a lot more murderers running around on the streets. And you’re still implicitly assuming that no more evidence will emerge. Getting evidence from the testing system, by the way, is ridiculous. Beating the tests, even the most advanced ones, will always be possible. This is how they’re going to have to catch people.

  22. rick1k6 - Jul 10, 2013 at 12:13 AM

    Maybe Snoop Lion will pray for them. He’s done it for others.

  23. wheels579 - Jul 10, 2013 at 2:32 AM

    You must be kidding me. So Braun and ARod are a greater detriment to society than a drug dealer? You think Bosch’s behavior is inferior to baseball players taking PEDs? Why have a drug testing system at all then if getting evidence that way is ridiculous? Why bother negotiating a CBA if you intend to circumvent? Saying that Bountygate created a bounty-free league is like saying Biogenesis will create a PED free MLB. Baseball has a 3 party arbitration panel – Roger Goodell is empowered to issue suspensions AND hear appeals. I never said or implied I knew more than Selig. Nor did I implicitly assume no more evidence will emerge. Burden of proof is on MLB. They MUST get this right. Ask yourself these questions: would you, as Selig, stake your reputation on the testimony AND evidence from shady characters? Did McNamee’s testimony work out for the prosecution? Would you disagree that witness credibility could become a serious problem for MLB? Is any of this enough to cause an independent arbiter to have reasonable doubt? If baseball or any sport existed to get you what you want, ticket prices, merchandise and TV packages would be affordable to everyone. And the A’s could move to SJ or Santa Clara to provide their fans with something better than the Al Davis memorial dump.

    • steelers1981 - Jul 10, 2013 at 8:06 AM

      Testing is a joke. They used to say that Lance Armstrong was the “Most Tested Athlete In The World” but most of us realize he was using performance enhancing drugs. People are convicted of crimes based on the word of bad people all the time but we aren’t throwing these players in jail, they are being suspended from work, which seems to me is more like a civil suit where the burden of proof is less. Your comment about Braun & Rodriguez being a greater detriment to society than a drug dealer is flawed logic. Baseball has no recourse to deal with anyone except those it employees

    • tgthree - Jul 10, 2013 at 11:01 AM

      And the whole point I’m making here is that when you say, “Burden of proof is on MLB. They MUST get this right. Ask yourself these questions: would you, as Selig, stake your reputation on the testimony AND evidence from shady characters?”, you’re acting like MLB doesn’t already know that, or hasn’t thought about that. They absolutely do, and they absolutely have. The implication of no more evidence, and of you being smarter than Selig arises from the fact that you’re being critical of MLB on the basis of an assumption that they are issuing suspensions with nothing but flaky testimony that, based on what we know, seems to have almost no chance of standing up in arbitration, let alone in court. If you were open to the possibility of more evidence and/or the presence of a handful of non-dunces among top MLB officials and their lawyers, then there would be no reason to be critical at this time.

      I’m not sure where you’re getting the notion that Braun and Rodriguez are greater detriments to society than drug dealers. I’m merely pointing out that getting testimony from criminals is common in legal proceedings of all kinds, and yes, MLB and its lawyers are well aware that there’s a credibility issue there. Having a drug testing system is useful because it catches SOME offenders, but thinking testing alone will ever clean up the game is just as silly as thinking there shouldn’t be one at all.

      I don’t know that Biogenesis will create a PED-free MLB, but if these guys face months and months worth of appeals and court cases (with all the attendant expenses), you can bet that will be one more deterrent to PED use. I’m not saying MLB should accuse people indiscriminately just to make an example, but I think everyone is pretty confident that going after guys like Braun and Rodriguez is quite the murder of innocents.

      And finally, your two statements at the end don’t logically counteract my point that MLB exists to please its fans. Ticket prices, merchandise and TV packages aren’t meant to be “affordable to everyone.” They’re meant to be offered at a price the collective fans are willing to pay, and I think we can conclusively conclude that people are willing to pay the current prices. And while I do think the A’s will eventually be moved, the reason why they’re being held up is also in a way about getting fans what they want: exclusive rights. How happy would Rangers fans be if someone plopped a new team down in Fort Worth? I get that the process has been long and bureaucratic, but there’s actually a legitimate, fan-oriented reason why the A’s move needs to be handled with care.

  24. uueyell - Jul 10, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    How could the MLB not suspend these players? (except Gio) Wasn’t the precedent set when they threw the book at Manny for a prescription (not a failed test) from the exact same ‘doctor’?

  25. modellforprez - Jul 10, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    fuck u mean whats next. these cheating bitches can sit & watch real ball players who know they dont need to cheat. if Modelly was commish im tellin yous right now i would Pete rose their asses. you wanna make a mockery of Americas past time you can flip off. especially this cocky arrogant piece of shit ryan Bum. so if there is all these * in baseball i move to have any and all of the suspendeds awards M.V.P’s anything these dudes have won. GONE. And a Big big F.U to A-Roid this dude has been juicing for years. and while im on it. any drug addict is gone like ya boy in anaheim the crackhead he would finito. the game deserves better. the FANS YES THE FANS that spend their hard earned money def deserve better. SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING

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