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A-Rod’s camp denies the 150-game plea bargain discussion report

Jul 15, 2013, 9:00 AM EDT

Yesterday the New York Daily News reported that A-Rod and Major League Baseball were discussing a plea deal that would land him a 150-game suspension in lieu of gambling over a potential lifetime ban in the event he took an appeal of any Biogenesis-related discipline to arbitration. The report described a shaken A-Rod following his meeting with Major League Baseball on Friday.

Later in the day, however, his team denied the report:

 

We’re into he-said, he-said land. Or he-said, he-didn’t-say. It’s pretty impossible to know what’s really going on here given all of the agendas at play. MLB is obviously getting tough and is trying to send messages, but they also want to be seen being tough and sending a message, so it may lend itself to leaks and reports that aren’t exactly on the mark. Meanwhile, A-Rod and other players want to defend themselves — and to be seen as defending themselves so that maybe players don’t think they’re wavering — but they could still be trying to mitigate the fallout if MLB’s case against them is strong.

The most significant thing about plea deal talk? The idea that there can be plea deals in the context of a drug testing/punishment regime that is supposed to be an exercise in zero-tolerance and mechanical justice. A program that isn’t supposed to be about negotiation and leverage because such things introduce uncertainty into a program that isn’t supposed to carry any, by design.

Maybe the unique circumstances of the Biogenesis case necessitate that. But I feel like baseball’s drug program is going to be permanently affected by what transpires before this is all said and done.

  1. jeffbbf - Jul 15, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    Oh….right. MLB is leaking the story because they want to seem to be tough. Just one big conspiraccy theory.

    Tough would be banning ARod for life – not giving him an alternate out. Even if ARod won on appeal of such a ban, it would have to scare the hell out of any user.

    • bigharold - Jul 15, 2013 at 11:37 AM

      “..MLB is obviously getting tough and is trying to send messages, but they also want to be seen being tough and sending a message,..”

      That’s exactly what MLB is doing, .. fight the PR war against suspected PED users by waging it against the highest profile most controversial player, .. i.e. the easiest target. If they were pulling this on some journeyman infielder they’d look like what they are, .. “the biggestest scumbags on earth”. Does it not bother you that a 150 game suspension isn’t even allowed for in the CBA? Madden, in the NYDN, is suggesting a punishment that doesn’t exist. Do you think the union will allow MLB to make it up as they go along?

      This is all propaganda. As a first time offender, A-Rod is in line for a 50 or at most 100 game suspension. Unless MLB wants to get a Kenesaw Mountain Landis on A-Rod, and have this drag out for another season.

      • pjmarn6 - Jul 15, 2013 at 7:12 PM

        Bigharold. Think before your type. The PR war means nothing. It is what is going to happen in court that is going to affect the athletes that are using drugs or contemplating using drugs.
        The 50 game suspension is for a player who “TESTS POSITIVE FOR BANNED SUBSTANCES”.
        None of the players so far mentioned have tested positive recently for the banned substances. Have you seen any information about proven positive test results.
        THINK! The 150 game suspension is being bandied about due to evidence and reports that the drugs were taken and not found. There is so much misinformation, I can not keep up with it and neither can anyone else. We have to wait for the charges and the legal process to play out.
        The CBA will have to wait like the rest of us. The MLB is not going to make up anything that can not stand up in court. Players are lined up to testify. There always be a few who crack and the whole house of cards will fall down.
        This is no propaganda. There are facts and details behind the charges.
        Get your facts right and stop YOUR PROPAGANDA!

      • bigharold - Jul 15, 2013 at 9:46 PM

        “Think before your type”

        Try taking your own advise. What part of “..A-Rod is in line for a 50 or at most 100 game suspension.” is not registering.

        “This is no propaganda. There are facts and details behind the charges.”

        The point is MLB is currently waging a PR war in the hopes of scaring A-Rod and the rest into taking any deal that comes there way. Realistically, MLB can’t give A-Rod more than a 50 suspension for a Biogenesis violation and perhaps another 50 for impeding the investigation, .. if they can prove that he did.

        Next time try reading what was posted.

  2. gothapotamus90210 - Jul 15, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    The language in the JDA is very vague regarding evidence other than convictions/failed drug tests. Only minor leaguers have been suspended with “other” evidence, and they aren’t protected by the CBA. I think any player who gets suspended via means of other evidence should and will fight the MLB tooth and nail. At this point, it seems like the MLB is merely running a smear campaign against those who they believed obtained PEDs via Biogenesis.

    Go ahead, Bud, make your last stand as commissioner. But you’ll always be the commissioner who turned a blind eye to PEDs to increase interest in baseball after the strike of ’94 happened on your watch.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 15, 2013 at 9:39 AM

      I think any player who gets suspended via means of other evidence should and will fight the MLB tooth and nail.

      IANAL, but Wendy Thurm is. In this article for fangraphs, she outlines how Selig can suspend players without a positive test, AND, they only recourse for the players is to appeal directly to him.

      http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/is-selig-preparing-to-use-the-nuclear-option/

      • paperlions - Jul 15, 2013 at 10:26 AM

        That won’t be their only recourse….as we saw with the Saints bounty suspensions last year. This is going to be a mess. MLB would be better off just leaving this shit alone and relying on failed tests for suspensions. This will probably end up just like the NFL situation, long, ugly, expensive, bad PR for the league, and unsatisfying to all involved.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 15, 2013 at 10:56 AM

        I’m not sure if bountygate applies here. Do the players have a recourse in federal court (any lawyers want to step in)? Also, remember that Tagliabue agreed that the players did everything they were accused of, but overturned the suspensions b/c there was no precedent for a year long ban. Other people were fined for running bounty programs.

      • pilferk - Jul 15, 2013 at 12:48 PM

        There is precedent for them to take this to the courts, specifically on the grounds that MLB is violating the language of the JDA. Thats not an arbitrator issue, it’s one of contract law. From what I know of the JDA, it has language that protects players from double jeopardy (being punished twice for the same crime) AND over how specific infractions are handled (ie: if MLB attempts to levy 1 150 game suspension, they will violate the agreement which would state the player should be able to appeal each infraction separately…or the 50 game suspension THEN the 100 game suspension).
        Now…Selig could try to tack on the 100 games in relation to “conduct detrimental to the game”…but that appeal would need to be handled outside the JDA violation appeal.
        In essence, what’s being reported makes no sense in the context of what’s actually written in the JDA.
        And I wish the media/reporters would address that.

      • pilferk - Jul 15, 2013 at 12:53 PM

        To be clear..the reason the 100 games would be outside the JDA is that the “conduct detrimental” suspension is covered, specifically, in the CBA.
        That’s outlined in the article, above, too.
        But that’s not exactly what’s being reported….

    • chip56 - Jul 15, 2013 at 11:36 AM

      Actually I would say that Bowie Kuhn, Bart Giamatti, Fay Vincent turned as much of a blind eye to PED use in baseball in their terms as Commissioner as Bud did. The only difference is that unlike his predecessors, Bud worked with the Union to get testing and punishments on the books.

      • bigharold - Jul 15, 2013 at 11:50 AM

        I’m not so sure about Kuhn, but you have a point. By the time Selig took over roids were all the rage, (did I just type that?).

        And, keep in mind that MLB was getting it’s collective ass licked every time it bumped heads with the union so it’s neither surprising nor unwarranted concerning their reflectance to fight the union on this. In fact, Donal Fehr, head of the union from 1986 to 2009, has far more responsibility. He was there pretty much from the beginning up until just recently. While I understand his tenacity while protecting the players from the owners, he failed to protect the players from each other. How many guys lost their jobs as a result of there not willing to use PEDs to guy that had no problem using them?

      • chip56 - Jul 15, 2013 at 12:10 PM

        I’m curious if the current provisions would have been agreed upon by the Union if Fehr was still running it.

      • bigharold - Jul 15, 2013 at 12:30 PM

        No way. I’m sure Fehr was approached in the 90s about testing which he wasn’t going for. The tipping point came with the Congressional hearings. Interestingly, McGwire’s testimony likely put them over the edge. In my opinion, the Union was worried Congress would start regulating sports drug testing so the union caved. Otherwise, the MLB players union never gives an inch.

  3. proudlycanadian - Jul 15, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    The New York Daily News got a story wrong! Who would have thunk it?

    • bigharold - Jul 15, 2013 at 11:28 AM

      Because, Madden who at one time was a fairly reasonable sports columnist has morphed into a mouthpiece for MLB.

    • chip56 - Jul 15, 2013 at 11:39 AM

      We don’t know that the News got the story wrong, just that Alex’s camp is denying it. I’m sure if the News wrote Alex was a self-absorbed narcissist his camp would deny that too – doesn’t mean the story’s wrong.

      • bigharold - Jul 15, 2013 at 11:54 AM

        How about the part were he’s suggesting a remedy that doesn’t exist?

        If you’ve read him on this topic it seems clear Madden is either being used, and he’d have to know it, by MLB or he REALLY hates A-Rod.

      • chip56 - Jul 15, 2013 at 12:09 PM

        What makes you think the remedy doesn’t exist? Just because it hasn’t been publicly mentioned as an option doesn’t mean it’s not out there.

        A zero tolerance policy doesn’t mean that deals can’t be brokered, just means that the use won’t be tolerated under any circumstances.

      • bigharold - Jul 15, 2013 at 12:46 PM

        While there can be something to debate regarding what constitutes a violation, i.e. it can be something other than a failed screening, the punishment for them is clear. First offense, 50 games, second offense 100 games, third offense life time ban. They can add 50 games if it’s deemed one obstructs the investigation. This is A-Rod’s first offense, 50 games plus maybe another 50 if they deemed that he obstructed. And, since they don’t have a failed screening, otherwise we’d know it already cause MLB can’t/won’t live up to it’s side of the agreement either, they will have to produce evidence. Which may or may not make their case. Considering the dirt bags they’re using and the methods they’ve employed to acquire that evidence I hope it’s compelling.

        Unless, MLB wants to try some Dean Wormer double secret probation nonsense there is no 150 game suspension for A-Rod, therefore Madden’s suggested punishment doesn’t exist.

      • chip56 - Jul 15, 2013 at 12:50 PM

        Based on what was in the article (the 150 game aspect of it) what I gather is that MLB has evidence that shows multiple violations of the JDA. It could be that what MLB has said is that they can go after him for all the violations which would result in a lifetime ban, or he can accept guilt for two of them which would result in 150 game ban (50 for the first offense, 100 for the second).

      • pilferk - Jul 15, 2013 at 12:59 PM

        The JDA is very specific about what constitutes “double jeopardy” (punishing a player for the same violation, twice) and what constitutes an incident of violation.

        In this case, there is nothing in the JDA that would allow MLB to chalk this up to 2 violations of the JDA. It might want to, but the contract language is very specific.

        In addition, if there were 2 violations…each one would have to be handled (including the appeals process) completely separately…because if the player wins the first appeal, the 2nd violation would become the defacto 1st violation, and the appeal process would start all over.

      • chip56 - Jul 15, 2013 at 1:18 PM

        If MLB offered Alex a plea, I assume that in exchange for not going after him for multiple separate violations that could lead to a lifetime ban Alex would be agreeing to waive any appeal process for the first two violations.

        As for “this case” can we just all be adults and accept the fact that we have no effing clue what MLB has or doesn’t have in terms of evidence against Rodriguez or any other player?

      • pilferk - Jul 15, 2013 at 1:29 PM

        But that’s the point, chip.

        The JDA defines what can be used as an infraction. And no double jeopardy. This would, by every reported account (and by the language in the JDA), count as one infraction. Because it covers one pattern of continuous behavior and one instance of “other evidence related to or exhibiting” use. MLB can’t (or, rather, they can, but they’re going to fight it out in the courts if they try) just randomly say “this counts as two”. He has no previous suspensions…so all activity prior to levying the suspension counts as “Infraction one”.
        A “plea deal” makes very little sense, and there is absolutely no accomodation for one in the JDA.

      • pilferk - Jul 15, 2013 at 1:34 PM

        But that’s the point, chip.

        The JDA defines what can be used as an infraction. And no double jeopardy. This would, by every reported account (and by the language in the JDA), count as one infraction. Because it covers one pattern of continuous behavior and one instance of “other evidence related to or exhibiting” use. MLB can’t (or, rather, they can, but they’re going to fight it out in the courts if they try) just randomly say “this counts as two”. He has no previous suspensions…so all activity prior to levying the suspension counts as “Infraction one”.
        A “plea deal” makes very little sense, and there is absolutely no accomodation for one in the JDA.

        To be clear: The only way there could be 2 violations is if someone unrelated to Biogenesis was providing evidence that Arod used OUTSIDE the time frames covered by his alleged interaction with Biogenesis and still covered by the JDA.

      • chip56 - Jul 15, 2013 at 2:15 PM

        Well maybe that’s what they have. I have no way of knowing, but, based on this report (which may or may not be accurate) it was enough to scare the bejesus out of Alex.

      • bigharold - Jul 15, 2013 at 1:39 PM

        The crack about double secret probation was regarding whether or not MLB might try to take A-Rod’s alleged involvement with Biogenesis an turn it into multiple offenses. They might try to say every time he contacted Bosch that in constitutes a separate offense. If that’s the case I think they’re on friggin thin ice.

        “we have no effing clue what MLB has or doesn’t have in terms of evidence against Rodriguez or any other player?”

        True, but we do know where it came from so that doesn’t lead me to be optimistic about the veracity or the clarity of the evidence. My real concern is MLB is going down a path were the cure will be worse then the disease. They’ve already leaked some much information that their ethics and integrity can be questioned.

        Imagine how MLB will look if in the end it appears that MLB is persecuting him and he’s turned into a sympathetic figure? How inept do you have to be to turn A-Rod into a victim?

      • chip56 - Jul 15, 2013 at 2:16 PM

        Just throwing this out there – but what if MLB has FedEx records that show deliveries from Bosch to Rodriguez. That would go a hell of a long way to increasing Bosch’s credibility.

      • pilferk - Jul 15, 2013 at 1:48 PM

        See, bigharold, the language of the JDA would prevent them from doing that..counting each instance of contact with Biogenesis as a separate infraction. Just like they can’t count each ingestion of the banned substance as a separate infraction, over a period of days. They likewise can’t count the purchase of the substance and the subsequent ingestion as 2 violations (even if witnessed by 2 different parties). That’s what I meant, largely, talking about double jeopardy.
        It’s all a single pattern of behavior, and a single violation, according to the language of the JDA. They can’t be penalized twice for the same use, covering the same time period, involving the same pattern of behavior.

      • chip56 - Jul 16, 2013 at 1:58 PM

        According to Michael Wiener the players involved in the Biogenesis scandal are not bound by the 50/100/lifetime scale:

        @jonmorosi

        Michael Weiner said Biogenesis players are not bound by 50/100/Life suspension scale associated with positive tests. They are negotiable.

      • bigharold - Jul 15, 2013 at 2:53 PM

        “..but what if MLB has FedEx records that show deliveries from Bosch to Rodriguez. That would go a hell of a long way to increasing Bosch’s credibility. ”

        In and of itself that wouldn’t mean anything. I could, assuming I had his address which is likely readily attainable, overnight A-Rod too. It wouldn’t mean I have a substantive relationship with him.

        Bosch’s credibility and the quality of the evidence he provides will obviously either make or break this case. His credibility has already been questioned at length. Initially he’s stated that he didn’t provide PEDs to A-Rod, now supposedly he’s wiling to say he did. The obvious question is was he lying then or now, .. but either way he’s a liar. MLB has essentially co-opted the civil court system to coerce Bosch’s cooperation. While creative it doesn’t necessarily place them in the best light. With no reasonable expectation that Bosch would do anything but knuckle under it really can’t be said, at least with a straight face, that the entire civil suit was anything but a well orchestrated act of coercion. Add to that Ficher, Bosch’s assistant, has stated that the MLB “investigators” were ” .. the biggest scumbags on Earth.” which presents another angel to MLB heavy handed tactics. MLB is engaging in a very delicate operation to one the one hand do what it takes to address PEDs while at the same time avoid turning A-Rod into the victim.

        I’m waiting to see the evidence but I hope it is better than anything I’ve read so far because I haven’t seen anything I’d consider conclusive. For the sake of baseball and the chance that MLB can turn the corner on this issue, (not to mention I’ve read all I want to about it), I really hope it’s compelling. Otherwise, A-Rod will look the victim, MLB will look inept and it will lessen the possibility that future players will be scared to even try PEDs.

      • bigharold - Jul 15, 2013 at 2:56 PM

        “… the language of the JDA would prevent them from doing that..counting each instance of contact with Biogenesis as a separate infraction.”

        I agree and that seems like the only logical intent. But, logic seems to have nothing to do with it once lawyers get involved.

  4. brewcrewfan54 - Jul 15, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    Man it would be nice to just have facts reported and not all this shit that causes denials and other assorted B.S.

    • burkeandstock - Jul 15, 2013 at 10:32 AM

      there is one fact people are overlooking….. its very easy for A-rod to speak publicly, Not once has he come out and said None of this is true I wouldn’t knowlingly take anything to hurt my Team or my carrier.

      they only interviews I can find of him are ones he says he did take BANNED PEDs and that it is all behind him now he learned from his mistake and he wont do it again…. this was several years ago…..

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 15, 2013 at 10:58 AM

        Not once has he come out and said None of this is true I wouldn’t knowlingly take anything to hurt my Team or my carrier.

        You mean like this?

        “The news report about a purported relationship between Alex Rodriguez and Anthony Bosch are not true. Alex Rodriguez was not Mr. Bosch’s patient, he was never treated by him and he was never advised by him. The purported documents referenced in the story — at least as they relate to Alex Rodriguez — are not legitimate.”

        http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/01/29/a-rod-releases-legal-statement-denying-the-miami-new-times-report/

      • Anoesis - Jul 15, 2013 at 5:36 PM

        Unless Rodriquez has started speaking in the third person that sounds like another denial from someone in his camp. Most people speaking on their own behalf use the pronoun “I.”

    • sabatimus - Jul 15, 2013 at 11:20 AM

      Unfortunately, sheer fact-reporting will never happen. These days I suspect every nugget I hear to be either tainted with garbage or an outright lie.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Jul 15, 2013 at 11:46 AM

        I know you’re right but keep hoping it’ll change and it never does. I guess the jokes on me.

  5. burkeandstock - Jul 15, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    Taking a drug that is found to be illegal by your employer should be a crime. If you ask 100 Americans why they don’t break the law more often in or out of the work place, they will tell you its because they don’t want to suffer the consequences if they get caught. In fact most people wont break the law not because its wrong but because there is a punishment that fits the crime. For A-Rod the PAYOFF for taking PEDs out weighs the punishment for the crime.

    If the punishment is to forfeit current and past wages and only to allow A-Rod and other players who cheat to earn the league minimum then maybe he might think twice. How much unguaranteed contract money has he earned for performance that was based on fraud? Make him return it
    You can’t punish a team or strike there records, achievements or stats because this isn’t an individual sport. You should however be able to make people accountable for their actions… If A-rod has no respect for his team or this sport, if A-Rod only cares about his self and the interest of cheating to perform better in an effort to get a large contract, then the ones who should be truly pissed are the brothers in his family with whom he suits up next to before every game.

    • Kevin S. - Jul 15, 2013 at 10:25 AM

      Yeah, that’s exactly why nobody commits capital crimes in places that have the death penalty.

      • burkeandstock - Jul 15, 2013 at 10:39 AM

        People do commit capital crimes… there sick and often Institutionalized!!

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 15, 2013 at 10:28 AM

      if A-Rod only cares about his self and the interest of cheating to perform better in an effort to get a large contract

      Hey here’s an idea, what if he took the PEDs to make himself a better player and thus, make his team better? Does your ridiculous moralizing change at all then?

      • kehnn13 - Jul 15, 2013 at 1:27 PM

        Isn’t this the guy who bankrupted the rangers? How did his steroids fueled contract make them a better team? I would have to say he did it for the money :-)

      • Kevin S. - Jul 15, 2013 at 1:46 PM

        No, Tom Hicks went bankrupt. The Rangers were fundamentally fine. A-Rod was an MVP-caliber player all three years in Texas, and the Rangers’ payroll outside of A-Rod was right around league average. Other horrific contracts and awful roster management is why they did nothing with A-Rod on the team.

      • Kevin S. - Jul 15, 2013 at 1:56 PM

        Or rather, I should say the Rangers financial issues were related to how Tom Hicks tied them into his other ventures, not because they didn’t generate enough revenue to cover their expenses.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 15, 2013 at 1:56 PM

        Isn’t this the guy who bankrupted the rangers?

        Good lord are you serious? Arod cost the Rangers $25M/year. In those three years, he missed one game total and put up a .305/.395/.615 155 OPS+ slash line averaging 52 HR, 132 RBI, 190 H, and 127 Runs.

        At the same time they did this (courtesy of fangraphs)

        http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/a-rods-first-contract-was-a-good-move/

        The Rangers, on the other hand, paid Kenny Rogers and Darren Oliver a combined $14.5 million for a whopping +2.7 WAR, and that’s a generous assessment based on their FIP, as they each posted an ERA over 6.00 that year. They also gave Andres Galarraga $6 million for -0.1 WAR, Rusty Greer got $4.6 million for +0.1 WAR, and Ken Caminiti got $3.5 million for +0.1 WAR. The Rangers essentially flushed a huge chunk of their payroll down the drain on players who produced around replacement level, and I cannot come up with any rational way to blame that on Rodriguez.

        In 2002, they sought to make some drastic changes to their roster, and in the process, raised their team payroll to $105 million, third highest in Major League Baseball. They gave Juan Gonzalez a two year, $24 million deal to return to the Rangers and try to recapture his past glory. They gave Chan Ho Park a five year, $65 million contract to try and fix their pitching problems. They traded Darren Oliver to Boston, and in exchange, they took on the remaining $17 million left on the final two years of Carl Everett‘s contract. They brought in John Rocker to try and stabilize the bullpen.

        $12M/year for Juan Gone, $13M/year for Chan Ho Park. Arod outperformed his contract while those bums collected a paycheck, and it was Arod’s fault? Give me a break

        How did his steroids fueled contract make them a better team?

        See the above average line he put up. If you think that doesn’t make a team better, why do you watch sports?

    • anxovies - Jul 15, 2013 at 12:59 PM

      “Taking a drug that is found to be illegal by your employer should be a crime.” (?) I assume that you mean that the use of an illegal drug by an employee should be an offense punishable by job termination, not that employers should be able to decide what drugs are illegal and subject to criminal punishment. Otherwise, employers could simply find that alcohol and tobacco– or even Tylenol– use are crimes and turn employees over to the cops for punishment. This kind of fuzzy rhetoric doesn’t help the debate.

  6. jamesmmannion2013 - Jul 15, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    A-Rods CAMP? HE can’t speak for himself? ReDICKulous

  7. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jul 15, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    While I have seen much analysis of the plea deal from the perspective of players trying to avoid a lengthy (or lifetime??) suspension, I have seen little ink to just how much MLB would stand to lose by going in front of panel with this. Taking it to a judge (or whoever sits on these panels), asking for unprecedented suspensions with dubious ‘evidence’ under vague statutes…it seems to hardly be a slam dunk. Getting beaten on appear in another high-profile case would leave them with levels of egg of their face unseen since Humpty Dumpty

    • bigharold - Jul 15, 2013 at 12:06 PM

      “Getting beaten on appear in another high-profile case would leave them with levels of egg of their face unseen since Humpty Dumpty”

      And yet, if you look at the history between the union and MLB it’s almost always the outcome.

      I think this is nothing more than a PR campaign. Short of banning him for life the most they can give him is 100 games. And, how do you ban A-Rod for life yet ignore Bonds and Clemens? Litigating a life time ban would be long, drawn out and likely unsuccessful.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jul 15, 2013 at 12:33 PM

        I would think the 100-game ban would be tough too. As the Zimmerman prosecutors showed us, going for too much up front can be a bad thing.

      • bigharold - Jul 15, 2013 at 1:15 PM

        “I would think the 100-game ban would be tough too. ”

        Perhaps but I think MLB’s intent here is to scar the snot out of the players. It’s almost like they’re acting like the IRS, they want to demonstrate their willingness that they will go to any lengths to root out cheaters. If they can slap around A-Rod nobody else will dare mess with them. Of course, they are risking over playing their hand and look like either the Gestapo or the Keystone cops depending on whether or not they can make the charges and the punishment stick.

        I’m all for rooting out PED uses. I’ve some real concerns about how MLB is going about it. Using seeming unethical or heavy handed ways, using seedy low life’s to get dirt on players. Isn’t that what George Steinbrenner got suspended for in 1992? And, MLB’s complete lack of regard for the confidentiality of the process. Aren’t we not suppose to know about these incidents until a player fails a screening and has had his appeal? In just about every case, the 2003 list, the Ryan Bruan issues and A-Rod MLB leaked confidential information. Why should the players follow the rules when MLB is not only ignoring them but actually violating the rules in what appears to be a PR campaign?

        Depending on the evidence I could see MLB giving him 100 games, but it better be compelling.

  8. nananatman - Jul 15, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    By the time these people get to the big leagues science has pretty much had their way with them so MLB might want to start testing at the collegiate or high school level. My high school football team was loaded with PEDS, the cheerleaders were on PEDs, there was this one girl Mandy Thompson and she was man like by graduation, good thing her name wasn’t “Girly Thompson,” she’d have to pay to have it changed.

  9. decimusprime - Jul 15, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    MLB can go after A-Rod, calling for unprecedented punishment, without worrying about tarnishing their “Zero Tolerance” stance against drug use because they haven’t caught him using. They are essentially attempting to punish him for even thinking about it, maybe even doing research at a “clinic”. Unless they have hard evidence he is using them, or has used since his last admission, the zero tolerance policy hasn’t been violated.

  10. chip56 - Jul 15, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    Some have argued in other columns (both writers and fans) that the evidence that PEDs have a substantive impact on performance is anecdotal at best and thus what’s going on is a waste of time and resources.

    Here’s my question…if Performance Enancing Drugs don’t actually enhance performance then why do players go to such great lengths to take them knowing the possible ramifications?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 15, 2013 at 12:56 PM

      Here’s my question…if Performance Enancing Drugs don’t actually enhance performance then why do players go to such great lengths to take them knowing the possible ramifications?

      Players wear those Phigten necklaces/braclets b/c they think it helps them, players turn their caps inside out and upside down because they think it helps them, players think wearing the same pair of underwear during a hot streak helps them.

      • chip56 - Jul 15, 2013 at 1:13 PM

        That’s an idiotic argument.

        None of the things you mention carry a possible suspension as a result of doing them. I guarantee that if there was a provision in the CBA that said if you wear your hat inside out you will be suspended for 50 games players wouldn’t do it.

        On the other hand some players go to great lengths to use performance enhancing drugs knowing the risk that that use carries with it.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 15, 2013 at 1:30 PM

        That’s an idiotic argument.

        Ok, so we’re going to skip over 90% of your comment and just focus on the last part, why do something that has a punishment to it?

        Here’s a couple of reasons. One, many of these guys got to where they are in life because of their athletic ability, not their brains. They aren’t all like Mike Mussina who graduated from Stanford and would hang out in the clubhouse doing the NYT crossword. Chris Perez had drugs sent to his house via FEDEX, and put the addressee as his dog!

        Two, cost benefit analysis. Maybe the players think that, for what ever reason, the benefit of taking the drugs EVEN WITH THE PENALTIES far outweighs whatever happens to them? Maybe they, rightfully or wrongly, see Melky Cabrera take PEDs, get suspended, and still sign a multi year deal afterwards and think, that wasn’t so bad?

        Three, maybe they know the substances they are taking aren’t tracked*, so they can get the benefit AND none of the punishment since they won’t be caught?

        *i have no proof of this, just what many people throw out whenever they think of PEDs because no one gets caught

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jul 15, 2013 at 1:03 PM

      Easier improved conditioning seems to be the only tangible advantage. But then again, these are the same guys wearing titanium and magnets around their neck because may, just maybe, an extra red blood cell will be drawn up to their brain in the process. Never discount the placebo effect. But that is a pricey placebo.

      • chip56 - Jul 15, 2013 at 1:15 PM

        As I said above – the necklaces and bracelets don’t carry the same ramifications that PED use does.

        I’m not suggesting that steroids can improve your ability to hit a curveball or make someone with no athletic ability into a major league ball player – but they must have some sort of impact or else professional athletes wouldn’t use them.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 15, 2013 at 1:31 PM

        but they must have some sort of impact or else professional athletes wouldn’t use them

        NO,NO,NO. Asked and answered. See my comment above and sabathia’s.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jul 15, 2013 at 3:22 PM

        Guys can train harder and recover faster (allowing them to train again faster) with PEDs. So they can get into better physical shape. Melky was fat in Atlanta, but fit in KC/SF. And very lucky, as far as BABIP is concerned, but mostly he was in better shape. Being in good shape does not make a bad baseball player suddenly become good, but being out of shape can make a good baseball player play poorly.

        On the other hand, people CAN get into shape without PEDs. It is not some conditioning magic that turns you from Chris Farley to Marky-Mark overnight. PEDs seem to be a shortcut. So can they help a person play baseball better. Indirectly yes. Can all of the advantages of PED be had without using PEDs? Absolutely. So, do they help? It is not so black-and-white.

    • paperlions - Jul 15, 2013 at 2:50 PM

      Chip, the arguments are that it is unclear how much, in which respects, and if each type of PED affects baseball performance. Some “PEDs” are clearly not performance enhance. For example, HGH has been shown to be a performance inhibitor as a otherwise healthy adult taking HGH actually tires out faster than s/he would without taking it. It is also unclear how steroids translate into baseball performance. The media and fans only focus on HRs, but evidence suggests that it has a bigger benefit for pitchers than for hitters because of the wear and tear on a pitchers body, and because hitting for power is a very highly derived skill for which raw strength isn’t nearly as important as balance, timing, and hand-eye coordination.

      Yes, a player taking steroids will be stronger, but it is not clear how much effect there is on actual production. When MLB changes ball composition in mid-1993, the HR rate increased dramatically overnight. Everyone was hitting more HRs, not just “power hitters”.

      In short, the issues are far more complex than “take steroids, hit a lot more HRs”. 1000s of guys took steroids, but there were not 1000s of crazy performances.

  11. mungman69 - Jul 15, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    Oh, the death penalty; I guess in states that still have the death penalty there are no murders committed.
    Players will still cheat. If they get caught they do seem to care. A Rod still has a LOT of money.

  12. proudliberal85392 - Jul 15, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    Baseball got itself into this mess by overlooking PEDs and now they’re having a heckuva time and floundering around trying to figure out how to get out of it. Good luck with that.

  13. bigtrav425 - Jul 15, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    For the love of god get over the gambling bs already!! NO one cares but Selig…it was their own personal money.they can do with it what they please…

  14. adamsessler1 - Jul 15, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    I’m all for cleaning up the game and kicking out the cheaters, but MLB’s position on this is ridiculous. A-Rod’s never been suspended before, so he should be looking at a 50 game suspension. MLB trying to get 3 violations for this Biogenesis thing is not going to happen. If Melky Cabrera’s fake website didn’t count as a 2-for-1 when he got there’s no way A-Rod or any of the others are going to get dinged on a 3-for-1 for this. If MLB does it anyway, they’re going to be made to look very bad b/c no court or arbitrator in the country will uphold it.

  15. yousuxxors - Jul 15, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    I thought the MLB said 100 game suspensions. don’t you plea to a lesser sentence, not more?

  16. banpeds - Jul 15, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    Weds or Thurs

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