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In the wake of Biogenesis, Major League Baseball shakes up its investigative arm

May 1, 2014, 4:30 PM EDT

Rob Manfred

Throughout the Biogenesis investigation there were reports of MLB investigators skirting and often crossing the lines of propriety as they tried to get the goods on Alex Rodriguez. Paid-off witnesses, stolen documents purchased and, in one case, an investigator entering into a sexual relationship with a witness. It was all a little sketchy, even if MLB defended its conduct and, ultimately, the investigators’ work paid off in the form of a long suspension for A-Rod.

Now that the suspension is in and the dust settled, however, here comes a suggestion that, no, MLB was not happy with the way its investigative team performed. From the New York Times, which reports that the head of MLB’s Investigations unit, his top deputy and a top agent have all been dismissed. Here’s the statement from Rob Manfred:

“After the Biogenesis investigation, we made a decision that certain structural changes were necessary in order to have a more efficient and effective investigative unit,” Robert Manfred, the M.L.B. executive who oversaw the case, said Tuesday. “Once we made structural changes, it resulted in the elimination of some positions.”

As the article notes, MLB had to call in a whole second team of investigators after its own team started messing up and/or not getting the desired results. Ultimately it was a legal strategy — suing Tony Bosch in order to get him to flip on A-Rod — that proved the most effective in their case, not the stuff their boots on the ground in Florida provided.

It’s probably worth reminding ourselves that, but for a court’s decision allowing MLB’s case against Bosch to proceed — a decision that most legal commentators do not think represents what the majority of courts would’ve done in that situation — Major League Baseball wouldn’t have had a heck of a lot of evidence against Alex Rodriguez. There are a lot of potential takeaways of the restructuring of the investigative unit, but one most certainly is that, in the future, Major League Baseball would like to find a way to better obtain evidence itself rather than rely on legal Hail Marys to get it done.

  1. El Bravo - May 1, 2014 at 4:40 PM

    A saw this in the NYT but was lazy and waited for you to blog it. Thanks for the quick turnaround, C-Love.

  2. alexo0 - May 1, 2014 at 4:41 PM

    If only MLB had congress in its back pocket, things would be so much easier.

  3. lingerie00yardsale - May 1, 2014 at 4:48 PM

    Meanwhile A-Rod just made more money flipping a condo in Miami in one day then these, now out of work, dudes will see in 15 years.

    LOL!

    • tfbuckfutter - May 1, 2014 at 5:12 PM

      Hahaha!

      Let’s laugh at people who lost their jobs while pointing to someone who is already excessively wealthy making a ton of money without actually DOING anything AND only having to pay a FRACTION of the taxes he SHOULD be paying on that INCOME!

      Hahahaha! What a bunch of dummies!

      • Kevin S. - May 1, 2014 at 9:01 PM

        Given the way they conducted themselves, I have absolutely no problem laughing at them being out of a job.

      • tfbuckfutter - May 1, 2014 at 9:12 PM

        It’s just the disconnect between praising A-Rod for profiting from doing nothing, other than having vast cash reserves, when compared to ANYONE being out a job that irks me.

      • Kevin S. - May 2, 2014 at 7:41 AM

        Considering they broke laws to deprive A-Rod of his contractually–guaranteed income, I’m again having a hard time feeling sympathy here, even if I ordinarily would agree with you on the disconnect.

    • jwbiii - May 1, 2014 at 7:17 PM

      What is excessively wealthy? How much should one pay on capital gains?

      • tfbuckfutter - May 1, 2014 at 7:21 PM

        One should pay income tax on income.

        Labeling it something other than income doesn’t make it not income.

  4. clemente2 - May 1, 2014 at 4:51 PM

    It’s the old corporate strategy at work again: deny, defend, restructure.

  5. jbriggs81 - May 1, 2014 at 5:11 PM

    I really don’t understand why any legal commentators thought that MLB’s case would be thrown out of court on a Motion to Dismiss. While MLB may not have had a snowball’s chance in hell of actually succeeding in its lawsuit against Bosch, it was theoretically possible and that’s all that was needed to defeat the motion to dismiss. The legal threshold to be successful on a Motion to Dismiss is a fairly difficult burden and all Courts are extremely reluctant to dismiss at such an early stage of the case. Basically, if there is even the smallest chance that MLB could have won this case (even as doubtful as it may have seemed), the case should proceed.

    • Craig Calcaterra - May 1, 2014 at 5:15 PM

      I think there was a serious standing issue here.

      • jbriggs81 - May 1, 2014 at 5:43 PM

        Respectfully, I disagree about the standing issue. If Bosch could have in any way conceivably interfered with their contract (as crazy as that may sound), the case must proceed. At the very least, the Judge should entitle the parties to discovery concerning the standing issue and reserve judgment. Instead, the Judge erred on the side of caution (and risk of being admonished on appeal), and allowed the case to proceed. I would have bet on that 100% of the time, solely because that Motion to Dismiss burden is incredibly difficult

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - May 1, 2014 at 6:21 PM

        If Bosch could have in any way conceivably interfered with their contract (as crazy as that may sound), the case must proceed

        Wasn’t MLB’s argument that Bosch, and by extension his clinic, harmed MLB? I believe some of Craig’s and ours, opinions were “how exactly has MLB been harmed?” Profits are up, attendance is up, the game has never been healthier.

    • clydeserra - May 1, 2014 at 5:20 PM

      But that is the thing, there was NO chance for MLB to show that it was owed any remedy available to the court. Why the court allowed it is beyond every lawyer I know.

      • rbj1 - May 1, 2014 at 5:43 PM

        Because there are, what, 15 teams who hold spring training in Florida. Nice little revenue generator, be a shame if anything happened to it.

      • clydeserra - May 1, 2014 at 10:33 PM

        I don’t know what this means

      • raysfan1 - May 1, 2014 at 11:09 PM

        He’s insinuating that MLB might move all the spring training out of FL and that the court might be swayed by such an unspoken form of extortion.

        It’s an idea worth an eye roll.

  6. clydeserra - May 1, 2014 at 5:17 PM

    or rather, MLB is satisfied that it found histories greatest monster and that there is no more need to investigate anything ever.

  7. drs76109 - May 1, 2014 at 5:58 PM

    Guess it needed a shot in the arm. (bah dum dum)

  8. drewsylvania - May 1, 2014 at 6:06 PM

    I thought it was a felony to knowingly purchase stolen documents.

  9. disgracedfury - May 1, 2014 at 11:13 PM

    Just like Manfred and Selig who looked the other way and allowed PEDS to be used than thru them under the bus they are doing now with their investigators.Thats to save them more embarrassment.

    What MLB should have done was to continue to sue Bosch who was the supplier.MLB went after a user than the suppliers which is never done.You don’t work with a bank robber to catch someone cheating on their taxes.

    Bosch gave drugs to children and is on the streets with MLB money. Yeah anyone who supports MLB are dumb to think this wasn’t a witch hunt to save Selig legacy.

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