Yesterday an arbitrator ruled that MLB’s suspension of Alex Rodriguez would be trimmed from 211 to 162 games, declaring the 3-time MVP ineligible for the entire 2014 regular season and postseason. The suspension stemmed from A-Rod’s association with Tony Bosch, the founder of the now defunct Biogenesis clinic that allegedly supplied banned PEDs to Rodriguez and other ballplayers. Tonight, CBS aired a lengthy interview with Bosch on its news magazine program 60 minutes.
Bosch didn’t pull any punches, stating that Rodriguez came to him in 2010 asking him to provide the same combination of substances that had helped Manny Ramirez increase his production during the previous two seasons. Bosch told CBS’s Scott Pelley that he often injected Rodriguez and also provided substances that he knew were banned by the league — substances that could be taken orally and topically.
Bosch exhibited no remorse for cheating the game of baseball that he claims to love, saying that everyone else was doing the same thing and that “this is part of baseball”. He stopped short of saying that he only did it for the money, but that was definitely implied. Bosch made plenty of money helping MLB players “beat the system” by ingesting the banned substances in a timely fashion to avoid detection by post-game drug tests. He claims that Rodriguez was paying him $12,000 per month for his services.
Bosch claims to have beating the tests down to a science and says that it was “almost a cakewalk”. He says that he would still be doing it right now — if he hadn’t been caught. Apparently, fooling MLB testing procedures was easy for Bosch. The only reason that he was caught was because a former associate turned him in.
Alex Rodriguez (John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports)
That’s when things got scary for the Miami based PED supplier. Bosch claims that he was threatened by an associate of Rodriguez, prompting him to align himself with MLB in order to stay alive. Bosch provided testimony against Rodriguez and other players, as well as documents that supported his claims. In exchange, MLB provided security and paid legal fees for the “drug broker”.
Determined to nail some of its players and make an example, MLB bought into Bosch’s story. Rob Manfred, the league’s COO, agreed to pay a source known only as Bobby $125,000 for documents tying players to Biogenesis. When the dust settled, more than a dozen players were suspended. Rodriguez, the most heavily penalized, was the only one to appeal his suspension.
Rodriguez and his lawyers claim that MLB spearheaded a witch hunt and that their payment of nearly $5 million to Bosch in the form of security details and legal fees is nothing more than a bribe. MLB disputes that claim, insisting that all of the evidence was obtained properly and that A-Rod chose to defend himself via the media rather than testifying under oath on his own behalf.
We’ve heard A-Rod tell us before that he never took PEDs, only to have him change his story later. The slugger admits to having “juiced” during the first three years of his stint with the Texas Rangers but vehemently denies using any PEDs since that time. Why should we believe him now?
As for Bosch, who knows how much truth there is to what he is saying? Although, some of the documentation and text messaging evidence looks pretty damning. Bosch is certainly a shady character, people in his line of work always are. But none of the other players who were suspended have challenged the ruling. That has to lend at least a little credibility to Bosch’s claims.