Sunday, June 9, 2013

Biogenesis Clinic Investigation "Ongoing"

Even though I don't really consider it "news" I feel obligated to address the ongoing Biogenesis/Tony Bosch/PED scandal.  A lot of people, myself included, got all bent out of shape last week when it was "revealed" that MLB was seeking to suspend around 20 players connected with the Biogenesis "anti-aging" clinic in Miami that reportedly supplied illegal performance-enhancing substances to a slew of players, most notably Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun.  I was on the phone with my parents when the news broke and it was made to sound as if Braun and A-Rod would soon be receiving 100-game suspensions, and of course I panicked and texted a lot of people.  After the dust settled, I realized it was not really breaking news, and was just like any other of these stories - just saying that the investigation was ongoing and MLB was seeking suspensions.  Well, guess what - in other news, the sky is blue.  It's no secret that MLB has been looking to crucify Ryan Braun since his overturned suspension ruling following the 2011 season.  Despite going through all the appropriate legal channels, and even though his positive test should never have been made public until after the appeal process was over, Ryan Braun was made out to be a villain, and somebody that made Bud Selig look bad.  He was booed the entire 2012 season but responded with perhaps his best statistical year yet, and in my opinion was cheated out of a repeat MVP award in part due to his association with PEDs. 

I've been a proponent of Selig's drug program and I think it's great the game is being cleaned up, and I have been vocal about my opinions of him as one of the greatest commissioners of all time.  But for MLB to resort to shady avenues to suspend Braun and other players it feels have used PEDs seems kind of irresponsible to me.  After failed subpoenas of Tony Bosch's records and interviews that have led nowhere, MLB's next step is to turn Bosch into a witness against players he previously denied associating with?  I'm not a lawyer, but even I could find more holes in that argument than Swiss cheese.  It should be pretty clear to even the most uninformed of people that Bosch is just being paid off to save his own skin.  MLB should be making its rules more stringent, not trying to cover its tracks while looking ridiculous in the process with stunts like this.  I will say that, in this age of instant digital media and breaking news, I don't envy MLB having to conduct their business amongst all the hearsay.  ESPN and MLB Network certainly are not making things any better by reporting third-hand stories and making a big deal out of hand-written notes a known criminal wrote in his drug lab.

The fact is, players are going to continue to bend the rules, as they have since the game's inception.  Before PEDs, it was amphetamines and pitchers doctoring the ball; only the style of cheating has changed.  As with all the other scandals and drugs before this, players are going to keep cheating until MLB makes its penalties more strict and/or changes the rules.  It should be a full year suspension for a first positive PED test, and a lifetime ban for a second.  If a player knows he can cheat, put up big numbers, and then get a huge contract after 50 games (i.e. Melky Cabrera, Manny Ramirez), to many it is worth the risk.  On the other side of that coin, I'm also getting sick of players being unfairly named guilty in the media until proven innocent, which is the opposite of how our judicial system is supposed to work.  As hard as it is sometimes, I believe everything Ryan Braun says wholeheartedly and am giving him the benefit of the doubt, and I hope that educated fans are willing to do the same with all the suspected players until they admit guilt or all the facts are out.  As much as I want to see A-Rod kicked out of baseball, nobody should be paying any attention to this story unless/until suspensions are handed out - but thank you for reading my rant anyways.

Brewers 25-37, -15.0 (3 @ Marlins, 3 @ Reds)
Reds 37-25, -3.0
(4 @ Cubs, 3 v. Brewers)
Twins 27-32, -7.0 (3 v. Phillies, 3 v. Tigers)

Erik - 8 (+3 worked)

Peter - 14

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