What I want to see is the Mets play as compelling and emotional game as the Boston Bruins played last night. However, as it is with the Mets’ luck, it isn’t surprising that the Major League Baseball war against PED users in the Biogenesis case is set to explode at the All-Star Game.
It will be interesting to see how Major League Baseball spins off the Home Run Derby as its lawyers are running to court and back.
It is admirable Bud Selig wants to clean up the sport he allowed to get sullied by looking at steroid usage in the first place; how he tried to buy back the good will of the fans he alienated by killing off the 1994 World Series in the owner-initiated work stoppage with the chemically-enhanced Mark McGwire–Sammy Sosa home run chase.
Caving under the pressure of attendance drops coupled by the criticism from the not-knowing that the game is too boring, Selig sold out for the quick fix of the home run.
That decision, along with the interleague play gimmick – also in the wake of the work stoppage – will forever be Selig’s legacy as commissioner.
Now, add the Biogenesis case.
Major League Baseball is seeking to suspend 20 players for connection to Biogenesis founder Tony Bosch, but its primary guns are aimed at Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun, who have made a mockery of the sport’s drug policy.
Rodriguez, who admitted using steroids for only a three-year period while with Texas and not with the Yankees, has repeatedly denied using again. Braun tested positive after his MVP season, but escaped punishment on a technicality.
Major League Baseball has been fuming since and this is coming off as the vendetta it is rather than a simple cleansing act.
While the picture looks bleak for Rodriguez and Braun, Major League Baseball shouldn’t celebrate too soon, as a sharp lawyer will attempt to turn this around.
Bosch initially refuted MLB’s request to turn over his records – he had no legal obligation to do so – and only is cooperating with Selig dropping the lawsuit against him. It was a lawsuit Bosch arguably could have won if he was able to afford to go against Major League Baseball’s deep pockets.
Bosch’s decision to go to bed with MLB came after Rodriguez refused to give him financial support, one of the few smart things the troubled Yankees’ third baseman has done in recent years.
It looks as if Bosch is turning on Rodriguez because he is, and that appearance doesn’t look good for Major League Baseball, which, when it comes to PEDs, has looked bad before Congress, and couldn’t put away Roger Clemens or Barry Bonds.
The technicality in which Braun escaped might be valid, but the sport comes off as a sore loser in not winning in arbitration.
If Selig wants to play hardball against PED users, that’s great, but there are other ways, and he will need the backing of the Players Association, which can’t be happy about this case. Instead, Major League Baseball is putting all its eggs in the Bosch basket, and he hasn’t been reputable from the start.
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