More news from the Biogenesis scandal and more bad news for Alex Rodriguez.
Investigators were told by ex-Biogenesis employees that documents had been put up for sale by people connected to the clinic and that Alex Rodriguez, through an intermediary, had attempted to purchase them in order to destroy them, according to Michael Schmidt of the NY Times.
That caused MLB to turn around and try to purchase the documents themselves to keep A-Rod, or any other player linked to the case, from destroying them first.
A-Rod’s camp obviously denied any involvement in this at all. For what it’s worth, T.J. Quinn and Mike Fish of ESPN reported that MLB had no physical evidence that A-Rod was the player who attempted to purchase the Biogenesis docs. Although their source did say that the information is credible.
Here’s a brief excerpt from ESPN for an explanation:
Sources told “Outside the Lines” that the former Biogenesis of America employee, Michael Porter Fischer, left the company in September after a falling out with Bosch. Fischer, two sources said, had invested $20,000 in the company, but grew disenchanted with Bosch and demanded his money. The sources said Bosch eventually paid Fischer the $20,000, but refused to pay an additional $4,000 that Fischer said he was owed. Sources said Bosch informed Rodriguez that Fischer was threatening to expose the operation, and Rodriguez gave Bosch at least $4,000 “to make it go away.”
Sources disagree as to whether Bosch paid Fischer that money, but several sources said a group of men found Fischer, threatened him, took the documents and paid him $4,000. Sources said they believed that those documents were then destroyed, but offered different opinions as to who sent the men.
The problem I see with this entire investigation is that this is a fight over money and it seems that nobody has any problem lying when money is the motivator. If MLB is looking to pay for evidence then somebody will get them evidence. Verifying that evidence could get tricky as Fischer could just be looking for a big pay day.
Either way, it seems like MLB will have to actually produce some sort of hard evidence that links A-Rod to this scandal to actually suspend him. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a link to steroids though. If they can prove that he was the one who tried to purchase the documents then that might be enough for action.
It’s best to wait before rushing to judgement on all of this. MLB is clearly doing whatever it can to find some sort of evidence which they are going to need to justify a suspension. MLB could try to suspend him based on testimony, but there will be some sort of due process involved in all of this so it will not just try to suspend him only to have the player’s union get the ruling overturned by an arbitrator.
It isn’t likely that A-Rod could be suspended for more than 50 games so don’t get your hopes up that this could potentially lead to the Yankees voiding his deal. MLB can’t punish a guy twice for the same crime and punishment for PEDs has already been clearly spelled out.
• An A-Rod injury update: Rodriguez was cleared to begin jogging on a treadmill. He was at Yankee Stadium over the weekend as well.
• Mark Teixeira was not cleared to start swinging at bat. Doctors said they were happy with his progression, but his wrist hasn’t healed enough to begin hitting yet. Though he denies it, this obviously pushes the May 1 timetable back.
• Andy Pettitte was initially set to start on Sunday, but it was delayed due to back stiffness and it is going to be delayed even further — to Friday. Ivan Nova will pitch Tuesday, CC Sabathia on Wednesday and Phil Hughes again on Thursday.
• Speaking of that Cleveland series, the Yankees announced that they will play a doubleheader against the Indians on May 13 to make up for the two games that were rained out last week.