Major League Baseball decided to dive a little deeper into Anthony Bosch and his company Biogenesis to unlock one of the most unbelievable performance-enhancing drug scandals since BALCO.
Orioles third baseman Danny Valencia, Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli, Mariners catcher Jesus Montero, Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez, the Padres young catcher Yasmani Grandal, the Blue Jays newly acquired outfielder Melky Cabrera, Alex Rodriguez and, yes, the 2011 National League MVP Ryan Braun are just some of the players mentioned in the clinic’s PED papers, says Paul Hagen of MLB.com.
While these are, in fact, just allegations, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to take Major League Baseball’s steroid problem with a grain of salt.
In terms of PED-users admittance to baseball’s Hall of Fame, I’ve always been a proponent of keeping them out. But with these new allegations surfacing, PEDs in baseball are clearly more of a pandemic then an epidemic.
Scanning the list of names, the age of the accused may give us forecast concerning the future of Major League Baseball. PEDs have seeped so deep into the cracks of America’s most coveted game that the younger generation of stars are paying the price.
Seven out of the nine names listed above are under the age of 30.
That statistic alone is enough to say the steroid era is far from over, and those who believe it is are simply naïve.
Hagen says Braun, Valencia and another of the accused in the report, ex-Padres pitcher Cesar Carrillo, were teammates at the University of Miami. Their strength and conditioning coach? Jimmy Goins, another name mentioned in the PED papers at Biogenesis.
Another player mentioned in the report was Yasmani Grandal. His school? The University of Miami.
There are many unanswered questions regarding this scandal, just like there were, and still are, plenty of speculation behind the BALCO PED scandal. We’ll likely never know what really happened, or all who were involved.
The trail of breadcrumbs leading to Biogenesis is just too evident to overlook. That fact is some, if not all of the names listed in Hagen’s report have a connection to steroids. Guys like Grandal and Braun have a history with PEDs.
In February of last year, Braun became the first player to successfully appeal a 50-game suspension for the use of PEDs.
Last November, Grandal was suspended 50 games for violating MLB's drug policy. If I had to guess, I’d say Grandal’s high testosterone levels were a result of a substance connected to Biogenesis.
Another element of this story I couldn’t help to notice was the list of Yankees and ex-Yankees connected to Biogenesis. We know Alex Rodriguez used steroids, that much is certain, but when he used them and where he obtained them still remains in question. His uncharacteristic numbers over the last couple of years could be caused by age, or it may be a testament to an abrupt stoppage of steroid use.
Back in August of 2011 a NY Daily News article said A-Rod acted as a mentor to Montero.
It wouldn’t be too farfetched to say Rodriguez introduced Montero and possibly Cabrera and Cervelli to Biogenesis. Don’t be surprised if other names in the Yankee organization surface.
Another interesting piece to this puzzle is the number of ACES Inc. clients mentioned in the Biogenesis PED papers. Some of the names include Cabrera, Montero, Nelson Cruz and Gio Gonzalez.
ACES Inc. first came under question in November of last year when they attempted to cover up Cabrera’s steroid use by creating a fake website. While it’s uncertain whether they played any role in covering up Montero of Gonzalez, it would be in Major League Baseball’s best interest to concentrate a portion of their investigation on ACES Inc.
In the midst of these allegations, the game of baseball has been forever changed and the steroid era is not over. We’ll continue to see allegations arise from those who played in the 90’s and 2000’s, as well as baseball’s younger generation of stars.
The Hall of Fame’s motto is “preserving history, honoring excellence, connecting generations,” a philosophy that’s taken a serious hit recently.
The fact is, for better or for worse, PEDs have spread from the Cansecos of the 90’s to the Brauns of the 2010s. The generations have been “connected” in a way baseball never thought imaginable.
The integrity of the game has taken such a hit that Major League Baseball has dug themselves into a hole impossible to climb out of.
For people like me who believe in preserving the integrity of the game at all costs, the Biogenesis findings may be the final nail in the coffin. It may be time to accept the era for what it was and what is currently is.
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