Bud Selig visited the Late Show with David Letterman on Monday night, one day before the 2013 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. One of the hot topics of conversation between the commissioner and the longtime host was the ongoing Biogenesis scandal.
A recent report from T.J. Quinn and Mike Fish of ESPN stated Selig's office was preparing to suspend Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun and a potentially large group of other players following the league's All-Star break, which ends Friday:
Commissioner Bud Selig's office is expected to suspend Braun and Rodriguez, along with as many as 20 players sometime after next week's All-Star break, for their roles in the Biogenesis case, several sources told "Outside the Lines." As OTL reported, MLB started building cases against the players last month after Bosch agreed to cooperate with investigators.
Letterman didn't shy away from the latest performance-enhancing drug story to rock the sport. Selig answered the questions, but he didn't provide much depth, which isn't surprising given the nature of the situation and the possibility of discipline.
First, based on a transcript provided by Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Letterman asked about Rodriguez and the third baseman's future with the New York Yankees:
Letterman: "Alex Rodriguez, is he ever going to play for the Yankees again?"
Selig: "Only time will tell. We're in the midst of a very thorough and tough investigation on all of this, because I really believe that it's not only the right thing to do, but we're going to do it. That's all I can tell you."
Letterman: "Let me ask you this. On his side of things, isn't there a sum of money that's at stake here if he doesn't play again this season?"
Selig: "That's going to be between him and the New York Yankees. Yes, there is."
Later in the conversation, the discussion turned to the Biogenesis scandal as a whole and how many players could be impacted.
Letterman: "I don't know how this works. The Yankees will figure out something? Is he one that might be suspended?"
Selig: "I'd rather not say."
Letterman: "Because you know, don't you?"
Selig: "I do, I do. The answer is I do."
Letterman: "How many players will be affected by the suspensions? We believe after the All-Star Game there will be a reckoning. Am I right about that?"
Selig: "At some point in the future."
Letterman: "And how many are we talking about?"
Selig: "We don't know yet. We don't know yet. We don't know."
In summary, Selig admits to a thorough investigation and knowing which players are involved, a sign that the smoke that's been building in recent weeks is quickly turning into a fire that will ignite "at some point in the future."
Beyond that, the commissioner didn't provide any specifics about Rodriguez or any other players who could be in line for lengthy suspensions. If nothing else, it's a sign the league is serious about punishing those it believes were connected to Biogenesis.
Keeping the sport clean is vital. An entire era of baseball is already facing an eternity of "buts" because of performance-enhancing drugs. Selig doesn't want to see that happen again. He talked about the importance of keeping a level playing field for everybody.
Ultimately, the two biggest question marks remain: Who will be suspended? And how long will the suspensions last?
Selig's comments merely illustrate the story isn't going away in the near future. It's going to dominate the season's second half until all of the questions—including the two key ones above—are answered. And it will have a lasting impact beyond that announcement.
All told, Major League Baseball is getting ready to make a seemingly major statement about the use of PEDs. The report from ESPN and Selig's remarks make that clear.
It's just a waiting game at this point.