Major League Baseball is preparing to punish many active players suspected of using performance-enhancing drugs. In the meantime, courtroom support of its lawsuit against Biogenesis will provide the opportunity to justify the pending mass suspensions by proving that PED distribution and abuse indeed took place.
Julie K. Brown of the Miami Herald explains the significance of a Miami-Dade Circuit Court judge denying a motion to toss out the suit:
Monday’s decision, by Judge Ronald Dresnick, means that Major League Baseball can use the legal system to force witnesses to give depositions that may substantiate Biogenesis founder Tony Bosch’s story that his clinic supplied banned substances to high-profile major leaguers for many years.
That's right, the mastermind behind the whole scandal who presumably had personal contact with many of the implicated individuals is working with the league to prove his clients violated the collective bargaining agreement.
This latest ruling gives MLB the authority to subpoena former University of Miami pitching coach Lazaro Collazo and Yuri Sucart, Alex Rodriguez's cousin. They will be asked to testify under oath against players and verify Bosch's version of past drug transactions.
Even the best attorneys that multimillionaire athletes can afford will be hard-pressed to wiggle A-Rod, Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta and others out of this jam.
Remember where this legal battle was just a few months ago? Commissioner Bud Selig and the rest of baseball's administration were widely criticized.
Veteran NBC Sports blogger Craig Calcaterra didn't hold back in this reaction from March:
Baseball is having a highly-publicized, real time temper tantrum. It has been impotent in its attempts to obtain the Biogenesis documents and it casting about for any way to obtain them. That it is now looking to waste scarce legal resources in an ill-conceived lawsuit to do what it has been unable to do otherwise is every bit as shameful as it is unlikely to succeed.
As recently as June, there were some skeptics. Mike Bates of SB Nation wrote that the sport's lack of credibility would doom it in court.
Given all the recent developments (particularly Ryan Braun's 65-game suspension), the tone has changed. Even if the execution of the lawsuit goes awry, nobody can dispute that the players blatantly disobeyed rules that their union negotiated on their behalf.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports suggests this simple takeaway in less than 140 characters:
Judge in Miami refused to dismiss MLB's Biogenesis lawsuit today. Lends credence to the league after so many at first called it frivolous.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 29, 2013