Last night, the Anthony Bosch saga continued with the exposure of four more names linked to the alleged PED pedaling clinic. Among those names, most notable is Ryan Braun. Braun tested positive for banned substances but appealed in December of 2011. The appeal went in his favor because it was proved that the lab responsible for testing did not handle the blood sample properly. Many felt that though he won the appeal, it was just a technicality. Now being linked to the Miami biogenesis lab only makes it more believable that Braun is a tainted player.
The three other names newly linked to Bosch’s lab are Danny Valencia (Orioles third baseman), Jesus Montero (Mariners catcher and former Yankee top prospect) and Francisco Cervelli (Yankee catcher). All parties have denied guilt with similar statements. Of course, there is a possibility that these four players are not guilty of using PEDs. All four players were listed in the records for Bosch’s lab. However, unlike A-Rod and the others, these four players only had dollar amounts next to their names. No mention of what substances were purchased but still, the suspicion is now there. If the allegations are true, the Yankees are particularly in trouble. Not only is their star third baseman implicated in this situation, now so is one of their very few catching options.
Beyond the implications for teams that have a player linked to this clinic, what does this mean for baseball? I’ll tell you right now that this is not good. Baseball had completely recovered from the blow steroids dealt to the game about a decade ago. In fact, the game had reached new heights seeing the highest international following ever and some of the highest viewing ratings and attendance ratings. The game was certainly taking positive steps to ensure its survival but now with this lab linking so many players to performance enhancing drugs, it seems the game we love is still tainted. If guys like Ryan Braun to guys like Francisco Cervelli are taking PEDs, it really leaves nobody out of the realm of possibilities. We are back to second guessing stats and questioning every athlete.
Baseball needs to really step up and set ground rules here. The MLBPA makes it difficult to make big changes to policy because these players are in a union. However, it is imperative that the league start to setup stricken guidelines as far as which wellness clinics are aloud near these players. The game depends on it. This already happened to baseball and the game nearly drowned. This time around, a half-assed attempt to clean up the game will not suffice to save it. There needs to be real changes made. However, nothing can change until (and I must admit that I am growing tired of these words but it will probably not be some time until we can stop using them) MLB concludes their investigation.
On that note, MLB has asked the Miami New Times to turn over their information so as to aid in MLB’s investigation. The newspaper is still deciding if they want to help.