Biogenesis Scandal could see 20 MLB Players suspended for Steroids

alex-rodriguezIn the early 2000’s, Major League Baseball was rocked by the BALCO scandal. BALCO was busted for supplying MLB stars like Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi with performance-enhancing drugs, which fueled their careers to new heights.

Here we are now a decade later, and it looks like a modern-day BALCO scandal could be brewing with the Biogenesis clinic. 20 MLB and minor league players are accused of receiving steroids from Biogenesis, including Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, Melky Cabrera and Bartolo Colon.

The MLB is currently investigating this matter and working with Biogenesis owner Tony Bosch to uncover which players have been violating baseball’s substance abuse policies. Here’s a look at the main players who are currently under investigation:

Ryan Braun – Milwaukee Brewers
Everth Cabrera – San Diego Padres
Melky Cabrera – Toronto Blue Jays
Francisco Cervelli – New York Yankees
Bartolo Colon – Oakland Athletics
Nelson Cruz – Texas Rangers
Fautino de los Santos – Free agent
Gio Gonzalez – Washington Nationals (allegedly received legal substances)
Yasmani Grandal – San Dieog Padres
Fernando Martinez – Houston Astros
Jesus Montero – Seattle Mariners
Jordan Norberto – Free agent
Jhonny Peralta – Detroit Tigers
Cesar Puello – New York Mets (minor leaguer)
Alex Rodriguez – New York Yankees

MJS MJS brewers15, nws, sears, 6One thing that stands out about this list is how several of the players have either been busted for, or accused of using steroids in the past. Rodriguez, who’s the biggest name on the list, admitted to juicing from 2001-2003 while playing with the Rangers. Since there was no punishment in place for using steroids back then, he escaped suspension.

However, due to his past, Rodriguez would be facing the 100-game suspension for second-time offenders because he’s already been associated with roids. Colon, Cabrera and Grandal would also be in this boat because they tested positive for excessive testosterone levels in 2012. This trio was linked back to Bosch last summer, which raised suspicions among the MLB’s top brass.

ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” approached Bosch about his involvement with Colon, Cabrera and Grandal last year. And the Biogenesis founder denied any wrongdoing in the matter. However, he’s since changed his stance and has agreed to cooperate with league investigators. Sources have told Outside the Lines that Bosch’s information could supply the league with what they need to suspend certain players.

tony-boschBosch is set to meet with MLB officials this Friday to start sharing what he knows. The doctor has pledged to offer any materials and phone records he has to aid the investigation. In exchange for his cooperation, Bosch asked the league to drop a civil suit against him, to which they complied.

Furthermore, he wants the MLB to vouch for his cooperation to federal investigators. Of course, baseball officials can’t promise that Bosch won’t suffer any legal consequences for his actions. However, working with Major League Baseball should definitely help minimize any criminal sentence.

It’s doubtful that Tony Bosch has many options left but to work with the MLB. Biogenesis was served with a cease-and-desist letter last year by the Florida Department of Health. Since his business can no longer operate, Bosch is said to be nearly broke and living with family and friends. He’s also failed to convince the Department of Health to let him reestablish a “wellness” clinic.

Working with Bosch is definitely in the MLB’s interests too. Without him, Major League Baseball merely has circumstantial evidence on the listed players. Sure there are some intriguing documents in the league’s possession, like one that has Braun making payments of $1,500, $20,000 and $30,000 to Biogenesis. However, Bosch can actually provide legitimate testimony on what these payments were for.

The case should definitely make some huge advancements this weekend as Bosch begins sharing information. And the way it looks now, he has plenty of dirt on some very high-profile major leaguers.

Mike Trout, Miguel Cabrera having Unbelievable Seasons Once Again

miguel-cabreraWe’re now about one-third of the way through the Major League Baseball season, and the contenders are starting to separate themselves from the pretenders. Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera and Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout are definitely part of the contenders group. In fact, they’re more than just contenders as these two are on pace for incredible seasons yet again.

Cabrera is quite possibly proving himself to be the best hitter in baseball while Trout, who’s just 21 years old, displays an exceptional all-around game. So it’s no surprise that these guys are early season American League MVP candidates once again

When looking at Cabrera and Trout from an overall perspective – with hitting and fielding taken into account – about the only thing separating them is their teams’ success. Cabrera’s Tigers are sitting atop the AL Central with a 29-20 record while Trout’s Angels have fallen into third in the AL West with a 23-28 mark.

Despite the obvious differences in their teams’ records, neither of these guys are showing signs of slowing down any time soon. Here’s a quick look at what they’ve done so far.

Miguel Cabrera

miguel-cabrera-1The reigning AL MVP is on pace for an even better season this time around. Last year, he hit .330 with 44 home runs and 139 RBI’s. In the 2013 campaign, he’s hitting .377 with 14 homers and 57 RBI’s through just 49 games. If things keep up like this, it’s not inconceivable to think that the 30-year-old could challenge Hack Wilson’s single season record of 191 RBI’s.

As of now, Cabrera only needs a couple of homers to put himself in a position to take the triple crown. Don’t bet against him getting the triple crown either because Cabrera is excellent at making adjustments for different pitchers and takes advantage of any errantly-thrown fastball.

Perhaps Trout described Cabrera best when he said, “Just his approach – hitting fastballs the other way, turning on off-speed and especially his approach on two strikes. You make one bad pitch, and he is going to hit it. It’s his consistency. He punishes mistakes. I’ll get a pitch to hit and just pull off a little bit. He doesn’t miss.”

Mike Trout

mike-troutAt an age when many top prospects are graduating from AA to AAA, Mike Trout is playing with the Major League elite. He’s hit .304 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI’s through 51 games. And while this may not scream MVP, it’s what Trout does from an all-around perspective that separates him from the pack.

The 21-year-old has scored 41 runs, stolen 12 bases and routinely makes highlight-reel plays in center field. The latter could even earn Trout a Gold Glove this season – something that many felt he deserved in the 2012 campaign.

When it comes to the all-important Wins Above Replacement (WAR) stat, Trout ranks sixth in the MLB, which is just four spots away from second place Cabrera. That said, the third-year pro is invaluable to his team – a fact which sometimes goes unnoticed with the Angels’ struggles.

There’s still over 110 games left in the season, so it’ll be interesting to see how Trout and Cabrera fare within the next few months. Cabrera looks to have an inside track to his second straight MVP award. But if Los Angeles can improve in the win-loss department, look for Trout to make a strong bid for the AL MVP award too.