Sources: MLB Set To Suspend Biogenesis-Linked Players After All-Star Break
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig's office is "expected to suspend" Brewers LF Ryan Braun and Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez, "along with as many as 20 players sometime after next week's All-Star break, for their roles in the Biogenesis case," according to sources cited by Quinn & Fish of ESPN.com. Braun, who has "repeatedly denied using performance-enhancing drugs, refused to answer questions during a recent meeting" with MLB about his alleged connection to the clinic. A source said that the meeting "took place June 29." The question now turns to the "length of the suspensions." Sources said that MLB was "considering 100-game bans for Braun and Rodriguez, the punishment for a second offense, even though neither player was previously suspended for violating MLB's drug policy." A source said that the argument would "be that they -- and possibly other players -- committed multiple offenses by receiving performance-enhancing drugs" from Biogenesis Founder Anthony Bosch and "by lying about it" (ESPN.com, 7/9). In N.Y., O'Keeffe, Madden, Vinton & Thompson report Rodriguez on Friday will be interviewed by MLB officials "about his links" to Bosch. The meeting is "likely to take place in Tampa and is expected to be one of the final steps before MLB suspends the fallen Yankee star." MLB has "already interviewed at least 10 players who have also invoked baseball’s version of the Fifth Amendment" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 7/10).
AWKWARD OUTCOME? FOXSPORTS.com's Jon Paul Morosi writes of the Biogenesis case, "Whatever the outcome, this could be one of the most awkward second halves in baseball history." Our national pastime has "remained remarkably resilient through this and other scandals over time." Legal- and PED-related stories in general have "minimal impacts on what actually matters to fans -- wins and losses." But the Biogenesis case "is different." Here we "have a quasi-legal proceeding, the details of which remain mysterious to many managers and players, potentially impacting key contributors on contending teams." A piece of Selig's "legacy is at stake, to say nothing of the reputations of players linked to the probe" (FOXSPORTS.com, 7/10). NBCSPORTS.com's Matthew Pouliot wrote, "With the appeals process to be played out, it’s just not very realistic to think that anyone is going to end up serving suspensions this year" (NBCSPORTS.com, 7/9).