Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Bring in the closer on A-Rod saga...the feds

If MLB is going to clean up its sport, the government has to go after Anthony Bosch, his clinic and his 'patients' -- including the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez

If you are one who believes that what the juicers have done is a form of athletic fraud, then you should want the government to get to the bottom of this with Alex Rodriguez
New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez (13) Batting practice.  New York Yankees vs. Baltimore ALDS Game 2.  Monday October 8, 2012.  Baltimore, Maryland.   (Corey Sipkin/New York Daily News)


Alex Rodriguez wants the world to believe he only used PEDs as a Texas Ranger.

This time when Alex Rodriguez’s name is linked to performance enhancing drugs, he immediately issues a statement through a PR firm saying that it is all a lie and then lawyers up with Roy Black, a Miami guy who is a lot like Alex in the sense that he used to be a lot bigger than he is now.
Oh, you hear it good from A-Rod, through his mouthpieces. You hear how it is all a lie about Rodriguez’s relationship with a guy named Bosch running an “anti-aging” clinic in South Florida, a clinic that the feds and Major League Baseball clearly seem to think is the new BALCO, the Bay Area drug lab that pretty much helped change modern baseball history, the lab that eventually put a padlock in front of the National Baseball Hall of Fame for some of the game’s biggest stars, starting with Mr. Barry Bonds.
Now it is A-Rod linked to Bosch the way Bonds and friends were once linked to BALCO. And somebody needs to give us a reason why we should believe a word Rodriguez says about drugs any more than we believe Lance Armstrong. And why anybody should think that Rodriguez is anything more than the right-handed Bonds.
Once, when first caught as a juicer, Rodriguez expected the world to believe this preposterous, nuanced account of what he said was his limited drug use as a Texas Ranger:


A-Rod's first story is he only used PEDs in Texas (r.) but not in Seattle (l.) or with the Yankees.

That it was the pressure of his $252 million contract that made him do it, that he was just this dumb crazy kid (he was in his mid-20s at the time), that even though he didn’t know exactly what he was taking from some friend or cousin, or what it was doing for him, he continued to do it month after month for three years.
It is a version of things for suckers. We were also expected to believe he was squeaky clean after that, expected to believe that in 2007, when he had 54 home runs and knocked in 156 for the Yankees — juicy Texas numbers — he was more drug-free than the Betty Ford Clinic.
Now, despite detailed patient files and payment records and even handwritten notes linking Rodriguez to this “biochemist” Anthony Bosch, about whom you first learned in the Daily News on Saturday morning, Rodriguez clearly intends to make this his word against Bosch’s, even if Bosch eventually flips on him the way Brian McNamee, Roger Clemens’ former trainer, flipped on Clemens.


Anthony Bosch.

You know why McNamee did that, by the way? Not because he was a rat and snitch, but because when he talked to George Mitchell’s investigators for the Mitchell Report, the feds were in the room. And McNamee had been made well aware that you have two choices with the feds in the room: You tell the truth, or you don’t tell anything at all.
All this time later there is this idea that the government should somehow just look the other way on drug cheats in sports because they couldn’t pin the perjury rap on Clemens that Clemens deserved. But the feds cannot allow Rodriguez to make this just his word against Bosch’s, make this a wretched war fought in A-Rod’s behalf by handlers and crisis managers and spin doctors.
If baseball is going to continue to clean up its sport, something it has done mightily over the last decade, the government has to continue to go after Bosch and his clinic and his “patients.” The government has subpoena power. Major League Baseball certainly does not.


Alex Rodriguez's new attorney, Roy Black.

You may be one of those who didn’t care what Armstrong was taking, doesn’t care if Bonds or Clemens were juiced to the gills. You may be one of those, like Armstrong’s enablers, who fall back now on the defense that Everybody Was Doing It. But if you believe these guys are cheats, if you are one who believes that what the juicers have done is a form of athletic fraud, then you should want the government to get to the bottom of this with Rodriguez and everybody else.
He should have to tell his story under oath, not to Oprah or Katie. “The news report about a purported relationship between Alex Rodriguez and Anthony Bosch are not true,” is the beginning of the statement from Citrick and Company for Rodriguez on Tuesday
He wants you to believe him the way he wanted you to believe him when he came clean in the spring of 2009, after years of his own Armstrong-like denials about drug use. He wants you to believe him now the way he wanted you to believe that Dr. Anthony Galea, the guy he was with before he was with Anthony Bosch, never gave him human growth hormone even though Galea is the patron saint of HGH.
Oh, and of course you were supposed to believe Rodriguez had to import his own sports physician from Canada — Galea — because, hey, we don’t have any good ones in New York. And you were never supposed to believe the stories going around for a couple of years, as Rodriguez has been in decline, that he himself has been going around the country looking for guys who might be able to give him a pick-me-up that modern baseball drug testing would not detect.
Maybe in the end the truth about Rodriguez is that he was juicing from the time he was a kid. It would mean that the real lie isn’t the stories coming out about him now. The real lie would be Alex Rodriguez himself.

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