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A-Rod, Albert & PEDs Latin America

A-Rod, Albert & PEDs Latin America

Fifty years from now, what will people remember about Biogenesis?

I’ll tell ya’ what they won’t remember:

Tony Bosch, its founder, and the un-paid employee Porter Fischer who clued us all in;

Most of the culprits who made the list of shame (17), and;

Those nameless investigators (fed / mlb) who brought it all to fruition.

What they will remember:

Its two prize catches, Ryan Braun, Alex Rodriguez and how it defined their careers, and;

That the suspensions marked a demarcation point for MLB in its never-ending war on PEDs (another endless war) and the child-like, cheater’s mind-set which they feed.

Not just deterring and exposing the scoundrels through testing, but going on the offensive by going after points of distribution and those who operate the dens of drugs & deceit.

In all, seventeen men are suspended, three in 2012, fourteen this season, with only Alex Rodriguez appealing his suspension. Some may’ve lied and / or obstructed MLB’s investigation, all of them violated the player-approved Joint Drug Prevention & Treatment Program’s prohibition on PED use by way of their association with the Bosch family owned Florida-based drug distributorship.

The good news:

Biogenesis bust = more deterrence

How much more? Hard to say. If the reaction from fans, announcers and players is any indication, the support for baseball’s eradication efforts, some coupled with unabashed anger directed at those who continue to flaunt the PED ban, has never appeared stronger.

The bad news:

1) This time we got lucky

The Biogenesis gang didn’t get corralled because baseball’s testing procedures are tight, they got caught because of a federal mandate to halt illicit PED sales. Then the Boschs made it easy for ’em by stiffing employees who were privy to sensitive, damning data.

MLB’s working to catch cheaters but druggies don’t seem all that deterred by what’s in place. Baseball cannot rely on Feds or disgruntled employees to turn the tide on the PED war. That means MLBPA needs to get serious and help MLB bar the door: two blood-draws, each year, every player. Anything less is just a gift of deceit in pretty wrapping.

2) “It ain’t over, ‘til it’s over

A dark cloud hangs over baseball…and it’s not all A-Rod’s doing.

Alex Rodriguez continues to play while he appeals his suspension to newly hired arbitrator Fred Horowitz who expects to give his decision sometime in Nov – December.

Sure, A-Rod looks culpable, given his past, what’s been floated in the media and all his fellow ‘clinic’ customers taking their lumps. But the 3-time MVP has the most to lose in accepting this ban and then the most to gain if, by some chance, he prevails (See; Braun / Das ‘12), which, as rumor has it, would most likely mean a reduction in suspension.

It’s A-Rod’s cumulus, but it’s arbitration who’s stalled the front.

The wheel of justice gave itself a fat time-frame to render a ruling. No doubt there’s lots o’ data to digest but this ain’t exactly the Miller-Coors merger. Put on that thinking cap Fred, process any add’l matter and get ‘er done. It’s the national pastime, for god’s sake.

Letting this drag-out may give Rodriguez a lift (if he can boost the Yanks), but does no good for MLB or fans. Affording even the chance A-Rod goes Aaron Boone (‘03) and sends America’s Team into the fall classic is an outcome baseball just shouldn’t afford.

3) Trending South-of-the-Border

He stands off alone, ignored by press & public whenever talk of PEDs or baseball talent South of the Rio Grande is topic of conversation.

He’s the 10,000 pound elephant in the room and represents the apparent prevalence of performance enhancing drugs in the Latin American baseball community.

He can’t be overlooked anymore. Biogenesis has pushed him smack dab into the center of the room where…well, he’ll still get the ‘Who, what?,’ no doubt.

Nationalities on MLB’s recent list of suspendees:

Melky Cabrera (2012): Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (‘84);

Bartolo Colon: Altamira, Dominican Republic (‘73);

Yasmani Grandal: Havana, Cuba (‘88);

Nelson Cruz (2013): Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic (‘80);

Everth Cabrera: Nandaime, Nicaragua (‘86);

Jhonny Peralta: Santiago, Dominican Republic (‘82);

Antonio Bastardo: Hato Mayor del Ray, Dominican Republic (‘85);

Francisco Cervelli: Valencia, Venezuela (‘86);

Jordany Valdespin: San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic (‘87);

Jesus Montero: Guacara, Venezuela (‘89);

Cesar Puello: La Romana, Dominican Republic (‘91);

Sergio Escalona: El Tocuyo, Venezuela (‘84);

Fernando Martinez: Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic (‘88);

Fautino de los Santos: La Vega, Dominican Republic (‘86);

Jordan Norberto: Nagua, Dominican Republic (‘86);

Ryan Braun: Los Angeles, CA, USA (‘83);

Alex Rodriguez: New York, NY, USA (‘75) (Wikipedia: “Biogenesis baseball scandal”).

While PEDs are a menace that span the globe, altering bodies & minds of athletes everywhere (maybe more kids than we’d admit), the regularity with which those caught using in the Majors are Latin American in origin, might suggest a disturbing cultural trend in that region of the world engaged in the business operations of baseball development.

Could it be a mere coincidence that 15 of 17 are from Latin America, ten names from the Dominican Republic alone? If it is, it’s an awful “BIG coincidence (Elaine).”

Baseball must do more to educate players & associates on the wrongs and risks of using PEDs, wherever it has established a working relationship, whether that be South of the border, in Asia or North America.

Albert Pujols’ Timing Off

It’s not the man’s swing. Al’s on the DL, wearing a recuperative boot, last I heard.

I’m referring to Pujols’ talk of legal action against former player turned short-lived radio chatterbox, Jack Clark and radio WGNU, after Clark made bold statements concerning Pujols and his supposed PED use (“Albert“ / / 8-12-13).

Albert wants to protect his reputation. That’s cool. Not much worse than being wrongly accused, whether with malice or ignorance. Jack’s entitled to suspicions but to say he “know(s) for a fact” Al “has been a juicer,” well, you better have more than heresy to back that up or you’re gonna’ lose your job and maybe need to lawyer-up (“Albert” / ESPN).

Because for so long there was no testing, then only urine takes, now random blood draws once in a blue moon, when assessing player performance, we’re stuck with limiting language like ‘I suspect’ or ‘maybe he is, maybe he isn’t.’

My question to Mr. Pujols: If you’ve been clean, where was your voice ten, five years back when people outside baseball were calling for HGH blood tests and players had to be dragged kicking & screaming even to get on board with the leaky-standard passing-off for prevention policy today?

Unions protecting drug cheats, players deceiving fans and themselves, sacred marks falling left & right while some skunks scoot away scot-free & rich, and the captured media fawning over the fakes. All very frustrating for those who love the game beyond fantasy play. In frustration, sometimes resentment rushes out (Clark), maybe figuring players ‘made their bed,’ now they can sleep in it. Impassioned, if not haphazard.

Just playing PED-free has never been enough, Albert. There’s a price to pay for letting fear or indifference hold you back from leadership, and it’s coming due.

Whether or not Clark retracts / apologizes, Pujols has made his point and should drop the action. Persuading a jury that Albert was slandered won’t prove he never juiced, only that Jack misspoke, caused harm and is held responsible.

Before it’s in the hopper, Al might consider this brief but apropos line from Edward de Vere’s Hamlet: “the (man) doth protest too much, methinks.”

Steven Keys

Can o’ Corn

Photo Credit: Alex Rodriguez / 8-31-09 / Flickr – K. Allison /

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A native of the old Northwest Territory (IL), my wife and I have lived in four Midwestern states and Arizona. Today we live in Duluth, Georgia. I have a history / legal background.

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In response to “A-Rod, Albert & PEDs Latin America”

  1. steve massey Aug 20 20134:28 pm


    Steven, I just finished reading a piece by Jack Dickey in TIME 8/19 on the PED prosecution of A-Rod. Very interesting.
    Dickey asserts that MLB, in an effort to cover up their (and I paraphrase) bogus, inept PED testing program, went on the attack after the Miami New Times broke the story.
    Among other unethical moves, baseball paid an informant for company records that they couldn’t gain through the court system. Although the records weren’t enough for MLB to make a case, they could always stoop lower, which they did by paying the legal bills of former Biogenisis owner Anthony Bosch as well as calling off the Feds on his behalf.
    So the drug dealer gets off free and clear (at least to this point) and the guys he sells to go to baseball’s version of jail (or the gallows in the 38 year old A-Rod’s case).
    Players can still cheat with only the slightest chance they’ll ever be caught under the current system, baseball has dirtied the underside of its fingernails, and when given the old fashioned sniff-test the entire mess smells like one big nasty pile of rotting mackerel carcasses.
    I hate that baseball players cheat outside of the occasional spitball or hidden ball trick. I hate that the league won’t do anything to clean it up, but will do everything to make it look like they’re trying to.
    It’s not a constitutional violation to test workers in the workplace; I still hold a CDL and I’m subject to random drug test anywhere I might work. It’s part of the job. They should test these guys every month in additions to random tests based on a lottery. If for no other reason, just to get people like me to quit saying what they hate about the sport they love.
    Good piece on a sore subject.

    1. Steven Keys Aug 25 201311:20 pm


      Just saw your Aug.20th cmt today (25th), Steve. I’ve been off & on the past few days and it wasn’t here. Must be that dreaded “moderation” thing again. I don’t understand and nobody tells me anything. Any-whooo..,

      That skullduggery prevades the MLB-MLBPA-PED mess seems about right, though I do blame the players, almost in total. MLB’s Selig has always had a bully-pulpit (like the President on many issues) to help force the issue on players for real & frequent blood draws but (like the Prez) is either too afraid, indifferent or culpable-in-part, so refrains from using it. I guess both sides have a commonality in their greed, deception (“make it look like” real testing) and general disdain for us fans.

      Maybe we oughta’ dump our major sports and follow…croquet, nah, PEDs must be rampant there. How ’bout chess? That should be safe. They haven’t invented PEDs for brains yet, have they? Too many side effects. Course, that never stopped the FDA.

      Thanks for comment, Steve.

      1. Steve Massey Aug 26 20131:13 pm


        No worries. Dump MLB, not baseball. Just got done watching my home town (Go Chula Vista, Love you boys!) fall just short of a LLWS
        title (though they were crowned U,S. Champs) to Japan. Watching those kids play (and not just because they play their ball where I played mine) reminded me of everything I love about the game.
        The bonus: Not one of these kids was playing for money. And don’t you love the “I don’t Cheat” patches they wear on their left sleeves. That wouldn’t convince me if I saw Ryan Braun or Roger Clemmons wearing it, but with the kids it had an authentic ring.
        Thanks for the shoutback

  2. Howard Schumann Aug 23 201312:43 am


    Nice to see Edward de Vere, the true author of Hamlet receiving his proper credit.

  3. Ann Zakelj Aug 23 20137:29 am


    Not only do you know your baseball, you know your Shake-speare. Bravo!

  4. Steven Keys Aug 23 20136:23 pm


    Howard, Richard & Ann: Thanks for reading, commenting, remembering Edward de Vere, looking beyond Stratford on Avon and even for not selling merchandise at PSB.

    1. ankaz Aug 23 20136:30 pm


      Steven, we three are all ardent Oxfordians! And there are many, many of us! If you’d like to join us (virtually) via Facebook or on any number of other fora, you are most welcome. Let me know!

      Some of us are even avid baseball fans.

      Co-president of the once thriving, but now defunct, Tommy John Fan Club.

      1. Steven Keys Aug 25 201311:38 pm


        Thank you very much for the invite, Ann. Good to know there are “many, many” Oxfordians out there. At least Edward, were he around today, would have that, and then the truth, of course.

        “Tommy John Fan Club?” Really? Tom should be in the Hall of Fame. But no big deal. You hear TJ’s name more than you do 95% of the guys already inducted. Cooperstown’s become the Hall of Good n’ Plenty, kinda’ like the Shakespeare sell at Stratford on Avon, the more the merrier. Cha-ching!

        Thanks again for read & comments.

  5. Christopher Rowe Aug 27 20134:19 pm


    So long as there is the potential for huge paydays, there will always be corruption regarding PED and sports. They will always go hand in hand and as sports isa huge dollar business it will be pervaded by whatever the substance, delivery method and/or transport device (#Star Trek) available. Much like the ever-lasting chase between criminals and law enforcement (#LesMis) this is a yin-yang situation that will not go away.

    Can it be cracked down on and legislated to the point of near extinction? Perhaps but if it makes MLB profit then it is foolhardy to expect MLB to police itself (or NFL NBA, etc). Clearly Congress is not powerful enough to step in and law enforcement can only do what they are empowered to do. Organized crime used to be a huge issue and while it is no longer so, it has not ceased to exist. Much like New York’s Times Square was rid of seedy element when purchased by Disney, said element did not disappar – rather it was disseminated into darker corners all over the city.

    Point blank. You can cover the stink of rat terds with potpourri but the only way to get rid of them is the eradicate the rats. The rats in question here are fed by profits… and the cycle continues…

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