The 2013 season could prove unlike any in baseball history, with an unprecedented wave of suspensions possible by the All-Star break in the mushrooming Biogenesis scandal.
Ryan Braun, the Milwaukee Brewers’ 2011 National League MVP who beat the rap after one positive test for performance-enhancing drugs, and Alex Rodriguez are the most prominent of 20-plus players who could face season-ending suspensions if commissioner Bud Selig and his crew get their way.
ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” reported Tuesday that Tony Bosch, founder of the now-shuttered Biogenesis of America, has been persuaded to cooperate with Major League Baseball’s investigation, corroborating a series of records MLB has had for about a month. ESPN also is reporting MLB will seek unprecedented 100-game suspensions for the players, claiming that first and second offenses were committed when players obtained banned substances from the clinic and subsequently lied to MLB investigators about their involvement.
Bosch and his attorneys did not return several calls. MLB officials refused to comment when reached Tuesday.
The news came on a night when Braun and the Brewers rallied to beat the Oakland Athletics 4-3 in 10 innings at Miller Park.
Carlos Gomez scored from first on Yuniesky Betancourt’s line drive in the gap between center and right.
John Axford (2-3) got the win with a scoreless 10th. He retired Yoenis Cespedes, whose first career multi-homer game had given the Athletics a 3-0 lead through seven innings, and after walking Jed Lowrie he struck out Josh Donaldson and got Josh Reddick on a flyout.
Pat Neshek (1-1) took over in the bottom of the 10th and retired Ryan Braun on a grounder to third before Aramis Ramirez blooped an 0-2 pitch into short left and was replaced by pinch-runner Jeff Bianchi. Gomez reached on a fielder’s choice and scored with a head-first slide on Betancourt’s line drive.
But the night was dominated by the news off the field.
Bosch is expected to begin meeting with officials — and naming names — within a week.
The announcement of suspensions could follow within two weeks.
Investigators have had records naming about 20 players for more than a month, but investigators needed a sworn statement from Bosch.
The players who might ultimately face discipline from MLB include: Braun, Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon, Yasmani Grandal, Nelson Cruz, Francisco Cervelli, Jesus Montero, Jhonny Peralta, Cesar Puello, Fernando Martinez, Everth Cabrera, Fautini de los Santos, Jordan Norberto, and a number of players who are either identified by code names or whose names appear in other documents not obtained by “Outside the Lines.”
All players being pursued are currently on major league rosters but for Puello, a top outfield prospect for the New York Mets who is playing in Class AA Binghamton.