Anthony Bosch appeared on 60 Minutes Sunday night. If your Sunday night television viewing plan of attack opted for the Golden Globe Awards, Downton Abbey or something entirely else, you missed the disgraced Biogenesis “doctor” paint a fairly damning picture of Alex Rodriguez and his alleged PED use. It was primarily Bosch’s testimony that led to Major League Baseball handing A-Rod a 211-game suspension last August, which was reduced to 162 games on Saturday following a grievance hearing.
Given the absurd nature of the entire A-Rod vs. MLB fight, the 60 Minutes piece didn’t disappoint.
After the Biogenesis scandal became public, Bosch said some A-Rod associated wanted him to sign an affidavit that he never provided Rodriguez with PEDS. Shortly after this meeting Bosch claimed these associates wanted him to move to Colombia to lay low and that they’d pay him $25,000 a month while he was in South America. Later Bosch said he received a death threat in the form of a text message to his ex-girlfriend saying that “he would not live to see the end of the year.”Oh right, there was also an anecdote from Bosch how he took a blood sample from A-Rod in a bathroom stall at a Miami night club.
These revelations came after Bosch laid out a fairly straight-forward account of how he provided — and injected — Rodriguez with all sorts of PEDs including testosterone, HGH and candy-like substances they called “gummies.” These gummies apparently provided a testosterone boost during games. 60 Minutes relayed some of the text messages between A-Rod and Bosch (note A-Rod was using a Blackberry) about what specific time he should take one of the gummies before a game so it would be out of his system in time for any post-game drug testing.
Bosch said he was paid $12,000 per month to devise a program for A-Rod and that he even (it’s hard to believe this was discussed on National television) consulted Rodriguez on which part of his urine stream to use during drug tests. Bosch related that Rodriguez sought him out after watching Manny Ramirez’s 2008 season. (Just a thought: using Manny as a guide might not the be wisest gameplan.)
60 Minutes also interviewed other important figures in the case including MLB commissioner Bud Selig, MLB COO Rob Manfred and Rodriguez attorney Joe Tacopina. Selig — who would not testify during A-Rod’s grievance hearing — called the Yankees third baseman’s actions, “beyond comprehension.” Manfred revealed MLB paid $125,000 for the Biogenesis documents and then arranged to have Bosch (who at this point was fearful for his life) corroborate them. Tacopina, naturally, denied everything. (He responded to the piece late Sunday night.)
There’s a lot to digest here. Bosch’s testimony — especially the text message records — doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room for A-Rod. That’s assuming you, like arbiter Fredric Horowitz, believe Bosch and find him a credible enough witness. Throughout this entire affair Bosch’s credibility — to many — remains suspect and the 60 Minutes piece didn’t do anything to dispel that notion making note that he doesn’t have an official license to practice medicine.
But make no mistake the 60 Minutes report skewed pro-MLB. The appearances of both Selig and Manfred, while the grievance case was still open is puzzling. It did lend some fuel to the fire about the “witch hunt” nature of the case. The MLBPA was not happy that key figures in the case appeared on the program. CBS, it could be argued, did little but give Bosch and others a high-profile platform to talk about the case.
A-Rod is now expected to take the case to federal court. If it does go to court, then once and for all we might be able to see the evidence on the table from both sides, rather than looking at it from someone with either a pro-A-Rod or pro-MLB agenda. It might also provide Rodriguez a platform to tell his side or refute Bosch’s claims, which he declined to do during the grievance hearing.
As the New Yorker detailed last month, the actions of all parties in this case be they Selig’s or A-Rod’s are very questionable, mainly due to their reliance on Bosch. Despite their differences, both Selig and Rod desperate cling to the notion of their “legacy.” Let’s be fair: nobody will come out of this affair, whatever the final resolution, smelling like the proverbial rose.
I’d be remiss if I failed to mention CBS played a clip from A-Rod’s lengthy, empassioned interview with Mike Francesa in Novemeber which culminated with this fittingly absurd exchange.