The 60 Minutes Report

The trouble with liars, as the old line goes, is that they don’t have the decency to lie all the time. Somewhere in his parade of nonsense, paranoia and self-aggrandizement, it seems evident that Anthony Bosch told some truths about Alex Rodriguez and performance enhancing drugs. It just doesn’t seem practical for him to have made it all up. But to get to those truths, wherever they begin and end, you have to traverse a latrine of drivel, stupidity, delusion and a soul-crushing assault on the game of baseball.

The 60 Minutes report (Part I and Part II), in case you have not seen it yet, will make you dislike everyone more. Everyone. No matter how much you may dislike Alex Rodriguez, Tony Bosch, Bud Selig or Rob Manfred, it is guaranteed that by the end of this thing your opinions of them will have dropped substantially. You will like your dog less after seeing this thing.

Is it worth the trip?

Baseball decided: Yes. Absolutely it’s worth it. Why? Well, for an answer to that, you have to wait all the way to the end of the 60 Minutes report.

* * *

The report begins with host Scott Pelley asking Tony Bosch what banned substances Alex Rodriguez used. Bosch was the founder and program director of Biogenesis, the Miami clinic that was listed as a weight-loss and rejuvenation center but was in fact selling performance-enhancing drugs to athletes. One of these athletes, it seems, was Alex Rodriguez.

Bosch responded that Rodriguez was using testosterone, insulin growth factor, human growth hormone and various other illegal drugs. An impressive list. Bosch, after explaining that Rodriguez was scared of needles, said he personally injected Rodriguez on more than one occasion. This reminded of Roger Clemens fear of needles — these guys really should be less squeamish.

Our story begins. Bosch said that on July 30, 2010 — five days before he hit his 600th home run — Rodriguez met with him to ask for drugs. Lots of drugs. According to Bosch, Rodriguez wanted the good stuff, the stuff Manny Ramirez used in 2008 when his home runs went up from 20 to 37 (or as Pelley says, Ramirez met with Bosch and, “the next season he nearly doubled his home runs!”).

This will be a constant theme in the piece, by the way: This theme that drugs are magic and can turn hitters into superhumans. If 60 Minutes was doing a commercial for PEDs, they could have hardly done better. In fact, they would not be ALLOWED to run that as a commercial because they did not list off the side effects. I’m constantly reminded of Buck O’Neil’s lament: If baseball leaders want kids to not use these drugs, why do they keep going on and on about HOW WELL THEY WORK? As you will see, 60 Minutes goes to bizarre extremes to make Bosch sound like the world’s greatest scientist and his drugs into enchanted candy that can make all your dreams comes true.

Back to Bosch: He says that Rodriguez was pointed toward becoming the first and only member of the 800 home run club. We see papers that Bosch says are elaborate drug schedules for Rodriguez, schedules timed to the minute. Bosch talks about once giving Rodriguez a blood test at 8 p.m. in the bathroom stall of a night club — the story never made clear exactly why he needed do to that.

“What were you thinking at that time?” Pelley asked.

“I’m not getting paid enough,” Bosch replied, an answer that could not more perfectly fit the man who gave it. Bosch admitted to being paid $12,000 a month.

Then we were introduced to testosterone troches, which Bosch charmingly called “Gummies.” These were testosterone pills, tiny ones, that you could put in your mouth before a game and would give you what Bosch called “more energy, more strength, more focus.” But somehow these also would be undetectable after the game.

Here, Pelley and 60 Minutes point out that on one date that corresponds with text messages, Rodriguez took these at least one of these gummies. The date was April 6, 2012. Opening Day. Pelley says that Rodriguez had a “great game.” He went two-for-three with two walks, two runs scored and hit a “412-foot double.” The stuff works! “

The combination,” Bosch said, “makes playing playing the game of baseball a lot easier.”

Yeah, well: The report doesn’t really mention that Rodriguez went one for his next 16, hit one home run in his first 13 games and hit just .272 with 18 home runs the whole season, probably the worst of his career up to that point.

In fact, the report doesn’t mention that since working with Bosch — based on Bosch’s own recollection — Rodriguez has hit .269/.356/.441 with 41 home runs in three seasons. His body has fallen apart. He has played in three playoff series and in those hit .111 and .125 and .111 again.

“I’m good at what I do,” Bosch said when asked why Rodriguez trusted him.

One other odd part of the report: Pelley for some reason thought Bosch should be feeling regret over what he did, as if he was talking to somebody who had dedicated his life to the honor and integrity of baseball. That was really strange. Pelley seemed on the surface to understand he was talking to a lying drunken drug dealer, but then he asks Bosch how he could do this to the game of baseball. How could you, Tony? You knew it was wrong. You knew it was hurting the game. How, Tony?

“I felt I had a responsibility to do it,” Bosch said. He said, yes, absolutely, if he had not been caught he would still be doing it.

Then, after saying Bosch had no criminal record other than parking tickets and a citation for practicing without a license (with apparently no concern for the countless crimes he was copping to on the show), 60 Minutes cleared the decks to let Anthony Bosch offer a little soliloquy about the game. “I love the game of baseball,” he says. “Unfortunately this is part of baseball. It’s always been part of the game.” Yes, he said “Unfortunately.”

“But this cuts to the heart of fair play,” Pelley said, still appealing to, well, I’m not sure what.

“Fair play?” Bosch said. “If everybody’s on it, isn’t that fair play?”

Thus endeth Part I of the report.

* * *

Part II of the report was, if possible, even more depressing than Part I. Now, we get Tony Bosch talking about how Rodriguez’s associates — they were called associates throughout the piece — offered to send Bosch to Colombia to hide away for a while, threatened to kill him and also sent him $50,000 in bribes. The Colombia thing was of particular note. “They said ‘I think you should leave town, we’ll get you a plane ticket to Colombia, you stay there until this blows over,’” Bosch said. “They offered me, I forget the number $25,000, $20,000 a month, and said ‘I’ll give you another $150,000.”

Then, Scott Pelley added this rather unbelievable line:

“Bosch said he was suspicious and turned down the offer.”

Um … what? Suspicious of what? Suspicious of their motives? Suspicious that they wouldn’t pay the full amount? Suspicious of what kind of home he could get in Colombia? What? The obvious takeaway, I guess, is that he was suspicious that they would have him taken care of down in Colombia. Tony Bosch obviously thinks he’s living in the second half of “Goodfellas,” with danger lurking around every corner.

Is it true? Was Alex Rodriguez hanging out with Miami gangsters who would solve his problems by offing the guy he paid $12,000 a month to give him drugs that were not helping his performance? Or is Tony Bosch a delusional nutjob who somewhere along the way lost his grip of reality and started seeing threats in the words spelled out by his Alpha Bits cereal? Or both?

Fortunately, Major League Baseball’s Rob Manfred brought some integrity to the proceedings. He said that he ordered that baseball pay $125,000 for Biogenesis documents from someone that identified himself as “Bobby.” It’s an honorable name. But, if you fear that there might be some questions about documents from someone named “Bobby,” Manfred made it very clear that extraordinary efforts were made to authenticate these documents. A lot more effort, you would assume, than spent finding Bobby’s last name.

Then, they sued Bosch and his brother in order to pressure him into participating in the MLB investigation. That too worked — well, the combination of pressure and then paying for Bosch to have bodyguards protect him from “associates” and to pay for his defense against any criminal investigation worked.

“There were the drug things on one side,” Commissioner Bud Selig said of Rodriguez, “and then all the things that he did to impede our investigation.” Yes, when you have an investigation that is so principled and above-board, you certainly cannot have anyone trying to impede it.

Pelley had questions. How could they know Bosch was telling the truth when MLB was paying so much to get him to testify? Manfred had two answers for this. For one thing, Bosch brought along lot of corroborating evidence, which is a reasonable answer.

But listen to the other one:

“Mr. Bosch’s credibility on this issue, whatever his motivations, whatever we did for him, was established by his willingness to come in, raise his right hand and testify,” Manfred said. Yes. He actually said that. Tony Bosch’s credibility — already set by 60 Minutes at whatever level you put lying, drunken drug dealers — is established because he raised his right hand.

But wait. There’s more.

“The credibility of any witness,” Manfred continues, “is determined by … looking the individual in the eye, listening to the story he tells and lining it up with other evidence.”

Oh. They looked into his eyes.

The report at some point shows A-Rod in his pitiful and wretched, “Did you do anything wrong? … No,” question-and-answer lie-fest on WFAN, and maybe people got a chance to look into his eyes during that pathetic session but at this point there was only turning away.

Baseball is a great game. It is a great game when we are little and we try to hit giant whiffle balls with plastic bats. It is a great game when we play ball with other kids in the neighborhood, right-field off-limits because you don’t have enough people to put an outfielder there. It is a great game when we put on a real uniform for the first time — with those great baseball stirrup socks and spikes and gloves that still smell like new leather– and when we swing a bat and connect so well that the hands don’t even feel vibration.

And it’s a great game when we are watching the best in the world play, when watching Miguel Cabrera unleash on a pitch, when watching Clayton Kershaw hit the corner with a fastball, when watching Andrelton Simmons go into the hole and backhand a ground ball or watching Mike Trout run in the outfield. It’s always been a great game, even if there has always been ugliness surrounding it.

At the end of the 60 Minutes report, all is ugliness. A-Rod is guilty and lying, surely, Anthony Bosch seems a first-class lowlife, Rob Manfred comes across as Old Man Potter from “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and the only winner in the whole mess — THE ONLY WINNER — seems to be the drugs themselves, which apparently work miracles and, if used right, are undetectable.

So what point of all this again?

Scott Pelley ends the report like so: “And Bud Selig has announced his retirement from the game. Part of his legacy is the establishment of the toughest anti-doping rules in all of American pro sports.”

There it is. Bud Selig, who has been commissioner over the worst drug scandal to ever hit American sports, who presided over a game that ten years ago DID NOT TEST for drugs, got 60 Minutes to put that line at the end. Part of his legacy is this glorious chapter of buying papers from Bobby, threatening and paying off Boesch and nailing Alex Rodriguez.

The report ended and only then, if you watch the Internet videos, do you get the biggest lesson of all. You get to see who sponsored the report.

Viagra.

108 thoughts on “The 60 Minutes Report

  1. robbyt86RobbyT

    You hit the nail on the head with the two things that blew my mind most. One, that a guy pulling down six figures for cheating a game would have any type or remorse or guilt about it. Two, that bit at the end about Selig’s legacy, making it sound like he’s saved baseball, when in fact he’s as much to blame for all of this as the players are.

    Reply
    1. DjangoZ

      I disagree. I love Joe’s writing, but when it comes to PEDs he is very one-sided.

      It’s always obvious that Joe would like to pretend that PEDs never happened, and if they happened then they didn’t affect performance and they didn’t mean anything.

      I can understand why he feels this way. He has dedicated thousands of hours of his life beautifully telling the story of baseball…and the last 20+ years have been very, very ugly.

      I wish he could focus instead on the players who haven’t been using PEDs, the ones who actually represent the values he wants to see associated with the game he loves.

      Reply
      1. vivaelpujols

        This is dumb. The game was not very, very ugly. Many people’s favorite baseball memories are McGwire or Sosa. One of my favorite memories was watching Bonds hit two homers, a single and a walk one time while I was on an airplane.

        This ARod mess has been far uglier than steroids in themselves have ever been. And both sides are to blame.

        Reply
        1. bellweather22

          Ummmmm…. The ARod “mess” IS about steroids. And you don’t think Bonds and Clemens (and Palmeiro and Tejeda) lying to Congress, with two of them being dragged to trial was ugly? And BALCO and the Mitchell Report and Game of Shadows wasn’t ugly? And “I don’t want to talk about the past” wasn’t ugly? How about a recent MVP smugly proclaiming his innocence and blaming the drug tester ….then testing positive again?

          Either your memory is very, very short, or your definition of “ugly” is very different than mine.

          Reply
          1. Baseball Fan

            Braun didn’t test positive again. None of those suspended in the BioGenesis case failed a drug-test (except for Braun 2 years ago).

  2. bl

    Mike Wallace must be spinning in his grave with what 60 minutes has become. Just in the last couple months you have this ridiculous report; the fraudulent, swept under the rug Benghazi report; and the knee-bending commercial for the wonderful NSA.

    There’s no reason to be surprised this report was so inane.

    Reply
    1. Ben Eysselinck

      I was thinking the exact same thing… I find it kinda sad that an HBO drama, The Newsroom, has more hard hitting reporting than the current faded facsimile that is 60-Minutes.

      Reply
      1. bellweather22

        I miss Dan Rather crashing into businesses with a camera crew and ambushing the subject of his investigation. A lot of people thought it was overkill, but the accusatory questions to a smug criminal, to me, was classic TV.

        Reply
  3. wordyduke

    It seemed such a good idea at the time. Close two lanes onto the GW Bridge to give Ft. Lee a traffic problem and teach people there a lesson. Now, not such a good idea. Our good idea now is to fire a few underlings and not ask them any questions about who else was involved.

    It seemed such a good idea at the time. Look the other way as players use PEDs, some illegal, to break records and gain baseball all sorts of attention. Now, not such a good idea. Our good idea now — the part we want you to remember as our “legacy” — is to establish “the toughest anti-doping rules in all of American pro sports.” Under the bus with the players we winked at yesterday.

    Reply
  4. Terry Benish

    Every declarative statement made by Bosch is followed by a major basic “tell” that first year investigators will tell you shows he has lied.

    Reply
    1. DjangoZ

      As someone who has trained homicide dectectives, I’d love to hear your explanation of these tells. After all even first year investigators know.

      Go ahead. Let us know your credentials as well.

      Reply
  5. Skip

    I was wondering when someone would note the Viagra connection; I should have known it would be Joe. Joe’s points about Czar Selig were well taken as well. Wonderful piece!!!

    Reply
  6. Matt Janik (@MattJanik)

    Joe’s written piles upon piles of awesome stuff; this is right up there. The whole A-Rod thing is a circus, and a fiasco, and a full-on assault against anything even resembling logic.

    It makes sense to me though that Rob Manfred would argue you can deduce somebody’s integrity just by looking them in the eye. MLB and baseball writers have been using the eye test to decide who’s using PEDs for nearly a decade now.

    Reply
    1. bellweather22

      Seriously, though average people are not good liars, psychopaths can look you in the eye and lie, no problem. They likely don’t even consider it lying, since they make up their own reality as they go. Probably Bosch and ARod are both psychopaths, so one should assume that most what they say are lies.

      Reply
      1. invitro

        “Probably Bosch and ARod are both psychopaths, so one should assume that most what they say are lies.”

        You’re making a basic logical error here. Because A is capable of doing B does not imply that A always does B.

        It’s still better to judge the truth or falsity of a statement on the content of the statement than on the speaker of the statement, or at least I hope it is in these Internet damn-the-facts times.

        Reply
        1. bellweather22

          I don’t disagree. We already know ARod is a liar from his past steroids (failed) coverup attempts, since he was eventually confronted with facts that forced him to admit some steroid use…. Though it’s certainly likely that he used much more than he admitted.

          I don’t know that much about Bosch, except that he was running a criminal enterprise, has incentive to lie, and cannot be trusted.

          My use of the word “psychopath” was just used to state that both seem to be pathological liars…. Or, if you prefer, simply two guys whose words have little credibility.

          Reply
  7. Eddie

    The only winner here is the New York Yankees, who got rid of a player they don’t want, saved a ton of money in the process, and now have a much freer hand to pursue Masahiro Tanaka while working to stay under the luxury tax.

    Reply
    1. bellweather22

      I believe that because do certain contractual clauses, ARod still ends up receiving north of $5M this year…. And then there is still $60M left on his contract after this year. So, the Yankees save $20M+, but not close to the whole contract.

      Reply
    2. Tom Wright

      The Yankees are still going to have to deal with A-Rod from 2015 to 2017, during which time they will be paying him roughly 60 million dollars. Also during that time, Rivera and Cano will be gone and Jeter will probably retire, leaving A-Rod as (by far) the longest tenured Yankee and the likely center of media attention (especially since Teixeira and Ellsbury have never been media types). I’m sure that the Yanks are excited to have the salary cap mulligan for 2014, but it’s tough to say that the long-term effect on the Yankees is positive.

      Reply
      1. invitro

        “it’s tough to say that the long-term effect on the Yankees is positive.”

        So you think it would be better long-term for the Yankees to have to pay $20M to ARod this year.

        Reply
  8. pip

    Viagra can suck it. You know someone died from overdosing on Viagra? Seriously.

    They made a movie about him, actually. Know what they called it?

    Die Hard.

    Reply
  9. Blake

    The truly awful part is that apparently the drugs are undetectable. A-Rod was doing these things and didn’t fail a drug test. So the steroid era isn’t over, and maybe it never will be.

    You’re right, very depressing.

    Reply
    1. Eric H.

      Isn’t it possible that these drugs are “undetectable” because they don’t work? As Joe and others have noted, A-Rod’s Biogenesis-era performance (and health) has been notably worse than anything that came before. This Bosch guy might have just made millions selling the equivalent of sugar water to gullible baseball players. (This doesn’t absolve the players from guilt, of course. They willfully TRIED to cheat, whether or not it was actually effective.)

      Reply
  10. Chris Valentino

    Great breakdown. Makes me think the “I know football and I know coffee” guy might have been full of crap too.

    Reply
  11. John Protevi

    Agreed on the tawdry (hardly seems strong enough) nature of this latest Selig maneuver. But in our focus on the bungling of PEDs from the 90s onward by Selig-the-commissioner, let’s not ever forget Selig-the-owner and his role in the 1980s collusion scandal. That’s part of his legacy too.

    Reply
  12. doohan

    With the recent kerfuffle about Hall of Fame voters blacklisting players from the PED era, I have to wonder if some will never again vote for any players. The PED era is not over, it is now. The biggest come-away for me from this episode is that a potentially huge percentage of MLB uses PEDs, and MLB has a nearly useless testing program. Most of the Biogenesis players, who apparently routinely used during the season (and during games!), never had positive tests.

    Reply
  13. Pingback: How to make A-Rod sympathetic Update

  14. doncoffin64

    “The report ended and only then, if you watch the Internet videos, do you get the biggest lesson of all. You get to see who sponsored the report.

    “Viagra.”

    Priceless.

    Reply
      1. doncoffin64

        I wouldn’t go that far. He doesn’t think that steroids were *the* cause of the explosion in power and offense in the 1990s, and he doesn’t think that testing is the explanation for the reduced offense of the past few years. I don’t think he’s ever said that *no one* ever benefitted. He clearly does not think steroid use is a sufficient explanation. (I tend to agree with him.)

        Reply
        1. DjangoZ

          Right. It was the baseballs that were juiced. Sigh.

          You’ll literally believe anything rather than face the fact that athletes you enjoyed watching were cheating.

          There is a great psychology paper in all of this.

          “Peter Pan and the PEDs: when fans grow up and can’t acknowledge that their childhood heros cheated.”

          Reply
  15. Matthew Clark

    Yes this another well written piece. But what I have always loved about Joe’s work is how clearly he can express the joy inherent in what is right with the game.
    I know it is hard/impossible not to pay attention to the drugs and the cheating and the scandle: just like it is impossible not to watch the crashes during NASCAR. But please, there are so many writters out there. Your gift is precious. Let others write about what is tawdry and wrong with our game. Please show me again what is right and beautiful.
    Thank you.

    Reply
  16. mark in orlando

    If you are going to do PED’s go to the guy that took care of Bonds and Clemens even into their forties they put up great numbers, A-Rod’s production under Bosch was terrible, he should get his money back

    Reply
    1. Luke Martinez

      There were many people taking the same steroids that Bonds and Clemens did. Believe it or not, many of them had similar results to Rodriguez. You’d think, with such inconsistent results that people might start to question whether PEDs are truly the boogeyman everyone thinks they are.

      Reply
      1. Jerry

        I wonder if some of the players who took PED’s used them as an excuse to not work as hard, and that is why their production fell off. Bonds and Clemens are known to be 2 of the hardest workers to ever play the game. Maybe that, in conjunction with PED’s, is why they succeeded, while others didn’t

        Reply
        1. bellweather22

          I agree with this. Taking steroids and skipping the gym and BP is not going to help much. However, players that took steroids and recognized that they could work out much harder and longer because of recovery benefits, gained great performance benefits. Under normal circumstances, workout intensity and duration is limited by your body’s capacity. Work out too much, and injuries start to occur. As we get older, the capacity for working out is reduced, and injuries occur more frequently as we overdo it.

          However, doing steroids and other PEDs increase the body’s capacity for working out and recovering. In effect, it turns back the clock and allows an aging player to workout hard, recover, and perform at peak levels. This is what we saw with Bonds and Clemens, when they should have been declining.

          Reply
  17. Francis

    I can’t help but refer to Bosch and A-Rod as the Gummie Dummies, but more frightening were the alleged amount of backdoor deals or brokering among A-Rod and Bosch, Bosch and MLB, and, dare I type, MLB and 60 Minutes. Did Selig demand something in return for appearing on camera? Can we get that answer?

    Reply
  18. Michael

    Does anyone know how MLB came up with 211 games for Rodriguez or 324% greater than Ryan Braun? This 60 minutes production co-produced by MLB has to be rock bottom and certainly secures Selig’s legacy. He will always be associated drunken lying dope dealer and that is how he helped revenues ascend to the levels that they are today. Just wondering did LaRussa ever see the Bash Brothers shooting up? Has anyone ever asked him?
    A-Rod should have been given half a season to 100 games except Selig is a self-righteous pompous con artist trying to avenge the fact that Henry Aaron’s home record was broken and that he is as responsible as Bonds, Arod or the Tony Bosch’s of the world!

    Reply
    1. Bill Caffrey

      They didn’t really come up with 211. What they came up with was “the rest of this season and all of next season.” There just happened to be 49 games left in the 2013 season when they announced that suspension, hence it worked out to 211.

      I still don’t understand how the union is allowing MLB to get away with abandoning the framework of 50-100-Life, which is what the JDA provides for, but that’s what they did.

      In Braun’s case, I believe he accepted “the rest of the season” in exchange for MLB agreeing not to try to suspend him for 100 games (or more). He was injured and the Brewers were out of it anyway, so it made all the sense in the world for Braun to just sit out the rest of 2013 and not risk missing any of 2014).

      Reply
      1. Michael

        My post was actually a rhetorical question. 211 vs. 65 and 211 vs. 50 defied logic. I have to think that Rodriguez would have accepted 100 games quietly and there would be no circus. Sooner or later A-Rod will get his way in court. It is similar to JP Morgan and the Madoff case. Sooner or later Selig will pay!

        Reply
          1. Michael

            “Sooner or later Selig will pay”— Did I suggest he committed a crime? NO
            He looks worse than A Rod and Bosch put together on last night’s telecast, the timing
            and his ego.
            As far as his wink and nod tenure of silent collusion to enable the steroid era- his day of judgement will come.
            A Rod no saint but Selig is just another crooked CEO that will soon be taken over the coals.

            Has he ever asked one of his chief lieutenants LaRussa if he watched Mark and Canseco shoot up?
            Too many management types building their legacies by permitting and enabling the drug usage.

            Selig has a day in court with A Rod coming.

          2. bellweather22

            Michael, in that Selig makes $22M a year and has announced that he will retire at the end of the year, the only things Selig will be paying for are a yacht and a villa on a private island.

  19. Pingback: Follow ups | theespnwatch

  20. Nathan Roser

    It is worth pointing out that it is a particular fallacy to argue against a person’s character instead of the argument they make. It is called an “ad hominem” argument. Tony Bosch is a “lying, drunken drug dealer,” so nothing he says is credible. Textbook ad hominem claim.

    Reply
    1. Ian R.

      Ad hominem is only a fallacy when it’s used to dispute someone else’s logical argument. Consider the following hypothetical exchange:

      Fake Tony Bosch: We should really do something about global warming because of [scientific evidence].

      Fake Joe Blogs: Bosch is a lying drug dealer, don’t listen to his argument!

      FTB: But this is what the evidence says! We should…

      FJB: You’re a liar! Global warming is a crock!

      In this case, however, Joe isn’t attacking a logical argument made by Tony Bosch. He’s attacking Bosch’s credibility as a source of information. Bosch’s character is totally relevant; in fact, it’s the crux of the issue.

      Reply
      1. Dan Shea

        I’m not even sure Joe is attacking Bosch’s credibility – well, not in any important way, anyways. He says right off, “It seems evident that Tony Bosch told some truths about Alex Rodriguez…” And he concludes that A-Rod is guilty and lying, based (at least partly, it would seem) on Bosch’s statements.

        I didn’t read Joe’s description of Bosch as a reason not to believe Bosch, but rather as an indictment of of all involved in this sordid affair, in a guilt-by-association way.

        Reply
        1. Ian R.

          That’s probably a fairer assessment. I suppose I’m saying that to the extent Joe is attacking anything, he’s attacking Bosch’s credibility, not his argument. Thus he’s not guilty of the ad hominem fallacy.

          Reply
  21. fuckyourstupidhatasswipe

    “who presided over a game that ten years ago DID NOT TEST for drugs, got 60 Minutes to put that line at the end.”

    Oh, for fuck’s sake. Can’t say Bud’s not a tool of the first order but really? I know you enjoy how friggin’ hipster being the 89th wholly original asshole to spout the same wholly disingenuous contrarian bs you always spout but can you at least be intellectually honest enough here to admit that maybe – just maybe the player’s union might have had a smidgeon of input into the lack of drug testing for those ten years?

    Ugh.

    Reply
    1. Robert

      Hey douchebag, you must be new here because many times in his writing Joe has condemned all parties involved: Players, team management, team owners and league directors. The 60 Minutes episode was all about Bud, thus Joe’s column.

      So suck it.

      Reply
    2. Karyn

      Why don’t you take your poorly thought-out (and poorly spelled) user name and go be a jerk somewhere else? You might fit right in at the website of the Worldwide Leader

      Reply
    3. DjangoZ

      I don’t care for the way you wrote it, but I couldn’t agree more.

      And Joe is not balanced on this issue, not at all. More than anything he wants the whole PED issue to just go away. And pointing out how much the player’s union and players were at fault might mean he couldn’t vote for Bonds or Clemens in good conscience and he’d never want to give that up.

      Reply
  22. invitro

    “”Mr. Bosch’s credibility on this issue, whatever his motivations, whatever we did for him, was established by his willingness to come in, raise his right hand and testify,” Manfred said. Yes. He actually said that. Tony Bosch’s credibility — already set by 60 Minutes at whatever level you put lying, drunken drug dealers — is established because he raised his right hand.”

    I can’t believe a person could read Manfred’s statement and not get that the “raise his right hand” part was not the important part. The “testify” part was. And it seems completely reasonable for credibility to be partly established by a willingness to testify.

    ““The credibility of any witness,” Manfred continues, “is determined by … looking the individual in the eye, listening to the story he tells and lining it up with other evidence.”

    Oh. They looked into his eyes.”

    And I can’t believe a person could not get that the “in the eye” part is not important here; it’s just a figure of speech. The “other evidence” is the important part.

    This is a very weak article by Joe.

    Reply
    1. Dan Shea

      For that matter, looking someone in the eyes and asking them questions in person is a tremendously valuable way of evaluating their credibility, so much so that it’s built right into the justice system.

      Reply
    2. DjangoZ

      Great point!

      Joe continues to have his PED-goggles on. Anything which undercuts the issue is something he pounces on.

      He’s one of my favorite sportswriters (aw heck, he is my favorite), but he is very PED-blind.

      Reply
  23. invitro

    “Part of his legacy is the establishment of the toughest anti-doping rules in all of American pro sports.”

    This is true, isn’t it? I don’t approve of much that Selig does, but he does deserve to be feted for this accomplishment.

    Reply
  24. CF

    I want to preface this statement by saying I believe A-Rod is most likely guilty, but … if you are at all tech savvy, you know there are apps out there that can make a text or a call appear as if it was coming from a different number. Assuming Tony Bosch is the only witness against A-Rod, he’s broke, he knows he’s associated with other MLBers like Colon and Melky Cabrera from the year before. He shows fake texts, phone calls, journals to Selig to give him his White Whale (and make a buck and a name for those books and movie deals down the road). To me, it’s at least plausible that’s what really happened.

    Reply
  25. Chip S.Chip S.

    What, exactly, is the parallel between Viagra and steroids, aside from the fact that they’re both drugs? Is it that sex is the true national pastime? Is it that steroids are a no greater a health risk than any other drug? Or is it just a lame attempt to imply some imagined hypocrisy that wouldn’t be remotely persuasive as a serious argument?

    Reply
    1. Karyn

      My guess is that the connection is ‘performance enhancing drugs’. There’s some irony there, in what we view as acceptable for people to take, as medications or as drugs, and for what reason.

      Reply
  26. Chip S.

    Larry David did a very funny riff on that in an episode of Curb. But it’s silly in what’s meant as a serious post.

    Steroid use gives rise to an “arms race” that may endanger the health of baseball players at many levels of the game. Using broad categories like “PEDs” obscures important differences among many things that enhance performance.

    Reply
    1. bellweather22

      Good point. There are a couple of posters that talk about all PEDs as if they were the same. Some don’t even differentiate between anabolic steroids and corticosteroids. Some lump some elixir Ruth allegedly consumed with modern anabolic steroids. It’s really silly. The reason steroids got the attention they did is the unbelievable numbers that users were putting up. And let’s not forget the 7 Tour de Frances Lance Armstrong won, and the many gold medals won in weightlifting, swimming and sprinting over the years. The Russian weight lifters and East German swimmers showed the world what an organized steroid effort could do. Baseball players just discovered this a little later, probably because of old fashioned fears of “getting too big” and “becoming muscle bound”.

      Bottom line, steroids work magnificently and the gains can be quantified in terms of HRs, gold medals and championships. While other PEDs likely help, they are much harder to quantify because their benefits are more subtle and therefore harder to quantify.

      Reply
  27. Mike

    I agree with Joe’s blog post for the most part. Great job as usual!

    My only disagreement is a little too much weight on calling Tony Bosch a ‘drunk drug dealer type lowlife’. He is, I know. However, not only did he ‘raise his right hand’, he DID testify under oath, with potential perjury penalties. That means something, and despite being cross-examined for several days, Arod’s side had no evidence to rebut Bosch. ARod wouldn’t testify. Why is ARod’s side calling Bosch a liar, yet about a dozen other MLB players accepted punishment based on similar evidence from Biogenesis without protest? That adds quite a bit to Bosch’s credibility in my eyes.

    ARoid, on the other hand, refused to ‘raise his right hand’ and risk being prosecuted for perjury. He sends his lawyer forward, and the lawyer makes carefully stated claims that make little difference to the truth of Bosch’s claims. Why would ARod’s company send Bosch $50 K? Why was Arod even associating with Bosch, who couldn’t have given anything to Arod of value for all that money except PEDs? They admit the test messages were real, but claim they were talking about nutrional supplements?! Come on! ARod’s spin on the whole thing makes zero sense.

    Yet it’s true that MLB seems like a pitbull when they go after someone. They did the same to Pete Rose. The big question for MLB is not only how can they give a suspension in excess of the CBA, but how can they (and their main witness) go on camera in violation of all the privacy rules they agreed to in the CBA?

    I agree the whole thing stinks to high heaven.

    Reply
      1. Flitcraft

        Of course. Perjury applies whenever a statement is made under oath, whether orally or in writing, regardless of forum.

        Reply
  28. Shagster

    On a couple of topics – HoF, baseball players who took PEDs are victims, Jack Morris – our beloved blogger is a bit of a crank. He enjoys letting out his inner Andy Rooney, and no place better than a rant about a 60 Minutes ‘expose’ on an already fully hashed out media thread. What the heck was Joe going to be able to add to that?

    Not much it turns out, least of all the Viagra ‘tie in’ –news flash– Viagara and Cialis and asthma ads bankroll just about ALL early news shows for past few years, not just a one off for a “60 Minutes” A Rod PED episode. (Big Oil? What about Big Pharma?!)

    The above said, NBC should give Joe a waiver for 60 Minutes* and let him take over Rooneys old postscript spot. How much fun would that be? How much good stuff about America would we learn?

    *please NBC — not Dateline — it is weak and Joe deserves better.

    Reply
  29. Herb Smith

    For the people like Joe Sheehan and Keith Law who don’t think that steroids improve baseball performance AT ALL, please have them explain…heck, where do you start? Brady Anderson hitting 50? Barry Bonds having an .812 slugging percentage the year he turned 40 years old? I mean, come on. it’s absurd on the very face of it.

    Reply
    1. SBMcManus

      I agree that steroids are a big part of it, but there have been many suggestions for other reasons for the offensive explosion over the 1990s. I recall many “juiced ball” stories / anecdotes from the time, arguments that all the new parks were HR hitter parks, arguments that expansion was diluting pitching, etc. I personally think that all of this pales in comparison to steroids, but plenty of alternative theories have been offered.

      Reply
  30. Angry Baseball Fan

    Good point by Mike.
    If raising the right hand is no big deal, let’s see A-Rod do it outside of YES studios.
    And as much as I despise Selig, let’s not ignore that Goodell also arbitrarily suspended and banned random people (Bountygate) to try and clear his image from the murder his game was committing. He just had a savvier way of doing it and a major sports network in his palm who can censor any anti-NFL comments.

    Reply
  31. Mean Dean

    I have to think that Rodriguez would have accepted 100 games quietly

    Reports are he “could have made a deal for a substantially shorter suspension than he ultimately received. Possibly as low as 50 games”, but “rejected the overtures”.

    Reply
    1. John Gale

      Really? This seems awfully revisionist (i.e. pro-MLB) to me. It appears that maybe A-Rod could have gotten 50 games before MLB had any real evidence (i.e. before they bought off Bosch), which is the kind of negotiating that one would expect from a district attorney’s office. And at any rate, it doesn’t really address the fundamental problem that Selig appears to have unlimited power. If he can suspend someone for 211 (or 162 after a reduction, which still ends at the exact same time and only represents the time he played while appealing) games for what *technically* is a first offense, why not 500 games or 1000 games? If I was the MLBPA, I would zero in on the “best interests of the game” clause as something that has to go in the next round of CBA negotiations. Selig clearly can’t be trusted with it.

      Reply
  32. firstbasecoach22

    It was a very interesting piece. Bosch is a slimy dude – but he’s bang on it’s not as if only a handful guys are using or have used.

    If you thought you were a fringe player who thought he MIGHT have a shot at making the big leagues if you doped would you? My guess is a lot of you will say no, but the 20 year version of yourself might have had a different opinion.

    I know that misses the point a little regarding A-Rod.

    Reply
    1. Shagster

      Was offered steroids by a doctor once in 80s. He made it clear, it would make you bigger and stronger. He also said there could be side effects. Having read about all kinds of ‘side effects’ in Marvel Comics, wanted no part of those. :). Years later the big brother of a Little League friend — the brother was a gym rat, user, and known dealer at gym — died prematurely. Too many years on the stuff. Late 20s/early 30s at the time. For some reason pancreatic cancer sticks in my mind. Clemens behavior in WS reminded me of him, when he threw the bat at Piazza in the ‘roid rage. One of those little side effects. Mock Bosch for being afraid for his life? Yes, roids can make a fellow killing mad. Girl friend beating mad. Big dudes at the gym who take roids aren’t making A-Rod money, so a side job is always helpful. Don’t take my word for it. Ask the cops. Or a doctor.

      The cops did close the gym. For dealing. Apparently my friends brother found another way to get them.

      Reply
  33. John Gale

    Just to clarify, I’m not defending A-Rod. I think he pretty clearly is a serial drug cheat. But I think his penalty (given that this is technically a first offense after the penalties were put in place) should have been consistent with the CBA and JDA.

    Reply
    1. MCD

      I agree. Even Melky Cabrera, whose camp hatched this elaborate scheme of setting up a fake web where he supposedly go the PEDs’, got the standard 50 games.

      I’m not sure what the motivation is for bringing the hammer down on A-Rod (as opposed to some of the others). Some seem to suggest MLB wants to make an example of a big name, but at this point, Ryan Braun (50 games) is by far a better player and was fresh off an MVP season when he was busted (and was willing to slander an innocent party in the process ) It is clear A-Rod’s team won’t go to bat for him, but I don’t know if that hasn’t been the case for other players.

      Reply
    2. bellweather22

      I think that’s what ARods hanging his hat on. However, since an arbitrator upheld a full year suspension, an arbitration that was part of the union agreement, that doesn’t bode well for ARod’s chances to reduce the sentence. Essentially baseball has followed the normal process and ARod lost. His only route past a full year suspension is a lawsuit. Maybe he hopes baseball will cave and offer something that allows ARod on the field this year. A full year suspension at ARods age could well be the end of his career.

      Reply
  34. Mike

    “The credibility of any witness,” Manfred continues, “is determined by … looking the individual in the eye, listening to the story he tells and lining it up with other evidence.”

    This is, literally, the backbone of our justice system. This is how it works. I realize it can seem antiquated at best, but it’s how it works. I was on the jury of an Aggravated Rape trial a few years ago in Massachusetts. The specific instructions from the judge were that witness testimony, if found credible by we the jury, was to be treated as fact.

    Reply
  35. Charlie

    I don’t think the post was pro or anti PED, but a pretty strong indictment of a ridiculously underthought piece of reporting by 60 Minutes. A Rod took drugs, performed magnificently, God Bless the Commissioner for putting testing in place. Except the performed magnificently just isn’t true. Nobody at 60 minutes must have seen Moneyball.

    Reply
  36. Chris C.

    Joe has blinders on?! I suppose him pointing out that in the time Arod was in contact with Bosch his body and numbers fell apart is having your blinders on. But such arguments as “the effect of steroids is quantifiable by HRs, Cy youngs, and Tour de France wins” is completely valid. Nice investigative work done. What about Brady Anderson? What about Davey Johnson? What about Maris? Rounds too or they are different?

    Reply
  37. John Leavy

    Sigh… Joe just can’t help himself, when it comes to this issue.

    In the 1990s, he completely ignored the steroid epidemic. When evidence of widespread steroid use came out, he downplayed it (it was juiced balls causing all the homers!), he made excuses for the cheaters (it was Bud Selig and the system’s fault),and he made light of it (steroids probably don’t really help much, anyway).

    And now? Now he’s trying to wave his hands and make the whole issue go away.

    Joe, look in the mirror and tell yourself yet again, “I have NO credibility on the subject of steroids, and that’s my own fault. I should clam up about this subject, forever.”

    Reply
    1. Chris C.

      Why do people have to get so sanctimonious. We all ignored the steroid issue in the 90s. Fans, media, the commissioner. Everybody was just having a grand old time watching that HR chase in 98. The problem with having any certainty about steroids is that they went unchecked for at least 15 years with a 6-8 year peak. How can anybody be truly certain about any player during that time without any hard evidence? And to what extent do we know their impact. Simply saying HOMERUNS is simplifying it way too much.

      Reply
  38. Kiko Jones

    This was the worst of all possible outcomes.

    - A-Rod will now be seen as a confirmed cheater and liar, who went back on his word to fight until the end and in the process, burned his bridges with the MLBPA for no reason. What was the point of all this, Alex?

    - The MLBPA weakened itself by rolling over and playing dead for MLB, letting them get away with an exorbitant, unprecedented and non-negotiated penalty against one of their members just b/c he’s an unpopular player and they didn’t have the stomach to deal with negative public opinion. That sound your hear is Marvin Miller spinning wildly in his grave.

    - Worst of all, that scumbag Bud Selig gets to further that bullshit farce of his in which he exhibits A-Rod’s carcass to prove he’s baseball’s savior, when in fact he presided over and eagerly looked the other way during The Steroid Era, as the money rolled in.

    NO ONE came out looking good here. No one.

    Reply

Comment: