MLB and BioGenesis: A Primer

Major League Baseball has stepped up its investigation of Biogenesis, the now-defunct anti-aging clinic that reportedly provided performing enhancing drugs to many MLB players. According to an ESPN news report last week, MLB has secured the cooperation of former Biogenesis director Anthony Bosch and plans to rely on Bosch’s testimony and documents as a basis for suspending more than a dozen players for violations of the league’s Joint Drug Policy.

There’s been a great deal of hue and cry over MLB’s deal with Bosch and with good reason. Our colleague Jonah Keri, writing at Grantland the day after ESPN’s report, raised important questions about Bosch’s credibility and the scope of MLB’s proposed action. [Disclosure: I was on vacation last week, but assisted Jonah on his post, as he noted.] Others have defended MLB’s plan to rid the sport of PEDs “once and for all.” As with most discussions about PEDs and baseball, there’s a lot of disagreement, accented by rage (faux or not) and hyperbole.

If you’re familiar with my writing, you know I’m not one to shy away from a healthy argument. But arguments are strongest when backed by verifiable facts. Such was the lesson of my legal training and experience. So before we get too far down the road in deriding or defending MLB’s conduct, let’s take some time to parse through the facts.

What is Biogenesis and who is Anthony Bosch?

Biogenesis was an anti-aging clinic in Miami, Florida. The clinic closed earlier this year after reports surfaced in the Miami New Times that Anthony Bosch, the clinic’s director, had supplied PEDs to several MLB players including Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, and Nelson Cruz. Bosch is not a doctor and has no formal medical training. His father, Pedro, is a doctor with a family practice in south Florida.

The Miami New Times reports were based on documents obtained by the newspaper from a former Biogenesis employee. Most of the documents contained only handwritten notes with names of MLB players, dollar amounts, and specific performance-enhancing substances. In January, when the Miami New Times story first broke, Anthony Bosch denied that he provided PEDs to any MLB players. He maintained that denial at least through April, as noted in this video report by ESPN’s Outside The Lines.

Why does MLB need Bosch’s cooperation?

Biogenesis has been on MLB’s radar for several years. Bosch and his colleagues allegedly provided Human Clorionic Gonadotropin to Manny Ramirez, thereby causing Ramirez to fail a drug test. In 2009, Ramirez was suspended for 50 games.

MLB turned up the heat on Biogenesis late last summer after Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon, and Yasmani Grandal tested positive for PEDs. Each was suspended for 50 games. MLB developed information suggesting a link among those players — and others — with Biogenesis.

But MLB’s investigation was stymied when Biogenesis closed up shop, and its former employees scattered throughout south Florida. MLB tried without success to obtain the documents in the possession of the Miami New Times, but the newspaper refused to turn them over (properly in my view), to protect its anonymous sources. Yahoo! and ESPN reported on other Biogenesis documents; there’s no evidence that either of those news outlets shared their documents with MLB.

To continue with its investigation — and to develop reliable evidence that players used or possessed PEDs — MLB needs documents linking Biogenesis to specific players and specific performance-enhancing substances. But MLB needs more than documents; it needs a witness who can explain the creation and meaning of the documents: who prepared the documents, for what purpose, and when? How were the documents used at Biogenesis? How were they maintained? Who had access to the documents? Do copies of the documents exist? Where? Were documents destroyed? By whom, when and for what purpose? As the former director of the clinic, MLB is betting that Anthony Bosch can truthfully answer these questions.

Indeed, MLB was so eager to get Bosch’s sworn testimony and his documents that it sued Bosch and others connected to Biogenesis in Florida state court. As I explained in this April post, MLB’s lawsuit had a tenuous legal basis, but was likely sufficient to force Bosch and the other former Biogenesis employees to turn over documents and provide sworn testimony.

According to the New York Daily News, MLB’s investigation and lawsuit were putting such a drain on Anthony Bosch, that he asked Alex Rodriguez for financial help. When Rodriguez refused to help, Bosch turned to the only other party that could provide relief: Major League Baseball. To gain Bosch’s cooperation, MLB agreed to drop its lawsuit against him, indemnify him should any players sue Bosch as a result of his cooperation, provide security for Bosch, and to assist Bosch in avoiding criminal charges.

How can MLB suspend players without a positive drug test?

MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program — which is incorporated in the collective bargaining agreement between the league and the players’ association — prohibits all players from “using, possessing, selling, facilitating the sale of, distributing, and facilitating the distribution of any” PEDs. See Section 2. Players who violate the prohibitions in Section 2 are subject to discipline. As described in Section 7.A., “A player who tests positive for a Performance Enhancing Substance, or otherwise violates the Program through the possession or use of a Performance Enhancing Substance, will be subject to the discipline set forth below.”

When MLB develops evidence that a player used or had possession of a PED — but did not fail a drug test — it refers to the result as a “non-analytic positive.” The league suspended Jordan Schafer for a “non-analytic positive”  in 2008 after developing “anecdotal information” that he had used human-growth hormone.

Can a player be suspended for a “non-analytic positive” if he was already suspended based on a positive drug test?

Several players under scrutiny in the investigation already served 50-game suspensions when they tested positive for PEDs last season. Indeed, as I mentioned, the positive tests and subsequently suspensions for Melky Cabrera, Yasmani Grandal, and Bartolo Colon kicked MLB’s Biogenesis investigation into high gear.

The Joint Drug Policy specifies in Section 3.H. that a player “shall not be subjected to multiple disciplines as a result of the same use of a Prohibited Substance.” In order to suspend Cabrera, Grandal or Colon based on Biogenesis documents or Bosch’s testimony, MLB would have to develop evidence that those players used or possessed a PED separate and apart from the one that triggered the positive test last year.

Does MLB need “just cause” to suspend a player based on a “non-analytic positive”?

There’s been quite a bit of confusion on this point in other reports on MLB’s Biogenesis investigation, so let’s get this straight.

The answer is no.

Section 7.A. of the Drug Program gives MLB the authority to discipline a player if it develops evidence that the player used or possessed a PED, even in the absence of a positive drug test. There is no “just cause” standard applied.

There are, however, two “just cause” provisions in the key agreements: one in the CBA and one in the Joint Drug Policy. The CBA provision may come into play if MLB seeks to suspend players not just for possession or use of a PED, but for lying to the league about it in the course of the investigation. ESPN reported that the league is considering this approach, particularly with respect Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez.

CBA Article 7, Section A provides:

The Parties recognize that a Player may be subjected to disciplinary action for just cause by his Club, the Senior Vice President, Standards and On-Field Operations or the Commissioner. Therefore, in Grievances regarding discipline, the issue to be resolved shall be whether there has been just cause for the penalty imposed.

In Section B,” just cause” is defined:

Players may be disciplined for just cause for conduct that is materially detrimental or materially prejudicial to the best interests of Baseball including, but not limited to, engaging in conduct in violation of federal, state or local law.

MLB may very well intend to rely on this provision to discipline a player for lying to league investigators about his use or possession of PEDs, in addition to any discipline meted out for “use or possession” of a PED.

And then there’s the curious “just cause” provision in the Joint Drug Policy. Section 7.G.2. gives the Commissioner the authority to suspend any player for “just cause” if he violates the prohibitions in Section 2, even if that violation is not specifically set forth in Sections 7.A through 7.F. With the express language in Section 7.A. authorizing discipline if a player “uses or possesses” PEDs, the just cause “catch-all” in 7.G.2 seems unnecessary under these circumstances.

Will players have the opportunity to challenge Bosch’s documents and testimony? 

At some point, yes, but not until MLB makes a decision on which players, if any, should be suspended.

As noted, the CBA and the Joint Drug Policy empower the league to act as an investigator in gathering evidence, and as a judge in determining whether there is sufficient evidence for a suspension.

If the league suspends a player for violation of the Joint Drug Policy — or based on the “just cause” provision of the collective bargaining agreement — the player can challenge the suspension by appealing to an arbitration panel. In the arbitration proceeding, MLB has the burden of proving that the Joint Drug Policy was violated.

If MLB relies on Bosch and his documents to suspend a player or players, the league will have to present Bosch’s testimony to the arbitration panel. The players will then have the opportunity to challenge the authenticity, reliability and credibility of Bosch and his documents. This is done through cross-examination of Bosch and through other witnesses who may contradict Bosch and reveal his penchant (or lack thereof) for truthfulness.

Keep in mind that MLB is likely to have many more witnesses than just Anthony Bosch. Newsday reported last week that the league has developed “tons” of witnesses during the course of its investigation.

What happens after the arbitration panel issues its decision?

A decision by the arbitration panel either affirming or overturning a suspension is final and binding on MLB and the player. Collective bargaining agreements are governed by the federal law known as the Labor Management Relations Act. Under that statute, judicial review of an arbitrator’s decision under a collective bargaining agreement is very limited. Courts are not authorized to review an arbitrator’s decision on the merits, even if one of the parties argues that the arbitrator made factual errors or misinterpreted the CBA. A court may intervene only when the arbitrator strays so far from his authority that he “dispenses his own brand of justice,” as the Supreme Court wrote in a recent opinion.

Remember that MLB threatened to seek judicial review of the arbitrator’s decision in early 2012 to throw out Ryan Braun’s positive drug test. MLB would have faced this very, very tough standard had it gone that. The same will be true of any party — MLB or a player — that’s unhappy with the outcome of the arbitrator’s decision in the Biogenesis investigation.

* * * * * * * * * * *

This is what we know now. Information about Bosch, and other Biogenesis witnesses and documents, will change in the coming weeks. But the legal documents will not change. The current CBA and Joint Drug Policy have been agreed to and will govern until the end of the 2016 season. These documents provide the framework for how to think about MLB’s investigation and the steps it takes to discipline players involved with Biogenesis.



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Wendy writes about sports and the business of sports. She's been published most recently by Vice Sports, Deadspin and NewYorker.com. You can find her work at wendythurm.pressfolios.com and follow her on Twitter @hangingsliders.


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Yah-seal Pweeg
Guest
Yah-seal Pweeg
3 years 2 months ago

So … is Braun going to get suspended?

Dan Ugglas Forearm
Member
Dan Ugglas Forearm
3 years 2 months ago

I think a lot of that depends on the dates for the information. If Braun’s name shows up in documents from years ago, MLB would have to assume that interaction is what caused his positive test, which has already been dealt with. I think they’ve kind of got to prove it twice for the players that have already tested positive or served a suspension, just in case some of this info is overlapping.

Bob M
Guest
Bob M
3 years 2 months ago

Does Braun’s overturned suspension qualify under the Section 3.8 “multiple discipline” rule listed above?

This is probably the most pertinent question in my Brewers fan world. The majority of people have all ready decided whether Braun is guilty or not. Most Brewer fans just want this issue to go away, with Braun either finally exonerated or suspended, rather than continuing to have it pop up every few months.

TKDC
Member
Member
TKDC
3 years 2 months ago

I don’t see why that would have any more effect than another failed test. The failed test was an alleged violation of the rules, this is a completely different violation. Is his argument that he bought these steroids (and only steroids used prior to his positive but not positive test) but won his case on a technicality so he should be free and clear now? It takes about as much mental gymnastics to believe that should be the case as it took to believe Braun was not a roider in the first place. Of course he somehow won that, so who knows.

Bob M
Guest
Bob M
3 years 2 months ago

Is it a separate violation though? Or is it the same situation, just look at from a different perspective?

TKDC
Member
Member
TKDC
3 years 2 months ago

Wouldn’t proving that he received steroids at least twice be enough to get past this hurdle anyway? I mean, it is quite hilarious that we are even in this situation as anyone with a brain knew Braun beat the system on a technicality and was obviously using steroids. Now the idea is that he can admit that he was lying through his teeth and these are in fact the steroids he was using when he tested positive (but he only used steroids during that specific period in time). If he tries that, he should just go all the way and have his whole legal team show up with t-shirts that say “we think you’re stupid.”

Bob M
Guest
Bob M
3 years 2 months ago

If the collection agent had followed the procedures outlined in the collective bargaining agreement, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Following the agreed-upon procedure is not a technicality, any more than any other part of the chain of custody that affords a degree of certainty for the scientific validity of the test.

No one said anything about Braun admitting to using PEDs. All I asked is if Braun’s overturned suspension would qualify under the multiple discipline rule. You clearly could care less about fact or rules.

TKDC
Member
Member
TKDC
3 years 2 months ago

I think you mean I couldn’t care less, and you obviously know very little about logic, what “technicality” commonly means in dispute resolution, or obvious roiders using technicalities to get away with failing a PED test (at least as it pertains to the star player of your team; can’t say I really blame you).

And yes, I do care about facts and rules. Using roids is against the rules and it is a fact to a non-moron that Braun used roids. It is also a fact that he got off on a technicality as that term is commonly used. It is a rule in life that when a fact is put before you about a rule, you should know that fact indicates that by rule Ryan Braun is completely full of shit and he would have basically admit that in order to argue that he has already been “charged” with using the roids he bought. Anyone who accepted that would be an idiot, so if he is going to argue that, which he might, I think he should do one honorable thing and at least let the people he is trying to convince know what he thinks of them (hence the t-shirts).

Richie
Member
Richie
3 years 2 months ago

What I recall, Braun was charged with HGH use, not ‘roids.

Bob M
Guest
Bob M
3 years 2 months ago

No substance was released. That, along with most details of the case, were not released (per agreement between MLB and MLBPA).

Cass
Guest
Cass
3 years 2 months ago

He wasn’t punished, though, because his suspension was overturned in arbitration. The rule is not that a player won’t be pursued twice for the same violation, but rather that a player will not be “subjected…to discipline” twice. The discipline Braun was supposed to be sentenced to was overturned.

Also, though, Braun claimed he was clean all along, and that there was an error in the way the sample was stored. Any sort of ‘double jeopardy’ claim is at odds with the story he’d been telling because it would require that the positive test was real and concerning a real illegal substance.

Bob M
Guest
Bob M
3 years 2 months ago

I suppose I should have just looked this up without asking. The policy doesn’t indicate that any punishment for the first instance is required.

Doc
Guest
Doc
3 years 2 months ago

this is a fantastic article.. top notch info.

Richie
Member
Richie
3 years 2 months ago

‘+’ed and seconded.

Baltar
Guest
Baltar
3 years 2 months ago

I fully agree. Only you, Wendy Thurm, could have written such a clear, comprensive explanation of this situation.
You are a very valuable and unique asset to FanGraphs.

CabreraDeath
Member
CabreraDeath
3 years 2 months ago

This seems to be rehashed and already-known information, from my perspective. The big question is, at least in my eyes, what other evidence (docs/testimony) does MLB have in addition to Bosch?

If it’s voluminous and substantive, MLB players are done.
If it’s ‘he said/he said’, then Bosch’s testimony becomes more important.

Most MLB-player defenders will attack the credibility of Bosch – smartly and rightly. But, if Bosch isn’t the only major piece of evidence – meaning, docs and other witnesses are plentiful – attacking Bosch is not going to work.

Well-Beered Englishman
Guest
Well-Beered Englishman
3 years 2 months ago

It may be rehashed, but it’s a very useful summary. For example, my casual-fan friend who just knows that some players are about to get busted for PEDs but is unsure why and how, will benefit from reading this.

TKDC
Member
Member
TKDC
3 years 2 months ago

I’m not sure it matters, but wasn’t Schafer a minor leaguer and thus not subject to the CBA in 2008?

CabreraDeath
Member
CabreraDeath
3 years 2 months ago

Yes, you are correct. And, yes, that will be interesting to follow in terms of whether that precedent is to be followed/controlling or only persuasive, in legal terms. It appears to be the latter…

BX
Guest
BX
3 years 2 months ago

Depends.

Was he on the 40 man when he was suspended? If he was on the Braves’ 40 man and in the minors, he’s covered by the MLB CBA.

If he wasn’t on a 40 man roster when suspended, then he’s not covered by the MLB CBA or any union.

maqman
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maqman
3 years 2 months ago

Amen Doc.^

Max G
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Max G
3 years 2 months ago

Best article to date on the topic. Thank you!

I have one question:
Is there stare decisis (past legal precedent) from proceedings in any other sport that can be utilized by MLB in the Rodriguez & Braun instance?

E.g., Has there been similar situations in terms of the pursuit of the offender in football, cycling, soccer, or even the Olympics? Seems to me that there are enough other examples available of PED-punishment for MLB to utilize from a legal standpoint for them to possibly tip-toe around the borders of the MLBPA agreement.

It will be interesting to see how the endgame of this investigation impacts not just MLB, but doping in other sports as well.

TKDC
Member
Member
TKDC
3 years 2 months ago

Wasn’t Lance Armstrong cleared a hundred times before he was finally hammered?

The Boomer
Guest
The Boomer
3 years 2 months ago

Since (as Wendy notes) this is all governed by the CBA and other MLB-specific agreements, it would be hard to say that any precedent from another sport would hold, except as a guideline to the arb. But he/she can just as easily discount other cases as irrelevant to MLB’s specific situation.

In a tangential point, should players be suspended, any insurance on their contracts would likely be unhelpful, as typically intentional breaking of the rules are excluded as a basis for a claim. So the teams would be on the hook for the contracts of any player suspended.

CJ Kemps
Guest
CJ Kemps
3 years 2 months ago

You might want to check your ‘facts’. To the best of my recollection, Braun was not named by Miami News Times. They claimed no drugs appeared next to his name, so they left his name out. I believe his name came out when yahoo came out with their story.

CJ Kemps
Guest
CJ Kemps
3 years 2 months ago

You might want to check your ‘facts’. To the best of my recollection, Braun was NOT named by Miami News Times. They claimed that there were NO drugs listed next to his name, so they left it out. I believe Braun was later named by Yahoo, but still with no drugs by his name.

Jason B
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Jason B
3 years 2 months ago

It’s good that you reposted the exact same poost with certain words capitalized, because otherwise we just didn’t have any idea what you meant.

CJ Kemps
Guest
CJ Kemps
3 years 2 months ago

My apologies. I didn’t mean to send it twice. This was my first time ever posting, anywhere. I didn’t think it went the first time. Then, when I typed it again, I thought of capitalizing a few words. Sorry.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
3 years 2 months ago

No worries then! I thought you were just wanting to re-emphasize your consternation. Welcome to the boards, have a look around, sign the guest book.

L Griffin & P Griffin
Guest
L Griffin & P Griffin
3 years 2 months ago

We heard a loon.

placidity
Guest
placidity
3 years 2 months ago

Doesn’t make his point any less true. Braun was not mentioned by the MNT as they didn’t believe there was sufficient evidence to drag him into it. Only when Yahoo got ahold of it did Braun’s name surface.

Anon
Guest
Anon
3 years 2 months ago

To gain Bosch’s cooperation, MLB agreed to drop its lawsuit against him, indemnify him should any players sue Bosch as a result of his cooperation, provide security for Bosch, and to assist Bosch in avoiding criminal charges.

This looks like a conflict of interest situation. If I understand correctly, MLB is effectively paying, assisting, not suing, etc. in return for testimony and information from Bosch. I do not see how this would stand up to arbitration. If he leads MLB to information and testimony from others, that basis seems more likely to withstand legal scrutiny.

CabreraDeath
Member
CabreraDeath
3 years 2 months ago

Leniency in return for cooperation has been going on since the beginning of time. Nothing in terms of a ‘conflict’, other than it speaks to witnesses credibility.

Anon
Guest
Anon
3 years 2 months ago

The leniency (i.e. the dropped lawsuit) does not drive my perception here. The other items mentioned by Wendy (e.g. security and assistance) prompted my thoughts.

Perhaps my thoughts would be better categorized under witness credibility. However, my logical (but not legally trained) mindset leads me to see a conflict in this circumstance.

cs3
Guest
cs3
3 years 2 months ago

What this shows is that Bosch is not very credible.

Sparkles Peterson
Guest
Sparkles Peterson
3 years 2 months ago

chorionic*

Hurtlockertwo
Guest
Hurtlockertwo
3 years 2 months ago

Very interesting. Braun is toast, one way or another.

ALEastbound
Guest
3 years 2 months ago

Ricky Romero is bummed the clinic closed.

Mike
Guest
3 years 2 months ago

Assuming Bosch and Biogenesis had confidentiality agreements with all these players (which they must have), it will be very interesting to see what MLB’s agreement to indemnify Bosch ultimately requires. If he breaches his confidentiality agreement by giving information to MLB, the players will sue him, and their damages would be lost salary from the suspensions (as well as some estimate of future lost wages from damaged reputation, attorney’s fees, etc.), which MLB would effectively have to pay. The lost salary alone will be tens of millions of dollars, and MLB may end up picking up the tab from the various franchises. Does MLB really want to take that kind of burden on? Not to mention having to fight a dozen defamation lawsuits from the players.

The Boomer
Guest
The Boomer
3 years 2 months ago

I don’t think the players can have any expectation of agreements being enforceable if they are covering illegal activities.

Now, you can make the case that taking PEDs is not strictly an illegal act, but it definitely goes against the rules of MLB and I doubt a court would be eager to give players an easy veil to obscure any of their actions that break MLB rules by just having their suppliers sign an agreement.

Mike
Guest
3 years 2 months ago

Breaking the law and breaking the rules of a private organization (MLB) are different matters. I have seen no suggestion that these players broke any laws, so I am not sure why a court would frown on enforcement simply because the activities were against the rules of the players’ employer. If Arod had entered into a settlement and confidentiality agreement with a fan who claimed Arod harrased the fan, would a court not enforce that agreement just because harassing fans is against MLB rules? Even if the confidentiality agreements were governing illegal activities, they are probably still enforceable unless the breach of the agreement was mandated by a court, which again does not appear to be the case here.

The Boomer
Guest
The Boomer
3 years 2 months ago

Confidentiality agreements are never enforceable as they relate to illegal activities. Let’s agree on that, at least. If you think this is wrong, produce some case law that supports it.

Regarding MLB’s rules, agreements can be voided if they are not deemed to be “reasonable”. I will stand by my common-law argument that engaging with your PED supplier for the sole purpose of obtaining PEDs, which are outlawed in your workplace, and then expecting an agreement to protect you from disclosure of that by the supplier to the employer when asked, is not reasonable. Also, if MLB has corroborating evidence garnered from outside the agreement, then also the agreement can be breached as the information is already non-confidential.

http://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/enforcing-confidentiality-agreements.html

TKDC
Member
Member
TKDC
3 years 2 months ago

Is receiving drugs from some random dude not illegal?

Mike
Guest
3 years 2 months ago

I generally agree that courts are not going to enforce confidentiality agreements that seek to prevent disclosure of criminal activity, though I do not think the activities of these players is illegal.

I don’t agree with the other assertions. I can’t fathom why an employee should not expect an agreement to be kep confidential simply because the underlying activities are not allowed by his private employer. Isn’t this situation a prime example of MLB’s limited ability to obtain information from other parties? If you have seen otherwise, I would be interested in learning.

And I believe you are misstating the “public information” exception. If MLB obtains reliable information that these players used PEDs from a source that is not bound by the Biogenesis CI, then Bosch confirming that might be ok. But if Bosch presents any new information not already known, then it would be prohibited – so I am not sure how Bosch or his employees would provide any information of value to MLB under this exception. Just because it is public that players are suspected of using PEDs does not mean that it is publicly known that they did use PEDs.

The Boomer
Guest
The Boomer
3 years 2 months ago

@TKDC, it’s possibly illegal for Bosch to prescribe them, but the players (this is assuming for the moment they are guilty, which is still in question) could have recourse that they were unaware that Bosch couldn’t legally give them the drugs and they accepted them in good faith and were duped. I doubt that would get much play in court or with MLB though.

The Boomer
Guest
The Boomer
3 years 2 months ago

@Mike, is taking illegally prescribed drugs illegal if you were aware of the nature of situation ex ante?

Using prescription drugs without a prescription is illegal. Unless the players were unaware of the nature of the drugs or that Bosch was apparently illegally prescribing them, your argument falls over pretty quick.

TKDC
Member
Member
TKDC
3 years 2 months ago

The shorter answer: absolutely no freaking way

doobieibood
Guest
doobieibood
3 years 2 months ago

Confidentiality? “Bosch is not a doctor and has no formal medical training.”

The Boomer
Guest
The Boomer
3 years 2 months ago

Just FYI, here’s the resume for the new arbitrator:

http://www.nmb.gov/arbitrator-resumes/horowitz-fredric_res.pdf

tylersnotes
Member
3 years 2 months ago

this seems like a weird thing to have a link to

The Boomer
Guest
The Boomer
3 years 2 months ago

I found it very interesting in the past which topics arbs had worked on, at that experience will color their MLB judgments.

theroundsquare
Guest
theroundsquare
3 years 2 months ago

Thanks Wendy. Love your work.

gryfyn1
Member
gryfyn1
3 years 2 months ago

Ones hould also mention that MLB has an advantage in the arbitration hearings as the arbitrators are now keenly aware after the Braun hearing that going against MLB will cost them their job

The Boomer
Guest
The Boomer
3 years 2 months ago

I doubt that will matter much; check out Horowitz’s resume. It looks like he won’t lack for work if he gets fired from his MLB gig.

Also, MLB may run afoul of the AAA if they fire him. The Lords are crazy, but I doubt they are that crazy because (as Wendy says above) fighting these issues out in court is a lose-lose for them.

Richie
Member
Richie
3 years 2 months ago

Yes, they had an article on this somewhere, forget where. But these arbitrator guys get plenty of work.

Simon
Guest
Simon
3 years 2 months ago

Also the MLBPA can fire the arbitrator too. So he has try and play it fairly straight.

tylersnotes
Member
3 years 2 months ago

What are the risks to the MLBPA if the MLB does hand out all the rumored suspensions and the players association seeks to take all of them to arbitration? It seems to me that, more than anything, this whole affair is the MLB seeking to win a PR battle against the players association. I can imagine fighting the charges tooth and nail would hurt the MLBPA as much as it might help the individual players who are charged, and at least from what the media has portrayed popular opinion among the rank-and-file is that no penalty is too harsh for PED abuse.

The Boomer
Guest
The Boomer
3 years 2 months ago

I think there is a risk that some players will feel that the MLBPA is spending scarce resources defending PED users tooth-and-nail when the should have higher priority things to commit resources to.

As long as this is a high priority for the players, they will have solidarity. Given some of (for example) Lance Berkman’s comments, I question if that is still true.

However, it’s a long way from that to breaking the union, which is what the Lords would love to see. I think this is mostly the usual dissent one finds in collective organizations and not a long-term problem.

Bob M
Guest
Bob M
3 years 2 months ago

I think how vigorously MLBPA responds depends on how strong MLB’s evidence is. If there is strong evidence, I don’t think MLBPA will fight it. If the evidence is fairly weak, I would expect MLBPA to fight with every resource they have. Allowing mass punishment without evidence would be a horrible precedent for a union to allow.

Simon
Guest
Simon
3 years 2 months ago

Players are intelligent enough to realise the importance of a fair disciplinary process, especially in cases like this where there are no positive tests. That’s not to say that nobody can ever be banned in a case like this, but there needs to be reliable evidence against them.

Herbert jablonski
Guest
Herbert jablonski
3 years 2 months ago

Care to speculate on how long the process will take, say Ryan Braun, if found guilty after appeals and everything, do you think he will end up serving the suspension this year or next year?

STK
Guest
STK
3 years 2 months ago

I realize it’s very “conspiracy-theory”-ish, but part of me can’t help but think the Yankees are behind all of this to save a buck or two or twenty million by getting A-Rod suspended.

Maybe they’ve got dirt on the commish?

The Boomer
Guest
The Boomer
3 years 2 months ago

The Yankees are on the hook for A-Rod no matter what and the MLBPA will fight to the death over that one.

Simon
Guest
Simon
3 years 2 months ago

The point is that suspensions are without pay. Getting out of paying 100 games of A-Rod’s salary is the best part of $20 million saved.

Larry G
Guest
Larry G
3 years 2 months ago

I’m getting tired of newspapers “protecting their sources”, when it comes to PED scandals.

San Francisco Chronicle had illegally leaked documents from Barry Bonds’ Grand Jury testimony, but their reporters (Fainaru-Wada and Williams) had no issues with making money off their book that contained that information. The Chronicle wanted to “protect their sources”, yet they profited from information that wasn’t legal for them to have.

Now we have the Miami News Times that (apparently) legally obtained documents that would assist MLB in addressing the use of illegal PEDS…but they don’t want to give them up to “protect their sources”. Do their reporters have a book coming out too?

Captain Obvious
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Captain Obvious
3 years 2 months ago

Why should reporters feel obligated to help MLB, a private entity, pursue a workplace dispute against its employees?

shthar
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shthar
3 years 2 months ago

Especially something that may or may not be illegal.

seth
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seth
3 years 2 months ago

The only problem I have with this article is that it says things that MLB is planning on doing and as far as i can tell MLB has not announced a plan or any kind of strategy. That is all being implied by media sources.

Ben
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Ben
3 years 2 months ago

Clorionic Gonadotropin? Where’s that editor….?

shthar
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shthar
3 years 2 months ago

In unrelated news, Grady Sizemore’s recovery is drawing more interest from certain teams…

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