The surreal 60 Minutes A-Rod story and MLB’s ends justify the means

A-Rod, 60 Minutes and the At All Costs Mentality

1/14/14 in MLB   |   PAULLEBOWITZ   |   109 respect

Aug 9, 2013; Bronx, NY, USA;  New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez (13) during the sixth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY SportsIf you’ve yet to see the 60 Minutes piece from Sunday about Alex Rodriguez’s suspension from baseball, the link is here.

This entire episode is surreal. The decision to uphold A-Rod’s suspension was expected. What’s odd, however, is the decision on the part of Major League Baseball to do what amounts to an end zone dance celebrating a decision about which they’re supposed to have a clinical reaction and no stake in its outcome other than serving justice.
 
Of course, that is a nonsensical concept with no basis in reality. MLB was out to get A-Rod for a multitude of reasons including:
 
1) They felt he was guilty.
 
2) They’re trying to put forth the pretense of a drug program with teeth to prevent others from doing as A-Rod allegedly did.
 
3) They want to convince fans that the sport is clean.
 
4) They believe that the ends justify the means.
 
Given the heavy-handed and “get him at all costs” manner in which MLB went about securing the punishment, it wouldn’t be stunning to see a federal judge grant A-Rod the injunction and let him play. Such a move would turn baseball upside down and create a series of mea culpas on the part of the media members and legal analysts who put the percentage of that happening at 1 in 100 or less.
 
This entire episode grows weirder by the day, so why wouldn’t that continue with a shocking decision on the part of the federal judge?
 
The 60 Minutes segment featured a cast of characters bordering on intentionally satirical. Anthony Bosch was filmed riding a boat in what was apparently Miami, making me flash to the Miami Vice theme song sans the trendy clothes and pop culture phenomenon. Rob Manfred’s beads of sweat dotting his upper lip looked like a classic Saturday Night Live skit with Martin Short as attorney Nathan Thurm sweating profusely at the fictional 60 Minutes investigation. Bud Selig was laughably condescending and embarrassing in his audacity given his complicity in the entire marriage between baseball and PEDs.
 
Let’s go one-by-one with the stars of the 60 Minutes piece.
 
Anthony Bosch
 
A-Rod found his Dr. Nick Riviera (“Hi, everybody!!!”) from The Simpsons to assist him with his alleged PED regimens. Bosch looks like Jorge Posada’s ne’er do well elder brother and is the linchpin of MLB’s case against A-Rod. Getting past the fact that he appeared furtive and hapless; that MLB paid him, gave him protection and assisted him with his legal problems, did his story sound credible? Did the phone records MLB had detailing the back-and-forth with A-Rod make it appear as if he was being Sep 20, 2013; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez (13) watches his grand slam home run against the San Francisco Giants during the seventh inning of a game at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports forthright regarding the relationship between the two?
 
Since we’re not in a court of law, the answer is yes.
 
The problem is that this case was meant to be heard by an impartial observer whose job was to gauge the credibility of the evidence before him, assess the testimony he heard, and make a decision based on the agreement between MLB and the MLB Players Association. Now that arbitrator Fredric Horowitz’s decision is being challenged in federal court by A-Rod’s attorneys, the federal judge will have to sift through the transcripts and decide whether Bosch’s checkered past and known history of criminality and lying is counteracted by the evidence against A-Rod.
 
It can’t be denied that Bosch has the “Psst, buddy…” look about him you’d expect from a guy in a raincoat and one shifting eye constantly on the lookout for a nearby police officer. The idea that Bosch is the kind of person that players have to go to when they’re seeking illegal substances is based on appearances and his past. Walking around with an embroidered labcoat and passing himself off as a medical professional automatically pigeonholes him as a shady character. 
Notify me by email about comments that follow mine. Preview