Sunday, January 12, 2014

Recap & Thoughts On The 60 Minutes Interview About The Alex Rodriguez Case

Tonight's episode of 60 Minutes included an interview with various people regarding the suspension of Alex Rodriguez (you may have read or heard about that). I decided to live-blog the show, not only to share my opinions as they happen, but to also give people a chance to read about it should they not be able to watch.

I'm basically going to present some things said in quotes and italics, and then give my reaction to them after. So without further adieu, here goes...
"His actions were beyond comprehension" - Bud Selig
That is what Bud said in the teaser before the interview. What he said, and how he said it, really hit home. That tells me there is certainly a lot more to what ARod did than we know. Selig has heard about dozens of players having used PEDs, and even saw Melky Cabrera invent a website to cover his use, so clearly Rodriguez did far more than use.
Five days before Alex hit home run #600, he contacted Anthony Bosch to find out what Manny Ramirez took to revitalize his career at age 35. Alex wanted to know "the secret".  
Bosch would regularly draw Rodriguez's blood in order to test it, to make sure the drugs were dissipating. It even went as far as Bosch drawing ARod's blood at a Miami nightclub, as Alex was out rather than meeting with Bosch that evening. But it had to be done.
The first part was interesting, as Manny was tested positive, and ARod was around the same age when his skills were diminishing. But it's the second part that really got me thinking... this is the type of evidence that is hard to ignore. Sure, it's hearsay, but going as far as to say it happened in public like that is something. I mean, there must have been people around that could deny such a thing happening, but no one has come forward.
Testosterone Troches (aka "gummies") were taken 10-15 minutes before game time. Troches would be gone right after the game, so in case of a test they wouldn't show up. They could also be taken in the locker room or dugout without being seen. "They could think of them as sunflower seeds, candy, or gum." Troches would allow those that took them to have more energy, strength, and focus. 
Text messages, which were linked to Alex's Blackberry, showed a conversation about when to take them. Alex had texted Bosch asking if he should take them at 10:45am for a 1:00pm game, but Bosch told him to wait until 12:30pm. Hearing about how easy they are to take, it's pretty disturbing.
"I did it because I had a responsibility to do it to let them know that if they are going to take something like this, do it the right way." Bosch was then asked why he didn't just stop doing it, or not do it at all, and Bosch said his approach was "you're going to do this, let me show you how to do this... the right way, and let's not get caught." 
This makes sense to me. It's like the debate about birth control being given to teenagers. Some feel that teens are going to have sex anyway, so why not give them condoms and such to avoid STDs and/or pregnancy? Although it's not a perfect comparison, seeing as how one is legal and one is not, the idea beyond both stances matches up.
"Yes", Anthony Bosch said he would still be doing it if he didn't get caught.
That sounded like a pretty honest answer to me. I believe most criminals would continue their nefarious ways as long as they were getting something out of it. And we're not talking about a few bucks here.
Bosch was asked why he thought Alex would trust him. Bosch said that his track record and knowledge made it so. And it was actually a "cakewalk" to beat the system. 
That was a good question, as somebody that could afford the best doctors has reason to be skeptical of somebody that doesn't even have a license to practice medicine. But with Bosch's track record and knowledge, and the fact that legitimate doctors with a lot to lose would not want to get involved like this, I can see ARod and other baseball players going with it.
Bosch was then asked if he ever think about integrity of game? His answer was a simple "no". He went on to say that he "loves the game of baseball, but unfortunately this [PEDs] is a part of baseball. He finished up his answer by talking about the length of a baseball season, saying bodies break down, and this has always been part of game. 
Bosch ignored the fact that players do things other than drugs in order to cope with the long season, as well as various aches and pains. Things like massages, whirlpool treatments, and legal medical treatments. Bosch is clearly a little delusional, as PEDs clearly do not need to be a part of the game. Players have gotten through things without using. Just because there's a quick-fix now, doesn't mean it should be accepted.
"What is fair play? The guy pitching the ball, and the guy catching the ball are on PEDs. So if everybody is on it, then is it fair?" 
This is sad but true. I'm guessing we only know a fraction of the players that have used PEDs, and both hitters and pitchers have been caught. I don't mean to imply that all players use, but it's wide-spread enough that we can't dismiss only those that have failed a test or admitted to using. Yet, it wasn't fair of Bosch to basically accuse all players of taking PEDs.
Bosch and associates of Alex Rodriguez met at restaurant after the whole story broke last year. In that meeting an associate told Bosch to leave the country until this blew over. They were going to pay Bosch a lot of money, but he was suspicious and turned down the offer. 
There is no proof of this, so I can't really share my opinion of it. However, I thought it was interesting. ARod's lawyer was interviewed, and he denied that there was any sort of bribery.
Bud Selig was taken aback by ARod's efforts to obstruct the investigation, while Rodriguez's lawyer denies doing so and turns around and says MLB obstructed things by avoiding certain witnesses. 
I can't say anything about this, as it's just more he said/she said stuff. But if there was any evidence of Alex doing that, then there was certainly reason for him getting a larger suspension than players like Ryan Braun.
Rob Manford, the MLB Chief Operating Office, was told by Bud Selig to do what he had to do to get to the bottom of the scandal. So at this point Manford hired a former secret service agent, among others involved in things like the FBI. Once word got around of such a thing more documents from Biogenesis were brought forward by somebody going by the name of "Bobby". Manford decided to make a deal with "Bobby" to obtain the documents, and spent around $125,000 to do so.  
To authenticate the documents, Anthony Bosch was needed. Therefore MLB sued Bosch, as well as his brother, and it was at this point that Bosch decided to start working with MLB instead of against him. 
Bosch said that at the time he was in a "dark place", and wasn't sure what to do next. It was his lawyer that talked him into working with MLB.
While you may not agree with the way things were done, or the way our government goes about doing things, I believe the ends in this case justify the means. In my opinion, it's more important to rid baseball of PEDs than to do so completely legitimately.
On May 9, 2013, Manford and others met Bosch at restaurant. Bosch was "fidgety and nervous", and worried about his personal safety. There had apparently been threats on Tony's life, and MLB was concerned for him. Also of note is that some associates of players surrounding the case were "dangerous". And the individual of greatest concern to Bosch was a known associate of Alex Rodriguez. Bosch did note that he doesn't know if ARod knew of the threats.
Just more he said/she said. But again, this is interesting. Rob Manford may not be an expert when it comes to acting, but if Bosch was only acting scared then he should have went into acting rather than medicine.
A bank statement showing a $50,000 payment to Anthony Bosch, from "Arod Corp." was found. Bosch said he cancelled the payment.
ARod Corp has been tied to Alex Rodriguez, and with the bank statement you can see that Alex was definitely up to shady things. Bosch is not a lawyer, coach, friend, or relative, so what other reason could there be for giving him $50,000?
The interviewer brought up the fact that MLB has given Bosche every incentive for bosch to lie, from money to security. In response, MLB said that "what we did was for his willingness to raise his hand and testify." On top of that, MLB was asked how they could find Bosch to be credible. But the fact is they could "look him in the eye", and nobody came forward to contradict what Bosch said.
A few times they brought up the fact that Bosch at first lied about being involved in PEDs, but said he later came back and said he had everything to do with them. Well, I must say, Bosch definitely looked shady when he denied it, rather than somebody defending himself against lies. And when first accused of wrong-doing, it's not strange at all for somebody to deny it, but later admit it when evidence comes up.
"I think the most important point to remember is that this was first time in the history of the JDA that a player that was accused did not take the stand in his own defense". The only place Alex denied things was in public.
Really? Alex denied everything in public, and never right to MLB or the MLBPA? That tells me quite a lot.

In all, it looks as though Bud Selig and MLB had reason to give Alex Rodriguez a longer ban than anybody else. Of course, nothing is proven, but we're not talking about putting ARod in prison or anything. As a fan I'm a bit concerned with the alternatives the Yankees have to play third base, but as a fan of baseball and what's right I'm with Selig and MLB.


  1. VERY YEOMAN LIKE WORK....BRYAN. ...Nice job.

    After reading all I could find, this is my read on all of this.
    What I believe, is that the revelations from Bosch, would not have come forward if he was not threatened. Threatened with death. They missed their chance.
    He knows that at this point in time........He should of been killed. End of story.
    No Bosch, no story.

    He knows he needed to cooperate, in order to be protected.
    He is a marked man........He needs to vanish into the shadows, when this is over.
    If not, you will find him floating off of South Beach....with half a skull.

    1. I don't doubt that he felt threatened, but I don't believe his life was in danger. Seems a little much. It's not like Bosch could take down organized crime. But there was a lot of money at stake, so I'm sure Bosch would have been roughed up or something similar.

      And thanks for the complement.

  2. BRYAN...they never explained, the parameters of being threatened. I believe his life was threatened.
    Those he serviced, wish he was silenced.
    They had their chance to shut him up, and make him go away.....and now he speaks.
    Made to go away, is not being roughed up


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)