Posted August 02, 2013

With Biogenesis suspensions imminent, Rangers could suffer most

Alex Rodriguez, Biogenesis, Nelson Cruz, Performance Enhancing Drugs, Texas Rangers
Nelson Cruz is among those who could be suspended in connection with Biogenesis. (Steven King/Icon SMI)

Nelson Cruz is among those who could be suspended in connection with Biogenesis. (Steven King/Icon SMI)

According to a Wednesday night report by USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale, commissioner Bud Selig is prepared to suspend nine players connected with the Biogenesis scandal “before the weekend.” Alex Rodriguez, whom Nightengale confirmed could be facing a lifetime ban, was the primary focus of Nightengale’s report, but among the three other players named as facing likely 50-game suspensions that would effectively end their seasons, shortstops Jhonny Peralta of the Tigers, Everth Cabrera of the Padres and Rangers right fielder Nelson Cruz, it is Cruz whose suspension could have the greatest impact on the current season and the pennant races.

There’s little doubt that the Yankees would benefit from the return of even a diminished Rodriguez given their inability to field a productive third baseman this season, but there’s plenty of doubt about just how productive Rodriguez could be over the season’s final two months, how long he could stay healthy and whether or not he’s really capable of playing third base on an everyday basis anymore. What’s more, having not played at all this season, his suspension doesn’t alter the Yankees’ current lineup, which has benefited over the last week from the return of Derek Jeter and the acquisition of Alfonso Soriano. It’s also doubtful that Rodriguez’s impact would have been enough to help the Yankees overcome their growing deficits in the pennant chase as they are now three games behind in the wild card race, eight games out in the division and sinking.

Cruz, meanwhile, has been a key bat in the Rangers lineup for the last four months, hitting .274/.336/.510 and leading the team with 25 home runs and 73 RBIs. Unlike the Yankees and Tigers, the latter of whom hold a 2 1/2 game lead in the American League Central and traded for slick-fielding shortstop Jose Iglesias to replace Peralta, the Rangers failed to acquire a player prior to Wednesday’s non-waiver trading deadline who could help replace Cruz in their lineup. That sets up the Rangers, who are currently just a half-game out of the second wild card spot and four games behind the American League West-leading A’s, for a fall in the wake of what now seems like the inevitable and imminent suspension of Cruz.

There have been reports that Cruz will appeal his suspension, which would allow him to remain on the field for the length of that process, but Nightengale makes no mention of that in his report, saying only that most of the players expected to received the 50-game bans are not expected to appeal.

Nightengale’s report, based on information from “two people with knowledge of the negotiations” who were “unauthorized to speak publicly” prior to the official annoucements, largely confirms much of what has already been rumored, but the fact that Baseball only expects to ban nine players due to “lack of evidence” on the others is new information, as is, it seems, the Rodriguez quote with which Nightengale concludes his report.

The Rodriguez quote is attributed to “a July interview” with USA Today Sports, which seems to suggest it was taken from another source, but I can’t find it anywhere other than in Nightengale’s piece, which is indeed a USA Today Sports report filed in July. In it, Rodriguez proclaims his innocence:

“I have never failed a test, paid people, or done the things they’re accusing me of,” Rodriguez says. “Nobody is hiding anything. It’s weird.”

Prior to reading that quote, I had assumed Rodriguez’s expected appeal of his suspension was going to focus on the fact that it was excessive or on the methods that MLB used to acquire the evidence used against him. Instead, it seems he is going to stick to his story that he hasn’t used illegal performance-enhancers since 2003. We may get resolution the other players in the scandal in the next two days, but it seems we’re a long way from knowing Rodriguez’s ultimate fate.

20 comments
Magic Man
Magic Man

Who suffers the most from the Biogenisis scandal?  The Fans.  We have to watch this clown show play out with Arod and MLB's attempt to convince us that they are cleaning up baseball.  It's nauseating to think MLB will do anything beyond a dog and pony show to clean up baseball.  Just look at how they are handling Arod... letting him negotiate terms of his suspension.  How is that even possible??  If the evidence is overwhelming you walk in there and tell him he has option A, if he doesn't take it option B is a lifetime ban.  Then walk the freak out while telling him he has 24hrs to decide.  Done, end of story.  If baseball want to clean itself up, it needs to be perceived as being hardcore tough on these cheating A-holes.

GumpsterWorsley
GumpsterWorsley

CBS Sports reports that in addition to MLB suspensions, there is already a federal investigation planned for the Biogenesis clinic and baseball players who were its clients.. The claim by the Feds is that an unspecified number (as yet) of high school athletes have been clients of Biogenesis and several may have been referred to the clinic by some of the MLB players who will be suspended. Not only have the pro players disgraced their sport, but it appears they have influenced the future of young men who trusted and admired them. Way to go, you selfish #^*^#*! You not only deserve lifetime bans, you deserve a lifetime of ridicule and Bronx cheers.

FernandoPerezUbiera
FernandoPerezUbiera

All cheaters must be punished, MLB must be punished too, why? Because They knew since 1998 at least that the MLB players were using, steroids, but They needed the HR's from Sosa, Mcgwire and company, to bring back The interest in baseball that Was going down since The 1994 strike.

jpb50
jpb50

This whole investigation stinks to me. The MLB is paying this Biogenesis scumbag hundreds of thousands of dollars for his testimony. All the records used code names for the players and the only one who knows the code is the same Biogenesis guy who they are paying. From what I have been told, the MLB are threatening the players with huge suspensions and life time bans if the don't "accept" the suspensions without appeal. None of this would stand up in a court of law. The only reason any player will accept the suspensions without appealing is that they are afraid of the MLB's persecution! I could be wrong, but I think some innocents are being strong armed into accepting a plea bargain because it is the lesser of two evils!

MarkBritten
MarkBritten

@jpb50 I wonder whether MLB's theory is to hope the players (and the union) accept whatever punishment they offer in return for not taking it to court, with the idea being that if the players fight it and lose it makes the MLBPA look like idiots and gives them less of a bargaining position on a future CBA with stricter drug tests. Of course that could backfire massively if any court case went the other way, but I wouldn't be surprised if the MLB thinking was along those lines.

robby1001
robby1001

Suspend the players and lets go . . . . Personally I don't feel fifty games is enough.  It's hard to imagine what these knuckleheads did to their individual teams.

CobyPreimesberger
CobyPreimesberger

the fact they have evidence he tried to recruit players, they have evidence he lied about his asscociation with Dr. Anthony Galea, that he tried to coerce witnesses and it will be at least 14 suspended

mahi2mahi
mahi2mahi

Why would the Rangers suffer the most . The odds are even now.

TeamCropDusters
TeamCropDusters like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Way to drag this out Selig... you have been doing more harm than good by continually leaking information to the press.


Selig is a disgrace.

joe6647
joe6647

@TeamCropDusters Selig already let the Players Union know about which players they plan on suspending.


The players themselves have to decide whether to fight them or accept them.  Thats why the announcements are being held back until Friday

TeamCropDusters
TeamCropDusters like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

MLB is trying to save their cash cow Yankees by effectively voiding A-Rod's contract. Furthermore they are going after Cruz in a pennant race to further help their show pony Yankees.


It is collusion, it is wrong, and it is disgusting.  

Go away Selig. The best interest of baseball clause should be used on you for allowing all of this to get where it is... You weren't complaining in the summer of 98 about steroids, were you. HYPOCRITE.

PAZSKY
PAZSKY

@TeamCropDusters What an idiotic, ignorant comment..A-Rod is getting suspended NOT to help the Yankees, but because he cheated. The Yankees aren't even in the pennant race moron.

drmuon
drmuon like.author.displayName 1 Like

@TeamCropDusters We have no idea what information they have on any of these players.  I think the idea is they want to suspend Rodriguez but he wants to appeal.  That's the reason why they would ban him from baseball.   He's not helping the Yankees either way this year.  So you're saying Cruz shouldn't be suspended because the Rangers are making a run for the play offs?  That's kind of stupid man. 

grimrapper27
grimrapper27 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Make the suspensions next year...I got a fantasy baseball championship I'm trying to win

RealJDSportsFan
RealJDSportsFan

A-Rod seems to the only one who does not see this situation for what it is. It seems like he has convinced himself of his innocence despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. It looks like Selig and MLB will use threat of a suspension under the "best interest of the game clause" as leverage to negotiate a significant suspension for A-Rod if not a lifetime ban. Here is an article talking about the CBA and how Selig can suspend A-Rod for violating it rather than through the drug policy:  http://wp.me/p2wecE-hd

TeamCropDusters
TeamCropDusters like.author.displayName 1 Like

@RealJDSportsFan No SELIG doesn't see the situation for what it is. He is a disgrace to baseball, just like A-Rod.

 Go away Selig. Baseball is better off without you.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis like.author.displayName 1 Like

Please announce the suspensions. Get it over with. This has dragged on way too long. If the players decide to appeal, fine. If A-Rod makes a big fuss, fine. Just do it and be done with this phase. MLB is worse than George McClellan in the Civil War. Built a big army, then didn't want to use it.  MLB has supposedly built up a big case. USE IT.

John NoLastName
John NoLastName like.author.displayName 1 Like

@Rickapolis Patience. We're talking about "Bud time" here, and I don't mean your favorite adult beverage. 

You're talking about a man who has taken years to decide on the use of simple instant replay in baseball, when it's obvious to everyone on the planet the places where it's needed.

You're talking about Stonewall Bud. The Committee King. The man who makes Bowie Kuhn look like Kenesaw Mountain Landis.

So don't worry ... we'll get an announcement on this Biogenesis business in two or three years, I'm sure.