Major League Baseball is preparing to announce the doping-related suspensions of some 20 players, including Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, and Melky Cabrera, according to ESPN. The case hinges on information from Tony Bosch, founder of Biogenesis of America, a now-shuttered Miami anti-aging clinic, that has been linked to the players. In the past, Bosch has insisted he never supplied athletes with performance-enhancing drugs, but the league managed to pressure him into flipping.
Bosch is now reportedly corroborating records the league has piled up detailing extensive steroid use among players. If the Biogenesis case mushrooms as expected, it could trigger a wave of penalties unprecedented in professional baseball. Those suspensions would potentially be handed down right around the All-Star break next month.
That, say some fans, would deal an indelible black eye to a sport already tainted by years of scandals stemming from widespread doping. The often mocked Donald Trump found himself in the mainstream for once on this one:
A-Rod has disgraced the blessed @yankees organization, lied to the fans & embarrassed NYC. He does not deserve to wear the pinstripes.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2013
Still, some skeptics are convinced that devoted baseball fans are so numbed at this point to reports that revered sluggers and other superstars have succumbed to the temptation to cheat, that even a potentially historic mass suspension won't keep the game down for long, if at all.
Nobody denies the case is a big deal. Sean Gregory at TIME predicts the Biogenesis scandal will justifiably "dominate headlines for the foreseeable future." But he's equally certain that the sport will bounce right back.
Baseball doping scandals don't spark collective outrage anymore, or cause fans to flee the game. In instances like these, baseball benefits from its marketing strategy: game first, stars second. It also benefits from the game's parochial nature. The sport now has minimal national television presence during the regular season: the days of gathering around for NBC's Saturday Game of the Week are long gone...
Ryan Braun is a fantastic player. But even before he was embroiled in doping scandals, who outside Milwaukee, besides Brewers and maybe some hardcore baseball fans, would stop what they’re doing just to watch that guy hit? ... So if he goes down for doping — last night Braun again dismissed the allegations — the business of baseball doesn't change. Brewers fans are angry, because they lost a key player, and that makes them less competitive. And they may feel betrayed by Braun. But the games go on, to capture their attention, to distract them, every day.
Baseball is bigger than a bunch of dopes. [TIME]
Of course, not everyone is convinced. Baseball may well survive, says Josh Hill at Fansided, but the current age will be remembered for one shameful thing — steroids. And until the leaders of the league and its teams put a stop to the nonsense, he adds, things will only get worse in a never-ending drip, drip, drip of disgrace.
It's sick really, that we have to endure another scandal involving steroids. It shows a blatant rejection of evolution as the old adage of fool me once stopped applying what seems ages ago. It's hard to determine what is more disgusting: the fact that we have yet another scandal or the fact that we've had so many that this one really isn't shocking or surprising — it's expected. [Fansided]