How was MLB able to get Ryan Braun to agree to a 65-game suspension in 2013 despite the absence of a failed drug test? There was so much evidence against Braun that the Brewers slugger decided to accept his fate. And where did MLB get all the evidence? Not only did they have Anthony Bosch spilling his guts, but one of Braun’s former Miami teammates, Marcelo Albir, likely ratted on the MVP.
Albir, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound right-hander from Miami, pitched for the Hurricanes in 2003, 2004 and 2006. He was teammates with Braun on the Hurricanes from 2003-2005 (Braun was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in ’05).
Albir did not play for Miami in the 2005 season, but you won’t find the reason for his absence from the team in any media report. Gaby Sanchez, a veteran major leaguer currently with the Pittsburgh Pirates, also did not play in the 2005 season, and the reason was never reported until now.
The Miami New Times — which opened up the Biogensis story last year — published an excerpt from a new book entitled “Blood Sport: Alex Rodriguez, Biogenesis, and the Quest to End Baseball’s Steroid Era” on Thursday. The excerpt says Albir and Sanchez were suspended the entire season after testing positive for PEDs.
Miami’s baseball coach, Jim Morris, did not tell his team exactly why the players were suspended, but he supposedly told them they all knew why.
Larry Brown Sports can also confirm that Albir and Sanchez were suspended from the Miami baseball program in 2005 after testing positive for PEDs. LBS was previously told the same information.
Though Albir’s baseball career didn’t go anywhere — his ERA ballooned to 5.23 in 2006 after being at 2.25 in 2004 — he became a conduit between former Miami baseball players in pro ball and Biogenesis.
The new “Blood Sport” book says MLB came to believe Albir was the conduit between the two; Outside the Lines reported the same thing last year; and Larry Brown Sports was also told that Albir was the conduit for Braun/other ex-Hurricanes and Biogenesis.
When MLB first brought its lawsuit against Biogenesis, Albir was one of the six defendants listed in the suit. However, Albir’s name was conspicuously dropped from the lawsuit in June. Braun’s suspension was handed down a month later. You make the connection there.
Albir’s attorney did not respond to past emails and phone calls from LBS seeking comment about his client’s involvement in the case.
The original Biogenesis report indicated that Miami’s baseball program had deep steroids and HGH ties.
Four of the five players from the 2005 Hurricanes baseball team drafted in the first 10 rounds of the 2005 draft were mentioned in Biogenesis documents. Two of those players — Braun and pitcher Cesar Carrillo — were suspended by MLB. Carrillo was the 18th overall pick by the Padres in ’05. He was named six times throughout the Biogenesis records and was receiving HGH, MIC, and a testosterone cream as of last year, according to Bosch. The other two players are Sanchez and pitcher Israel Chirino.
To give you an idea of the PED-culture surrounding the Miami baseball program 10 years ago, we share this quote Raudel Alfonso gave to “Blood Sport.”
Via The Miami New Times:
“Drug testing was a joke,” the former pitcher says. “A plain-out joke.” He says athletes were typically informed on a Sunday night that they would have to submit to a test early the next morning at the Hecht Center, the University of Miami’s athletic administrative hive. He recalls UM football players speaking openly about using Whizzinators, fake penises designed to fool drug testers. Another option was checking into the hospital with any ailment, which negated the test. Third, if athletes didn’t show up at the Hecht Center on time, they were told to go to an outside testing center. So the most common ploy was for ballplayers to give their driver’s licenses to similar-looking teammates who were clean and have them urinate at an outside center.
Miami won national championships in 1999 and 2001. They reached the College World Series in every season from ’94-’99. They also reached the College World Series in 2001, 2003, ’04, ’06 and ’08.Google+