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Alex Rodriguez reportedly negotiating settlement for suspension

Alex Rodriguez YankeesMajor League Baseball has been playing hardball with Alex Rodriguez since they began investigating his alleged involvement with Biogenesis, and it is slowly starting to look like the league will get its way. Rodriguez’s lawyers have been adamant throughout the entire process that A-Rod will appeal any suspension he is given, but could they be softening their stance?

On Wednesday night, ESPNNewYork.com’s reported that a source told “Outside the Lines” that Rodriguez’s representatives are negotiating a settlement with league officials — something most of the other players involved with Biogenesis are doing or have done.

The report comes on the heels of speculation that Major League Baseball will look to ban A-Rod for life if he does not agree to serve a lengthy suspension. The league clearly wants to do everything in its power to prevent Rodriguez from appealing. If he does, he would be able to play for the New York Yankees this season.

MLB reportedly presented its evidence to Rodriguez earlier this week. All indications have been that the information the league has compiled against him is more compelling that the dirt they had on Braun, including proof that A-Rod intentionally interfered with the investigation and tried to destroy documents. For that reason, Bud Selig and company are looking to come down on him much harder than the 50-game suspensions other “first-time offenders” are expected to receive.

Earlier this week, we shared a report with you about MLB seeking to suspend A-Rod for the remainder of the 2013 season and all of 2014. It sounds like Rodriguez’s attorneys are now leaning toward accepting that punishment rather than having to deal with fighting a lifetime ban from baseball.

A-Rod may never be an effective player again if he is out until 2015, but he can still collect some of the salary New York owes him. That may be all that matters at this point, as his reputation is already destroyed.

MLB will reportedly ban Alex Rodriguez for life if he does not agree to deal

Alex Rodriguez YankeesAs we await Major League Baseball’s inevitable announcement regarding Biogenesis suspensions, the phrase “lifetime ban” continues to fly around in connection with New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez. The issue appears to be A-Rod’s unwillingness to agree to a suspension deal similar to the one Ryan Braun accepted last week.

According to Hardball Talk, Major League Baseball will suspend Rodriguez for life if the two sides cannot reach a settlement. A-Rod would in all likelihood appeal a lifetime ban from baseball and it is possible he could win –sort of. The 38-year-old admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs while playing for the Texas Rangers roughly a decade ago, but there were no set penalties at the time for violations. Because of that, he is technically considered a first-time offender.

Hardball Talk reported that the league believes if it suspends A-Rod for life, he will end up having to serve at least a 150-game ban even if the penalty is reduced following an appeal. In fact, Bud Selig and company feel that they evidence they have compiled against Rodriguez is compelling enough that they are not willing to agree to a 100-game suspension, believing that would be too light.

[Related: Bud Selig reportedly ready to 'throw the book' at A-Rod]

In addition to having his name associated with several drugs from Tony Bosch’s Biogenesis clinic, MLB has been investigating whether or not A-Rod led others to the clinic and attempted to destroy evidence. That would, in theory, justify a heftier suspension. Rodriguez and his attorneys have disputed those claims, but Hardball Talk’s source says the slugger is “in for a world of hurt” either way.

To make a long story short, MLB is trying to strong-arm Rodriguez into accepting a lengthy suspension that could in effect end his career, and serving it immediately. Since it appears he is unwilling to do that, the league is seeking the most severe form of punishment in hopes that even an appeal would result in something extremely harsh.

Alex Rodriguez reportedly will not accept 50-game suspension like other players

Joel-Sherman-Wants-Us-to-Leave-Alex-Rodriguez-AloneMore than a dozen players are still expected to be suspended for their involvement with Tony Bosch’s Biogenesis clinic, including Alex Rodriguez. Most of the players will like be handed 50-game suspensions as first-time offenders. However, A-Rod may be prepared to fight ’till the finish.

According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, several players are expected to accept their punishment within the next 72 hours. Despite the fact that it is believed MLB investigators have far more evidence against Rodriguez than they had against Braun and other players, A-Rod is expected to appeal the decision so he can play for the New York Yankees this season.

Earlier on Tuesday, a report surfaced indicating MLB commissioner Bud Selig could try to ban A-Rod from baseball for life by invoking a clause in the collective bargaining agreement which would allow him to personally hear any appeal that Rodriguez might file. Passan referred to that threat as a “game of chicken,” with MLB hoping A-Rod decides to accept his punishment like other players plan to.

While first-time PED offenders are supposed to receive a 50-game suspension, the league is able to pursue longer suspensions for players like Rodriguez who allegedly interfered with their investigation and may have even lied. According to Passan, Selig’s supposed idea of trying to block A-Rod from an appeal has irritated the MLB Players Association. The MLBPA has cooperated with the league’s pursuit of suspensions, and Selig could start a major feud by pulling the “integrity of the game” card.

Why would Rodriguez want to file an appeal that he is almost certain to lose? One theory is that he could be looking to return to the Yankees, then claim he is unable to continue his career because of lingering injuries. That would give him a shot at collecting the roughly $100 he has remaining on his contract before a suspension ever becomes official. At this point, the only outcome that would be surprising is if A-Rod’s name was mysteriously dropped from the discussion.

MLB offered Biogenesis whistleblower Porter Fischer $125,000

MLB was so desperate to nail the baseball players implicated in the Biogenesis scandal, they offered the whistleblower $125,000 for information related to the case. That is one of many noteworthy tidbits former Biogenesis associate Porter Fischer shared with ESPN’s “Outside the Lines.”

Tony BoschFischer told “Outside the Lines” that he leaked Biogenesis documents to the Miami New Times, which first reported the story, because of a monetary dispute with Biogenesis founder Tony Bosch (pictured). Fischer says he was upset to learn that Bosch was not a real doctor as he claimed to be, and he says he was owed $3,600 from Bosch after investing in the company last year. Bosch paid $1,200 of the $4,800 Fischer was owed and then stopped paying. Fischer got back at Bosch by leaking the documents.

[Previously: Tony Bosch was running BALCO of the East]

Fischer told ESPN’s T.J. Quinn that he took his information to the New Times because he was reluctant to go to the police with the information after seeing the name of local police, attorneys, and a judge in the documents. He said he hoped a federal investigation would be launched after the article’s publication.

Fischer told ESPN that MLB gave him $5,000 and an extra $500, and that they even offered him $125,000 for his information. He says he did not take the money.

Fischer says his life has been turned upside down since the New Times story was published. He says his car was broken into, with records and a computer stolen. He says he has been harassed numerous times.

In addition to the numerous baseball players caught in the Biogenesis scandal, the New Times identified boxer Yuriorkis Gamboa and tennis player Wayne Odesnik as athletes in the records. Fischer says he and associates identified NBA players, MMA fighters, boxers, NCAA athletes, and tennis players in the documents. As far as he knows, no NHL or NFL players were Biogenesis clients.

Ryan Braun reportedly would not answer questions about Biogenesis

Ryan BraunMLB plans to suspend Ryan Braun, Alex Rodriguez, and as many as 20 other players soon after the All-Star break because of their ties to Biogenesis, ESPN’s Outside the Lines reports.

Tony Bosch, who ran the Biogenesis clinic, cut a deal with MLB last month to provide information which helped them build their cases against the players in question.

One reason Braun could be facing a lengthy suspension is because he would not answer questions about his relationship with Biogenesis or Bosch during a June 29 meeting with MLB, per Outside the Lines.

Braun has repeatedly denied using performance-enhancing drugs despite failing a drug test in 2011 and appearing in the Biogenesis records.

Braun’s 50-game suspension for the positive test was overturned after he won his appeal because the tester did not follow proper protocol when handling the sample. Braun also said he was listed in Bosch’s notes because his lawyers used Bosch as a consultant during his appeal.

Braun continues to avoid the subject matter. He said through a club spokesperson that he will not address the Biogenesis issue with reporters.

100-game suspensions for A-Rod and Ryan Braun? MLB is on a rampage

Ryan BraunMLB is looking to suspend around 20 players for their alleged involvement with Biogenesis, a now-defunct anti-aging clinic run by quack Tony Bosch that allegedly doubled as a supplier of performance-enhancing drugs to several athletes, ESPN reports.

The most jaw-dropping item in the ESPN “Outside the Lines” report is that MLB might seek 100-game suspensions for former MVPs Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun, which is the penalty for a second doping offense. According to ESPN, MLB will consider the players’ connection to Bosch a first offense, and the players denying involvement with Biogenesis in statements to MLB a second offense.

ESPN says Bosch is broke, living with friends and/or family, and fearful of facing charges from the federal government. Though in the past Bosch denied association with athletes, he reportedly is now prepared to talk to MLB because he supposedly believes cooperating with them is his only option. MLB would also be cutting him a sweet deal.

ESPN states in its report:

In exchange for Bosch’s full cooperation, sources said, Major League Baseball will drop the lawsuit it filed against Bosch in March, indemnify him for any liability arising from his cooperation, provide personal security for him and even put in a good word with any law enforcement agency that might bring charges against him.

MLB is also looking for cooperation from two other former Bosch employees so that they would have more documented statements and evidence against the players involved with the clinic.

Currently, ESPN has the names of 15 players who may face suspension. They say about 20 could face suspension. It’s possibly that the remaining players appear in Bosch’s notes under code names.

Based on the names of players we have, the teams who would be hit hardest by the potential suspensions include:

[Read more...]

Alex Rodriguez reportedly bought Biogenesis records to destroy them

alex rodriguezThere’s a saying that the cover-up is always worse than the crime. If you believe that adage plus a report from The New York Times, then you would be led to conclude that Alex Rodriguez is guilty when it comes to his alleged involvement with the Biogenesis clinic in Florida.

The New York Times reported on Thursday that MLB has paid some former Biogenesis employees for documents related to the case. They also reported that players implicated in the scandal were also attempting to purchase the records in order to destroy the potentially incriminating evidence. Now we’re learning that one of the players reportedly was Alex Rodriguez.

The New York Times reported on Friday that MLB investigators believe it was a representative for Alex Rodriguez who tried purchasing the documents. The Times says two people say A-Rod was the player who purchased the documents.

Rodriguez has denied the allegation.

The New York Daily News provided a more extensive account of the situation. According to The Daily News, an intermediary who invested with Biogenesis began shopping the documents to players named in the records and media outlets in an effort to recoup lost money. They say A-Rod bought it and sent one of his people to retrieve the documents.

Rodriguez was among several players implicated in the scandal that broke late January. He, Melky Cabrera, Gio Gonzalez, Bartolo Colon, Nelson Cruz and Yasmani Grandal were among the athletes whose names appeared in the now-defunct anti-aging clinic’s records. Ryan Braun was also later tied to the company, though he had an excuse for his name appearing in the records of clinic leader Anthony Bosch. Rodriguez faced the strongest allegations of all; reports said he personally received injections from Bosch.

Rodriguez is currently rehabbing a hip injury and under contract with the Yankees through 2017. He has admitted to using steroids in the past after being implicated by a 2009 Sports Illustrated report.