Selig’s scorched-earth approach risks making this less about any players involved than MLB’s tactics in obtaining evidence — any evidence — for what could become MLB’s most wide-ranging discipline since the Black Sox scandal in 1919. Think the MLB Players Association will have a concern or two if a player is suspended without a failed test, on Bosch’s word or off evidence collected at lawyer-point? A nuclear winter (or summer) of litigation and labor discontent isn’t hard to imagine.
The drug agreement, after all, was collectively bargained and, as argued by defense lawyers, is pre-empted by federal labor law. That’s the contract MLB claims Biogenesis violated. So, the case, like the NFL concussion litigation, may not even belong in state court.
In the effort to clean up a cleaned-up game, Selig’s MLB has dirtied itself as much as the scourge it claims to be fighting. That’s something even the All-Star game’s well-manicured grass at Citi Field can’t hide.
“He’s basically going down into Tony Bosch’s gutter,” Johnson said, “and taking baseball’s reputation with it.”