Any parent will tell you it is difficult (well, they’ll say they can’t choose) to label which one of their children is their favorite. It is a matter of screwed-if-you-do, screwed-if-you-don’t.
Major League Baseball feels those blues; they’re stuck in a limbo between justice and action, and they have to soon choose who will hate them.
As expected as anyone thought, the Miami Biogenesis Clinic hey-do-you-want-to-take-a-trip-in-this-baseball-shame-time-machine crisis has, after weeks of halted talk, punctuated best by Alex Rodriguez hiding in a cave and MLB Network glossing over Ryan Braun’s steroid arm tendencies, finally surfaced again. The explosion has happened, the immediate tears have been shed, and the “victims” have hid behind protection that they couldn’t have constructed any quicker. Now, it’s time for the punishment. The phase has at last come for the police to bring the scared men into the metallic rooms with one desk, one chair, and no sounds to be heard.
The only problem is that the police – the baseball police – can’t wave their guns around.
That’s because Major League Baseball is in limbo between choosing (a.k.a. waiting and potentially failing by stalling for government involvement that has yet to arrive and maybe never will) to punish all performance-enhancing-drug-using players whose names appeared on the Biogenesis Clinic records, or somewhat, but not truly, vindicating their image by going after some alleged power druggies – specifically Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez, according to some sources – by granting immunity to players who are on the Biogenesis records who can give MLB information to catch other players who used Anthony Bosch’s clinic. Whew, what a decision.
Of course, MLB wants to pursue the former option. The collective bargaining agreement and rule books dictate that any Major Leaguer who is proven to have used PEDs should be reprimanded through suspension. It’s the noble act, too, as MLB wants to take down – angrily take down – anyone who violates their business. What better way to clean up the game than catch every cheater? MLB would then frighten every player who even thinks about using PEDs, maybe limiting the number of positive tests that show up every year. That’s the image Bud Selig paints.
It is the premier decision to attack everyone who is suspected to have used the Biogenesis Clinic. Bosch’s science lab, after all, is the ultimate slap in the face to baseball’s beautiful revamping that has taken place over the past five to 10 years. And even if MLB fails to elucidate that all 90 players, according to USA Today, who were on the Biogenesis records indeed took PEDs from the facility, proving and punishing any of the culprits would fulfill their prophecy of scourging baseball to a level that is acceptable and won’t put MLB in shame. There is no better visage for MLB if this happens. More than any other factor, PEDs were what brought baseball’s popularity down and rocketed football to being the unofficial official American pastime. Squeaky clean baseball? Well, hello, lost fans.
But because the Miami New Times refuses to give MLB their Biogenesis records, Major League Baseball doesn’t have enough evidence to punish all the players whose names appeared on the documents. Deals – dreaded deals! – with big leaguers are the only way Major League Baseball can punish any juicers at the moment, since the government won’t get involved in the investigation. Sounds democratic.
There’s apparent indignation concerning the latter option baseball can undertake. The ideal baseball world is the one in which anyone who is dirty, is slapped in the face and sent home for 50, 100, or a lifetime of games. The oldest professional sport in America can’t allow cheaters to walk away with just slaps on their wrists. Furthermore, making deals under the table can’t possibly be Major League Baseball, right? They can’t possibly be corrupt, right? That would just be crazy. I mean….
It’s normal for any professional organization to grant immunity in order to make some progress; that’s the power of compromise, even though it is immoral to baseball fans. The real issue, though, is if they go halfsies and pick and choose who to attack, MLB gives their critics reasons to say they’re being biased and not upholding their drug policy ethics. Critics would say, If MLB wants to maintain a fair game, then why would they let anyone unfair go? No subpoena power probably isn’t a viable excuse for those who want absolute justice.
Instead, Major League Baseball, according to some sources, has two main targets they want to prove juiced: Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun.
Why? Why not go after the two biggest names linked to PEDs since MLB’s crusade on steroids? Not only does A-Rod represent the harm roiding up does to the history of the Major Leagues, and not only does Braun cheating the sport show that even the most likable of athletes are suspect, they both symbolize the weakness of MLB’s commitment to stopping cheaters. They supposedly both juiced twice, flipping off MLB and their drug policy. How powerful can a sports league be, then, if no one takes their suspension power seriously, fears chastisement? So, MLB, without the Biogenesis records, has to instead resort to compromising with other alleged juicers in order to defeat as many major cheaters as they can, especially their two main villains. That is unless the magic power of the subpoena suddenly arises in another form.
The lawsuit Major League Baseball is filing against the Biogenesis Clinic probably won’t bring it, though.
While it is true that MLB would have subpoena power to receive the long-sought records if their lawsuit is allowed to proceed, it likely won’t happen. MLB’s case for a lawsuit isn’t very strong. They argue that the clinic caused “‘intentional and unjustified tortious interference’ with contracts between MLB and its players by providing them with banned substances,” the New York Daily News and others reported Friday. Essentially, MLB wants compensation for Bosch’s clinic distributing drugs to their clients, the players, that have harmed The Bigs’ business. This most likely won’t work, though, since the game hasn’t been substantially monetarily damaged by performance-enhancing drugs supposedly provided by the clinic. Thus, their lawsuit probably won’t advance, and thus, nor will their subpoenas. And so we come back to the limbo brought by choosing immunity deals or waiting for superheroes on Capitol Hill to aid MLB. They either punish or take action.
Now the parent has to choose. It’s one child or the other. They both are brilliant kids, but the parent knows that the act of choosing the one they want to select as the best, requires another parent that might be too busy or too lazy to intervene. If they compromise and choose the other, then the punisher parent will be haunted by not properly wagging its finger at the trouble maker kid. Oh, limbo, what a pickle you are.