The Biogenesis story is getting bigger — and it now includes a player on the Mets’ 40-man roster.
ESPN uncovered five more names of pro baseball players who were clients of the anti-aging facility: San Diego Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera, reliever Jordan Norberto of the Oakland A’s; former Met and current Astro Fernando Martinez; Padres reliever Fautino De Los Santos; and Mets outfield prospect Cesar Puello.
An interesting addendum to the story is that all five players are either current or former clients of ACES, the sports agency owned by brothers Seth and Sam Levinson. Out of the 25 players so far named in the Biogenesis scandal, 10 are or were connected to ACES — most of whom worked with Juan Carlos Nunez, a player liaison for ACES. Nunez is the knucklehead who built the bogus website for Melky Cabrera and was banned from MLB as a result.
In related news, it was “discovered” that Gio Gonzalez did not purchase any banned substances from Biogenesis, thereby clearing him of any wrongdoing. Hmm … really? From the ESPN story:
According to two sources familiar with Bosch’s operation, however, the Washington Nationals’ Gio Gonzalez, previously identified as being named in Biogenesis documents, did not receive banned substances from Bosch or the clinic.
Both sources, speaking independently, identified Gonzalez as the only Bosch client named thus far who did not receive performance-enhancing drugs. A document obtained by “Outside the Lines” bolsters their case: On a computer printout of clients, Gonzalez, identified by the code name “Gladiator,” is said to have received $1,000 worth of substances, but under “notes” are several substances not banned by Major League Baseball: “gluthetyn” (which a source said was a misspelling of glutathione), “IM [intramuscular] shots” and amino acids.
Glutathione is an anti-oxidant, and one source said the “IM shots” Gonzalez received were “MICs,” a medically dubious but legal combination of methionine, inositol and choline, often used for weight loss.
Color me skeptical. It seems far too convenient that two sources suddenly tell ESPN that Gonzalez was the only player who didn’t receive banned PEDs. Did someone pay someone off to “leak” that info? There are several issues that bother me about this new epiphany. First, if Gonzalez purchased legal substances, then why is he denying it? The best explanation is that the substances were for his father. OK, I can buy that — though, it doesn’t explain why Gio’s name was in the notebook, along with his dad’s name (Max). Second, why is Gio using a code name (“Gladiator”) to purchase the substances? I suppose the alias could simply have come from Bosch, but why? Maybe to protect the player’s privacy? That’s fair. But then there is issue #3: why is Gio Gonzalez going to some shady clinic to purchase substances from someone posing as a pseudo-doctor? Oh, that’s right — Gio never met Tony Bosch; it was his dad who went to the clinic and sought Bosch’s advice.
Oh, but then there is that connection between Bosch and Jimmy Goins — who is Gio’s strength coach. Not to mention the fact there were 24 other pro ballplayers purchasing PEDs from Bosch.
Each point of Gio’s story has a fairly valid explanation. The problem is when you add it all up, it looks bad — not just for Gio Gonzalez, but for baseball.
We are all tired of hearing and talking about PEDs in baseball — but that doesn’t mean we should stop. It’s not the media’s fault that they keep uncovering garbage like this — it’s the fault of MLB players, owners, and league officials for sticking their collective heads in the sand on the issue of PEDs and not keeping their own house clean. Initiating PEDs testing was a first step in the right direction, but it was far from the solution. It matters not whether MLB has the “toughest anti-PEDs policy in professional sports” if a significant number of players are still cheating the system.
About the Author
Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.