He almost had us. After the tantrums, storming out of hearings, blaming MLB, and generally acting like a petulant teenager, lately Alex Rodriguez at least had some good press on his side, with the shady details that emerged around the arrest of a Florida man accused of stealing documents from the car of a former associate of the Biogenesis anti-aging clinic. For a little while, anyway, we could begin to see A-Rod’s side of the huge and all-consuming Major League Baseball PED drama, and even begin to think maybe A-Rod spoke some truth when he said the MLB was out to get him, and under no circumstances had he done anything to earn his harsh 211-game suspension for allegedly receiving illegal drugs from Bosch-owned Biogenesis, hindering the MLB investigation, and allegedly buying evidence and using it to take down fellow MLB players. It was all so awful, it couldn’t really all be true, right? One of Major League’s most talented (yet most cocky) players was perhaps just the target of a steamrolling conglomerate who was fed up with A-Rod opening his mouth one too many times. Or . . . according to a recent 60 minutes interview with the elusive “Doctor” Anthony Bosch, maybe Alex Rodriguez really was as bad as his detractors say he is.
Since the scandal broke in the first part of 2013, little has been heard from Tony Bosch regarding his clinic, credentials (which most claim are questionable at best), relationship with MLB stars, and his role in knowingly providing illegal drugs to Major League players. In fact, Bosch has largely been in hiding since early last year, with the news of the suspensions, the statements from MLB players, and the sordid pieces of news regarding cash transfers in Florida diners and stolen records consuming most of the media surrounding the scandal. Bosch has remained a shadowy player in the drama, a guy who wanted something grand for his life: money, reputation, respect. Instead of earning it, Bosch simply created it by opening a string of businesses which failed one after the other, and a personal life fraught with partying, divorces and angry demands for child support. Finally, with the Biogenesis of America clinic, it seemed as if “Dr.” Bosch was finally a step away from the reputation he had been seeking, with his ability to provide performance enhancing and anti-aging drugs to those who were willing to pay huge sums of cash discreetly. It all came to a screeching halt when a former disgruntled employee whom Bosch owed several thousand dollars to took his startling discovery of what seemed to be notebooks filled with records of drug treatments given to Major League Baseball stars to a reporter at the Miami New Times, and suddenly the shady back room dealings were front page news.
In Sunday night’s 60 Minutes interview, we finally heard from Bosch himself, and the revelations he gave couldn’t have made things any worse for embattled New York Yankees third baseman Rodriguez, who has spent months fighting his suspension (only just learning on Sunday that the arbitrator had reduced his suspension to 162 games), and denying any wrongdoing. Bombshells dropped during the segment, which included participation by Bosch, A-Rod’s lawyer, and MLB’s panel arbitrator, include the confirmation that not only did Rodriguez spend $12,000 a month buying PED’s from Bosch, he also asked Bosch to inject him on occasion because A-Rod had an aversion to needles. Also, Bosch recalled how A-Rod was extremely involved in his own doping regimen, paying close attention to dosage, types of drugs (allegedly including some type of steroid, testosterone and Human Growth Hormone cocktail) and how what he took affected his performance.
Perhaps the biggest takeaway about Rodriguez that one gets from the 60 Minutes segment is the portrait of a man obsessed with his own performance, and driven by a nearly pathological need to achieve one thing before his career was over: according to Bosch, A-Rod was consumed with the need to become the lone member of the 800 home run club, a milestone he was actually within reach of since his career home run stats so far put him at 654. Would PED’s have put him there? And if they had, would the ill-gotten victory be a hollow one?