It’s the sports scandal that just won’t go away. Months after the frantic media hype surrounding the Biogenesis/MLB/Alex Rodriguez performance enhancing drug scandal, there’s been a new development. A police report released by Florida police detective Terrence Payne determined that those documents purchased by Major League Baseball when their investigators were building a case against Alex Rodriguez and other players were stolen . . . and MLB knew it. According to Detective Payne, not only were MLB investigators fully aware that the documents they were actively seeking and brokering a purchase on were stolen, but the MLB was told by Florida police that if they did find the documents, stolen out of Porter Fischer’s car by tanning facility employee Reginald St. Fleur, they were to inform the police immediately. Major League Baseball did, in fact, inform police – eight months after they purchased the documents.
It’s a saga that has played out in the headlines and brought down some major sports stars in the process. Now, over a year after the Miami New Times newspaper article that blew the Biogenesis story wide open was printed, most thought the scandal had mostly passed. However, the release of this police report, along with transcripts, audio interviews, and documentation of the evidence police were using in their investigation opens up the can of worms yet again, and this time it’s the MLB that looks tarnished. Before, when Alex Rodriguez was at the center of the media frenzy and claimed that Major League Baseball was out to get him, and that the organization would go to any length to find evidence that would bring Rodriguez down, most thought it was just the panicked lies of a player who had been caught cheating. Now, Rodriguez’ belief that MLB resorted to shady dealings to prove their case against him might appear to be true.
Major League Baseball has adamantly denied that they knew the documents they bought were stolen. The spokesperson for MLB again reiterated last week that they didn’t know the documents taken from Biogenesis founder Tony Bosch by disgruntled former employee Porter Fischer, and then stolen from Fischer to then be sold to MLB investigators in a Hollywood movie-like exchange in a diner parking lot by middle man Gary Jones, were stolen. However, the tale of the documents in question reveal a different and far more sinister truth. The documents, reportedly in the form of notebooks and other materials that had belonged to Biogenesis founder Bosch and allegedly detailed the dosages, drugs, and the code names of clients he was selling them to, were copies Porter Fischer had made after he took the box of materials from Biogenesis, in the hopes he could use them to barter for $3,600 Bosch owed him but had never paid. Fischer sold the documents to Peter Carbone, a tanning salon owner who then made a deal to sell the whole lot to Alex Rodriguez. Carbone also arranged for a middle man, identified as “Bobby” but in reality a man named Gary Jones, to sell a copy of the records to Major League Baseball investigator Dan Mullins in the form of four USB drives after the MLB determined that Porter Fischer was demanding too much money for his documents.
MLB investigator Mullins purchased the 4 USB’s from Jones for $100,000 and then paid $25,000 for another batch a few weeks later. Alex Rodriguez doesn’t quite come out of this smelling like a rose, because middle man Jones then reported in a Boca Raton Police Department report that soon after, A-Rod’s people came to his house, wanting the video from the diner that showed Jones selling documents to Mullins, offering to pay $500,000 if he obtained it, and making threats to his person. Jones also offered the video to MLB, but they declined. Still, Jones came away from that deal with $200,000 from A-Rod’s people. Jones provided a signed affidavit that when he met MLB investigator Mullins at the Cosmos Diner in Florida, he told him repeatedly that he was selling him documents that were stolen from Biogenesis.
Though it seems everyone has a different story in the PED scandal, and all along each side has been trying to cast blame on the other, the new evidence that came to light last week seems to take this whole complicated mess and boil it down to a few simple truths: MLB players bought illegal drugs, including testosterone and Human Growth Hormone, from unlicensed “doctor” Anthony Bosch. A disgruntled former employee used this to his advantage when he took the documents and tried to sell them to get the money he was owed. The documents were used by a newspaper reporter who seemed to stumble upon his own personal Watergate. Alex Rodriguez and Major League Baseball, in response to the published article, attempted to track down and purchase any and all proof that would help them bring the other down . . . by any means necessary.
Does it matter that MLB knew the documents they purchased were stolen? Does it matter that A-Rod’s team supposedly used threats to get what they wanted? For people who believe in America’s Favorite Past Time as a sport to be enjoyed and revered, it matters a lot. Because, truthfully, everyone was at fault here in some manner, and the only things that lose out are the sport of baseball and the fans who pack the bleachers every time they come out to the “old ballgame,” in hopes that they can see what baseball should be: regular guys playing a sport they love.