Miami New Times Uncovers East Coast Balco: A-Rod, Melky, Gio Gonzalez Amongst Named
I guess Victor Conte was right after all.
A stunning report released by the Miami New Times has uncovered a lab run out of Miami by Dr. Tony Bosch has been selling performance enhancing drugs to professional athletes. Among the people named: Alex Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon, Yasmani Grandal, Gio Gonzalez and Nelson Cruz.
As I mentioned in an article written 9 months ago, baseball’s system has long been broken. The incentives for cheating are still incredibly high, and now with new forms of testosterone that leave your system quickly, baseball cheating is back. Consider this, seven major leaguers tested positive for performance enhancing drugs in 2012, the most since 2005. If you add those who have been found on the list the number goes up to ten major leaguers, one less than the first year Major League Baseball implemented the new steroid policies.
Think there’s no baseball steroid problem now?
Now credit is due to Major League baseball; out of those specifically named by the Miami New Times, only Gio Gonzalez and Nelson Cruz have never tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. Gonzalez’s involvement is pretty unclear considering his father also appears on the client list and now the father is claiming that only he (the elder Gonzalez) took anything from Dr. Bosch. Still, you have to include A-Rod who did not test positive for steroids this year and has been claiming for years that he has not been taking steroids. Turns out he’s the featured drug user in the article and had paid for his steroids up until April 2013. Busted, Alex.
Here’s a closer look at each of the athletes involved and how their numbers could have been affected by PEDs. A note about the drugs used according to the Miami New Times. Troches is a cream that is 15% HGH, Pink Cream is a form of testosterone, IGF-1 is a drug that “stimulates insulin production and muscle growth,” and GHRP allows releases more growth hormones.
1) Alex Rodriguez:
Specific mention in article: Took “1.5/1.5 HGH (sports perf.) cream test., glut., MIC, supplement, sports perf. Diet,” “Test. cream... troches prior to workout... and GHRP... IGF-1... pink cream."
2012 Regular Season: .272/.353/.430 18 HR, 57 RBI, 116 SOs, 2012 Postseason: .120/.185/.305, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 12 SO
Ruling: If that’s what Alex on steroids can do, I really would prefer him just to take them to save himself the embarrassment. Also, maybe you should try a throat lozenge instead Alex. You know, so you don’t choke in the playoffs and hit like pitcher.
2) Melky Cabrera
Specific Mention in Article: “Melky is mentioned 14 times throughout,” "April 4th drop off, has enough meds until May 4... next visit deliver and infuse $9,000 to RPO and $900 exp. and charges. Call him for expense. Missing this mo. troches and pink cream.”
2012 Regular Season: .346/.390/.516 11 HR, 60 RBI, 63 SO, All Star MVP, suspended for 50 games for positive testosterone test.
Ruling: Well the only real surprise here is that Melky was part of a more organized distribution. Having been caught already both cheating and covering-up his deeds there’s not much to be said here. He was a fourth outfielder who almost juiced his way to a huge contract. Instead he gets two years, 16 million.
3) Nelson Cruz
Specific Mention in Article: "Need to call him, go Thur to Texas, take meds from April 5-May 5, will owe him troches and... and will infuse them in May."
2012 Regular Season: .260/.319/.460, 24 HR, 90 RBI, 140 SO.
Ruling: Well the article has him in the ledger for steroids which seems a bit strange. His line is similar to what he has been producing for the past four years begging the question of whether or not he is guilty or for how long. It’s hard to say as he is a journeyman who broke out in a big way. We will learn more as we find out.
4) Gio Gonzalez
Specific Mention in Article: "Order 1.c.1 with Zinc/MIC/... and Aminorip. For Gio and charge $1,000." Father says that it was for him, not Gio.
2012 Regular Season: 21-8, 2.89 ERA, 207 SOs, 76 BBs, 3rd place NL Cy Young
Ruling: Gio’s the only one here who seemingly has a legitimate case, although picking up your dad’s medical drugs knowing full well what it could look like seems sketchy. Still, Gonzalez’s numbers don’t look out of line with what he has produced in the last three years. His wins are up because he played with a better team and his walks are down but not significantly (16 less than last year, 19 less than two years before). Gio’s problem was never his “stuff” but his walk rate. That would make PED use a confusing choice to solve his problems.
5) Yasmani Grandal
Specific Mention in Article: "Deliver April 4 (in person or by mail). He is in Tucson. Waiting for his call to see if he can drive to Phoenix. Payment will be made by his [illegible], $500 of expenses."
2012 Regular Season: .297/.394/.469 8 HR, 36 RBI, 39 SOs
Ruling: Grandal was a highly touted prospects who has since been busted by Major League Baseball for PEDs. His guilt has already been confirmed by the league, it is now a formality, like Cabrera, as to where he got the drugs.
6) Bartolo Colon
Specific Mention in Article: “In his notes, Bosch calls him "DUI" and writes that the fastballer's monthly fee was $3,000 as of June 2012.”
2012 Regular Season: 10-9, 3.43 ERA, 91 S), 23 BB
Ruling: Colon’s was the most obvious. Claiming in the offseason that he received stem cell transplants, Colon revived his career with a miraculous season before he was busted by the league for using testosterone.
Baseball has gone from an informal epidemic to a widespread one. Whether or not the bust of this specific lab rids the league of most cheaters remains to be seen. All that is left is to wonder if there is a better way to test for and discourage the use of steroids.