Major League Baseball has filed a lawsuit against the South Florida-based Biogenesis clinic that allegedly distributed performance-enhancing drugs to a number of big leaguers, including Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez. In the lawsuit filed against the clinic’s director, Anthony Bosch, and others, MLB is claiming that the clinic knowingly enabled players to possess PEDs and thus knowingly and intentionally caused players to breach their contractual obligations under MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
The league is seeking unspecified damages as part of the suit, claiming it “suffered damages, including the costs of investigation, loss of goodwill, loss of revenue and profits and injury to its reputation, image, strategic advantage and fan relationships.”
The only appropriate response to those claims is a handmade fart noise.
Major League Baseball has become an amazingly profitable industry despite the number of steroid-related controversies it’s seen, so to say it suffered a loss of revenue and profits as a result of the clinic’s operation is malarkey — for lack of a better word, and for the sake of keeping it classy.
There’s been the Mitchell Report, the BALCO scandal and other situations in which some of the league’s more prominent stars have been linked to steroids, and sure enough, MLB continues to thrive financially. With that it mind, it also seems a bit outlandish to claim that the clinic caused a “loss of goodwill.”
No matter what MLB says, it’s obvious that its sights are set on obtaining the clinic’s records in order to build a strong case against Braun and some of the other major leaguers implicated in the documents. The lawsuit could provide a way for Major League Baseball to further investigate Biogenesis and Bosch, which could in turn help the league discipline the 90 or so players mentioned in the records, and that’s apparently enough for MLB to go down the legal path.
Does it really need to go this far, though?
MLB recently failed to obtain clinic records from the Miami New Times, the newspaper that broke the news of Biogenesis’ operation. Now, the league is turning to the legal system in order to obtain those documents, simply so that it can try and lay the hammer down on those players implicated. At the very least, it’s a public relations move for Major League Baseball, which continues to deal with PED-related drama. At worst, it’s an effort to exact revenge on those who seemingly try to cheat the game and get away with it.
The idea of cleaning up baseball is one most can get on board with, but the MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program is supposed to serve that purpose. Bringing in the legal system, when there is already a leaguewide system aimed at cutting out PEDs in place, only raises questions about the league’s true motives.
This isn’t about recovering damages. It’s about Major League Baseball wanting to get back at its players, and bringing in the legal system for that purpose is just plain silly.