Biogenesis: New revelations, new names

InstaFace

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Although the main events happened a decade ago, ESPN's investigative arm has obtained 1400 pages of DEA documents from their investigation and done a bunch of interviews and uncovered new names of athletes who were involved. It's a good read. It's broken into a bunch of sub-stories, each with different protagonists. One is about Manny Ramirez, and how much he was spreading the Biogenesis gospel around MLB. Another is about A-Rod, another about Melky Cabrera, another about Ryan Braun. They're individually not too big, but collectively it's an impressive array of evidence they've assembled.

https://www.espn.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/36055058/biogenesis-america-tony-bosch-peds-fallout-10-years-later

I haven't finished it all, but there's crazy stuff there. From the Manny story alone:

- Manny first contacted Tony Bosch "late in 2007" (!), even though his first suspension for PEDs didn't happen until 2009. Unclear whether Manny was using at the time of his iconic walkoff HR to beat the Angels, but the interview notes assert that he fueled Manny's renaissance 2008 season.
- That timing was per Bosch. Manny, for his part, insists it didn't start until after the 2008 season, that their first meeting was October 2008. But Bosch remembers treating Manny at his apartment at the Ritz-Carlton in Boston, i.e. prior to the 2008 Jason Bay trade that sent Manny to LA.
- Bosch said the first thing they did for Manny was a blood test, which strongly suggested he had destroyed his body with past steroid use. And that after being pressed, Manny admitted to having used Winstrol "for a long time".
- Their meetings were corroborated by contemporaneous notes and by Bosch's former girlfriend
- Bosch says Scott Boras had him create a chart for Manny (which ultimately implicated him using HCG) and that he had a meeting in his office with Boras or another player representative (Boras denies this).
- Manny's proselytizing ended up convincing A-Rod to give it a shot.
- Federal authorities wouldn't comment specifically on the details reported but did say they found Bosch to overall have been truthful in his interviews.

The thing I don't quite follow is the pre-Biogenesis use by Manny, which Bosch allegedly uncovered in his tests, that Manny's testosterone production had been destroyed by chronic steroid abuse and so most of what he had to do for him was rebuild his body's production of it. How could he have been careless (in his typical Manny Being Manny sort of way) with Bosch's instructions such that he got caught in 2009 and 2011, but been abusing the most common athlete PED of all (Winstrol) for years prior and never having gotten caught? I'm not saying it's unbelievable - the article is very credible to me - but that could easily be a half-truth or guess by Bosch, secondhand, whereas his work with Manny from 2008-2012 was of course firsthand.

For his part, Manny's remarks to the reporter who did this story were:

Now 51, Ramirez traveled from his Florida home to Boston last summer for induction into the Red Sox Hall of Fame. The 12-time All-Star has credentials worthy of Cooperstown, but he has come to rationalize and accept that what he describes as "mistakes" will cost him a chance at baseball immortality.

"Sometimes, when I'm back home now and I see those mistakes that I did here, all those suspensions and all that kind of stuff, I regret it a little bit, but back on my couch and in my house, I say, 'If these things really didn't happen to me, I wouldn't really value my family, my kids, my wife, because everything was so good,'" Ramirez told the Boston media at [David Ortiz's HOF] induction. "I don't rethink that because I know what I did, it worked for good, for my life, to appreciate more my family and my kids. You know what I mean? I'd rather give [up] the Hall of Fame than give up my family, my kids."

"I was on top of the game," Ramirez, whose 17-year-old son is the youngest of three, continued. "I was making so much money. But now, I understand that money doesn't make you happy. I'm not glad that happened but everything has turned out for good because I've still got my family, got my kids. So many guys lost their family. I would give anything I have to keep my family. I think everything worked for good."
That's not exactly what I'd call remorseful, but it's a bit more introspective than we've gotten from many other disgraced figures like Clemens.

Anyway, lots to dig into here.
 

Brianish

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How could he have been careless (in his typical Manny Being Manny sort of way) with Bosch's instructions such that he got caught in 2009 and 2011, but been abusing the most common athlete PED of all (Winstrol) for years prior and never having gotten caught?
Lots to dig into, as you say, but I assume the answer to this one is "negligence on the part of MLB during the early part of his career, and luck for a few years after."
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

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For his part, Manny's remarks to the reporter who did this story were:

That's not exactly what I'd call remorseful, but it's a bit more introspective than we've gotten from many other disgraced figures like Clemens.

Anyway, lots to dig into here.
I appreciate the absolute honest here. It's a lot more refreshing the remorse, which is usually only remorse for having ever been caught using them. I bet this is how the vast majority of players actually feel about their steroid use. Either it helped them go from a minor leaguer to a fringe player which meant millions in earnings and benefits or it helped them go from a fringe player to a starter/star/super-star which was worth 10s to 100s of millions.

I'm also someone that believe 90% of athletes today are still using illicit performance enhancers though to a not as blatant degree as was happening in the 90s/00s to prevent getting caught.
 

Murderer's Crow

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In a situation like Manny's, which is very very common in the bodybuilding world, your body can no longer produce the required amounts of testosterone, what is the MLB protocol? Would a player be allowed, under MLB supervision, to use a prescribed dosage of test? Or would they force a player to stop entirely?
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

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In a situation like Manny's, which is very very common in the bodybuilding world, your body can no longer produce the required amounts of testosterone, what is the MLB protocol? Would a player be allowed, under MLB supervision, to use a prescribed dosage of test? Or would they force a player to stop entirely?
This would typically fall under the Therapeutic Use Exemption that we primarily see for a shit load of athletes (especially NFL players) to get Adderall. I don't know if it is currently still allowed or common, but apparently A-Rod received a TUE for testosterone in 2007 and 2008 per https://www.nbcsports.com/mlb/news/a-rod-received-therapeutic-use-exemptions-for-testosterone-for-several-seasons-before-biogenesis-hit

Edit: Additional details in this article from ESPN: https://www.espn.com/new-york/mlb/story/_/id/11168102/alex-rodriguez-given-permission-mlb-use-testosterone-book-says It was apparently to treat hypogonadism. I imagine that it's likely that prior steroid use may have caused his hypogonadism.

Apparently 15 TUEs for hypogonadism were granted by MLB between 2006-2013.
 
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SemperFidelisSox

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Not a baseball name, but the DEA looked into Lebron James but found no evidence of use.

And Melky Cabrera had already tested positive before playing in the All Star game, winning MVP, and getting the NL home field for the World Series.
 
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Rovin Romine

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In a situation like Manny's, which is very very common in the bodybuilding world, your body can no longer produce the required amounts of testosterone, what is the MLB protocol? Would a player be allowed, under MLB supervision, to use a prescribed dosage of test? Or would they force a player to stop entirely?
There's one preference if you're the player.

There's another if you're a clean player competing for a spot against a user.
 

jose melendez

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I still can't understand how, if Manny was juicing all that time, he never had a 50 HR season. I don't doubt that he was juicing, it just makes no sense that it gave Brady Anderson 50, but not him.
 

luckiestman

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I still can't understand how, if Manny was juicing all that time, he never had a 50 HR season. I don't doubt that he was juicing, it just makes no sense that it gave Brady Anderson 50, but not him.
I have a hard time seeing Manny getting super dialed in to optimize his PED use.
 

Marciano490

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I have a hard time seeing Manny getting super dialed in to optimize his PED use.
That was always my answer when people asked if I thought Tyson juiced. Dude failed a weed test, can’t imagine him running a cycle. I dunno, maybe he had a guy shooting for him.
 

sezwho

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That was always my answer when people asked if I thought Tyson juiced. Dude failed a weed test, can’t imagine him running a cycle. I dunno, maybe he had a guy shooting for him.
Fabulous take (Manny one too) can’t believe I am just hearing this now!
 

Rovin Romine

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I still can't understand how, if Manny was juicing all that time, he never had a 50 HR season. I don't doubt that he was juicing, it just makes no sense that it gave Brady Anderson 50, but not him.
I'm not convinced Anderson juiced (unless there's some reporting I'm unaware of). He morphed into a pull-happy flyball hitter and ambushed a lot of starting pitchers.