Major League Baseball brass has taken another step in its quest to test the waters of hypocrisy. 1998? Sure, pump up those PEDs as long as you're putting butts in the seats and clearing the fences at a historic pace. Now, with self-righteous Hall of Fame voters and the moral police watching... burn the long-ball sorcerers! Witches! (In fact, test Domonic Brown, while you're at it....)
More pertinently for this space, Bud Selig's follies have ignited a renewed state of panic in the fantasy baseball world. Ryan Braun, Alex Rodriguez and others reportedly sit in the MLB's crosshairs for their supposed involvement with Biogenesis -- you know, the rejuvenation pharmacy that made headlines this winter.
In order to secure the go-ahead to pursue 100-game suspensions against members of The List, MLB has netted the investigatory cooperation of the clinic's ringleader and supposed dealer, Tony Bosch. He'll dish on players who appeared on records, most of them purportedly receiving illegal performance-boosting substances.
I'm not going to expand on my evolving opinion regarding PEDs (it sounds a lot like this one) or pretend that my legal inferences constitute more than a novice's guesswork. Though you should defer to qualified legal analysts, I'm rationally trying to connect the related dots to my official job, where I make (sort of) bank (bro) by guiding fantasy baseball players along a level-headed path in any game situation, including this increasingly convoluted case.
Though initial Outside the Lines inferences say the league aims to start handing out suspensions within weeks after gathering depositions and the like, it's logical to think the timeline will drag on due to increasingly thorough investigation, including potential appeals, which may delay the fantasy ramifications until late in the summer.
Presenting Bosch with credibility, given his personal circumstances and the likely hurdles for proof (so far incomplete), won't be as easy as imagined. Even Jack McCoy wants to object.
This coming out in June and not April works in the impending defendants' favor for their continued service to their fake-baseball owners. Back in February when I was assigned the top pick in LABR mixed, I took Miguel Cabrera over Braun due to the very concerns that have resurfaced, with an equally murky timetable.
Unfortunately for redrafters, in the outside shot that any suspensions are handed out in the near future, you're not going to find such alternatives unless you make a swap. (Steve Gardner helpfully gives a handy rundown of fantasy contingency plans for owners of the implicated players over at USA Today Sports' fantasy baseball home.)
So ... what to do?
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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