A report by ESPN detailed which players would receive 50-game suspensions for their involvement in the Biogenesis investigation. Alex Rodriguez received the harshest punishment, with his suspension extended to the end of the 2014 season. The 211-game suspension will be the longest in Major League Baseball history. Rodriguez is the only of the suspended players to appeal, which will allow him to play until a final ruling is reached.
Ironically enough, tonight was slated to be Rodriguez’s debut vs. the Chicago White Sox. Other players listed are catcher and fellow Yankee Francisco Cervelli, Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta and Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz. The Tigers and the Rangers are in the midst of playoff runs, and Cruz and Peralta are major contributors to their respective teams. Cruz and Peralta both gave statements to their clubs expressing regret about their choices.
Cruz was quoted by MLB.com as saying a gastrointestinal infection which caused him to lose 40 pounds during the 2011-12 off-season led to his use of performance-enhancing drugs. Cruz stated that he was unsure if he would be ready for spring training after the sickness took its physical toll on him. He also stated that his illness was no excuse for his drug use. He went on to say that he hopes to regain the trust of Texas Rangers fans and teammates as well as the organization itself.
This is the latest shoe to drop after MLB began to investigate the now-closed Biogenesis Anti-Aging Clinic and its operator, Anthony Bosch. Last month, 2011 National League MVP Ryan Braun accepted a suspension for the rest of the season, which turned out to be 65 games. Other players who were previously suspended due to their involvement with the clinic such as Oakland A’s pitcher Bartolo Colon and San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera saw no additional punishment. Washington Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzales and Baltimore Orioles infielder Danny Valencia were named in the initial investigation but cleared of any wrongdoing. Several free agent players were also among the suspended. Their suspensions will not take effect until a team decides to sign them.