Nearly a decade ago, the BALCO scandal hit baseball like a bomb, exposing some of the game's top stars as steroid users and kicking off a saga that, as we saw in this year's Hall of Fame voting, continues to this day.
There are no longer quite so many shadows to shine light in, or shrouds to throw back. We know baseball was a dirty game, we know that there are still steroid users in the game today. So this new Miami New Times story on the clinic of Anthony Bosch is not nearly the bombshell that BALCO was, but it is still shaping up to be another significant entry in the history of the Steroid Era.
The good news for Red Sox fans is that there do not appear to be any Boston players implicated by Bosch's records. Unless some names were missed, in fact, we only come away with three big reveals: Gio Gonzalez, Nelson Cruz, and a recidivist Alex Rodriguez.
Yes, that last one might be some fun.
It's important to acknowledge that the total proof we have on any of these players is their names on the records delivered by an ex-employee to the New Times after Bosch's Biogenesis clinic closed. And for all that the records are likely to be enough to see these three (Rodriguez in particular) hanged, drawn, and quartered in the court of public opinion, there is no clear proof here against any of the players*, and they haven't had their say yet. If the records have added legitimacy thanks to some of the other names on the list--Bartolo Colon, Melky Cabrera, and Yasmani Grandal are all included--the public knowledge of their positive tests makes them easy targets.
What this story means for baseball remains to be seen. Now, in the immediate aftermath, we might be exaggerating the weight of it just because it is so reminiscent of the BALCO scandal. For all that we have new names and new information, if said information is legitimate it also shows that there have been successes in testing, finding the likes of Grandal, Colon, and Cabrera before their providers or the government found them for the league.
*Case in point, the substance Gio Gonzalez reportedly used seems to have no banned substances, per Jack Kogod. Yay, Gio?