The Red Sox have been been a bit lucky as of late in regards to performance-enhancing drug implications, as they have had two supposed users in the past year, but neither was an integral player on the team. First, there was Marlon Byrd, who was suspended 50 games after his release from the Red Sox. Now, there might be Danny Valencia, depending on the validity of new reports leaking out that link him to the Biogenesis clinic, the same place that has the world up in arms over Alex Rodriguez once more.
Valencia spent most of his time with the Red Sox Triple-A affiliate in Pawtucket, compiling just 29 plate appearances in 10 games for Boston after he was acquired in early August from the Twins. The Red Sox sold him to the Orioles in late-November after designating him for assignment, so now, anything that comes of this situation is on them rather than the Sox.
If you want to insert a joke here about PEDs not being any kind of guarantee for performance enhancement, Valencia is your man, as he hit all of .188/.199/.299 last year in his 44 games in the majors, and the 27-year-old was at just .259/.300/.404 at Triple-A, the level he conquered originally over three years ago. Valencia released a statement that involved more than just pointing at his slash line, though:
"As any innocent person would be, I am shocked and troubled that my name is in any way connected to this story. I have never met or spoken to anyone connected with Biogenesis, in fact I had never even heard of this company prior to the New Times' story. I take tremendous pride in the hard work and dedication I put into being a professional baseball player and have never taken PEDs or failed a drug test of any kind during my career. I look forward to fully cooperating in MLB's investigation in any way that I can, and will explore taking legal action if this issue is not resolved in a timely fashion."
In addition to Valencia, the other names that have leaked out are Milwaukee Brewers' star Ryan Braun, Yankees' catcher Francisco Cervelli, and Mariners' backstop Jesus Montero. As Ben Badler points out, there's a whole lot of University of Miami linked to this south Florida drug clinic.
Braun's camp already came out with a solid alibi that makes a lot of legal sense: he owes Dr. Bosch, the owner of the defunct clinic, money for being a legal consultant for last off-season's Braun PED debacle, in which Braun was not punished after his sample was compromised. As former lawyer Craig Calcaterra will tell you either on Twitter or at Hardball Talk, speaking to an expert like Bosch -- levels of human decency aside -- is a common thing in the world of law. He knows the field, even if it turns out he's not a model citizen, and as a consultant, rather than an expert witness, knowledge of the field is all you need.
Basically, this is a long way of saying it's never been proven that Braun has done anything, and innocent until proven guilty used to mean something before journalism decided who the condemned are with nothing more than a few key strokes. More could come out later on that implicates Braun, but for now, all we have is a list of names and his word.