By Nate Hanson, Sports Radio KJR
Former major league pitcher Jeff Nelson joined The Furness Show yesterday to give his thoughts on Major League Baseball’s investigation of Biogenesis.
“They [the players] deserve whatever happens to them,” he said.
Nelson, who pitched eight seasons for the Mariners, said it is only a matter of time before MLB gets what they need to suspend the players associated with the Miami-area clinic. With Biogenesis founder Tony Bosch reportedly willing to cooperate, it appears MLB will get that evidence sooner rather than later.
“This is hard evidence that these guys took stuff and were given things,” Nelson said. “If this is true, then these guys deserve it [punishment].”
Still, some have wondered if MLB could suspend the 20 players listed, which includes Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun and the Mariners’ Jesus Montero, or any other players Bosch names. Nelson notes that MLB does not need a positive test in order to suspend players.
MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program states, “A Player who tests positive for a Performance Enhancing Substance, or otherwise violates the Program through the use or possession of a Performance Enhancing Substance, will be subject to the discipline set forth below.”
The punishments are a 50-game suspension for a first-time violation and a 100-game suspension for a second violation. MLB will reportedly try to tag the players linked to Bosch with a 100-game suspension. According to ESPN’s Outside the Lines, the league’s argument is that the players’ connection with Bosch counts as one offense and their denial of involvement with Bosch would be a second violation.
If MLB can get the evidence it needs from Bosch, then players could be suspended for “just cause” by Commissioner Bud Selig, even without a positive urine test.
“Absolutely it’s fair,” Nelson, who pitched his entire career during the Steroid Era, said. “I hope it is for 100 games. They deserve 100 games.”
However, history does not side with MLB. None of the players from the Mitchell Report or BALCO Scandal served suspensions, both of which also had witnesses and evidence. It is very likely that the Major League Baseball Players Association will scrutinize Bosch’s credibility if Selig follows through with suspensions. Only time – and probably a lot of it due to the duration of possible appeals processes – will tell if MLB is more fortunate this go-around.
You can check out the full interview below: