Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Francisco Cervelli Named In Newest Biogenesis Clinic Report

(Now I know why the batting helmet was so big.  Courtesy of Kim Klement/US Presswire)

It didn't create the media waves that Alex Rodriguez's connection did, but the Yankees continued to stay closely tied to the investigation of Anthony Bosch and his Miami-based Biogenesis clinic when a new report surfaced yesterday that included Francisco Cervelli's name.  Jeff Passan and Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports had the full story, which also included recent former MVP and test beater Ryan Braun, and while Cervelli's name was not listed next to any wording outlining specific PEDs, this has to be a concern for the Yankees with how seriously MLB has been taking their investigation into the clinic.

From a strictly Yankee-centric standpoint, this could actually work to their benefit.  They've stood pat at the catcher position all offseason, willing to punt and sacrifice some defense and a lot of offense to save a buck.  If MLB digs deeper on Cervelli and finds something substantial that would be grounds for a suspension, suddenly the Yankees are back down to one catcher.  They seem pretty set on starting Austin Romine in Triple-A this year, so while it might not be under the best circumstances, this situation could give them a reason to go out and seek an upgrade at catcher.

Looking at the bigger picture, this latest news and the stuff we already know about this situation is starting to add up to create the appearance that PEDs are still deeply ingrained in the game of baseball.  For all the time MLB spent patting itself on the back when it first administered its new testing and punishment procedures, they are still woefully behind the times when it comes to testing, particularly for HGH, and players have found a way to beat the system.  Nothing has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt and nobody has been punished yet, but when the names connected to this case include upper-tier players and all-time greats like Braun and A-Rod, emerging stars like Gio Gonzalez and Melky Cabrera, and nobodies like Cesar Carrillo and Cervelli, that's a good indicator that PEDs are still a league-wide problem.

To his credit, Cervelli did make a statement admitting to consulting the Biogenesis clinic after his foot injury in 2011 and purchasing supplements that he said he was certain did not contain banned substances.  Unlike A-Rod, he has no past PED connections and has earned the benefit of the doubt.  As with A-Rod, all we can do is wait and see what comes as a result of this new report.

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