Soup To Nuts: An Explanation of My Side of this Crazy PED Story
So here we are. Less than 48 hours after ESPN’s story and 3 months after Chris wrote about a tweet I posted about a text I received. A lot of people praised us on Twitter and credited us for breaking this story and the Melky one last year. Some got very upset with us and called us frauds and poked holes in it. Even more blatantly ignored us. Let’s be clear, we never said we “broke this story”, others said that and we didn’t correct them because if we corrected everyone on Twitter then that’s all we would do all day every day. We passed along info we had because we thought it was interesting.
I’m going to recap the events and a bit of the thought process that went along with everything. It will explain a lot of the questions and the discrepancies. Some people still won’t believe it and that’s their prerogative, others will still ignore it and that’s theirs as well. I just want people to understand this whole ordeal from my perspective as best I can explain.
My sources tell me that Melky Cabrera will be suspended soon for violation of MLB’s PED policy
— Joe Bisceglie (@joebisceglie) July 18, 2012
Last year some one I know told me that Melky Cabrera would be suspended for PEDs. I threw it on Twitter because I trusted the person and because I had nothing to lose. Nobody concerns themselves with the inaccurate ramblings of someone with 25 followers. A month later it turned out to be true and I got to brag a bit among my friends.
Anonymous Source: Cano, Granderson, A-Rod and Braun will all be suspended for failing PED test this season. — Joe Bisceglie (@joebisceglie) March 4, 2013
Then this March the same person texted me to guess which 4 star MLB players would be suspended for PEDs. I tweeted it again figuring it would be another cool thing to brag about if it came true. Chris almost immediately texted me asking if it was true and if so could he write up a post about it. I had 40 Twitter followers at the time and had spent months pumping out sports content for DAPS more than once a week. I figured Chris’ write up would generate some buzz, and if DAPS could get a few more page clicks why not.
It’s a testament to DAPS network of readers and followers because the tweets went viral almost instantly. A bunch of sports blogs that I had never heard of picked up the story and my Twitter followers increased exponentially. I wrote up something about each individual guy for the next day which turned out to be the craziest post. Boomer and Carton read my tweets on the air at WFAN and then in the afternoon Mike Francesca butchered my name while dismissing the story because he hates the internet. This was already bigger than I had ever imagined.
We tried to temper expectations from the very beginning. I told everyone they should question the validity of my story, and to take it with a grain of salt. I even said that I wouldn’t believe myself had I been a reader. It didn’t matter. We live in a culture dictated by sensationalism. I had said that 4 of the 25 biggest names in baseball would be suspended for failing a PED test and my prior Melky Cabrera tweet gave me some weird credibility.
Still, I obviously didn’t know for sure. It didn’t help that every legitimate website and baseball writer refuted the story. I believed it was true, but I’m not in the business of a witch hunt. Chris and I declined or ignored all interview requests whether they were radio, print, or podcast. I’m not a reporter, but I know that one source isn’t enough to report a story as fact. It didn’t feel right to push this any further, at least until we knew more.
The next 3 months were a series of texts and tweets either asking me if I knew when the suspensions were coming or flat out stating that the lack of news made me a liar and a fraud. I wrote about everything but PED suspensions. The only inkling we had was when the initial Biogenesis report came out in March linking A-rod and Braun to the clinic. A Cano PED rumor followed later and there was smoke but no fire. Three of the four names had some recent connections to PEDs but none had failed a test and all were playing baseball.
Then this week’s ESPN report came out. 20 names were on the list including Braun and Alex Rodriguez. Biogenesis founder Tony Bosch had agreed to testify against the players in the report. MLB had the names of the players but nothing concrete enough to link them to PEDs. This would be enough for them to suspend all of the players involved. My tweet was proven correct and we were vindicated, or were we.
My very first text just said “guess who is getting suspended for PEDs”. I took that to mean a failed drug test, just like with Melky. No baseball player had ever been suspended for PEDs with out a failed test. My source didn’t clarify, and I didn’t bother to ask and tweeted out the names with the words “failed PED test”. In retrospect I wouldn’t have included the word test but what the hell did I know? I’m not a reporter, I’m just a guy passing along some thing I heard. It never occurred to me that PED suspensions would come from a report. I assumed that all four had failed a test and in about a month’s time MLB would announce it, same as with Cabrera.
It’s clear in retrospect that these 4 names came from an MLB internal investigation into Biogenesis. MLB was gearing up to suspend them but never had enough evidence to pursue it. They knew the players union would shit on a bunch of hearsay and names on lists. Then Bosch caved and boom, MLB is gearing up to get all Old Testament on anyone they can to show the world how tough they are on cheaters.
The other biggest problem is that two of the guys I named haven’t been named yet. Twenty or so players have been named but none of them are Robinson Cano or Curtis Granderson. Maybe their names were on the initial lists but no further evidence was found. Maybe they were linked in the same way as Gio Gonzalez and will face no repercussions. Maybe they are part of the group of names that is yet to be released. (Bob Klapisch of the Bergman Times is claiming that “more big names are still to come”.) At this point would anything surprise you? If their names never again come up in any PED related stories then I truly apologize to both Granderson and Cano. If I was wrong then I’m sorry for sullying their good names. I just don’t know yet that I’m wrong.
So what if I’m right? I honestly don’t know. I tweeted this stuff 3 months ago on a whim, thinking it would be cool if it came true. Obviously I never expected ESPN to cite DAPS as a source for this but I’m not going to sit by and let people tell me we deserve no credit whatsoever. If you want to chalk this whole thing up to a coincidence that’s up to you. It’s a hell of a coincidence and besides, if the last three thousand words didn’t convince you, then not much will.