Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports spoke with Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday about Ryan Braun ‘s connections to a clinic linked to PEDs, and what the repercussions will be for the other players whose names appear in that clinic’s records.
Alex Rodriguez , who also was mentioned in the records of Biogenesis America LLC, had responded by calling them a forgery. That claim that was seriously discredited when Braun said Tuesday that he had consulted with clinic founder Anthony Bosch while appealing his 2011 positive PED test.
“I think beyond a shadow of a doubt, what happened yesterday confirmed that these records are indeed legitimate,” Passan said. “Ryan Braun coming out and acknowledging some sort of relationship with Anthony Bosch, and Francisco Cervelli doing the same — that’s two players right there whose names were in the records. And I believe, based on the number of sources to whom I’ve spoken, whom I’ve contacted in the first place, that these records were nothing but legitimate.
“It would take the most massive conspiracy I have ever seen, the most massive conspiracy ever, to fake a logbook of this magnitude and put names on there. … Thankfully, we had enough people talk to us that confirmed the veracity of this, and if nothing else it’s very interesting to see Ryan Braun, a guy who’s been under the microscope before, tied again to a guy who he probably shouldn’t be tied to.”
Passan said he doesn’t think random blood testing for HGH, which will begin this year, will bring about a rash of positive tests.
“Honestly, [players are] always ahead of things, and the HGH test, for as good as people make it want to be, is not that effective,” Passan said. “You need to catch somebody within days of using the product. Is that likely to happen? Sure, it’ll happen maybe once or twice a year. But beyond that, I think for the most of them, they’re smart, and there’s some dummies, and I think we can tell the dummies by the ones who use guys like Tony Bosch and guys like ‘deer antler boy’ as the people who are being their consultants on improving.
“That, to me, is the funniest part of this whole thing. You’d think these millionaires would have a boutique drug doctor. No, they use the shady guy in Miami and the former male stripper who’s selling Bambi’s antlers.”
Following are more highlights from the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page .
On the specific mentions of Braun in Bosch’s records: “We talked to [Braun’s attorney] Chris Lyons twice, and he twice had an opportunity to say to me, ‘We used Tony Bosch as a consultant.’ Now, look. This case, as do all PED cases, gets weirder and weirder. Ryan Braun was mentioned three times. One of those times really is not by any means a definitive tie, when Tony Bosch sent a letter to Juan Nunez, Melky Cabrera ‘s runner with the ACES agency, and said, it looks like Melky, in the All-Star Game when he won the MVP, had the ‘Braun advantage.’
“Second was the document you were just talking about, where Chris Lyons, one of his attorneys’ number was there and it said, ‘Ryan Braun, 20-30-k.’ Braun has explained this is the consulting fee and the argument that they had. And the third mention is the one I said before, the one that’s gone unexplained still, with Melky Cabrera and Alex Rodriguez‘s name next to Ryan Braun’s.”
On whether they’ll all get 50-game suspensions: “No, no, no. I don’t say that for any other reason than that MLB has always had a difficult time getting people to talk. Now, if the DEA or the FBI or who knows what finds this worth their time in pursuing, if somebody with subpoena power can go after this, then the game changes. And yes, I do think that under oath, people will tell the truth. But until you have some sort of authority beyond Major League Baseball’s department of investigations, it’s going to be very hard to compel witnesses to talk and talk honestly.”
On what a non-analytical positive is: “When a sports entity finds evidence tying a player to a particular drug, whether it’s a prescription or a package being delivered or, in this case, the knowledge of working with a doping doctor, and then gives them a suspension based on that evidence. Manny Ramirez  actually was a non-analytical positive because they had a prescription tying him to his pregnancy hormone.
“You need a greater burden of proof, however, than just the records. And all MLB has right now — MLB doesn’t even have the records right now. All MLB’s hoping for right now is the records. Beyond that, there’s not much of a case to be made. They’re just hoping that the records start the process and open their eyes to some other things, including probably about 10 more players who were on that list.”
On whether borderline players are more likely to be using PEDs: “Maybe, but also, if you’re a borderline guy, if you get popped, your career’s over. Borderline guys don’t get second chances. Superstars do. So honestly, I think the incentive is just as much there, if not more, for a superstar, who can go from earning $8 million to $15 million a year.
“Look at Melky Cabrera. He was a major league player, he took steroids and was in line for a five-year, $75 million contract. He wasn’t a borderline guy, he wasn’t a guy who was losing a major league job anytime soon. So I think everybody has the incentive there, and it’s just a matter of what’s your moral standard and your willingness to take a risk, and what’s your faith in the drug you’re taking and in MLB’s testing. Obviously, a number of guys who were linked with this biogenesis lab didn’t think that the burden was great enough to push them away from doing it.”