|Bosch associate says he turned down MLB’s $125K|
|Friday, July 26, 2013 12:00 AM|
BRISTOL, Conn. — A former associate of Biogenesis head Tony Bosch said he turned down a $125,000 offer from Major League Baseball for documents reported to implicate players in the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
In an interview broadcast Thursday on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines,” Porter Fischer added an additional dozen athletes from different sports — whose names have not been made public — were involved in the now-closed Florida anti-aging clinic.
Fischer, 49, admitted giving documents to the Miami News Times, which published a story in January detailing the alleged purchase of performance-enhancing drugs by Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez, 2012 All-Star game MVP Melky Cabrera, 2005 AL Cy Young Award winner Bartolo Colon and 2011 AL championship series MVP Nelson Cruz.
Others were later implicated in media reports, including Milwaukee outfielder Ryan Braun, who agreed this week to a 65-game suspension. Baseball’s probe of other players is ongoing.
Fischer said he received $5,500 in cash from MLB’s investigation. The network reported he rejected the larger sum because it wasn’t enough to restart his life.
“Once I turned them down for the $125,000, two days later they wrote me a letter instructing me not to destroy any documents and to keep them around,” he said. “Then two days after that on the 24th of March, I was transporting evidence back to the state investigator for him to follow up on some criminal activity and my car was broken into and four boxes of evidence were taken.
“I’m still amenable to working with them. Because of this, now my employment opportunities are limited. I feel that I have something good to say. Just like anything else, I feel like my cooperation and compensation should go hand in hand or at least be evaluated.”
Fisher said when he first started working with Bosch, he thought Bosch was a doctor. Bosch’s failure to pay him money he was owed caused him to give documents to the New Times. At the time, he decided against contacting police or prosecutors.
Fischer claimed he received death threats from someone wanting to stop the article from being published.
“I don’t have any friends anymore,” he added. “I don’t go to the same locations I used to go to. My blinds are closed all the time. I have a concealed weapons permit but now I continually carry a weapon.”
In a story on ESPN.com, Fischer said some athletes had been purchasing from Bosch since 2009 and that some of the athletes were from the NBA, NCAA, boxing, tennis and MMA.
Source: Yankees plan A-Rod discipline over doctor
NEW YORK — Already in trouble with Major League Baseball, Alex Rodriguez now faces a penalty from his own team.
The New York Yankees intend to discipline A-Rod for seeking a second medical opinion on his injured leg without their permission, a person familiar with the team’s deliberations said Thursday.
The exact penalty had not been determined, the person added, speaking on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because no statements were authorized. A fine appeared to be the most likely option.
The person also said that during a conference call Thursday, the Yankees and Rodriguez agreed to a timetable that would have the third baseman resume minor-league rehabilitation games or simulated games next Thursday.
Rodriguez, who has been sidelined since hip surgery in January, issued a statement earlier in the day saying he wanted to be activated for today’s homestand opener against Tampa Bay. But that apparently wasn’t in the Yankees’ plans.
MLB has been investigating Rodriguez as part of its probe of the closed Biogenesis clinic in Florida, accused in media reports of distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs. A suspension appears likely but Rodriguez could ask the players’ association to contest a drug penalty — making it possible he might not have to serve any time until next year.
He is among the dozen or so players under investigation by MLB; he has asserted in the past that he used PEDs from 2001-03 while with Texas but maintained he has not used them since.
Rodriguez hasn’t played a game in the majors this season.
Meantime, his return from hip surgery in January has created more drama than most players experience in their entire careers.
Seemingly days away from rejoining the Yankees, Rodriguez injured his left quadriceps last weekend and was sent to New York for an MRI on Sunday. Team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad diagnosed a grade 1 strain, the least severe level.
Dr. Michael Gross, the orthopedic director of The Sports Medicine Institute at Hackensack (N.J.) University Medical Center, was retained by Rodriguez and said on radio station WFAN on Wednesday that he examined an MRI and could not detect an injury. Gross added he never examined Rodriguez personally.
Under baseball’s labor contract, a player must notify his team in writing if he intends to seek a second medical opinion.
The person who spoke on condition of anonymity said Rodriguez was examined Thursday by Dr. Daniel Murphy, the Yankees’ orthopedic surgeon in Tampa, Fla., who confirmed Ahmad’s diagnosis. The person added Murphy determined Rodriguez had made great improvement in the last few days and could be on an accelerated rehab schedule.
Yankees’ President Randy Levine and general manager Brian Cashman were on the 15-minute conference call along with Tim Lentych, the head athletic trainer at the player development complex in Tampa. Rodriguez also was on the call and was represented by Jordan Siev, co-head of the U.S. commercial litigation group at Reed Smith, a law firm used by A-Rod pal Jay-Z.
The person said the sides went through a day-by-day protocol for Rodriguez’s rehab.
Earlier Thursday, Rodriguez said he was ready to rejoin the Yankees.
“I think the Yanks and I crossed signals,” the 3-time AL MVP wrote in a statement issued by spokesman Ron Berkowitz. “I don’t want any more mixups. I’m excited and ready to play and help this team win a championship. I feel great and I’m ready and want to be in the lineup Friday night. Enough doctors, let’s play.”
Rodriguez, who turns 38 Saturday, earns $153,005 each day during the season from his $28 million salary; while he remains on the disabled list, much of the money is covered by insurance.
Rodriguez has hit .250 (8-for-40) with two homers and eight RBIs in 13 minor-league games. About a week before he began the injury rehab assignment on July 2, Rodriguez tweeted that the surgeon who operated on his hip “gave me the best news - the green light to play games again!”
In most instances, teams make those determinations and Cashman memorably said, “Alex should just shut the … up.”
If Rodriguez is healthy, New York could use his bat. Yankees’ third basemen began Thursday hitting .217, ahead of only Cleveland, according to STATS. Their four homers are more than only Miami and their 29 RBIs are 28th in the majors.