MLB Reportedly Accepted Stolen Goods in Quest to Take Down A-Rod; No One Cares?

by Jason Epstein

I am going to blame being ensconced in drizzly (yet otherwise beautiful) Vilnius for missing this pretty big revelation from Newsday’s Gus Garcia-Roberts:

Major League Baseball ignored repeated warnings that records they sought in the Alex Rodriguez Biogenesis scandal had been stolen and that they were not to purchase them, according to Florida investigators and an April police report obtained by Newsday.

MLB investigators bought Biogenesis records anyway, and a Boca Raton police detective investigating the theft noted that baseball officials neglected to notify law enforcement officials that they had done so for nearly eight months. …

In the face of legal challenges and public criticism from Rodriguez and others about how they handled their investigation, baseball officials have steadfastly denied that they knowingly bought stolen Biogenesis records.

“We have stated repeatedly that we had no knowledge that the documents we purchased were stolen,” MLB senior vice president of public relations Pat Courtney said Friday when contacted by Newsday about the Boca Raton police report.

Sandra Boonenberg, a spokeswoman for the Boca Raton Police Department, stated unequivocally that a Florida investigator “warned MLB not to purchase the documents” and that the investigator told their detective about that conversation “before the documents were purchased” by MLB. The Boca Raton Police Department had not informed MLB of the results of its investigation, Boonenberg said.

In addition to the subsequent radio silence from Commissioner Selig’s office, Craig Calcaterra of NBC’s Hardball Talk blasts the overall lack of interest to the scoop from media outlets, including columnists not based in Lithuania and well-known for their intent to see A-Rod’s head placed on a spike à la Ned Stark:

I wrote stuff about it. Some people tweeted some things. But unlike almost any other story of even half that magnitude involving drugs, crimes, A-Rod or even the mundane stuff of MLB management, there have been no major media people weighing in. No blog posts or columns from mainstream people at ESPN New York or Fox . No Daily News I-Team report. No radio shows touching on it that I’ve seen. Yes, it’s all been learned by people today for the most part, but usually by 5:30pm on the day of, we’d have some coverage from the online outlets and radio and probably even a quick, early version of whatever is going to run in the newspapers tomorrow. A [Bill] Madden or a [Mike] Lupica quick take. I’m not saying this is a “everyone drop everything and make it your top story” kind of story, but you [know] damn well that if A-Rod farted in a hot tub in Cabo last night there would be wall-to-wall coverage from the usual suspects by now. …

Doesn’t it seem strange to you that none of the people who offered wall-to-wall opinions about A-Rod’s ethical failures and even his evil — remember; Madden of the Daily News compared him to Whitey Bulger — there hasn’t been anyone besides a few of us loon jobs in the blogosphere willing to wade into the possibility that MLB committed a pretty major transgression here and that maybe — just maybe — it’s a relevant coda to the Biogenesis story? Especially if you’re someone like the Daily News I-Team, which touts the awards it won for covering the Biogenesis story on its front page.

And what about those players who went so far as to push for A-Rod to be expelled from the union? Perhaps they might have second thoughts upon learning that their employer has been accused of accepting stolen documents in order to learn about the personal habits of a colleague?

More here and here.