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MLB’s ‘high-tech’ Biogenesis investigation included Facebook stalking and IM sleuthing

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

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What separates Major League Baseball from your average boyfriend or girlfriend who thinks they're getting cheated on? Well, it's being reported that during its Biogenesis investigation, MLB employed 30 people to dig into leads and it filed a lawsuit enabling it to snoop on texts, e-mails and instant messages.

Other than the manpower and the lawsuit, though, it sounds like MLB employed the same types of investigation tactics you hear about from scorned lovers on "Maury."

An Associated Press story explains some of how Major League Baseball conducted its Biogenesis investigation — because Bud Selig sure isn't telling us the particulars. I could attempt to explain it in fancy techy ways, but basically: MLB Facebook-stalked Biogenesis head honcho Tony Bosch, document leaker Porter Fisher and their associates. And once a lawsuit against Bosch opened the gates, MLB put together a trail of text messages, BlackBerry IMs and e-mails.

This clashes a bit with the idea of Selig as a "technophobe" who said he's never sent an e-mail in his life and never will. Maybe he just wanted to nail A-Rod and Ryan Braun so bad he had to get techy.

I can't help but picture Selig & Co getting pointers from a 19-year-old girl explaining how she keeps tabs on her boyfriend, then Selig handing down the marching orders: "Let's Facebook stalk the heck out of all these people!"

According to the AP story, these "high-tech tools" — *eyeroll* — worked to establish an electronic trail that convinced everybody but A-Rod to accept a suspension from MLB.

[W]hen it came time to meet with the players' association, they flashed some of their documentary proof. While there was not enough time for the union to thoroughly examine what baseball had collected, there was little doubt there was an electronic trail, one of the people familiar with the meetings said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no public statements were authorized.

''It both complicates things and adds a layer of proof that certainly wasn't available many years ago,'' union general counsel David Prouty said Tuesday.

We'll still probably never know exactly what MLB found in all its technological sleuthing. This hasn't been the most transparent investigation and that probably won't change.

So until Bud and his band of cyber-stalkers head over to "Maury" to strap A-Rod to a lie detector and tell us the whole story, we'll just have to assume they found something like this.

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