On Thursday night, the New York Times reported that the commissioner's office had purchased documents from a former employee at the Biogenesis clinic with the intention of gaining information and uncovering evidence that would link players to the clinic and their distribution of performance-enhancing drugs.
We also learned that MLB suspected at least one player had already purchased several documents in hopes of destroying evidence and distancing himself from the story and potential discipline.
It was only a matter of time before we learned who that player might be. According to the Michael S. Schmidt, who was a co-author in the Times' original report, MLB believes they have evidence that it was none other than Alex Rodriguez.
Here's what Schmidt wrote late Friday afternoon:
Investigators for Major League Baseball have uncovered what they believe is evidence that a representative of Alex Rodriguez purchased medical records from a person connected to a South Florida anti-aging clinic that is suspected of providing performance-enhancing drugs to a number of major leaguers, according to two people briefed on the matter.
Major League Baseball has made it known that they will be coming hard after all players linked to the clinic and also those who were considered uncooperative in the investigation. If this report proves true, that would likely put Rodriguez in both categories, making him public enemy No. 1.
Not surprisingly, we've already heard a response from the accused's camp. Terry Fahn, a spokesman for Alex Rodriguez, flatly denied to Yahoo! Sports' Tim Brown that Rodriguez or any of his representatives had purchased documents related to the Biogenesis case.
That's their side of the story, for now. We're sure there will be more to come from A-Rod's camp in the coming days, and we'll also need to hear more from MLB on this matter, including what evidence they have that Rodriguez indeed was the player involved, and why they so strongly feel his intention was to destroy the documents and eliminate evidence.
Rodriguez's motivation to do so would be pretty obvious, but this still has to be considered a heavy accusation that will need to be backed up with facts.
The New York Daily News delved a little deeper into the subject early Friday evening. Here's an interesting excerpt from their report that provides a little more detail on what sources close to the situation believe happened.
One source described the transactions by Rodriguez, MLB and possibly other players as "a situation where these people are out there soliciting bids, treating this stuff like it's baseball memorabilia."
A-Rod allegedly took up the offer, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the scheme, and sent his own intermediary to retrieve the documents. Rumors have spread through the league and its players that A-Rod possesses a list of names and documents that he has either leaked to the media to deflect attention from himself or destroyed them before anyone can see them.
"They showed baseball what they had," said one source, who understood that there was a box full of documents. "I don't think there's much left down there now. Depending what's in the documents, this could be a significant building block in baseball's case against these players?"
Whew. This story was crazy enough even before Friday morning's revelations, and it feels like it's only just getting started based on the reports coming in during the afternoon hours.
We suggest you stay tuned.