Those of us who have been following the Alex Rodriguez/Biogenesis scandal for nearly a year were intrigued to see what new information would be spilled when "60 Minutes" devoted nearly 30 minutes Sunday to a two-part story starring many of the people at the center of this vortex.
A-Rod himself, of course, wasn't part of the "60 Minutes" piece, but lawyer Joe Tacopina spoke briefly on his behalf while MLB execs and Biogenesis whistle blower Anthony Bosch laid out details from their case against A-Rod. Many of the details in the story were being divulged for the first time. And they were fascinating, even as one-sided as they were in this particular unveiling.
At this point — with arbitrator Fredric Horowitz's appeal ruling announced Saturday and A-Rod looking to be out of baseball for the 2014 season, barring a ruling from a higher authority — the "60 Minutes" report was merely just filling in gaps in the Biogenesis saga.
Looking for a Cliff's Notes version of the "60 Minutes" story? Here are 10 fascinating things we learned:
1. A-Rod would take "gummies" — which gave him a testosterone boost — before games as part of his PED regimen.
Anthony Bosch: He would put one of these troches in his mouth probably about ten, 15 minutes before game time, or as soon as he went into the field. A player could take it right before game time. And by the time they get back into a locker room after the game and there was any possibility of testing, they would-- they-- they would test negative. They would test clean.
Scott Pelley: If you were telling Alex Rodriguez to take these gummies a few minutes before the game, he's taking these in the locker room or the dugout. That's quite an image.
Anthony Bosch: Quite an image. They're so small that you could literally while sitting in the dugout take it, put it in your mouth, and people could think it’s sunflower seeds or-or-or a piece of candy or a piece of gum, for that matter.
2. Bosch claims he personally injected A-Rod with PEDs.
Scott Pelley: Was Rodriguez injecting himself with these substances?
Anthony Bosch: Alex is scared of needles. So at times-- he would ask me to inject.
Scott Pelley: You've injected him?
Anthony Bosch: Yes.
3. Before he aligned himself with MLB, Bosch says A-Rod's camp tried to pay him off and send him to Colombia to lay low.
Anthony Bosch: One of his associates said, “Well you should, I think you should leave town. We're gonna get you a plane ticket to Colombia. We want you to stay there until this blows over. We’re gonna pay you.” I forgot what the number was, $25,000 or $20,000 a month. “Then when you come back, we'll, you know, we'll give you another $150,000.”
4. Bosch claims he received a death threat from someone in A-Rod's camp after turning down their Colombia offer.
Tony Bosch told us after he turned down the “Colombia” offer, things got sinister. He says his ex-girlfriend received a text message, in Spanish, saying Bosch would not live to see the end of the year.
[later in the story]
Scott Pelley: Are you saying that Alex Rodriguez and or his associates were involved in threatening to kill Tony Bosch?
Rob Manfred: The individual that was of greatest concern to Mr. Bosch was a known associate of Mr. Rodriguez.
Scott Pelley: Do you think Rodriguez knew about the threats to Bosch's life?
Rob Manfred: I don't know what Mr. Rodriguez knew, um, I know that the individual involved has been an associate of Mr. Rodriguez’s for some time.
5. Hitting 800 home runs was A-Rod's goal.
Anthony Bosch: Alex cared. Alex wanted to know. He would study the product. He would study the substance. He would study the dosages because he wanted to achieve all his human performance or in this case, sports performance objectives. And the most important one was the 800 Home Run Club.
Scott Pelley: The 800 Home Run Club?
Anthony Bosch: Which was only going to have one member, Alex Rodriguez.
6. Manny Ramirez was A-Rod's inspiration when courting Bosch.
Anthony Bosch: The first words out of his mouth were, you know, what did Manny Ramirez take in 2008 and 2009? What were you giving him-- what-- what were you giving Manny Ramirez?
Bosch says Manny Ramirez came to him at the age of 35 and the next season he nearly doubled his homeruns. Ramirez retired in 2011 after testing positive for doping. Bosch says that Rodriguez wanted in on the secret.
7. Once Bosch had to draw A-Rod's blood while he was at a nightclub in Miami because it needed to be tested at exactly 8 p.m.
Anthony Bosch: So we ended up drawing the blood in the bathroom of this one restaurant/bar/club in the bathroom stall at 8:00 p.m.
Scott Pelley: With the crowd there?
Anthony Bosch: With the crowd right there.
Scott Pelley: People coming in and out of the men's room, I take it. And you're in a stall with Alex Rodriguez drawing his blood?
Anthony Bosch: Yes. As crazy as that sounds.
8. Bosch thought what he was doing as a PED peddler was noble.
Anthony Bosch: I did it because I had a responsibility, I felt I had a responsibility to do it, to let them know that if they're gonna take something like this, do it the right way.
Scott Pelley: You might have said to these players when they came to you, "Look, don't do any of this stuff. It breaks the rules of baseball. Don't do this." Did you ever say that?
Anthony Bosch: No. I never said that. My approach to all this, I'll stand by it now and I'll stand by it forever, was you're gonna do this. Let me show you how to do this. Let me educate you. And let's do it the right way. And sure, let's not get caught while we're doing this.
9. MLB hired ex-Secret Service and FBI agents for its Biogenesis investigation.
A lawyer by training, [Rob] Manfred runs Major League Baseball as the chief operating officer. Commissioner Selig told him to do what he had to do to get to the bottom of the scandal. Manfred hired the former director of the United States Secret Service and a number of retired FBI agents—more than 30 investigators in all.
10. A-Rod was still using a Blackberry during his time associating with Bosch. Why no iPhone, Alex?
Bosch says the story he tells today is backed up by hundreds of text messages that he says he exchanged with Rodriguez. We have more than 500 of them. They are BlackBerry “BBM” messages. Major League Baseball says the pin number attached to the messages matches a BlackBerry owned by Rodriguez. Bosch says those testosterone lozenges were taken both before and during a game. This question came from the device linked to Rodriguez. “Gummie at 1045am?... Game at 1pm.” Bosch responded, “10:30am.”
11. Nobody ever stuck up for A-Rod and told MLB that Bosch was lying.
Rob Manfred: The credibility of any witness is determined by a trier fact, by looking the individual in the eye, listening to the story he tells and then lining it up with the other evidence. And frankly, nobody came in and contradicted what Mr. Bosch said. There was no witness that ever came in the case and said, "Tony Bosch isn't telling the truth."
If you want even more of Bosch and A-Rod, then we highly recommend reading this column from Yahoo Sports' Tim Brown about the complex relationship between the two chief figures in the Biogenesis scandal.
- - - - - - -