Biogenesis Scandal: MLB Drops Its Lawsuit Against Tony Bosch

From the start, it was obvious why Major League Baseball filed suit against Biogenesis founder Tony Bosch and his partners. Months after New Times revealed how Bosch was selling drugs to ballplayers, MLB was still trying to get his records and the testimony they needed to suspend Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun and the other Biogenesis clients. But Bosch wasn't playing ball.

The lawsuit threatened Bosch with months of expensive litigation, and the pressure cooker worked perfectly. By last June, the clinic owner cracked and agreed to testify against A-Rod and company. And now that A-Rod has dropped his own legal fight and accepted a season-long suspension, the lawsuit has served its purpose; MLB dropped the case late Wednesday afternoon.

See also: Tony Bosch and Biogenesis: MLB Steroid Scandal

The commissioner's office filed a short dismissal in Miami-Dade Court yesterday, discharging the remaining plaintiffs: Bosch, his former business partner Carlos Acevedo, and Biogenesis' business manager, Ricky Martinez.

They'd already dismissed several other defendants tied to Bosch, including his brother Ashley, who'd registered Biogenesis in state records; Marcelo Albir, a former UM pitcher; Juan Carlos Nunez, a contractor with a sports agency; and Paulo da Silveira, a random guy who MLB eventually admitted actually had nothing at all to do with the case.

Last June, facing mounting financial pressure from the suit and believing his life was in danger, Bosch agreed to help MLB go after his clients in exchange for round-the-clock security and legal protection from the league.

The result was 13 MLB suspensions, and a record 211-game ban for A-Rod. The Miami-born star fought back in arbitration and civil court, but ran out of options when he dismissed his lawsuit last month and accepted an arbitrator's season-long suspension.

In dismissing its Miami suit against Bosch now that A-Rod is suspended, MLB is all but admitting the lawsuit was a pressure tactic against Bosch. Commentators at Deadspin and elsewhere slammed them for that "creative" use of the court system.

But as others pointed out, the suit did what exactly it was designed to do -- get Tony Bosch into the witness stand so the league could suspend the guys buying illegal drugs from his clinic.

Several requests for depositions and documents remained open in the Miami lawsuit, including against A-Rod associate Jose "Pepe" Gomez. But MLB evidently decided the cost of keeping the litigation running didn't match the benefits of gleaning more intel.

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink