Longform

Florida Investigator: I Warned Major League Baseball Not To Buy Stolen Records

Inside a conference room at Major League Baseball's modernist Manhattan headquarters, Rob Manfred stared down Alex Rodriguez. The fate of both men -- the future commissioner of baseball and the era's greatest slugger -- hung in the balance. Rodriguez was furiously fighting a record suspension for buying steroids from a Miami clinic called Biogenesis. It was October 17, 2013, and Manfred was being grilled about how MLB had obtained its evidence.

The gap-toothed, razor-sharp lawyer had directed baseball's probe of the Yankees' third baseman. He told the phalanx of attorneys gathered around the table that baseball's investigative team -- a crew of former cops, mostly from the NYPD -- had purchased clinic records from a South Florida felon named Gary Jones. Ears perked up when Manfred admitted to signing off on $125,000 in payouts to Jones, who went by the pseudonym "Bobby from Boca."

But there was a bigger question: Where had Jones gotten the files they hoped would prove Rodriguez had illegally juiced?

See also: Tony Bosch and Biogenesis: MLB Steroid Scandal

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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