To recap, Major League Baseball, in a possible endgame to its ongoing investigation into the Biogenesis anti-aging clinic in South Florida that allegedly functioned as a PED "pipeline," is reportedly angling to suspend, among others, Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees and Ryan Braun of the Brewers for 100 games each.
It's possible that part of MLB's "media engagement" strategy -- whether sanctioned or the decision of rogue elements within -- has been to leak information to sympathetic reporters in an effort to ... well, who the hell really knows at this point.
On that topic, here's a statement from MLBPA head Michael Weiner:
“The leaking of confidential information to members of the media interferes with the thoroughness and credibility of the Biogenesis investigation. These repeated leaks threaten to harm the integrity of the Joint Drug Agreement and call into question the required level of confidentiality needed to operate a successful prevention program. The Players want a clean game and they demand a testing program that is not only the toughest in professional sports, but one that guarantees each player due process rights accompanied by strict confidentiality provisions. As I stated last month, the Players Association remains in contact with the Commissioner's Office regarding the investigation, and they continue to assure us that no decisions regarding discipline will be made until the investigation is complete. It would be unfortunate if anyone prejudged the results of the investigation based on unsubstantiated leaks that are a clear violation of the JDA.”
Weiner is undeniably in the right here. If Bud Selig is ordering the leaks, then he's shooting dirty pool. If the leaks are happening under Selig's nose but not at his bidding, then he's leading incompetently.
It's not just that this is self-defeating to put this in the news cycle during the run-up to the All-Star Game. It's not merely that this could potentially poison what has been a strong labor relationship throughout very recent history (and the MLBPA has been more than compliant and agreeable during the current era of PED blowback). It's also that it's hard to, you know, take a firm stance against rule-breaking when one is breaking the rules. Provided, of course, that's what's going on here.
Weiner and the players are correct to call out such behavior.
UPDATE: So Weiner and players have released a follow-up statement that says they're calling out the source of the leaks -- whoever that source may be -- and not MLB:
Earlier today, the MLBPA issued the below statement from Executive Director Michael Weiner regarding the leaks of information in the Biogenesis investigation. Apparently, some members of the media have interpreted that statement as an accusation against Major League Baseball. The MLBPA has no information about the source of the leaks and we have no information that indicates MLB is the source.
The statement was issued in response to recent news reports with information that should remain confidential under the terms of our collectively bargained Joint Drug Agreement. In the wake of those reports, the MLBPA has fielded numerous press and public inquiries asking for our comments.
The intention of Michael Weiner's statement was only to lament the fact that the leaks had occurred and to encourage the media and the public not to rush to judgment about any Player before MLB's investigation is completed and all of the Players' due process rights under the JDA are satisfied.
Duly noted. But I stand by what I wrote above.