Earlier today, the New York Times reported that MLB had paid a former Biogenesis employee for documents relating to the clinic's alleged supplying of PEDs to a number of baseball players. That's foolish and self-defeating on its own, but the interesting part was the insinuation that MLB's move was in response to a player trying to purchase the evidence for his own purposes. Now come a pair of reports that the player in question was...well, there was never any doubt.
Both the Times and the Daily News, apparently citing the same MLB sources, claim that Alex Rodriguez bought incriminating Biogenesis documents, either through a former employee or a mysterious middleman that had offered them for sale to players and media outlets.
What exactly did Rodriguez do with the evidence? The Times says he destroyed it all. The Daily News, which has the more detailed follow-up, offers a second possibility that would take this story from the bizarre to the completely insane:
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. Stories 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.
There are three possibilities here, and all are equally spectacular. The first is that Alex Rodriguez thought buying paper documents, which can be photocopied or reproduced, and burning them in his fireplace, would keep anyone from discovering his ties to Biogenesis. The second is that Rodriguez, aware that his name was going to come out, leaked it himself but also threw in some other players so it wouldn't be all about him.
The third possibility is that none of this is true (Rodriguez's camp has already issued a denial). No matter what the real story, it means that baseball has completely lost control of the situation, and turned a tidy, medium-sized PED scandal into a full-on circus, with lawsuits and shady investigators and evidence bidding wars and everything that makes steroid-jaded fans and media sit up and pay very close attention. Good job!