You might well have missed the item in last weeks baseball transactions. After all, Cesar Carrillo hasnt thrown a pitch in the major leagues in four years.Consigned to the Detroit Tigers minor league system, Carrillo became the first player to be suspended by Major League Baseball in its ongoing investigation into the Biogenesis drug scandal.The story of Tony Bosch and his Biogenesis of America clinic was first reported in January by Miami New Times, a weekly tabloid. Among the lengthy list of professional athletes doing business with Biogenesis, the paper reported, were two former baseball MVPs, Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez, and Texas Rangers right fielder Nelson Cruz.The original New Times story evoked a volley of denials and so-whats from most of the accused. But the report, which came at the end of a three-month investigation and included numerous photos culled from alleged patient files, payment records and owner Boschs own handwritten notes, appears suspiciously similar to the evidence found when federal authorities raided the BALCO lab in 2003.Flimsy, even ambiguous evidence? Maybe. But there is no jury of Cruzs peers that needs to be convinced that he purchased performance-enhancing substances. Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig can impose punishment based simply on what it considers a non-analytical positive.There likely will be no sketchy, Braun-like chain-of-custody appeals this time. Whispers around baseball say that Seligs office is determined to finally bring Braun and Rodriguez to justice, and anyone else that gets caught in the Biogenesis backwash, Cruz included.Carrillo was suspended last week for 100 games. The timing was no coincidence. The Bosch case isnt over, but Selig likely wanted to send a clear message to any other players who may be thinking about stonewalling or lying to MLB investigators.Much was made last week of the Miami New Times announcement that it would not be turning over to MLB its notes and files in the Biogenesis story. Unfortunately, the New Times explanation came in the form of a rambling editorial by Chuck Strouse in which he invoked the 1919 Black Sox scandal, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, Jackie Robinson, Marge Schott and Mark McGwire as reasons why the paper chose not to cooperate.The journalistic limb it has chosen to stand on is commendable. But it missed a golden chance to help clean up baseball and, in the process, forever link the papers name to MLB history. The New Times Scandal two MVPs with one swing of the bat.It doesnt matter, though, MLB officials said. A government investigation is ongoing. The Miami Herald reported in early February that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency is investigating Bosch and his clinic.Baseball, no doubt, eagerly awaits the DEAs findings.Meanwhile, Carrillos modest professional pitching career just went on a four-month hiatus.Who exactly is Cesar Carrillo? At the University of Miami, he was Ryan Brauns roommate. It may be a leap to suggest that Carrillos silence when approached by MLB investigators brings back memories of Greg Anderson, who went to prison rather than testify against his lifelong friend Barry Bonds but its a small leap.Besides, as Strouse did point out in his editorial, a fair amount of evidence in the Biogenesis case has already been printed in New Times. A motivated Selig wouldnt need much more to start handing out non-analytical positives.All of this seems to be ominous news for Cruz. At least a dozen more names may end up as collateral damage in MLBs quest to nail Braun and A-Rod.Its called cleaning up baseball. That Miami weekly paper may not have been interested, but most players and fans are.
Gil LeBreton, 817-390-7697 Twitter: @gilebreton