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Ken Rosenthal on D&C: ‘Bombshells’ coming in Biogenesis case; Red Sox ‘need more pitching’

07.16.13 at 10:50 am ET
By
Ken Rosenthal

Ken Rosenthal

Ken Rosenthal joined Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday morning, and the Fox Sports baseball reporter, before chiming in on a handful of Red Sox-related issues, offered insight on the ongoing Biogenesis performance-enhancing drug issue and the expected suspensions for a number of players, including Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun.

“There will be bombshells. The question is the timing,” Rosenthal said. “Baseball cannot rush into this. They have to have everything in order. And whether that takes two more days or two more weeks — or two more months, for that matter, which I doubt — remains to be seen.

“Just from yesterday, I didn’t get the sense that it was imminent in talking to some people. But who knows? What’s complicated about this is baseball can’t miss. They have to have everything in order before they announce the suspensions, then make sure the suspensions are solid enough that when they’re appealed — and they will be appealed — they hold up.”

Rosenthal went on to explain that these punishments will be due to “just cause,” not traditional suspensions under the joint drug agreement — 50 games for a first positive test of a banned substance, 100 games for a second positive test and a lifetime ban for a third.

As such, MLB needs to make sure it has its ducks in a row. Since the case has been so public — due solely to leaks — the suspensions will be announced before the appeals are heard, as opposed to after an appeal, as is usually the case for a positive test.

“Baseball has to prove just cause,” Rosenthal said. “It’s not a positive test. They have to make a case for just cause, and will they have it? We’ll see.”

Rosenthal also touched on a number of Red Sox topics. Among them was, simply put, how good the team is.

“The Red Sox are legitimate, no doubt about it,” Rosenthal said. “The division is a little weaker, that helps, and the offense is really good, which is the big thing. It’s funny, at the start of the season it looked like, ‘Wow, [Jon] Lester and [Clay] Buchholz are back. They’re going to be the foundation.’ Now [John] Lackey has stepped into that void a little bit, but it’s the offense that’s sustainable for the most part. Obviously they need more pitching, and the question is how they will get it.”

He said the Red Sox are one of about a dozen teams, including the Yankees, that have checked in on Phillies infielder Michael Young, but whether or not a deal is made remains to be seen.

Since the Phillies are still very much in the thick of things — 5½ games back in the NL East, 6½ back in the wild card race — they aren’t exactly sure-thing sellers, so they likely will hold on to Cliff Lee, another name to whom the Red Sox are sometimes linked.

Rosenthal also spoke highly of free agent-to-be Jacoby Ellsbury, whose agent, Scott Boras, said Monday he will wait until the offseason to discuss a new contract with the Red Sox.

“He has to show he can stay healthy and sustain this. … He has to stay on the field to keep his value or increase his value. Let’s face it, whatever you think about what might happen in his future, when he’s healthy, he’s a really good player,” Rosenthal said. “And whether the Red Sox keep him or not will depend on the usual myriad factors, and the idea that negotiations haven’t started, I wouldn’t put too much stock into that because he’s a Scott Boras client. Boras generally prefers his clients go out into the open market, and the Red Sox, if they tried to start negotiations, would probably be wasting their breath.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. To listen to the interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.

On Manny Ramirez and his new minor league deal with the Rangers: “I don’t know what to say about Manny — what will surprise me or what will not surprise me. He’s got to prove it, let’s put it that way. I don’t think the Rangers see this as anything but a free look. If he proves it, ‘OK, fine, we’ll bring him up and give him a shot.’ If not, he’s not going to be on the team. This is not a publicity stunt, they do not need to sell tickets.”

On the biggest name he’s heard in trade rumors: “Right now, I’d have to say [Cubs pitcher Matt] Garza is the biggest name. I’d say this, that’s not a very good name. He’s an accomplished pitcher, and the Red Sox have at least checked in, maybe more. Is he the kind of guy we’re used to seeing go down at the deadline and saying ‘Wow’ about? Absolutely not.

“And for that reason, I refuse to believe, covering the game as long as I have … that something else is not going to shake here. I wrote that the White Sox should shop [left-hander] Chris Sale because there’s such a lack of quality starting pitching available you could probably get something. He’s under a good contract, etc. I could see these guys as being so creative … that there are going to be some bigger things go down than Matt Garza.”

Read More: Alex Rodriguez, chris sale, Cliff Lee, Jacoby Ellsbury Print  |  Email  |  Bark It Up!  |  Digg It
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