It's exactly those sorts of draft results that drive college players to juice. Though Alfonso says he didn't use steroids at UM, he gets why players did. The college baseball grind is "miserable," he says. You wake up at 5 a.m., work out and practice all week, play ball all weekend, and spend every day so sore you can't stand in the shower. When you see another player able to stand in the shower, you wonder if he's on PEDs, and you want to feel that same comfort. "It was never 'I'll take steroids to throw harder or hit a few more home runs,' " Alfonso says. "It was all about recovery."

And they were everywhere. "It was maybe as easy as getting marijuana," posits Kevin Santiago, who also says he never used steroids but seriously considered it.

For his part, Alfonso says if he wanted to procure steroids, he knows whom he would have asked first: Marcelo Albir. Another associate of the team, in an interview with an author of this article, says that when he did buy steroids, he got them from Albir.

Former Canes players say legendary coach Jim Morris cared little about PED use on the team.
Thomson200 via Wikimedia Commons
Former Canes players say legendary coach Jim Morris cared little about PED use on the team.
Tony Bosch set up his clinic across the street from UM's home field.
Miami-Dade Police Department
Tony Bosch set up his clinic across the street from UM's home field.

And Major League Baseball came to believe that Albir was the conduit to players like Braun for Tony Bosch as well, according to a league official with knowledge of the Biogenesis investigation.


Tony Bosch — whose empire fell apart when a $4,000 debt wasn't paid to an employee who then took boxes full of incriminating documents — didn't always make his rent check. But sometimes he could be prescient. One of the reasons he homed in on UM ballplayers was because they would potentially graduate to the bigs and open another avenue for Biogenesis into the major leagues. And that's exactly how it played out.

Years later, after Biogenesis exposes revealed to some extent Bosch's infiltration of UM player and coach ranks, the school still appeared more concerned with damage control than rooting out the problem. The university released a defensive statement in the wake of the scandal pointing out that 3,380 student-athletes had been tested for PEDs since 2005 and that all had passed. But the school doesn't test for HGH. And "the university did not specify why it chose to release results that began in 2005," read an Associated Press article about the statement.

Of course, Sanchez and Albir had failed their tests the fall before.

In total, at least six players from those two UM seasons — Albir, Carrillo, Sanchez, Braun, Chirino, and third baseman Danny Valencia — were named in Bosch's records. Four were future major-leaguers. Carrillo and Braun were later suspended over their ties to Bosch, while Albir was embroiled in expensive civil litigation. Sanchez, Valencia, and Chirino were either cleared of wrongdoing or never punished.

Though it's unclear when Bosch began treating them, the records make it obvious that the links to UM that Bosch maintained, particularly with Lazer Collazo, were key to his relationship with this stable of players.

Soon after noting that he planned to meet with the ex-pitching coach about the former UM star Sanchez, Bosch's records suggest he set up several meetings with the Marlins first baseman. By 2011, when it appears the first meeting occurred, Sanchez was struggling desperately and would be shipped back to the minors. One of Bosch's notations next to Sanchez's name is simple: "$$$$." Sanchez was never suspended over his ties to Biogenesis, and baseball sources say they were unable to conclusively determine whether he was a Bosch client.

Once a prospect on par with Braun, Cesar Carrillo underwent Tommy John surgery in 2007 and never regained his pitching form. After several years of bush-league ball, he made his big-league debut for the Houston Astros in 2009, but his first start came against the Milwaukee Brewers, a powerful lineup anchored by none other than Ryan Braun. Carrillo was shellacked, giving up eight runs, including a two-run homer to his ex-teammate. Two games later, he was sent back to the minors for good. The notebooks indicate the pitcher turned to Bosch to break back into the bigs. The Biogenesis chief had at least six meetings with Carrillo and noted he had sold him HGH and testosterone.

Danny Valencia was a six-foot-two slugger who transferred to UM in 2005. He made it to the majors in 2010 with the Twins and racked up 330 at-bats and a .267 average while bouncing between Minnesota and the minors. Valencia is listed in one of Bosch's notebooks under the heading "Baseball," along with a number of other pro clients including Braun and Alex Rodriguez. As with Sanchez, MLB officials later decided they did not have ample evidence that Valencia had been a Bosch client after the clinic owner claimed he had never treated him; it's possible he's listed as a prospective client that Bosch simply hoped to nab.

Israel Chirino — nicknamed "Chique" by the faux doctor — never made it to the bigs, despite Collazo's and Bosch's best efforts. Drafted by the White Sox in 2004, he saw his career sputter to a halt in high-A ball in 2009. The records suggest that Chirino, like Carrillo, turned to Bosch for an unsuccessful comeback, with his name showing up in the notebooks at least four times.

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7 comments
glennayamamoto
glennayamamoto

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jaimeejackson


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johnjsimpkins
johnjsimpkins topcommenter


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flasporty
flasporty

How is taking Steroids playing for a Pro team at College any different than cheating on an exam?

theodorecbonk
theodorecbonk

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