Inside a conference room at Major League Baseball's modernist Manhattan headquarters, Rob Manfred stared down Alex Rodriguez. The fate of both men -- the future commissioner of baseball and the era's greatest slugger -- hung in the balance. Rodriguez was furiously fighting a record suspension for buying steroids from a Miami clinic called Biogenesis. It was October 17, 2013, and Manfred was being grilled about how MLB had obtained its evidence.
The gap-toothed, razor-sharp lawyer had directed baseball's probe of the Yankees' third baseman. He told the phalanx of attorneys gathered around the table that baseball's investigative team -- a crew of former cops, mostly from the NYPD -- had purchased clinic records from a South Florida felon named Gary Jones. Ears perked up when Manfred admitted to signing off on $125,000 in payouts to Jones, who went by the pseudonym "Bobby from Boca."
But there was a bigger question: Where had Jones gotten the files they hoped would prove Rodriguez had illegally juiced?