Why the Biogenesis players can thank Cubs icon Fergie Jenkins

Why the Biogenesis players can thank Cubs icon Fergie Jenkins
July 11, 2013, 1:00 pm
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Tony Andracki

How is a baseball icon that retired 30 years ago coming to the aid of the Biogenesis players?

Cubs legend Fergie Jenkins isn't directly helping out the likes of Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez, but the precedent he set in 1980 has come into play.

FoxSports' Ken Rosenthal explains why:


Players under investigation are not obligated to answer questions from baseball officials.

Braun, according to ESPN, refused to answer questions during his recent interview with baseball. He was not the only player who stayed silent, sources say. And he had every right to avoid incriminating himself, according to baseball precedent.

In September 1980, former commissioner Bowie Kuhn suspended Ferguson Jenkins for declining to cooperate with baseball’s investigation after the pitcher was charged with possession of cocaine, hashish and marijuana in Toronto. An arbitrator lifted the suspension, according to the Associated Press, saying that “the commissioner was compelling Jenkins to jeopardize his defense in court.”

Braun and others, by failing to answer questions, simply asserted their “Jenkins” rights.


HardballTalk's Craig Calcaterra brings up the point that Jenkins was actually being charged with a crime in 1980, while Braun and Co. have yet to be charged in the Biogenesis scandal. But the possibility of prosecution is enough here for the players to enact their "Jenkins" rights.

[HBT: Neither the timeline for, nor the severity of Biogenesis discipline has yet to be determined]

I'm sure it's not something Jenkins would like to be remembered for nowadays, but an interesting aspect to Biogenesis, one of the game's nastiest scandals that might only get worse as time wears on.