Player agents Sam and Seth Levinson could be in some hot water with Major League Baseball very soon.
In the wake of Melky Cabrera‘s failed cover-up attempt following his positive testosterone test (you know, the one where his “associates” set-up a website selling a fake supplement so Cabrera could claim he had taken said fake supplement to explain away the positive test), MLB investigators have been looking into the role that the Levinson’s, who represent Cabrera and many other players through their ACES agency, may have played.
During the course of this investigation, former major league catcher Paul Lo Duca, who was a client of the Levinsons, has named his agents as the people who got him connected with Kirk Radomski, the former Mets clubhouse attendant and steroid-supplier-to-the-stars. While the Levinsons have denied any role in performance-enhancing drugs, Radomski confirmed their involvement to USA Today. “I will corroborate the relationship I had with Paul and the Levinsons,” Radomski, said in a telephone interview. “I met players through their agents. I met players through other players.”
The Levinsons, for their part, issued a statement denying any wrong doing, and they have been in the game for more than 27 years, so you’d like to believe them. At the same time, 27 years ago was the very early days of the Steroid Era (Jose Canseco burst onto the scene in 1986), so their entire career as agents has been co-existing with the rampant use of PEDs. Does that mean they were involved? Not by itself, it doesn’t.
But perhaps no single person, outside of the player himself, has more to gain by taking the risk of using PEDs. The better the player performs, the more money he makes. The more money he makes, the more his agents make. The difference is that while a player loses his reputation with a positive test (not to mention the suspension and resulting loss of salary), the agent loses nothing. Their reputation remain intact and they get paid no matter what. Given the nature of human beings, doesn’t it stand to reason that agents would not only be okay with their players juicing, but probably encouraging them to do so? After all, what’s the downside for the Levinsons if Cabrera gets caught? Really, nothing. But the rewards are potentially enormous if he doesn’t.
My guess here is that this investigation could wind up costing the Levinsons their careers. Where things go from there will all depend on how far MLB wants to dig. Radomski alluded to more agencies being involved in PEDs during his interview and he’s more than willing to talk. This has the feeling of a story that isn’t going to go away.
The next great steroid scandal could involve a whole bunch of men who never played the game at all.