MLB and the price of information

Major League Baseball wants the full story on Biogensis. And they're willing to pay for it. Mike Fish/ESPN

If you’ve kept up with the NSA surveillance stories of late, then you’re familiar with the logic behind the explanation for the decisions: Yes, it’s not an ideal situation, but this is the reality of our times and we have to deal with it.

It’s a line of thinking that has been embraced by Major League Baseball in its evolving war on performance-enhancing drug users.

For years, the institution of baseball looked the other way. Then, a decade ago, Major League Baseball and the players’ union agreed to the first form of PED testing. And as would-be cheaters have worked to circumvent the testing -- or to beat it straight up -- MLB has found itself neck-deep in a cesspool of characters and character.

This is not the fight they want, the fight they chose, or the fight they probably ever envisioned. But this is the reality of the times and they have to deal with it -- and like the CIA, one of their most effective weapons is cash, which they are wielding aggressively.