As many as twenty Major League Baseball players face long suspensions in what ESPN is calling potentially “the worst drug abuse case in the history of baseball.” Those suspensions could include Alex Rodriguez, star of the New York Yankees, and Milwaukee Brewers standout Ryan Braun.

Reports say those two players, plus 18 others are linked to an ongoing performance-enhancing drug scandal apparently centering on a Miami-area-based clinic, which is now closed.

ESPN is reporting that the founder of the clinic, Tony Bosch, is cooperating with league’s probe. The Miami New Times reports that Bosch ran Biogenesis, an anti-aging clinic allegedly funneling performance-enhancing drugs to some MLB players. The drugs, reportedly Human Growth Hormones, are banned in professional sports.

Major League Baseball is not commenting on what it calls an ongoing investigation.

Spokespersons for Rodriguez deny any connection between the Yankee star and Biogenesis, and deny that Rodriguez was ever a patient of Bosch, or had any treatments by Bosch or anyone employed by Bosch.

Rodriguez and Braun are among the players named in the report who could face suspension of 100 games for a second offense in the use of Performance Enhancing Drugs. Neither would answer reporters’ questions on the subject in after-game news conferences.

Yankee manager Joe Girardi said he had hoped that baseball had gotten through the scandal – but apparently not. He has expressed concern about how Baseball would be affected as a whole when one thinks of the last fifteen years, rife with scandal in a game that prides itself on being America’s Pastime.

By Jay Zimmer