EXCLUSIVE: While Alex Rodriguez long ago hung up his Yankees uniform and put his performance enhancing drug scandals behind him as he works as a respected baseball analyst for ESPN telecasts, that doping past is bound to rear back up at Toronto. That’s where the Billy Corben-directed documentary Screwball will premiere and re-explore the performance enhancing drugs scandal known as Biogenesis that will challenge A-Rod’s attempts to make the Hall of Fame, even though he hit the fourth highest all-time number of home runs with 696.

Screwball
TIFF

The filmmaker has put together a procedural on how the Miami-based Biogenesis proffered performance enhancing drugs to Rodriguez and other sluggers like Boston Red Sox star Manny Ramirez. Corben, whose past documentaries include Cocaine Cowboys and The U, acknowledges the comic absurdity behind the whole drug fiasco by adding an Our Gang element and featuring reenactments that put children in the roles of the steroid suppliers like Anthony Bosch and abusers like Rodriguez and Ramirez, whose Hall of Fame credentials were forever tarnished by their cheating tactics. Above is a first clip that shows how Rodriguez fits into the film. I don’t know if he can hit a curveball, but the young actor is the spitting image of the slugger.

Wrapped into that is a real dissection of the Biogenesis health clinic, including details of mob connections, financial chicanery, and Rodriguez’s eccentric behavior. Miami New Times journalist Tim Elfrink helps to frame the story based on his book Blood Sport: A-Rod and the Quest to End Baseball’s Steroid Era. Among the disturbing revelations is a government health inspector’s tales of being in hot pursuit of Bosch’s case until receiving mysterious orders to drop it, and that powerful interests would be happy to let this story slip from memory. The film premieres Friday September 7 at 9:45 PM at Scotiabank. 30WEST is brokering the distribution deal.