Yuri Sucart Faces a Decade in Prison After Years of Doing A-Rod's Dirty Work
MIAMI -- It would be hard to imagine a character less suited to Alex Rodriguez's luxury lifestyle of private jets and South of Fifth condos than the shackled man federal agents led into the DEA's Weston, Florida headquarters last week.
via New York City District Attorney's Office Yuri Sucart's arrest in 1993 set the stage for years of dependance on his famous cousin.
On August 5, Yuri Sucart was clad in a baggy white T-shirt, ill-fitting black pants, socks and sandals. He looked more like a paunchy, balding soccer dad than a guy who'd spent decades in A-Rod's tight inner circle. Yet the truth is, no one was closer to the suspended Yankees superstar through his whole career than his older primo.
Along with Biogenesis owner Tony Bosch, Sucart was arrested last week. Bosch has already admitted to a host of sins, from supplying scores of Major League ballplayers to doping up at least 18 high school athletes. Less attention has been paid to Sucart's arrest on six counts of illegally supplying testosterone.
Charges against the pair and five others mark the emphatic coda to a saga that began with a Miami New Times investigation in January 2013 and peaked last summer with the suspension of 15 professional ballplayers tied to Bosch, including a season-long ban for A-Rod.
But Sucart's own remarkable tale shouldn't be overlooked. It's told for the first time in a book I recently wrote with former New Times staff writer Gus Garcia-Roberts, Blood Sport: Alex Rodriguez, Biogenesis and the Quest to End Baseball's Steroid Era.
Sucart's life began spiraling out of control after A-Rod betrayed him in a 2009 doping scandal. In the five years since, he's been mired in a morass of mortgage foreclosures, bankruptcies, failing health and terrible decisions -- including, according to Bosch's records, at least, delivering his own ball-playing teenage son to Biogenesis. Though Bosch has bonded out, Sucart still sits in federal custody. He's apparently ill, facing deportation to his native Dominican Republic, and is so broke that his family has started an online campaign to fund his legal defense.
"My family has no assets, home, or anywhere to run to, financially speaking, to try and bail out my dad," his daughter, Ashley Sucart, writes in an online plea. "My family and I have been through a lot. The only thing we want is to be at peace."
Sucart was born in the D.R. in 1962, 13 years before Rodriguez. The son of a brother of Lourdes, A-Rod's mom, Yuri bounced among extended family on the island and in New York after a car wreck in the Dominican killed his mother. He spent significant time in the cramped Washington Heights apartment where A-Rod grew up. "He's been with me since I was born," Rodriguez told the Associated Press.
When a young Rodriguez moved to Miami with his mom and developed into one of the top high-school prospects in history, his cousin followed a more prosaic path, bouncing between a job with a water utility in Santo Domingo and a gig as a blacksmith in South Florida. By the time A-Rod was astonishing scouts with monster home runs as a teenage shortstop for Westminster Christian Academy, Sucart had moved back to New York with his wife and was eking out a living as an unlicensed gypsy cab driver.
The cousins stayed in touch, though, and Sucart knew there was a standing offer: When A-Rod's inevitable big-league contract came after his senior year, he could plan on being his full-time gofer.
But on May 13, 1993 -- two days after A-Rod's high school career ended with a playoff loss -- a previously unreported event upended Sucart's life and set the stage for decades of dependance on his famous relative.