Blog Entry

Don't believe Braun now? Sorry, can't help you

Posted on: February 23, 2012 6:31 pm
 
So you still don't believe Ryan Braun?

Sorry, I can't help you.

So you're now claiming that the process is rigged, or that baseball didn't really want Braun suspended?

Sorry, can't help you.

Go ahead and tell me that it's "corrupt," as one Twitter follower wrote after Thursday's decision was announced in Braun's favor. Go ahead and call him a "coward," as another tweeter said.

Sorry, can't help you, because in that case you're not interested in justice.

And as for the idea that one not-guilty verdict taints other positive tests, seriously? When one criminal trial ends with not-guilty, do we empty the jails because every other conviction must be wrong, too?

If baseball or any other sport is going to have a drug-testing system, there needs to be a way for a player to appeal a positive test. If there's going to be an appeal process, it needs to be fair enough that if the player makes a legitimate case that the test was flawed, he gets off.

Ryan Braun's people made that case, and an independent arbitrator agreed with them, with his vote swinging a 2-to-1 decision on a three-man panel that also included a representative from the commissioner's office and one from the players' union.

That's an independent arbitrator, independent enough that MLB quickly issued a statement saying it "vehemently disagrees" with the decision.

Braun's people made the case that the chain of custody was a problem, that the sample wasn't sent for 48 hours after Braun took the test. They made the case with the help, no doubt, from an abnormally-spiked testosterone level in the test in question, and in a clean test that Braun took after the first result came back positive.

It's a tough case to prove, and that's why when the news of Braun's failed test first surfaced in December, the strong assumption was that his appeal had little chance of success. No one had ever successfully overturned a suspension before.

But if there never was going to be a first one to succeed, why have the appeal process at all? And if you're not going to have an appeal process, well, you explain to me how that's fair.

What's unfair right now is that news of the Braun positive test got out in the first place, and that it unfairly taints his reputation. You see now why the players insisted on confidentiality, with a suspension only announced after the appeal process was complete.

In all cases before this one, the news never did get out before the appeal.

So how should we look at Ryan Braun now?

With sympathy, I'd say. A flawed test is useless as proof of anything, so unless he fails a test where there is no question about the method or the chain of custody, he's as innocent as any other player in the game today.

Does this mean that MLB is clean? No. Does it mean that MLB won't take on its biggest stars? Definitely not.

Does it mean that Ryan Braun is absolutely clean? There's absolutely no way to know that, just as there's no way to know it with certainty about any player.

But with this verdict, he gets as much the benefit of the doubt as anyone else.

So what does this mean, then?

It means that the system works.

If you can't accept an independent arbitrator ruling in Braun's favor, then what exactly would you accept?

If the answer is nothing, then I go back to the start.

Sorry, can't help you.

Category: MLB
Comments

Since: Mar 10, 2007
Posted on: February 24, 2012 8:58 am
 

Don't believe Braun now? Sorry, can't help you

I'm disappointed the test result was leaked to begin with, and with such a lack of specificity that it was initially widely reported -- and still widely believed -- that Braun tested positive for a PED rather than the banned substance. A lot of people are calling for him to explain the test result, but he seems to be going the route of saying there was no elevated testosterone at all. How'd you like to be that tester's spouse or girlfriend, now awakening to the realization that the guy had Braun's whiz in his fridge all weekend long?



Since: Mar 10, 2007
Posted on: February 24, 2012 8:58 am
 

Don't believe Braun now? Sorry, can't help you

I'm disappointed the test result was leaked to begin with, and with such a lack of specificity that it was initially widely reported -- and still widely believed -- that Braun tested positive for a PED rather than the banned substance. A lot of people are calling for him to explain the test result, but he seems to be going the route of saying there was no elevated testosterone at all. How'd you like to be that tester's spouse or girlfriend, now awakening to the realization that the guy had Braun's whiz in his fridge all weekend long?



Since: Mar 15, 2009
Posted on: February 24, 2012 8:57 am
 

Don't believe Braun now? Sorry, can't help you

Knobler, this is the kind of sham justice that causes people to distrust the larger system in place.  The ruling does not exonerate Braun, it just gives him a pass.  While the handling process was not carried out according to the regulations in place, any forensic scientist will tell you that in this case they way the specimen was handled would have had no effect on the results.  So yes, he had is 50 game ban reversed, the panel DID NOT rule he was innocent of the charges.  If you want to choose to look at Braun with sympathy for beating the rap on a technicality, I am going to guess that you believe O.J. was innocent since after all he was found not guilty. 
 


dino758, The point I think Knobler is trying to make is that Braun is Innocent until proven guilty, as per out justice system.  Of course the ruling doesn't prove he is guilty, but it proves there is enough doubt that he could be, to a reasonable person.  I belive an issue with the chain of cusstody is that it could have been tampered, or altered, since it wasn't accounted for correctly.  I went into this wanting to believe Braun was innocent, and i would have accepted him as a cheater if this appeal fell through.  but it didn't.   The fact that we, the public, were aware of the drug test before the appeal's final verdict has changed peoples minds and altered their reasoning from "innocent until proven guilty" to "guilty until proven innocent."  Your comments exemplify that.   Knobler is simply saying he trusts the current system and regulations in the MLB, and he wants to give Braun the benifit of the doubt.  If you don't, good for you, but it's not his stance on this



Since: Mar 10, 2007
Posted on: February 24, 2012 8:57 am
 

Don't believe Braun now? Sorry, can't help you

I'm disappointed the test result was leaked to begin with, and with such a lack of specificity that it was initially widely reported -- and still widely believed -- that Braun tested positive for a PED rather than the banned substance. A lot of people are calling for him to explain the test result, but he seems to be going the route of saying there was no elevated testosterone at all. How'd you like to be that tester's spouse or girlfriend, now awakening to the realization that the guy had Braun's whiz in his fridge all weekend long?



Since: Mar 15, 2009
Posted on: February 24, 2012 8:56 am
 

Don't believe Braun now? Sorry, can't help you

Knobler, this is the kind of sham justice that causes people to distrust the larger system in place.  The ruling does not exonerate Braun, it just gives him a pass.  While the handling process was not carried out according to the regulations in place, any forensic scientist will tell you that in this case they way the specimen was handled would have had no effect on the results.  So yes, he had is 50 game ban reversed, the panel DID NOT rule he was innocent of the charges.  If you want to choose to look at Braun with sympathy for beating the rap on a technicality, I am going to guess that you believe O.J. was innocent since after all he was found not guilty. 
 


dino758, The point I think Knobler is trying to make is that Braun is Innocent until proven guilty, as per out justice system.  Of course the ruling doesn't prove he is guilty, but it proves there is enough doubt that he could be, to a reasonable person.  I belive an issue with the chain of cusstody is that it could have been tampered, or altered, since it wasn't accounted for correctly.  I went into this wanting to believe Braun was innocent, and i would have accepted him as a cheater if this appeal fell through.  but it didn't.   The fact that we, the public, were aware of the drug test before the appeal's final verdict has changed peoples minds and altered their reasoning from "innocent until proven guilty" to "guilty until proven innocent."  Your comments exemplify that.   Knobler is simply saying he trusts the current system and regulations in the MLB, and he wants to give Braun the benifit of the doubt.  If you don't, good for you, but it's not his stance on this



Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: February 24, 2012 8:54 am
 

Don't believe Braun now? Sorry, can't help you

dino758, you said it perfectly. Braun is NOT innocent, he was found not guilty, AND THE TWO THINGS ARE DIFFERENT! Braun DID fail the drug test. He won't serve his suspension because the independent arbitrator ruled that the chain of custody was violated. The ruling wasn't overturned because Braun was proven innocent. Such nonsense.

It really bothers me when people like Mr. Knobler use the "i" word for Braun. He won his appeal due to a technicality. I guarantee his lawyers will use terms like "justice was served" or some such, but they NEVER use the "i" word for Braun, because they know better.

I have always liked Braun, I think he is a terrific player. But from now on I will also think of him as a cheat. Tough if anyone doesn't like what I feel.

And Mr. Knobler, you don't have to help me, I never asked for your help and never will. And please don't tell me how I should look at Mr. Braun. I don't tell you what to do, but maybe I should tell you where to go.




Since: Feb 2, 2009
Posted on: February 24, 2012 8:51 am
 

Don't believe Braun now? Sorry, can't help you

Apparently the steroid era is alive and good.  Baseball is a joke.  And don't kid yourself that the other sports aren't along for the same ride.  It's funny how we persecuted Russia and other country's back in the 80's (check out Rocky 4), yet now; America is probably worse than all of them as all these athaletes want fame and glory.  It makes me feel ashamed and hard to watch sports anymore.



Since: Dec 13, 2011
Posted on: February 24, 2012 8:40 am
 

Don't believe Braun now? Sorry, can't help you

This is like the infamous 'tied' all-star game. I don't know how to feel about it. I'm not a Braun fan but I'm not sure if he's guilty or not. But I'm not sure there is anything to celebrate here, unless you are cheering about the power of good lawyers and/or the poor process that is put in place to check that the millionaire players aren't doping? If he's innocent (as it seems) then it's a shame his name is now a bit shaded, if he's guilty, then its all the more infuriating. What have we learned? Baseball can't do its drug testing right - either they pointed out an innocent man or screwed up prosecuting a guilty one. No victory here for anyone.



Since: Jan 23, 2009
Posted on: February 24, 2012 8:38 am
 

Don't believe Braun now? Sorry, can't help you

I am sure Bud Selig owning the Brewers had nothing to do with the outcome.....



Since: Mar 30, 2008
Posted on: February 24, 2012 8:37 am
 

Don't believe Braun now? Sorry, can't help you

I do not believe him.  These guys are all pushing the envolpe of what they can do.  The amount of money at state is huge.
The difference between being a top player vs average is 10s of millions of dollars.  Hundreds of million over a career. 

It does not matter.  MLB and the players union are not serious about steriods/performance enhancing drugs.  A life time ban and/or canceled concract would solve the issue very quickly. 

In the end they stealing from the other players.  Their is finite amount of money that goes around every year and they are getting  bigger chuck than they would get without performance enhancing drugs. 




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