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

Since: Mar 28, 2011
Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:44 am

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

he is not cleared of any wrong doing, he is not cleared of using PED, he can't be suspended because of a FedEx was late delivering samples, MLB uses two sample and are always together, if one tests positive then there is another one to confirm it did test positive, so Braun can Tweet all he wants about being exonerated when in fact he is not, he is just not serving time because of FedEx not delivering on time, similar to getting off of murder charges because you were not read your miranda rights or the glove didn't fit. 

Since: Jul 11, 2010
Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:37 am

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

I agree 100%. If his name was Barry Bonds, he would be out of baseball and all records stripped, banned from the Hall of Fame ballot and a giant asterix placed next to his name. wow

Since: Mar 28, 2011
Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:36 am

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

Selig is Jew also

Since: Feb 24, 2012
Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:08 am

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

There will never be a predictable answere when dealing with performance enhancing drugs. There will be dozens of wrongful accusations and dozens of juicers that get off scott free. The fact is that the fans will never know the truth so unfortunately we just have to live with being in the dark and accept getting riled up by our emotional reactions.

Since: Jul 24, 2011
Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:01 am

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

it was because selig is german and braun is a jew.  by the way knobler piss poor journalism from you as cant even get the arbitrators name?  total lack of effort on your part    how you get away with writing columns is beyond belief with the little information you never provide

Since: Nov 15, 2006
Posted on: February 24, 2012 12:55 am

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

The three member Commission that reviewed the findings consisted of (1) from MLB , (1) arbitrator and (1) from the player's union...
who do you think voted NO....MLB of course.....

Since: Jul 27, 2011
Posted on: February 24, 2012 12:31 am

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

Please!  For something as important and historic as this decision, CBS, you can't put out a flip "Can't help you" refrain and a series of rhetorical questions that lead to the same empty refrain!  The story ISN'T that the system is rigged or "experts" knew this appeal couldn't work or any other peripheral non-issue woven to create a non-story.  The issue is that Braun is the first(!), the historic precedent, and that there ARE flaws and there COULD have been flaws in past tests. It's not that Braun's legal team somehow succeeded, but rather, that no respected players of integrity succeeded before!  How many reasonable doubts ARE there now in players like Palmeiro whose numbers and helmet size didn't spike and who didn't cop senseless pleas when stunned at the results--like Braun?  And why WERE the results leaked, by whom, to whom, and why are THOSE people scott free and blameless while Braun wrestles with his reputation and the accusations that will forever come at him from half-informed or ignorant fans? This is a heavy story, and CBS clearly "can't help you" with a treament like this one.  Good luck, Ryan.  You deserved better from the tests and the coverage.

Since: Jun 15, 2009
Posted on: February 24, 2012 12:25 am

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


Since: Oct 22, 2010
Posted on: February 24, 2012 12:24 am

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

After looking at how the evidence was handle and how Braun passed the same test two days afterward, I am glad that Braun got off.  I'm not an experts on PED but surely whatever spiked his system up that high couldnt have disappeared in a matter of two days.  In all situations chain of custody is the most important rule.  I don't think that Braun is a cheater (there's always a chance though) but I do know this.. once someone accuses you of cheating, you can never truly clear your name.  The biggest loser in this case nomatter what happens is Braun.  His name will always be tainted.   

Since: Aug 23, 2006
Posted on: February 24, 2012 12:08 am

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

I can't help but think that if Braun wasn't a pretty white boy, a young and popular slugger and the reigning MVP, that if he was an agro black man that there's no way in hell this would have been overturned. This is a joke. Yet another black mark on Bud Selig's reign.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or