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: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: February 23, 2012 11:59 pm

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

it seems like the chain of custody failure on the lab's part was what cleared him in the end, but one aspect of this that should not be overlooked is that he took a test 2 days later and passed.  i am considerably lacking in my knowledge of how steroids tests work, but i don't think there was anything braun could have done to fix the test so he passed two days later.  i'm not saying this by any means proves braun is clean, but what it does show is that there are serious reliability issues in a test that can return two completely opposite results over a matter of two days, and despite not knowing for sure, it seems like something of a travesty that braun's reputation could be condemned on the basis of such a test.  looks like another case of "we'll never know for sure," which is exactly what we know about most other players, and so i agree with knobler that he should be looked at with the same degree of scrutiny as other major leaguers.

Since: Dec 26, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2012 11:55 pm

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

Doesn't prove that he did not use PED just proves some cheaters actually do get away with cheating.  Though, sonner or later it will catch up.

little ceasars
Since: Jan 1, 2009
Posted on: February 23, 2012 11:39 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Apr 3, 2011
Posted on: February 23, 2012 11:36 pm

MLB takes care of its Golden Boys

Braun should thank his mom for naming him Ryan, not Manny or Rafael or Barry Lamar or
Sosa.  What a joke.

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2012 11:14 pm

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

If you all remember, as soon as word of this leaked out from the media, Braun's position was that it would all be cleared up.  He didn't circle the wagons, didn't say he'd have to consult with his agent or anything.   Just let these guys play baseball already and get off your holier than thou horses.

Since: May 15, 2008
Posted on: February 23, 2012 11:12 pm

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

Enjoy getting off on a technicality. Dbags like Braun are why everyone will think the next time a record is broken, that the person was on the juice.

Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2012 11:06 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jun 15, 2009
Posted on: February 23, 2012 10:58 pm

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

Did Braun cheat, who knows.  There are really no details as to the process of testing, and the details of how everything works.  I will not pass judgement nor make any comments as I have no facts.  The real test to see whether Ryan Braun is legitimate or another MVPed like Bonds will be his stats.  I suspect there will be some decline in numbers with Fielder playing elsewhere, but, a significant drop in stats will surely be the real test.  The jury is still out.

Since: Aug 22, 2009
Posted on: February 23, 2012 10:49 pm

Braun is the cream filling to OJ and Bonds Oreo

Chain of Command was the technicality that got him off.  Chain of command altered the test? That blood can sit alot longer than 48 hours before testing.
Would like to know more about the tiebreaking voter.
Will Braun ever hit 40 HR and 120 RBI?

Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: February 23, 2012 10:48 pm

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

The thing that bothers me about all this is Braun's reputation was tainted because the results were leaked out.
I agree that there was lot of damage to Braun because the result was leaked out, there always going to be those will always believe that Braun cheated and got away with it.

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