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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: Feb 4, 2010
Posted on: February 23, 2012 10:46 pm

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

This one is easy -- let's see how he does this season when he's under the drug-testing microscope.  If his season sucks, we know he was juiced last year.  If he matches his MVP season, he was probably clean.  Let's answer this question in one year.
So let me get this straight...IF he repeats an MVP season, he was clean?  How many guys in history have ever put up two MVP caliber seasons in a row?  How's about this instead:  Look at his entire body of work since the day he moved up into the bigs.  Do you see any major difference in his numbers at all?  Sure, some variations here and there, but no one ever puts up the same numbers each and every year.  Your "easy" solution is terribly flawed and should not even be considered as proof for a second.  Let us not forget that he no longer has Prince in the lineup, either.

Since: May 14, 2007
Posted on: February 23, 2012 10:29 pm

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

This is the best article Knobler has even wrote! Right on the money. Braun is innocent and deserves an apology from MLB for leaking, ESPN for leaking the news, and all you 'Hang em' mentality fans that still cannot see that the process was tainted. First off we have no idea how many other appeals have been won in the past because the plan is that any bad teat is kept quiet until the player has his day in court, so this most likely is not the first time one has been overturned. Second, to say Selig has some factor in this because of his background with the brewers is insane; MLB actually is disagreeing with the outcome because they now have major egg on their face!
I feel bad for Braun and wish he would go after MLB and especially ESPN, but knowing his character, he is going to let this go and will move on and hit .300 plus this year with 100 RBIs, 20 stolen bases, and 30 homers, and some of you nut cases will still say he cheated and that the second place finisher in the MVP race deserved to win over Braun. I hope all of you are happy with yourselves!

Since: Feb 29, 2008
Posted on: February 23, 2012 10:27 pm

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

Everything is speculation, so I just go with my gut and the eye test.  he's not big, he's numbers are the same every year, and he's passed every other drug test he's ever had.  This is nothing more than a witch hunt.  Braun's #'s will be great again this year, because they are every year.  and his head isn't two sizes too big.  lol!

Since: Jul 21, 2007
Posted on: February 23, 2012 10:23 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 think the owners' coalition, or whatever you call them, and the top brass of MLB should be held accountable for that. Perhaps "heaven sent" Bud Selig? Hey Mr. Commissioner protecting the integrity of the game, how about protecting the reputations of your players until due process finds them guilty or not?

Since: Jul 31, 2008
Posted on: February 23, 2012 10:10 pm

You people are sad and pathetic

Let me first state I am not a Ryan Braun fan or a Brewers fan. Now let me say that Im glad that all you morons and idiots who are "certain" Braun cheated are not a jury of my peers cause Im afraid no matter what execution is in my future. Your suppose to be innocent until proven guilty. Look at all the facts and its easy to see that something was amiss here. In supposedly 25 previous test Braun never tested positive. In a second test right after the positive he tested clean. Im surprised this was an issue at all. The fact that the commissioner of baseball was the owner of the Brewers at one time tells me that there is no conspiracy here since they tried to convict Braun and suspend him. I would have expected just the opposite from the onset. So all of you who are certain he is a cheat need your head examined. On the surface it appears to be a bad test. BUT it will be interesting to see how his numbers look at the end of this season. As in most cases in the past, as soon as a player got off the PEDS his numbers drop and they developed weird injuries. Ken Caminiti comes to mind, Mike Greenwell, Juan Gonzalez, Mark McGwire and A-Rod. Another one who is supicious to me is Jeff Bagwell.

Since: Jan 20, 2008
Posted on: February 23, 2012 9:59 pm

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

Great article!!!! Well put and if MLB cannot hire the proper people to run the tests then the appeal process should continue without the players indentity smeared by the press first.

Since: Apr 23, 2010
Posted on: February 23, 2012 9:58 pm

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

Listen you do not go from a level of 20:1 to fine in a couple days. This one stunk from the get go and if people get off their high horses, they will realize it. I believe Braun was vindicated because this shows that an independent mind( the arbritator) determined that the chain was broken. I'm glad he was cleared. It shows there is a real process that allows the innocent a chance to be vindicated. The League can't be right every time.

Since: Jul 25, 2011
Posted on: February 23, 2012 9:49 pm

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

Very well stated, not a Braun fan at all but seems to me that something was fishy about these results from the start

Since: Jan 16, 2012
Posted on: February 23, 2012 9:48 pm

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

How times have changed. When the Babe played, those who knew his habits might have wondered how many hot dogs and beers he had downed the night before. I wonder what the record books would look like if those old guys had been juicing during their careers.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: February 23, 2012 9:48 pm

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

This one is easy -- let's see how he does this season when he's under the drug-testing microscope.  If his season sucks, we know he was juiced last year.  If he matches his MVP season, he was probably clean.  Let's answer this question in one year.

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