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 5, 2010
Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:52 pm
 

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

northern baller. So, if a guy is tried in a court of being a pedophile, but the only evidence against him is tossed out because of a mes up in the chain of custody, would you be okay if he moves next door to you and opens up a day and afterschool care? Would you send your kids there if he offers to your let your kids go there for free?



Since: May 5, 2008
Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:52 pm
 

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

LongTime Fan,  your comment makes no sense because that would simply never happen.  Yes if evidence was arbitrarily thrown out, then guilty people would walk, but evidence is not arbitrarily thrown out.  Evidence that is inadmissable is only inadmissable because of the fact that it destroys the possibility of coming up with the truth.  To give a scenario much like the one you gave: if a store owner used a video tape to prove that the man sleeping with his wife robbed his store but you could not see his face or any real identifying feature except for the NY yankee hat he likes to wear in the video and the video was recorded on the store owner's personal camcorder, then yes perhaps that video would not be admissable.  Is this a technicality or a way to ensure that evidence is legitimate?  The rules in this situation exsists for a reason... to protect the legitimacy of the sample (evidence).  That legitimacy was compromised when the procedures were not followed thus the evidence is logically and obviously inadmissable.



Since: Mar 29, 2007
Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:51 pm
 

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

As I stated earlier, I'm still not sure what to think. However, feeling sorry for Ryan Braun for everyone thinking he did something when he might not of is fairly pointless. More than 40 years ago, a book was written on the topic of celebrity. It determined, as is still the case, that the good and the bad balance out. Those of you against Braun make claims like baseball helped him out, or he can afford the best lawyers, or Selig helped him because he's a Brewer. Those for him cry foul that he is branded when he's completely innocent, of that it's all MLB's fault that everything was leaked. Again, celebrities get much more benefit than non-celebrities. They also get more discredit than non-celebrities. It's part of the nature of being a celebrity. I feel no more badly for the guy, than I feel good for the guy.



Since: Dec 6, 2010
Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:51 pm
 

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

Don't really care about his guilt or innocence or how it was obtained.  A testosterone level 5 times higher than a "normal" range...whats that about?  I have a higher than "normal" testosterone level.  If its a naturally occuring hormone who cares how he gets it to that level.  Did they find a banned substance in the urine?  Last time I checked testosterone was a requirement to play any "mans" sport effectively even the woman who venture into a "mans" arena have testosterone and probably elevated levels for women.  Short of removing testicles I suspect an anomally will occur from time to time.  If Ryan Braun wants to boost his testosterone without a banned substance he can have it.  Steroids and "street drugs" are banned.  If Braun didn't have any in his system so what.  At the pro level guys and gals are looking for an edge.  In the age of hundred million dollar contracts personally I'm doing everything I can that is legal to have an edge and keep my job.  There are 10 guys in the minors waiting to take his job.  I support his right to protect it legally with  non-banned supplements.




Since: Mar 5, 2010
Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:47 pm
 

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

If you are divorcing your wife because of infidelity and part of the proof is that she tested positive for an STD that you don't have, if there is a chain of custody in those tests she had and the evidence is tossed out, then she didn't really cheat on you with someone else even if you believe that she took medication to clear up her problem before she was tested again.




Since: May 5, 2008
Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:45 pm
 

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

To say "Not guilty on a technicality is different from innocent." seems absurd to me.  It is the technicalities that protect the system from being corrupt and thus convicting an innocent person.  Thus, not guilty on a tecnicality does mean innocent.  He is no more guilty than any other baseball player.  He has never tested positive (to the best of my knowledge anyway) on a drug test that was administered properly.  If he does, then he (like all other ball players) should face the punishment adminisitered by the league.  What I would like to know is why was procedure not followed?  Why is the person who broke procedure not being reprimanded.  Braun should sue that man, and MLB for that matter, for defamation of character since his mistake has brought Braun's name into conversation where he is being equated with OJ Simpson for crying out loud!  It is funny that you believe most would agree that he is guilty when the people who saw all of the evidence etc. agreed that he is not.  MLB is upset with the findings because they are embarrased by the fact that their system is not perfect and that they look like idiots for not being able to implement their own system properly!!!



Since: Dec 1, 2009
Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:44 pm
 

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

Aye, northern baller, these be tiny, crabbed souls, these trolls; tortured, misshapen, wretched refuse; insults to any noble sentiments with which they may have been raised.



Since: Mar 29, 2007
Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:44 pm
 

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

O.K., there are a lot of differing views here, and that's fine. But people like the jacksprat guy need to be kicked out of here for posts like that. What kind of a freak are you?!



Since: Apr 26, 2007
Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:43 pm
 

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

Fair enough yarddog.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I am more than happy to debate it or discuss the flaws on both sides.  I do agree that the errors in chain of custody likely helped his case, still believe he didn't do it.  I am sticking with Brauny on this one.  Go Brew Crew.




Since: Sep 1, 2006
Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:40 pm
 

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

Easy explanation: They mixed up his test sample with Manny Ramirez's


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