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 1:40 pm
 

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

I've learned another thing from Knobler and some of the posters here.

If a guy is videotaped robbing a convenient store and killing 5 people in the process, if the video was tossed out as inadmissable because of some technicality [like the date on the video recorder was set to the wrong date and time], then that defendant that was "alleged" to have committed the crimes is innocent and didn't do the "alleged" crimes.



Since: Dec 1, 2009
Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:39 pm
 

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

"As (to) trolls...Stating your opinion" as to a man's culpability "is one thing, saying something like 'I know he did it, he's guilty and a cheat', is trolling. It's inflammatory and based completely in fiction, and ALL IT DOES IS PROVE THAT PEOPLE ARE OUT TO LIGHT A FIRE UNDER OTHERS TO GET THEIR JOLLIES."  --niklah9 (emphasis added by another)
Well said, sir, it bears endless repitition.



Since: May 5, 2008
Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:37 pm
 

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

There are false tests all the time which is why people often seek a second opinion or a second test.  The fact that the false test in this situation was improperly administered screams for a second test.  People are using his celebrity status as proof that he did something wrong.  He is a great hitter who failed one improperly adminsitered test thus he must be a cheater.  I am sorry, but that logic does not fly.  Comparing this situation to OJ is ridiculous regardless of where you stand on the OJ verdict.  In this situation, we are concerned with whether or not the athlete put something in his body to help him become a better baseball player, in the OJ case we wondered whether or not he killed two people.  The Braun situation is easier to prove because he is subjected to tests, when administered properly, have a high degree of accuracy.  In OJ's situation, he had to be proven, beyond a reasonable doubt, to have committed an offense for which there is no real scientific test as there is in the Braun case.  Nonetheless, you are probably right when you say that this will be following him for the rest of his career and to that end I say that this is a shame on society.  The man has not be proven to be guilty of anything and yet he will be seen as such because many of you cannot accept that he is innocent.  You want Ryan Braun to be dirty because it will make his success easier for you to understand.  The man is a brilliant baseball player, get over yourself and accept that fact!!




Since: Jan 29, 2007
Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:33 pm
 

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

@yarddog59-

To answer your question, yes, I do believe he is innocent.  Now I am certain you (or at least one person) will click on my profile and see that I am a Brewers fan and quickly reply with a snappy homer remark.  I am basing my "opinion" on the historical data.  Braun has had pretty consistant numbers since his debut in '07.  It's not like the poster boy for steroids (Bonds, who I do think is guilty) jumped up 12 homeruns and 7 hat sizes in one season with SF.  There is both physical and statistical evidence against Bonds.  Braun doesn't have that going against him.  Could he have been taking them since he arrived in Milwaukee?  Sure, who knows?  Only one person knows for certain, and that is Braun.  Based on history, I believe what he has to say.

As far as trolls, you might want to look up the definition.  Stating your opinion (I think he's innocent or guilty) is one thing, saying something like I know he did it, he's guilty and a cheat, is trolling.  It's inflammatory and based completely in fiction, and all it does is prove that people are out to light a fire under others to get some jollies.
I respect your opinion, nimlah, I just don't agree with it. The only reason the ruling was overturned was the 48 hours between administering the test and submitting the specimen. It gave them reasonable doubt for tampering, a technicality. He lucked out, nothing more. Nobody is saying that he was a juice master looking to beak intake records or anything, but I'm pretty sure most agree that he's guilty. Not guilty on a technicality is different from innocent. 



Since: Mar 5, 2010
Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:30 pm
 

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

niklah. The "consistent numbers" argument has never held water. Whose to say that Braun didn't start in high school or college?



Since: Dec 1, 2009
Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:30 pm
 

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

JPyetman, fine sentiments, yours, sir. Here's right back at you: May a package arrive mistakenly at your doorstep containing illicit drugs, followed closely by the Postal Service cops and LEOs. May a dozen cops mistakenly fill your beloved son with a hundred bullets. May you be misidentified when in county lockup for a pedophile whose transfer to maximum awaits. May you never know what hit you or ever again know a moment of peace or good reputation.



Since: Apr 26, 2007
Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:21 pm
 

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

Not many troll, but a lot of people expressing their opinions.  Question for you, do you think Braun is innocent of the charge??
@yarddog59-

To answer your question, yes, I do believe he is innocent.  Now I am certain you (or at least one person) will click on my profile and see that I am a Brewers fan and quickly reply with a snappy homer remark.  I am basing my "opinion" on the historical data.  Braun has had pretty consistant numbers since his debut in '07.  It's not like the poster boy for steroids (Bonds, who I do think is guilty) jumped up 12 homeruns and 7 hat sizes in one season with SF.  There is both physical and statistical evidence against Bonds.  Braun doesn't have that going against him.  Could he have been taking them since he arrived in Milwaukee?  Sure, who knows?  Only one person knows for certain, and that is Braun.  Based on history, I believe what he has to say.

As far as trolls, you might want to look up the definition.  Stating your opinion (I think he's innocent or guilty) is one thing, saying something like I know he did it, he's guilty and a cheat, is trolling.  It's inflammatory and based completely in fiction, and all it does is prove that people are out to light a fire under others to get some jollies.



Since: Dec 1, 2009
Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:21 pm
 

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

groknoid, well explicated, sir. I would quibble, however, with your contention that " comparing this to a court of law or to a murder trial would be to elevate it to a level it doesn't deserve." Given that the full majesty of the State and the full attention of both Media and its Mob have been arrayed against the hapless accused--extending repeatedly and routinely now to requests granted for the release of evidence gathered by the State using its extraordinary powers, yet never made to stand scrutiny in open court, to private or transnational parties as if it were their purposes, and not the People's, for whom it were gathered. Justice has been dragged through the mud here, but not by either Mr. Braun or his lawyers, rather by a legion of malintent others.



Since: Mar 19, 2008
Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:17 pm
 

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

I guess a good way to find out if he was guilty or innocent is to compare his future home run totals huh?  Wink



Since: Oct 13, 2006
Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:14 pm
 

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

Braun's test came back with testosterone 5 times higher than normal. Is that a normal amount when someone fails a test? Or is it closer to 2 - 2.5 times the normal amount?  5 times the normal amount seems like it would have some really really bad physical 'tells' or consequences. But maybe that's a 'normal' amount for a juicer.



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