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 5, 2010
Posted on: February 24, 2012 10:26 am

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

Chain of custody as a defense? Ok, that is legally correct, but doesn't declare innocence. There is a huge difference between being "not guilty" and being "innocent" or wrongdoing.

Since: Nov 2, 2006
Posted on: February 24, 2012 10:24 am

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

He Still tested Positive. If you don't thing MLB had all the facts before they announced his suspension you are not looking at this the way YOU should.

Since: Aug 22, 2007
Posted on: February 24, 2012 10:20 am

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

Is he "golden in your eyes" because he got off because the guy didn't know when the FedEx place closes on a Saturday night? I don't get your logic.  Are Casey Anthony and O.J. Simpson "golden" too???  According to your logic then yes.

Since: Dec 2, 2007
Posted on: February 24, 2012 10:01 am

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

I'm curious, Are not the samples sealed and signed by the one tested?  It sounds to me like he got off on a technicallity.  I truly hope he is innocent but I find it hard to believe that someone would intentionally add the ingredients necessary to cause him to fail this test.  Not convinced.

Since: May 16, 2011
Posted on: February 24, 2012 10:00 am

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

I think some people are missing the point here. There is no grey area in the justice system. You are either guilty and pay for your crime or innocent and free to go on your way. The whole reason this was supposed to remain confidential is to protect against situations like this, and that was violated by MLB and the press. If Braun is guilty, everyone says I told you so. If he his innocent, people say the system is rigged and he is guilty anyway. It is basically a no-win situation for Braun. The point is that he was found innocent by the panel. You can think whatever you want and go on thinking he is a cheater and hate him, but the is Braun has now been proven innocent of the charges and shouldn't face the stimatism that will probably accompany him now.

Since: Mar 30, 2011
Posted on: February 24, 2012 9:55 am

Technicality?Not Quite

 According to espn there was more to the defense then chain of custody. They also allegedly argued that the sample was corrupted by storage method,that the sample numbers were way off normal.Now since the actual defense hasn't been made public yet why is everyone slamming this article? I'm no fan of Braun or the Brewers but obviously some evidence came to light to sway the 3rd party arbitrator.Relax people

Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: February 24, 2012 9:51 am

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

Knobler, does this mean O.J. didn't kill Nicole, and that Casey Anthony didn't kill her daughter?  After all, per the process, they were acquitted and proclaimed innocent, right?

The system failing to convict someone is not conclusive evidence that wrongdoing never occurred.  Braun made his arguments, based on a technicality that assumes someone manufactured materials to frame him.  Since I assume there now will be little motivation to see where the chain-of-custody was compromised, the problem will remain, and every Manny Ramirez and Roger Clemens caught red-handed will attempt to exploit this potential avenue of doubt.

Since: Aug 22, 2007
Posted on: February 24, 2012 9:46 am

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

Knobler is 100% missing the point.  Ryan Braun is not innocent.  His $1500 an hour lawyer didn't even argue the test results.  He cheated and he got caught.  The only thing that changed is he got off on a technicality.  A guy didn't know when Kinkos closed on a Saturday night.  The test sample was untampered with and the tester did everything he was supposed to do with the sample.  So, no.  I do not believe Ryan Braun.  His test proves he cheated.  The 2nd test is a joke.  Every doctor that's been on the radio since has stated PED's can be flushed from your system with 48 hours so of course that 2nd test will be clean!  Why treat someone who cheated and got off on a technicality "with sympathy"???  Did we treat OJ Simpson "with sympathy" after he was found not guilty?  No of course not because everyone knows he did it and got off on a technicality!

Since: Nov 25, 2006
Posted on: February 24, 2012 9:44 am

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

Knobler, you talk as if it is obvious that he didn't take anything. It is not obvious one way or the other. From what it sounds like, the case was won on a technicality, not necessarily a clean test. It wasn't obvious to the arbitrators because the ruling was not unanimous. It is extremely arrogant and irresponsible to report that it is obvious that Braun did nothing wrong. We shouldn't expect it anymore because journalistic integrity has been long gone.

Since: Jun 8, 2009
Posted on: February 24, 2012 9:44 am

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

Braun will over come this...he will put up the same numbers...We can all speculate after the season is over.  If he wins MVP again,  then we will know he's for real.  If he sucks,  then we all know the truth.

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