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: Sep 4, 2006
Posted on: February 24, 2012 5:49 am

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

You know for a fact he did it?  Just a question.  You were there when he injected himself?  You watched over the sample as it sat in the hands of a single person for 2 days?  You sold him the stuff?  

Selig doesn't own the team anymore.  Not even a little bit.  

And his numbers have been comprable his entire career.  A guy who has been in the MVP voting his entire career is suddenly gonna fall off because of one inarguably flawed test in spite of passing over 20 tests throughout his time in MLB? Its not like he came out of nowhere this year and his numbers suddenly exploded, as has been the case with most others who have had their suspensions upheld.

Good luck with all that.


Since: Jan 31, 2008
Posted on: February 24, 2012 4:20 am

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

he did it and now he is getting way with it! so he got off with loophole so did O.J.
48 hrs thing is funny! and of course the 2nd test is going to pass he knew there was possibilty of failing the 1st test. guys know how to cycle on and off it a art ! do it right you will never get caught! let see how his numbers hold up this season.. Selig cannot lose his team cash cow with Fielder gone!

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: February 24, 2012 3:29 am

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

Sorry, can't help you.

Since: Feb 8, 2009
Posted on: February 24, 2012 3:19 am

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

All of you who thought he was guilty ... can suck it!

Since: Apr 12, 2008
Posted on: February 24, 2012 2:46 am

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

The standard of proof is not the same as in a criminal matter, nor should it be.

He got away with it for now because of a technicality, and I do not trust Selig or his ties to the Brewers organization.

Bonds was blacklisted out of the game for less. 

Since: Dec 29, 2011
Posted on: February 24, 2012 2:19 am

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

America's judicial will, if the people had their way,  resemble the one that exists in China, namely, "you're guilty until proven innocent." Should America now ban the appeal system as well?

Since: Feb 29, 2008
Posted on: February 24, 2012 2:17 am

What's With the Bigotry?

There seems to be a number of inappropriate comments about Jews in this string.  I can see anti-Semitism is alive and well in America.  I see the same line of reasoning in the Lin strings, as well.  It's time to grow up, folks.  I had always contended that Braun was innocent and that you should give someone the benefit of the doubt.  I think the panel got it right and MLB is just a sore loser here.

Since: Dec 12, 2011
Posted on: February 24, 2012 2:17 am

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

LOL @ butt hurt Braun haters. You've probably been flapping your big mouths about how guilty Braun is, and how he should give up the MVP, and how sure you are that he's going to get 50 games. Keep talking like you know everything. Speculation, rumors, hearsay, whispers, second hand information, all with no names behind them except the token people "who are familiar with the case." That's all we've heard, and you all crucified the guy instead of waiting to see how this panned out. 

Yet, here we are today, and Braun has no suspension. Whoops! I guess you were wrong.

Perhaps it's time to keep your useless opinions to yourselves until we hear the ENTIRE story from actual named sources of people involved.

It is complete BS that this story was even out there for any of us to speculate on, and it has no doubt done major damage to Ryan Braun's reputation.

I hope he plays with a vengeance in 2012!  

Since: Dec 14, 2010
Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:59 am

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

What do you mean by your comment?

I am not of Jewish descent and I am completely offended by your comment. I am also not a left wing liberal that would want you brought into custody and questioned about your whereabouts when the Braun test sat in a persons home. 
Comments like yours bring out the worst in all people.

If, Braun was an African American or a Good Ole Boy from the south would this comment even apply? Grow up and try to write an intelligent comment not a short - sighted one. 

Since: Jul 11, 2010
Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:49 am

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

So if you never test positive or never recieve a suspension that's enough to keep a clean reputation huh. Then everyone who supports Braun owes Barry Bonds an apology. If you never refute the test results, but cling to the fact that the sample didn't leave in a timely manner, then 'you shouldn't be suspended by rule'. However, you should be looked at as a cheater and treated as such in all future ballotings. Is O.J. Simpson innocent because he was aquitted? I think we all agree on that one even if we smile as we answer. It catches up with you and your body eventually, ask Ken Caminiti's family.

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