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Friday, February 24, 2012

Lupica: Ryan Braun is acquitted, not exonerated over testosterone test

Is there a hole small enough for Lupica to crawl into?

In the end, it just means that Braun, MVP of the National League and darling of Brewers fans, one of the big young talents in the game, just beat the game here.

Understand something: The overturning of Braun’s 50-game suspension doesn’t mean Braun is clean, no matter what he says or how many times he says it or what he expects reasonable people to believe.

He wasn’t exonerated. He was acquitted. There’s a difference.

So Braun of the Brewers becomes the first positive test to win this kind of appeal in baseball. So he goes on with his career now, and his huge contract, no suspension, because a triple-sealed sample, one that no one ever suggested had been tampered with, didn’t make the last FedEx shipment on a weekend, didn’t go out until Monday morning.

If you want to think justice was served, have at it.

If you want to believe that Braun did nothing wrong, that he was just a victim of life’s circumstances, go right ahead. And if you are one of those who has never had a problem with ballplayers looking for some kind of edge from science, from steroids or synthetic testosterone or human growth hormone, then there are no worries, you never had a problem with Braun’s positive test in the first place.

Repoz Posted: February 24, 2012 at 06:29 AM | 192 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: brewers, steroids

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   1. SteveF Posted: February 24, 2012 at 06:41 AM (#4067718)
Get ready for a steady stream of these to infuriate Brewers fans, unionistas, and any pot-smoking hippy that once tried to get a job at IBM.
   2. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 24, 2012 at 08:30 AM (#4067728)
Of course Braun suggests that something happened to the sample while it was being improperly handled. He didn't demonstrate that occurred because that's not how this sort of hearing works. But of course he suggests it.
   3. Fridas Boss Posted: February 24, 2012 at 08:51 AM (#4067729)
Understand something: That Braun's improperly handled sample tested positive doesn't mean Braun is dirty, no matter what MLB or holier than thou writers say or how many times they say it or what they expect the people with torches and pitchforks to believe.

   4. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: February 24, 2012 at 09:38 AM (#4067735)
If you want to think justice was served, have at it.


Of course justice was served, you moron. Due process is justice. Hand-waving away chain of custody issues to make sure we catch everyone who might be cheating is not.
   5. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: February 24, 2012 at 10:03 AM (#4067745)
Old ballplayers, good.
New ballplayers, bad.
   6. Randy Jones Posted: February 24, 2012 at 10:05 AM (#4067746)
any pot-smoking hippy that once tried to get a job at IBM.


I don't know if they changed policies or what, but my friend is a pot smoker who works for IBM, he was never drug tested when he started the job. Might be different because his company was bought out by IBM.
   7. Zach Posted: February 24, 2012 at 10:32 AM (#4067754)
Hand-waving away chain of custody issues to make sure we catch everyone who might be cheating is not.

The chain of custody is not in dispute, is it? If the FedEx office had indeed been closed, as the tester assumed, the positive test would have been sufficient for conviction.

If Braun is asserting that the sample was ever out of the tester's control, tampered with in any way, or degraded due to the unanticipated delay, it did not appear in the newspaper article I read.
   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 24, 2012 at 10:48 AM (#4067764)

If Braun is asserting that the sample was ever out of the tester's control, tampered with in any way, or degraded due to the unanticipated delay, it did not appear in the newspaper article I read.


He didn't assert it because we don't know what happened to the sample.
   9. dave h Posted: February 24, 2012 at 10:54 AM (#4067766)
Of course Braun suggests that something happened to the sample while it was being improperly handled.


We're working on very incomplete information here (and we really shouldn't have any information, including the initial positive test result) but wasn't the rumor that Braun said he was taking the banned substance to combat an STD? Legally he may be able to argue both, but logically if he said he was taking it, that's what caused the positive test, not tampering. He should still win the appeal if MLB doesn't follow the established protocol for handling the sample, but that doesn't apply in the court of public opinion. Which of course should never have been convened in the first place. What a mess.
   10. Zach Posted: February 24, 2012 at 10:54 AM (#4067767)
We do know what happened to the sample, because the chain of custody is not in dispute. For any t such that t>= t_Braun and t<=t_lab, there exists f(t) such that f(t) is the person or delivery service in possession of the sample at time t.
   11. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: February 24, 2012 at 10:59 AM (#4067768)
If Braun is asserting that the sample was ever out of the tester's control, tampered with in any way, or degraded due to the unanticipated delay, it did not appear in the newspaper article I read.


Braun's appeal is in and of itself an implicit assertion that the sample was "out of the tester's control, tampered with in (some) way, or degraded due to the unanticipated delay." His defense was not "Sure, I was covering my body with testosterone patches every night, but you screwed up shipping my sample so you have to let me off." His defense was that there are rules about how samples are handled precisely because you cannot tolerate any possibility that a sample may have been compromised, and the fact that those rules were not followed raises the possibility that his sample was in fact compromised.
   12. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: February 24, 2012 at 11:02 AM (#4067769)
We do know what happened to the sample, because the chain of custody is not in dispute. For any t such that t>= t_Braun and t<=t_lab, there exists f(t) such that f(t) is the person or delivery service in possession of the sample at time t.


So you're assuming that the courier sat with the sample all weekend? Unless the agreement specifically stipulates that courier's homes are to considered secure locations for the purpose of short-term storage of test samples prior to shipment to the testing lab, then the chain of custody is very much in dispute.
   13. LionoftheSenate (Pirates v A's World Series) Posted: February 24, 2012 at 11:08 AM (#4067771)
Old ballplayers, good.
New ballplayers, bad.


This is 100% accurate. Might as well be a bumper sticker for all baseball writers over 55. Seriously, baseball history has been most unkind to any player or players that are as productive, even for a single season, as the all time greats that played in the black and white film era and all-white era with greenies.

Drop dead already.
   14. Zach Posted: February 24, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4067772)
Braun's appeal is in and of itself an implicit assertion that the sample was "out of the tester's control, tampered with in (some) way, or degraded due to the unanticipated delay."

It doesn't make that argument, because the existence of a chain of evidence is logically independent of the time at which the sample was shipped.

The chain of evidence works because it shows that at any given time, the sample is in the control of a trusted handler. From the facts on display, the chain of evidence was not compromised. In order to assert that the sample was tampered with, you must assert that the trusted handler allowed the tampering.
   15. LionoftheSenate (Pirates v A's World Series) Posted: February 24, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4067773)
If "Chain of Custody" really is broken by Saturday-Sunday delivery issues, this might be a real chink in the armor. Saturday-Sunday service is actually less common than it was 10 years ago. It is rare.

Now we find the facility is in Montreal. What does that do to delay samples? Do the Mounties get to handle the sample too?
   16. Zach Posted: February 24, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4067774)
Unless the agreement specifically stipulates that courier's homes are to considered secure locations for the purpose of short-term storage of test samples prior to shipment to the testing lab, then the chain of custody is very much in dispute.

As I read it, the procedure followed would have been satisfactory had the FedEx office indeed been closed as the tester assumed. Ergo, the storage facility was indeed considered secure.
   17. BochysFingers Posted: February 24, 2012 at 11:12 AM (#4067776)
I guess the children haven't been thought about after all.

   18. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: February 24, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4067777)
Due process is justice.


We can debate the meaning of "is" all day, but I'm pretty sure that in the people's parlance, this is not justice but rather a rich man with a sneaky and expensive lawyer winning on a technicality and that's how most people will view it. It's unfair because "due process" usually seems to mean "something only rich people can afford."
   19. JJ1986 Posted: February 24, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4067779)
We can debate the meaning of "is" all day, but I'm pretty sure that in the people's parlance, this is not justice but rather a rich man with a sneaky and expensive lawyer winning on a technicality and that's how most people will view it. It's unfair because "due process" usually seems to mean "something only rich people can afford."


But MLB is much much richer.
   20. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 24, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4067783)
Seriously, baseball history has been most unkind to any player or players that are as productive, even for a single season, as the all time greats that played in the black and white film era and all-white era with greenies.

Really? Was this at all true prior to the steroid era?

I don't recall any animosity towards great players breaking records in the '70s-'90s.

No one ####### about Nolan Ryan breaking K or no-hitter records, or Pete Rose beating Cobb, or Henderson breaking Brock's records. No one disparaged Mike Schmidt or George Breet as not being as good as Eddie Matthews or Pie Traynor.

Also, the true greats of the "greenie era" were disproportionately black (Mays, Aaron, Robinson, etc.). You've got your eras mixed up.
   21. pkb33 Posted: February 24, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4067786)
Due process certainly is important; whether or not Das' ruling is a reasonable interpretation of the agreed-upon process to count the courier's retention of the sample as a violation of the process is something we know is strongly disputed. That the decision goes to Das it itself part of 'due process' but that does not say that he is infallible.

So, the decision is most certainly not as simple as 'due process is justice'---in the eyes of MLB (and I suspect a lot of sophisticated observers) due process was satisfied even with the courier delay issue.

That said, as many have noted, without more facts it is hard to have a great deal of confidence in any conclusion here, too.
   22. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: February 24, 2012 at 11:26 AM (#4067789)
He wasn’t exonerated. He was acquitted. There’s a difference.


Setting aside the standards in a criminal case versus the standards for Brauns case ...

When you go to trial and the factfinder concludes that the evidence wasn't sufficient to convict you, that's an acquittal. And sometimes the factfinder makes that conclusion because of a problem in the chain of custody. So, while the ruling yesterday sounds like a technicality, what it really reflects is that the factfinder here found that to be a problem in the evidentiary link proving Braun's guilt, thereby creating doubt of his guilt.
   23. Ray (RDP) Posted: February 24, 2012 at 11:29 AM (#4067790)
So Braun of the Brewers becomes the first positive test to win this kind of appeal in baseball. So he goes on with his career now,


Why does Lupica write like this? Do they teach this type of phrasing in journalism classes?
   24. Ray (RDP) Posted: February 24, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4067792)
If "Chain of Custody" really is broken by Saturday-Sunday delivery issues, this might be a real chink in the armor.


Hey. You're not supposed to say that.
   25. Randy Jones Posted: February 24, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4067795)
I don't recall any animosity towards great players breaking records in the '70s-'90s.


You mean aside from Hank Aaron receiving death threats?

Go back to the 60's and Maris received a ton of negative attention in '61 also.
   26. Chicago Joe Posted: February 24, 2012 at 11:40 AM (#4067796)
As I read it, the procedure followed would have been satisfactory had the FedEx office indeed been closed as the tester assumed. Ergo, the storage facility was indeed considered secure.


As I read it, the procedure is designed the way it is because FedEx is open on Saturday.

Would you be ok with a cop holding evidence in his house because he can't get to the police station?
   27. tshipman Posted: February 24, 2012 at 11:40 AM (#4067797)
I don't understand the steroid columnists. Braun was supposed to argue the herpes medication, even though that argument wouldn't have caused the suspension to be overturned. Then, if the suspension wasn't overturned, no one would have believed him.

Why not argue what would be effective at overturning the suspension?
   28. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 24, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4067798)
The chain of evidence works because it shows that at any given time, the sample is in the control of a trusted handler.


How "trusted" should the handler be if he has admitted that he didn't follow proper procedure?
   29. JL Posted: February 24, 2012 at 11:42 AM (#4067799)
I know how Lester Munson is loved in these parts, but he was on the radio this morning and almost defended Braun in this. First, he noted that the courier keeping the sample on his desk at home for two days (as opposed to going to the Fed Ex facility) was pretty clearly a problem.

He also noted (an dI while I admit to not following this closely, had not previously heard) that Braun offered to take a DNA test to compare to his sample and MLB refused. Munson felt this influenced the arbitrator and is a great first step to demonstrating that Braun was innocent. He also added that at this point, Braun has done about all he can to clear his name.

Also, if players are going to be strictly liable for what ever goes into their body (and thus have the possibility of being suspended based on a technicality), then MLB needs to follw its rules to the letter.
   30. Best Regards, President of Comfort Posted: February 24, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4067804)
Also, if players are going to be strictly liable for what ever goes into their body (and thus have the possibility of being suspended based on a technicality), then MLB needs to follw its rules to the letter.
And if Braun really tested positive because of a herpes medication, then he would have failed on a technicality, as the purpose of the PED testing program is to get PEDs out of the game, not herpes medication. The herpes medication just technically falls under the banned substances.
   31. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 24, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4067807)
You mean aside from Hank Aaron receiving death threats?

Go back to the 60's and Maris received a ton of negative attention in '61 also.


Yes, but those are the "old ballplayers" whose records are being broken, so I assume they can't count as "new ballplayers".

Very few living writers or fans have any memory of anything before 1950. The "hallowed era" seems to be the '50's and '60's.

Yet no one complained about "new ballplayers" breaking records in the '80s, or really at any point prior to the steroid allegations.

No one was pissed in '98 either. It was only when people started thinking that McGwire and Sosa cheated that they got pissed. That might have blown over if it hadn't been for Bonds breaking more records while cheating and being a totally loathesome person, and general dick.
   32. Barnaby Jones Posted: February 24, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4067808)
The chain of evidence works because it shows that at any given time, the sample is in the control of a trusted handler. From the facts on display, the chain of evidence was not compromised. In order to assert that the sample was tampered with, you must assert that the trusted handler allowed the tampering.


COC with regards to lab analyses is not entirely analogous to COC in the justice system. There are protocols that must be followed to ensure the quality of the sample that go beyond just making sure no one had unauthorized access. All we really know at this point is that there was some protocol, presumably in place for a reason, that was not followed, and the arbitrator concluded that this throws the validity of the sample into question. Frankly, poor sample COC combined with outlandishly high results is a pretty big red flag, as these things go.
   33. Greg K Posted: February 24, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4067809)
You mean aside from Hank Aaron receiving death threats?

I was about to say, I can think of at least one.

Obviously race played a large role in that instance, but I think "baseball" has always been a bit hesitant to accept new stars. I do think the steroids thing perhaps makes it easier for people to justify that kind of attitude though, so it is more freely expressed.
   34. Randy Jones Posted: February 24, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4067813)
Yes, but those are the "old ballplayers" whose records are being broken, so I assume they can't count as "new ballplayers".


When they were breaking the records, they were the "new" ballplayers. And Maris's treatment shows it wasn't just a racial issue. So yes, this went on before the "steroid era".

EDIT: In fact, if what I have read/heard about Maris's treatment is true, and a lot of people(fans and media) gave him #### because they wanted Mantle to break the record and not him, then nothing at all has changed. If a player that the fans and media like is breaking a record(McGwire) everything is good, while if a player the media and a lot of fans don't like is breaking a record(Bonds) he is evil and the world is ending.
   35. Random Transaction Generator Posted: February 24, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4067818)
No one ####### about Nolan Ryan breaking K or no-hitter records, or Pete Rose beating Cobb, or Henderson breaking Brock's records.

I remember articles that disparaged Henderson after he broke the career stolen base record.
They were filled with phrases like "self-serving" and "arrogant" and "for the money".
   36. JL Posted: February 24, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4067821)
And if Braun really tested positive because of a herpes medication, then he would have failed on a technicality, as the purpose of the PED testing program is to get PEDs out of the game, not herpes medication. The herpes medication just technically falls under the banned substances.

Exactly. To be clearly, my understanding is that if he had submitted the proper paperwork and gotten approval, the herpes medication would have been fine. Not doing that is as much as technicality as the chain of custody issue.
   37. MSalfino Posted: February 24, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4067822)
This is 100% accurate. Might as well be a bumper sticker for all baseball writers over 55. Seriously, baseball history has been most unkind to any player or players that are as productive, even for a single season, as the all time greats that played in the black and white film era and all-white era with greenies.

Drop dead already.


This is true of us all. We compete with the living, not the dead (retired athletes may as well be). So it's all evolutionary instinct. Every great player, artist, etc. throughout history has been slammed by many/most for not measuring up to those of the past. Steroids is just a proxy for that by making us feel we're are being high-minded instead of merely jealous and petty.
   38. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: February 24, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4067823)
Ergo, the storage facility was indeed considered secure.


What storage facility? We're talking about some unspecified place in the courier's home. If the sample had been at a FedEx storage facility then Braun would have lost his appeal.

It doesn't make that argument,


Yes it does.

because the existence of a chain of evidence is logically independent of the time at which the sample was shipped.


No it isn't. Seriously, what part of this are you not getting? The existence of the chain of custody is dependent on the responsible parties following protocol. There are specific procedures that must be adhered to in order to ensure the integrity of the sample. If those procedures are not followed, then the integrity of the sample is by definition not ensured. You seem to be assuming that the courier is to be trusted, period. But the reality of the collectively bargained testing program is that the courier is only to be trusted if he follows the procedures precisely. There are excellent reasons why this is so.
   39. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: February 24, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4067827)
And if Braun really tested positive because of a herpes medication, then he would have failed on a technicality, as the purpose of the PED testing program is to get PEDs out of the game, not herpes medication. The herpes medication just technically falls under the banned substances.

This.

----------------------------

I think "baseball" has always been a bit hesitant to accept new stars. I do think the steroids thing perhaps makes it easier for people to justify that kind of attitude though, so it is more freely expressed.

Do you really need to be provided with about 100 counter-examples in order for you to realize you're making a gross overgeneralization? In fact it's far harder to think of stars who established themselves at a young age not being quickly accepted, unless (Big Unless) they had issues of personal baggage (drugs, perceived surliness) that got in the way of appreciating their baseball talent. For every Barry Bonds, there's a Ken Griffey, Jr., and for every Mark McGwire there's an Albert Pujols. And as snapper points out, it wasn't until his juicing became known that McGwire and Sosa were seen as anything less than co-saviors of baseball.

And while yes, Aaron got death threats, he was enormously popular with fans at large. His racist detractors were a part of the story, but in the bigger picture they're little more than a few skunks at a garden party.
   40. Spahn Insane Posted: February 24, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4067831)
Yes, but those are the "old ballplayers" whose records are being broken, so I assume they can't count as "new ballplayers".

Wut? You were talking about "great players breaking records in the '70s-'90s." If you weren't talking about Aaron and his contemporaries, who were you talking about?
   41. Spahn Insane Posted: February 24, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4067832)
And if Braun really tested positive because of a herpes medication, then he would have failed on a technicality, as the purpose of the PED testing program is to get PEDs out of the game, not herpes medication. The herpes medication just technically falls under the banned substances.

This.


No way, man. Braun would've totally had average power numbers if he didn't get herpes.
   42. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: February 24, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4067833)
I remember articles that disparaged Henderson after he broke the career stolen base record.
They were filled with phrases like "self-serving" and "arrogant" and "for the money".


There were, but if you look back at how Henderson celebrated his record, you might figure out the reason for much of the reaction. I love The Rickey taken as a whole, but not everyone is obliged to sign on to self-referentialism as the highest form of celebration.
   43. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: February 24, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4067835)
No way, man. Braun would've totally had average power numbers if he didn't get herpes.

I would've loved it if he'd just said he got all that extra power from eating pussy.
   44. dejarouehg Posted: February 24, 2012 at 12:23 PM (#4067836)
You mean aside from Hank Aaron receiving death threats?
Obviously, much of this was race-generated but I always felt that if Mays had been chasing the record, the hostility wouldn't have been nearly as great.

As for the greenies era, clearly those guys get a pass. Mays has admitted that there was virtually nothing he wouldn't have taken to get an edge and no one is more pious about this then the current HoF'ers. (Unlike many on this board, I am one of those who completely accepts that steroids have a huge impact on improving players performance, as I have been told by players who I've known.)

As a big Ryan Braun fan, I was really hoping he'd make (or will still try to make) a public statement that his usage was simply a medical issue. At this point, giving him credit for being clean is like saying OJ was innocent.
   45. Eugene Freedman Posted: February 24, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4067837)
Here's the thing. Braun didn't have to prove anything. In a disciplinary case the Employer has the burden of proof. In this case MLB couldn't prove the integrity of the process by which it was disciplining a player. Braun didn't have to mount a defense or make an affirmative defense (like the one bandied about that he was taking anti-herpes medications). It's likely that his defense team argued in the alternative, that if the Arbitrator found MLB to have proven its case that there are these other defenses/mitigation, etc., But, this was not a situation where Braun won as much as MLB failed to prove its case and lost.
   46. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 24, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4067839)
What has been proven yet again is that Lupica is a whiny little d-bag.
   47. Greg K Posted: February 24, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4067840)
It was a fairly broad generalization, as you're right to point out.

But I think it also depends on who's the one accepting or not accepting the players (this is why I put "baseball" in quotation marks as its a pretty imprecise description. Who exactly are we talking about? Fans? Journalists? Management?)

I think among former players, and many sports-writers, there's long been a tendency to belittle the current crop of stars and say back in the day we had more love for the game/determination/heart what have you. Fans seem to like whoever wins their team some games.

I'd say the tendency to glorify past players over current ones is one that's always been inherent in baseball (and as 37 points out, life in general) though it's one that has waxed and waned depending on context (integration obviously was a big one...so too are steroids). I was perhaps glib (and a little unclear) with how I think steroids play into it. It's not so much that they are merely an excuse to express already existing attitudes. More that they create a context where those attitudes are more reasonable, acceptable, and legitimate. In other words, I think what we're seeing are attitudes that have always been present in baseball being magnified by the very real existence of steroids.
   48. dejarouehg Posted: February 24, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4067841)
And while yes, Aaron got death threats, he was enormously popular with fans at large. His racist detractors were a part of the story, but in the bigger picture they're little more than a few skunks at a garden party.


My recollection is that Aaron was not very popular throughout the country and his popularity really didn't begin to match his accomplishments until the mid-80's and then again after DiMaggio died. Between DiMaggio and Mays, he never got his due.

I would say hostile letters from thousands (not hundreds) of lunatics is not a few skunks.
   49. MSalfino Posted: February 24, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4067842)
Didn't Griffey used to get ripped for wearing his cap backwards?
   50. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: February 24, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4067844)
The argument, I'd guess, is that "some dude's apartment" is not a "secure location," as mandated by the agreement.
   51. dejarouehg Posted: February 24, 2012 at 12:36 PM (#4067845)
Here's the thing. Braun didn't have to prove anything.


You're right, unless of course he wants to convince people that he is innocent.

This isn't a court of law; innocent until proven guilty is a great concept, but it applies to criminal trials.
   52. Zach Posted: February 24, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4067849)
Seriously, what part of this are you not getting? The existence of the chain of custody is dependent on the responsible parties following protocol.

Oh, so now it's a chain of protocol? Pretty soon it will be a chain of fairness, and not long after that the tester will be obligated to fill the jar himself is Ryan is feeling a little dry.

Look, I don't see what's so hard about this. MLB and the players' union wrote a sloppy agreement. According to the arbitrator, that agreement was sloppy enough that a player can escape suspension despite a positive test and an unbroken chain of evidence linking the sample from Braun to the lab. I'm not saying the agreement wasn't written that way, I'm pointing out that the chain of evidence exists.
   53. Spahn Insane Posted: February 24, 2012 at 12:41 PM (#4067851)
I would've loved it if he'd just said he got all that extra power from eating #####.

If that happened, last year's fan sign featuring the woman's phone number would be just the beginning.
   54. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 24, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4067853)
Wut? You were talking about "great players breaking records in the '70s-'90s." If you weren't talking about Aaron and his contemporaries, who were you talking about?

I view Aaron as part of the '50s-'60s generation, even though he broke his record in the '70s. To the old writers today he is an "old ballplayer". There's no one left today who remembers Ruth.
   55. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 24, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4067854)
Are we seriously lumping racists and people who don't like steroid users into the same category? That's the way part of this discussion feels.
   56. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 24, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4067859)
I remember articles that disparaged Henderson after he broke the career stolen base record.
They were filled with phrases like "self-serving" and "arrogant" and "for the money".


In the case of Rickey those sorts of things weren't just said about him at the time of the stolen base record.
   57. Zach Posted: February 24, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4067860)
This isn't a court of law; innocent until proven guilty is a great concept, but it applies to criminal trials.

That's the reason I've been harping on this minor point so much. You *could* convict Braun in a court of law with this procedure. The tester maintained continuous possession of the sample; if need be he could go to court and testify that he had not interfered with the sample. Braun got off because he and MLB had a side agreement (according to the arbitrator) that a positive test could be thrown out under certain circumstances, which arguably applied to this case.
   58. JPWF1313 Posted: February 24, 2012 at 12:50 PM (#4067865)
Exactly. To be clearly, my understanding is that if he had submitted the proper paperwork and gotten approval, the herpes medication would have been fine. Not doing that is as much as technicality as the chain of custody issue.


No, the herpes paperwork thing would have been MORE of a technicality.

The chain of custody thing is n0t so much as a technicality as a means of ensuring reliability.
Second, it was not in the "courier's" home over the weekend, it was in the "collector's" home.
That is not insignificant difference- had int been in a fed ex--courier's home and arrived at the lab "late
but with the collector's seal still attached and untampered with you would still have had an unbroken chain of custody. However, the collector is the man who "conducts" the test, he's also the man who dates and seals the sample- in front of witnesses- and the arranges to ship it. The collector is also one of the few links/people who could tamper with a sample if they wanted to for any reason. The collector holding onto a sample for 3 days is not good.
   59. JPWF1313 Posted: February 24, 2012 at 12:57 PM (#4067869)
You *could* convict Braun in a court of law with this procedure.


Sure he could also get off like OJ did- in cat he has a far better case that the test was "wrong" than OJ ever did. Also, in a criminal court Braun would have mens rea defenses that he doesn't have here, in a criminal case Braun could also successfully argue, this test was wrong, it showed me as having a higher level of testosterone than any one living ever. Another test taken _____weeks later showed normal levels, I have an expert who says that the first test CAN'T be right for that reason alone.
   60. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 24, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4067871)
Due process is justice.


See, now this is the kind of stuff that gives lawyers a bad name - and I say that as someone who is going into the profession. Due process is NOT justice per se. It's something we've decided on as the procedures that we believe get us closest to just outcomes, in the aggregate. Due process is what lawyers do. Justice is a fair and right outcome, punishing the guilty, letting the innocent go, etc. etc. The conflation of process and justice is an unfortunate consequence of our adversarial system (in many areas, including the law and labor relations) as well as the self-interested myopia of many of the parties involved.
   61. Barnaby Jones Posted: February 24, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4067873)
That's the reason I've been harping on this minor point so much. You *could* convict Braun in a court of law with this procedure. The tester maintained continuous possession of the sample; if need be he could go to court and testify that he had not interfered with the sample. Braun got off because he and MLB had a side agreement (according to the arbitrator) that a positive test could be thrown out under certain circumstances, which arguably applied to this case.


Again, lab COC is not the same as courtroom COC (or, I guess it would be more accurate to say regular physical evidence COC). There is more to it that just knowing the sample's whereabouts.
   62. JPWF1313 Posted: February 24, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4067875)
See, now this is the kind of stuff that gives lawyers a bad name - a

naaah only a certain kind of lawyer.
   63. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: February 24, 2012 at 01:11 PM (#4067882)
And while yes, Aaron got death threats, he was enormously popular with fans at large. His racist detractors were a part of the story, but in the bigger picture they're little more than a few skunks at a garden party.

My recollection is that Aaron was not very popular throughout the country and his popularity really didn't begin to match his accomplishments until the mid-80's and then again after DiMaggio died. Between DiMaggio and Mays, he never got his due.


I guess it depends on what you mean by "got his due". Aaron didn't have the aura of Dimaggio, the raw power of Mantle, the pizazz and explosiveness of Mays, or the dominance of Koufax, but he was recognized almost from the very beginning as one of baseball's premier players. When he was still only 23, this 1957 article in Sports Illustrated referred to him as "the [NL's] best righthanded hitter since Rogers Hornsby"---Is that enough "due" for you?

MURDER WITH A BLUNT INSTRUMENT - Sports Illustrated, August 12, 1957

I would say hostile letters from thousands (not hundreds) of lunatics is not a few skunks.

In percentage terms, they're not even a blip on the radar compared to all the positive reaction he got once he neared 714.
   64. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: February 24, 2012 at 01:13 PM (#4067884)
Old ballplayers were ones that were playing when you were a kid (or had already retired by then), back when baseball was a game, a fresh breeze blowing across our land. Good.

New ballplayers are the ungrateful whelps that are "playing" now, all doped up, and making more money in a year than you'll see in a lifetime. Bad.
   65. Greg K Posted: February 24, 2012 at 01:13 PM (#4067885)
Are we seriously lumping racists and people who don't like steroid users into the same category? That's the way part of this discussion feels.

I'm sure not intending to do that. My point was that there's any number of reasons Hank Aaron met with resistance when he broke Ruth's record. Racism was pretty high up there, but I'm betting there was also an element of "players these days" as well.
The resistance to someone like Bonds or McGwire also comes from several different places I would imagine. In Bonds' case him being a jerk probably helps. Other factors could include concerns about steroids, concerns about the rising offensive climate (tied to steroids or no), and the old "players these days" routine.

I certainly don't see any equivalence at all between anti-steroid attitudes and racism. I'm just saying resistance to successful players isn't something new to baseball. It's happened for many different reasons throughout history. Just because perfectly reasonable concerns about steroids are a dominant influence now doesn't mean the old generational divide doesn't still exist too.
   66. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: February 24, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4067895)
I'm sure not intending to do that.


And I don't think anyone intentionally is. I'm just saying that this discussion has seemed to lumped them together, which is ridiculous.
   67. Bob Tufts Posted: February 24, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4067898)
No way, man. Braun would've totally had average power numbers if he didn't get herpes.


STD's are the new market inefficiency.
   68. KT's Pot Arb Posted: February 24, 2012 at 01:27 PM (#4067900)
Braun got off because he and MLB had a side agreement (according to the arbitrator) that a positive test could be thrown out under certain circumstances, which arguably applied to this case.


No, he won on burden of proof. His sample produced a wildly high result. He's never failed a test. He immediately asked for a retest, which he passed.

Those facts alone cast doubt on the veracity of his original test. It's already amazing if Braun was using the highest known levels of synthetic steroids ever seen, repeatedly beating drug tests, then when he fails one only days later can get his levels low enough to pass another. So from the beginning it looked like Braun was the most skilled drug cheat of all time, or the test was compromised.

Then we find out the test was in someone's fridge all weekend. We don't know if that someone had visitors, parties, Cubs Fans in their house that weekend: We don't know whether they held it in the house because they needed extra time to tamper with it in the most indetectable manner.

What we do know is the test result was off the charts anamolous, among the highest ever seen. And that the MLB refused to even allow genetic verification that it was Braun's sample.
   69. JPWF1313 Posted: February 24, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4067901)
I'm sure not intending to do that. My point was that there's any number of reasons Hank Aaron met with resistance when he broke Ruth's record. Racism was pretty high up there, but I'm betting there was also an element of "players these days" as well.


I think that you can compare the level of resistance that Maris met to Aaron, the difference is likely attributable to racism.
   70. JPWF1313 Posted: February 24, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4067903)
Those facts alone cast doubt on the veracity of his original test


Actually we don't know that nay of these "facts" are "facts,"

other facts about this case we don't actually know:
Braun has hepres
Braun was on herpes medication
Bud Selig is a true life Bram Stokerian blood sucking vampire




   71. Spahn Insane Posted: February 24, 2012 at 01:32 PM (#4067904)
No way, man. Braun would've totally had average power numbers if he didn't get herpes.

STD's are the new market inefficiency.


And the best part for Braun is, he got the one that never goes away. (Decline phase, be gone!
   72. vortex of dissipation Posted: February 24, 2012 at 01:37 PM (#4067910)
I view Aaron as part of the '50s-'60s generation, even though he broke his record in the '70s. To the old writers today he is an "old ballplayer". There's no one left today who remembers Ruth.


One of the great things about the recent interview with Robert Creamer was reading his recollections of seeing Babe Ruth hitting home runs:

Seeing Babe Ruth hit home runs; I saw Babe play at least one game in 1932, 1933 and 1934, his last three seasons with the Yankees, and each time I saw him he hit a home run (a couple of times it was a doubleheader and he hit a homer in one of the games, but he hit one.) In short I have the thrill of remembering what a Ruthian homer looked like up close – simply gorgeous. That beautiful swing and Ruth’s big face looking up watching it go as he starts to run. And the ball, already enormously high in the air as it floated past the infield. I mean, I saw Babe Ruth hit home runs.


Robert Creamer interview thread
   73. Srul Itza Posted: February 24, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4067922)
No one ####### about Nolan Ryan breaking K or no-hitter records, or Pete Rose beating Cobb, or Henderson breaking Brock's records.

I remember articles that disparaged Henderson after he broke the career stolen base record. They were filled with phrases like "self-serving" and "arrogant" and "for the money".


Nolan Ryan = good ol' boy from Texas
Pete Rose = scrappy Charlie Hustle
Ricky = Uppity Negro
   74. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 24, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4067924)
No one ####### about Nolan Ryan breaking K or no-hitter records, or Pete Rose beating Cobb, or Henderson breaking Brock's records.

I remember articles that disparaged Henderson after he broke the career stolen base record.
They were filled with phrases like "self-serving" and "arrogant" and "for the money".


Nolan Ryan = good ol' boy from Texas
Pete Rose = scrappy Charlie Hustle
Ricky = Uppity Negro


I like Ricky a lot, but "self-serving" and "arrogant" describe him to a T.
   75. toratoratora Posted: February 24, 2012 at 02:04 PM (#4067925)
Really? Was this at all true prior to the steroid era?

I don't recall any animosity towards great players breaking records in the '70s-'90s.

No one ####### about Nolan Ryan breaking K or no-hitter records, or Pete Rose beating Cobb, or Henderson breaking Brock's records. No one disparaged Mike Schmidt or George Brett as not being as good as Eddie Matthews or Pie Traynor.


Oh, I sure remember animosity pretty much any time a major record was broken.
Rose was disparaged for playing toO long, dragging his career out and folks were nailing him for not being close to the hitter that Cobb was.
As noted, !Rickey! was perceived as a loudmouth jerk by many casual fans while he played with his, "I am the greatest of all time," schtick. He's one player whose image has improved in retirement,because I knew lots and lots of folks who couldn't stand him when he played who appreciate his accomplishments and greatness now.
As for Brett and Schmidt,of course nobody compared them to Traynor and Mat
   76. toratoratora Posted: February 24, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4067926)
Really? Was this at all true prior to the steroid era?

I don't recall any animosity towards great players breaking records in the '70s-'90s.

No one ####### about Nolan Ryan breaking K or no-hitter records, or Pete Rose beating Cobb, or Henderson breaking Brock's records. No one disparaged Mike Schmidt or George Brett as not being as good as Eddie Matthews or Pie Traynor.


Oh, I sure remember animosity pretty much any time a major record was broken.
Rose was disparaged for playing toO long, dragging his career out and folks were nailing him for not being close to the hitter that Cobb was.
As noted, !Rickey! was perceived as a loudmouth jerk by many casual fans while he played with his, "I am the greatest of all time," schtick. He's one player whose image has improved in retirement,because I knew lots and lots of folks who couldn't stand him when he played who appreciate his accomplishments and greatness now.
As for Brett and Schmidt,of course nobody compared them to Traynor and Matthews...because they were better (Though Matthews might be damn close but then, as now, he was criminally under-rated)
And no one, and I mean no one, would have suggested that Ryan was anything less than the greatest strikeout pitcher of all time. Lots of folks would have, and did, argue about his overall merit as a pitcher, but nobody second-guessed that arm.

   77. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 24, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4067929)
Oh, I sure remember animosity pretty much any time a major record was broken.

Minor stuff yes, but nothing like the steroid reaction.
   78. Srul Itza Posted: February 24, 2012 at 02:09 PM (#4067931)
I like Ricky a lot, but "self-serving" and "arrogant" describe him to a T.


And they don't also describe Rose? Especially when as manager he was penciling himself into the line-up so he could break the record? In what world does that hold?
   79. Srul Itza Posted: February 24, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4067932)
Rose was disparaged for playing toO long, dragging his career out and folks were nailing him for not being close to the hitter that Cobb was.


What part of that is in any way inaccurate?
   80. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 24, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4067936)
And they don't also describe Rose? Especially when as manager he was penciling himself into the line-up so he could break the record? In what world does that hold?

Sure, but Rickey made it blatantly obvious.

I mean, referring to yourself in the third person, being unaware of the names of you teammates, declaring "Today, I am the greatest"...

Rickey was the least subtle arrogant guy in history.
   81. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: February 24, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4067942)
And they don't also describe Rose? Especially when as manager he was penciling himself into the line-up so he could break the record? In what world does that hold?


That was in his job description. The Reds hired him specifically so that he could break the record. The Reds didn't pay him and his .319 slugging $1,000,000 to sit on the bench.
   82. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 24, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4067959)
Lupica's rarely right, but he is here.

Complete technicality. Braun can afford lawyers and got lucky that the numbskull handler was lazy and it was the weekend. Beginning and end.

There's no evidence of tampering, no evidence of the seals being broken, no evidence of the chain of custody being broken. No evidence of actually mishandling, as opposed to merely "not handling in accordance with the agreed-to policy." The "same day to FedEx" provision isn't there for chain of custody purposes, it's there primarily because the sample loses the player's name at that point.
   83. toratoratora Posted: February 24, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4067960)
Gack-sorry for the 2X post...and the edit function doesn't seem
to like me right now.Stupid computers.

Minor stuff yes, but nothing like the steroid reaction.


Aaron could argue otherwise...and I suspect Maris might too.

But the main difference is that in the instances I pointed out, people tended to be disparaged for hanging on to long/reaching the accomplishment out of greed or ego.
Steroids though, for some folks they create a moral argument, which is what gets folks fired up.
Now personally I agree with the anonymous player who told Gammons, "Be real, everyone does them. The ones that don't are scared or stupid." and think the vast majority of players during the recent era used.
I also think that very very few of the games historic figures would not have done them if given a chance, especially at careers end when they are trying to hang on to that slender reed that is greatness.

   84. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 24, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4067964)
Steroids though, for some folks they create a moral argument, which is what gets folks fired up.
Now personally I agree with the anonymous player who told Gammons, "Be real, everyone does them. The ones that don't are scared or stupid." and think the vast majority of players during the recent era used.
I also think that very very few of the games historic figures would not have done them if given a chance, especially at careers end when they are trying to hang on to that slender reed that is greatness.


I don't disagree with any of that, but, even if the older players would have used steroids, they didn't have them available. So, when evaluating relative performance, I still ding the "roid users".

I'm not claiming Babe Ruth was a better person than Barry Bonds, I'm saying he was a better ballplayer. And whether Bonds used performance enhancing drugs matters to that argument.

Aaron could argue otherwise...and I suspect Maris might too.

In those cases, the reactions were driven by racism, and a preference for Mantle. neither had anything to do with preference for "old ballplayers" over "new ballplayers".

If it had been Mantle breaking both those records, I think most of the negativity would have disappeared.

   85. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: February 24, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4067967)
Complete technicality. Braun can afford lawyers and got lucky that the numbskull handler was lazy and it was the weekend. Beginning and end.

Which is totally fine with me.
It's like the difference between "exonerated" and "not guilty." You wanna be OJ, and "clear your name," good for you. You're off the hook, go in peace.
I hope Braun was not cheating, and if he was cheating, now he won't anymore. Same for everybody else in MLB - maybe this will scare some people away from the juice.
   86. JPWF1313 Posted: February 24, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4067975)
Oh, I sure remember animosity pretty much any time a major record was broken.
Rose was disparaged for playing toO long, dragging his career out and folks were nailing him for not being close to the hitter that Cobb was.


Rose didn't get nearly as much abuse as he deserved on all of those points.

In those cases, the reactions were driven by racism, and a preference for Mantle. neither had anything to do with preference for "old ballplayers" over "new ballplayers".

If it had been Mantle breaking both those records, I think most of the negativity would have disappeared.


Oh there was a generational divide between older Yankee fans on Mantle too, the older guys saw Mantle as a lazy strikeout prone SOB who couldn't hold DiMaggio's jockstrap. Mantle by virtue of being around for 10 years had by 1961 managed to develop his own fanbase, younger Yankee fans worshipped him, Maris simply had no one in his corner- the guys who hated Mantle hated him too, the guys who loved Mantle hated him too.

   87. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: February 24, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4067976)
I mean, referring to yourself in the third person, being unaware of the names of you teammates, declaring "Today, I am the greatest"...

There's a little backstory to it. It was an homage to Ali, and Rickey asked Brock's permission to say it.
   88. Zach Posted: February 24, 2012 at 03:10 PM (#4067981)
However, the collector is the man who "conducts" the test, he's also the man who dates and seals the sample- in front of witnesses- and the arranges to ship it. The collector is also one of the few links/people who could tamper with a sample if they wanted to for any reason. The collector holding onto a sample for 3 days is not good.

That's a fair point, but keeping the sample for a longer period of time doesn't really change the collector's ability to tamper, does it? Once the collector gets into his car and drives away, he has physical control and private access to the sample.

Also, does the collector really have complete freedom to tamper with the seal? If I were setting up the procedure, I'd have the collector and player sign the seal at the time it went onto the sample, so that the sample couldn't be tampered with without the collusion of both parties.
   89. toratoratora Posted: February 24, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4067985)
If it had been Mantle breaking both those records, I think most of the negativity would have disappeared.


Absolutely agree. Maris' problem wasn't racism. It was that the wrong man broke the record.
*carbonated beverage of his choice to JP*

And you can put me in the corner of people who think steroids do help hitting...and pitching,that they do enhance performance.
Not as much as the news media might have us believe-I tend to think things like smaller ballparks, expansion and the effect it had on pitching, Coors field,a smaller strike zone and potentially juiced balls had an equally or, in the latter two instances,greater effect than steroids.
How to put this nicely-I do find it very convenient that the one thing that the news media has hopped on is the one factor that paints the players in the worst possible light...and has led to the first cracks in the players union in almost 40 years.

That said, I tend to measure greatness by comparing players to their peers-that is folks that played in the same time period...and even in an era of extreme offense, Bonds dominated, and I mean smashed to the point of ridiculousness, the competition. His 2004 season with 232 freaking walks, 120 of which were intentional is simply absurd and shows the respect he generated.
Jim Rice has no idea what teh fear is. Bonds does.
I wouldn't go so far as to say that Bonds was better than Ruth (Because no one was...they can't pitch),but I could make a pretty good argument that he was the equal of Willie Mays, and that's not a shabby guy to be compared too.
My POV is that if you excelled in the steroid era, against other players who most likely were on steroids to, then you should get the credit that is due.
A real problem with steroids, and this is the one thing that gets folks like Costas and Boswell foaming at the mouth IMO, is that it becomes very difficult to make historical comparisons, that long term career milestones have been moved (500 HR club)and that it becomes very difficult to compare a guy like, oh, say Bagwell, to a player like Foxx.
Now we all know that no two eras are like, that baseball goes through fluctuations where sometimes offense is more prevalent and other times the pitchers have the upper hand, and that there are no flat historical comparisons (And that's before taking league and park factors into play)but the unwashed masses don't like to see things that way and steroids remove the ability to make broad generalized comparisons.
   90. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 24, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4067986)
There's a little backstory to it. It was an homage to Ali, and Rickey asked Brock's permission to say it.

Paying homage to Ali doesn't really refute accusations of arrogance and being self-serving.

Ali is perhaps the only modern athlete more arrogant than Rickey. And he completely lacked Rickey's good nature.

I like Rickey, arrogance and all, can't stand Ali. Joe Frazier beating him was one of the greatest moments in sports history, especially after the vile Ali spewed at him, and the help Frazier gave Ali. It would have been poetic justice if Frazier could have ended Ali's career that night.
   91. Brian C Posted: February 24, 2012 at 03:19 PM (#4067988)
Also, does the collector really have complete freedom to tamper with the seal? If I were setting up the procedure, I'd have the collector and player sign the seal at the time it went onto the sample, so that the sample couldn't be tampered with without the collusion of both parties.

That's a good point - why would the collector ever have solitary possession of the sample if he was the only person who had the means to tamper with it? Either that's a very poorly designed testing program (possible) or someone here entered their own speculation into the conversation as fact (perhaps considerably more possible).
   92. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: February 24, 2012 at 03:21 PM (#4067992)
Complete technicality.


Perhaps so, but as someone else pointed out, that cuts both ways. Suppose the positive was caused by his medication? Would you be claiming guilty on a technicality? Because as far as I know, baseball is not trying to rid the game of herpes medication. It's only a technicality that that medication could cause a positive test. It's like an airline pilot testing positive for opiates because they ate a poppy seed muffin.
   93. KT's Pot Arb Posted: February 24, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4067995)
That's a fair point, but keeping the sample for a longer period of time doesn't really change the collector's ability to tamper, does it? Once the collector gets into his car and drives away, he has physical control and private access to the sample.


Are you kidding? It gives him far more avenues to tamper with the sample. He could have had it under a heat lamp at home until he was able to peal the seal off, tamper with the contents, and then carefully reapply the seal. He could have used a super thin syringe to inject something into the vial, then carefully resealed the tiny hole to make it undetectable.

If you were a collector, and always wanted to tamper with a sample (perhaps you wanted to give your team an edge in it's playoff series by implicating the other teams best player), the first thing you would do would be to exploit a weakness in the custody system to give yourself an extra two days to work on it undetected. You wouldn't try this stuff in your car on the way to the Fed Ex drop off.

There's no evidence of tampering, no evidence of the seals being broken, no evidence of the chain of custody being broken. No evidence of actually mishandling, as opposed to merely "not handling in accordance with the agreed-to policy."


There is no evidence that Obama isn't a space alien either, so I guess you believe that as well.

The only reason there is no evidence of tampering is that the MLB wouldn't allow anyone to investigate whether the sample was tampered with. What we do know is they allowed the sample to wander off into an area where no one can know whether they were tampered with, and that the MLB hysterically opposed even DNA matching the sample to Braun to establish that it was the correct sample.

And the sample came back with a ludicrous test result that is pretty much a smoking gun that it's been tampered with or degraded in some manner.

So yes, Sugar Bear, you take another collar, strikeouts all.
   94. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: February 24, 2012 at 03:24 PM (#4067996)
And BTW, Lupica's a turd (as if we didn't already know that). The poll on the linked article:

Do you think Ryan Braun took performance-enhancing drugs?

Yes, he just got lucky with his appeal

No, I believe his defense was credible

I don't care what these players take


Hey Mike, when did you stop beating your wife?

   95. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 24, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4067997)
Suppose the positive was caused by his medication? Would you be claiming guilty on a technicality?

Since that wouldn't be a technicality, of course not.

At his press conference, Braun vehemently denied the STD story, said he's never had one. On the current state of the record, it wasn't part of his appeal.
   96. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 24, 2012 at 03:26 PM (#4067998)
Are you kidding? It gives him far more avenues to tamper with the sample. He could have had it under a heat lamp at home until he was able to peal the seal off, tamper with the contents, and then carefully reapply the seal. He could have used a super thin syringe to inject something into the vial, then carefully resealed the tiny hole to make it undetectable.

What is he, James Bond?

They have sealable envelopes and such that are tamper proof. If they don't have the player and the collector signing the seal, the process is BS.
   97. Random Transaction Generator Posted: February 24, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4068000)
being unaware of the names of you teammates

I thought that this was proven to be more urban legend than truth.
   98. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 24, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4068001)
So yes, Sugar Bear, you take another collar, strikeouts all.

Not everybody is fortunate enough to have been born with your off-the-charts brainpower, so try to have some sympathy.
   99. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: February 24, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4068002)
Since that wouldn't be a technicality, of course not.


Of course it's a technicality. Baseball wants to ban PED's, not herpes medication.

At his press conference, Braun vehemently denied the STD story, said he's never had one. On the current state of the record, it wasn't part of his appeal.


Of course he's denying it now. He doesn't need that cover, as the case was thrown out. Why would he admit to something embarrassing if he no longer needs to?
   100. KT's Pot Arb Posted: February 24, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4068003)
What is he, James Bond?

They have sealable envelopes and such that are tamper proof. If they don't have the player and the collector signing the seal, the process is BS.


I sure hope tampering is extremely difficult, but I doubt they are tamper "proof", and I'm positive that for any manner in which the sample can be tampered with, having more time at a remote location is extremely beneficial.

But of course there is no evidence the sample wasn't tampered with in a very obvious manner. The MLB has shown it clearly doesn't care about false positives, DNA matching samples, or chains of custody, so we can't have much confidence they care whether the lab technicians are sloppy.
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