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Sunday, January 01, 2012

Report: Braun’s suspension likely to be upheld

Future Saint Tainters, get in line!

Ryan Braun may be itching to tell his side of the story, but having his appeal upheld is very unlikely, according to a report from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. The details:

  An MLB official told me there are only two ways for Braun to win his appeal: Prove there was a lab error with the testing or say the Brewers signed off on the treatment.

  I was told to forget proving a lab error because the system is designed to prevent such an occurrence. Each player’s urine sample is divided into two samples. The first is tested and if it’s positive for any banned substance, the second sample is put through a more rigorous, comprehensive testing regimen to assure the result is valid.

  The MLB official also told me that the Brewers did not sign off on whatever substance Braun took. So, it’s unlikely that excuse would be used during the appeal process.

The biggest problem with hoping to have the 50-game suspension overturned, according to the report, is that it doesn’t matter why Braun took a banned substance. Even if it was accidental or he didn’t know a certain substance was against the rules, the only thing that matters is that he took a substance and violated the MLB rule. He has proclaimed his innocence due to not believing what he took was “performance-enhancing” and that he has a prescription for a personal medical condition. Again, though, it’s reportedly unlikely that either of those reasons will matter in the appeal.

Repoz Posted: January 01, 2012 at 07:54 PM | 62 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: brewers, rumors, steroids

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   1. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 01, 2012 at 08:33 PM (#4026727)
Assumption:

Braun's explanation is accurate. That he was being treated for a medical problem of an embarrassing nature.

Again, ASSUMPTION. As in for the sake of discussion.

One has to wonder where the right of privacy begins and ends relative to health matters.

I know there will be posters here who will state Braun or somebody around Braun should have known this, that or something and prevented the situation.

But I understand a person not believing that something like this needs to be shared with the league office.

Does anyone HERE think that Braun's medical condtion would NOT have leaked out if Braun or someone around him would have approached league officials. Lots of tittering by those in the inner sanctum along with the details shared with Rosengoof of Hyphen or some other twit who cannot demonstrate proper restraint when given information that is nothing but fodder for folks to mock.
   2. The District Attorney Posted: January 01, 2012 at 08:43 PM (#4026730)
This isn't really news, is it? Doesn't seem like it reveals anything we didn't already know.

Does anyone HERE think that Braun's medical condtion would NOT have leaked out if Braun or someone around him would have approached league officials.
Well, maybe the union could have negotiated a policy that better addressed this concern, but I guess they didn't. IMO, this is an argument that Braun's motives were understandable -- which I suspect very few people here would disagree with -- rather than an argument that his case should ultimately be treated differently.
   3. TVerik, who wonders what the hell is "Ansky" Posted: January 01, 2012 at 08:46 PM (#4026733)
One has to wonder where the right of privacy begins and ends relative to health matters.



When you sign that contract. Maybe it's too black-and-white for me to think this, but a heads-up to the league office "I'm taking some stuff under a doctor's care and it may violate your testing policy" is appropriate in this situation. Asserting that Braun need not have done that opens up a loophole that you could drive a truck through.

Does anyone HERE think that Braun's medical condtion would NOT have leaked out if Braun or someone around him would have approached league officials.


*meekly raises hand*

You can't tell me that not a single baseball player in the modern era has been treated for STDs. Hell, one or two have probably had AIDS. And we haven't heard word one about it.
   4. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 01, 2012 at 08:47 PM (#4026734)
which I suspect very few people here would disagree with

Well, I disagree with that statement. BBTF has taken a large step backward with respect to the Law of Common Sense.
   5. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: January 01, 2012 at 08:49 PM (#4026738)
This is the worst thing that has ever involved a penis and a Braun.

Yes, I reached.
   6. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 01, 2012 at 08:50 PM (#4026739)
You can't tell me that not a single baseball player in the modern era has been treated for STDs. Hell, one or two have probably had AIDS. And we haven't heard word one about it.

And testing has been in place for how long?

Players were under no obligation to tell the league office anything until quite recently.
   7. TVerik, who wonders what the hell is "Ansky" Posted: January 01, 2012 at 08:52 PM (#4026740)
OK, you can't tell me that not a single ballplayer since - what, 2003? - has been treated for embarassing medical stuff.

And every medical professional I know is too careful with Dr/Patient confidentiality to leak to Lupica or whomever.
   8. TVerik, who wonders what the hell is "Ansky" Posted: January 01, 2012 at 08:53 PM (#4026742)
I think "Pinky and the Braun" is probably a less significant reach, and the possibility of hilarity is strong with that one.
   9. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: January 01, 2012 at 08:55 PM (#4026744)
Harveys - All very good points. Unfortunately I imagine the players have agreed to disclose any such procedures/treatment as part of the CBA in exchange for a guarantee of privacy. I understand why Braun would have preferred to keep such a thing private with the way MLB's guarantee of privacy is worthless given the way all of these stories have leaked (including the "confidential" 2003 tests) but this is the agreement they have reached.

It's a crummy situation for the players in my opinion. Public opinion is so heavily against them on this issue that legitimate issues like the situation you describe don't get the fair treatment they deserve.

The simplistic response is "stay away from situations that will give you embarrassing medical problems" but that's easier said than done of course.
   10. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: January 01, 2012 at 08:55 PM (#4026745)
Until very recently, I considered "Halladay" and "anaconda attack" unlikely to appear in a headline.
   11. Addison Russell T. Davies (chris h.) Posted: January 01, 2012 at 08:56 PM (#4026746)
I think "Pinky and the Braun" is probably a less significant reach, and the possibility of hilarity is strong with that one.

Pinky! Are you fondling what I'm fondling?
   12. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 01, 2012 at 08:57 PM (#4026747)
And every medical professional I know is too careful with Dr/Patient confidentiality to leak to Lupica or whomever.

It's the non-medical professionals who would be privy to this information who are not bound to the same professional standards who are the concern.

C'mon. This is beyond naive to think that the league office does not has folks willing to pimp embarrassing details to the media.
   13. Something Other Posted: January 01, 2012 at 08:58 PM (#4026748)
One has to wonder where the right of privacy begins and ends relative to health matters.

I know there will be posters here who will state Braun or somebody around Braun should have known this, that or something and prevented the situation.

But I understand a person not believing that something like this needs to be shared with the league office.
Agreed. Privacy is increasingly hard to come by, and if I were Braun I'd have very little expectation that my condition would be kept private. I've had doctors and administrators flat out lie to me about a hospital's drug testing policy, I've seen highly confidential documents left in public places, I've heard the embarrassing details of a patient's condition shared over the phone in a very public reception area; never mind the remarkable number of mistakes that get made in testing, I'd never assume my information is being treated with due regard for my privacy concerns. I don't see why Braun or anyone else should, either.
   14. valuearbitrageur Posted: January 01, 2012 at 09:18 PM (#4026758)
OK, you can't tell me that not a single ballplayer since - what, 2003? - has been treated for embarassing medical stuff.


You can't tell me that any baseball players have reported their STDs to the league office since 2003.
   15. Tripon Posted: January 01, 2012 at 09:21 PM (#4026759)
I can tell you that Ryan Braun has Herpes.
   16. TVerik, who wonders what the hell is "Ansky" Posted: January 01, 2012 at 09:25 PM (#4026760)
Also, was "itching" in the excerpt a dig?
   17. Endless Trash Posted: January 01, 2012 at 09:30 PM (#4026764)
Ryan Braun may be itching to tell his side of the story


HEH
   18. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: January 01, 2012 at 09:38 PM (#4026771)
Hell, one or two have probably had AIDS.


This isn't how AIDS works.
   19. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 01, 2012 at 09:39 PM (#4026772)
Does anyone HERE think that Braun's medical condtion would NOT have leaked out if Braun or someone around him would have approached league officials.


Yes, as a matter of fact, I do happen to believe that Braun's medical records would have been kept confidential if he had sought a therapeutic use exemption. We've been led to believe that a number of such exemptions have been granted (mostly for ADHD meds), but we certainly don't know all of the names of those players. MLB's drug policy has provisions for dealing with these situations, and given the number of lawyers involved in drafting that policy, I'm fairly certain that it complies with HIPPA. I'm as cynical as the next guy, but I'm going to hold off on getting outraged about this problem until a player actually has his confidential medical records leaked as a result of applying for a TUE.

Like you said, we are assuming for the sake of argument that the explanation put forth is accurate. That would mean that Braun was, in fact, given a prescription for a banned substance. I have a difficult time believing that there are very many reputable physicians in this country who would not realize that a professional athlete subject to random drug screens just might run into a bit of a problem taking testosterone, or would think that the mere existence of his prescription would be sufficient protection for Braun in the event of a failed drug test. So Braun would presumably have been advised to seek a TUE. If his story is that he was being treated for this condition with this regimen, but he was NOT advised to seek a TUE, then his story strains credulity in my book. And if his story is that he was advised to seek a TUE but decided to take his chances instead because he was afraid the details of his medical condition would be leaked, then he simply has no defense and really shouldn't even bother with the appeal.
   20. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 01, 2012 at 09:52 PM (#4026779)
ca:

Attendion deficit is not a STD.

We both grasp the distinction as it relates to getting clicks on a website.
   21. The District Attorney Posted: January 01, 2012 at 09:56 PM (#4026782)
Attendion deficit is not a STD.
Life is a STD.
   22. dlf Posted: January 01, 2012 at 09:59 PM (#4026784)
And every medical professional I know is too careful with Dr/Patient confidentiality to leak to Lupica or whomever


Speaking of the release of medical info related to an STD ... "Hospital employee allegedly makes fun of patient's medical condition on Facebook; officials investigating" See http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_19641249
   23. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 01, 2012 at 10:03 PM (#4026787)
dlf

Correct. There are all kinds of folks in a hospital beyond physicians who see/hear things. Them being 'chatty Kathys' is a constant headache for hospital administrators.
   24. Squash Posted: January 01, 2012 at 10:06 PM (#4026789)
I know there will be posters here who will state Braun or somebody around Braun should have known this, that or something and prevented the situation.

I guess I'll be one of those people, because it's obvious. When a doctor writes you a prescription he tells you what he's giving you. And Ryan Braun is a professional athlete, a group that is notoriously picky about what they put in their bodies, and he's in a league with a very public, political, and stringent testing process that has been in the news a few times recently. At best I'll say Braun was very dumb (and I like Ryan Braun). All sports leagues have been hearing the "I didn't know, tainted supplement, my doctor prescribed it", etc. reasonings since the steroids thing blew up. The players signed the CBA, so if they want to roll the dice and not declare everything they're taking even though they've been told a million times to declare everything they're taking, then you have to punish them when they test positive.
   25. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 01, 2012 at 10:09 PM (#4026792)
Squash

I understand that position.

I also understand a young person who is obsessed with his personal image/brand with little or no faith in the discretion of league officals.

Again, I think folks are being beyond naive if they believe that some dumb*ss in the league, NOT a health professional, has this salacious information cross his/her line of sight and passes up the chance to drop a dime to a media compadre all too eager to get the details out into the public domain.
   26. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 01, 2012 at 10:12 PM (#4026793)
By the way, isn't Braun's positive test and related stuff supposed to have been kept under wraps until some time agreed upon for public release?
   27. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 01, 2012 at 10:13 PM (#4026795)
Harv,

I do of course realize that there's a huge difference in the size of the story that would be involved, but it still requires someone with access to the records to break the law. And every single person with access to those records would know that they would be breaking the law if they leaked them. The problem is that the only way for us to find out if MLB actually can keep these kinds of secrets would be by making them divulge (anonymized) information about every TUE that they grant, which would just motivate a whole bunch of enterprising bloggers to try to figure out who the players that got the TUEs are.

According to the CDC, the prevalence of genital herpes in the US is 16% (and 39% among African Americans). It seems pretty clear that there must be quite a few MLB players who have this condition. Maybe none of them have gotten the treatment that Braun got. Maybe none of them have applied for TUEs so they could take testosterone for their herpes. Then again, these guys get physicals from team physicians all the time, so there are other ways for this kind of thing to come to light. So maybe, just maybe, there actually is some confidential medical information that is actually being kept confidential.
   28. Squash Posted: January 01, 2012 at 10:13 PM (#4026797)
Does anyone HERE think that Braun's medical condtion would NOT have leaked out if Braun or someone around him would have approached league officials.

Derek Jeter aside, herpes is a very common malady. The CDC says something like 20%. I guarantee you there are 100 guys at least in the majors with herpes, many of them big stars. Let alone none of them being leaked (Jeter's only out there because of the national fascination with his hit list), none of them are testing positive and using this excuse either.

EDIT: The ca beat me to it.
   29. Greg Pope Posted: January 01, 2012 at 10:20 PM (#4026799)
Harveys, if what Braun said is true, I agree that it sucks for him. But I'm not sure what your point is. I certainly sympathize with the guy. He's in a job where if he has an embarrassing condition, he has to tell someone and it will likely become public. But the rules were bargained for and there's no "embarrassing STD" clause in them.

So, yes, Braun may not have wanted to report it, but too bad for him, he has to. Or risk failing a drug test. He's in a bad position, but he still made a choice.
   30. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 01, 2012 at 10:20 PM (#4026800)
Squash/ca:

I understand all that. And it's also understood that a good many folks are not even aware of being infected.

But now this is becoming a medical discussion so I will stop.
   31. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 01, 2012 at 10:29 PM (#4026805)
I guess I'll be one of those people, because it's obvious. When a doctor writes you a prescription he tells you what he's giving you. And Ryan Braun is a professional athlete, a group that is notoriously picky about what they put in their bodies,
I wish people would stop saying that. Whatever the merits of the rest of your argument, there's not the slightest evidence that athletes are "picking about what they put in their bodies." If the last decade of silliness has taught us anything, it's that players will use anything, without knowing or caring what it is or what it does, as long as someone somewhere started a rumor that it aided healing and/or enhanced performance.
   32. AJMcCringleberry Posted: January 01, 2012 at 10:32 PM (#4026807)
It seems odd that people are saying that the Braun/herpes story wouldn't have been leaked considering all the information we have about Braun's test and possible herpes is information that has been leaked.
   33. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 01, 2012 at 10:36 PM (#4026810)
If the last decade of silliness has taught us anything, it's that players will use anything, without knowing or caring what it is or what it does, as long as someone somewhere started a rumor that it aided healing and/or enhanced performance.


And how.

It seems odd that people are saying that the Braun/herpes story wouldn't have been leaked considering all the information we have about Braun's test and possible herpes is information that has been leaked.


Different (and I would guess more) people have access to information about test results and appeals than would have access to a an application for a TUE.
   34. Walt Davis Posted: January 01, 2012 at 10:39 PM (#4026812)
a group that is notoriously picky about what they put in their bodies

No they are not!!

The Mitchell Report makes this clear. Player A goes to Player B says "hey, what's that? Does it work? Give me some." You think players were taking the stuff that Radomski supplied them to a chemist? Pettitte allegedly going to McNamee and asking "how come you're not giving me the same stuff you're giving Roger?"

Now, many players will hire nutritionists, trainers, BALCO, and other professionals to tell them what to use and follow that regimen. But the notion that the vast majority of players research nutrition, supplements, etc. Nonsense. And the notion they would have any clue what they were reading, be able to assess all those different sources, etc. seems laughable given the educational level of professional athletes.

If your doctor tells you to take X, you take X. Granted thanks to the intertubes and Jenny McCarthy and a general reduction in the trust for professionals these days, doctors probably get a lot more questions than they used to.

On the leak issue ... both sides make reasonable points but I'll go with HW on this one. Braun is a star and, especially once he won the MVP, I'd expect something to leak out. Heck, whoever gave him whatever's he got might leak it out -- "he didn't even give me an autographed ball, but I left him a little something!" :-) If Darwin Barney has the clap, that we might not hear about.

stories have leaked (including the "confidential" 2003 tests)

That one is the Union's fault and MLB doesn't seem to have had anything to do with any of the leaks (although we can't be 100% sure of that I suppose). The Union should have made sure the list and other material was destroyed a long time ago (as they had the right to do) but dropped the ball. The evidence was obtained under a search warrant -- maybe not covered by the warrant but there wasn't anything anybody could do in real time to keep the evidence from being taken. The leaks, as I recall, came from "people familiar with the list" who most likely were prosecutors, people in Novitzky's office, clerks in the court or the guys in the copy room. If MLB wanted to leak names on the 2003 list, they would have done it years before. (I'm not entirely sure MLB ever actually saw the list. They got a percentage who failed but I don't recall if they saw the list of names.)
   35. Bob Tufts Posted: January 01, 2012 at 10:56 PM (#4026817)
I wish people would stop saying that. Whatever the merits of the rest of your argument, there's not the slightest evidence that athletes are "picking about what they put in their bodies."

David and Walt - absolutely true. I have seen players go vegetarian, swallow amphetamines like candy with no concern about dosage and do whatever someone suggests in order to gain an edge. What was last year's miracle drug - deer antlers?


Greg is correct. Braun should have obtained a TUE - under the negotiated drug policy, he screwed up.

Will there be a Milwaukee Brewers condom night in 2012 when Ryan returns from his 50 game suspension?
   36. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 01, 2012 at 11:09 PM (#4026826)
Greg/Bob

I figure Braun took something and will likely suffer the consequences.

I was only tossing out teh rationale as to why a fella would not pursue a TUE. I have little to no faith in the reticence of those who need that trait in some abundance.
   37. Jim Wisinski Posted: January 01, 2012 at 11:35 PM (#4026832)
I understand the points Harveys is making and agree that it sucks for Braun if this really is the situation. That being said the possibility of an embarrassing leak of his condition is an unfortunate consequence of the career path he has chosen. Being a professional athlete means being in the spotlight and not having the same expectation of privacy as a normal person; it sucks that stuff that should be kept secret don't but if he didn't want to have to make these choices then he should have done something besides accept millions of dollars to play baseball. I sympathize but certainly can't say that he shouldn't be suspended.
   38. Bob Tufts Posted: January 02, 2012 at 12:22 AM (#4026863)
Harvey - I am with you in one aspect. The entire WADA approach to drug testing is based on the Napoleonic Code, where you have to prove your innocence.

Having such codes applied in the United States - to athletes or anyone else - sets a bad precedent and bothers my civil libertarian nature.
   39. Ron J Posted: January 02, 2012 at 12:31 AM (#4026868)
#4 Coming in a tad late, but: I think you're making the common error that predicting an outcome is the same as advocating it.

From the beginning I've said that under the agreement the PA signed Braun's explanation was never going to matter.

And precisely why the early list got out doesn't matter. Anything short of killing everybody involved in the process (under the "3 can keep a secret if 2 are dead" theory) makes leaks all but inevitable.
   40. Ron J Posted: January 02, 2012 at 12:36 AM (#4026870)
#38 It's worse than that. You can prove that you took a contaminated substance in good faith and still end up suspended.

Now there is a reason for this. Prior to adopting the strict liability standard there was a long history of athletes avoiding sanctions by going to the courts and successfully arguing some form of "good faith".
   41. ray james Posted: January 02, 2012 at 12:45 AM (#4026881)
Harvey - I am with you in one aspect. The entire WADA approach to drug testing is based on the Napoleonic Code, where you have to prove your innocence.


This is a bit of a reach, wouldn't you say, Bob? Players have to prove the test results are invalid.

So first, the testers have to prove a player guilty, then the player has to prove they made a mistake. They just don't pick people at random and tell them they're guilty.
   42. PerroX Posted: January 02, 2012 at 12:59 AM (#4026887)
What's worse: word possibly leaking you have herpes and a few less groupies willing to sleep with you, or you having to reveal you have herpes as a defense for you 50-game suspspension and reputation as a PED user.

My personal opinion is the herpes excuse is just that; he's going to lose much more than his privacy as a result of this positive test.
   43. Ray (CTL) Posted: January 02, 2012 at 01:05 AM (#4026889)
I guess I'll be one of those people, because it's obvious. When a doctor writes you a prescription he tells you what he's giving you. And Ryan Braun is a professional athlete, a group that is notoriously picky about what they put in their bodies,


David, Walt, and Bob already covered this, and I've commented on it before, but I don't know how one could pay attention to the events of the past decade and come away thinking that professional athletes are "notoriously picky about what they put in their bodies." Were players being "notoriously picky" when they went through Kirk Radomski or Brian McNamee to get various substances?

Some of this is a consequence of things being illegal, but, regardless of the reasons, players as a group are not picky at all. It's basically "Hey, dude, I hear this works, wanna try some, man?" Here's an example from Pettitte's committee deposition:

Q When did you -- when did you first talk to McNamee
about HGH?... Do you remember how it came up or who raised the
idea?

A ... I know that I either brought it up to him or he brought it up
to me from the standpoint I'm like, dude, I am hurt. You
know my elbow is hurt. What can I do? Is there anything I
can do? You know, so that is where the initial, you know --
it had to come up to me getting it and him injecting me with
the HGH.


Q Do you remember whether you knew about it first or
whether he planted the idea of HGH? Did you just go for
help and say, help me. And he said, this thing might help?
Or did you say, I've heard about this, and do you think this
is a good thing for me?

A I think that he had to have told me that, you know,
I hear this stuff's good, man. I hear this stuff can repair
your tissue, you know
. All I know is I know for a fact that
he had told me that it could help repair my tissue in my
elbow. I knew that my ligament was either fraying or
something else was going on as far as the tissue in my
elbow.
   44. Bob Tufts Posted: January 02, 2012 at 04:06 AM (#4027023)
The WADA code

2.2 Use or Attempted Use by an Athlete of a Prohibited Substance or a Prohibited Method


2.2.1 It is each Athlete’s personal duty to ensure that no Prohibited Substance enters his or her body. Accordingly, it is not necessary that intent, fault, negligence or knowing Use on the
Athlete’s part be demonstrated in order to establish an anti-doping rule violation for Use
of a Prohibited Substance or a Prohibited Method.

And the "burden of proof" is something that sportswriters that damn Bagwell would like...and why I am concerned with the application of international law on United States citizens

3.1 Burdens and Standards of Proof
The Anti-Doping Organization shall have the burden of establishing that an anti-doping rule violation has occurred. The standard of proof shall be whether the Anti-Doping Organization has established an antidoping rule violation to the comfortable satisfaction of the hearing panel bearing in mind the seriousness of the allegation which is made. This standard of proof in
all cases is greater than a mere balance of probability but less than proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
Where the Code places the burden of proof upon the Athlete or other Person alleged to have committed an anti-doping rule violation to rebut a presumption or establish specified facts or circumstances, the standard of proof shall be by a balance of probability, except as provided in Articles 10.4 and 10.6 where the Athlete must satisfy a higher burden of proof.
   45. Something Other Posted: January 02, 2012 at 04:06 AM (#4027025)
I guess I'll be one of those people, because it's obvious. When a doctor writes you a prescription he tells you what he's giving you. And Ryan Braun is a professional athlete, a group that is notoriously picky about what they put in their bodies,

David, Walt, and Bob already covered this, and I've commented on it before, but I don't know how one could pay attention to the events of the past decade and come away thinking that professional athletes are "notoriously picky about what they put in their bodies." Were players being "notoriously picky" when they went through Kirk Radomski or Brian McNamee to get various substances?
Seventhed (or whatever we're up to). I'll add that sure, some doctors tell you what they're giving you when they write you a prescription, but, other than the name of the drug, a great many of them fail to detail side effects, note options with alternative drugs and dosages, diligently look at other the other drugs a patient is taking to look potential problems, and so on, and so on, and so on.

I believe medicine is a very, very difficult field, but even with a willingness to cut medical folks a lot of slack, the incompetence I've seen is staggering.
   46. asdf1234 Posted: January 02, 2012 at 04:40 AM (#4027064)
I believe medicine is a very, very difficult field, but even with a willingness to cut medical folks a lot of slack, the incompetence I've seen is staggering.


Not trying to lead us too far afield, but you'd have a hard time convincing me that this isn't largely due to the robotic/siege mentality that med school hammers into physicians when they're starting out. The problems introduced by that style of education are systemic, and they're not just limited to medicine.
   47. Greg Pope Posted: January 02, 2012 at 05:00 AM (#4027080)
I will say that if Braun can convince the general public that he tested positive because of the STD thing, then he may avoid the steroids tag.
   48. Monty Posted: January 02, 2012 at 05:05 AM (#4027084)
And the notion they would have any clue what they were reading, be able to assess all those different sources, etc. seems laughable given the educational level of professional athletes.


I was going to make some smartass comment about how a lot of athletes have degrees in "Athletic Performance" or something, but it turns out that (as of 2009) very few MLB players have degrees. Phooey.
   49. JimMusComp likes Billy Eppler.... Posted: January 02, 2012 at 06:59 PM (#4027139)
I will say that if Braun can convince the general public that he tested positive because of the STD thing, then he may avoid the steroids tag.


Yep - this might end up being as much about 2028 and his first ballot for the HOF as it is about this 50-game suspension. I hadn't thought of that, actually.

The droids in 2028 will probably vote differently than the BBWAA in 2012. Right?
   50. Walt Davis Posted: January 02, 2012 at 07:24 PM (#4027149)
From the link:

Shockingly, while many current major leaguers had college experience, we found only 26 (including managers), who have earned degrees. The brainiest team was the A's, with three graduates and seven key members of the lineup having university experience.

However, three "All-Brains" division leaders -- Oakland, Arizona and Washington -- are in last place in real life, while Texas and the Dodgers were last in their divisions in smarts but first in the standings. So much for baseball being a thinking man's game.


26? Less than one per team? That seems a bit too low doesn't it? I know college athletes often don't graduate and those who do may take their time about it. Is there not one major college program that prides itself on graduating its players?
   51. base ball chick Posted: January 02, 2012 at 07:42 PM (#4027161)
i'm confused here - i looked up herpes and how you treat it and i can't find anywhere it says you treat it with testosterone.

so i don't get the story he gives
   52. Bob Tufts Posted: January 02, 2012 at 07:42 PM (#4027162)
I was going to make some smartass comment about how a lot of athletes have degrees in "Athletic Performance" or something, but it turns out that (as of 2009) very few MLB players have degrees.

Why should we care?

   53. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 02, 2012 at 07:46 PM (#4027164)
I was going to make some smartass comment about how a lot of athletes have degrees in "Athletic Performance" or something, but it turns out that (as of 2009) very few MLB players have degrees.



Why should we care?

Agreed. And it's hard to say any of them made the wrong decision.

Now the guy who washed out at A ball. He might have some regrets.

   54. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 02, 2012 at 07:57 PM (#4027170)
26? Less than one per team? That seems a bit too low doesn't it? I know college athletes often don't graduate and those who do may take their time about it. Is there not one major college program that prides itself on graduating its players?

Unlike with football and basketball, it might not have much to do with colleges caring about graduating its athletes. It's still the exception for college football and basketball players to leave college before four years, while it's the rule for college baseball players. The only way a college baseball player makes it to his senior year of college is by being a non-prospect or by having an ill-timed injury.
   55. ESPaul Posted: January 02, 2012 at 08:18 PM (#4027181)
i'm confused here - i looked up herpes and how you treat it and i can't find anywhere it says you treat it with testosterone.

so i don't get the story he gives


I completely agree. Herpes is treated with acyclovir and related drugs, none of which would trigger a positive drug test.
   56. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: January 02, 2012 at 09:53 PM (#4027258)
i'm confused here - i looked up herpes and how you treat it and i can't find anywhere it says you treat it with testosterone.

so i don't get the story he gives


I completely agree. Herpes is treated with acyclovir and related drugs, none of which would trigger a positive drug test.


Some evidence suggests that low testosterone levels contribute to herpes outbreaks. Some evidence suggests that the anti-virals used to control herpes can lower testosterone levels. Some practitioners prescribe testosterone replacement along with the antivirals.

EDIT: I should add that I'm not suggesting this is or should be standard practice. Just that there apparently are people doing this and there is something of a rationale for it. I don't find it particularly impressive either.

I guess I should also add that we don't actually know what Braun's "story" is yet. We only have unsourced and unsubstantiated reports that this is what his story is.
   57. Bob Tufts Posted: January 02, 2012 at 10:10 PM (#4027270)
Per Todd Rundgren.....

Love is infectious and I was a victim, the worst case you'd ever see
But still I know no doctor or nurse could cure what you gave to me
'Cause you really, you left me sore
You really left me sore now baby
You messed me up for sure and I don't mean maybe
'Cause you really left me sore
You didn't tell me and I didn't ask so there's nobody left to blame
But still I know no place I can go that helps to relieve the pain
But now I know no good ever comes from love on a one night stand
   58. Andere Richtingen Posted: January 02, 2012 at 10:24 PM (#4027282)
If it turns out that Braun's story is that he was taking testosterone to treat herpes, I would consider that to be a pretty lameass excuse, if he failed to report it.

And if treatment of herpes is considered a legitimate excuse for using testosterone in MLB, I'm guessing that green lights about half of the MLBPA for a testosterone scrip.
   59. PerroX Posted: January 02, 2012 at 10:51 PM (#4027307)
Video for the song above

I dunno whether I love TR or the Japanese more.

   60. Something Other Posted: January 03, 2012 at 04:12 AM (#4027438)
The only part of the story I found hard to believe was when Braun claimed he was taking testosterone to cure Jeter's herpes.
   61. Bob Tufts Posted: January 03, 2012 at 09:29 AM (#4027513)
What was the line from "Ball Four" - the toughest thing to do was explaining to your wife why she needed a penicillin shot for your kidney infection?
   62. KJOK Posted: January 04, 2012 at 01:26 AM (#4028406)
Per Todd Rundgren....

And to bring it back to being baseball-related, Todd's son:

Rex Rundgren
   63. Something Other Posted: January 05, 2012 at 12:35 AM (#4029322)
@62: Yow. A thousand games in the minors, and not even a drop of coffee, let alone a cup. And never had even one good season at the plate in the minors. Looks like he's still at it in an Indy league. That's a tough road to be on, though his last stop was in Maui. So, maybe not so tough after all.

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