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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ryan Braun Wins Appeal, Will Not Be Suspended

Conflicting reports are coming in…

Ryan Braun has won his appeal of his failed drug test and will not be suspended for the first 50-games of the season, reports Tom Haudricourt of The Journal Sentinel (on Twitter). Braun is the first player to have a suspended overtuned through the appeals process.

From Olbermann…

“So to clarify, AP says Ryan Braun WILL be suspended for 50 games. M’waukee ace reporter @Haudricourt reports he will NOT be suspended for 50.”

Repoz Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:12 PM | 162 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: brewers, steroids

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   1. Guapo Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:16 PM (#4067337)
Washington Post is reporting the exact opposite, citing the AP. (i.e. he lost the arbitration)
   2. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:18 PM (#4067341)
And there's Kemp saying, I'll go 50/50 whilst Braun also does his 50....boom tish!
   3. Danny Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:19 PM (#4067342)
The Journal Sentinel has a bit of detail:
Phoenix - Milwaukee Brewers leftfielder Ryan Braun became the first major-league player to have a positive drug test overturned when he was informed Thursday that an arbitration panel ruled in his favor on appeal and decided against a 50-game suspension for the reigning National League most valuable player.

There has been no official announcement of the verdict but the Journal Sentinel has confirmed that Braun won his appeal.

Someone familiar with the decision said the appeal went Braun's way not so much on contesting the result of the test but the testing process itself, some kind of technicality. And it was arbitrator Shyam Das who decided to rule in favor on that technicality, making it a 2-1 decision by the three-man panel.
   4. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:19 PM (#4067344)
what were the odds.
   5. Guapo Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:20 PM (#4067345)
Per Twitter, AP now confirming their error. Braun wins! In related news, Dewey still beating Truman.
   6. DA Baracus Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:20 PM (#4067346)
Local Milwaukee channel says the AP called their newsroom and said the AP a typo on their announcement.

So he won the appeal.
   7. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:20 PM (#4067347)
HA! FU rush to judgement peeps.
   8. The elusive Robert Denby Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:21 PM (#4067350)
Robothal is tweeting...

"Source: Braun has indeed won appeal, will not be suspended. First reported by @haudricourt."
   9. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:22 PM (#4067351)
Wow. First thought: "Yay, he didn't use." Second thought: "I wonder if this is the league saving face b/c of the MVP award."
   10. Dale Sams Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:22 PM (#4067352)
Exactly Barry.
   11. madvillain Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:23 PM (#4067353)
HA! FU rush to judgement peeps.


And this should completely clear his name. Because MLB has nothing to lose by having their MVP as a known cheat.
   12. Moe Greene Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:25 PM (#4067355)
So why should we have any faith in this process in the future?

Way to go, MLB.
   13. Gamingboy Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:26 PM (#4067356)
Does this mean he's a potential future HOFer again?
   14. Moe Greene Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:26 PM (#4067357)
Does this mean he's a potential future HOFer again?

The stink doesn't go away that easily.
   15. Danny Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:27 PM (#4067358)
@Haudricourt
I'm going to go out on a limb and say Shyam Das has conducted his last arbitration drug hearing. MLB officials not happy with him.

@Haudricourt
MLB has put out a statement saying it "vehemently disagrees" with arbitrator's decision on Braun. That would be Shyam Das.
   16. Steve Treder Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:28 PM (#4067361)
So why should we have any faith in this process in the future?

Why should we have had any faith in this process up to now?
   17. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:28 PM (#4067362)
So why should we have any faith in this process in the future?


Of course I don't have any more facts than the next guy, but a successful appeal could suggest evidence of a faithful process. This isn't proof that somebody was trying to rail Braun (though the leaking is a separate matter), but evidence that this 'test/result and/or process' didn't meet the standard of proof of a postive test.
   18. PreservedFish Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:30 PM (#4067365)
So why should we have any faith in this process in the future?


I don't understand this comment.
   19. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:30 PM (#4067366)
That sly Jew.

I kind of agree with #12. I mean, if Braun actually did no wrong, then obviously this news is positive (unless you're like me and really hate Braun, but I digress), but the testing process looks a lot less credible now than it did a few hours ago.
   20. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:30 PM (#4067367)
   21. Moe Greene Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:31 PM (#4067368)
Why should we have had any faith in this process up to now?

Good point... I guess I was just naive. I've gone from 'cautiously optimistic that the process might work as expected' to 'MLB hasn't a f***ing clue what it's doing.'
   22. Gamingboy Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:31 PM (#4067369)
So, wait, what happened?
   23. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:33 PM (#4067371)
I'm not sure either side has total veto power over an arbitrator. Maybe they do, I'm not sure, though. Anyone?
   24. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:33 PM (#4067372)
this does not seem like a good thing.
   25. Gamingboy Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:34 PM (#4067373)
Okay, so WADA probably will say something stupid either way. Whatever.

I'm confused!
   26. Enrico Pallazzo Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:39 PM (#4067376)
What the hell is wrong with you guys?

System in place.

System activated.

System deals with case as it was designed to.

End of story.
   27. dlf Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:39 PM (#4067377)
@Haudricourt
I'm going to go out on a limb and say Shyam Das has conducted his last arbitration drug hearing. MLB officials not happy with him.

@Haudricourt
MLB has put out a statement saying it "vehemently disagrees" with arbitrator's decision on Braun. That would be Shyam Das.


Das has served for a long time as the "permanent" arbitrator. Going back to Peter Seitz (the Messersmith / McNally decision) there has been a fairly rapid turnover with folks like Tom Roberts (Collusion I), George Nicolau (Collusion II), Dana Eischen (JD Drew vs. Phillies), Rich Bloch (cocaine cases), etc. getting bounced the first time they issue a ruling one side strongly opposes. It seems to me that Das stayed for a long time partially because he usually presided over cases that ended up settling.

I'm not sure either side has total veto power over an arbitrator. Maybe they do, I'm not sure, though. Anyone?


Yes. The arbitrator serves at the consent of both sides and can be fired unilaterally. But going back to the Seitz decision in the Messersmith case, a court has held that that can not be done in the midst of a case that one side sees going poorly.
   28. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:42 PM (#4067381)
the testing process looks a lot less credible now than it did a few hours ago.

Any drug testing system will have false positives. Having a proper process in place to overturn false positives adds credibility to a system, rather than detract from it.
   29. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:46 PM (#4067383)
Any drug testing system will have false positives. Having a proper process in place to overturn false positives adds credibility to a system, rather than detract from it.

That depends on what this "technicality" entails, whether it is a systematic error, and if it can be fixed or addressed.
   30. Greg K Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:46 PM (#4067384)
Without knowing the details I'm not sure why this is automatically a bad thing for the process. The fact that a test can be successfully appealed seems like a good thing to me.

Of course it all depends on the specifics.
   31. Ray (RDP) Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:46 PM (#4067385)
Are they going to explain the reason for the failed test, what the two sides argued, and why the arbitrator ruled as he did, or is this just all behind closed doors?

I don't see how we can make any judgment one way or the other without knowing the details.
   32. DA Baracus Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:48 PM (#4067386)
Darren Rovell:

"Braun will now not miss 24 home games at the beginning of the season. Worth at least $700k to Brewers in ticket sales."

His basis is a number he made up:

"Based on my Braun #'s on average of $26 ticket. 24 games. Think Braun is worth a little more than 1,100 fans a game."
   33. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:48 PM (#4067387)
Are they going to explain the reason for the failed test, what the two sides argued, and why the arbitrator ruled as he did, or is this just all behind closed doors?

Considering the process isn't even supposed to reveal that a positive test and an appeal took place, I'm pretty confident they aren't going to spill the details.
   34. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:50 PM (#4067390)
Are they going to explain the reason for the failed test, what the two sides argued, and why the arbitrator ruled as he did, or is this just all behind closed doors?

If MLB isn't happy with the arbitrator, I wouldn't be surprised if they leak the details to the press to undermine his credibility.
   35. Greg K Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:50 PM (#4067392)
Considering the process isn't even supposed to reveal that a positive test and an appeal took place, I'm pretty confident they aren't going to spill the details.

Yeah I'd say the thing that damages the credibility of the system is the leak, not the fact that the appeal was successful.
   36. Gamingboy Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:51 PM (#4067394)
I'm confused based on how little specifics have come out and the fact that some people are saying the arbitrator messed up.
   37. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:52 PM (#4067397)
Are they going to explain the reason for the failed test, what the two sides argued, and why the arbitrator ruled as he did, or is this just all behind closed doors?

I don't see how we can make any judgment one way or the other without knowing the details.


Not that we know the details for the vast majority of PED decisions.

But how on earth does this mean that the testing system is a lot less credible now? If (as has been stated) this is the first overturn, then I'd say it's doing a pretty good job.

Of course, you can argue about whether MLB cares about due diligence on every case...
   38. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:54 PM (#4067398)
If MLB isn't happy with the arbitrator, I wouldn't be surprised if they leak the details make up a bunch of crap to the press to undermine his credibility.

   39. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:55 PM (#4067399)
I'm confused based on how little specifics have come out and the fact that some people are saying the arbitrator messed up.

Isn't it likely that MLB leaked the information to begin with? It doesn't make sense that Braun's party would leak and I'm not sure who else would know about the results.
   40. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:56 PM (#4067400)
If MLB isn't happy with the arbitrator, I wouldn't be surprised if they leak the details make up a bunch of crap to the press to undermine his credibility.

Heh, yeah that too.
   41. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:56 PM (#4067402)
"Based on my Braun #'s on average of $26 ticket. 24 games. Think Braun is worth a little more than 1,100 fans a game."

This person has not read his Bill James.
   42. Squash Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:56 PM (#4067403)
A lot of guys in MLB just got herpes!
   43. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:57 PM (#4067404)
But how on earth does this mean that the testing system is a lot less credible now?

Because it's possible that there's a systematic error in the testing procedure which hasn't been caught until now.
   44. dlf Posted: February 23, 2012 at 06:58 PM (#4067408)
If MLB isn't happy with the arbitrator, I wouldn't be surprised if they leak the details to the press to undermine his credibility.


Das's credentials: http://www.nmb.gov/arbitrator-resumes/das-shyam_res.pdf
   45. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 23, 2012 at 07:10 PM (#4067414)
I don't know how to feel about this, but I just want to say Darren Rovell is an idiot.
   46. AJMcCringleberry Posted: February 23, 2012 at 07:12 PM (#4067417)
Good thing we found out about the positive test two months ago!
   47. Danny Posted: February 23, 2012 at 07:13 PM (#4067418)
9. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: February 23, 2012 at 05:22 PM (#4067351)
Wow. First thought: "Yay, he didn't use." Second thought: "I wonder if this is the league saving face b/c of the MVP award."
----
38. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: February 23, 2012 at 05:54 PM (#4067398)
If MLB isn't happy with the arbitrator, I wouldn't be surprised if they make up a bunch of crap to the press to undermine his credibility.

Dude, just pick a conspiracy and stick with it.
   48. Repoz Posted: February 23, 2012 at 07:13 PM (#4067419)
Aaron Rodgers tweets on the Braun decision...

""I'll let my buddy take it from here. All u idiots talking about technicality open up for some crow too. See if Espn gets pressured not to let the people hear the truth. Should get interesting. #exonerated #shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh"

   49. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: February 23, 2012 at 07:17 PM (#4067421)
Seems to me the NFL took a big hit today. MLB is Rounding up innocents while massive monsters run free in the NFL.
   50. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: February 23, 2012 at 07:17 PM (#4067422)
#47, the second post is mine which drew rewrote.
   51. tfbg9 Posted: February 23, 2012 at 07:22 PM (#4067425)
MLB channel said Braun won his case primarily because Baseball messed-up process of getting his sample to
proper locale in a timely manner; that is was held-up in transit for 48 hours or so, that it in some way didn't
get to the people and place it ought to gotten to on time...or that is was was "unsecured" for 48 hours.

Did not hear any details on this supposed delay.

edit: content
   52. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: February 23, 2012 at 07:24 PM (#4067427)
If MLB isn't happy with the arbitrator, I wouldn't be surprised if they leak the details to the press to undermine his credibility.

Which would make them look pretty stupid, considering that they agreed to hire him in the first place.
   53. DA Baracus Posted: February 23, 2012 at 07:24 PM (#4067428)
MLB channel said Braun won his case primarily because Baseball messed-up process of getting his sample to proper locale in a timely manner; that is was held-up in transit for 48 hours or so, that it in some way didn't get to the people and place it ought to gotten to on time.


From Karl Ravech: "Appears Braun's team won because a courier didn't take positive test to Fed Ex building thought it was closed Saturday night."
   54. Moe Greene Posted: February 23, 2012 at 07:25 PM (#4067429)
MLB channel said Braun won his case primarily because Baseball messed-up process of getting his sample to
proper locale in a timely manner; that is was held-up in transit for 48 hours or so, that it in some way didn't
get to the people and place it ought to gotten to on time...or that is was was "unsecured" for 48 hours.

That's interesting. If true (a big if...), then we still don't have any insight as to whether Braun took something he wasn't supposed to. And yet the rumors swirling around were that Braun had taken some medication/pills to deal with some private health issue.

Good that Braun got off because MLB didn't follow the rules. Bad that they didn't really deal with the meat of the issue.

Assuming all of this is true, of course...

(Edited for clarity)
   55. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: February 23, 2012 at 07:26 PM (#4067431)
MLB channel said Braun won his case primarily because Baseball messed-up process of getting his sample to
proper locale in a timely manner; that is was held-up in transit for 48 hours or so, that it in some way didn't
get to the people and place it ought to gotten to on time...or that is was was "unsecured" for 48 hours.


Putting aside the technicality (that it wasn't timely delivered), are we to insinuate that the positive test was because the sample somehow "spoiled" due to the delay or because it may have been tampered with?
   56. JoeHova Posted: February 23, 2012 at 07:30 PM (#4067433)
Hmm, I wonder who is leaking this stuff about FedEx?
   57. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: February 23, 2012 at 07:31 PM (#4067434)
Which would make them look pretty stupid, considering that they agreed to hire him in the first place.

Wouldn't be the first time an employer hired someone that they later regretted.
   58. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: February 23, 2012 at 07:33 PM (#4067435)
The early quote from Manfred basically said that MLB "vehemently" disagrees with the decision; it doesn't cast doubt on Das's qualifications.

"It has always been Major League Baseball's position that no matter who tests positive, we will exhaust all avenues in pursuit of the appropriate discipline. We have been true to that position in every instance, because baseball fans deserve nothing less," Manfred said. "As a part of our drug testing program, the commissioner's office and the players' association agreed to a neutral third party review for instances that are under dispute. While we have always respected that process, Major League Baseball vehemently disagrees with the decision rendered today by arbitrator Shyam Das."

Of course, that doesn't mean they may not get another arbitrator in the future...
   59. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: February 23, 2012 at 07:33 PM (#4067436)
Putting aside the technicality (that it wasn't timely delivered), are we to insinuate that the positive test was because the sample somehow "spoiled" due to the delay or because it may have been tampered with?

That FedEx employee needs to be fully disposed. But to be serious, I highly doubt the employee knows the content of the package.
   60. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 23, 2012 at 07:36 PM (#4067439)
Word on the street is that Bud requested George Mitchell.
   61. A triple short of the cycle Posted: February 23, 2012 at 07:42 PM (#4067442)
If it was a 2-1 ruling, who were the other two people who voted?

The article says chain of custody of Braun's sample was broken. So, ruling had nothing to do with whatever Braun's technical argument was.

Cokes to all.
   62. TDF, situational idiot Posted: February 23, 2012 at 07:42 PM (#4067443)
Putting aside the technicality (that it wasn't timely delivered), are we to insinuate that the positive test was because the sample somehow "spoiled" due to the delay or because it may have been tampered with?

That FedEx employee needs to be fully disposed. But to be serious, I highly doubt the employee knows the content of the package.
It's not the Fed Ex employee; it's the MLB/testing lab employee who put the sample in a (his?) refrigerator over the weekend. The way I read it, it was a chain of evidence problem - who knows what may have been done to the sample for that 48 hours?
   63. bumpis hound Posted: February 23, 2012 at 07:43 PM (#4067445)
If nothing else this gives Batista an out when they finally manage to pin a false positive on him.
   64. TDF, situational idiot Posted: February 23, 2012 at 07:43 PM (#4067446)
The article says chain of custody of Braun's sample was broken. So, ruling had nothing to do with whatever Braun's technical argument was.
I thought that was Braun's arguement.
   65. JoeHova Posted: February 23, 2012 at 07:45 PM (#4067447)
If it was a 2-1 ruling, who were the other two people who voted?

An MLB rep and a player's association rep. One of the articles I saw named the other 2 but I don't remember which article it was. Apparently most decisions end up 2-1 with the MLB rep taking management's side and the PA rep taking the player's.

edit: ah, from the ESPN article:
MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred and union head Michael Weiner are part of the arbitration panel, and management and the union almost always split their votes, leaving Das, the independent panel member, to make the decision.

   66. MM1f Posted: February 23, 2012 at 07:48 PM (#4067448)
Hmm, I wonder who is leaking this stuff about FedEx?


I don't know, I assume it was Hayman or Rosenthal who broke the Tim Fedorowicz for Bedard trade rumors.

(No one is going to get that)
   67. Tripon Posted: February 23, 2012 at 07:48 PM (#4067450)
Its not the FedEx employee who kept the sample, its the lab tech who collected the urine sample and didn't mail it until after the weekend.

The dude kept it in his fridge. There's chain of custody issues here.
   68. tfbg9 Posted: February 23, 2012 at 07:53 PM (#4067451)
67-is he a Cardinals fan? Retardo maybe?
   69. SteveM. Posted: February 23, 2012 at 07:56 PM (#4067454)
The dude kept it in his fridge. There's chain of custody issues here


Not too mention some hygiene issues.
   70. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: February 23, 2012 at 07:58 PM (#4067455)
it's the MLB/testing lab employee who put the sample in a (his?) refrigerator over the weekend.

Ah yes, the courier was a MLB employer. When I heard the word courier, I associated it with Fed Ex. So instead of the sample sitting with Fed Ex for the weekend, it sat in some MLB fridge instead, leaving it exposed for possible contamination.
   71. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 23, 2012 at 07:59 PM (#4067456)
I don't see how we can make any judgment one way or the other without knowing the details.

New here? This is BBTF!
   72. Poster Nutbag Posted: February 23, 2012 at 08:00 PM (#4067458)
Due Process wins!
   73. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 23, 2012 at 08:06 PM (#4067460)

The dude kept it in his fridge. There's chain of custody issues here


Roy, can you get sick drinking piss?

Even if its your own?
   74. Booey Posted: February 23, 2012 at 08:07 PM (#4067461)
Does this mean he's a potential future HOFer again?

The stink doesn't go away that easily.



I'm genuinely curious about this; for those of you that think PED use should be an automatic disqualifyer for the HOF, would you still withhold your hypothetical vote for Braun (assuming he goes on to produce a HOF caliber career)?

The actual BBWAA has shown that they don't care about evidence and that physical appearance and speculation are valid enough reasons to snub someone (Bagwell, probably Piazza and definitely Sosa next year), but everyone here on BBTF has a higher standard than that, right?
   75. UCCF Posted: February 23, 2012 at 08:12 PM (#4067465)
The dude kept it in his fridge. There's chain of custody issues here.

Someone haul in Moises Alou for questioning.
   76. The Non-Catching Molina (sjs1959) Posted: February 23, 2012 at 08:13 PM (#4067466)
   77. phredbird Posted: February 23, 2012 at 08:16 PM (#4067468)
Roy, can you get sick drinking piss?

Even if its your own?


no, not by a long shot!
   78. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: February 23, 2012 at 08:16 PM (#4067469)
Roy, can you get sick drinking piss?

Even if its your own?


Ask this guy.
   79. Fridas Boss Posted: February 23, 2012 at 08:18 PM (#4067470)
Chain of custody issues aside, the sample still tested positive right? So, unless it actually was tainted while in transit (which hasn't been postulated or demonstrated) Braun would have failed the test. So, we're left with "what if" questions around what would have happened with an appeal that focused on his non-PE usage (iei the Herpes meds).
   80. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: February 23, 2012 at 08:22 PM (#4067471)
So, unless it actually was tainted while in transit (which hasn't been postulated or demonstrated) Braun would have failed the test.

Depends on what happened in courier's house that weekend. ESPN said the courier kept the sample at his or her home and in a "cool" place. I suppose if the courier had a party over the weekend, some drunk dude could have contaminated the vial somehow.
   81. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: February 23, 2012 at 08:23 PM (#4067474)
So, unless it actually was tainted while in transit (which hasn't been postulated or demonstrated) Braun would have failed the test.

But that's sort of the point: If MLB wants to show that Braun is guilty of PED use, it is their burden to show that they followed the proper procedures in conducting the test. If they didn't demonstrate a proper chain of custody, they can't prove that what was delivered to the testing lab was not what came out of Braun's body. Period, end of story.
   82. Barnaby Jones Posted: February 23, 2012 at 08:25 PM (#4067477)
Chain of custody issues aside, the sample still tested positive right?


That's not how it works. The chain of custody issues mean the sample is compromised.
   83. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: February 23, 2012 at 08:25 PM (#4067478)
The actual BBWAA has shown that they don't care about evidence and that physical appearance and speculation are valid enough reasons to snub someone (Bagwell, probably Piazza and definitely Sosa next year), but everyone here on BBTF has a higher standard than that, right?
At this point I don't really care about the PEDs vis a vis the HOF discussion one way or the other, but I don't think that your framing here is really all that self-obvious as you seem to think it is. It's not necessarily hypocritical to apply different standards to the same evidence in different contexts; one could, for example, be glad that OJ was found not guilty because they think the prosecution ###### up, yet simultaneously think that OJ did it. Such a person holds a higher standard for the evidence when in the context of a court of law than when they do in a less formal situation, and that's perfectly fine.

Similarly, if this really boils down to "the guy delivered it on Monday instead of Saturday", I could imagine simultaneously thinking (A) it's good that a high standard is being applied in a court-like context, and (B) Braun almost certainly did it anyway. I don't think that those would be unreasonable opinions to hold simultaneously, and if someone is of the opinion that PED use is a HOF disqualification, then I wouldn't find it unreasonable for that person to additionally think that it's good that he wasn't suspended, but that he shouldn't go in the Hall.
   84. Gamingboy Posted: February 23, 2012 at 08:26 PM (#4067479)
How long until somebody finds out what FedEx it was?
   85. Fridas Boss Posted: February 23, 2012 at 08:26 PM (#4067480)
I'm not saying Braun shouldn't have won the appeal, I'm saying it's highly unlikely the sample was "actually" tainted. The appeal was owon because of a problem in process, not because the test failed to accurately demonstrate existence of PED.
   86. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: February 23, 2012 at 08:27 PM (#4067481)
If they didn't demonstrate a proper chain of custody, they can't prove that what was delivered to the testing lab was not what came out of Braun's body. Period, end of story.

I don't disagree with that legally. But I would like to know what happened at the courier's house over the weekend. If nobody came over (and he lives by him or herself), I don't see how the vial could have been contaminated unless placing it in the fridge again itself contaminates it.
   87. andrewreinsch Posted: February 23, 2012 at 08:27 PM (#4067482)
Yeah, if a player is responsible for everything in his body, no matter how it got there, the reasonable exchange is that MLB is responsible for taking absolute care of the sample. If the league can't get their procedure straight or follow it properly, then I wont complain if somebody wants to go all Dieter Baumann and complain about spiked toothpaste.
   88. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 23, 2012 at 08:29 PM (#4067483)
On a positive note, this has turned into a great advertisement for FedEx. I had no idea they are open Saturday nights! FedEx - the Official urine courier of Major League Baseball.
   89. Tripon Posted: February 23, 2012 at 08:31 PM (#4067484)
I think the argument that MLB or any administrating testing body can't be incompetent. You can't just arbitrarily assign punishment and expect it to be upheld.
   90. Barnaby Jones Posted: February 23, 2012 at 08:34 PM (#4067486)
I'm not saying Braun shouldn't have won the appeal, I'm saying it's highly unlikely the sample was "actually" tainted. The appeal was owon because of a problem in process, not because the test failed to accurately demonstrate existence of PED.


Based on the information that has been released so far, I don't know how this can be said with confidence. We don't have any details, or do we know why the specific rules that were broken were in place. Certain tests can be time-sensitive, or temperature sensitive, or whatever. These laboratory COC rules exist in part because if the samples aren't handled correctly, the result can be skewed. It's not exactly like courtroom COC, where you mainly trying to prove that no one swapped out the weapons or whatever.

I work with large databases of lab results all the time, and if I had a "crazy, outlier, off-the-charts result," and then I found out there were COC issues with that sample, I'd posit that the two were related and likely throw that data point out.
   91. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: February 23, 2012 at 08:40 PM (#4067491)
I'm saying it's highly unlikely the sample was "actually" tainted.

I don't think we have enough information to say. We don't know what happened at the courier's house that weekend.
   92. AndrewJ Posted: February 23, 2012 at 08:41 PM (#4067494)
J.C. Romero was suspended for a similar amount of time in 2009 after testing positive for androstenedione during the 2008 season. He claimed he was only taking legitimate, approved over-the-counter supplements from GNC (or The Vitamin Shoppe). Last month he settled with the supplement manufacturers after it was determined that the legal stuff was accidentally tainted with andro.
   93. Gamingboy Posted: February 23, 2012 at 08:44 PM (#4067495)
We don't know what happened at the courier's house that weekend.


We must find the courier. All answers rest with him.
   94. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: February 23, 2012 at 08:45 PM (#4067498)
I'm genuinely curious about this; for those of you that think PED use should be an automatic disqualifyer for the HOF, would you still withhold your hypothetical vote for Braun (assuming he goes on to produce a HOF caliber career)?

No. He took his case to arbitration, and he won. If we're not going to honor the outcome, I fail to see the point in allowing an appeal in the first place.

The actual BBWAA has shown that they don't care about evidence and that physical appearance and speculation are valid enough reasons to snub someone (Bagwell, probably Piazza and definitely Sosa next year), but everyone here on BBTF has a higher standard than that, right?

Some of us do, anyway. I wouldn't withhold my vote for any of those other players, either.
   95. Srul Itza Posted: February 23, 2012 at 08:54 PM (#4067501)
ESPN said the courier kept the sample at his or her home and in a "cool" place.


I'm saying it was a guy, and I'm saying he's not married. No woman I know is going to peacefully allow somebody else's urine sample in their refrigerator, no matter how well it is secured. Not gonna happen.
   96. Chico Lind(and the Man) Posted: February 23, 2012 at 09:03 PM (#4067508)
I'm sorry if I'm missing something here, but what happened to the "Insanely high levels of testosterone" theory? Or the "herpes" theory? If i'm understanding this right, Braun's camp know about the Fedex issue the whole time? How? I mean, for gods sake, how could they know that? Was the courier followed? Is it routine for the testee to track his sample as it travels to MLB Headquarters? Was he bribed by CAA to say that he kept it overnight in his fridge? And to go farther with that, how long has MLB known that the sample was delayed? They couldn't have just found that out recently, correct? See what I'm saying here? So why was an appeal even necessary? Why go through the motions if it was a sure thing that it would be overturned?
   97. Gamingboy Posted: February 23, 2012 at 09:03 PM (#4067509)

I'm saying it was a guy, and I'm saying he's not married. No woman I know is going to peacefully allow somebody else's urine sample in their refrigerator, no matter how well it is secured. Not gonna happen.


Okay, so, we are already on our way to finding out who the courier is. We know he's not married- or at least does not live with his wife. We can assume the Courier lives in the Milwaukee area or one of the places that the Brewers were in late September and early October.

That narrows it down to tens or hundreds of thousands instead of millions.
   98. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: February 23, 2012 at 09:04 PM (#4067510)
I'm saying it was a guy, and I'm saying he's not married. No woman I know is going to peacefully allow somebody else's urine sample in their refrigerator, no matter how well it is secured.

If the courier lives in a cold area, a "cool" place could mean the garage or underneath the porch.
   99. Walt Davis Posted: February 23, 2012 at 09:06 PM (#4067514)
There is no truth to the rumor that Brian McNamee now works as a courier for the MLB drug lab. :-)

On a positive note, this has turned into a great advertisement for FedEx. I had no idea they are open Saturday nights! FedEx - the Official urine courier of Major League Baseball.

I think it's generally been true that as long as you're willing to take it direct to the airport (and you're near a major airport), you can drop off something just about anytime. I don't remember what I was shipping but I do recall going to the UPS depot at O'Hare late at night to ship something and that would have been in the early-mid 80s.

On Braun -- what a nest of rumors. We've got "guy kept it in a fridge all weekend" (which may turn out to be true). We had "he's taking something for an STD, he's only guilty in a technical sense" (MLB seems fine with that application of "technical" yet is upset about this application of "technical"). Which might also well be true. And very early we had an anonymous source saying the T/E ratio in Braun's sample was so absurdly high that something had to have gone wrong with the testing -- which, if true, would be consistent with the idea that something went awry with the sample between urinal and lab.

Anyway, good for Braun and I hope this doesn't taint the public's perception of him.
   100. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: February 23, 2012 at 09:14 PM (#4067518)

I'm genuinely curious about this; for those of you that think PED use should be an automatic disqualifyer for the HOF, would you still withhold your hypothetical vote for Braun (assuming he goes on to produce a HOF caliber career)?



Absolutely not. 94/Jolly nails it: there's a process, it was followed, and Braun was exonerated. All's clear, and here's hoping he continues on his HOF path.
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