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Ryan Braun may be innocent

Jan 24, 2012, 8:20 AM EDT

ryan braun wide getty Getty Images

We’ll obviously have official word sometime soon, but yesterday Dan Patrick had something interesting to say on his radio show about the reigning NL MVP’s drug test and appeal: Braun may get off scott free.

There was nothing definitive in his comments — a lot of it was Patrick’s gut feeling based on a conversation he had with someone — but Patrick saidRyan Braun a victim of the testing by Major League Baseball,” and that “the feeling I got from somebody involved in the process in this, it’s not as cut and dried as people would think. And Ryan Braun may be an innocent man.”

Interesting. Braun testing positive to begin with has caused no shortage of controversy here. Just imagine how much controversy would ensue if the whole affair led to serious questions about the entire testing process itself coming into question.

  1. wlschneider09 - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:23 AM

    Here we go….

  2. proudlycanadian - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:34 AM

    Welcome back Craig.

    • phukyouk - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:20 AM

      technically he got back 3 days ago.. it just took a while for all that booze to leave his system. :-)

  3. Francisco (FC) - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:40 AM

    The morning sun was shining brightly and infused the office with a bit of warmth. Gleeman was happily surfing the net and answering his emails before getting to the tough job of scouring the news outlets for baseball activity. Then he noticed a package in a corner of his desk. With some trepidation he opened it only to find a simple square CD envelope. The disk had writing on it:

    PLAY ME it proclaimed. With a small shrug and a small sigh Aaron put the CD into his optical drive slot.
    All of a sudden Craig’s face appeared on the display, sitting on his high chair, rubbing his feet on the Phanatic rug, holding a pipe spewing bubbles in his typical Braves bathrobe. Yeah, it’s gonna be one of those mornings.

    “Greeting Agent Gleeman. HBT has intel that Ryan Braun may in fact, be innocent of the PED accusations lobbed against him. There is thought in our circles that there may be an MLB conspiracy to tarnish and damage this man’s reputation. However, this is only a theory. To confirm the story we must contact this man.”

    The screen blipped and a photo appeared in a corner of his screen. It was Dan Patrick.

    “Apparently Mr. Patrick has information regarding the innocence or culpabitlity of Mr. Braun. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make contact with Dan Patrick, determine his information sources and obtain the necessary proof of Ryan Braun’s innocence or guilt. Your team has already been assembled for you.”

    More photos blipped into existence along the bottom of his screen showing D.J, Mathew, Tiffany and Drew. Gleeman rolled his eyes.

    “As usual, should you or any member of your HBT team be apprehended or killed, NBC Sports will deny any knowledge of your operations. This message will self destruct-”

    Aaron, had heard enough, he ejected the disk, briefly opened his window, and tossed it out the CD and grabbed a mug. He had no time for Craig’s usual shenanigans… self-destruct…

    Then he heard an explosion, and car alarms started sounding off left and right. OK, that part was new…

    • stlouis1baseball - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:02 AM

      FC: Wow…thanks alot. I will never get that time back. You owe me.

    • pauleee - Jan 24, 2012 at 12:23 PM

      Pay no attention, FC. I quite like them. One suggestion though – needs more Tiffany!

      • cur68 - Jan 24, 2012 at 1:05 PM

        Everything needs more Tiffany. And cake.

  4. ml3939 - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:44 AM

    How come sports do not wait to announce positive steroid tests until the appeal is heard if that is the route the player chooses to go? Braun has already been convicted in the court of public opinion. Even if he is still proven innocent, it seems like his name will be tarnished going forward. Jeff Bagwell was never convicted of using any illegal products and professional writers assume otherwise. Skeptics will always assume something must have been fishy to generate a positive test even with an explanation to the contrary.

    • paperlions - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:54 AM

      Leaks, I believe. Too many office people find out and at least one person can’t keep their mouth shut (not unlike the person Patrick talked to).

    • jwbiii - Jan 24, 2012 at 12:22 PM

      What you describe ml, is the usual procedure. Players are tested as part of their spring training physicals and we get announcements from mid-March through mid-April. Last year, it was a bunch of minor leaguers you’ve probably never heard of and Manny Ramirez. If a player is cleared on appeal, we never hear a thing, which is as it should be for the reason you state. Ryan Braun is the exception to the system’s confidentiality policies.

  5. deadeyedesign23 - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:44 AM

    I think the one thing we should all keep in mind is that if it turns out that it is over turned, we should all completely forget this ever happened. I think we can for the most part agree that the worst part of the punishment is being outed as someone who uses. If people hold this over his head then there’s not trust in the testing policy. And I’m probably as hard on steroid users as they come.

    • narrabeen23 - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:57 AM

      sorry buddy, it doesn’t work that way. It is such a bunch of BS that Braun was done this way. I can’t explain how pissed i am if I’m Braun right now. Everything he worked for was called a fraud and his play was dismissed. What could possibly remedy this scarlet letter type treatment?

  6. paperlions - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:56 AM

    If Braun is innocent, he isn’t “getting off scott free”, which implies he did something wrong but got away with it. Rather, he had his reputation ruined for nothing….because no matter what the outcome, there are plenty in the media that will be bringing this up for the rest of his life.

    • stex52 - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:03 AM

      Right now your original complaint about how leaks taint the whole exercise is really ringing true. If it was a bad test, they need to find who talked in the chain of custody and deal with them. This is starting to have the marks of a gross injustice.

    • Kyle - Jan 24, 2012 at 12:17 PM

      Amen. Well said.

  7. randygnyc - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:01 AM

    The only way Braun gets off and can be deemed innocent at this point is that the medicine (herpes?) he was taking had errantly been on the MLB approved list. Then, he gets a pass. There is no other way, IMO. He had man made testosterone in his system, and the man who mad it wasn’t Braun.

  8. narrabeen23 - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:03 AM

    I can see the sportswriters now…

    “We made a mistake regarding Braun, our bad. He deserves the MVP. We shouldn’t jump to conclusions when so much is at stake.”

    “So does that mean Jeff Bagwell will get into the HOF now?”

    “What? No! Just take a look at him, doesn’t he just have the look of a steroid user? No way am I voting him in and having steroids taint the HOF”

  9. sdelmonte - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    Welcome back from your vacation. Work is so dull without you.

  10. ufullpj - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:20 AM

    Braun may get off “scott-free” for being innocent? What the hell? Do you secretly work for ESPN now? That’s a D-Bag, Dick-ish comment….

  11. jag8r904 - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    I feel bad for him. Hopefully he gets this over turned. Otherwise, he’s out 1/3 of the season AND the whole world knows he’s got herpes.

  12. hammyofdoom - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    I really hope that this will cause people to put away their jump to conclusions mat forever. Seriously, every time someone supposedly tests positive, most of the public immediately A) thinks he’s guilty and B) thinks that he took steroids. Though 90+ percent of these guys have to be positive since this testing is pretty solid, but theres always going to be an outlier or two. Not only that, but I have no clue whats on the banned substance list, some of it may not be “bad”, it might just be against their rules

  13. makjak2 - Jan 24, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    I can see it now. If Braun is cleared, cue A-Rod saying, “Wait I change my mind, I was the victim of a false positive too! Please like me?”

  14. bozosforall - Jan 24, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    If he is innocent, then all 104 on the 2003 list are innocent as well.

    • dondada10 - Jan 24, 2012 at 2:11 PM

      How so? All of them?

  15. cur68 - Jan 24, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    Still need some facts, but I am not surprised of rumors of innocence. This was too much a smear job, with all the leaks. Pass or fail, he’s got a case to sue MLB for how they handled this.

  16. Old Gator - Jan 24, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    Dreyfus was guilty!

  17. papacrick - Jan 24, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    Sorry Braun lovers but there is no way you get testosterone levels that high without injecting it directly into your muscles. There is no medication on the planet that will give you testosterone levels as high as they are reporting he tested for. You don’t need to look like Barry Bonds to be a roider. HGH makes everything on your body grow like crazy and testosterone gives you super strength without your head ballooning up. It’s more disappointing than anything. He was my favorite player not on my team and it’s still shocking he would engage in something so risky. Obviously he was trying to get a little playoff boost and wasn’t expecting a postseason test.

  18. bigleagues - Jan 24, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    CRAIG:

    I posted back on December 13th about something that BP’s Kevin Goldstein tweeted and Jeff Passan asked several follow up questions in an effort to clarify what Goldstein was saying . . .

    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/12/13/union-head-michael-weiner-releases-a-statement-about-ryan-braun/

    . . . and Goldstein was saying that a trusted source confided in him an account of a specific player who had tested positive and the suspension was dismissed before it ever reached a hearing – thus there was never the need to go public because the test was dismissed as a false positive. He did not name the player. But the gist of the entire exchange was false positives are simply a statistical reality of any testing program . . . and MLB has a perfect track record because those are the results of those tests were fully verified and the player hearing concluded before going public. That was not the case with Braun. His results leaked, subverting the process.

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