Skip to content

Mike Lupica seems to think the Braun arbitration was rigged

Feb 24, 2012, 1:13 PM EDT


Mike Lupica has a pretty Mike Lupica column up about the Ryan Braun arbitration today.  The upshot: who cares what some arbitrator says, we all know Braun is dirty and blah, blah, blah.  Lots of people are actually writing that column today, of course. I’m sure it makes them feel good.

But more notable to me is that Lupica has two passages in his piece — as well as the sub-headline to the story that someone else likely wrote — which suggest that he thinks this is more than a lucky ballplayer gaming the system. Rather, it suggests that he thinks the system was rigged to begin with.

The sub-headline reads: “Commissioner’s connection to Brewers raises questions.”  Which is interesting, because the only people I’ve seen raising that as a question are conspiracy theorists on message boards. MLB’s official statement, which comes from the Commissioner’s Office, is very clear in voicing the league’s and thus Bud Selig’s dissatisfaction with the ruling, and if you’re going to take that at less than face value you should probably offer some evidence up to substantiate what is a very serious charge.

But here’s Lupica:

And by the way? Nobody was looking to get Ryan Braun here from the start, get him good or pin a drug rap on him, or take down one of the sport’s golden boys. Braun does play for the Milwaukee Brewers, a team once owned by the current commissioner of baseball, Bud Selig, a commissioner who still has his office in Milwaukee and a statue outside Miller Park.  You better believe Braun has been part of a wonderful baseball resurgence in Milwaukee, one that had the Brewers in the playoffs last October against the Cardinals, eventual World Series champs.

So Selig is apparently in on the fix.  As is, it seems, the arbitrator:

A three-man panel heard Braun’s appeal. Rob Manfred, baseball’s executive vice president was on that panel, so was Michael Weiner, head of the Major League Baseball Players Association. The third man was arbitrator Shyam Das, the tiebreaker who saved Braun the way Braun saves the Brewers with big hits in the late innings … But you know what, however you weigh in on this? Floyd Landis probably wishes he could have found a legal loophole like this through which to ride his bike. Or found himself an arbitrator like Das.

That suggests to me that Lupica thinks that Das was in the bag for Braun somehow and that no other arbitrator — like the one Floyd Landis got — would have ruled the same way.  I’d love to see Lupica’s reasoning for this and whether it extends beyond “I didn’t like the outcome, so the arbitrator must have been out to save Braun’s bacon.”

Das, of course, is a well-respected arbitrator with decades of experience who was chosen by and serves at the pleasure of Major League Baseball and the MLBPA. Jointly.  If MLB thought Das was somehow less-than-qualified and able to handle baseball arbitration cases fairly, he wouldn’t be handling baseball arbitration cases. Someone else would.

Lupica can dislike the ruling here. He’s probably in the majority in that regard.  But his suggestions that that Selig’s history with the Brewers or Das’ ruling meant that the deck was somehow stacked in Braun’s favor is preposterous and irresponsible.

  1. phillyphreak - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    This is how surprised I am at Lupica’s article:

  2. brewcrewfan54 - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    Mike Lupica sucks in general.

    • 18thstreet - Feb 24, 2012 at 4:18 PM

      His comments on Das strike me as libelous.

  3. manifunk - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    Craig you are an island of common sense in a sea of ignorance and castigation. Well said.

  4. jpirish - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    Are you just searching the internet in order to justify you argument. At least show the other side or change the name of your website to Kiss the Players Union Rear end talk dot com. Dam you are a real suck up.

    • phillyphreak - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:21 PM


      A “dam” is a structure that retains water. Typically these are built by beavers. Maybe cows too. We will never know.

      • cur68 - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:24 PM

        Dam building = beavers. Trust me on this. Also a “dam” can mean “mother of this animal here” (father being “sire”). Cows build greenhouses with their farts. Or something. Here endeth the lesson.

      • phillyphreak - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:29 PM

        Crap. I was hoping to turn that into a children’s book.

      • phillyphreak - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:33 PM

        Well there goes my award winning children’s book idea.

        It was going to be called “The Cow Who Built Dams”

      • cur68 - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:42 PM

        Nah, book idea still on, ‘phreak. Y’just need to tweak it a bit. “The Cow Who Built Greenhouses”. Kids love fart jokes…well I loved fart jokes when I was kid…still do, actually…anyhow, it’ll work. The Global Warming crowd should offer you a huge advance on it.

      • phillyphreak - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:44 PM

        Hmmmm…..interesting take.

        Back to the drawing board…..

      • Old Gator - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:09 PM

        I have seen cows building a dam with my own eyes. Really. it was during the war, when all the bulls were at the front.

        Incidentally, no one has ever actually seen a beaver build a dam. You wake up in the morning, there is the dam, there’s the beaver with a satisfied look on its face. The elves have gone.

        By the way, doesn’t Shayam Das also make those wonderful softcore horror movies with Mel Gibson and Bart Giamatti?

    • bobwsc - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:28 PM

      seems pretty clear that Craig was pointing out the many holes in Lupica’s garbage argument. wait, is that you Mike?

    • flyinfalkin - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:28 PM

      Then why are you here and not at I<

  5. cur68 - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    Lemme guess: Lupica has a BBWAA vote for the HOF, right? His reasoning here is exactly as sound a lot of the HOF voting. At least he’s consistent (*massive eye roll*).

  6. aaronmoreno - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    How long until the anti-Semitism shows up?

    • Stacey - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:30 PM

      It has already. If you look at some of the comments on ESPN articles on Braun (or any other website). It’s actually quite scary.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:59 PM

        Sometimes comments make look sensible.

      • frankvzappa - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:33 PM

        First they will come for the conspiracy theorists…

      • 18thstreet - Feb 24, 2012 at 4:22 PM

        This is the only site I read the comments on. Everywhere else, it’s like a Klan meeting.

      • Stacey - Feb 24, 2012 at 4:34 PM

        Sad but true. The worst are youtube comments (I think)

    • alexo0 - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:40 PM

      I believe the ethnicity card is usually played right after the race card.

      • Jonny 5 - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:46 PM

        That is next. The “He got off because he’s white” crowd is probably bust trying to reword their thoughts to make them sound less generic. They’ll come out tomorrow at the latest.

      • cur68 - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:17 PM

        We could have a “Jewish Banking Conspiracy” post by this time tomorrow. Nuts of every stripe are ripening, no doubt about it. With any luck their foil hats will pick up too much static charge and they’ll feel compelled to spin clockwise till they get rid of it.

      • Jonny 5 - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:29 PM

        My foil hat is static proof. I keep it grounded every time I’m wearing it. 😛

    • jpirish - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:36 PM

      Who played that card, not me . Geeze any port in a storm.

      • cur68 - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:43 PM

        No one mentioned you, JP. Look and you’ll see not one of us…oh wait…I did introduce the term “nut of every stripe”. I can see how you might take that to mean you.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:49 PM

        Craig, can you change the name of this blog to JPirish Hardass Talk? Since you’re such a suck up, and since JPirish is, clearly, the center of the universe.

  7. navel gazing - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    Yeah, because this guy is such an inexperienced person:

    This is one hell of an impressive list of qualifications….

  8. jousherd - Feb 24, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    Wow, I used to respect mike lupica, but when did he start working the national enquirer, what a giant waste of space. lupica is a douche bag, and will always be on in my, and many other peoples’, book

  9. phillyphreak - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    Totally unrelated, but is anyone else having a terrible time with comments getting lost today?

  10. yankeesfanlen - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    In the same edition of today’s Daily News, Lupica also “took out” Romney today. He must be exhausted.

  11. patsandsox - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    The whole thing seems really strange. I work for an IT firm that goes in places that have sensitive information and we have to be drug screened. We go to a lab to be tested. Our samples are collected by nurses in sealed contaniers so this just seems like the strangest setup to me. Like its just an accident waiting to happen, or an agents dream for when their client tests positive. It makes the whole setup seem suspect.

    It makes me wonder why they even bother? I wonder if it is all just a shame to make congress get off thier back so they can say see we test now. Possible maybe? or why would it be so different than the setup I go into for a government job?

  12. ningenito78 - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Craig as much as I disagree with you that this somehow can’t be considered winning on a technicality, couldn’t agree more about this. Lupica has always been a pompous, misguided blowhard but this is a hack job. If he really believes the crap he just wrote, it might be time to team up with Jessie Ventura and go hunt for evidence 9/11 was committed by the government. What a joke.

  13. stevejeltzjehricurl - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    You can pretty much preduict whenever Lupica is going to say something stupid — it’s anytime he opens his mouth or puts his fingers to the keyboard.

    The opening was classic:

    “Ryan Braun says he is innocent and that he is clean, that he never used synthetic testosterone. Braun says that even though when he had to defend himself in front of an arbitration panel, he didn’t question the science that had his testosterone level ring the bell the way it did, he questioned language in baseball’s collective bargaining agreement about the chain of custody and baseball’s collection procedures for drug testing.”

    Maybe the reason he questioned the testing procedure is because he believes that it was the cause of the test result. Idiot.

  14. muskyhunter2542 - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    I will pay someone $5k to break his kneecaps…
    Both of them!!!

  15. muskyhunter2542 - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    He’s a dousche

  16. educatedfools - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    Isn’t it likely that he didn’t “find a legal loophole”, but this was the easiest way to prove that he was not guilty? Maybe whatever “prescription” or whatever was too hard to prove so they found another screw up by the tester that was easier. Since all they have to do is prove that something was wrong with the testing, this was much easier than trying to show that his prescription led to the otherworldly testosterone.

  17. Gamera the Brave - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    Craig, does Mike Lupica know you are using his name as an adjective?
    Does that require special permission or licensing?

  18. tacklemeelmo - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    Just another reason I should “put up columns.” Can’t be any worse than this?

    Could 1000 Mike Lupica’s with typewriters eventually produce Shakespeare? I doubt it.

  19. drunkenhooliganism - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    Lupica thinks that anyone over 5’1″ must be using something to explain their gigantism

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:18 PM

      Laughed way more than I should have, thanks

  20. phillyphreak - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    Complete aside: is anyone else having comments not post?

  21. Tick - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    There seems to be a lot of writers that are auditioning for FOX News.

  22. jpirish - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    For you gentlemen who dont like my opinion, Just Follow players like lemmings.. I didnt cheat the game. Nor did McGwire, or Canseco, or Sosa, etc. Also remember I’m not a Crook…..Nixon.. hymm time will tell. Keep following the players over the cliff. This whole story hurts the game. No pity on Braun. Watch his numbers.

    • drunkenhooliganism - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:34 PM

      If i thought all of the players were unredeemable assholes, i wouldnt watch the game.

      Thats why i wont read your posts anymore

      • jpirish - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:03 PM

        Do you have an opinion or do you just dog other peoples views. Get a life. I have seen players deny deny deny. Get real. Braun takes his shirt off and he is Superman…

      • cur68 - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:22 PM

        @JP: Dude you been dogging Craig about HIS views so why get all shitty when someone dogs YOUR views? You air your opinion aplenty, without a modicum of grace, wit or charm and you wonder we think you’re an asshole? Maybe, and here’s a novel thought you might want to entertain, you ARE an asshole.

  23. ningenito78 - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    This here comment section is like Lupica’s columns. Started out serious about Braun’s drug test and just ending up being all about beaver and cow dams, farting greenhouses, and foil hats. Fitting.

    • Gamera the Brave - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:07 PM

      A quick review of the comment thread indicates that at no point did anyone say that a greenhouse farted…
      Just trying to keep all the facts straight.

      • badmamainphilliesjamas - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:37 PM

        That alone distinguishes you from Lupica.

  24. papacrick - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    Sorry guys but he’s right on this. Look at how angry all you dorks are that this guy exposed your golden Jew

    • muskyhunter2542 - Feb 24, 2012 at 2:49 PM

      Your a Nazi!!!

    • El Bravo - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:16 PM

      Dude really? There’s no place for this crap here. C’mon man.

    • snowbirdgothic - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:25 PM

      To be fair, Braun is only half-Jewish, which means we only got mildly peeved. If we were talking Youk or Ian Kinsler here, then it would be a full blown Member of the Tribe Hulk-out. David Eckstein, we’d all get very upset, then realize he wasn’t Jewish and decide the whole thing was just fine.

    • cur68 - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:35 PM

      I have a ‘golden Jew’? Shit. I didn’t know that. I thought what I had was a clear understanding of evidence handling, due process and being in possession of all the facts before rushing to condemn anyone. Dang. Where do I keep this ‘golden Jew’, then? I imagine he’s like a little Oscar Statuette, only holding a baseball bat. We talkin’ real gold here? If so, I’m rich and I’m outta here peons!

      If I don’t have an actual ‘golden Jew’, then you sir are alluding to Braun’s paternal ethnicity as playing some part in his arbitration result. If that’s the intention you’re putting forth then you, sir, are a fucking idiot.

      • snowbirdgothic - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:44 PM

        I’ve got a couple of the old Steven Malkmus “Silver Jews” CDs. Do they count?

      • cur68 - Feb 24, 2012 at 4:06 PM

        Gold is trading at about 1.77Gs/troy ounce. Silver @$35.36. I think you’re not rich but you can get pizza. Maybe kosher pizza, if there is such a thing…with spinach. I love pizza with spinach.

      • richeich - Feb 24, 2012 at 8:23 PM

        Did he hurt your feelings? Admit it. No matter what religion Braun is, he is GUILTY, and got off on a technicality.LOL

    • koufaxmitzvah - Feb 24, 2012 at 4:32 PM

      Better a golden Jew than a golden shower.

      Now go spray paint a swastika, Champ.

  25. chiadam - Feb 24, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    I have two rules of sports journalism.
    1. Disregard anything that has “oh by the way” anywhere in it (this renders ESPN completely obsolete).
    2. Disregard anything written by dancing bear Mike Lupica.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. D. Wright (3129)
  2. J. Fernandez (2563)
  3. D. Span (2525)
  4. Y. Cespedes (2498)
  5. G. Stanton (2495)
  1. Y. Puig (2371)
  2. M. Teixeira (2212)
  3. G. Springer (2206)
  4. F. Rodney (2200)
  5. G. Perkins (2049)