Skip to content

Deadspin has a pretty controversial theory on the Braun decision

Feb 28, 2012, 8:49 AM EDT

ryan braun wide getty Getty Images

Over at Deadspin, Tommy Craggs offers a potential theory of why Ryan Braun won his arbitration, even though many believe the case against him was so strong:

Over the weekend, however, I spoke with someone familiar with the arbitration process in general. He had another theory: Ryan Braun didn’t get off because of the merits of his case; he got off because the arbitrator who cast the decisive vote in Braun’s favor—the vote with which baseball “vehemently disagrees”—was thinking about his own future.

The upshot: arbitrator Shyam Das serves at the pleasure of both the union and the league. He has ruled against players an awful lot lately, especially on drug cases, and he used the Braun case as a means to balance the scales a bit so the union wouldn’t get fed up with him and fire him from his lucrative and high-profile gig. As Craggs puts it “If ever there were a case for Das to throw to the players, it was this one.”

Possible? Well, I suppose anything is possible. But saying that an arbitrator is placing his self interest ahead of the case in front of him is an extraordinarily serious charge. One which I’d feel a lot more comfortable entertaining if it was based on something more than a theory from “someone familiar with the arbitration process in general.”  Because really, this is not terribly different from saying that a judge threw a case because he was thinking about his reelection.

Less broadly, the theory has a major problem:  if the arbitrator was really throwing this thing — a case where it seems most people who are not Ryan Braun’s legal team think MLB should have won — it’s just as likely if not more so that Major League Baseball would get angry and fire Das.  At least it’s a risk, so what would Das have to gain here by being unethical?

What would not be as risky is if Das were to make a well-reasoned decision that explains why this case, and not any others, had this particular outcome. It would satisfy the union because it would be based in reason and would have an outcome with which they were happy. It would satisfy the league, eventually anyway, because it would be based in reason, would not present a scenario that would be replicable in future appeals and would provide a road map to the league about how to fix the problem.

We’re going to get Das’ reasoning, by the way, within a few weeks, so we’ll be able to judge that for ourselves.  Until then, I’m loathe to accuse this man of violating ethical considerations in reaching the decision he reached.

  1. thehypercritic - Feb 28, 2012 at 8:59 AM

    MLB’s response to this whole thing boggles my mind.

    That a superstar and reigning MVP was exonerated by the toughest testing system in professional sports is a GOOD thing. That the sport won’t suffer an outsized PR hit and lose one of the faces of the game (and associated revenue) for 50 games is the best possible outcome.

    Leave it to Selig to find a way to screw anything up.

    • saints97 - Feb 28, 2012 at 10:28 AM

      Do you really believe that MLB has the toughest drug testing system in professional sports?

      You have to mean major professional American team sports leagues, right?

      • jdl1325 - Feb 28, 2012 at 11:21 AM

        I think he meant sports that matter.

      • saints97 - Feb 28, 2012 at 11:34 AM

        He must have. I know MLB always claimed to be the strictest (amongst them, NFL, NBA, and NHL), but I am not sure why they are the strictest. They were the last, so maybe they had to claim to be really strict to try to make up for that inconvenient fact.

        Personally, I don’t think any of them are strict at all, but I also believe that to be a good thing if that’s what the PA wants. The people that have a vested interest in drug testing are the players. They are the ones who have to face to health risks, and they are the ones who are subject to either being at a disadvantage or face those risks. If they don’t want strict testing, that’s fine by me.

        Just don’t come crying later and sue the league because they didn’t do enough to protect you from the evils of PEDs.

      • Michael - Feb 28, 2012 at 6:19 PM

        Deadspin: trolling for attention since 2005. Stopped being funny in 2007.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 28, 2012 at 10:37 AM

      Braun did not win as much as the testing system lost. That is why MLB is unhappy. The ruling says that the testing system failed to produce a credible test result, and in the absence of such credible result there was no evidence against Braun.

      MLB should be happy it happened to such a likeable player. If this had been ARod or Manny seeming getting caught then ‘exonerated’ by a faulty process, I imagine there would be far more tearing of garments over the whole affair.

    • dohpey28 - Feb 28, 2012 at 11:07 AM

      He wasn’t exonerated, he won his case on appeal due to a technicality. He never once argued his test was a false positive during his appeal.

      • stevejeltzjehricurl - Feb 28, 2012 at 12:25 PM

        Arguing that the process renders the result invalid is, in effect, disputing that the test was positive.

      • The Rabbit - Feb 28, 2012 at 1:49 PM

        We don’t have even close to all the information. We have little more than conflicting sound bites relayed by the media. In spite of the testing company’s proclamations and self-adulation, I don’t believe any medical testing procedure is 100% accurate.

        That said, I also don’t have a problem with a so-called “technicality” either. Many major crimes have no eyewitness or in spite of what TV entertainment might have you believe, reliable forensic evidence. Cases are circumstantial.
        How do you prove a negative, i.e., that you didn’t do it? It’s extremely difficult and sometimes impossible.

        If I were ever accused of something I didn’t do, I’d advise my legal representatives to use any argument available including so-called “technicalities”. It is part of the system in place to protect us from false accusations. Although it wouldn’t prove my innocence which would annoy the hell out of me, at least the correct outcome would be reached.

    • skids003 - Feb 29, 2012 at 8:03 AM

      I think Das has Braun on his fantasy team, and didn’t want to lose him for 50 games.

  2. kopy - Feb 28, 2012 at 9:02 AM

    It’s an interesting theory, but there’s no real way to substantiate it. It’s nice when somebody with an inside source can discover knowledge of actual facts, but nobody can read the thoughts of Shyam Das. The best anyone can do is see his decision and the outcome, and try connecting some dots. Self-serving his career is one potential motive, but the more likely one is just that he felt he was making the best decision based on the instructions he was given.

  3. drkincaid - Feb 28, 2012 at 9:20 AM

    In John Heylar’s fabulous “lords of the realm” there is a lot written on the salary arbitration process and how the cases have historically been split, reasoning that it is in the arbitrator’s best interest to keep an even record to keep the arbitration process in place at each collective bargaining agreement, especially during salary arbitration’s infancy under Marvin Miller. That said, this is a pretty odd time to give a non-salary arbitration case to the players, and seems to have cast more doubt on his future than anything. It would make sense to give a case with less publicity that was borderline, as opposed to a landmark overturn.

    • kopy - Feb 28, 2012 at 9:26 AM

      Right. The arbiter knew the case had been leaked before he made his decision. If he really wanted to make a biased decision and throw the players a bone, he would have done it on a case that wasn’t public. You know, if he was smart.

  4. PanchoHerreraFanClub - Feb 28, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    Why is it that in this ever changing world we can count on one constant thing: some sportswriter trashing someone’s reputation without a shred of evidence? It is nice to know that some things never change.

    • chadjones27 - Feb 28, 2012 at 9:52 AM

      He’s not a sports writer. He works for deadspin.

    • xtracrispy79 - Feb 28, 2012 at 10:22 AM

      What do you mean with “without a shred of evidence”? We do have the opinion of “someone familiar with the arbitration process in general.” Which, you know, could be pretty much any employment lawyer.

  5. frankvzappa - Feb 28, 2012 at 9:22 AM

    Das intentionally shanked it at the behest of MLB, who then pretended to be upset with the decision in order to save face while saving the face of the league. What is really so hard to understand about this? It is the most logical explanation. Occam’s Razor. That’s no reason to not examine other theories, but to suppose Das was freewheeling here is ludicrous. Selig is much more powerful than the player’s union, so why would Das be rolling the dice here?

    • koufaxmitzvah - Feb 28, 2012 at 9:41 AM

      Sorry, Frank. The most logical explanation is that a smart arbitrator realized that some nobody holding onto someone else’s supposed urine in his own home for more than 48 hours, and then that urine testing with some unheard of amount of “synthetic testortone” when no other urine test by that particular player over that particular player’s entire professional career showed any unlawful amount of testorone– synthetic or otherwise– can himself apply the law and understand that the urine test can indeed be faulty, and, therefore, not a valid reason to suspend the player for over 2 months of his chosen profession.

      That’s logic.

      Now, if somebody wants to hop on the conspiracy train, why was Ryan Braun’s name leaked to ESPN in the first place?

      • frankvzappa - Feb 28, 2012 at 10:22 AM

        The truth will be revealed the next time Das either gets promoted or demoted. People get promoted for doing their jobs, so if we hear that Das has a new better-paying gig sometime in the near future, we will know he did his part well, and we will know exactly what that part was.

      • saints97 - Feb 28, 2012 at 10:32 AM

        Koufax, it was not “an unheard amount of synthetic testortone (your spelling, not mine)” at all. His level was at 20 to 1. There have been many cases of levels being over 100 to 1.

        Please folks, Occam’s Razor probably says that Das truly believes that proper procedure was violated, but let’s not continue to repeat the lies that Braun’s camp put out as truth. That one is actually the most patently false of them all.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Feb 28, 2012 at 10:39 AM

        Saints: This whole thing is ridiculous. I don’t care if it was 10:1, 100:1, or 1000:1.

        The urine was stored at some dude’s house for over 48 hours.

        This is a billion dollar industry and the one drug test leaked to the press was stored at some dude’s house for over 48 hours.

      • saints97 - Feb 28, 2012 at 10:53 AM

        Koufax, I was only arguing with your continuance of a blatant falsity.

        As for the storage of urine, I think reasonable minds disagree. I will withhold judgement on that until I see what they come up with. As it stands, it would seem that players have a loophole against being tested during night games on Saturday (yes, I am well aware that the alleged date of the test was a day game).

        They will have to come up with a place to store the urine until FedEx resumes delivery on Mondays. Heck, for that matter, I don’t see how a FedEx box is any more secure than a dude’s home.

        But the two sides are going to have to have a meeting of minds on what a reasonable level of security is for urine.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Feb 28, 2012 at 11:03 AM

        Well, Saints, when I took my piss test for my job, I peed in a cup at a facility that tested the pee by the end of the day.

        I also used an awesome masking element to “prove” that I didn’t have any marijuana in my system. (Marijuana stays in urine for about 30 days.)

        Like I’ve been saying, the drug test industry is a joke. WADA is a joke. MLB’s drug testing system is a joke. This entire case is flimsy, weak, and exemplifies that jokers and hucksters obtain too much power by especially creating issues and controversy where none exist.

        (And in terms of my job and my marijuana use, I still work here, and am still considered a valuable asset to my team, all of whom are well aware that I smoke pot. So… what’s the problem again?)

      • veistran - Feb 28, 2012 at 11:12 AM

        It was stored at some dude’s house, triple sealed with absolutely no evidence offered by Braun that it was tampered with or degraded in any fashion. So what exactly is your point? Also “some dude” is a trained DCO its not like some random courier picked it up and left it at home while he went clubbing. Yes it was a procedural violation as the rules are written (which is what saved him) but there continues to be no evidence that it had any bearing on the outcome of the testing.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Feb 28, 2012 at 11:19 AM

        BTW, Saints, I think it’s cute that (your spelling not mine) is in quotes as I didn’t mention that point about my comment, you did.

        So, see, if you want to get nitpicky, expect being nitpicked right back, I guess.

        In the meantime, I’ve made numerous attempts at continuing my side of the banter on this case that will never die and am having a hard time getting my comments to stick to this site. It could be on my end. Or it could be on HBT’s end.

        I say, Conspiracy. Even though Craig and I think alike about the Braun tainted sample case, I know that DJ thinks otherwise. But, more importantly, I am convinced that my side is right and that side is wrong and falalalalalalalala.

        Now, if NBCSports wants to prove there is no conspiracy here, then let this comment post!

      • saints97 - Feb 28, 2012 at 11:42 AM

        I’m not arguing with your point, Koufax. In fact, I don’t even know what it is. And I don’t care. You are entitled to your opinion.

        But your opinion won’t be taken seriously if you continue to utter ignorant things like “urine testing with some unheard of amount of synthetic testosterone.”

        A 20:1 ratio is completely heard of. It is, in fact, in the normal range for those that are taking testosterone boosters or synthetic testosterone.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Feb 28, 2012 at 1:17 PM

        First of all, Saints, you don’t have to take me seriously. If it helps matters here, I don’t take anything seriously in the comments section of HBT, minus generalized racism that pops up every now and then.

        As for you and I thinking the same thoughts, it’s incredibly possible.

        As my point, it’s pretty simple: The whole thing is absurd. ESPN screwed the pooch, and they’re trying to make up for their breach of trust with the public by trying to out-scoop others during a 24/7/365 news cycle made especially for cable television.

        As for the urine test, I took a piss test at a facility and that facility came back with a diagnosis within 4 hours. Of course, I had successfully masked my marijuana usage for this piss test, and my employers still think I’m a decent worker, and so does my client, and anyone who knows me knows that I tend to smoke the reefer. And wha’ts the point of bringing this up? Why it’s to show that 1. You CAN take a test at the same facility that administers a study of urine contents rather than have someone come to your home or place of business on a Saturday and then hold onto that urine sample for more than 48 hours before shipping it to some lab via FedEx; and 2. Tests aren’t clear cut definitive prognoses of what is really in somebody’s urine.

        And, still, why the hell was Ryan Braun’s name leaked to the media? That’s the real issue here. Are we not Americans? Do we not have a right to privacy and due process?

        Smoke screens, man. The whole thing is a big frickin’ joke.

    • Ari Collins - Feb 28, 2012 at 10:01 AM

      That is an incorrect use of Occam. Don’t theorize the existence of a conspiracy when mere incompetence will do.

      • cur68 - Feb 28, 2012 at 12:14 PM

        Nailed it, Ari. Occam would further say that the people in possession of the facts are obviously the most likely to make a correct decision. The rest of us have rumor, conflation, misinformation, innuendo, slander, calumny, pigheadedness, and plain ole bile to work with. Nothing about the lex parsimoniae (which goes something like “the simplest reasoning will be the most likely answer until evidence proves it incorrect”) is violated by simply agreeing that the person who has all the facts, the arbitrator, saw that Braun couldn’t be suspend based on that test. Until we have the facts, which we do not, we cannot apply Occam further.

  6. phukyouk - Feb 28, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    I’m not a lawyer or nothing, but wouldnt this count as libel or something like that?

    • Ben - Feb 28, 2012 at 9:36 AM

      No. It’s basically impossible to prove libel. There has to be malice and actual harm. And because it’s a theory or opinion, not a statement of face, it’s basically covered.

    • southpaw2k - Feb 28, 2012 at 9:37 AM

      It’s a pretty slanderous comment to make, but the problem with calling it libel is that the judge would have to ultimately prove somehow that A.) he did make the ruling fair and just, and B.) Craggs KNEW the judge was being fair in his ruling, and C.) Craggs decided to go ahead with writing the piece anyways. For those reasons, libel is incredibly difficult to prove in court.

  7. bblair917 - Feb 28, 2012 at 9:39 AM

    At the same time it’s fine to accuse the courier of tampering with the sample though, right? He would potentially be putting his career in jeopardy by doing so. I’m sure his gig isn’t as high paying or high profile as Das’s but it’s still a career he’s had for quite some time and with several professional sports leagues. For him to get thrown to the wolves is as ridiculous as Das’s throwing a bone to the Player’s Union.

    • Ari Collins - Feb 28, 2012 at 10:03 AM

      No one is accusing the courier of tampering with the sample. They’re just saying that by giving him the opportunity to tamper with the sample, MLB lost the ability to say definitively that the sample was pure.

      • bblair917 - Feb 28, 2012 at 10:08 AM

        Didn’t Braun kind-of insinuate that there was a possibility that his sample was tampered with? By asking MLB to conduct a DNA test to match against the urine, isn’t that what he was saying? And weren’t there a few reports of how nervous the guy was on the stand, and how he’s supposedly a Cubs fan?

        So maybe he wasn’t directly accused, but it’s pretty obvious no?

      • koufaxmitzvah - Feb 28, 2012 at 10:14 AM

        BBlair: Why does Braun have to prove anything? That is not how the judicial system works. Braun is accused. The burden of proof in on the accusers. Those accusers can’t account for the sample being pure and direct from Braun’s body.

      • blabidibla - Feb 28, 2012 at 10:18 AM

        Plenty of people have been insinuating the courier is guilty of tampering. where have you been?

      • bblair917 - Feb 28, 2012 at 10:21 AM

        Koufax, I didn’t say Braun had to prove anything. In fact, I agree with the decision. I might not think that he should be acting so exonerated but that’s just my opinion. My point is that people seem to be crucifying the courier, lobbing accusations against him for tampering with the sample. Just seems unfair to me that he gets the blame.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Feb 28, 2012 at 10:58 AM

        BBlair: Is anything about this case a surprise anymore? ESPN screwed the pooch when they reported on Braun’s sample in the first place. Once that is done (breaking the aonnymity of the sample that had yet to be appealed and, in effect, proven) then everything else– fair or not– will be done as well.

        This Deadspin article adds to the fallacy that is this entire incident.

        But, hey, at least the name of the courier isn’t being drawn through the mud in every article and column about this case. He, for the most part, gets to maintain his anonymity.

        24/7/365 news cycles beget no news worthwhile whatsoever.

      • bblair917 - Feb 28, 2012 at 2:42 PM

        From the NY Daily New:
        “Dino Laurenzi, Jr., the man who collected Ryan Braun’s urine sample on Oct. 1 and kept it in his Wisconsin home for two days, defended himself against Braun’s insinuation that he might have somehow tampered with the test, which showed elevated levels of testosterone and could have resulted in a 50-game ban had it not been overturned by arbitrator Shyam Das last week.”

        Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/dino-laurenzi-jr-handled-ryan-braun-drug-sample-defends-actions-hires-attorney-article-1.1029953#ixzz1nhuozEaD

      • bblair917 - Feb 28, 2012 at 2:42 PM

        From the NY Daily News:
        “Dino Laurenzi, Jr., the man who collected Ryan Braun’s urine sample on Oct. 1 and kept it in his Wisconsin home for two days, defended himself against Braun’s insinuation that he might have somehow tampered with the test, which showed elevated levels of testosterone and could have resulted in a 50-game ban had it not been overturned by arbitrator Shyam Das last week.”

        Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/dino-laurenzi-jr-handled-ryan-braun-drug-sample-defends-actions-hires-attorney-article-1.1029953#ixzz1nhuozEaD

      • bblair917 - Feb 28, 2012 at 2:50 PM

        No Koufax, I guess the situation causing great emotional distress for me and my family isn’t anything like having his name dragged through the mud at all.

      • bblair917 - Feb 28, 2012 at 2:55 PM

        Braun chose to lay the blame for his positive test on this hard working guy – from Wisconsin by the way – and now this guy and his family are probably getting threats and his job could possibly be in jeopardy. He did what he was supposed to do, by the book and is getting the blame, publicly. Seems fair.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Feb 28, 2012 at 3:10 PM

        Really, Blair? This is causing you and your family trouble? Sorry to hear that.

        I wonder how Ryan Braun and his family feel about the leak that caused his name and test to hit the papers, especially when Ryan himself is the one person on the planet who actually knows what he consumed.

        If you are Dino, or a relative of Dino, realize that most people on this board aren’t really concerned about making your life miserable.

        However, if you read these comments and have followed the controversy on this website, you will notice a ton of haters calling Braun a cheat. You will even find some numbskulls using anti-Semitic language when ripping Braun up.

        Yes, there are innocent victims all over the place.

      • bblair917 - Feb 28, 2012 at 3:21 PM

        Should’ve been quotes in there Koufax…”the situation is causing great emotional distress for me and my family…” I’m not Dino, nor am I related to him.

        The fact remains that Braun used this guy as a scapegoat first. Used him to get out of his suspension and continue to make millions upon millions of dollars. Now this guy may possibly lose his job, and doesn’t have the luxury of coming home to a comfortable life. I haven’t seem any anti-semitism on these boards to be honest. If he was such a stand-up guy as he professes to be, he would not have gone down this route.

  8. glink123 - Feb 28, 2012 at 9:49 AM

    This case was about one thing only. Chain of custody. Period. Having been involved in the pre-employment drug screening business, the procedures surrounding the return of a positive test result MUST be 100 percent ironclad. In Braun’s case, the financial implications of a suspension are staggering, to the tune of $25 million or more, by the time you factor in lost wages and lost endorsements. MLB wanted NO part of having to defend a lawsuit stemming from this, particularly when the testing resource has already admitted a huge gap in the industry-sacred chain-of-custody requirement. MLB had an impossible-to-win lawsuit staring it in the face, and this arbiter did them a HUGE favor by ruling in Braun’s favor.

  9. dcfan4life - Feb 28, 2012 at 9:56 AM

    Voting in favor of Braun for personal gain makes no sense. The league feels it has been robbed here, and they can always replace any arbitrators. If you toss a case to the players you toss one thats so close and not as important. Not one involving the reigning MVP…

  10. glink123 - Feb 28, 2012 at 9:56 AM

    frankvzappa is completely right. MLB wanted this outcome, and the arbiter delivered. MLB pretends to be outraged, but secretly, Selig is breathing a huge sigh of relief. Also, nobody is claiming the courier tampered with anything. They are simply claiming that the courier cannot rule out that the sample WASN’T tampered with.

    • snowbirdgothic - Feb 28, 2012 at 2:46 PM

      “Gabby Johnson is right!”
      “Rarrum!”

  11. deathmonkey41 - Feb 28, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    All I know is that still no current prime-time Brewer or Red Sox players have ever been definitely linked with steroids since Bud went on his “Anti-Steroid” campaign.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 28, 2012 at 12:01 PM

      David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez. Both were allegedly on the ‘anonymous’ list from 2003 or 2004 or whatever, and both names were subsequently leaked.

  12. realgone2 - Feb 28, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    So am I to believe that because his piss sat in a fridge for a few days it suddenly developed more hormones? If that’s the case then they are suggesting that there was a chance someone tampered with it. Which is a conspiracy all in it’s self. This whole thing is more fishy than a sushi bar.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 28, 2012 at 12:07 PM

      It seems like the panel should be allowed to exercise a little bit of judgement in a case like this. If it can be shown that the sample was tampered with or compromised, it should be thrown out. If they can show that the departure from protocol had no material effect on the test results, the results should stand.

      By throwing out the case on the ‘chain of custody’ issue alone, it does a disservice to everyone. MLB loses because the decision makes the MLB testing system appear incompetent, and and Braun loses because now there is no way to stop the speculation that he did in fact use some illicit substance.

      The only way this is a win for anyone is if Braun is actually guilty, as now he won’t be suspended and there can be speculation that he is innocent which would not exist after a confirmed positive test.

  13. chip56 - Feb 28, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    There is nothing wrong with Das overturning the suspension. MLB didn’t follow its own protocols and so Das really had no choice but to vote in favor of Braun.

    That however is not the same as saying Braun didn’t do steroids. The World Anti-Doping Agency came out and said that the collector didn’t do anything wrong and that the delay in getting the sample to the lab wouldn’t account for the fact that so much synthetic testosterone was found in the sample. In fact they said that MLB’s rules regarding the submission of samples is more stringent than anyone else’s. In other words – samples are routinely left sitting over the weekend in the fridge. Additionally, the sample’s container did not show any evidence of tampering of any kind.

    What we have here is a circumstance where a guilty person was allowed to walk because of a procedural mistake, not an exoneration as Braun would have you believe.

    • bblair917 - Feb 28, 2012 at 10:40 AM

      This is exactly why I think it’s unfair that people are blaming the courier for possibly tampering with the sample and not doing his job correctly. There have been ridiculous insinuations about him, his name gets leaked to the public and it’s just not right. People are doing the same thing to him as some here are arguing is being done to Ryan Braun.

      • chip56 - Feb 28, 2012 at 10:57 AM

        Frankly, if I’m the collector, I ask for the transcripts from Braun’s hearing and then I sue him for as much as I can for slander.

      • saints97 - Feb 28, 2012 at 11:03 AM

        I don’t think you can sue for comments made in a private setting.

        No one is going to sue anyone for slander, but I do agree that the pee keeper got screwed in this deal as much as anyone, assuming what he did with piss jars was standard operating procedure. Then again, if it was SOP, then the arbitrator made a mistake. Who knows?

  14. phillyphreak - Feb 28, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    Articles like the Deadspin one just fuel the fire for people who desperately want to pronounce guilt without an understanding of the entirety of the case (which no one except those present at the hearing has). It just fuels conspiracy theories.

  15. fearlessleader - Feb 28, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    You’re actually “loath” (not loathe) to accuse him……. /grammar nerd

  16. lpd1964 - Feb 28, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    I’ll be interested to see if Braun sues anyone since he feels like he’s been setup. Of course nobody believed Canseco when he spoke up and he never was sued-go figure. The facts are the facts, the vials wern’t tampered with and Braun and his legal team never disputed that.

    • chip56 - Feb 28, 2012 at 10:58 AM

      If anyone should be considering a lawsuit it should be the collector who is being slandered by Braun’s comments where he hints at someone tampering with the samples.

  17. muskyhunter2542 - Feb 28, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    The Collector os the specimen in this case is a fan of the Chicago Cubs. He and is son took the specimen home and tampered with it.

    • comeonnowguys - Feb 28, 2012 at 2:59 PM

      Take off your tinfoil hat, read the collector’s statement, and then apologize to the man.

      • muskyhunter2542 - Feb 28, 2012 at 5:46 PM

        Im afraid I do not know what a tinfoil hat is… Please inform me?

  18. snowbirdgothic - Feb 28, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    Because it makes perfect sense for one of the most respected arbitrators out there, a guy with a resume as long as a Kevin Costner movie with an impeccable reputation, to risk his professional cred and extremely lucrative livelihood to give the MLBPA a makeup foul.

    Yeah, that makes tons of sense.

    • comeonnowguys - Feb 28, 2012 at 3:01 PM

      I’m not buying it either. While I think Braun got off on a technicality, but this was way too big of a situation for a makeup foul. If they even do that at all.

      • snowbirdgothic - Feb 28, 2012 at 3:12 PM

        You know, in this context I’m not even thinking about the Braun case, per se. I’m just looking at some jackass Deadspin writer pulling a half-baked theory out of his bunghole, one that simultaneously makes no sense and defames a well-respected member of his profession, and being offended on behalf of all folk who prefer their accusations of professional malfeasance to come with at least a smidgen of proof. The merits of the Braun case – whose pee went where, for how long, etc. – are completely divorced from the idiot notion that “maybe the arbitrator fudged it so he could keep arbitrating”.

  19. inthearex - Feb 28, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    I still love the sport, the actual game, of baseball. But man does the MLB really suck.

  20. comeonnowguys - Feb 28, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    Ryan Braun owes this collector an apology. It’s becoming pretty clear that Braun just got away with a positive test.

  21. sleepyirv - Feb 28, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    The reason Deadspin claims not to be a news source is so they don’t even have to entertain the though of following journalistic ethics.

  22. barrywhererufrom - Feb 28, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    Braun was as guilty as OJ. What a crock of crap! The tests were sealed with the Braun’s signature on it. If it was tampered MLB would throw the test out. Thank goodness for lawyers..gotta love it..dont confuse innonence with a technicality. Braun’s results were never refuted. The process was..but that doesnt mean that Braun did not use PED’S. How come this process was used for multiple years and now the tests are bad. Give me a break. I am hoping that the individual who handled Braun’s specimen keeps the heat on him. Dont let this cheater and his friends in the media get away with this bullshit!

    • johngaltwho - Feb 28, 2012 at 6:02 PM

      Comparing this to OJ is inane on so many levels. The truth is we rely on procedures to assure the integrity of the test as there are serious consequences to false accusations. Bottom line – the system almost worked except in as much as Braun was actually victimized. The public under these specific circumstances had no business having any knowledge of any of this. No press conferences should have been required, and he should have enjoyed the endorsements and other advantages usually afforded an MVP. People dont appreciate the beauty of innocent until proven guilty until they themselves are falsely accused. That having been said, he may or may not have used PEDS but because of the flawed process, we will never really know, therefore he is literally entitled to the benefit of the doubt.

  23. barrywhererufrom - Feb 28, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    Yes oj. My point was this we all know oj did it just like braun. Of course I am not equating the acts. But when braun opens his mouth calling himself falsely accused it reminds me of oj talking about looking for the killers. The specimen was doubled sealed..no one tampered with it. Braun got off on a technicality. He is a s guilty as the the man who drove the.white bronco

  24. racksie - Feb 28, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    Something stinks. And it isn’t the urine in my office.

  25. fenianblastard - Mar 9, 2012 at 6:28 AM

    Obviously his Legal team saw a loophole, placed all there efforts into emphasizing the Failed Procedural issue in not shipping it w in guidelines and exploited that issue believing challenging the actual results was a losing cause..

    I gotta put my law degree to work and get outta the Bond Biz because this was Braun paying for Legal advice aftrr players union states ” Shut up and allow your legal team to earn there salaries..

    This is similar to OJ’s defense, all knew he wa guilty yet his Legal Dream Team made the trial about LAPD and its racist history… Brauns lawyers saw the sample, saw the case law previously established of no one winning not even JC Romero w proof of gaining players union approval and took a behind counter legal but banned substance yet he lost.. So all this is a case of smart Lawyers using those elite Law Degrees they paid for..
    Im simply waiting for Manny to be Manny and claim test is racist against Latins !

    • ufullpj - May 14, 2012 at 5:44 PM

      Excellent point. The goal of his defense team was to overturn the suspension – not necessarily prove him innocent. People will claim Braun “got off” on a “technicality”, but the reality is that his defense team did what they were paid to do, which is get the suspension overturned.

      We’ll likely never know the full rational behind Das’ decision – there could be more to the story than any of us, including the media, knows.

      My personal take is that chain of custody by itself isn’t enough to invalidate the sample – unless the defense team could replicate & mimic a similar astronomical spike of testosterone levels.

Leave Comment

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

Featured video

Why is Wren out and Gonzalez is not?
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. R. Castillo (2566)
  2. J. Hamilton (2017)
  3. J. Heyward (1952)
  4. M. Trout (1935)
  5. D. Ortiz (1884)
  1. J. Ellsbury (1833)
  2. S. Pearce (1816)
  3. D. Jeter (1805)
  4. C. Kershaw (1801)
  5. A. Pagan (1744)