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Brace yourselves for another drug suspension appeal!

Mar 1, 2012, 1:30 PM EDT

syringe

I’m guessing this one won’t be as contentious as the Braun one, but still.

Remember yesterday how minor leaguer James Dowdy was suspended for 50 games for refusing a drug test?  Well, he tells Deadspin that he didn’t refuse anything.  Dowdy says that the urine collector — a job we didn’t think much about until earlier this week — went to the wrong house:

Today Dowdy reached out to us to dispute MLB’s version of events. He says he never refused to take a drug test, and that baseball’s testers never got in touch with him … “They never came to the address that I listed for my offseason living,” Dowdy says. “They went to my mom’s house. I’m 28 years old. I don’t live with my mom! They messed this up in so many ways.”

Now would be a good time for all of you people who say that the procedures don’t matter to weigh in. I mean, a drug tester was there! And Dowdy did not provide a sample!  This suspension must stand, right?

113 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. manifunk - Mar 1, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    Siiiiiigh, another player gets off on a technicality

    • patsandsox - Mar 1, 2012 at 7:29 PM

      at least there isnt an unexplained substance in his urine

  2. bloodysock - Mar 1, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    This is going to leads to the urine collectors unionizing. They’ll form the International Council of Urine Procurement or ICUP.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Mar 1, 2012 at 1:51 PM

      Or the United Republic of Internationally Needed Excrement. URINE.

      Yeah, a stretch, but this is fun.

      • l0yalr0yal - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:04 PM

        the Private Investigators of Suspicious Sampling?

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:12 PM

        Way better, Royal. :)

      • l0yalr0yal - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:16 PM

        I work out!

      • cur68 - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:52 PM

        For the Brits, Kiwis, and Aussies in the crowd: “World Excretion Evaluators”.

    • aceshigh11 - Mar 1, 2012 at 3:51 PM

      You guys are killing me.

      • cur68 - Mar 1, 2012 at 4:30 PM

        PEDs’ll do that.

  3. kopy - Mar 1, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    We all know he’s guilty. MLB needs to patch up these loopholes so these guys stop ruining the game.

    • istillbelieveinblue - Mar 1, 2012 at 1:52 PM

      How, exactly, do you know he is guilty? He never failed a test. There is no circumstantial evidence like with Bonds or McGuire.

      • kopy - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:07 PM

        I was being sarcastic, but after re-reading I realize I probably used just enough so that no one could tell for sure. Also, it seems like some people agree with me anyway, so I failed.

      • stex52 - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:16 PM

        I got the sarcasm.

    • cur68 - Mar 1, 2012 at 3:21 PM

      Just keep reading, Kopy. You can see the “I have no sense of humour crowd” are in full glory down below.

    • patsandsox - Mar 1, 2012 at 7:33 PM

      Bud Selig manages to screw up with a billion dollar orginization what low budget companys routinely do for the employes, give a random drug screen. I have to do this every couple of months, we go to a hospital, or doctors building, we pee in a cup with a nurse there and she takes the sample, end of story. Its not rocket science Bud

      Way to go Bud! I can only assume he has good blackmail on the other owners to keep the commisioner job, or else no one on earth wants it.

  4. ningenito78 - Mar 1, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    Craig don’t even.

  5. missthedayswhenwedidnthavetologin - Mar 1, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    Hey I thought you said yesterday was probably the last time we heard this dude’s name XD

  6. Chris Fiorentino - Mar 1, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    Yeah this is exactly the same thing as the Braun thing. LOL. At least in this instance, the player didn’t piss a tainted sample like Braun did. Unless you are a conspiracy theorist. Don’t forget your tin-foil hats this year if you think Braun didn’t piss a tainted sample.

    • patsandsox - Mar 1, 2012 at 9:48 PM

      When can they get some one with more credibility and some impartiality to write on this subject? I think Craig Calcaterra has pretty much shown he has neither.

      The only good thing is when I post at this time of night I wont have to listen to him whine because his mommy doesnt let him use the computer in her basement after 9pm

  7. El Bravo - Mar 1, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    His mom didn’t call him to tell him that immediately after the dude showed up? Also, I know a TON of people who live or lived with their parents at 28. That is damn near normal these days in our debt-ridden society. Higher education ain’t what it used to be…

    • Jonny 5 - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:59 PM

      I’m trying not to laugh thinking of his mothers reaction when the guy shows up saying he needs a pee sample. She slammed the door in his face I bet. Their local police have an APB out for the guy who’s wanted for being a perv with a urine fetish and cups.

  8. phukyouk - Mar 1, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    ” I’m 28 years old. I don’t live with my mom!”

    What are you trying to say?

    • kopy - Mar 1, 2012 at 1:57 PM

      “Come on over, ladies!”

      • nolanwiffle - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:07 PM

        I’d like you to meet Mohammed, Jugdish, Sidney, and Clayton…..

    • Panda Claus - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:28 PM

      He’s a baseball player, so he doesn’t need to say that. Now if he was a baseball blogger, that distinction would have to be made.

      • thefalcon123 - Mar 1, 2012 at 4:06 PM

        He’s a *minor league* baseball player. Trust me, you probably earn more than their annual salary.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 1, 2012 at 3:48 PM

      Same thing with bloggers. Mom lives upstairs, bloggers live in the basement, some even have their own door and everything!

  9. The Baseball Idiot - Mar 1, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    How would they even get his mother’s address if he didn’t give it to them?

    Probably left it as a mailing address, which is usually considered the official one if there isn’t another listed.

    • chadjones27 - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:21 PM

      He’s a minor leaguer, right? I’m assuming right out of high school or college he originally listed his Mom’s address, since that’s probably where he was livine. 8 years later probably never updated it. I’ve seen that happen with players’ “official” height and weight where they use the info from when they were originally signed.

      • The Baseball Idiot - Mar 1, 2012 at 4:00 PM

        Most likely. But he’s a grown man, and its up to him to keep his address current.

    • Bryz - Mar 1, 2012 at 4:05 PM

      If you read the Deadspin article, apparently his mom’s address was listed as his offseason address. Why it was never changed was apparently never mentioned.

  10. randygnyc - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    I’m sure his mothers address is a constant and that he changes residences (read; rents) frequently. He uses her address for mail purposes. I suppose to have a valid test, you need 2 components. A tester and testee (yes I’m thinking of you Braun)

    • l0yalr0yal - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:06 PM

      Ha. Testees.

  11. alexo0 - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    I’m sorry, I just can’t read Craig anymore when it comes to drug testing. At least not until his bitterness and cynicism towards the “technicality” backlash subsides.

    • Gobias Industries - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:13 PM

      But what if I told you that instead of the drug testing posts you’d get more BSOHL posts? Quandary.

  12. shzastl - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    But did his mother have elevated testosterone levels? Was it synthetic? If so, the technicality shouldn’t matter!

  13. Gobias Industries - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    “They went to my mom’s house. I’m 28 years old. I don’t live with my mom!” The urine collector must’ve thought he was going to test a blogger.

    Zing! Who doesn’t enjoy a good blogger joke? (Don’t answer that question.)

  14. saints97 - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    What ridiculously idiotic comparison to make. Craig, you are getting killed in your own comments sections, and yet you still use your bully pulpit to claim the moral high ground.

    At best, you are being intellectually dishonest. At worst, you are being a tantruming child.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:14 PM

      Wait, I’m supposed to change my opinions based on the bulk of commenters’ opinion? Pity I didn’t get the memo on that.

      • l0yalr0yal - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:18 PM

        If people really cared about their reader’s opinions, Chris Chase at Yahoo! would have killed himself years ago.

      • The Baseball Idiot - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:25 PM

        How dare you not submit to public opinion.

        Whát’s next with you? Free love?

      • saints97 - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:28 PM

        Craig, I would think it would be wise not insult your readers, but you are free to do as you like. After all, we already got your “I don’t fucking care” rampage.

        Then again, you can always just use the “I was joking” excuse, as you did after being called out for insulting the worker who was too stupid to find a 24 hour Kinkos. Then again, you could have done your own research and found that there are zero FedEx stores in the greater Milwaukee area (and probably all of Wisconsin) that take packages after 5:00PM on Saturday for Monday delivery.

        Of course, that would be responsible, and with the Braun stuff, you prefer smug moralizing.

      • cur68 - Mar 1, 2012 at 3:23 PM

        He’s not insulting us saints: you’re choosing to be insulted and act all ass-hurt.

    • chadjones27 - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:26 PM

      How is what he says intellectually dishonest? I’m pretty sure he’s been saying the same thing the entire time, regardless of how many readers agree. This is another case that can made for faults in the small details of the testing policy. From what I can tell, Craig has been arguing about the use of a set procedure from the beginning. Can’t tell that his opinion on the matter has waivered and definately not intellectually dishonest.
      And it’s not an idiotic comparison. No more so than those who have compared OJ Simpson and Braun.

      • saints97 - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:32 PM

        It is intellectually dishonest to pretend that people who think Braun used a PED think that “procedures do not matter.” Furthermore, it is even more intellectually dishonest to claim that the people who dare disagree with him on Braun feel like the Dowdy case is even comparable to Braun’s.

        Craig is so uncomfortable in his own position that he feels the need to define ours in a way that is ridiculously different than the one that is being articulated.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:43 PM

        It is intellectually dishonest to pretend that people who think Braun used a PED think that “procedures do not matter.”

        It is just as intellectually dishonest to believe that people who think procedures matter think that that means that Braun didn’t use.

        But take my word for it: I am more than comfortable in my position, thank you. Extremely so. Your thinking otherwise is because you have continually failed to understand it.

      • saints97 - Mar 1, 2012 at 3:05 PM

        Craig, so your defense to being intellectually dishonest is to say that many of your readers are intellectually dishonest? Okay. No shock there.

        Oddly enough, I hold you to a higher standard.

        I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that whether or not the reigning NL MVP juiced during the playoffs does not matter. Is it because your Braves were not in it?

        Actually, I do understand what you are saying. You mean that whether or not he juiced is irrelevant if (and this is a big if, and the if that many people are arguing) the process was violated. And it only doesn’t matter with regard to MLB’s ability to punish him.

        If that is the heart of what you mean, then we agree. I am just not convinced yet that the process was materially breached. I think that “cool and dry” should mean whatever industry standard says it means, if not specifically outlined. I think “secure” should mean whatever industry standard says it means, unless specifically outlined. I think it is very possible that Das decided on his own what “cool and dry” and/or “secure” meant, and that would be bad law, in my opinion.

    • CJ - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:31 PM

      And yet we still have to listen to the same drivel from you on the every single thread with this topic.

      At best, you are being unintellectual dishonest. At worst, you are being a redundant tantruming child redundant tantruming child redundant tantruming child redundant tantruming child redundant tantruming child redundant tantruming child redundant tantruming child

    • CJ - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:31 PM

      And yet we still have to listen to the same drivel from you on the every single thread with this topic.

      At best, you are being unintellectual. At worst, you are being a redundant tantruming child redundant tantruming child redundant tantruming child redundant tantruming child redundant tantruming child redundant tantruming child redundant tantruming child

      • blabidibla - Mar 1, 2012 at 4:52 PM

        “If you honestly believe that my jokes on Day 1 of the Braun thing — before we knew anything about the collector — were intended as insults as opposed to the same sorts of riffs I offer on virtually every single other story I blog about, than your skin is obviously far too thin for discourse on the Internet.”

        What a joke this is turning out to be.

        Craig you claimed you never denigrated the collector. Your jokes clearly were intended to denigrate the collector. It’s not a matter of a reader being thin skinned, you didn’t insult anyone but the collector. Or that you do this all the time in your blog. How does that change the fact you insulted the collector? It’s a matter of your back peddling by claiming “just kidding” therefore you didn’t really say it.

        Own up to your mistake and move on already. It was minor. No one will hold it against you.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:39 PM

      How am I insulting readers? By disagreeing with them? If that’s an insult to them I dont’ want them around here, because they’re too weak-minded and weak-spined to be bothered with. Thankfully, I’ve never met anyone like that around here, however.

      As for “I don’t fucking care” that wasn’t about the reader’s opinion. It was me not fucking caring about a certain point (i.e. whether Braun took anything) because I have not argued that he didn’t. Not even once. I’m arguing about what I feel is a larger and more important issue than that, which is adherence to a collectively-bargained system.

      If you honestly believe that my jokes on Day 1 of the Braun thing — before we knew anything about the collector — were intended as insults as opposed to the same sorts of riffs I offer on virtually every single other story I blog about, than your skin is obviously far too thin for discourse on the Internet.

      Your point about the Fedex stores is, well, pointless. I have not once engaged in a debate about the actual availability of FedEx stores in this case. I suggested yesterday that Braun and the collector were talking past one another on this and both can be considered accurate based on the point they’re making, even if one of them may be making a self-serving point. I’ll leave the actual availability of FedEx stores for purposes of adherence to the JDA guidelines to the arbitrator.

      As for my “smug moralizing,” well, sorry if my principles bug you. But I have them. And I believe in them and will defend them and I will not apologize for them no matter how many armchair due process and urine testing experts wade into these comments.

      • saints97 - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:54 PM

        Fair enough. I do appreciate the response.

        I just do not think it is fair to paint your adversary in such a cartoonish light. I think that it is fair to say that, with the available information we have, Braun was guilty of having too much testosterone in his system. There may be bombshell facts that come out later that refute what actual scientists have said about the validity of the urine. But if those bombshell facts existed, why wouldn’t Braun have mentioned them in his character assassination of the urine collector? Why has Braun’s camp decided to spew so many falsities in this case? Why in the world would they bang the drum about FedEx locations being open if it is also easily discoverable that a package dropped at those locations after 5:00 would not have shipped until 5:00 on Monday? If the urine had sat in a FedEx office for that amount of time would it have materially changed their arguments? As a former attorney, you know what if means when the defense is making extraneous arguments. It means they are creating diversions (I am a member of the Texas Bar).

        And the fact that I have reached this conclusion does not mean I do not believe in rules and process. I’d just like to see the rules and process violation that people seem so sure exists. I do not share your faith in the arbitrator. I think it is very possible he made a mistake. I also think it is very possible that he did not. But what I do not find very likely at all is that Braun was clean. And that may not matter to you, but it sure as hell matters to MLB fans. It sure as hell matters to other Major Leaguers. So why is it that you don’t feel we have the right to form our opinion of it (without looking like complete morons, apparently, judging by your last couple of lines of this article)?

      • phukyouk - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:57 PM

        wade… hehe.. i see what you did there.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Mar 1, 2012 at 3:05 PM

        As a member of the bar, you should know more than anyone else is that Braun’s entire mission here is to win the case. Nothing more. And they did. It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks about it. His job — or, more specifically, his lawyer’s job — is to keep him from getting a 50 game suspension which would cost him millions they did it.

        Because their job was so narrow, it’s sort of beside the point to ask why they didn’t do things that would satisfy MLB fans or public opinion at large. Just not their problem. I’m sure that if their defense was being judged on general popularity, that they would have mounted a different defense.

        And I do believe that you have a right to have an opinion on Braun’s positive/negative drug status. Of course you do. But what I am reacting against — what I have been reacting against since this story broke — is people using their belief as to Braun’s status to take issue with the arbitrator.

        Because the arbitrator was not tasked with determining that and made no such determination. He made a procedural ruling. And the response to that has been a shrill “BUT HE TESTED POSITIVE!”

        Well, so what? The arbitrator didn’t get to that point. So saying he tested positive is the insistent intrusion here. Not the defense of procedure.

      • saints97 - Mar 1, 2012 at 3:15 PM

        I agree with all of that (except for the part about “you should know…” – I am an inactive member and never practiced – so I am lucky I know anything), but I think that many people are finding Braun guilty of using PEDs just as an opinion. That’s perfectly okay, especially in light of the evidence available. I also agree that we can’t know anything until we see Das’ reasoning. If he rules that there were no “unusual circumstances” that should have kept the collector from shipping the package that day, then I think he got it wrong. If he applies his own standard for “cool and dry” and/or “secure”, then I think he got it wrong. If he makes some whacky chain of custody argument because the collector was not handcuffed to the evidence all weekend, then I think he got it wrong.

        I don’t know. I’ve read the pertinent part of the CBA (or at least I think I have – you never know unless you read the WHOLE thing, and I’m not doing that ever again), and I just don’t see a lot of wiggle room. It seems to me that the collector, if his story is true (and I seriously doubt he told a different story to the arbitrator), followed protocol of the industry, and at the same time did not violate the basic agreement between the league and the players. But I am also certain that I do not have all facts.

      • phukyouk - Mar 1, 2012 at 3:31 PM

        Can i just point out that i kept seeing ” until we see Das’ reasoning” written and i swear I could not figure out why you all were speaking in German. yea its my own fault for not remembering all the names.

      • Gobias Industries - Mar 1, 2012 at 4:09 PM

        Das ist in Ordnung. Es ist ein ehrlicher Fehler.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:50 PM

      Now you’re talking about things you know. Intellectual dishonesty and tantrumming children.

      And keep insulting the blogger. And keep insulting who don’t think like you. And keep explaining to us all how you’re some perceived victim. I don’t have cable, so this comedy you’re dishing out is gold.

      • skids003 - Mar 1, 2012 at 3:33 PM

        Very well argued, guys. Was OJ guilty?

      • saints97 - Mar 1, 2012 at 3:34 PM

        It doesn’t matter. The glove didn’t fit!

      • phukyouk - Mar 1, 2012 at 3:36 PM

        no glove no love

    • El Bravo - Mar 1, 2012 at 4:42 PM

      I, for one, appreciate very much saints’ view on this just as much as I appreciate Craig’s view. To have an opinion that is opposite of the blogger’s opinion is great when it is backed by sound reasoning and not just “wah wah you suck and you’re wrong”. So I applaud saints on standing his ground and explaining his piece. I applaud Craig for responding to the reasoned commentary too…or maybe it was in response to the tantruming child quip…heh

      Now, if we could just get Craig off the Brew Crew payroll we can really know how he feels…

      • saints97 - Mar 1, 2012 at 5:14 PM

        I am very appreciative of Craig’s responses. I have a better feel for his position now, even if I still don’t agree with him taking shots at my viewpoints in his articles (don’t mind it all in the comments, though). Him trying to pin one side to a false position is no different than what he is getting mad at (people trying to pin him to the position that Braun is clean).

        I actually think Craig and I are closer together in our opinions of this situation that one might believe, even if we are far apart on the politics of it all. I fully agree that if collectively bargained procedure was not followed, then Braun should not be suspended. Of course, that does not mean that one needs to be too rigid in holding the collector unreasonably to the exact wording in the contract.

        But I find it far more interesting that Braun was most likely using. Craig does not want to take a position on this, and I respect that. Due process and exact wording of contracts does not appeal to me as a baseball fan (no, that does not mean I do not believe in those things). What does appeal to me is that the reigning NL MVP flunked a drug test. The fact that his numbers weren’t a huge spike this past year from previous years could prove to be more condemning if his numbers fall off this year. While I appreciate the much-repeated argument that he never failed a drug test before this one, that doesn’t carry as much weight when you realize that what he tested positive for is actually undetectable 36-48 hours.after put into the system.

        And if Jose Bautista is to be believed, there is nothing random about drug testing when you are someone that is highly suspected.

        And no matter what side of the issue you fall on, this story just does not instill much confidence in the system MLB has in place. Then again, I think pretty much all of the drug testing policies in the major American sports leagues are weak. They definitely cast a net with gigantic holes.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Mar 1, 2012 at 5:27 PM

        I have to say that I think Craig is kinda sorta backtracking a bit on his notion that “those people who think Braun got off on a technicality don’t care about drug testing” which I believe is a direct quote and the thing that stuck out the most to me. Because there is no question that Braun did get off on a technicality. Whether he actually used a banned substance always depended on whether or not you believe the specimen became tainted. Whether or not you think the arbitrator made the right call has absolutely nothing to do with whether you think Braun cheated. Whether or not you think Braun’s suspension should have stood has zero to do with whether or not you think Braun cheated. The point I and some others like me have made is that he either cheated or he didn’t. Period. Only God and Braun know that but I do know one thing. There was a tainted sample attached to his name. That’s the fact and it is undeniable. Does that mean he pissed it? I believe he did. Other don’t. Craig always chose not to care. To me, that’s lame. Have an opinion on whether he cheated. Don’t hide behind him getting off on a technicality. Because that’s what Craig did the whole time and it was just silly. It would be like saying OJ was found innocent so he is innocent and you are stupid if you think he did it because the jury found him innocent. We are humans and are allowed to have opinions one way or another. And when an issue is debatable, nobody is stupid and nobody is wrong.

      • okobojicat - Mar 1, 2012 at 5:29 PM

        Doesn’t the fact that his numbers didn’t change that much this year vs. previous years and he passed multiple tests all the previous years an indictment of this test? Or more probably an indictment of the entire steroid testing regime. How is one flawed test a better judge of what Braun puts in his body than 15 earlier tests?

        You state “While I appreciate the much-repeated argument that he never failed a drug test before this one, that doesn’t carry as much weight when you realize that what he tested positive for is actually undetectable 36-48 hours.after put into the system.” I haven’t seen that before. Can you provide a source?

        I completely agree with you on this point: “I fully agree that if collectively bargained procedure was not followed, then Braun should not be suspended. ”

        I completely disagree with you on your next point: “Of course, that does not mean that one needs to be too rigid in holding the collector unreasonably to the exact wording in the contract.” Yes it does mean that we have to follow exactly what the wording was. At that point, the test is dismissed and whatever the results were are insignificant. The results could state that Braun is the love child of a penguin and unicorn. And we should ignore the results. Why do we have the wording in the contract if we aren’t going to follow it? Do the players not have any rights?

        Lastly “What does appeal to me is that the reigning NL MVP flunked a drug test.”
        This demonstrably false. The test is invalid. He didn’t flunk anything. The test might as well didn’t happen.

        When process isn’t followed, the results should be ignored.

      • El Bravo - Mar 1, 2012 at 5:42 PM

        Slow your roll okobojicat…I don’t believe we as fans of baseball should throw the results out just yet until we see more facts about the handling of said sample. I believe that Arbitrators can be wrong sometimes and I believe I have full right to make a conclusion of my own based on the facts provided. So far, no conclusion should be made without more facts. My conclusion may cut against the arbitrator’s conclusion, and I don’t fucking care about that (hahaha), but I care enough about this situation that I demand more information so I can reach some sort of conclusion on whether I think Braun is a cheating douchenozzle or just simply a douchenozzle.

        PS. For the record, I’ve never liked Braun. Probably b/c I just don’t like the Brew Crew that much. I really don’t have a good reason so don’t expect one, but I still sit here today not burning him at the stake for all of this…yet. I’m still giving him the benefit of the doubt.

      • saints97 - Mar 1, 2012 at 6:03 PM

        Oko, a contract cannot spell out every single possible scenario. The language of the agreement has been spelled out here. Is it your opinion that he should have taken the package to a Fed Ex store and left it there to be shipped out at 5:00 on Monday, or should he have taken it home? The wording leaves both options available to him, as long as he doesn’t just drop the package in one of those drop boxes.

        The standard to be applied is if he was reasonable in his actions. As far as I can tell, he was. But this is all a side point. It is perfectly reasonable to think Braun is guilty if there is total consensus in the testing and scientific community that none of the actions taken would have tainted the sample.

        Your ostrich with his head in the sand routine is pretty silly..

      • saints97 - Mar 1, 2012 at 6:14 PM

        Bravo, though I am no Brewers fan by any stretch, I actually like Ryan Braun. Aside from his rodent-backed-into-a-corner-routine when he flamed the urine collector, he seems like a really good guy.

        I don’t really get into moralizing about guys who take PED’s. To me, I see it a lot like I see truck drivers who take amphetamines in order to stay awake and get their cargo delivered on time. It is not something I would do, due to health risks, but I have a hard time blaming someone for trying to get an edge in an industry where everyone is trying to get an edge and millions of dollars are at stake. I feel the same way about poverty stricken Dominican kids who lie about their age to try to make a better life for themselves and their family.

        Sure, Braun may have broken the rules, but I don’t see how it is much different than Babe Ruth corking his bat, almost every player from the ’60’s through the mid-80’s taking greenies, players stealing signs, and pitchers scuffing baseballs.

      • thumper001 - Mar 1, 2012 at 9:02 PM

        What may have had the arbitrator’s hackles up was someone in the “finest testing regimen in all of sports”, blew out Braun’s due process rights by “leaking the information” prematurely to the press (it’s BS to claim somebody else did it; otherwise, there really is a massive hole in their procedures. So the “whoopsie” defense is a solid indictment of their procedures); guaranteeing that Braun was convicted in the court of public opinion long before he even had a chance to exert his due process rights, as specified by the CBA.

        This goes directly to MLB’s crediblity (or lack thereof), as there is absolutely no doubt that somebody in the chain of authority, consciously, with knowing intent, violated Braun’s due process rights, solely to break the story, and knowing full well, it would start an incendiary firestorm as a result of said actions.

        And that is “a genie that can never be put back in the bottle”, and as this was an arbitration case, there is no actual remedy available to Braun against such unprofessional, unethical, and opportunistic behavior, short of ruling against the claims of MLB.

        In essense, MLB’s behavior in this case is more tainted than Braun’s “alleged” test sample, as they failed to protect the very information and existence of the test, and this destroys their claim, on its face, of being THE modicum of the morally superior agency (“so give us the benefit of the doubt, even though the burden is on us”), and lending perhaps undue credibility to Braun’s claim that agents for MLB botched the handling of the sample (if they had no problem blowing out his rights by mishandling the information, what’s a little bottle of piss amongst friends?); whereas, if they had kept their damned mouths shut like real professionals (as per the agreement), and respected due process to begin with, none of this controversy may have been possible in the first place, and many of you would have had what you desire; Braun’s pelt on the rack for 50 days.

        You may not agree with this, but saving due process from the ravages of mob rule (which is exactly what MLB did by leaking the details) happens more than many would like to imagine, especially, when you have a ruling party who actually believes in the legal system; instead of being easily swayed by popular opinion. Which also accounts for why Nancy Grace, and her ilk, are so consistently wrong about legal matters.

        Braun 1, MLB’s right foot 0.

        (The real question here is if MLB learns from its mistakes, as openly violating due process is a very serious offense that smacks more of hubris; than justice).

      • saints97 - Mar 1, 2012 at 9:18 PM

        So, Thumper, let me get this straight. You are going to convict MLB of leaking the info without a single shred of evidence, and yet you are also arguing the sanctity of due process? That’s rich.

        Would it surprise you that a former player reported on a rumor that it was actually Braun’s camp that leaked the rumor?

      • thumper001 - Mar 1, 2012 at 10:19 PM

        Saints,

        This thing threads weird, so hopefully you see this correctly..

        What I said is; “what may have had the hackles of the arbitrator” up. Not what I believe (there is a HUGE difference). Or did you miss that part which sets the context for one possible interpretation of why this ruling was reached? So slow that thing down there, chief. (And it was also reported that somebody inside MLB leaked the details, which were very precise at the time of leakage, which was also very early in the process. And only the Arbitrator and the parties know which version he believed. And the ruling itself does say something, now doesn’t it).

        But, this is what you are going to stand on; “a rumor that a former player heard a rumor that Braun leaked exacting details of the case early”? Sounds like “beyond hearsay” to me. “I know a guy who knows a guy who says he knows Braun did it”. Good luck getting that admitted. Where I come from that’s called “thin ice”. And frankly, that is just as big a “wingnut conspiracy” theory as claiming there was a mole in the collection process, tainting samples for some undisclosed reason of malious. So that’s a wash. One wingnut is just as good as another where I come from.

        Prove it, though. The burden is on MLB. Take that to the arbitrator and see where that gets you. Obviously he ruled in favor of Braun, now didn’t he? And it looks more like a procedural ruling than an outright finding of innocence or guilt to me. But what is NOT in traversal is the information was leaked in advance, and in direct violation of Braun’s due process rights. (and in matters like this, I usually go by who actually gets damaged the most by the leak. Why would Braun shoot a massive hole in his foot early on?)

        Mocking due process? Seriously, that’s the contractual binding agreement controlling the handling of all of this. So, if it’s in your interest to violate the contract, that’s cool because due process is just BS and motherhood. But if I breach it, out come the longknives, and Braun goes on the rack for 50 days? Really?

        And, frankly, MLB is not in a position to be indicted/convicted of anything (this is a civil matter involving a monopoly with special status). However, blackening the eyes of any criticism does not speak well that they will get it right next time, which is the larger point being made here.. You just cannot see it as you are emotionally invested in nothing short of Braun being convicted.

        Sorry to rile you up, though. That wasn’t my intent. Just looking for reasons why an arbitrator would cut so hard against the grain of public opinion, which HE in fact DID. Instead of smearing and dismissing me so offhandly, explain THAT. Under what grounds would an arbitrator rule against the submitted evidence in favor of the respondent? You’re a lawyer, and it’s not a big list that can overcome the weight of a failed test.

      • saints97 - Mar 1, 2012 at 11:01 PM

        Agreed on the complexity of how these threads work, but it posted right where you wanted it to.

        I did not completely follow all of your reasoning, but i will attempt to answer your last question: “Under what grounds would an arbitrator rule against the submitted evidence in favor of the respondent?”

        I don’t think the arbitrator cares one iota about public opinion, and I am not sure there was much of a public opinion until after his ruling had been reached. I am not sure I have seen all of the controlling language from the agreement, but from what I have seen, there were a few parts that he could have found a violation. “Cool and secure” was a passage that seemed pretty open for interpretation, though I would think that industry standard would rule the day on that one. I would think, outside of a broken radiator making his basement 90 degrees, that his basement would fit industry standards on that, considering that was his company’s standard operating procedure. A really disappointing thing that the judge could rule is that the guy should have dropped the box of 6 urine specimens at a FedEx location to sit until Monday at 5PM. That would take a pretty crazy reading of the language I saw.

        I feel confident, though, that the arbitrator will explain his ruling pretty well, and it will probably (hopefully) be something we haven’t even discussed. It may still be controversial, but hopefully it is grounded well in logic.

        These things are so open to opinion, I really do wish there were 3 independent arbitrators. That would lend a lot more credibility to the system.

        As for the leak, I think the reason there are rumors that it came from the Braun camp is that it came with what appeared to be a defense-pushed falsity. Right from the start, the leaks were saying that Braun tested positive with an “unheard of” testosterone level that was “the highest ever recorded.” Those things, assuming the reported levels do not have a zero added to the end of them, are just completely false. But if I had to bet on the person that leaked the results, I’d probably say that it was some low level employee. These things have a way of leaking to the public, and I just can’t feel that sorry for the players. If their union actually acted in their self-interests, the testing process would be a whole lot more stringent, and tests would NOT include recreational drugs. They would only tests for PEDs, so that guys who didn’t use wouldn’t feel pressure to use in order to compete. But, for some reason, the unions are always the last ones to agree to testing.

    • JBerardi - Mar 1, 2012 at 9:18 PM

      “What ridiculously idiotic comparison to make. Craig, you are getting killed in your own comments sections, and yet you still use your bully pulpit to claim the moral high ground.

      At best, you are being intellectually dishonest. At worst, you are being a tantruming child.

      Ok, so now that the comments section has basically taken a dump on your face in response to this post, are you ready to admit that you’re wrong? Otherwise you’d be quite the hypocrite.

      • saints97 - Mar 1, 2012 at 9:22 PM

        I don’t understand what you mean? Are you saying that my comment about the past was wrong because of things that happened later?

        I still think Craig was creating a strawman to paint people who believe that Braun took PEDs into a corner. Why would I need to take that back or admit I was wrong?

  15. ezthinking - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    Sire, you look exactly like the piss boy!

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:36 PM

      Don’t get saucy with me Bernaise!

    • phukyouk - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:58 PM

      and you look like a piece of shit

      • phukyouk - Mar 1, 2012 at 3:10 PM

        sorry its “bucket” not “piece”

    • realgone2 - Mar 2, 2012 at 5:36 AM

      Ah good old Mel

  16. sdelmonte - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    Do minor leaguers have the right to appeal? This policy is foisted on them from above, since there is no minor leaguers union. And probably never will be.

    • brewcrewfan54 - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:22 PM

      Yes they can appeal. The Brewers had a minor leaguer win an appeal a couple years ago. I believe his name was Brendan Katin.

  17. metalhead65 - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    you are so right craig! I mean this is the exact same as taking the test and flunking it then getting off and blaming the guy who collected the sample. kind of hard to fail or refuse to take the test if they went to the wrong house to adminster isn’t it? just as in the braun case it is pretty easy to see who is in the wrong here and here is hint craig this time it is not the player.

  18. brianbosworthisstonecold - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    Maybe you can collect urine too, Craig.

  19. rubbernilly - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    Craig, a word of advice… don’t work so hard at being an idiot. It’s more magical when you just let it happen.

    “Procedures don’t matter” is a wonderful strawman you have. Absolutely precious. Not sure exactly what you think to accomplish with such a thing, but, still, precious.

    Procedures matter with regard to the application of the MLB drug policy.
    With regard to my own opinion about the facts of the case and about Braun himself, it also matters how those procedures were violated and to what extent. It matters what we know about the events that surround the sample collection, storage, and shipment. It matters what other doping experts have to say about the manner in which the sample was handled and how that might or might not alter the chemistry of the sample.

    I think the arbiter was probably right in the decision (I’m leaning that way, pending the release of his report to make sure his reasoning was sound, and we have the full understanding of the case).

    I also happen to think that Braun probably did use PEDs (I’m leaning that way, pending the release of the arbiters report, the release of any “replicated false-positive” test Braun’s defense team was able to produce, and the analysis of other doping experts).

    There is nothing incongruous in those two positions save for where someone comes in and tells me what sort of opinion *I* have to hold just because Braun’s suspension was overturned on a matter of MLB procedure that is, as of yet, still undefined.

    • alexo0 - Mar 1, 2012 at 3:26 PM

      FYI dude: Craig’s stance this entire time has been that procedures DO matter. This is getting to be like that game where you whisper a sentence in one person’s ear, and they whisper it into the next person’s ear, etc, until the final result is something about a purple monkey dishwasher.

      • phukyouk - Mar 1, 2012 at 4:04 PM

        Purple Monkey dishwasher made me laugh like hell.

        incidentally the game is called broken telephone

      • rubbernilly - Mar 1, 2012 at 5:00 PM

        For goodness sake, I’m not saying that Craig holds the view that procedures don’t matter.

        I’m not even addressing Craig’s position on procedures. I’m addressing the way he is broad-brushing the reaction to his position. That’s what a strawman is: the distortion of an opponent’s argument. Craig is characterizing readers’ negative response to Braun’s arbitration as if PEOPLE are saying “procedures don’t matter.” He does that because, of course, it’s easier to argue against that position than the more nuanced position many people have.

        You know, what people are actually saying.

        Of *course* my position is ultimately going to be *closer* to what his position is… that’s my whole reason for pointing out that he’s broadbrushing. The position of most of the “procedures don’t matter” crowd, as Craig would term it, seems to be that they can still hew to the belief that he is guilty regardless of if MLB was able to punish him or not. According to Craig, if you hold that belief you might as well admit you have no regard for the whole testing program.

        That’s why I say, in the post above, that procedures *do* matter… for the MLB testing program. But *other* things matter, too, when it comes to personal opinion on the matter.

      • saints97 - Mar 1, 2012 at 5:26 PM

        Rubbernilly, you are exactly right on this, and I pretty much agree with your positions, too, though the more I read, the more I lean toward the arbitrator making a ruling I wouldn’t have made (that is not to say he was wrong, but I think this is a case that could surely have gone either way).

        This case will also probably highlight the need for three independent arbitrators, instead of one. That would surely lower the chances of a “bad” decision.

        But I agree wholeheartedly with the fact that Craig seems to be broad-brushing many of us in order to not have to back off of his original position that if we think Braun juiced, we don’t believe in drug testing.

    • cur68 - Mar 1, 2012 at 3:32 PM

      Holy total fucking reading fail…how do you arrive at the virtually the exact same position as Craig and call him an idiot? The whole “Procedures don’t matter” thing was Dick Fucking Pound’s position, not Craig’s. Jeez.

      • Gobias Industries - Mar 1, 2012 at 3:52 PM

        It would’ve been more magical had he just let his idiocy happen instead of working so hard at it. But I thought it was absolutely precious. Not sure exactly what he thought to accomplish with such a thing, but, still, precious.

      • rubbernilly - Mar 1, 2012 at 5:11 PM

        Dude, read what I wrote again. If you don’t know what “strawman” means, look it up.

        I’m not saying that Craig is saying that “procedures don’t matter.” That’s how he is relating the response from readers. What I’m saying is that it’s a far cry from what readers are REALLY saying about procedures to the way he is characterizing them. He characterizes the response as people saying, “procedures don’t matter.” By and large, from what I’ve read, that’s a strawman.

        I shouldn’t have to connect the dots, but I will. Don’t say I never did anything for you:
        The fact that procedures weren’t followed to the letter in this case does not mean as much to my personal opinion regarding the facts as such a procedural failure must mean to the arbitrator. Just because I can employ reason, logic, and judgment in evaluating the extent the procedures were violated and the subsequent effect that might have had on Braun’s sample does not mean that I’m all in doubt about the soundness of the proceedings, or out to crucify Braun, or that I have no regard for the drug testing program.

        Craig would have you believe that the response he’s getting on this issue is all vitriol and pitchforks. You know, a strawman. Which should have clued you in I wasn’t talking about what CRAIG’s position was, but what he was depicting as the position of his READERs.

        Sorry you didn’t understand all of that in what I wrote, but the reading fail wasn’t mine.

      • rubbernilly - Mar 1, 2012 at 5:14 PM

        @Gobias — try again. Read what I wrote for yourself, not relying on how someone else misinterpreted it.

      • alexo0 - Mar 1, 2012 at 5:33 PM

        @rubbernilly – to be fair, after reading your multiple explanations multiple times, I was able to make out what it was you were trying to say, though with all due respect, you were not exactly clear in saying it, which explains the subsequent confusion.

      • cur68 - Mar 1, 2012 at 5:41 PM

        Actually, once I read your follow up post in reply to alex, I figured out WTF your were trying to say. Now I’m gonna do something for you: put your topic and position right at the beginning. Don’t engage in calling “strawman arguments” & then use one. Recognize humor a bit better.

        Craig’s not lumping all opposing positions against his as a “Procedures don’t matter”. That’s a strawman. He’s stating his opinion, and leaving it up to those who want to go with evidence that has been ruled untrustworthy to place themselves in the category of “Procedures don’t matter”. You can, of course, look at Dick Pound for nice explanation of that position: “He’s won on a very thin legal technicality that has no substantive value at all,” quoting the big Dick, former head of the World Anti-Doping Agency. “Legal technicality” is what he calls “a procedural violation”. Hence, without too much parsing, we get: “Procedures don’t matter”. If your position is that of Dick’s then your argument is that of Dick’s. No straw anywhere.

      • saints97 - Mar 1, 2012 at 6:23 PM

        Rubber, in case you haven’t figured it out yet, having a reasonable conversation with Cur68 is impossible. He has a hard time comprehending points, and he resorts to mindless cussing as a default.

        I stopped bothering with him yesterday when all of this became abundantly clear.

      • cur68 - Mar 1, 2012 at 6:39 PM

        Still mad ’cause I asked you for legit sources, saints? S’cool. You keep treating innuendo as fact and I’ll keep asking you to prove it. Its quite amusing really.

  20. stevem7 - Mar 1, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Well lets see, the Collector’s Company sent him to a place where the intended provider was not at. It would be extremely hard to understand how the Provider could be charged with refusing to provide a sample if he wasn’t at the location the Collector went to. And carried a step further, if the Collector attested that the Provider refused to provide a sample when the Provider wasn’t at the address he went to then I’d be looking at the honesty of this Collector.

    • stercuilus65 - Mar 1, 2012 at 7:31 PM

      So from now on players just have to give an old address and they can dodge testing until they are clean?

  21. djpostl - Mar 1, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    Well, this debunks the dude who posted a comment in yesterday’s piece:

    ” I know Justin personally. After speaking with him, he refused a drug test with the MiLB because he is under contract with an Independent Baseball Club not affiliated with any MLB Organization. He is not required to test for the MiLB under these circumstances. Unless he accepts an offer with a MLB Organization or affiliate.”

    and followed up with…

    “Not sure on that. He told me he signed with an independent ball club a week or so ago. And yesterday the rep from the mlb showed up at his door asking him to test. He said no cause he isn’t under contract with any MLB organization.”

    So either Bosox619 is fakin’ da funk or his boy inadvertently wrecked his cred by switching his story up.

    • phukyouk - Mar 1, 2012 at 4:02 PM

      uhhhh… the former if i had to guess with a gun to my head.

      • djpostl - Mar 1, 2012 at 5:06 PM

        Likely a good bet =P

    • blabidibla - Mar 1, 2012 at 4:58 PM

      Or that Dowdy is changing his story?

      • djpostl - Mar 1, 2012 at 5:06 PM

        No idea haha. Somebody is talkin’ out their ass, just don’t know if it’s Dowdy, or his “friend” on the boards

    • bosox619 - Mar 1, 2012 at 7:23 PM

      Maybe the story i got wasn’t the full story. Maybe therr was a more to it than what was said to me. Maybe what needed to be said to the MLB wasn’t any of my concern. Who knows…

      With that being said… I did grow up playing ball with Justin. From little league through high school. We’ve kept in touch over the years while he’s been through the minors. And I can rest assure, that even if he avoided a test, it wasn’t because of Performance Enhancing Drugs.

      And yes, when you are in the minor leagues, independent ball, playing winter leagues in other countries, it does become a tad difficult to hold down a consistent address. Living at places on a day to day, week to week, month to month basis. Never knowing when your getting traded, released, promoted or demoted. You kind of live where ever you can lay your head down sometimes.

      Does any of this make him guilty of taking PED’s. It makes him guilty of chasing a dream. Many guys would have givin up after playing being up and down and let go as much as he has. But he continues to chase that dream of making it one day. And here are all the critics, that because of misunderstanding, miscommunication, people are quick to assume that he’s guilty of taking PED’s.

      • djpostl - Mar 1, 2012 at 7:47 PM

        My guess is it’s all one big bug-a-boo about nothing tbh.

        He is on an Independent League deal, but at same time could very well be registered with league office as a Free Agent (could be as simple as someone representing him filed the paperwork or he did in hopes of getting a spring training invite), which means the league is indeed within it’s rights to ask for a drug test (just like any of us trying to get certain jobs in the real world, it CAN be a stipulation for even applying let alone being employed).

  22. El Bravo - Mar 1, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    Let me help clarify a bit:

    ar·bi·ter/ˈärbitər/
    Noun:

    A person who settles a dispute or has ultimate authority in a matter.
    A person whose views or actions influence social behavior.

    ar·bi·tra·tor/ˈärbiˌtrātər/
    Noun:
    An independent person or body officially appointed to settle a dispute.

    Now, clearly the latter falls within the realm of the former, but I’m getting the sense that many folks just can’t spell the latter and end up with the former.

  23. racksie - Mar 1, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    Could he have been hiding in the basement, and had his Mom say he wasn’t home?

  24. ezthinking - Mar 1, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    Come on people, its not a collector, it’s a piss boy.

    I wish I could aspire to such a high position, but I don’t think I possess the required skill set. Maybe with a few more years of picking up the shit my dog leaves along the side walk I can apply for the piss boy job.

    Oh, and I’m with Craig here, procedures are everything to ensure reliability. It’s call the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine. Look it up. It makes sense in the law and in this circumstance.

    • saints97 - Mar 1, 2012 at 6:26 PM

      This does not fall into the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine at all.

      But other than that, nice try.

    • stercuilus65 - Mar 2, 2012 at 12:13 AM

      Wow, the “piss boy” you describe has two master’s degrees and is director of rehabilitation services at a health care facility.
      “Piss Boy”? Tough talk from a Devry dropout.
      Good luck with that.

  25. realgone2 - Mar 2, 2012 at 5:41 AM

    If your mommy’s address is the one given and you didn’t change it, that’s on you. Law enforcement/DMV/Govt., for example, will serve papers to whatever address they have. You are responsible for getting them or changing your address. This guy’s excuse is laughable. Oh James dear, some nice man came by and wanted you to do #1 in a cup. He left his card. Oh the bright yellow one?

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