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We may never hear Shyam Das’ explanation for overturning Ryan Braun’s suspension

Apr 23, 2012, 8:26 PM EDT

Ryan Braun Getty new Getty Images

Today marks two months to the day since we learned that Ryan Braun won the appeal of his 50-game PED suspension. The hope was that a written explanation from arbitrator Shyam Das would provide further illumination for why he made his decision, but it turns out we may never get that information.

According to the Associated Press, Das was asked by the players’ union and management to hold off giving his reasoning while they negotiate changes to their rules for collecting urine specimens.

If players and owners reach agreement on the changes, the Feb. 23 decision by arbitrator Shyam Das to overturn the penalty for the Milwaukee outfielder could be allowed to stand without any written explanation, the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the process is designed to be confidential.

It would certainly be interesting to read Das’ explanation given Braun’s cryptic insistence that we haven’t heard the real story, but if the testing and appeal process were followed as designed, we wouldn’t have known about it in the first place. I’m not sure a written explanation from Das would really change the minds of those who have labeled Braun as a “cheater,” but that we may never get the complete truth will probably only embolden those who insist the decision somehow wasn’t on the up-and-up. So that’s fun.

  1. Ben - Apr 23, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    Substantive justice grumble grumble grumble procedural justice grumble grumble grumble

    Am I doing it right?

  2. randygnyc - Apr 23, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    I posted this here at the time, knowing that the arbitrator is not compelled to offer any explanation. This stinks of rotten Selig.

  3. lardin - Apr 23, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    The magic bullet theory, Aliens live among us, Armstrong never landed on the moon, and the most recent but definately not last or least, MLB is covering up for their golden boy, who plays for the Commissioners former team..

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:38 PM

      Since when is Ryan Braun MLB’s golden boy?

      • Old Gator - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:53 AM

        Since just before he took that fateful leak.

    • ditto65 - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:23 PM

      Lance Armstrong landed on the moon?

      • Old Gator - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:43 AM

        …which indicates to me that he was doing steroids after all. No one can jump that far on vitamins alone.

    • cur68 - Apr 24, 2012 at 12:12 AM

      César Millán Favela lives among you and, until he became a dog whisperer, was an illegal alien, so yeah, aliens…

  4. papacrick - Apr 23, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    If you’re not cheating you’re not trying

    • stlouis1baseball - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:30 AM

      “If you’re not cheating you’re not trying.”

      Pete Rose

  5. thefreaksfg - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    Majority of the people labeling Braun a cheater either:

    A) Have no knowledge of the justice system and how this process compares

    B) Don’t know what HGH actually does for a baseball player

    C) Are Cardinals/Cubs fans

    I think B applies to mostly everyone, because while it’s somewhat clear how it affects the body, nobody has proven anything when it comes to how it affects a player’s performance in baseball.

    • saints97 - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:18 PM

      What does HGH have to do with any of this? No one accused him of HGH use, nor did he test positive for it.

      Ironic that you would be indicating that others are ignorant on this.

    • Ben - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:19 PM

      Before making blanket statements of dubious veracity you should probably at least have an understanding of the facts of the case. Braun’s test showed signs of testosterone, not HGH.

      • thefreaksfg - Apr 24, 2012 at 6:52 PM

        It’s my embarrassing mistake. I’ve actually followed this closely and have debated multiple people about it. Didn’t mean to say HGH.. honest mistake.

    • djpostl - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:57 PM

      Are you an idiot? Where did HGH come from? Has not one damn thing to do with this case lol.

      • micker716 - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:35 PM

        Just piling on; You are indeed an idiot.

    • thefreaksfg - Apr 24, 2012 at 6:50 PM

      Honest mistake: meant to say testosterone, not HGH.

  6. randygnyc - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    Freak, get your facts right. He was accused of never seen before levels of testosterone, not hgh. He got off on a procedural technicality. The evidence was never tampered with or altered in any way. Braun used illegal PED’s. He just wasn’t punished for it.

    • saints97 - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:31 PM

      In fairness, his levels of testosterone were not “never seen before.” They were actually pretty normal levels for someone who had taken a testosterone boosting agent.

      • muskyhunter2542 - Apr 24, 2012 at 9:42 AM

        His testosterone was at an 80-1 when most of us men are at a 4-1 level.

      • saints97 - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:35 AM

        Musky, that was an early report that was never corroborated. All later reports had his levels between 20:1 and 30:1, with the vast majority saying 20:1.

      • saints97 - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:41 AM

        And, by the way, 80:1 ratio would still not be “never seen before” or “unprecedented” as the Braun camp had indicated early on. There have been lab workers on record as saying they have seen over 100:1.

      • nightman13 - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:50 AM

        Actually they weren’t. They were significantly higher than any previously recorded test. So obviously that shouldn’t raise a red flag because clearly he’s gained a ton of body mass, saw a huge spike in performance and has a history of positive tests.

        Wait, what? He’s been the same size his whole career, performed at consistently high levels and his performance has been very consistent his whole career? So shouldn’t that be considered kind of odd that all of the sudden he tests ridiculously high despite showing no signs of a PED user?

        Well, why let logic and objectivity get in the way of a good ol’ fashioned witch hunt and stoning!!!

  7. phillyphreak - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    Can’t we all just say “hey see my comment from a few months ago” and call it a day?

    • jimbo1949 - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:00 PM

      spoil sport

  8. saints97 - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    Oh, and by the way, not a big shock that we will never see the arbitrator’s ruling. The only people in MLB that are held accountable are the players and the managers. The umpires have zero accountability, so why shouldn’t the all-powerful arbitrator?

  9. mybrunoblog - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    Being cleared on a procedural technicality was the worst thing that could have happened to Braun.
    I think lots of fans (myself included) feel he was dirty but walked due to having a slick attorney and the all powerful MLBPA backing him.

    • saints97 - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:45 PM

      I’m guessing a 50 game suspension would have been worse.

    • phillyphreak - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:51 PM

      Yea, it’s a total shame that the MLB doesn’t have any of those slick attorneys.

    • brewcrewfan54 - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:19 PM

      To say the MLBpA had mich to do with the not fuilty result is silly.
      Did you read about the process at all? Do you know how it works? There’s 3 parties at the end of these appeals that decide the end. One is the MLBPA rep who has always voted for not guilty. The 2nd is the MLB rep who has always voted guilty and then there’s the independant arbitrator who up until this time always ruled in favor of MLB. So it seems the MLBPA has very little power in the appeals process.

      • saints97 - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:25 PM

        The arbitrator has ruled in favor of the players before this. Braun was not the first to win his appeal.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Apr 24, 2012 at 6:58 AM

        Braun is the first Major Leaguer to win his appeal amd that’s the only case I’m talking about. Besides, I don’t believe minor leaguers are part of the union so I don’t know who their representation is in their appeals process.

      • saints97 - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:37 AM

        Brewcrew, Braun is the first to be public knowledge, but more than one player, including Jimmy Rollins, have stated that they know for a fact that others have won appeals.

  10. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 23, 2012 at 11:54 PM

    So not just batshit insane, but a bigot to boot! I bet the ladies are just beating down your door aren’t they?

    • Old Gator - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:52 AM

      Not only bigoted and crazy, but stupid too. Shayam Das is an Indian-American.

      Oh, right, let’s not forget what a moron we’re dealing with here – that’s Indian as in from India.

  11. Walk - Apr 24, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    Seems to me if no explanation is offered because of changes in policy then those very changes are reason for the ruling. Of course we may be lead to believe that in order for them to keep from issuing a statement not based in fact. I prefer the former but latter is a possibility not just because of the pending nondisclosure agreement which seems a touch revisionist since it is being applied after the fact.

  12. stercuilus65 - Apr 24, 2012 at 5:39 AM

    lardin – Apr 23, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    “The magic bullet theory, Aliens live among us, Armstrong never landed on the moon, and the most recent but definately (sic) not last or least, MLB is covering up for their golden boy, who plays for the Commissioners former team..”


    Actually you left out the best magic bullet theories…

    A) A sample taker with years and hundreds of successful complaint free samples taken was out to get Braun because he was a Cubs fan and he or his 15 year old son managed to break the tamper proof seals to inject synthetic testosterone into Braun’s sample and then replaced them with identical perfectly forged seals. Devious I tell you!


    B) The properly stored sample which showed no signs of degradation at the laboratory somehow, without precedent, spontaneously generated synthetic testosterone by itself in a Braun signed sealed container. Adding to the miracle is the fact that the longer a sample sits the testosterone level decreases! Hand of God stuff here I tell you what with Ryan the innocent victim.

    And finally the biggest BS story..

    C) Braun is a stand up guy! After all part of being a stand up guy is throwing innocent workingman sample takers under the bus with sleazy innuendo at a press conference in a desperate attempt to avoid responsibility for his own actions. Yep, Ryan Braun, stand up guy!

    • nightman13 - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:54 AM

      The container was not signed, the paperwork with it was signed. The collectors have access to hundreds of sample cups, those that believe that something happened to the sample believe that it wasn’t even Braun’s urine that was submitted.

      That’s why Braun offered to have DNA testing done to prove the sample wasn’t even his.

      • blabidibla - Apr 24, 2012 at 1:53 PM

        The *SEALS* on the cups are signed and verified by both parties.

      • nightman13 - Apr 24, 2012 at 1:56 PM

        According to who?

  13. mrznyc - Apr 24, 2012 at 7:59 AM

    Synthetic, synthetic, synthetic, synthetic, synthetic, synthetic, synthetic, synthetic, synthetic, synthetic, synthetic, synthetic, synthetic, synthetic, synthetic, synthetic!

  14. bravojawja - Apr 24, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    More importantly, what happened to whoever leaked the results? Isn’t this whole process supposed to be confidential?

  15. rmalmstrom - Apr 24, 2012 at 9:46 AM

    I confused Shyam Das with M Night Shyamalan. That would be a cool response though.

  16. lanflfan - Apr 24, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    Unacceptable. I can forgive delaying the release while the respective talking heads do their thing, but both sides have a lot to lose by not releasing the opinion.

    Braun continues to be absolutely guilty in my eyes. I’ve seen no evidence to adequately explain the excessive test results, and a whiny cryptic answer doesn’t cut it. Only a silly policy on sample collection got him off (on a technicality).

    MLB also needs to be clear with us, the fans. One side of their mouth says “we want MLB drug free”, but the other side says something totally different when it is a major star.

    If all parties want us, the fans, to take the steroid policy seriously, and believe that it will work, they need to come 100% clean on this case.

  17. Gamera the Brave - Apr 24, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    Dumbass. Ignorant dumbass…

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