May 14, 2012, 8:22 AM EST
As I said several times, Ryan Braun didn’t get off on a “technicality.” The arbitrator felt that the flaw in his testing procedure was significant. So significant that a positive test result could not be trusted and his suspension had to be thrown out.
But can we say that Eliezer Alfonso got off on a “Braunicality?” Yes, let’s make that a thing:
Major League Baseball dropped its 100-game suspension of Colorado Rockies catcher Eliezer Alfonzo for a positive drug test because of the same procedural issues that came up in the Ryan Braun case.
Alfonzo is eligible to play immediately, according to a person familiar with the decision who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Sunday night because no announcement had been made.
He had already missed 48 games from the suspension handed down last September, so this is more of a reduction of a suspension. It’s unclear if he’ll get back pay for the time he missed.
This was not done following a hearing. Apparently the decision was just made, suggesting that the union or the league or player’s lawyers or someone is going back and reviewing old suspensions for violations of the testing procedure.
That and the fact that the league and the union have, according to the article, already changed those old procedures, puts lie to the notion that Braun’s case turned on something unimportant and petty. Everyone — with the exception of people who like to scream about how Braun unfairly benefited from slick lawyering — thinks it was significant. If they didn’t, we wouldn’t have this result.
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