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No, the Biogenesis thing does not cast us adrift on a sea of uncertainty

Feb 6, 2013, 4:37 PM EDT

Ryan Braun AP AP

Danny Knobler wrings his hands:

Ryan Braun, you’re doing it to us again. Leaving us wondering. Leaving us asking questions. Leaving us in that zone of uncertainty that we’d hoped we had left behind, when baseball and its players union finally stopped looking the other way on steroids.

Drug testing was supposed to clean up the game, but it was also supposed to give us clarity. It was supposed to give us trust that we could believe what we were watching. Some players would fail tests, but they would be suspended and we would know who they were.

Now we’re back to where we were before testing began. We’re back with suspicions and reports.

You’re only there because you want to be, Danny.

If you think we’re in a land of pre-testing uncertainty — which Knobler specifically says later in his column — then the current drug testing program is utterly meaningless. He should just advocate for it being scrapped, because it’s giving him no comfort whatsoever.  For my part, I read just about everything Danny Knobler writes, and I’ve never once seen him claim that the current drug testing program is pointless and should be abandoned.

To the contrary. Last year, after Braun’s appeal, Knobler was one of the few voices who accepted the results and defended Braun and the process.  He believed in it then and said that Braun was due the benefit of the doubt because of the system. Why is he not owed the benefit of the doubt now? Why is the system of no comfort to Knobler today when it was in late February 2012?

Since that decision, the loophole through which Braun and his lawyers jumped has been closed and MLB and MLBPA have increased the stringency of the drug testing program. Indeed, even the USADA and WADA are now applauding it as U.S. team sports’ most rigorous drug testing regime. On the other hand, we’re have one report of currently uncertain weight and import involving a few players, several of which aren’t tied to PEDs.

Maybe that report turns into something big. Maybe it turns into nothing. But that’s what we have.  We do not have the end of all certainty regarding baseball and drugs. We are not cast adrift on a sea of doubt like Knobler will have you believe. Or, as of a year ago, as he even believed.

  1. redguy12588 - Feb 6, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    The way I see it, the MLB is cleaning up the last few places the athletes can go to get these drugs, I’m more confident than ever that the system is working.

  2. rvnc - Feb 6, 2013 at 4:50 PM

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Braun has been using all along, same as it wouldn’t surprise me with any top level athelete in any sport. But we know so little it’s pointless trying to fathom this out or issue profound ‘state of the game’ proclamations. From my perspective the whole Bosch story doesn’t convince me especially, but again if its all true then that wouldn’t shock me. Until a proper investigation is done any talk or speculation is essentially meaningless.

    • Ben - Feb 6, 2013 at 4:53 PM

      We just don’t have enough facts. Last night he was mentioned. Then later last night, his explanation was plausible. Today, we have reference to the “Braun advantage” in Bosch’s letters, but what that means is very unclear.
      The fact is, we don’t know a damn thing.

  3. chacochicken - Feb 6, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    This tasteless cover is a good indication of the lack of musical invention within. The musical growth of this band cannot even be charted. They are treading water in a sea of retarded sexuality and bad poetry.

    • kirkvanhouten - Feb 6, 2013 at 4:53 PM

      Shit sandwich.

  4. Old Gator - Feb 6, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    Perhaps spawrtsrighters are only comfortable when adrift on a sea of uncertainty – you know, like Kevin Costner in Waterworld. Lends new meaning to the term “a bit green behind the gills.”

    • nategearhart - Feb 6, 2013 at 5:06 PM

      Well, now I’m picturing Murray Chass wearing an eyepatch and drinking his own pee.

      • DJ MC - Feb 6, 2013 at 6:23 PM

        That’s just his normal Friday night.

  5. thebadguyswon - Feb 6, 2013 at 5:01 PM


    You need a good drink, man. This isn’t that big a deal. People might bash the players on PEDs on the internet, but I don’t think anyone is losing any sleep over this Biogenesis thing.

  6. nategearhart - Feb 6, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    “Drug testing was supposed to clean up the game…”
    Baseball has what is widely considered the toughest testing policy in sports, and sure enough is catching people and seeing them punished. People will always find a way around the rules, but when your testing is the toughest, shouldn’t you expect to catch more people using?
    Conversely: other sports – football, for example – don’t catch as many people using as baseball does, and the fact that their testing isn’t as good surely has something to do with that. Baseball players aren’t more corrupt, it’s just easier to cheat in other sports. Maybe we should be asking why other sports allow that to be the case.

    • paperlions - Feb 6, 2013 at 5:43 PM

      We already covered this, but….in 2012 more NFL players were suspended for failed tests than MLB players, both in terms of raw numbers and in terms of % of players. The only difference is perception and that baseball writers/fans never let it go, whereas NFL writers/fans let it go after the guy’s suspension is over.

  7. Stiller43 - Feb 6, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    Just as he is “only there cause he wants to be there,” arent you not there because you dont want to be?

    In both of your minds, youre taking in the facts and processing them the way you think is right (which is really just the way you want to).

    Im not saying youre not right, but i think you should see youre doing similar things he is, just on the other end…

    • paperlions - Feb 6, 2013 at 5:48 PM

      Knobler states that “Now we’re back to where we were before testing began.”, which is well….a fucking stupid thing to say. In cursory testing in 2003 there were 100s of failed tests. Now there are far more tests and off season tests and in 2012 only 7 guys failed tests. If Knobler really believes that, he is purposefully ignoring all sorts of data to arrive there. In contrast, if you are not where Knobler is…it is because you are paying attention to all of the information (whereas Knobler seems to be basing his entire world view on Ryan Braun).

  8. rpb1234 - Feb 6, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    My thoughts on the whole Ryan Brawn link to Biogenesis… Just speculation.

    He had some form of relationship which he confirmed. It did not say that he used PEDS. It says he had some form of relationship…

    This seems to give more validity to the documents. One relationship has been cross checked. Gives credibilty to the possibility that the other named players were involved.

    Bottom line… we will never know the truth. Hows is it that all of these players knew about this sh!thole cllinic in Miami? Melky must have linked to it on his fake website. Any situation where Jose Canseco is the most honest guys in the room is f*@ked up.

    • paperlions - Feb 6, 2013 at 5:51 PM

      No no no….that’s not how this works. If the documents say that ARod and other were provided PEDs, that is 100% true and correct. If the documents say that Braun and others were provided services/advice but not PEDs that is 100% bullshit….we KNOW that they received PEDs, too….because, we just do….we’re smart like that.

  9. rgledz - Feb 6, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    I think Jack Morris ties into this story in some way, right Craig?? A negative way if course…….damn Jack Morris.

  10. dwdive - Feb 6, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    This guy is a joke, Braun used PEDS and we ALL know it. Everything else is smoke and mirrors. This guys somehow won a ridiculous appeal, and now we have more proof of him using, but Braun defenders will come up with every excuse and technicality to prove his innocence. Stop it already, he’s a cheat, and we all know it. The rest of you are just look foolish at this point..

    • gibbyfan - Feb 6, 2013 at 9:13 PM

      Well said DW — I agree completely

    • paperlions - Feb 7, 2013 at 7:23 AM

      And people blame lawyers for our current legal system, with people like you having no concept of what represents proof….juries are easily more problematic than the lawyers.

      • paperlions - Feb 7, 2013 at 7:25 AM

        More specifically, how the fuck is Braun owing a guy money for legal consultation proof of him using?

    • padraighansen - Feb 7, 2013 at 9:06 AM

      Seriously, are you retarded? Where is the proof that you personally have to make such a ridiculous statement? Tell you what – be a man and put your real name on it, and then let’s go to court where you can meet the burden of proof you claim you have.

      If you don’t have the balls to put your real name on it, my suggestion is to just shut up. Seriously. None of us – myself included – know all the facts or the truth, whatever that may be.

      I wouldn’t be shocked if he used, nor would I be shocked if he was clean. But none of us, with the apparent exception of you, know a damn thing for certain.

      So, enlighten us and meet the burden of proof.

  11. macjacmccoy - Feb 6, 2013 at 9:34 PM

    The guy says hes not certain bc now what he believed was working doesnt seem like its working but you say hes wrong bc were not certain what happened? You make sense.

  12. themohel - Feb 6, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    Craig – you lament that Knobler is no longer giving Braun the benefit of the doubt on PED’s. The “benefit of the doubt” is something that each of us possesses for ourself; Knobler has every right to rescind his without notice or a change in facts. In this case new stuff has occurred and he has decided that his threshold for doubt has been reached. Most now believe that Lance Armstrong used PED’s, many believed it a few years ago, and some always believed he did. Each person gets to decided when the odor is enough to say that their own smell test alarm has sounded – it is quite arrogant to try to tell others what that point should be for them.

    All these opinion writers are simply performing the same function you attempt to accomplish – giving an opinion. Yours is no more important than theirs.

  13. leess75 - Feb 8, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    Craig, I certainly agree from a legal standpoint that Braun is innocent. However, I don’t think a legal framework is the only way to analyze this issue to assess Braun’s innocent. In the looking at the practical and scientific evidence, the evidence does not weigh in Braun’s favor. I recent post about the scientific procedures in handling Braun’s test sample on Rob Neyer’s blog (See here. Written by poster and the caveats that carries. ) is pretty convincing is showing that the likelihood of Braun’s test being tainted regarding what we know about the facts is very unlikely. Braun’s most likely took PEDs given the evidence at hand IF you are willing to see and interpret the evidence from an epidemiological viewpoints besides a legal one.

    • leess75 - Feb 8, 2013 at 4:42 PM

      epistemological viewpoint not epidemiological.

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