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Report: MLB plans to suspend Ryan Braun, Alex Rodriguez, and 20 other players

Jul 9, 2013, 5:46 PM EDT

ryan braun getty Getty Images

Ryan Braun returns to the Brewers’ lineup tonight after missing a month with a thumb injury and he’s back just in time for this bombshell report from ESPN.com saying that MLB plans to suspend Braun, along with Alex Rodriguez and as many as 20 other players.

According to T.J. Quinn and Mike Fish from “Outside The Lines” Braun “refused to answer questions during a recent meeting with Major League Baseball” and suspensions are expected “sometime after next week’s All-Star break.”

Quinn and Fish quote sources saying that 100-game suspensions are being considered even though that’s the standard second-time offender penalty and neither Braun nor Rodriguez have served a suspension previously. The argument being made is that lying is viewed as the second offense.

Reports of MLB wanting to suspend 20 players first surfaced via Quinn and Fish back on June 4, but have mostly been dormant since then. During that time Biogensis director Tony Bosch was expected to meet with MLB officials and reveal details, leading to the hammer that’s apparently about to drop.

  1. taylorgang24 - Jul 9, 2013 at 10:13 PM

    Whoa whoa, lying is the second offense? That sounds pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty questionable.

    • chip56 - Jul 9, 2013 at 11:01 PM

      According to the CBA failure to cooperate with MLB investigations into PED usage can be considered a violation – as part of the union Braun agreed to abide by that.

      • eightyraw - Jul 10, 2013 at 1:35 AM

        You might be confusing the JDA with the CBA, though neither outline this specifically. There is a possible violation of a CBA provision by these players – “conduct that is materially detrimental or materially prejudicial to the best interests of Baseball including, but not limited to, engaging in conduct in violation of federal, state, or local law.” If the MLB were to go this route, it would have to convince the arbitrator that the player violated a rule in the CBA and that a 50-game suspension is a just punishment (there are no standard suspensions outlined in the CBA). That plus another 50-game suspension under the JDA would mean a 100-game suspension.

  2. andyreidisfat - Jul 10, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    To all the defenders of these players…. Yes, MLB is out to suspend and ruin the reps of some of its biggest stars because they love when jersey sales drop and the league and players reputAtions are damaged. Get a clue. Boche has no reason to lie. He doesn’t get anything out of it.

    Don’t be all butt hurt cuz your favorite player got caught. Perhaps you should look into a new favorite player.

    I don’t know much about who is going to get suspended but this Braun guy definitely deserves it. Talking about being vindicated because of a technicality, what jerk. The way the guy strutted around after he got off the last time, then to lie or not answer questions when the guy has been caught red handed AGAIN. He’s lucky I am not the commish, I would go all goodell on him and he would be done for good. Same thing with a-rod. A-rod made half a billion dollars from that league and he did it as a cheater. Perhaps other players could have gotten some of that money had a-rod not put up the numbers he did. Heck perhaps if all these guys hadn’t been able to get such huge contracts due to inflated numbers perhaps ticket prices for baseball would not have gone up so much in the last 15 years.

    It’s not even the cheating thAt bothers me. It’s the sense of entitlement that they should be able to cheat.

    • mezzy316 - Jul 10, 2013 at 11:36 AM

      I love when people say Braun got off on a “technicality”. That is incorrect. The collector didn’t follow procedure and took the sample to his house and kept it there. Neither you, nor I, nor anyone else, knows what happened during that time. That is why the Braun won his case, and why that process has since been changed.

      In addition, the fact that MLB then fired the arbitrator in Braun’s case make the entire thing a sham. Shyam Das ruled in MLBs favor in every appeal and all was fine. He rules for a player one time and gets fired? How does that make the arbitration process look? How does that affect how the next arbitrator rules knowing that the last guy that ruled against MLB lost his job. Doesn’t seem like a fair process to me.

      I’m not saying Braun is innocent. I have no idea. However, as of yet, there is no evidence. And if MLB plans on suspending players based on nothing but the bought-and-paid-for testimony of a man that has changed his story a hundred times, I don’t see how they can possibly make any of these suspensions stand.

      • tyniewow - Jul 10, 2013 at 11:54 AM

        Saying he got off on a technicality is exactly correct; he never argued that the sample didn’t test positive for banned substance (because it did) his only argument was that the sealed container and envelope wasn’t immediately shipped…that is the definition of a technicality.

      • basedrum777 - Jul 10, 2013 at 4:07 PM

        By not believing that the first test (which was performed under strict Olympic guidelines) was accurate would have to imply that the guy who took the sample litterally altered his sample (and only his sample) in order to have him test positive. Far fetched doesn’t begin to describe this scenario.

      • mikek323 - Jul 10, 2013 at 4:14 PM

        The delay component has me questioning things. Why do samples have a time limit for when they must be sent? The steroid metabolites will still be in the urine, and don’t degrade quickly. However, other chemicals that could be used to mask the indicator chemicals do degrade rather fast. I wonder how many other players would test positive if their samples were delayed?!?!?!

  3. qed - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    As the Good Book says; “Oh, how the mighty heroes have fallen …”

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