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What happens if Ryan Braun tests positive next year? Or in 2017?

Jul 22, 2013, 7:42 PM EDT

Bud Selig AP

One thing that is clear from the Ryan Braun suspension is that it was, in some form or another, the product of horse trading. A settlement of sorts given how both sides got something good out of this, all things considered.

But there is still an open question here: is this considered Braun’s first offense? Second? Is it off that paradigm altogether? Where in the heck are we now, and what in the heck happens if Braun dances with the PED devil at some point in the future?

The uncertainty stems from not just the punishment, but from the statements of Michael Weiner last week when he said that “just cause” punishment is not subject to the 50-100-life scale. That did not seem to jibe with the words of the JDA which seemed to include that scale in both testing positives and just cause situations, but that is what the man said. And, at least based on the number of games, that’s what Braun got.

It’s likely that other Biogenesis players will get similar deals (or punishments, depending on your point of view). Are they outside of the 50-100-life thing too? Or does this count as a first offense and the next one counts for 100 games? And what if the deal, say, in the case of A-Rod, is 103 games? Where do we go from there? How does the standard apply?

This is not a theoretical question. This set of circumstances could happen again. Or, like Manny Ramirez, we could have “retirements” that are rescinded followed by reductions in discipline. As time goes on the system is going to get messier and messier with precedent, as all systems do.

In light of that, I feel it’s important for Major League Baseball to clarify how the Biogenesis suspensions fit into the overall discipline regime of the JDA. For a system to work it has to have transparency. And, though it’s pretty clearly necessitated by the murkiness of the Biogenesis case, at the moment we’re lacking some transparency.

  1. tbutler704 - Jul 22, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    Next time, he gets stoned to death.

    • heyblueyoustink - Jul 22, 2013 at 7:58 PM

      Well, depending on your meaning of stoned…..l

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 22, 2013 at 8:01 PM

        I never pictured you as a Lincecum fan…

      • heyblueyoustink - Jul 22, 2013 at 8:30 PM

        My friend, in my time thus far in this lifetime, I have been in attendance of a little known event once known a the Roach Roast.

        And yes, I have participated on the naked hippy slide at such an event.

        No better way to spend a week and a half when you’re 19.

    • DJ MC - Jul 22, 2013 at 11:03 PM

      So, after his contract extensions, it will be the third time he’s won the lottery?

    • drone501 - Jul 23, 2013 at 7:39 AM

      how apart ripping off his fingernails.

    • ilovegspot - Jul 23, 2013 at 2:24 PM

      Craig Calcaterra has been defending Braun since his POSITIVE test for Testosterone.

  2. gothapotamus90210 - Jul 22, 2013 at 7:51 PM

    This has the feel of the 80s cocaine scandal.

    • slartibartfast4242 - Jul 22, 2013 at 8:08 PM

      “Cocaine is a hell of a drug.”

  3. jayscarpa - Jul 22, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    The 65 game suspension may not be the only term in the deal.

  4. losangelesfan - Jul 22, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    He plays in Milwaukee. It’s not a suspension, it’s a reprieve.

    • drone501 - Jul 23, 2013 at 7:40 AM


    • tigersfandan - Jul 23, 2013 at 7:13 PM

      Well, I would suspect that he probably would prefer to be out on the field, even during a poor season. Also, he’s losing out on some money and his reputation is ruined. The suspension wasn’t the only punishment he got.

  5. unclemosesgreen - Jul 22, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    Duh – we already have the template. Since Braun is a Brewer, Selig will take whatever he’s threatening everyone else with, divide by 2 and then subtract 10 games. That’s just math.

  6. laserrocketarm31 - Jul 22, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    What? Craig graduated law school and he is asking if this can actually be considered a second offense for Braun after he was acquitted on account of due process?

    • gostlcards5 - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:47 PM

      Clearly, he is asking because a first offense is 50 games, and as you stated, this cannot be considered a second offense. When you juxtapose that with a deal that reduced his punishment to 65 games (for a so-called first offense), it does not add up to the stipulations of the JDA.

  7. rnattharvey - Jul 22, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    MLB player gets suspended and we have 10 articles on it, NFL players gets suspended we might get 1 or 2.

    • Anoesis - Jul 22, 2013 at 8:44 PM

      NFL players are suspended on a regular basis for a variety of misdeeds, so they become the norm rather than newsworthy. And that’s not counting the crimes NFL players commit that can be considered “self-suspensions.” That Hernandez fellow comes to mind…

    • DJ MC - Jul 22, 2013 at 11:24 PM

      The NFL stands by their testing program. The league’s response to questions is essentially, “He failed his test, he was punished, screw off.”

      It lets a lot of guys slip through (allegedly, of course), but it also keeps PED suspensions from becoming an issue that dominates the sport simply through rumor and accusation.

  8. sfm073 - Jul 22, 2013 at 8:14 PM

    Can we just let all the facts out before we start asking all of these questions. I’m sure MLB and Braun discussed his future and what another offense would mean to him.

    • Jeremy T - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:24 AM

      Maybe they did, but I doubt Braun brought up the issue himself. “Hey guys, just wondering, if you were to catch me again…”

  9. rjostewart - Jul 22, 2013 at 8:35 PM

    If Melky and Colon get suspended do those count as second offenses? (This is an actual question, not rhetorical.)

    • DJ MC - Jul 22, 2013 at 11:20 PM

      Based on the article I posted below, I would assume yes. This is Braun’s first offense, so it would be Cabrera’s and Colon’s second offense. I could see negotiations bringing that down from 100 games, though.

  10. banpeds - Jul 22, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    this articel is funny, what happens next year. These players got bigger problems than suspensions coming to them next year.

  11. DJ MC - Jul 22, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    Maury Brown is saying this counts as Braun’s first offense, as the 50-game suspension with extra games added on in the negotiation.

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