Botched, messed up, bungled, slipshod, careless, shoddy, slapdash, chose any adjaverb you want, this entire PED suspension procedure was flawed from the outset. I don’t care that Ryan Braun passed three prior PED tests during the 2011 season, he failed the fourth one. When a person is guilty of wrong doing but he gets away with it because the people enforcing right from wrong screw up, the person that did the wrong doing shouldn’t walk away scott free. I know it’s a bad example because he was innocent (wink, wink), but think OJ Simpson.
If you shoot my handsome goldfish because you were jealous of him (after all he’s clearly better looking than your gold fish and you know it) and witnesses saw you do it, should the district attorney’s dog burry the gun like a bone in a place where it can’t be found, it doesn’t mean that you didn’t shoot my goldfish and you deserve to walk away scott free. You’re a goldfish murderer! How would you like it if the goldfish had the barrel pointed at you? Not such a pleasant feeling now is it…
Quite frankly, this has to be pretty embarrassing for MLB, particularly Commissioner Bud Selig. The fact that Braun’s suspension was overturned because of a technicality is troublesome. Braun’s urine sample was collected on Oct. 1, a Saturday and the day the Brewers opened the NL playoffs. The collector did not send the sample to the laboratory until Monday, thinking it would be more secure at home than at a Federal Express office during the weekend. Baseball’s drug agreement states that “absent unusual circumstances, the specimens should be sent by FedEx to the laboratory on the same day they are collected.” By allowing the approximate 36 hour time to elapse, technically by rule, he invalidated the samples. Poppycock! You don’t need eight years of medical school to know that testosterone levels in urine don’t raise to extreme proportions because the samples sit in the trunk of a vehicle for two days.
Braun’s side challenged the chain of custody from the time the urine sample was collected by Comprehensive Drug Testing Inc. to when it was sent, nearly 48 hours later, to a World Anti-Doping Agency-certified laboratory in Montreal, Canada. Think about it, ultimately the fate of what happens in these cases rests in the hands of a certified agency of dopes…
I understand why the arbitrator, Shyam Das, ruled the way he did, he was following rules. From a judicial procedural standpoint, one can make the argument that he had no choice. I get it. But that just proves how messed up the process is to begin with. The process itself is flawed.
Everywhere you turn you read that the arbitration panel ruled in the 2011 NL MVP’s favor 2-1. The three-man arbitration panel includes Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Michael Weiner, MLB vice president for labor relations Rob Manfred and the independent arbitrator Das. Weiner works for the players and always sides with the player. It doesn’t matter if the player injects himself with PED’s in front of the panel when they have a hearing on the issue, he still votes with the player. What do you expect, he’s a Weiner! Rob Manfred works for the owners and always sides against the player. No matter what the evidence is, Manfred is going to say “you’ve been accused, you must be guilty.” It’s the independent arbitrator, in this case Shyam Das, who decides what happened which way the vote goes. Since Weiner and Manfred are always going to vote with the people they work for, what’s the point of having those two other guys there? In essence, the arbitrator decides this by himself and the fact that it’s portrayed to the public that there is a neutral panel of three deciding on these things is a fraud? The arbitrator’s vote is the only one that counts!
Fantasy Baseball owners have to giddy and Milwaukee Brewers fans have to be please here as they don’t have to play without both Prince Fielder and Braun for the first 50 games. Chalk one up for the innocent until proven guilty crowd too. If you’re one of those in that camp this morning, don’t come crying to me when you come home from work only to find and your handsome goldfish floating in the fish tank because of foul play.
Shame on MLB for making a mockery of this process.
The founder and former owner of MC3 Sports Media, Mike Cardano is the Sr. Business Administrator for RotoExperts and the Executive Director here at TheXLog.com. You may email Mike @ [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @MikeCardano. Listen to Mike on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio with Scott Engel and the morning crew Tuesday mornings at 10am ET.