The Issue That Won’t Go Away
Well here we have another Major League baseball player caught with his hand in the cookie jar and in today’s world of oh well, let’s just forget about it, another sad and disgusting moment under the “leadership” of Bud Selig. Of course I’m talking about Ryan Braun.
With all the smokescreen from the commissioner’s office (granted they did feign disgust with the arbitrators findings) a 2-1 vote in favor of Braun doesn’t exactly send a ringing endorsement of the drug policy currently in place in Major League baseball.
How is it that one person was convinced of Braun’s guilt yet he walks away free and clear…legally? Excuse me but I don’t get it. He was tested, signed off on the sample and yet somehow, it might not be his? Why didn’t the issue of tainted procedure ever rear its ugly head before this considering the procedures have never changed in how samples are transported and tested?
I don’t know the answer to that one either but I will say it smells if you’ll pardon the pun.
Of course this will be the loophole which will be used for past and future testing in the world of baseball which effectively negates any result. I would suggest that this is what the commissioner’s office was looking for all along and are secretly happy that a testing policy which the office publicly claimed was necessary and just but privately wish would go away. After all, they still have, despite the snow job and talk about an issue until the public is sick of it and ignores it (an old political trick) issues such as Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds and Mark McGuire et al to deal with. Not to mention the scandal which would have occurred if Braun had tested 100% positive and been forced to give back his MVP trophy. What a mess that would have been indeed. This would have opened the door to a review of all MVP and CY Young awards since the beginning of the steroid era. Not to mention the upcoming Hall of Fame ballot which will see the first year eligibility for several of the captains of abuse. Talk about a black asterisk on the career of Selig.
Now Bud Selig and his crew can simply state that no amount of testing will be accurate so let’s simply ignore everything and get on with the business of baseball. Now Bud and his crew can avoid all the above mentioned potential scandal and debate over awards, pennants, World Series trophies and a few other things which we’re not even aware of…yet.
We should have seen this denial coming with the reinstatement of Manny Ramirez. When does a 100 game suspension not mean 100 but 50? Apparently when a player retires to avoid the longer suspension and is reinstated with the agreement that he serve only 50. What type of message does this send? Sure Manny sat out an entire season (his choice) and apparently that counts towards his 100 game suspension. In the world of professional sports missing an entire season can have a detrimental effect on a player’s ability. But so does a 100 game suspension. Which other profession allows for a person to avoid punishment as long as he briefly retires? I can’t think of any either.
Braun didn’t even really deny that he took steroids. Sure he said that he would be proven innocent but that isn’t really the same thing now is it? He mainly talked about a process being tainted. He mainly talked about his being suspicious of the facilities in Milwaukee. Not exactly a ringing endorsement of innocence.
Of course Bonds, Clemens, Palmerio and Sosa also denied taking steroids. I guess Braun had to take a new angle on his accusations as the “no, I’ve never taken steroids” statements really weren’t holding too much water-except with the commissioner’s office.
If the Ryan Braun vote had been 3-0 in favor I might be more inclined to believe the verdict. If Bud Selig wasn’t commissioner or had ties with the Milwaukee Brewers I might be more inclined to believe the verdict.
Fact is, I don’t.
By: Doug Bird
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