When controversy happens, I often find myself annoyed not by the reactionaries, but by those who criticize the people who decide to have opinions.
When Ryan Braun won his appeal, there were plenty of people on either side of the aisle with strong opinions. "WHATEVER HAPPENED TO INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY MY GAAWWWWD," some shouted. Others clamored, "How the ish is he not suspended for having used a banned substance?" More on that later.
What really grinds my gears, though, are the high and mighty bastards who chalk up strong opinions to everything but a reasoned evaluation of the facts. "IT'S SO TYPICAL," they point out. "PEOPLE WHO WANTED BRAUN TO BE GUILTY ARE PISSED AND PEOPLE WHO WANTED TO BELIEVE HE WAS INNOCENT ARE SAYING I TOLD YOU SO. IT'S SO TYPICAL. WHAT IDIOTS."
Now listen to me, Dave Cameron. These are what I understand to be the facts of the case. Somebody watched Ryan Braun piss into a cup. The cup was sealed with tape, like in those spy movies where you wanna know if people are going through your shit, so if the thing were opened/tampered with we'd'a known. The lab found a testosterone imbalance in Mr. Braun's piss, so they checked to see if there was any synthetic testosterone in the sample, and sure enough, the test showed that there was.
How do I know all this? Not because I pieced it all together from tweets while drinking beers, but because I read what appears to be a fantastically written piece over at ESPN from TJ Quinn and Mark Fainaru-Wada. These guys broke the positive test in December, and when describing the events I just laid out in the previous paragraph, they qualify it all with this: "This much is not in dispute."
Put another way: the OFFICIAL RECORD and all that shows Braun's piss had synthetic testosterone in it. Sooooo what the hell????
"There’s nothing wrong with saying 'I don’t know', and given the actual evidence that the public possesses, it’s the only fair thing we can say," Cameron writes. "We don’t know that Braun used or didn’t use. We don’t know much about the situation, honestly."
This is false!!! Read the Quinn/Fainaru-Wada piece! Braun's testing positive for synthetic testosterone IS NOT IN DISPUTE. What am I missing here??
All this having been said, am I demanding Braun be suspended for 50 games by some sort of commissarial decree? I am not. The league and its Players Association have agreed to codified terms for doling out punishments related to drug tests; as far as I can tell, those terms were followed. (I'm referring to the arbitration hearing on Braun's case, not the behavior of the dope who didn't FedEx in the piss in time.) If I'm the league I'm absolutely embarrassed, and yes, I probably file a lawsuit. But I still follow due process. I don't just say "NAHH NAHH NAHH I'M NOT LISTENING" and issue a suspension that goes against the rules I laid out with my players' representatives.
But regardless of how many games Braun ends up playing this season, it is a fact that, one way or another, some synthetic testosterone got into his body. Which really is shitty. And makes him a cheater. Instead of telling me about what I know and don't know, why don't you read some things, guy.
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