Braun “Exonerated”. Sort of. Well, not really.

By now you’ve heard about Ryan Braun‘s latest achievement, namely becoming the first player ever hit with an MLB suspension who managed to win on appeal.

Braun immediately released a statement saying:

“It is the first step in restoring my good name and reputation. We were able to get through this because I am innocent and the truth is on our side.”

But let’s be crystal clear on one thing…the dude was not innocent. He got off on a technicality and nothing more.

Braun didn’t argue evidence of tampering, didn’t argue anything about science being wrong but argued protocol had not been followed. A second source confirmed to ESPN investigative reporter Mark Fainaru-Wada that Braun did not dispute the science but rather questioned chain of custody/collection procedure.

According to one of the sources, the collector, after getting Braun’s sample, was supposed to take the sample to FedEx/Kinkos for shipping but thought it was closed because it was late on a Saturday. As has occurred in some other instances, the collector took the sample home and kept it in a cool place and possibly refrigerated it. Policy states that the sample is supposed to get to FedEx as soon as possible.

Braun’s initial T/E ratio was more than 20:1. And sources previously confirmed synthetic testosterone in his system.

The moment the news came out you saw player after player, and Brewers fan after Brewers fan, taunting the media for “being premature”, loaded with countless #suckonthat’s.

Let’s be clear on one thing. The media got it right and you’re the ones getting it wrong. Oh so wrong.

Should the 50 game suspension be tossed aside because of the “chain of custody” issue that was raised? Absolutely, if only to protect the sanctity of the current system.

Does this mean Braun is innocent, that he is exonerated or that his “good named is cleared”?

Not a chance in hell.



  1. Mateo Fischer

    I’m sort of in the middle on this. Yeah he never did prove his innocence by winning the appeal, but his innocence should have never come into question in the public’s eye in the first place. I see it this way, if he truly isn’t innocent, he will eventually get his just desserts and test positive a second time as Manny did.

  2. djpostl

    Yeah, agreed on the fact that is was leaked was a breach of protocol, but then again Arod, Manny & Big Papi all had to deal with this. Arod admitted it and moved on, Big Papi said “it’s the first I heard about it, lemme look into it” (and never got back to us) and Manny was, well, Manny. Clue-free and repeated his offense in 2008 then again in 2011.

    I have ZERO issue with the suspension being avoided. I have been part of labor and management in disciplinary proceedings that have gone to arbitration and I fully understand the need to follow through on the technical aspects of the process.

    But I also know full well that getting off on one of those technicalities only absolves you from discipline, but it doesn’t absolve you of any actual\ guilt or innocence in the eyes of your peers.

    This isn’t the prison yard where we all get cute and everyone says “I’m not guilty of damn thing but I am in prison for ‘insert crime here’ “.

    Dude is dirty. His levels were high, he never argued anything beyond chain of custody and the same findings said there was zero evidence of tampering but they were forced to set aside the sample on a chain of custody issue.

    Even if he is clean rest of his career, this one needs to stick to him for the rest of his career.

  3. twinsnotes

    I think there will be still nagging voices that Braun will always have to deal with. He will always have to deal with the issue that although the chain of custody was broken with the delivery of the sample, the seal was not broken when the sample reached the lab as well as the fact that the sample contained synthetic testosterone. I hope that he can continue to have a positive career and put this behind him.

    Twins Notes –

    • djpostl

      Yup. I have been on both sides of the fence ins similar instances before. I was a Union steward dealing with union members who failed these tests (drug versions, of course) and then was in management dealing with the same issues. I feel they should honor the process and bnot levy the suspension, if only to protect the system that was negotiated through collective bargaining.

      But I can assure you, nobody on either side in those cases wanted to hear someone cry about being the victim or saying their name was “cleared” once they got off on a technicality.

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