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ryan braun whoaRyan Braun reportedly tested positive for a banned substance back in 2011, and his connection to the performance-enhancing drug narrative since then has been a lot of close proximity, but no real red-handedness. He got out of a suspension that time thanks to an error in the protocol tied to managing his sample (there does not appear to have been a credible argument that the test, itself, was erroneous).

Then, a couple weeks ago, he was tied to a clinic in Miami that has been the subject of PED investigations, and a report that its main dude – Tony Bosch – has been supplying professional athletes with the juice. Braun explained that one away by noting that, when he appealed that first PED suspension, he used Bosch as an expert witness/consultant.

Well, now he’s got more to explain. According to a report from ESPN’s Outside the Lines, Braun’s name not only appears in a separate place in Bosch’s documents (an appearance that is consistent with his “he was just an expert witness” explanation), it also appears together on a page that – according to ESPN’s source – lists only guys to whom Bosch was supplying PEDs.

If that’s accurate, it’s a blackening plume of smoke heaped on top of the already smoking building of Braun’s training practices.

Through his attorneys, Braun essentially says anywhere his name appears on Bosch’s documents is because of the expert witness/consultant thing. In fact, his lawyer apparently threatened legal action against ESPN if they published this OTL report. That would be something of a convincing threat, but for what we now know about the way Lance Armstrong used the legal system. Even guilty guys aren’t above using the court system to their advantage.

Which is not to say Braun is guilty in this, or any instance. But, yeah – it looks bad. It’s always looked bad. His reputation was already tarnished, but, unless he comes up with an even better explanation this time around, folks will never look at him the same way.

  • Curt

    if it walks like a duck , sounds like a duck. Looks like a duck , it’s a duck. just bc you can keep just skirting the edges of being caught red handed he’s guilty in the court of public opinion hid lawyer can’t file a motion or threaten a lawsuit I guess he hasn’t learned anything from previous players. admit it the public will myb forgive(Andy pettite) or keep denying ( Barry bonds or lance Armstrong) both douschenozzles and be always thought of that way. Ryan you’re a very good player admit it already.

  • OlderStyle

    Ryan seems to have taken a few pages from Lance Armstrong’s playbook: deny, evade, obfuscate, deny, threaten, rinse and repeat. Ban the bum.

  • Mr. Coffee

    Anyone with an ounce of common sense knew Braun was guilty the first time, but got off on a BS technicality. It’s like Lance Armstrong finally admitting it, this new story is simply a confirmation of what most people already knew. The only thing that surprises me is that he was dumb enough to continue using after escaping by the skin of his teeth the first time. Does this mean that Braun is not a good player? Of course not. It simply means he’s a liar and cheat, and will never be looked at the same way again. I don’t care if he ever tests positive again (that’s already happened), don’t care if he’s ever suspended, don’t care what, if anything happens, he’s guilty in the court of public opinion, which is really the court that truly counts if you ask me.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      “he’s guilty in the court of public opinion, which is really the court that truly counts if you ask me.”

      Ah, the court of ignorance and superstitious buffoonery, then!

      • TheMick6x

        I only wish the court of public opinion could include sentancing. “If the glove does not fit, you must aquit!” Braun should write an “If I did it” book too.

  • Patrick G

    I say MLB just test every single player out there to get all the questions and concerns about who is clean and who isn’t. Suspend those who are and move forward. I know they have cleaned up the game a little, but feel they will never make significant progress if they don’t do anything substantial.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Do you have any idea how many laws that would violate?

      • Patrick G

        I honestly don’t but feel that’s the only way to make substantial progress in cleaning the game. I figure the MLBPA wouldn’t be in on that but what do I know

        • DocPeterWimsey

          The answer to the first is “lots.”

          Also, baseball and all other sports cannot be “cleaned up.” They never were clean to begin, going back to the Greeks. Professional athletes are paid to win: you are not “cheating,” then you are not trying. The difference now is that the methods for “cheating” have gotten a lot better: athletes of yesteryear didn’t choose to not do these things, they instead choose to do things that didn’t work as well.

          The idea of sports as some nobel endeavor for honor, etc., is a fairy tale introduced by the English 100+ years ago, particularly in regards to the Olympics. The English wanted to keep these sorts of competitions limited to Gentlemen who, as men of means already, would be untempted to “cheat” because there was no incentive for them to do so. This helped create all the myths that became entrenched in to Western ideals about what athletes are like.

      • Kevin

        I’m obviously a minority here, non-lawyer, but if testing any MLB player at any time is breaking the law then the rules are not properly written. As a true baseball fan I would expect MLB to go to extreme measures to make sure the sport is clean.

  • Timmy

    Can we just admit already that MLB is racist and only suspends minority and foreign players for cheating? And, for that matter, denies true MVPs in favor of white cheaters.

    • Kansas Cubs Fan

      I didn’t know MLB was run by nazis and the kkk.

      • Jimmy james

        You obviously haven’t seen buds tramp stamp then

      • Timmy

        all under Bud’s reign. this includes the steroids era.

        http://thegrio.com/2012/04/18/number-of-black-mlb-players-at-60-year-low/

        • http://punshouse.com Nate Corbitt

          Seriously? You’re making this a race issue?

        • Bric

          This was actually a pretty interesting read but I’m not sure it supports your assertion that MLB is racist. For one thing the article quotes Marlon Byrd when he was still with the Cubs and before he himself got outed for steroids. Not exactly what I’d consider an unbiased source.

        • hardtop

          “Byrd is the only black player on either of Chicago’s two teams. “I remember when I came up with the Phillies in 2002, we had six black players. I thought that was the norm.”

          quote from the article. did i misread this or miss something? when was byrd the only black player in chicago? article is from last april?

        • DarthHater

          You posted this nonsense under Bud’s reign, so I guess he must be responsible for that, too. Curse you, Selig! :-P

  • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor (no relation)

    The new HGH tests that start this year may prove to be one of the game’s great watersheds.

    I think the eyes will be on Braun more so than ever. He has talent without the PEDs, but will not come down to league average like AROD, because of his age. He’ll chalk it up to a down year and the constant media attention and go about his business. I guess I’m just glad that his long contract with the Brewers may turn out to be burdensome.

  • Mr. Coffee

    So are you saying that I’m basing my opinion on something other than facts? If so, I respectfully disagree. This new story could never have even happened, and I would still know (not think, but know) that Braun was using because he tested positive in a test that was completely confirmed and defended by MLB. And why would MLB have a reason to botch a test on a guy who just won the MVP? How does Braun testing positive make the game look, at a time when they are trying to repair their public image? This new information, and him trying trying to threaten and intimidate people into not reporting it, is simply icing on the cake. So if you think my opinion is based on ignorance and superstition, well, I really can’t help you.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      OK, give me the facts: what did the arbitrator state in his report as the justification for ruling in Braun’s favor?

      • MightyBear

        The federal express package of his sample was supposed to be delivered on Saturday to MLB. It was delivered on Monday. The arbitrator said that the sample could have been tainted during those two days. The doubt as to chain of custody in the sample led to ruling in Braun’s favor.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Wrong! It was a trick question. The report was never filed.

          • MightyBear

            I should have known you were messing with us Doc. You are the trickster!
            Braun was convicted in the court of public opinion. He’s a douchebag.

        • Mr. Coffee

          Here’s the thing with “tainted”. And again, I’m not a lawyer, or a chemist, or a forensics expert, but this just common sense. If a sample of any body fluid–blood, urine, semen, whatever–is contaminated, and then analyzed for DNA or drugs, the contamination is going to produce an inconclusive result. It’s not going to produce a false positive. In other words, if there is no HGH or cocaine or alcohol or whatever you’re looking for in his urine, a contanimated sample is not going to make such substance magically appear. It will simply come back as inconclusive.

          The only way that a false positive is going to occur is if his urine sample is tampered with, and the banned substance is added to his sample. Not only was there no evidence at all that this occurred, but Braun and his lawyers did not even attempt to make an allegation that his sample was tampered with. They used the “not delivered on time, therefore it was contaminated” argument. Bottom line, he tested positive, that’s all there is to it, he now has gotten busted for a second time and can’t explain his involvement in this, and I’m offcially out of this conversation going forward.

  • OlderStyle

    Testing policies and protocol in MLB are so behind the curve it’s laughable. It’s more PR smokescreen than true process of weeding out. Only the careless or dumb will get caught.

  • mudge

    “You’re not cheating, you’re not trying.” Let’s say for example, Paul Konerko has never taken PEDs because he respects the rules and feels it’s immoral to cheat for an advantage against other players; does that mean he’s not trying? Integrity is meaningless, is what you’re saying?

    • DocPeterWimsey

      One, Konerko has never been caught. That’s a fundamentally different statement. He almost certainly was using amphetamines and other (now) banned stimulants because they all were. After all, if you looked lethargic the game before, then you damn well showed your teammates that you were drinking from the “leaded” coffee: or you lost their respect.

      Two, “integrity” is an utterly subjective concept. A player who is willing to take millions of dollars a year to perform and who won’t use chemicals to enhance that performance has/lacks integrity. The 2nd to last word is key: and which you choose is up to you.

      • MightyBear

        Is this another trick question?

      • mudge

        There is no proof that “they all were.”

        • Scotti

          Not only is there no proof, it isn’t even remotely statistically possible.

      • mudge

        Integrity is not a subjective concept; it has to do with making and keeping agreements. I didn’t say that I was sure Konerko hadn’t; I said let’s say for example that he hadn’t, and his reasons were that he respects the rules of the game; is such a thing possible? I believe that it is.

      • mudge

        You haven’t answered my question; if a player does not take PEDs, then, you feel they are not trying?

  • jt

    If a magic trick becomes obvious it loses its magic and therefore its value.
    That is the court of public opinion.

  • Tom A.

    Suspend him for the good of the game !

  • Die hard

    He’s more Braun than brains as his eyes give away his use

  • Deez

    Braun got a 5yr/$105M extension + he has 3yrs/$33.5M left on his 1st contract. Hey, F…k the integrity of the game when it comes down to the money. Players by cheating have an opportunity to gain “Generational Money.”
    Why not do it!?
    Even if they start voiding contracts do you think it will stop?!
    Now-a-days, it really really pays to cheat.

    • Die hard

      Yea Hypocritical Pete Rose is denied HOF when more money gambled on substance cheaters than Rose ever gambled

  • Tom A.

    He got a big break when he cheated and got off because of a mistake. Then he cheats more and more and more and finally gets caught. The only thing left to make this whole story even more disgusting would be for Selig to let him get away with this all yet again.

    Selig better realize baseball fans everywhere know the truth. Suspend him for the good of the game !

    • Die hard

      Selig has serious COF

  • Muck

    GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY. I live in Wisconsin and I’m sick of all the Brewer fans saying he’s clean can’t wait for them to shut up

  • hardtop

    can someone, with the skills, please photoshop this picture
    http://media.northjersey.com/images/AP110815145609.jpg
    and put “cheater” on his back instead of braun. repost it so i can share with my cheddar-head friends. it would spread across the interwebs like herpes ;)

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