Ryan Braun & the Monday Link Around

As I’m sure most of you have heard by now, National League MVP Ryan Braun tested positive for a banned substance and faces a 50 game suspension.  Braun and his people have denied the allegations, and will be appealing the suspension. 

While this is clearly interesting gossip, that’s really all it is.  At this point, all we know is that he had elevated levels of testosterone in his blood stream.  That could mean any number of things.  We know neither how high his testosterone levels were, nor do we know the supplement he used that caused the positive test.  He may have registered a false positive, and/or it’s possible he has a legitimate reason for his elevated levels. 

Generally, the reaction to this news has been typical:  faux rage and self-righteous behavior.  As I said on Twitter yesterday morning, “I am super glad no one outside of sports has ever lied or cheated to get ahead.  What kind of world would this be if we did?”  My point being that people are so quick to criticize others for partaking in an undesirable behavior when they’ve likely made similar transgressions in their own line of work.  Perhaps we haven’t taken illegal substances to enhance our job performance, but we’ve all taken steps to give ourselves either an edge or an image boost with our co-workers and superiors.  You might think think the two acts are like comparing apples and oranges, but they’re not.  Unethical behavior is always unethical, and creating distinctions is nothing more than rationalization. 

In the meantime, rather than jump on the pitchfork and torch bandwagon, I implore everyone to wait until we have all of the facts before making a decision.  To be perfectly honest, we all look less like dimwitted morons by doing so. 

Check out the links after the jump:

  • Graham Womack of Baseball Past and Present just released the Version 2.0 results of his “Top 50 Players not in the Hall of Fame” project.  Graham was cool enough to invite me to participate in the project.  It was agonizing trying to cut my list from 75 to 50, but I had a blast doing it.  Already I’ve started to rethink a few of my choices, but that’s part of the fun.  I’m really looking forward to participating again next year.  Graham did a spectacular job with the write up, and provided insight into all 50 players on the list.  I strongly suggest checking it out.
  • This has to be a joke, right?  He can’t really be serious, can he?  Well, after reading several posts written by the proprietor of the cleverly named Giants blog, Hey How’s it Magowan, I have to assume he’s not messing around–while still hoping it’s satire.  In this week’s “Huff-ington Post,” he dares to compare 2011 Aubrey Huff to 1999 Barry Bonds.  Yeah.  I completely disagree with his opinion, but you have to read it to believe it. 
  • Matt Kory of Over the Monster explains why the Red Sox might be apprehensive about spending on free agents this winter.  Two words:  luxury tax. 
  • Mike Jaggars-Radolf of Yankee Analysts explains that MLB can try to constrain payrolls, but imbalances will remain regardless.  He’s right.  Baseball is a very different breed, especially with their ability to not only create independent local TV contracts/networks, but also absorb the lion’s share of the revenue.  As a result, low revenue clubs can’t replicate the business models of the high revenue clubs.  Their only recourse to compete every year is to come up with alternative business models similar to what the A’s, Marlins, Rays, and Twins have practiced over the past decade.
  • As we all heard on Friday, the Rays struck again when they signed Matt Moore to one of the most team friendly contracts ever.  Why did they do it now, rather than in March or April?  Mark Heilig of The Ray Area thinks the Rays may be looking to jack up David Price’s trade value.  I don’t know if I agree, but it’s certainly plausible.
  • Scott Willis at CrazyCrabbers wonders how much Matt Cain could get when he signs his next extension. 
  • Over at Baseball Nation, Wendy Thurm wonders if there’s really a rookie of the year curse.
  • Alex Poterack of Disciples of Uecker lays out the three potential futures for Ryan Braun.

Categories: Boston Red Sox

After being slapped with a restraining order for stealing Nick Cafardo's mail, I was forced into retirement for a brief period of time. As fun as it was to lounge around the community pool and play shuffleboard with noted internet columnist, Murray Chass, I quickly felt a yearning to write again. Now in my second tenure with Fire Brand, I have set lofty goals of achieving world domination, ending the plight of the hipsters, and becoming BFFs with Mike Trout. I am fluent in two languages (Sarcasm and English, in that order); have an intimate relationship with M&Ms; firmly believe that Lucille is the best character on Arrested Development; and spend my spare time trolling select members of the Boston media. You can follow me on Twitter @Chip_Buck.

19 Responses to “Ryan Braun & the Monday Link Around” Subscribe

  1. Mr Punch December 12, 2011 at 1:52 PM #

    Ryan Braun — See, here's the thing: It's a "zero-tolerance" policy, which means the "rush to judgment" is institutionalized. My impression is that while media professionals, at least, have been relatively careful in their reactions, the facts that have been reported, if accurate (identification of synthetic testosterone in the follow-up test) are pretty much sufficient to ensure a 50-game suspension. Now, as anyone who's been following local high school football knows, zero-tolerance policies do sometimes lead to unfair penalties with no recourse; no recourse is what zero tolerance is all about.

    • ChipBuck December 12, 2011 at 2:34 PM #

      I don't mind a zero tolerance policy as long as the findings are accurate. Right now, the information that's available is from a leaked source without much detail. Furthermore, these tests aren't 100% accurate. False positives occur more than people realize. I'm not saying he did or didn't use steroids. Only saying we should exercise caution rather than jump to conclusions.

      • marcos December 12, 2011 at 4:33 PM #

        did you give arod the benefit of the doubt?? honestly

        • ChipBuck December 12, 2011 at 7:06 PM #

          Yes.

          • marcos December 12, 2011 at 10:24 PM #

            I think we should all look the other way. Most of the good ones use it. There shouldn't be a big stigma attached to PEDs use.

  2. TroyPatterson December 12, 2011 at 4:28 PM #

    You seem to be making two arguments here at the same time.

    a) we don't know if this is a true positive test
    b) unethical people are making statements on ethics.

    As to the first I don't think this is a big deal. Once a player has started an appeal we have never seen them change the suspension and never been listed as false positive.

    The second complaint has some validity in the ones making a big stink about it, but we must also remember these reporters are the same ones who felt it wasn't a big deal 15-20 years ago and let it go. I don't think the old "he who is without sin" argument is a valid choice in regards to the media. Remember that many writers and personalities are paid for opinions and not journalism.

    • TroyPatterson December 12, 2011 at 4:30 PM #

      To clarify my thoughts on the first part I don't think reporting what we know is bad, because it appears we know what stage the appeal is in and that he is claiming he did not take anything.

      • ChipBuck December 12, 2011 at 8:49 PM #

        I saw a report earlier today that stated Braun's testosterone levels were so high that they were not only in dangerous, life threatening ranges, but also unlike anything seen since testing started. If this is true, that certainly puts some doubt in the tests. I'm taking that report with a grain of salt for obvious reasons, but I don't think we've heard all there is to hear about the subject.

        The chances of his suspension being overturned are slim to none. Still, I don't think he'll go down without a fight.

    • magowanite December 12, 2011 at 6:11 PM #

      Per J-Roll and a few writers who have strong ties to front office, once a *publicized* positive result has been appealed it has never been overturned, but the implication is that there have indeed been cases where an appeal proved fruitful and both the positive and overruling appeal were kept from the media to preserve the player's integrity with respect to the public.

    • magowanite December 12, 2011 at 6:16 PM #

      And here's a link to where I was sourcing that from:
      http://disciplesofuecker.com/ryan-brauns-situatio

  3. Clinton Riddle December 12, 2011 at 9:54 PM #

    Didn't Paul Byrd have a situation in which he was able to successfully dispute a potential suspension over a positive test? #details?

    • marcos December 13, 2011 at 3:43 PM #

      no

  4. zach December 13, 2011 at 12:48 AM #

    I know it's not related to this article, but why would the sox non-tender Rich Hill. Seems to me like a cheap option with a lot of upside for a depleted bullpen that needs lefties. What's the thinking here?

    • marcos December 13, 2011 at 3:43 PM #

      because hes gonna miss most of the year??????

    • TroyPatterson December 13, 2011 at 5:01 PM #

      You would non tender and offer a very cheap minor league deal to keep him around during his rehab later this year.

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