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.