Friday, February 24, 2012

Weighing in on the Hebrew Hammer

Ryan Braun is an outstanding talent. He is an elite hitter, with or without steroids. He is a league MVP, and has helped revive the Brewers franchise. He is their shining star, and he may very well one day be a hall of famer.

Yesterday, it was released that his 50-Game suspension was lifted by an arbitrator, and MLB is livid. First off, congrats to Braun and the Brewers, and Braun's attorney. I just wanted to address the reasons behind this ruling.

Braun still has a failed drug test. He did nothing to invalidate the test itself. He did nothing to disprove and mitigate the fact he had an insane amount of testosterone in his system during the failed drug test. Did he pass another drug test right after yes, but that doesn't mean anything. So he still failed the drug test, so why was the suspension overturned you ask?

Procedure. He got off on a technicality that a rule was followed perfectly. He was tested, and the rules state that the sample must be taken to FedEx immediately to be shipped to the lab. The tester, noticing that FedEx was closed didn't take it immediately. The test was performed on a Saturday night, so when the sample was prepared, it was too late to be sent out. So the tester waited until Monday morning, and shipped as soon as he could. There and behold lies a beautiful legal term of art that has helped out so many criminals when it comes to evidence..."Chain of Custody."

When chain of custody is at issue, the evidence is at issue. The lab said the sample came in without any issue regarding the seal. Nothing had been tampered with. Yet, because it wasn't sent to them right away, the arbitrator ruled in Braun's favor. Is this good news for Braun and the Brewers? Of course it is. Does Braun still have the dark cloud of a failed drug test above him? Well in many people's eyes, he doesn't. He should, and he likely will. Either way, this was a major decision as it was the first suspension over turned regarding performance enhancing drugs.

I, along with many other fans, cannot wait for this steroid era to end. Let's get back to baseball, the way it was meant to be played.

On a wonderful side note, Jose Bautista has apparently gone through 16, count them SIXTEEN, "random" drug tests. MLB, what the hell are you trying to tell us? They should be ashamed, that is completely unnecessary, and it makes me disappointed as a fan. Jose, keep dropping bombs, and stay awesome.

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