Rabu, 05 Juni 2013

Ryan Braun Faces a Potential 100 Game Suspension but MLB Will Regret ...

COMMENTARY In yet another breaking news story involving performance enhancing drugs and Ryan Braun ESPN Outside the Lines reported that Major League Baseball seeks to suspended Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun and 19 others who are linked to the Biogenesis scandal.

The original story which came out on Feb. 5 and was reported by Yahoo Sports noted that Braun was listed in the records of an alleged PED clinic run by Tony Bosch an unlicensed anti aging doctor along with several other big leaguers. Household names listed in the report include Alex Rodriguez Nelson Cruz and Melky Cabrera.

Braun later came out and said he was merely consulting Bosch during his appeal process two winters ago in an attempt to get his 50 game suspension for a positive test overturned an appeal he eventually won.

Roughly a month into the 2013 regular season the Biogenesis story had seemingly faded away but on April 30 Bosch gave his first on camera interview since the news broke about his clinic in February.

In the interview Bosch completely denied having any knowledge about performance enhancing drugs and he also confirmed Braun's statement that he was only used as a consultant. Major League Baseball had filed a lawsuit against Bosch back in March and that will subsequently be dropped in exchange for Bosch's cooperation in MLB's investigation.

Anywho it appears that Major League Baseball is preparing to suspend Braun 100 games which is the punishment for a second doping violation.

You may be wondering didn't Braun successfully appeal his first suspension

He sure did but baseball's reasoning is that Braun's connection to Bosch constitutes one offense and his previous statement denying any connection to or use of PEDs is another. Bosch will reportedly swear an affidavit that he provided drugs to players.

All of this information appears very damning for Braun but before we just go ahead and assume the Brewers' franchise player is toast keep in mind that nothing has really happened yet. There was no warning of this news which may have been the reason everyone got so caught up in it but we still have to wait for Bosch to meet with officials and name names which is expected to happen within the next week but this is no guarantee.

The next question is if Bosch has more information than the names and figures that were scribbled on his notepad. Could there be more names involved with Biogenesis Are there more documents available that could help to prove that Braun and others truly did purchase PEDs from Bosch

Baseball obtained documents that listed athletes named in the Biogenesis case when it paid a former employee of the anti aging clinic a boatload of money for them (via ESPN). Whether or not those documents combined with Bosch's word the word of someone Major League Baseball was recently attempting to incriminate are enough to suspend Braun is another matter.

Not only that but how can we take what Bosch is saying seriously He was just under siege from baseball and facing heavy legal fees so how do we know that he isn't cooperating with baseball and saying what the MLB wants to hear just to get out of trouble

It's obvious that Major League Baseball wants to do just about anything it can to get to the bottom of the Biogenesis case. More so to this day the MLB is furious that Braun got off the hook back in 2012 so it would be gratifying for the league to nail him over a year later.

But to have to stoop to this level enlisting the help of a man with little credibility that you just backed into a corner with lawsuits simply isn't the right way to go about it.

Sure baseball wants to clean up its sport and a more rigorous testing system has helped to do that but the MLB doesn't have any positive samples from the players listed in these Biogenesis documents.

Well save for Braun but we'll get to that in a minute.

What they have are some names and numbers written on a piece of paper and the word of Tony Bosch an unlicensed doctor who wanted the strongest assurance that the MLB would help mitigate any prosecution leading from this scandal.

For the most part Brewer fans couldn't care less about a lot of this mumbo jumbo but here's the thing this Biogenesis stuff would appear to lead back to Braun's original positive test which he already successfully appealed so could his lawyers use this to protect Braun if push comes to shove

Not sure on that one but again nothing has really happened yet so we're getting ahead of ourselves.

On a somewhat positive note if Braun were in fact suspended for 100 games this would basically take up the remainder of the 2013 season could it possibly come at a better time

The Brewers are one of the worst teams in baseball record wise. Had they been one of the top teams in the league and lost Braun it would be devastating news for Milwaukee. But in this case it would likely mean they remain near the cellar and wind up with a Top 5 pick in next year's draft with Braun returning roughly in time for 2014.

There's always a silver lining.

All in all this is just Major League Baseball making a mess of everything which is something it has already done with instant replay the lack of a salary cap and media usage rights just to name a few things but that's another story.

Its overzealous and ridiculous pursuit of Braun a situation that should have been buried when the perennial all star won his appeal last year combined with its partnership with a criminal in an attempt to nab over a dozen players in its own sport would be painful to watch if it wasn't a complete circus.

If only baseball realized how little people care as it willingly deflates its own product.

Dave Radcliffe is a resident of a little known Milwaukee suburb who is an avid follower of Wisconsin sports. He has contributed to JSOnline as a featured columnist on other sites and publications and been a guest on multiple sports talk radio shows.

You can get the discussion going and follow Dave on Twitter DaveRadcliffe_ .

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