I'm not sure what to make of Ryan Braun's suspension and then non-suspension.
When I first heard that Ryan had failed a drug test, I was incredibly disappointed. He has such a great story, the hometown kid becoming the star of a small-market team who in turn, becomes one of the best players in all of baseball. I read the articles, watched the news reports and thought, "How could anyone be so dumb." And to make it worse, it all came to light right after Ryan won the NL MVP award. One word. Tainted. Followed by three words. Fifty game suspension. Stinks to be a Brewers fan. First Prince leaves and then your best player is out for the first fifty games of the season. Not how you want 2012 to start.
But then last Friday happened. The independent arbitrator (who is appointed jointly by baseball and the players’ union) ruled that Ryan should be cleared on a technicality. A two day delay in the chain of custody left too much uncertainty in the validity of the drug test. As for me, I'm not sure what to think, but here I go.
First, I think any player who is either taking PEDs and/or gets caught is stupid. I always hope that no player risks his health or career by taking them but if they are taking them, dude, you know you're going to be tested. Really? Two, I was disappointed that Ryan Braun was even involved in anything like this. Will he ever fully clear his name and become
un-tainted? Three, I think there's going to be a lot of finger-pointing going on. Who messed up? Was Ryan Braun innocent all along or was he just lucky?
The arbitrator must issue his written decision within 30 days of his findings. I can't wait to read it.
And a few other updates that include my musings:
Tommy Hanson is in camp and he did some light throwing today after sitting out a few days due to a concussion he suffered in a car wreck last Monday. He says his shoulder feels great. My fingers are crossed!
Chipper Jones is not fat (he's actually seven pounds lighter than usual) but the team, especially Brian McCann are having fun with fact that the rumor and photo are floating around. Seriously folks, would Chipper Jones ever show up at Spring Training with a spare tire? I think not.
Ryan Howard left the Phillies camp after suffering what Charlie Manuel called "a little setback". GM Ruben Amaro called it a "routine check up." Ryan is headed to Baltimore to visit the surgeon who performed the surgery on his torn left Achilles tendon. I don't think we'll see Ryan in the line-up on Opening Day.
Bobby V banned booze in the Red Sox clubhouse. That was a definite no-brainer.