The celebration in Dairyland could be heard clear across the country on Thursday night as Brewers star and reigning NL MVP Ryan Braun won the appeal of his pending 50-game suspension for elevated levels of synthetic testosterone. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was among the pleased, Tweeting “MLB and cable sports tried to sully the reputation of an innocent man. Picked the wrong guy to mess with. Truth will set u free #exonerated”
Braun himself proclaimed “We were able to get through this because I am innocent and the truth is on our side.”
Not to equate baseball cheating to double murder, but Ryan Braun appears to have as much right to use the word “innocent” when describing his case as OJ Simpson. Multiple sources confirmed to ESPN’s version of Woodward & Bernstein, Mark Fainaru-Wada and T.J. Quinn, that the only reason Braun got off was because of a technicality.
Arbitrator Shyam Das reportedly overturned the suspension because the guy who was supposed to deliver Braun’s pee to FedEx/Kinko’s for its shipment to the drug testers thought the store was closed when he drove there on a Saturday and thus kept the sample in his fridge until Monday morning.
It has been suggested in previous internet circles that the reason for Braun’s failed test was the result of medication he was taking for herpes. And that could be true. Believe me, for the sake of the game I’d love that to be what caused this to happen. (Though for the sake of his penis I can’t say I’d love for it to be the case). But that wasn’t what was used in his defense, so right now any assertion that he is innocent is ludicrous. Unless the pee delivery guy has a refrigerator resembling Dana Barrett’s in Ghostbusters, there’s no way it contributed to the increased testosterone levels that appeared in Braun’s sealed sample.
Braun is the first player to ever beat the rap on a steroid-related suspension, and it doesn’t take Mel Gibson or a member of the Birther movement to notice that MLB commissioner Bud Selig still lives in Milwaukee and is the one who brought the franchise to the city in the first place. As much as he attempts to put on a neutral hat, hiding his love for a franchise that has a statue of him outside their ballpark is impossible. Even if there is no impropriety here, it will be possible for MLB to shake the appearance of it.
By legal definition, we can say Braun is “not guilty.” But let’s not get that confused with innocence.
However, I do wish him luck if he decides to embark on a search for the real pisser.