Braun Needs To Shut Up

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Someone needs to tell Ryan Braun to shut his mouth, walk away and be happy that he got off.

Regardless of guilt or innocence, he needs to keep quiet.

The transcript of his statement and question and answer session with reporters show that he’s not going to do that and the only end result will be Braun making a bad situation worse.

Here’s the transcript of the statement and here’s the Q&A.

If Braun is going to imply that the tester was involved in somehow spiking his urine sample then he’s treading across a dangerous line that’s not only going to promote backlash from MLB itself, but also the testing service whose business hinges on their appearance of propriety in how they do their jobs.

You can read about the Braun allegations and the tester here on NYTimes.com.

To think that the administrator of the test would spike the sample for whatever reason is ignoring several facts—his tenure working for the company; that he would be subject to losing his job and could presumably go to jail while opening his employers up to a lawsuit and being run out of business.

Each suggestion is absurd individually. The statement about the chaperone for the test “just so happen(ing)” to be the administrator’s son as if there was some pre-hatched plot against Ryan Braun is absolutely ridiculous.

When you combine the scope of the post-overturn defense with the conspiracy theories and read them rather than watch Braun’s impassioned insistence upon his innocence, Braun sounds like a paranoid fool.

Braun’s answer regarding the tester during the Q&A following his press conference is equally as idiotic:

Do you believe the test collector tampered with your sample?

“Again, I honestly don’t know what happened to it for that 44-hour period. There are a lot of different things that could have possibly happened. There were a lot of things that we heard about the collection process, the collector and some other people involved in the process that have certainly been concerning to us. But beyond that, as I’ve dealt with this situation, I know what it’s like to be wrongly accused of something and for me to wrongly accuse somebody else of something wouldn’t help anybody.”

Considering Braun’s and his attorney’s decision to use the storing of the sample in the administrator’s home as a basis for their appeal, the above non-accusation accusation is along the lines of a “when did you stop beating your wife?” style question.

This is not the road Braun wants to take.

The biggest mistake isn’t the crime itself. The biggest mistake is when the accused get acquitted and decide that getting away with it isn’t enough and they have to clear their names.

They don’t know when to quit while they’re ahead.

This “clearing my good name” stuff is done for the sake of marketing and maintaining the concept of cleanliness, true or not.

I have no idea what Braun did or didn’t do, but now he’s going so far out with proclamations of innocence that he’s only going to do more damage to himself and increase the scrutiny surrounding him.

The hardest thing to do for an athlete is to accept that he can’t competitively win a battle like this and that he needs to leave it alone.

Braun got off on the charge of the failed drug test and it was the right decision on the part of the arbitrator, but now he’s walking right back into trouble by conscious stupidity rather than poor timing and bad luck.

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16 thoughts on “Braun Needs To Shut Up

  1. Is it wrong for me to say, “I hope he messes this up”? I say that as a fan of team who he’s been killing for some years now (though not last year) and to be honest, I don’t buy his innocence story one bit. He’s always come off as quite smug to me.

    Seeing him trip himself up wouldn’t bother me.

    1. He’s a good pressure player, but this is gonna be taxing on him from day 1 and I don’t know who could handle it and do their job to the best of their abilities.

  2. I am a huge baseball fan and have been for the majority of my 34 years on this Earth. What strikes me about Braun’s statement when you watch the video of it is what looks like innocence. My job as a neurologist has me talking to people all day long about what is going on inside their head. I’m not some magician who thinks he knows all, but I do consider myself a fairly good judge of character and I can usually tell when people are bullshitting me and when they are being honest. My impression of Braun’s story, the way he told it at that press conference, is one of truth. I never really believed the crap that came out of most of the other ballplayer’s mouths over the last decade in regard to PED’s, but in this case, I find it hard not to believe Braun. I have zero scientific evidence one way or the other and I work in a field that prides itself on having scientific evidence, but the fact remains that no matter how much of life we want to be scientific, all of life and the human experience exists in between science. The interaction amongst people is what produces our lives and in this case, the interaction of Braun with the world around him looks to me to be one of truth and not deceit. We shall see, however….This story is far from over.

    1. I felt the same way when it was first leaked and he was so adamant that he didn’t do anything. But the combination of the overturn being based on technicalities and that so many people who have inside information on how these things work—Don Catlin, Victor Conte—saying that there’s no chance he didn’t fail the test and that the likelihood of the sample being messed with so minimal, I don’t know how it could’ve been sabotage or a mistake.
      Part of why I’m so unmoved by his press conference and Q&A might be that I didn’t see it, I read it.
      If I were Braun and were freed on such a technicality, I wouldn’t be satisfied with having been freed that way if I were innocent. I’d want to prove that I didn’t do anything. I don’t know how that could be possible. All he has is his word and the conspiracy theories without proof against the collector.
      Now, he has to hit from the beginning of the season to the end and not fail any tests. That’s the only possibility that the story’s going to go away.

  3. You’re not being realistic, Paul. People were demanding to hear his side for months, and unlike whoever leaked the now-invalid test result, Braun followed the rules and pleaded his case in the proper forum.

    The leak forces him to have to continue to defend himself – which is patently unfair to him.

    The real scandal is why did MLB EVP of labor relations Rob Manfred continue to try to throw Braun under the bus? Instead of being conciliatory about how poorly this was all handled and vowing to fix a flawed process, he took a shot at the arbitrator, which in turn is a shot at Braun – a star player with a heretofore impeccable record on the character issue. What is going on here in this management-labor power play? The next labor agreement will be a war, I can assure you, unless MLB cleans house at its highest levels.

    You can read more about my position at http://www.phillyphanatics.com/2012/02/24/from-where-i-sit-braun-result-correct-mlbs-reaction-shameful/

    1. He kept his mouth shut during the intervening time from the story being revealed to now—you’re right.
      And Manfred was totally out of line as well. I wouldn’t have expected him to be conciliatory, but he too should’ve kept quiet.
      Braun can’t be re-convicted on this same charge, so we’re never going to know what happened. He absolutely could’ve said, “there are so many things I’d like to say about this injustice, but can’t”. Instead, he pulled a similar maneuver as Rafael Palmeiro, only after the fact.
      As I’ve said in other replies, Braun has to stay clean and hit. If that happens, there’s no story.
      You’re 100% right about this turning into a labor battle. The players see an opening to get changes to the agreement for drug testing and MLB is trying to save their testing program.
      It’s going to get worse and very, very messy.
      Because it’s baseball and they can’t live with sustained labor peace under any circumstances.

  4. Really who are you to tell Braun to shut his mouth your talking about a guy and his job not did he all most loose about 7 mil in pay but his name has been covered in mud and for what him to be not GUILTY because a collector didnt follow the rules as they are set up. Ryan Brauns urine sample was taken and passed to a third party the collectors son and he then took the urine to his own house where it sat for 44hrs on his desk in that 44hrs it went funky….The reason Braun was found not GUILTY is because they took a new urine sample that they tested first and yes it turned out to be clean then the 3 member panel that was on his case left it out in same situation that the first sample was and guess what happened 44hrs later it was funky in turn NOT GUILTY so how about you shut your mouth MLB has no CASE

  5. MOST people dont understand the fact that the urine didnt get tested untill after the 44hrs it sat on his desk then it goes to the lab it was not tested and found to have a banned substance before that it was on its way to be tested

  6. I know people in law enforcement. They use questions like “Do you believe the test collector tampered with your sample?” as a baseline to see if the person they are talking to is lying. When a person (suspect, witness, etc) gives an answer like this “Again, I honestly don’t know what happened to it for that 44-hour period. There are a lot of different things that could have possibly happened. There were a lot of things that we heard about the collection process, the collector and some other people involved in the process that have certainly been concerning to us. But beyond that, as I’ve dealt with this situation, I know what it’s like to be wrongly accused of something and for me to wrongly accuse somebody else of something wouldn’t help anybody.”, it tells the investigator that they are hiding something.

    1. His lawyers stickhandled their way out of it. He should just accept it and not worry about clearing his name. The only way the whispers go away is if he stays clean—and he has no choice—and hits from the beginning of the season to the end.

  7. The most surprising thing to me is that the collective bargaining agreement didn’t specifically lay out the handling of the samples during the weekend. If you are a ticket broker or a lawyer, you know that Fed Ex doesn’t ship on the weekends. And, I believe the person acted properly in not depositing the sample in a box that wouldn’t be picked up until Monday mid-morning at the earliest.

    Braun seems like he is on a crash course to make sure that he proves his guilt with his proclamations.

    1. If he’s an experienced tester and has a steady job, what would be his motivation to do anything with the samples? And if so, what could he have done? It’s ludicrous.

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