PDA

View Full Version : Braun wins his appeal of his 50-game suspension



Pages : 1 [2]

757690
02-27-2012, 05:55 PM
A person gets found guilty of murder in a court because they found the gun in his house. There was no DNA on the gun. He later appeals when they find out that a cop showed up ahead of any of the detectives, opening the possibility that the gun was planted. They appeal on the basis that evidence could not be trusted. The judge throws out the evidence. There's no longer a case. Is the guy guilty?

You keep asserting that he was "proven" guilty. But the "proof" is unreliable. Thej

If your independent assessment is that the mishandling could not have accounted fro the test results, feel free to believe that he is guilty. But we cannot credibly say there is "proof" based on the standards MLB itself has agreed to.

That analogy isn't an accurate one for the Braun case.

Tne Braun case would be more like they found the gun used in the murder in his house, with his fingerprints and DNA on it. The police followed proper police procedure in searching the house and securing the gun. However, there was an old law in the town charter that says that the police must use masking tape on the bag in which the gun is sealed. The police used a new bag with an automatic seal instead. Because of this the gun is thrown out as evidence and the man is found not guilty.

Tne arbitrator did not rule that the test was invalid, nor that any doubt was cast on it's validity because of the procedures taken. He only ruled that the procedure taken by the collector, which is the proper procedure used by every testing agency in the world in that situation, was not explicitly verified by the wording of the CBA.

Had the CBA been worded correctly, Braun would be serving a 50 game suspension. The fact that both the Union and MLB is currently re-wording the CBA so this misunderstanding doesn't happen again shows that the problem was not with procedure, but with the vague wording of the CBA.

Sea Ray
02-27-2012, 06:14 PM
A person gets found guilty of murder in a court because they found the gun in his house. There was no DNA on the gun. He later appeals when they find out that a cop showed up ahead of any of the detectives, opening the possibility that the gun was planted. They appeal on the basis that evidence could not be trusted. The judge throws out the evidence. There's no longer a case. Is the guy guilty?

You keep asserting that he was "proven" guilty. But the "proof" is unreliable. The system is designed the way it is for exactly this reason. To ensure that the evidence is rock solid and can be treated as proof. When you screw that part up, you can't just ignore it.

It's not that he was "proven" guilty and got let off because there was a procedural error. It's because the procedural error casts fundamental doubt on the validity of the sole piece of evidence used to establish guilt.

If your independent assessment is that the mishandling could not have accounted fro the test results, feel free to believe that he is guilty. But we cannot credibly say there is "proof" based on the standards MLB itself has agreed to.

If I'm an arbitrator I only acquit Braun if it can be shown that such a break in procedure could in any way result in a false positive. I then force the DNA test that Braun agreed to do. If it is indeed his sample then I uphold the suspension. We'd have a lot more clarity in all of this if it'd been handled in this manner

edabbs44
02-27-2012, 06:14 PM
That analogy isn't an accurate one for the Braun case.

Tne Braun case would be more like they found the gun used in the murder in his house, with his fingerprints and DNA on it. The police followed proper police procedure in searching the house and securing the gun. However, there was an old law in the town charter that says that the police must use masking tape on the bag in which the gun is sealed. The police used a new bag with an automatic seal instead. Because of this the gun is thrown out as evidence and the man is found not guilty.

Tne arbitrator did not rule that the test was invalid, nor that any doubt was cast on it's validity because of the procedures taken. He only ruled that the procedure taken by the collector, which is the proper procedure used by every testing agency in the world in that situation, was not explicitly verified by the wording of the CBA.

Had the CBA been worded correctly, Braun would be serving a 50 game suspension. The fact that both the Union and MLB is currently re-wording the CBA so this misunderstanding doesn't happen again shows that the problem was not with procedure, but with the vague wording of the CBA.

Friggin masking tape will get you every time.

jojo
02-27-2012, 06:23 PM
That analogy isn't an accurate one for the Braun case.

Tne Braun case would be more like they found the gun used in the murder in his house, with his fingerprints and DNA on it. The police followed proper police procedure in searching the house and securing the gun. However, there was an old law in the town charter that says that the police must use masking tape on the bag in which the gun is sealed. The police used a new bag with an automatic seal instead. Because of this the gun is thrown out as evidence and the man is found not guilty.

Tne arbitrator did not rule that the test was invalid, nor that any doubt was cast on it's validity because of the procedures taken. He only ruled that the procedure taken by the collector, which is the proper procedure used by every testing agency in the world in that situation, was not explicitly verified by the wording of the CBA.

Had the CBA been worded correctly, Braun would be serving a 50 game suspension. The fact that both the Union and MLB is currently re-wording the CBA so this misunderstanding doesn't happen again shows that the problem was not with procedure, but with the vague wording of the CBA.

We don't actually know the arbitrator's specifc argument right now. It will be outlined in Das' summary report to mlb. But his ruling seems to indicate that the integrity of the sample could be questioned.

We do know that there is enough contradictory information to pause before making declarative statements on guilt IMHO. For instance, mlb claims this about the courier:


The extremely experienced collector in Mr. Braun’s case acted in a professional and appropriate manner. He handled Mr. Braun’s sample consistent with instructions issued by our jointly retained collection agency.

However, it's been reported that their courier (http://espn.go.com/espn/commentary/story/_/page/munson-120224/ryan-braun-ruling-raises-embarrassing-questions-mlb-drug-testing)is actually a part time employee of mlb and he stored the sample in a tupperware container on a desk for the duration of the weekend rather than delivering it to any of at least twelve FedEx facilties within reasonable distance. MLB appears to be livid that Braun's defense questioned the procedure both mlb and MLBPA agreed to but if true, it's hard to believe the scenario above conforms to standards most would consider reasonable. I have a hard time believing that's what the Olympic anti-doping agenecy considers acceptable procedure. I get why mlb rejected an offer to prove that the sample was Braun's via DNA testing but in hindsight, they should have. If true, I can't imagine the above scenario conforms to the CBA considering the devil in the details.

Again, there's alot of conflicting information. Some of it makes the process look golden. Other details makes the process look shockingly lazy and sloppy (at best). This is where Cameron's article of confirmation bias applies. Which side does one choose to ignore and why?

For me, Das' actual argument will be a big tell assuming we get to actually learn what is in his final report.

Sea Ray
02-27-2012, 06:31 PM
I'd love to hear Bud Selig's answer on why they didn't take Braun's offer to do a DNA test.

As for the possibility of an appeal, I like Lester Munson but he was dead wrong last Spring when he said it was very unlikely that the NFL would win an appeal of the arbitrator that ended the lockout during the draft in April. He was dead wrong as they prevailed in the appeal and the lockout was reinstated a day later

RedsManRick
02-27-2012, 06:40 PM
If I'm an arbitrator I only acquit Braun if it can be shown that such a break in procedure could in any way result in a false positive. I then force the DNA test that Braun agreed to do. If it is indeed his sample then I uphold the suspension. We'd have a lot more clarity in all of this if it'd been handled in this manner

His lawyers supposedly did demonstrate how the break in procedure could result in a false positive. It's unclear why they didn't do the DNA test. Was it within the arbiter's power to demand the DNA test? Were the samples still in condition for DNA testing?

757690
02-27-2012, 07:53 PM
His lawyers supposedly did demonstrate how the break in procedure could result in a false positive. It's unclear why they didn't do the DNA test. Was it within the arbiter's power to demand the DNA test? Were the samples still in condition for DNA testing?

But they couldn't demonstrate how the procedure used could result in a positive test result for synthetic testosterone. And that was the basis for the original suspension.

As for the DNA test...

http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/page/OTL-Ryan-Braun/ryan-braun-defense-raises-more-questions-doping-experts


Braun's team suggested Friday that after learning of the positive test result, it requested the player's sample undergo DNA testing to determine whether it was truly his urine.

MLB declined this request, according to Braun's camp. While MLB agreed Braun's camp requested the DNA request initially, a source with knowledge of the case said MLB told Braun and his lawyers it didn't believe such a test was necessary but that they were welcome take up the issue with the arbitrator if they wanted the test conducted.

jojo
02-27-2012, 09:09 PM
But they couldn't demonstrate how the procedure used could result in a positive test result for synthetic testosterone. And that was the basis for the original suspension.

As for the DNA test...

http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/page/OTL-Ryan-Braun/ryan-braun-defense-raises-more-questions-doping-experts

They didn't need to request a DNA test during arbitration so that's not really a tell. MLB should have taken Braun up on his request.

757690
02-27-2012, 10:15 PM
They didn't need to request a DNA test during arbitration so that's not really a tell. MLB should have taken Braun up on his request.

There is this as well.

]"Sources also told Munson that there was doubt over whose urine was actually being tested. Braun offered to take a DNA test to confirm whose urine was in the sample, but Major League Baseball declined. However, an MLB source told ESPN's Mike Golic that Braun's side backed off of the offer to take a DNA test."

http://espn.go.com/mlb/spring2012/story/_/id/7611600/2012-spring-training-ryan-braun-milwaukee-brewers-says-test-system-failed[/QUOTE]

I will agree with you that there's conflicting information out there, so I will withhold final judgement until I see an official report. However, the whole sum of all the info that is out there at this points has me believing that Braun took synthetic testosterone somehow, intentional or not.

Sea Ray
02-27-2012, 11:00 PM
His lawyers supposedly did demonstrate how the break in procedure could result in a false positive.

I've not heard any explanation of how that could happen from any expert. Have you?

RedsManRick
02-27-2012, 11:02 PM
I've not heard any explanation of how that could happen from any expert. Have you?

I've not heard it in detail -- merely summarizing what Will Carroll had reported.

Sea Ray
02-27-2012, 11:03 PM
I've not heard it in detail -- merely summarizing what Will Carroll had reported.

I'd love to see it. Logically speaking I can't envision a way that a test tube sitting in a basement can degrade into synthetic testosterone

RedsManRick
02-27-2012, 11:07 PM
I'd love to see it. Logically speaking I can't envision a way that a test tube sitting in a basement can degrade into synthetic testosterone

Me too. This was from his twitter exchange:



Joe Sheehan: So the delay in processing the urine was repeated, and shown to be the cause of the high levels of T?

Will Carroll: More or less. It deserves an answer longer than 140.

JGERRITWULTERKENS: confused; so the sheer act of leaving out a sample in the wrong environment by itself raises the testosterone ratio by >3x?

Will Carroll: To vastly oversimplify, yes.

edabbs44
02-27-2012, 11:09 PM
Tons of things that are supposed, reported, alleged, heard, etc. nothing all that definitive, except that the original test failed. At this point I couldn't care less. I just hope the Reds pound the NL Central this season, the Brewers included.

Roy Tucker
02-27-2012, 11:25 PM
Tons of things that are supposed, reported, alleged, heard, etc. nothing all that definitive, except that the original test failed. At this point I couldn't care less. I just hope the Reds pound the NL Central this season, the Brewers included.

Yep. There is a reason why this process is supposed to happen behind closed doors.

And Braun is going to get hammered all summer long in the court of public opinion, deserved or not.

Cedric
02-27-2012, 11:26 PM
Me too. This was from his twitter exchange:

I don't really care about this issue but I'm amazed that people still care what Will Carroll thinks.

He's a complete hack.

Brutus
02-28-2012, 03:04 AM
I'd like to hear that from an expert. I don't consider Will Carroll of that variety. All the so-called experts I've seen on this subject, who do this for a living, certainly aren't saying the same thing as Carroll.

Travis Tygart of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency:


"Around the world, on Sundays or holidays, couriers don't pick up and they don't deliver," said Travis Tygart, the CEO of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which drug tests American athletes in Olympic sports. "Some of the labs around the world are closed over the weekend, so they can't even accept samples. And, importantly, they don't need to because synthetic drugs don't magically appear in urine because it took 48 hours versus 20 minutes to get to the laboratory."


Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/baseball/mlb/02/24/braun.wins.appeal/index.html#ixzz1neofzaD4

Don Catlin former Director of the Olympic Lab at UCLA offered this:


A sample left unrefrigerated for two days could begin to break down, Catlin said, which could alter the ratio one way or the other. That's why, whether a player's sample shows a 4-to-1 or 100-to-1 ratio, it's more important to determine whether the testosterone in his system was his own.

The IRMS test determined that the testosterone in Braun's sample was synthetic. Catlin and other experts said they do not believe it is possible that a sample could somehow develop exogenous testosterone, unless it were tampered with.

Braun did not dispute the positive IRMS test in his defense in front of the arbitration panel, according to two sources with knowledge of the hearing.


http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/page/OTL-Ryan-Braun/ryan-braun-defense-raises-more-questions-doping-experts

What they're suggesting is that it might be possible the first test, which is the trigger for the second test, could be elevated. However, no one seems to be suggesting, outside of Carroll, there's anyway in H-E-double-hockey-sticks that synthetic testosterone could be produced on account of sitting for an extra 24-48 hours. So even if the levels were inflated on account of sitting out, the fact the test was positive for synthetic testosterone cannot be explained away by anything other than Braun's consumption unless the sample were tampered with. So we're still left with his guilt unless someone is willing to argue there was foul play.

LoganBuck
02-28-2012, 03:38 PM
The sample collector released a statement.

http://www.todaystmj4.com/blogs/lanceallan/140747293.html

"The FedEx Clinic Pack containing Mr. Braun's samples never left my custody. Consistent with CDT's instructions, I brought the FedEx Clinic Pack containing the samples to my home. Immediately upon arriving home, I placed the FedEx Clinic Pack in a Rubbermaid container in my office which is located in my basement. My basement office is sufficiently cool to store urine samples. No one other than my wife was in my home during the period in which the samples were stored. The sealed Specimen Boxes were not removed from the FedEx Clinic Pack during the entire period in which they were in my home. On Monday, October 3, I delivered the FedEx Clinic Pack containing Mr. Braun's Specimen Box to a FedEx office for delivery to the laboratory on Tuesday, October 4. At no point did I tamper in any way with the samples. It is my understanding that the samples were received at the laboratory with all tamper-resistant seals intact.

Sea Ray
02-28-2012, 03:47 PM
"I placed the two bottles containing Mr. Braun's samples in a plastic bag and sealed the bag. I then placed the sealed bag in a standard cardboard Specimen Box which I also sealed with a tamper-resistant, correspondingly-numbered seal placed over the box opening. I then placed Mr. Braun's Specimen Box, and the Specimen Boxes containing the samples of the two other players, in a Federal Express Clinic Pack. None of the sealed Specimen Boxes identified the players. I completed my collections at Miller Park at approximately 5:00 p.m. Given the lateness of the hour that I completed my collections, there was no FedEx office located within 50 miles of Miller Park that would ship packages that day or Sunday.

"Therefore, the earliest that the specimens could be shipped was Monday, October 3. In that circumstance, CDT has instructed collectors since I began in 2005 that they should safeguard the samples in their homes until FedEx is able to immediately ship the sample to the laboratory, rather than having the samples sit for one day or more at a local FedEx office. The protocol has been in place since 2005 when I started with CDT and there have been other occasions when I have had to store samples in my home for at least one day, all without incident.

The facts sure don't add up. What happened to the dozen or so FedEx offices that were open that Braun's team claims? This guy says that he followed protocol but others disagree. What to make of it?

757690
02-28-2012, 03:48 PM
The sample collector released a statement.

http://www.todaystmj4.com/blogs/lanceallan/140747293.html

If this is true, it's really hard to believe that Braun didn't take PED's either intentionally or unintentionally. There just doesn't seem to be any way in which the samples were compromised or corrupted.

757690
02-28-2012, 03:51 PM
The facts sure don't add up. What happened to the dozen or so FedEx offices that were open that Braun's team claims? This guy says that he followed protocol but others disagree. What to make of it?

The Fed/Ex places were open, however, they had stopped shipping until Monday. Throwing out that they were open was just a lawyer trick used to confuse the issue. And it worked, at least on Will Carroll.

Sea Ray
02-28-2012, 03:56 PM
The Fed/Ex places were open, however, they had stopped shipping until Monday. Throwing out that they were open was just a lawyer trick used to confuse the issue. And it worked, at least on Will Carroll.

Well it all comes down to protocol. If the FedEx is open but won't ship 'till Monday, are you supposed to keep it or drop it off? Braun's lawyers are saying one thing and this collector is saying something else. If the collector is correct, I'd look for MLB to appeal this

TheNext44
02-28-2012, 04:28 PM
Well it all comes down to protocol. If the FedEx is open but won't ship 'till Monday, are you supposed to keep it or drop it off? Braun's lawyers are saying one thing and this collector is saying something else. If the collector is correct, I'd look for MLB to appeal this

the big question is, appeal to whom?

Sea Ray
02-28-2012, 04:45 PM
the big question is, appeal to whom?

Lester Munson at ESPN alluded to the fact that MLB can appeal this to another arbitrator:


MLB says it may go to court to try to reverse the arbitrator's decision. Can MLB succeed and restore the 50-game suspension?

Very unlikely. The MLB attorneys are clearly not happy with the arbitrator's decision. They are angry, and they are embarrassed. They appear to be grasping for anything they can do. But it is extremely difficult to persuade a judge to overturn an arbitrator's decision. Arbitrations are established in part to avoid the cost and complexity of court litigation. If an arbitration process is to work properly, the arbitrator's decision must be considered final. MLB's attorneys know this; and, more importantly, judges know this. If any judge anywhere were to agree to review this decision, it would open the courts to reviews of thousands of arbitration decisions across the U.S. The courts are not interested in that kind of work, especially when both MLB and the players agreed in their negotiations that drug testing issues would be decided by arbitrators. An attempt to review the Braun decision in court litigation most likely would just add to MLB's embarrassment. It is entirely possible that a judge could look at an MLB lawsuit and decide it should never have been filed. MLB could then face the prospect of paying Braun's legal fees, which would be another humiliating decision. MLB officials will review the written opinion from Das, the arbitrator, when it becomes available in about a month, and then make a decision on whether to attack it in court.

Strikes Out Looking
02-28-2012, 04:48 PM
There were two samples taken; did they both test positive?

RBA
02-28-2012, 05:14 PM
There were two samples taken; did they both test positive?

My understanding there was one sample with two different type of test performed. Both tested positive.

jojo
02-28-2012, 05:38 PM
Here is the steroid testing strategy in a nutshell: the first test measures the ratio of T to E (a metabolite of T). The second test is "isotopic" in that it uses gas chromatography to measure the ratio of "C12 containing T" to "c13 containing T" (c being carbon which is the predominant atom in testosterone, or T for short). Typically the presence of C13-T is considered an indicator that a person's high T/E ratio is due to the administration of exogenous testosterone.

We know that T/E rations can be dramatically influenced by time/temperature because bacteria can artificially alter the ratios and there is no such thing as a sterile sample of pee because it's pee and collection isn't done in sterile environments to begin with.

What about the isotope test? Well it seems like a gold standard because a GC is a powerful instrument. But the rub is in interpretation of the results especially concerning the proper baseline (i.e. context) for the tested value. For instance, C13-T can be measured in the pee of every single member of redszone though as far as I know there has only been one admitted steroid user on redszone.

Why? Because first, while people call C13-T "synthetic", it's a natural form that is derived from certain plants. "Exogenous T" is generally synthesized from such plants. Second, the body doesn't care if your carbon is C12 or C13, it'll make the steroid skeleton out of C. C13 is naturally around us. The body therefore makes a certain amount of C13-T naturally (albeit, this is a small amount).

So a positive isotope test isn't the result of being able to measure c13-T in a person's sample It's a judgement call based upon a "whacky" C12-T/C13-T ratio in the sample. This actually is not nearly as straightforward as has been portrayed in the media.

Here's the punchline from a review article published in the Journal of Mass Spectometry (J. Mass Sprectrom. 2008; 43:854-864):


This tutorial describes some of the complexities encountered by obtaining valid d13Cmeasurements from GC–C–IRMS and the need for careful interpretation of all relevant information concerning an individual’s metabolism
in order to make an informed decision with respect to a doping violation.

The criteria for a "positive" value is like the T/E determination...it's a "one size fits all" standard. However, that standard may apply or it may actually not apply to a specific individual. Forgetting for a moment that this ratio may vary dramatically from individual to individual normally, diet can also effect it. Most of us eat a western diet so on average, you and I probably experience a similar diet effect. Athletes are nuts about nutrition though. What is the baseline for a millionare spending thousands of dollars on fitness and nutrition a month?

It certainly would be very helpful to know if Braun actually did test positive for C13-T and if so, what was his actual ratio. These aren't trivial details.

In any event, while we know precious little details, I think we can form a rough outline of Braun's argument and Das' process.

Braun essentially claimed his innocence and challenged the handling of the sample as the basis of his appeal by apparently challenging the neccesity of storing the sample and the manner in which it was stored. If the story about the tupperware is true, Braun's camp likely argued that the process was so sloppily done that the results were compromised. In the very least it seems that Das would have had to consider the possibility that handling effected the T/E values and it's been leaked that Braun's camp likely argued the T/E values were abnormal for a positive result. We don't know what the results of the isotope test actually were but given interpretation is a critical part of the isotope test, Das would have had to consider if any part of the process impacted interpretation. Some reports suggest that Braun's camp provided information that might have colored Das' opinion on that point (though I'm not sure what information that would have been). Based upon the ruling, it seems likely that Das made his determination on more than just a discrepancy between how Braun's sample was handled and language in the CBA. In order to overturn the suspension, Das would have had to hold that the discrepancy impacted the results. That said, we'll know if in fact this is true when his report is leaked.

We really do need verified facts to form a good opinion because this is actually a pretty complicated process where the devil truly is in the details.

RedsManRick
02-28-2012, 05:52 PM
I don't really care about this issue but I'm amazed that people still care what Will Carroll thinks.

He's a complete hack.

What makes you say that?

RedsManRick
02-28-2012, 06:00 PM
What is still not clear to me is this:

For the sake of argument, let's assume that:
- The collector did everything by the letter of the "law" in terms of handling the sample.
- The way in which he handled the sample could have been the source of the results.

In short, let's assume that the procedure in place for handling this situation is insufficient, given the science involved, to guarantee reliable rest results.

IF this is accurate, what is the arbiter's role? Are they merely to determine whether or not the rules were followed or do they have the ability to declare the rules insufficient?

It seems like people want to blame either the collector or Braun. But isn't possible that both Braun is innocent and the collector did absolutely everything he should have?

Sea Ray
02-28-2012, 06:21 PM
It seems like people want to blame either the collector or Braun. But isn't possible that both Braun is innocent and the collector did absolutely everything he should have?

I don't see how. If the collector did everything properly then I don't see how Braun got off since no one argued that high T was not found in the sample

757690
02-28-2012, 06:25 PM
What is still not clear to me is this:

For the sake of argument, let's assume that:
- The collector did everything by the letter of the "law" in terms of handling the sample.
- The way in which he handled the sample could have been the source of the results.

In short, let's assume that the procedure in place for handling this situation is insufficient, given the science involved, to guarantee reliable rest results.

IF this is accurate, what is the arbiter's role? Are they merely to determine whether or not the rules were followed or do they have the ability to declare the rules insufficient?

It seems like people want to blame either the collector or Braun. But isn't possible that both Braun is innocent and the collector did absolutely everything he should have?

Based on what the collector said in his official statement, it seems impossible that "The way in which he handled the sample could have been the source of the results."

After reading the collector's official statement, and assuming it's true, exactly what did the collector do that could have been the source of the results?

757690
02-28-2012, 06:34 PM
Here is the steroid testing strategy in a nutshell: the first test measures the ratio of T to E (a metabolite of T). The second test is "isotopic" in that it uses gas chromatography to measure the ratio of "C12 containing T" to "c13 containing T" (c being carbon which is the predominant atom in testosterone, or T for short). Typically the presence of C13-T is considered an indicator that a person's high T/E ratio is due to the administration of exogenous testosterone.

We know that T/E rations can be dramatically influenced by time/temperature because bacteria can artificially alter the ratios and there is no such thing as a sterile sample of pee because it's pee and collection isn't done in sterile environments to begin with.

What about the isotope test? Well it seems like a gold standard because a GC is a powerful instrument. But the rub is in interpretation of the results especially concerning the proper baseline (i.e. context) for the tested value. For instance, C13-T can be measured in the pee of every single member of redszone though as far as I know there has only been one admitted steroid user on redszone.

Why? Because first, while people call C13-T "synthetic", it's a natural form that is derived from certain plants. "Exogenous T" is generally synthesized from such plants. Second, the body doesn't care if your carbon is C12 or C13, it'll make the steroid skeleton out of C. C13 is naturally around us. The body therefore makes a certain amount of C13-T naturally (albeit, this is a small amount).

So a positive isotope test isn't the result of being able to measure c13-T in a person's sample It's a judgement call based upon a "whacky" C12-T/C13-T ratio in the sample. This actually is not nearly as straightforward as has been portrayed in the media.

Here's the punchline from a review article published in the Journal of Mass Spectometry (J. Mass Sprectrom. 2008; 43:854-864):



The criteria for a "positive" value is like the T/E determination...it's a "one size fits all" standard. However, that standard may apply or it may actually not apply to a specific individual. Forgetting for a moment that this ratio may vary dramatically from individual to individual normally, diet can also effect it. Most of us eat a western diet so on average, you and I probably experience a similar diet effect. Athletes are nuts about nutrition though. What is the baseline for a millionare spending thousands of dollars on fitness and nutrition a month?

It certainly would be very helpful to know if Braun actually did test positive for C13-T and if so, what was his actual ratio. These aren't trivial details.

In any event, while we know precious little details, I think we can form a rough outline of Braun's argument and Das' process.

Braun essentially claimed his innocence and challenged the handling of the sample as the basis of his appeal by apparently challenging the neccesity of storing the sample and the manner in which it was stored. If the story about the tupperware is true, Braun's camp likely argued that the process was so sloppily done that the results were compromised. In the very least it seems that Das would have had to consider the possibility that handling effected the T/E values and it's been leaked that Braun's camp likely argued the T/E values were abnormal for a positive result. We don't know what the results of the isotope test actually were but given interpretation is a critical part of the isotope test, Das would have had to consider if any part of the process impacted interpretation. Some reports suggest that Braun's camp provided information that might have colored Das' opinion on that point (though I'm not sure what information that would have been). Based upon the ruling, it seems likely that Das made his determination on more than just a discrepancy between how Braun's sample was handled and language in the CBA. In order to overturn the suspension, Das would have had to hold that the discrepancy impacted the results. That said, we'll know if in fact this is true when his report is leaked.

We really do need verified facts to form a good opinion because this is actually a pretty complicated process where the devil truly is in the details.

I can't imagine that any testing agency used by an organization as big as MLB would report that a sample tested positive for synthentic testosterone if they weren't sure of it, and I doubt MLB would issue a 50 game suspension unless the results were high enough to justify it.

However, I will reserve final judgment until all facts are in.

jojo
02-28-2012, 06:36 PM
Based on what the collector said in his official statement, it seems impossible that "The way in which he handled the sample could have been the source of the results."

After reading the collector's official statement, and assuming it's true, exactly what did the collector do that could have been the source of the results?

Pee in a cup. Stick it in a rubbermaid container. Then stick the container in your basement for 48 to 72 hrs. Then open it up and enjoy. ;)

jojo
02-28-2012, 06:41 PM
I can't imagine that any testing agency used by an organization as big as MLB would report that a sample tested positive for synthentic testosterone if they weren't sure of it, and I doubt MLB would issue a 50 game suspension unless the results were high enough to justify it.

However, I will reserve final judgment until all facts are in.

They pay a part time guy to store samples in his basement. This part time guy is apparently allowed to do what is tantamount to interpreting the CBA and make decisions concerning shipping and storage. I don't think we can infer that mlb does things the best that they can possibly be done regarding their testing program.

To me that is the biggest take home from this story. I've already made that judgement based upon what we do know about this train wreck.

Sea Ray
02-28-2012, 06:55 PM
They pay a part time guy to store samples in his basement. This part time guy is apparently allowed to do what is tantamount to interpreting the CBA and make decisions concerning shipping and storage. I don't think we can infer that mlb does things the best that they can possibly be done regarding their testing program.

To me that is the biggest take home from this story. I've already made that judgement based upon what we do know about this train wreck.

This guy is experienced and he states that there are guidelines for this stuff (not necessarily set by MLB) and that he followed them:


CDT has instructed collectors since I began in 2005 that they should safeguard the samples in their homes until FedEx is able to immediately ship the sample to the laboratory, rather than having the samples sit for one day or more at a local FedEx office. The protocol has been in place since 2005 when I started with CDT and there have been other occasions when I have had to store samples in my home for at least one day, all without incident.

I'd like to know what guidelines he screwed up

Johnny Footstool
02-28-2012, 06:55 PM
Pee in a cup. Stick it in a rubbermaid container. Then stick the container in your basement for 48 to 72 hrs. Then open it up and enjoy. ;)

So...he made the pee smell? Or rather, he made it smell worse?

jojo
02-28-2012, 07:03 PM
So...he made the pee smell? Or rather, he made it smell worse?

Ya, that was the point.

jojo
02-28-2012, 07:05 PM
This guy is experienced and he states that there are guidelines for this stuff (not necessarily set by MLB) and that he followed them:



I'd like to know what guidelines he screwed up

I'd like to know the definition of safe guard.

Das apparently had an opinion and it apparently didn't jive with the experienced courier's?

RedsManRick
02-28-2012, 08:10 PM
Based on what the collector said in his official statement, it seems impossible that "The way in which he handled the sample could have been the source of the results."

After reading the collector's official statement, and assuming it's true, exactly what did the collector do that could have been the source of the results?

Have we established that leaving the sample in the conditions he did for the amount of time he did does not cause any problems? Just because it's the protocol doesn't mean it can't have adverse effects.

Do we know for sure that the arbiter found that proper procedure wasn't followed? Or is it possible that he ruled that proper procedure, in this circumstance, is insufficient to establish proof given increased risks for contamination or degredation?

757690
02-28-2012, 08:42 PM
Pee in a cup. Stick it in a rubbermaid container. Then stick the container in your basement for 48 to 72 hrs. Then open it up and enjoy. ;)

That's not even close to what happened. Talk about confirmation bias. lol


"I placed the two bottles containing Mr. Braun's samples in a plastic bag and sealed the bag. I then placed the sealed bag in a standard cardboard Specimen Box which I also sealed with a tamper-resistant, correspondingly-numbered seal placed over the box opening. I then placed Mr. Braun's Specimen Box, and the Specimen Boxes containing the samples of the two other players, in a Federal Express Clinic Pack. None of the sealed Specimen Boxes identified the players.


Not "interpreting the CBA and make decisions concerning shipping and storage" but following the CDT instructions.


In that circumstance, CDT has instructed collectors since I began in 2005 that they should safeguard the samples in their homes until FedEx is able to immediately ship the sample to the laboratory, rather than having the samples sit for one day or more at a local FedEx office. The protocol has been in place since 2005 when I started with CDT and there have been other occasions when I have had to store samples in my home for at least one day, all without incident


The samples were in a FEdEx Clinc Pack and then placed in a Rubbermaid container. It's not like he just placed a cup of pee in a Rubbermaid container by itself.


The FedEx Clinic Pack containing Mr. Braun's samples never left my custody. Consistent with CDT's instructions, I brought the FedEx Clinic Pack containing the samples to my home. Immediately upon arriving home, I placed the FedEx Clinic Pack in a Rubbermaid container in my office which is located in my basement. My basement office is sufficiently cool to store urine samples. No one other than my wife was in my home during the period in which the samples were stored. The sealed Specimen Boxes were not removed from the FedEx Clinic Pack during the entire period in which they were in my home.

If the specimen boxes's seal was never broken, and never left the FedEx Clinic Pack, and they were kept in a sufficiently cool place and never disturbed, where is the problem?

757690
02-28-2012, 08:46 PM
Have we established that leaving the sample in the conditions he did for the amount of time he did does not cause any problems? Just because it's the protocol doesn't mean it can't have adverse effects.

Do we know for sure that the arbiter found that proper procedure wasn't followed? Or is it possible that he ruled that proper procedure, in this circumstance, is insufficient to establish proof given increased risks for contamination or degredation?

Let's say that the procedure used did lead to the positive test result. Why didn't it lead to positive test results for the other two samples of the other two players, that was treated the exact same way, in the same FedEx Clinic box?

And if it has been protocol for decades, then why haven't there been more cases of false positives? It's protocol because it has shown to have been effective for decades.

jojo
02-28-2012, 08:54 PM
That's not even close to what happened. Talk about confirmation bias. lol

Except after your wisecrack you go on to quote the courier as he describes that is exactly what happened.... Confirmation bias indeed.

mbgrayson
02-28-2012, 08:59 PM
When I read the collector's full statement (HERE (http://eye-on-baseball.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/22297882/35020024)), I really don't see how Braun got off. There is no way I could have found that this procedure had any likliehood of tainting the samples.

I also find it interesting that these samples were taken on October 1, 2011. Is it possible that Braun thought he was done testing for the year and could get away with taking banned substances?

I wonder whether Braun and his attorneys might be sued by the collector for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress? They seem to be setting up that possibility.

lollipopcurve
02-28-2012, 08:59 PM
All I have to say at this point is that if Braun was lying he is a scary accomplished liar.

Agree with jojo that it doesn't make sense to make up one's mind -- if it makes sense to do so at all -- until after the arbitrator's report comes out.

757690
02-28-2012, 09:01 PM
Except after your wisecrack you go on to quote the courier as he describes that is exactly what happened.... Confirmation bias indeed.

You are missing many key, essential steps, and the fact that what was done has been protocol and has worked for decades.

The more information that comes out, the harder it is to defend Braun.

Brutus
02-28-2012, 09:07 PM
Why isn't anyone willing to say how synthetic testosterone can appear in a sample simply by sitting for 24-48 hours? Is it perhaps because no one actually thinks it's possible?

The initial testosterone levels might be impacted by sitting out. That's theoretically possible, from what I've seen by several 'experts.' However, it still does absolutely nothing to explain how synthetic testosterone was found in Braun's sample short of tampering. Absolutely no one in the field has asserted that's possible.

jojo
02-28-2012, 09:11 PM
You are missing many key, essential steps, and the fact that what was done has been protocol and has worked for decades.

The more information that comes out, the harder it is to defend Braun.

What does sticking the cup of pee in a sealed bag add? I'm not sure why we're supposed to assume a guy who couldn't find a FedEx has a temperature controlled basement that conforms to international pee storage standards.

The more I learn about how MLB baseball does its business, the more I think they do a major league job of being bush league....

This whole business was wholly avoidable by MLB simply being as dogmatic in process as MLB is in penalty.

mbgrayson
02-28-2012, 09:33 PM
What does sticking the cup of pee in a sealed bag add?

Well, it is a sealed test tube, and putting it inside a selaed bag shows no tampering occurred when the seal was still in place at the lab.


I'm not sure why we're supposed to assume a guy who couldn't find a FedEx has a temperature controlled basement that conforms to international pee storage standards.

The FedEx that was still open wouldn't have shipped it till Monday. It is BS that the guy 'couldn't find a FedEx'. He had two choices: store it in his cooled basement, or drop it at the open FedEx where it would sit until Monday completely uncooled. The MLB protocol called for him to take it home and store it himself until Monday, so that is exactly what he did.

757690
02-28-2012, 09:34 PM
What does sticking the cup of pee in a sealed bag add? I'm not sure why we're supposed to assume a guy who couldn't find a FedEx has a temperature controlled basement that conforms to international pee storage standards.

The more I learn about how MLB baseball does its business, the more I think they do a major league job of being bush league....

This whole business was wholly avoidable by MLB simply being as dogmatic in process as MLB is in penalty.

The collector found FedEx stores, however, all of them had stopped shipping that day and wouldn't ship until Monday. The protocol in that situation is to keep the samples in your possession until they can be shipped.

And they were placed in a FedEx Clinic Pack, which is designed to keep the samples at the right temp during shipping.

I would read the collectors official statement again. You are missing key facts.

jojo
02-28-2012, 10:31 PM
The collector found FedEx stores, however, all of them had stopped shipping that day and wouldn't ship until Monday. The protocol in that situation is to keep the samples in your possession until they can be shipped.

And they were placed in a FedEx Clinic Pack, which is designed to keep the samples at the right temp during shipping.

I would read the collectors official statement again. You are missing key facts.

FedEx Clinical Packs are not designed to control/maintain temperature. They are designed to prevent exposure to human tissue/fluids by preventing/containing spills of clinical samples. In other words they are designed to allow easy compliance with laws governing the shipment of biological materials.

AtomicDumpling
02-28-2012, 10:51 PM
Why isn't anyone willing to say how synthetic testosterone can appear in a sample simply by sitting for 24-48 hours? Is it perhaps because no one actually thinks it's possible?

The initial testosterone levels might be impacted by sitting out. That's theoretically possible, from what I've seen by several 'experts.' However, it still does absolutely nothing to explain how synthetic testosterone was found in Braun's sample short of tampering. Absolutely no one in the field has asserted that's possible.

Question: Has there been an official release from MLB or the test laboratory that states unequivocally that synthetic testosterone was actually found in the sample or are we still dealing with rumors and leaks on this issue?

It is very hard to form a reasonable opinion when our facts are not officially facts. Almost everything we have heard on this whole issue is based on a very flimsy foundation of illegally leaked or rumored information, much of which has already been revealed as untrue.

I will withhold forming an opinion until we have enough reliable information available. It is crazy for people to be so obstinate on either side until the real facts come out. The arbitrator has not even released his report yet, so we don't even know the truth about why the suspension was reversed. We don't know yet if it was merely based on a technicality or if there are much more compelling reasons such as the strangely high result of the test that has been rumored.

Brutus
02-28-2012, 10:51 PM
nm

Brutus
02-28-2012, 10:53 PM
Question: Has there been an official release from MLB or the test laboratory that states unequivocally that synthetic testosterone was actually found in the sample or are we still dealing with rumors and leaks on this issue?

It is very hard to form a reasonable opinion when our facts are not officially facts. Almost everything we have heard on this whole issue is based on a very flimsy foundation of illegally leaked or rumored information, much of which has already been revealed as untrue.

I will withhold forming an opinion until we have enough reliable information available. It is crazy for people to be so obstinate on either side until the real facts come out. The arbitrator has not even released his report yet, so we don't even know the truth about why the suspension was reversed. We don't know yet if it was merely based on a technicality or if there are much more compelling reasons such as the strangely high result of the test that has been rumored.

Every report has pretty much corroborated the 20:1 original testosterone levels and subsequent samples found the elevation to include testosterone of a synthetic variety. I don't think anyone is disputing those are the facts.

AtomicDumpling
02-28-2012, 11:06 PM
Every report has pretty much corroborated the 20:1 original testosterone levels and subsequent samples found the elevation to include testosterone of a synthetic variety. I don't think anyone is disputing those are the facts.

So does that mean there has been no official report, only articles based on leaks?

757690
02-29-2012, 12:13 AM
Question: Has there been an official release from MLB or the test laboratory that states unequivocally that synthetic testosterone was actually found in the sample or are we still dealing with rumors and leaks on this issue?

It is very hard to form a reasonable opinion when our facts are not officially facts. Almost everything we have heard on this whole issue is based on a very flimsy foundation of illegally leaked or rumored information, much of which has already been revealed as untrue.

I will withhold forming an opinion until we have enough reliable information available. It is crazy for people to be so obstinate on either side until the real facts come out. The arbitrator has not even released his report yet, so we don't even know the truth about why the suspension was reversed. We don't know yet if it was merely based on a technicality or if there are much more compelling reasons such as the strangely high result of the test that has been rumored.

There is nothing wrong with drawing opinions from limited information and unofficial information. We do it everyday on all sorts of matters. Of course, there is the unspoken caveat, that our opinions are subject to change as new, better information is gained, but we shouldn't stifle our ability to use reason and logic just because we haven't confirmed every piece of information 100%.

When I see a pregnant woman, I can conclude that she is not a virgin, even though I haven't seen an official report documenting the status of her sexual activity. Or must I allow for the possibility that the northern star will be shining brightly in the sky every time I do see a pregnant woman?

757690
02-29-2012, 12:17 AM
FedEx Clinical Packs are not designed to control/maintain temperature. They are designed to prevent exposure to human tissue/fluids by preventing/containing spills of clinical samples. In other words they are designed to allow easy compliance with laws governing the shipment of biological materials.

Fair enough.

But what about these two questions?

Let's say that the procedure used did lead to the positive test result. Why didn't it lead to positive test results for the other two samples of the other two players, that was treated the exact same way, in the same FedEx Clinic box?

And if it has been protocol for decades, then why haven't there been more cases of false positives? It's protocol because it has shown to have been effective for decades.

jojo
02-29-2012, 12:43 AM
Fair enough.

But what about these two questions?

Let's say that the procedure used did lead to the positive test result. Why didn't it lead to positive test results for the other two samples of the other two players, that was treated the exact same way, in the same FedEx Clinic box?

And if it has been protocol for decades, then why haven't there been more cases of false positives? It's protocol because it has shown to have been effective for decades.

We don't know enough to entertain those hypotheticals. Maybe all three samples had suspect T/E ratios but only Brauns isotope test ratio was whacky enough to qualify as a positive. Maybe Braun's sample was the only one that was wanky. We don't know.

There are problematic T/E tests all of the time. There are likewise problems with interpreting the carbon test. I doubt it's reasonable to assume we'd hear about them.

Anyway, back in December, I doubt anyone assumed Braun's sample was stored at ambient temperature in a guy's basement over the weekend and MLB would bristle at the notion that someone might find that head scratching. I can't imagine the player's union agreeing to that when they shook hands on the CBA. Ignore the Braun case. MLB should be a little bit embarrassed that such a scenario is the best that they can do. More importantly, they should be embarrassed that apparently no one bothered to contemplate the possibility of this train wreck and made sure it could never happen in the first place.

Johnny Footstool
02-29-2012, 01:26 AM
I get the feeling that if the courier had dropped off the sample at FedEx, Braun's lawyers would have pointed out how they were left unmonitored and open to tampering. And instead of railing about the supposedly awful conditions in the courier's basement, a lot of people would be posting things like, "How could this idiot courier just drop off a sample at the FedEx store, knowing that it would just sit on the shelf for two days?"

757690
02-29-2012, 01:37 AM
We don't know enough to entertain those hypotheticals. Maybe all three samples had suspect T/E ratios but only Brauns isotope test ratio was whacky enough to qualify as a positive. Maybe Braun's sample was the only one that was wanky. We don't know.

There are problematic T/E tests all of the time. There are likewise problems with interpreting the carbon test. I doubt it's reasonable to assume we'd hear about them.

Anyway, back in December, I doubt anyone assumed Braun's sample was stored at ambient temperature in a guy's basement over the weekend and MLB would bristle at the notion that someone might find that head scratching. I can't imagine the player's union agreeing to that when they shook hands on the CBA. Ignore the Braun case. MLB should be a little bit embarrassed that such a scenario is the best that they can do. More importantly, they should be embarrassed that apparently no one bothered to contemplate the possibility of this train wreck and made sure it could never happen in the first place.

That "train wreck" has been done consistently for decades and is the official proper procedure of every testing agency worldwide. it actually is proper procedure of the CBA as well.


"If the specimen is not immediately prepared for shipment, the Collector shall ensure that it is appropriately safeguarded during temporary storage." It also directs the collector to keep the "chain of custody intact" and to "store the samples in a cool and secure location."

The only issue is that the CBA has another poorly worded clause that says the collector must immediately drop the sample off at a FedEx, "absent unusual circumstances."
If that clause was not in the CBA, Braun would get his 50 game suspension.

jojo
02-29-2012, 02:10 AM
I get the feeling that if the courier had dropped off the sample at FedEx, Braun's lawyers would have pointed out how they were left unmonitored and open to tampering. And instead of railing about the supposedly awful conditions in the courier's basement, a lot of people would be posting things like, "How could this idiot courier just drop off a sample at the FedEx store, knowing that it would just sit on the shelf for two days?"

It's this simple. The arbitrators identified a problem with the process. It's not unreasonable then to question the process and wonder why the arbitrators had a problem with it.

Argumentum ad antiquitatem isn't that compelling either because the arbitrators focused upon the specific events that occurred in the basement of a part-time courier's house over a specific weekend.

And yes, this is a train wreck for mlb and it's difficult to see how anyone could argue otherwise.

jojo
02-29-2012, 02:14 AM
The only issue is that the CBA has another poorly worded clause that says the collector must immediately drop the sample off at a FedEx, "absent unusual circumstances."

If that clause was not in the CBA, Braun would get his 50 game suspension.

You know this for a certain fact? If you've seen a link to Das' report/argument, i'd love to see it.

Plus Plus
02-29-2012, 02:15 AM
Anyway, back in December, I doubt anyone assumed Braun's sample was stored at ambient temperature in a guy's basement over the weekend and MLB would bristle at the notion that someone might find that head scratching. I can't imagine the player's union agreeing to that when they shook hands on the CBA. Ignore the Braun case. MLB should be a little bit embarrassed that such a scenario is the best that they can do. More importantly, they should be embarrassed that apparently no one bothered to contemplate the possibility of this train wreck and made sure it could never happen in the first place.

Haven't most reports stated that the sample was kept refrigerated and that it was not left out on a desk? The only place that I have seen anything about the sample being left out was in Braun's defense statement, and it seems that the more information that comes out, the more this fact is disputed.

Furthermore, I agree with your earlier statement about the real problem being MLB's inconsistency between process and punishment. I really struggle with placing any blame on any player who tests in a certain way until the MLB bigwigs get serious about removing PEDs from the game.

jojo
02-29-2012, 02:16 AM
Haven't most reports stated that the sample was kept refrigerated and that it was not left out on a desk? The only place that I have seen anything about the sample being left out was in Braun's defense statement, and it seems that the more information that comes out, the more this fact is disputed.

No. The courier himself indicated it was in a rubbermaid container in his office.

Plus Plus
02-29-2012, 02:19 AM
No. The courier himself indicated it was in a rubbermaid container in his office.

D'oh! I misread the quote. The courier thought that his cold basement was acceptable, I guess? Odd protocol for a company, if this is widely done...

jojo
02-29-2012, 02:24 AM
D'oh! I misread the quote. The courier thought that his cold basement was acceptable, I guess? Odd protocol for a company, if this is widely done...

It's kind of silly because for about $500 MLB could've bought a fridge and a temperature monitoring system that could've provided a record of the conditions their samples are stored in at even given moment, checkable via the interweb.

This whole situation is kind of unfortunate.

Plus Plus
02-29-2012, 02:32 AM
It's kind of silly because for about $500 MLB could've bought a fridge and a temperature monitoring system that could've provided a record of the conditions their samples are stored in at even given moment, checkable via the interweb.

This whole situation is kind of unfortunate.

And that is one of probably a billion possible solutions to the problem in this situation. I couldn't agree more about this situation being a disappointing one for all involved, with MLB being the scapegoat.

AtomicDumpling
02-29-2012, 03:13 AM
There is nothing wrong with drawing opinions from limited information and unofficial information. We do it everyday on all sorts of matters. Of course, there is the unspoken caveat, that our opinions are subject to change as new, better information is gained, but we shouldn't stifle our ability to use reason and logic just because we haven't confirmed every piece of information 100%.

When I see a pregnant woman, I can conclude that she is not a virgin, even though I haven't seen an official report documenting the status of her sexual activity. Or must I allow for the possibility that the northern star will be shining brightly in the sky every time I do see a pregnant woman?

True, but many people here and elsewhere have painted themselves into a corner on this issue. Some people are going to look mighty silly when all the facts are released -- if they ever are released.

The facts here are nowhere close to 100% confirmed, actually the "facts" seem to shift every day.

I don't find it very compelling when people so forcefully take sides on an issue when there is so little reliable information on which to base an opinion.

We saw hundreds of posts exclaiming with absolute certainty that Braun took PEDs, his appeal would fail and he would serve the suspension.

dabvu2498
02-29-2012, 06:11 AM
It's kind of silly because for about $500 MLB could've bought a fridge and a temperature monitoring system that could've provided a record of the conditions their samples are stored in at even given moment, checkable via the interweb.

This whole situation is kind of unfortunate.

I had the same thought... All the money, reputations, etc at stake and we have a procedure by which a courier thought it was acceptable to take samples home for the weekend.

traderumor
02-29-2012, 10:06 AM
No. The courier himself indicated it was in a rubbermaid container in his office.
The courier also noted that he had handled hundreds of samples (including several of Braun's) in the same manner and there had been no incidents. Painting him as a buffoon now is certainly preliminary and based on a bunch of presumptions by people having very little expertise in this area. And sorry, but doing google research does not make one an expert on this stuff.

As for pinning all of this on MLB, the Player's Association is in cohoots on this as well. The contractor is agreed upon by both parties. Now all of a sudden MLB takes all the criticism for this issue, for using such incompetent hacks, for not having good procedures?

mbgrayson
02-29-2012, 10:55 AM
The whole issue with the collector taking the sample home is nothing but Braun's (and his lawyers) red herring.

There is nothing that could have happened by lack of refrigeration that would have caused high levels of synthetic testoserone to magically appear in Braun's sample.

The fact that both seals were in place and undamaged should have been sufficient to uphold the suspension.

The entire protocol, which allows the collectors to maintain custody of the sample until it can actually be transported, was apparently agreed upon by MLB and the union.

Sea Ray
02-29-2012, 11:25 AM
All I have to say at this point is that if Braun was lying he is a scary accomplished liar.

Agree with jojo that it doesn't make sense to make up one's mind -- if it makes sense to do so at all -- until after the arbitrator's report comes out.

Any more than Rafael Palmiero and his finger pointing at Congress or Roger Clemens (or even a former President). Liars usually are convincing

Sea Ray
02-29-2012, 11:29 AM
The protocol, whatever it was, supposedly was spelled out in the CBA. Either it was followed or it wasn't. I don't think the arbitrator can rule that the protocol wasn't proper if it was agreed to and signed off on by both sides. This still isn't adding up

jojo
02-29-2012, 12:15 PM
The courier also noted that he had handled hundreds of samples (including several of Braun's) in the same manner and there had been no incidents. Painting him as a buffoon now is certainly preliminary and based on a bunch of presumptions by people having very little expertise in this area. And sorry, but doing google research does not make one an expert on this stuff.

As for pinning all of this on MLB, the Player's Association is in cohoots on this as well. The contractor is agreed upon by both parties. Now all of a sudden MLB takes all the criticism for this issue, for using such incompetent hacks, for not having good procedures?

The whole process is kind of smelly. Even arbitration. The mlb arbitrator always votes for mlb. The player's association arbitrator always votes for the players. Then I guess there is one hopefully open-minded person who breaks the tie. It seems to me arbitration is supposed to be less arbitrary somehow.

Isn't a program that's meant to protect the integrity of the game supposed to aim a little higher?

lollipopcurve
02-29-2012, 12:31 PM
Any more than Rafael Palmiero and his finger pointing at Congress or Roger Clemens (or even a former President). Liars usually are convincing

What Braun had to say was far, far more involved than the others. Did you see him make his statement? Like I said, if he was lying, he's scary. At least to me.

cumberlandreds
02-29-2012, 02:18 PM
What Braun had to say was far, far more involved than the others. Did you see him make his statement? Like I said, if he was lying, he's scary. At least to me.

I watched him make his statement. The first thing I thought was how much this like Rafael Palmeiro and his finger wagging at Congress. I think its just a matter of time and he will get busted. He got off on a technicality this time. It won't happen again.

Brutus
02-29-2012, 02:55 PM
I get the feeling that if the courier had dropped off the sample at FedEx, Braun's lawyers would have pointed out how they were left unmonitored and open to tampering. And instead of railing about the supposedly awful conditions in the courier's basement, a lot of people would be posting things like, "How could this idiot courier just drop off a sample at the FedEx store, knowing that it would just sit on the shelf for two days?"

That is so freakin' true.

jojo
02-29-2012, 03:46 PM
The fact is that given Das' ruling, this was not an open and shut case with nothing else needing to be known. Declarations that Braun will serve 50 games obviously were premature and inaccurate. Given these facts, it's a little puzzling how it could be suggested that its being pedantic to hold that it would be nice to know the whole story before making declarations.

757690
02-29-2012, 04:59 PM
The fact is that given Das' ruling, this was not an open and shut case with nothing else needing to be known. Declarations that Braun will serve 50 games obviously were premature and inaccurate. Given these facts, it's a little puzzling how it could be suggested that its being pedantic to hold that it would be nice to know the whole story before making declarations.

I agree it would be nice to know the whole story before making final declarations, but it not knowing every single fact shouldn't stop anyone from making declarations. There definitely is enough confirmed information to make informed decisions on this issue.

The Citizens United Case was an open and shut case that shouldn't have even been heard by the Supreme Court, and yet it was, and ruled incorrectly, imo. I should be allowed to discuss this and draw conclusions different from what the judges ruled.

Plus, there are plenty of rulings which are technically correct, but which are not just, in which guilty people are found innocent and innocent people are found guilty. I guess we can't discuss and draw our own conclusions from them either?

jojo
02-29-2012, 05:36 PM
I agree it would be nice to know the whole story before making final declarations, but it not knowing every single fact shouldn't stop anyone from making declarations. There definitely is enough confirmed information to make informed decisions on this issue.

The Citizens United Case was an open and shut case that shouldn't have even been heard by the Supreme Court, and yet it was, and ruled incorrectly, imo. I should be allowed to discuss this and draw conclusions different from what the judges ruled.

Plus, there are plenty of rulings which are technically correct, but which are not just, in which guilty people are found innocent and innocent people are found guilty. I guess we can't discuss and draw our own conclusions from them either?

First, without knowing Das' rationale for his decision, it's tough to draw conclusions from other examples because it's uncertain what a relevant example would be.

Second, I'm not the one arguing that there is only one way to view this issue. Youre free to make up your mind this very moment. I've just pointed out the reasons why I've chosen to wait for more facts one of which being that people have been burned already by jumping to conclusions with this story.

Third, and actually back on point, it's not being pedantic to argue Das' final report might greatly inform the proper conclusion because this isn't a "matter of every little fact". It's central to the issue. When Das' report is inevitably leaked, we'll know for certain whether he simply focused on language in the CBA or whether there was a set of circumstances associated with the process itself that caused Das to lose confidence in the test results, whatever they actually were (it would be nice to know specifics about that too).

oneupper
02-29-2012, 05:55 PM
Regardless of the differing points of view, this thread really shows how differently we process information and pass judgement on it.

For some, Occam's razor holds true (I'm one of those), while others are willing to give a great deal of benefit of doubt and leeway, to avoid jumping to a wrong conclusion.

This is of great interest to me, personally, at this moment, since Allen Stanford is currently on trial (I'm following on twitter, the case has just gone to the jury), and his defense team has (as it should, I guess) done its best to raise doubts about the charges and the evidence.
While to me, the facts are of an open and shut case (for the prosecution, of course), I wonder what ultimately 12 jurors, who obviously don't share my brain or level of financial knowledge, will determine.

I really, really hope they don't acquit. Stanford, that is.

paulrichjr
02-29-2012, 06:04 PM
Regardless of the differing points of view, this thread really shows how differently we process information and pass judgement on it.

For some, Occam's razor holds true (I'm one of those), while others are willing to give a great deal of benefit of doubt and leeway, to avoid jumping to a wrong conclusion.

This is of great interest to me, personally, at this moment, since Allen Stanford is currently on trial (I'm following on twitter, the case has just gone to the jury), and his defense team has (as it should, I guess) done its best to raise doubts about the charges and the evidence.
While to me, the facts are of an open and shut case (for the prosecution, of course), I wonder what ultimately 12 jurors, who obviously don't share my brain or level of financial knowledge, will determine.

I really, really hope they don't acquit. Stanford, that is.

How much of this stuff is caused by TV? Seeing some crime show on TV where someone tampered with evidence pretty much everytime has bound to have some influence on more people giving "benefit of doubt and leeway, to avoid jumping to the wrong conclusion."

oneupper
02-29-2012, 06:19 PM
How much of this stuff is caused by TV? Seeing some crime show on TV where someone tampered with evidence pretty much everytime has bound to have some influence on more people giving "benefit of doubt and leeway, to avoid jumping to the wrong conclusion."

Could be. People love conspiracies. A poll done in the 90s showed that about 1/6 of US citizens didn't believe the moon landing.
And then you have the whole OJ thing, where 12 apparently sane people gave more credence to wild theory about a racist cop than very solid and hard to refute DNA evidence.
We people don't think alike, and while that is a good thing most of the time, sometimes it can be scary.

jojo
02-29-2012, 06:42 PM
How much of this stuff is caused by TV? Seeing some crime show on TV where someone tampered with evidence pretty much everytime has bound to have some influence on more people giving "benefit of doubt and leeway, to avoid jumping to the wrong conclusion."

I'd frame it this way...one side is hesitant to make assumptions while the other side brings some significant assumptions to the issue.

mbgrayson
02-29-2012, 08:20 PM
I'd frame it this way...one side is hesitant to make assumptions while the other side brings some significant assumptions to the issue.

BOTH sides are making assumptions, and believing what they see (in often competing) media reports. Some believe Braun and his lawyers, some believe the speciman collector, or MLB etc.

The funny thing (at least to me) is that it was Braun's own comments that clearly prompted a response from the speciman collector. Braun said: “There were a lot of things that we learned about the collector, about the collection process, about the way the entire thing works, that made us very concerned and very suspicious about what could have actually happened.” The collector then, predictably, responded.

The problem is there is absolutely no guarantee that the public will ever be privy to all the details and facts that Mr. Das had access to. If anyone is waiting to hear the final word, it will likely be a long wait. When I read the collector's statement, that was enough for me. I think everyone will have their own standard, and if some are never convinced of Braun's guilt, fair enough....

The more fun question is how will Braun react to the inevitable hazing and signs from fans around baseball about this stuff? Will it make him better or worse? How will opposing teams react? (Minimally I would guess). Will he win another MVP, even if he deserves it, or will he be shunned for awards? Will advertisers hire him to be their spokesman? There is really no doubt that this episode will hurt Ryan Braun, whether he is innocent or not.

AtomicDumpling
02-29-2012, 08:21 PM
I agree it would be nice to know the whole story before making final declarations, but it not knowing every single fact shouldn't stop anyone from making declarations. There definitely is enough confirmed information to make informed decisions on this issue.

The Citizens United Case was an open and shut case that shouldn't have even been heard by the Supreme Court, and yet it was, and ruled incorrectly, imo. I should be allowed to discuss this and draw conclusions different from what the judges ruled.

Plus, there are plenty of rulings which are technically correct, but which are not just, in which guilty people are found innocent and innocent people are found guilty. I guess we can't discuss and draw our own conclusions from them either?

In this case we not only don't know every single fact -- we actually know very few of the facts. And some of the "facts" we thought we knew a week ago have turned out not to have been facts at all.

The arbitrator saw enough evidence presented at the hearing to convince him to overturn the suspension. That should give some pause to people before they leap to conclusions. Despite the leaks and rumors we do not know what caused the arbitrator to rule that way. Supposedly a technicality in the chain of custody was part of his reasoning, but there may be much more to it than that. We don't know yet. Until the arbitrator's ruling is released we won't know the real story.

As a former chemist I can certainly see how laboratory tests can give erroneous results. Samples can be mislabeled, mishandled or misplaced. Tests can be processed with the wrong procedure or settings. Equipment can malfunction or be calibrated improperly. Technicians can make mistakes then cover up their errors. I have seen crazy things happen in the best of laboratories.

I don't know whether Braun cheated or not. If he did then I want to see him suspended. If he did not cheat and he is a victim of a bogus test, tainted sample or a simple mistake then he should be officially vindicated. Either way there is nothing to be gained by forming strong opinions long before we have enough real facts available.

AtomicDumpling
02-29-2012, 08:28 PM
BOTH sides are making assumptions, and believing what they see (in often competing) media reports. Some believe Braun and his lawyers, some believe the speciman collector, or MLB etc.

The funny thing (at least to me) is that it was Braun's own comments that clearly prompted a response from the speciman collector. Braun said: “There were a lot of things that we learned about the collector, about the collection process, about the way the entire thing works, that made us very concerned and very suspicious about what could have actually happened.” The collector then, predictably, responded.

The problem is there is absolutely no guarantee that the public will ever be privy to all the details and facts that Mr. Das had access to. If anyone is waiting to hear the final word, it will likely be a long wait. When I read the collector's statement, that was enough for me. I think everyone will have their own standard, and if some are never convinced of Braun's guilt, fair enough....

The more fun question is how will Braun react to the inevitable hazing and signs from fans around baseball about this stuff? Will it make him better or worse? How will opposing teams react? (Minimally I would guess). Will he win another MVP, even if he deserves it, or will he be shunned for awards? Will advertisers hire him to be their spokesman? There is really no doubt that this episode will hurt Ryan Braun, whether he is innocent or not.

Yeah I am sure there will be some very creative and hilarious signs in the stands around the league this spring. :laugh:

Also agreed that Braun's reputation will be forever stained whether he is guilty or not.

Another issue is that Braun does not have Prince Fielder hitting behind him this year. If there is such a thing as protection in the batting order you might see Braun's numbers decline this year for that reason. But any decline in his numbers will automatically be interpreted as proof that he had been taking PEDs until he got caught.

Roy Tucker
02-29-2012, 08:48 PM
This all reminds me of when I hear of a jury verdict that seemed to go against conventional wisdom. I just figure they had access to all the facts and arguments and made an informed decision and they were in the courtroom and I wasn't and all I have to go on is dribs and drabs from the news and the interwebs.

But its always fun to argue about.

REDblooded
02-29-2012, 11:50 PM
I'd frame it this way...one side is hesitant to make assumptions while the other side brings some significant assumptions to the issue.

Which is why I'm doing my best to steer from this thread until I hear the full story.

Johnny Footstool
03-01-2012, 11:49 AM
I'd frame it this way...one side is hesitant to make assumptions while the other side brings some significant assumptions to the issue.

Both sides have made and are making significant assumptions.

jojo
03-01-2012, 12:05 PM
Both sides have made and are making significant assumptions.

If you characterize an acknowledgement that we don't really know enough of the critical facts to form a conlusion as a significant assumption, then sure.

RANDY IN INDY
03-01-2012, 12:54 PM
Both sides have made and are making significant assumptions.

I'd agree with that.

savafan
03-01-2012, 02:39 PM
How do we know that the samples of the other two unnamed players didn't test positive? Perhaps they did, and those players are appealing as well, but we have no knowledge of this because according to the CBA, we shouldn't know until a final outcome has been reached and suspensions are announced.

oneupper
03-01-2012, 03:14 PM
Both sides have made and are making significant assumptions.

We go through life making decisions based on imperfect information. If not, no one would ever be fooled.

The difference is in how much we require to make those calls and how much we risk on them.

757690
03-01-2012, 03:25 PM
How do we know that the samples of the other two unnamed players didn't test positive? Perhaps they did, and those players are appealing as well, but we have no knowledge of this because according to the CBA, we shouldn't know until a final outcome has been reached and suspensions are announced.

I imagine that if they did test positive, we would have heard about it at the same time we heard about Braun. They were players on playoff teams, so they would have been of significant interest. But you are right, we will never know for sure.

Johnny Footstool
03-01-2012, 09:05 PM
We go through life making decisions based on imperfect information. If not, no one would ever be fooled.

The difference is in how much we require to make those calls and how much we risk on them.

Absolutely.

oneupper
03-01-2012, 10:14 PM
This all reminds me of when I hear of a jury verdict that seemed to go against conventional wisdom. I just figure they had access to all the facts and arguments and made an informed decision and they were in the courtroom and I wasn't and all I have to go on is dribs and drabs from the news and the interwebs.

But its always fun to argue about.

More likely they were confused by some good lawyering by the defense (or prosecution), including highly-compensated "expert witnesses". I'm afraid juries are not the "best and brightest" of citizens, but those who couldn't get out of their summons.

fearofpopvol1
03-02-2012, 04:16 PM
This gives less credence (IMO) to Braun...

http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/7637613/chicago-cubs-players-praise-support-ryan-braun-collector

Cedric
03-02-2012, 04:34 PM
This gives less credence (IMO) to Braun...

http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/7637613/chicago-cubs-players-praise-support-ryan-braun-collector

Braun deserves zero credit. Essentially he found a loophole to get a mistrial declared and now his lawyer and himself are claiming he was found not guilty.

He's not ever going to get his name cleared.

RANDY IN INDY
03-02-2012, 04:55 PM
Essentially he found a loophole to get a mistrial declared and now his lawyer and himself are claiming he was found not guilty.

Yep. Crappy

jojo
03-03-2012, 09:42 AM
Speaking of assumptions, it's commonly assumed that Braun's successful appeal is historic in the sense that it is a first.

We can't even know that. It seems that his was not only NOT the first, it may not even be all of that rare...

http://disciplesofuecker.com/ryan-brauns-situation-a-curious-tweet-from-jimmy-rollins/

traderumor
03-03-2012, 10:09 AM
Speaking of assumptions, it's commonly assumed that Braun's successful appeal is historic in the sense that it is a first.

We can't even know that. It seems that his was not only NOT the first, it may not even be all of that rare...

http://disciplesofuecker.com/ryan-brauns-situation-a-curious-tweet-from-jimmy-rollins/Wow, you sure did jump to a lot of conclusions from a 12/11 tweet. "one side is hesitant to make assumptions while the other side brings some significant assumptions to the issue." Really, now.

A tweet from "Jimmy Rollins" who "knows of..." That is gossip, by definition, from which you conclude "NOT the first, it may not even be all of (sic) that rare..." It takes some significant assumptions to go there with that. A good illustration of double standard.

jojo
03-03-2012, 10:20 AM
Wow, you sure did jump to a lot of conclusions from a 12/11 tweet. "one side is hesitant to make assumptions while the other side brings some significant assumptions to the issue." Really, now.

Not a single conclusion was jumped to.... Rollins claimed he knew of an instance where a player was exonerated and Kevin Goldstein indicated that sources within major league FO's have told him of cases.

Where is there a a leap to a conclusion by stating we can't even know how often that players who test positive are exonerated based upon what Rollins and Goldstein have said? Can we definitely know? Do you definitively know?

So yes, one side isn't even willing to assume Braun's case is unique. That's about as consistent with the notion "one side is hesitant to make assumptions while the other side brings some significant assumptions to the issue." as it gets.

Really now.

Rather than assume, i'll ask. Are you arguing his case is? I know others have argued that all mlb needs is a positive test and it's a guarantee that a player will sit 50 games.

jojo
03-03-2012, 10:21 AM
A good illustration of double standard.

No. It isn't.

traderumor
03-03-2012, 10:33 AM
Not a single conclusion was jumped to.... Rollins claimed he knew of an instance where a player was exonerated and Kevin Goldstein indicated that sources within major league FO's have told him of cases.

Where is there a a leap to a conclusion by stating we can't even know how often that players who test positive are exonerated based upon what Rollins and Goldstein have said? Can we definitely know? Do you definitively know?

So yes, one side isn't even willing to assume Braun's case is unique. That's about as consistent with the notion "one side is hesitant to make assumptions while the other side brings some significant assumptions to the issue." as it gets.

Really now.

Rather than assume, i'll ask. Are you arguing his case is? I know others have argued that all mlb needs is a positive test and it's a guarantee that a player will sit 50 games.He "knows of one" is gossip. You then jumped to the conclusion that means there must be many. And the tweet is from December. Seriously, if you don't see that, it is simply a failure to be self-examining on your part.

jojo
03-03-2012, 11:07 AM
He "knows of one" is gossip. You then jumped to the conclusion that means there must be many. And the tweet is from December. Seriously, if you don't see that, it is simply a failure to be self-examining on your part.

Seriously if you can turn the statement that we don't even know how often a positive test is overturned on appeal into a large leaping conclusion, than I calling confirmation bias shenanigans....

Seriously tell me how often positive tests are overturned (or how often they are upheld). If you can't, maybe the point that we actually don't know should be conceded?

traderumor
03-03-2012, 11:29 AM
Seriously if you can turn the statement that we don't even know how often a positive test is overturned on appeal into a large leaping conclusion, than I calling confirmation bias shenanigans....

Seriously tell me how often positive tests are overturned (or how often they are upheld). If you can't, maybe the point that we actually don't know should be conceded?The point you seem to be missing is that it is illogical to say it may not be rare because there is a rumor of one in the same set. That is little more than the lawyer trick "but it is possible." Well, sure, but not probable. You know that, but the obstinance continues.

RANDY IN INDY
03-03-2012, 11:36 AM
Doesn't sound like there are any solid facts, or facts at all, to say that tests have been overturned. Funny how rumors work for some and not for others.

jojo
03-03-2012, 12:00 PM
The point you seem to be missing is that it is illogical to say it may not be rare because there is a rumor of one in the same set. That is little more than the lawyer trick "but it is possible." Well, sure, but not probable. You know that, but the obstinance continues.

Do you in fact have any information that would allow one to conclude how often a positive test is overturned?

Would a baseball journalist stating FO sources have indicated to him that positive tests have been overturned previously in any way suggest that Braun's case is unique?

Would you disagree that it's not illogical to maintain we don't know and therefore won't make assumptions that would color our opinion of Braun's innocence or guilt?

If any of those questions can't be definitively answered with a yes, then how is it a "lawyer trick"?

Sea Ray
03-03-2012, 12:02 PM
I imagine that if they did test positive, we would have heard about it at the same time we heard about Braun. They were players on playoff teams, so they would have been of significant interest. But you are right, we will never know for sure.

Exactly. If we've learned nothing else here, it's that MLB is horrible at keeping secrets

jojo
03-03-2012, 12:10 PM
Doesn't sound like there are any solid facts, or facts at all, to say that tests have been overturned. Funny how rumors work for some and not for others.

It's funnier though how some have such a tough time admitting they don't know but such an easy time climbing to the very end of a limb.

757690
03-03-2012, 12:53 PM
Do you in fact have any information that would allow one to conclude how often a positive test is overturned?

Would a baseball journalist stating FO sources have indicated to him that positive tests have been overturned previously in any way suggest that Braun's case is unique?

Would you disagree that it's not illogical to maintain we don't know and therefore won't make assumptions that would color our opinion of Braun's innocence or guilt?

If any of those questions can't be definitively answered with a yes, then how is it a "lawyer trick"?

That bold part is not what you said in your original post on this article. You said...


It seems that his was not only NOT the first, it may not even be all of that rare

You seem to be jumping to conclusions, it may not be unfair to say that you are making assumptions based on hearsay and gossip.

And for the record, that article was written last year, months before the arbitrator's decision. You would think that if there were more to the story, it would have been investigated by now.

jojo
03-03-2012, 12:58 PM
That bold part is not what you said in your original post on this article. You said...



You seem to be jumping to conclusions, it may not be unfair to say that you are making assumptions based on hearsay and gossip.

And for the record, that article was written last year, months before the arbitrator's decision. You would think that if there were more to the story, it would have been investigated by now.

Who is going to go on the record about confidential results? That's been a problem about this story all along. We've gotten the smallest snippets. We think we know things but we don't. We can't even talk about the most rudimentary parts of this issue with authority.

traderumor
03-03-2012, 01:04 PM
Do you in fact have any information that would allow one to conclude how often a positive test is overturned?

Would a baseball journalist stating FO sources have indicated to him that positive tests have been overturned previously in any way suggest that Braun's case is unique?

Would you disagree that it's not illogical to maintain we don't know and therefore won't make assumptions that would color our opinion of Braun's innocence or guilt?

If any of those questions can't be definitively answered with a yes, then how is it a "lawyer trick"?
Non responsive. When rumors and unnamed sources agree with your conclusions, they matter. Otherwise, how do we know anything? Arguing out of both sides of your mouth. Why I expected you to admit that is my bad.

RANDY IN INDY
03-03-2012, 01:06 PM
Non responsive. When rumors and unnamed sources agree with your conclusions, they matter. Otherwise, how do we know anything? Arguing out of both sides of your mouth. Why I expected you to admit that is my bad.

So very true.

757690
03-03-2012, 01:07 PM
Who is going to go on the record about confidential results? That's been a problem about this story all along. We've gotten the smallest snippets. We think we know things but we don't. We can't even talk about the most rudimentary parts of this issue with authority.

Ummmm, maybe the same person-people who went on the record with nearly every other confidential PED report that has been leaked. ;)

And for the record, I will gladly admit that it is possible that Braun's case was not the first one over turned. I'm just not sure why that is important.

jojo
03-03-2012, 01:12 PM
Non responsive. When rumors and unnamed sources agree with your conclusions, they matter. Otherwise, how do we know anything? Arguing out of both sides of your mouth. Why I expected you to admit that is my bad.

Stop it.

In December we were told in no uncertain terms a positive test means jail. That's it. Nothing else matters. No one wins arbitration.

Kevin Goldstein has indicated multiple sources within FO's have verified to him that is not true. That's interesting.

Forget Goldstein though. Lets assume he was never born. It's very reasonable to maintain that we don't actually know how often positive tests are overturned via arbitration. It's reasonable because that is a statement of fact-we have no data on which to form a conclusion. That is also very consistent with "one side is hesitant to make assumptions while the other side brings some significant assumptions to the issue."

jojo
03-03-2012, 01:14 PM
Ummmm, maybe the same person-people who went on the record with nearly every other confidential PED report that has been leaked. ;)

And for the record, I will gladly admit that it is possible that Braun's case was not the first one over turned. I'm just not sure why that is important.

If the assumption is that testing is infallible, overturned positives would give one cause for pause?

traderumor
03-04-2012, 08:59 AM
Stop it.

In December we were told in no uncertain terms a positive test means jail. That's it. Nothing else matters. No one wins arbitration.

Kevin Goldstein has indicated multiple sources within FO's have verified to him that is not true. That's interesting.

Forget Goldstein though. Lets assume he was never born. It's very reasonable to maintain that we don't actually know how often positive tests are overturned via arbitration. It's reasonable because that is a statement of fact-we have no data on which to form a conclusion. That is also very consistent with "one side is hesitant to make assumptions while the other side brings some significant assumptions to the issue."With all due respect, this is a discussion and I frequently see this in your argumentation, so I think its fair game to note what I perceive as an inconsistency.

Arguments from silence are always shaky ground, and that is what you are arguing here. Relying on a tweet and unnamed sources, again, is shaky ground.

Finally, its a PED discussion, and I recall your position on this board historically favoring players, to a fault.

jojo
03-04-2012, 10:03 AM
With all due respect, this is a discussion and I frequently see this in your argumentation, so I think its fair game to note what I perceive as an inconsistency.

Arguments from silence are always shaky ground, and that is what you are arguing here. Relying on a tweet and unnamed sources, again, is shaky ground.

Finally, its a PED discussion, and I recall your position on this board historically favoring players, to a fault.

As I recall a favorite element in your argumentation is ad hominem attacks, I.e. decries of bias. Btw, stating we actually suffer from a lack of established fact when in fact that is the reality is not an argument from silence. It's pointing to a real weakness in an argument which, BTW is he same weakness that bit those in the backside who claimed game set and match before arbitration.

traderumor
03-04-2012, 10:51 AM
As I recall a favorite element in your argumentation is ad hominem attacks, I.e. decries of bias. Btw, stating we actually suffer from a lack of established fact when in fact that is the reality is not an argument from silence. It's pointing to a real weakness in an argument which, BTW is he same weakness that bit those in the backside who claimed game set and match before arbitration.You had better google what an ad hominem attack is. I did not say you argue in favor of players because you are a Democrat or Republican, or a Ryan Braun fan, or because you use statistical analysis... simply noted that you are historically sympathetic to players in PED discussions. That is relevant in this discussion.

jojo
03-04-2012, 11:23 AM
You had better google what an ad hominem attack is. I did not say you argue in favor of players because you are a Democrat or Republican, or a Ryan Braun fan, or because you use statistical analysis... simply noted that you are historically sympathetic to players in PED discussions. That is relevant in this discussion.

You are claiming that I am biased in favor of players in these types of discussions and it is effecting my ability to formulate a rational argument concerning Braun's case. It obfuscates the legitimate point that we suffer from a lack of necessary information concerning Braun's case. That is textbook ad hominem.

traderumor
03-04-2012, 01:48 PM
You are claiming that I am biased in favor of players in these types of discussions and it is effecting my ability to formulate a rational argument concerning Braun's case. It obfuscates the legitimate point that we suffer from a lack of necessary information concerning Braun's case. That is textbook ad hominem.The point here is more narrow--arguments from silence, to wit, "because there's one successful appeal, there are likely many successful appeals we don't know about." You use a twitter and an unnamed source to support that claim and lower your level of argumentation because it fits your presupposition, which is "PED testing is unfair." That is why I consider your lean relevant and not ad hominem. I do see where you can fit that ad hominem, strictly speaking, but "textbook?" More like perhaps.

I'll let you have the final word, if you feel its necessary. You can even say you won the day if it will end the one armed rowing we are currently engaging in.

jojo
03-04-2012, 02:33 PM
The point here is more narrow--arguments from silence, to wit, "because there's one successful appeal, there are likely many successful appeals we don't know about." You use a twitter and an unnamed source to support that claim and lower your level of argumentation because it fits your presupposition, which is "PED testing is unfair." That is why I consider your lean relevant and not ad hominem. I do see where you can fit that ad hominem, strictly speaking, but "textbook?" More like perhaps.

I'll let you have the final word, if you feel its necessary. You can even say you won the day if it will end the one armed rowing we are currently engaging in.

I neither think nor have I argued that testing for PEDS is unfair. I do think labeling players as cheaters without proof is unfair and constructing a HOF on inference and supposition is a farce. Much like Bill James, I think the moralizing by sportswriters is mostly a self-aggrandizing attempt to rewrite history.

None of these positions render me incapable of being rational or open minded about Braun. The fact is that I have yet to make up my mind about Braun chosing instead to wait for important, necesary inormation. It's ironic that some would argue that was a sign of bias.

RANDY IN INDY
03-04-2012, 02:39 PM
I neither think nor have I argued that testing for PEDS is unfair. I do think labeling players as cheaters without proof is unfair and constructing a HOF on inference and supposition is a farce. Much like Bill James, I think the moralizing by sportswriters is mostly a self-aggrandizing attempt to rewrite history.

None of these positions render me incapable of being rational or open minded about Braun. The fact is that I have yet to make up my mind about Braun chosing instead to wait for important, necesary information. It's ironic that some would argue that was a sign of bias.

And that is the first time in this thread that I have come to that conclusion by anything that you have said. Now we know! :beerme:

Patrick Bateman
03-04-2012, 03:19 PM
I actually thought jojos stance was perfectly clear. He stated numerous times that in his opinion that there was simply a lack of facts available to arrive at a perfect conclusion.

RANDY IN INDY
03-04-2012, 03:23 PM
Yeah, you're right.

MWM
03-04-2012, 06:05 PM
We go through life making decisions based on imperfect information. If not, no one would ever be fooled.

The difference is in how much we require to make those calls and how much we risk on them.

Exactly. This is what separates those who play in the real world and those who go into academics. Some people never have to actually make a decision and they are usually the most vocal in opposing those who are willing to make a call with imperfect information.

lollipopcurve
03-04-2012, 06:14 PM
This is what separates those who play in the real world and those who go into academics. Some people never have to actually make a decision and they are usually the most vocal in opposing those who are willing to make a call with imperfect information.

I'm not in academics, but these kind of blanket attacks on academics are really troublesome to me. Knowledge is a good thing. Education is a good thing. Think a little bit about the fact that some of the most brutal regimes in history murdered intellectuals, burned books, etc. It's my opinion that those who engage in these kind of attacks are afraid of people having access to information and learning to think for themselves.

MWM
03-04-2012, 06:32 PM
I'm not in academics, but these kind of blanket attacks on academics are really troublesome to me. Knowledge is a good thing. Education is a good thing. Think a little bit about the fact that some of the most brutal regimes in history murdered intellectuals, burned books, etc. It's my opinion that those who engage in these kind of attacks are afraid of people having access to information and learning to think for themselves.

Relax dude, it wasn't an "attack" and I don't need a lecture on society on a baseball board, especially about the ills of ani-intellectualism. Geez, some folks are so incredibly sensitive and are waiting at every turn ready to throw out the attack word. If you knew me at all, you'd understand that learning and academics are very important to me, and I was incredibly close to going that route myself. And anyone who knows me and my personal history would openly laugh at the idea of that last sentence describing me at all. Me being anti-intellectual is a humorous concept. And looking at my post and somehow thinking evil dictatorship murders of intellectuals was relevant...well, I don't really know what to say to that.

My point, that you missed by a country mile, was more about those people who sit on the sidelines without ever having to make a decision of their own criticizing those who have no choice but to have to make judgment calls without perfect information. The real world requires decisions to be made without all the facts. Some people are comfortable with that while others are not. And in my experience, those who never actually have to make tough decisions are the most vocal in criticizing those who do.

jojo
03-04-2012, 06:35 PM
It's a very real world principle that the best decisions are made after gathering all of the facts and making the decision based upon the best information available. That plays in business, academia, the formulation public policy, our personal lives, wherever.... Frankly, I'm not sure how someone could remain in a position that makes decisions for very long if they don't follow that paradigm...

And just for context, there is absolutely no imperative to decide today whether Braun used PEDs or not.

MWM
03-04-2012, 06:46 PM
Personally, I don't have a problem with the decision to overturn the suspension. Whether or not we think he took PEDs is completely irrelevant. The process is put in place to ensure accuracy of results. If the process isn't followed, then the person should not be held accountable. Don't like it, come up with a better process. The slippery slope argument does come into play here, but the scarier application of that principle is in looking the other way when it's not followed because a belief in the guilt of the accused. Someone guilty not being punished is nothing compared to the alternative. It's a much slipperier slope in allowing subjectivity into determining when an agreed upon process can be violated or not.

I haven't read all the details on the science, but if there was in fact synthetic T in his sample, then I'm with those applying occam's razor, the most likely scenario is that he juiced and got away with it on a technicality. But him getting off is not the worse thing in the world. Someone getting punished unfairly is exponentially worse and these types of decisions is what prevents that from happening.

lollipopcurve
03-04-2012, 07:00 PM
double post

lollipopcurve
03-04-2012, 07:00 PM
Relax dude, it wasn't an "attack" and I don't need a lecture on society on a baseball board, especially about the ills of ani-intellectualism. Geez, some folks are so incredibly sensitive and are waiting at every turn ready to throw out the attack word. If you knew me at all, you'd understand that learning and academics are very important to me, and I was incredibly close to going that route myself. And anyone who knows me and my personal history would openly laugh at the idea of that last sentence describing me at all. Me being anti-intellectual is a humorous concept. And looking at my post and somehow thinking evil dictatorship murders of intellectuals was relevant...well, I don't really know what to say to that.

My point, that you missed by a country mile, was more about those people who sit on the sidelines without ever having to make a decision of their own criticizing those who have no choice but to have to make judgment calls without perfect information. The real world requires decisions to be made without all the facts. Some people are comfortable with that while others are not. And in my experience, those who never actually have to make tough decisions are the most vocal in criticizing those who do.

Then, if I read you right, your initial impugning of all of academics was a mistake?

Everyone lives in the real world, so far as I can tell.
__________________

MWM
03-04-2012, 08:45 PM
No, that's not it at all, but I've moved on already.

Scrap Irony
03-04-2012, 10:27 PM
I don't get it either, MWM.

Those in adademia often have to make difficult decisions with only a little information. That's why teaching is oftentimes remarkably difficult.

We don't like doing it, true, because we see the inherent risk close up.

jojo is simply explaining that, because all of the information wasn't out (and isn't yet), there is no need to make any kind of judgment. Or at least to remind all of us that those type of judgments are often risky and open to rebuke later on.

There's really nothing to see here, other than the general sniping typical of posters when jojo enters the conversation.

Brutus
03-05-2012, 05:23 AM
Sniping occurs when a certain person enters? Well I never...

The main point made by most, that no one has been able to remotely refute, is that even if the appeal was justified on a technicality, there's still little to explain away the finding of synthetic testosterone in the sample. The only way to explain it is if you outright believe there was tampering -- an allegation no one has been willing to make. So you don't need all the facts to come up with a conclusion that Braun is *probably* guilty as sin...

GAC
03-05-2012, 06:03 AM
here's still little to explain away the finding of synthetic testosterone in the sample. The only way to explain it is if you outright believe there was tampering -- an allegation no one has been willing to make.

But hasn't Braun, in a "roundabout" way, in his statement, throw out that possibility that the sample(s) were tampered with?

But that's the only question I would like to see answered..... how did the synthetic testosterone get in the sample? It appears MLB is not too concerned about wanting to find that out. Whether it was tampered with or not, shouldn't MLB be attempting to find that out?

Personally, I think he is guilty, MLB knows that too, but the guy got off on a "technicality" concerning protocol, and they aren't going to press it further, but want to put the whole thing behind them with the new season beginning.

LoganBuck
03-05-2012, 08:08 AM
But hasn't Braun, in a "roundabout" way, in his statement, throw out that possibility that the sample(s) were tampered with?

But that's the only question I would like to see answered..... how did the synthetic testosterone get in the sample? It appears MLB is not too concerned about wanting to find that out. Whether it was tampered with or not, shouldn't MLB be attempting to find that out?

Personally, I think he is guilty, MLB knows that too, but the guy got off on a "technicality" concerning protocol, and they aren't going to press it further, but want to put the whole thing behind them with the new season beginning.

The problem is there really isn't a next step. This was the appeal process. It happened, and it appears that if MLB appealed the process they would create a sticky legal situation.

Braun used steriods. His process was not handled "by the book". Therefore he is "not guilty". He is not innocent, or exonerated. It seems pretty clear to me.

Roy Tucker
03-05-2012, 09:09 AM
From the grief from fans and wall-to-wall press coverage that Braun is going to get this year, I think he's going to wish he took the 50 game suspension.

From my internet bulletin board viewpoint where I am just a made-up name and an avatar, I think Occam's razor says his tested positive and got off on a technicality. But by no means will my argument hold up in court or in formal debate. Like most things I say in here, it's just half-baked opinion based on what I had time and inclination to read.

MLB will look at specimen handling protocol and tighten it up so something like this doesn't happen again.

RedsBaron
03-05-2012, 12:06 PM
From my internet bulletin board viewpoint where I am just a made-up name and an avatar, I think Occam's razor says his tested positive and got off on a technicality. But by no means will my argument hold up in court or in formal debate. Like most things I say in here, it's just half-baked opinion based on what I had time and inclination to read.

Yep. :thumbup:
Some fans seem to want no one to express any opinions unless they can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. This isn't a court of law, much less a criminal court.
Most of my litigation work is the defense of civil cases (product liability, contruction matters, personal injury, etc.). It would make my job easier if the plaintiff had to prove his or her claim by the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard used in criminal court, but they don't. They merely need to prove their case by the preponderance of the evidence standard; as any decent plaintiff's lawyer will tell you, that means if the plaintiff's evidence is deemed to outweigh the defendant's evidence by the slightest fraction, then the plaintiff has carreid the burden of proof. In civil rights cases the burden can even shift to the defendant if the plaintiff makes out a prima facie case.
Only in criminal law, where someone's liberty is at stake, do we generally require guilt to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, and properly so.
Braun's liberty wasn't at stake in this matter. If MLB failed to properly safeguard the sample and he got off on a "technicality," so be it. IMO that doesn't mean that fans have to pretend that beyond those few players who have admitted to using PEDS everyone else is clean.
I wouldn't vote to "convict" any player in criminal court unless their guilt was proven beyond a reasonable doubt. That doesn't mean I have to close my eyes to what MLB and the players union allowed to go on between roughly 1995 and recently.

jojo
03-05-2012, 02:27 PM
Yep. :thumbup:
Some fans seem to want no one to express any opinions unless they can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. This isn't a court of law, much less a criminal court.
Most of my litigation work is the defense of civil cases (product liability, contruction matters, personal injury, etc.). It would make my job easier if the plaintiff had to prove his or her claim by the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard used in criminal court, but they don't. They merely need to prove their case by the preponderance of the evidence standard; as any decent plaintiff's lawyer will tell you, that means if the plaintiff's evidence is deemed to outweigh the defendant's evidence by the slightest fraction, then the plaintiff has carreid the burden of proof. In civil rights cases the burden can even shift to the defendant if the plaintiff makes out a prima facie case.
Only in criminal law, where someone's liberty is at stake, do we generally require guilt to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, and properly so.
Braun's liberty wasn't at stake in this matter. If MLB failed to properly safeguard the sample and he got off on a "technicality," so be it. IMO that doesn't mean that fans have to pretend that beyond those few players who have admitted to using PEDS everyone else is clean.
I wouldn't vote to "convict" any player in criminal court unless their guilt was proven beyond a reasonable doubt. That doesn't mean I have to close my eyes to what MLB and the players union allowed to go on between roughly 1995 and recently.

Who has argued others can't express their opinions?

Who has argued that beyond those few players who have admitted to using PEDS everyone else is clean?

Concerning Braun, a fair characterization of the "haven't made up their minds yet crowd" would simply be, "whooaaaa.... since its kind of shocking how little we actually know about this case, how can one be so absolute in a declaration of guilt, especially given those who made absolute declarations in December were proven wrong?"

RedsBaron
03-05-2012, 02:41 PM
I neither think nor have I argued that testing for PEDS is unfair. I do think labeling players as cheaters without proof is unfair and constructing a HOF on inference and supposition is a farce. Much like Bill James, I think the moralizing by sportswriters is mostly a self-aggrandizing attempt to rewrite history.


This is what I disagree with, at least in part. Perhaps it is "unfair" to label players as cheaters without proof beyond a reasonable doubt, but the lack of definitive proof is in part the result of the the players refusing until very recently to allow any meaningful testing for PEDs.
It leaves us with "constructing a HOF" either using evidence that does not pass the beyond the reasonable doubt test and possibly leaving out some players who didn't use PEDs, or inducting pretty much anyone who hasn't confessed to PEDs use and who otherwise has the stats to warrant induction.
Mind you, I do expect that PEDs use eventually will not prevent induction into the HOF. For all I know there have already been PEDs users who have been inducted. I expect that within a few years a critical mass will be reached where numerous players whose stats make them appear to be first ballot, "inner circle" Hall of Famers will still be on the outside looking in and, at that point, a PEDs user will be inducted. With that "loss of virginity" so to speak I expect that the door will then swing open to PEDs users.

757690
03-06-2012, 12:14 AM
Good read about Das the arbitrator in the Braun case. Being a good arbitrator, he of course has not commented on the matter, but the article gives his background, including that he has handled many other drug cases and never ruled for the player before.

http://www.jsonline.com/sports/brewers/curveball-in-braun-case-came-from-fair-man-peers-say-l14djoq-141385803.html