Thursday, we finally got our answer as to Ryan Braun's fate. Braun's fate: no suspension. Situation normal. He was to face a suspension, but his appeal was successful, so there is no suspension anymore.
Major League Baseball will honor the arbitrator's ruling. However, in its prepared statement, MLB said it "vehemently disagrees with the decision." One expected a response from the MLB offices; one did not expect the response to be so emotional. And mad. MLB conveyed the impression that it was mad.
Now we don't know whether Braun hornswoggled the arbitrator, the system or nobody at all. We won't call him innocent or guilty. We will say, though, that he played by baseball's rules, he followed baseball's procedures, he went through baseball's process, and he was found not guilty.
Thus, it is inconceivably bad form for baseball to scream about the result just because they wanted it to be something else. The process is supposed to be about finding the truth, not getting the desired result. The desired result IS the truth, and baseball's system says Braun didn't do what he was accused of doing. MLB's reaction, though, shows that for it, testing isn't about determining a player's guilt or innocence, it's about nailing guys.
Pretty much. Even if Braun's walking on a technicality, them's the rules. Protocols must be followed. If protocols aren't followed, results are invalidated, and so Ryan Braun's test results are invalid. That's not on Braun, or the arbitrator. That's on the people responsible for handling and testing Braun's sample.
MLB's statement made its position abundantly clear. MLB's statement ignores the reality of what went on.