Over the days since it was revealed that arbitrator Shyam Das was the deciding vote overturning Ryan Braun’s suspsension for an alleged positive test, many words have been written about this ruling, about Braun, and about the process.
Perhaps the most curious of all these pieces is one posted by Tommy Craggs at Deadspin, in which he claims that Das was concerned “about his own future”:
But put yourself in Das’s position last week. If he rules against the players, the union will almost certainly fire him. But a ruling against the league? Maybe, with his history, MLB will give him a pass. And if it doesn’t—and I’m guessing now that it won’t—Das will at least leave the job having balanced out the scales a little. Nobody wants to hire an arbitrator who looks like a management stooge. If ever there were a case for Das to throw to the players, it was this one.
I don’t really even know where to begin with this. It would appear to be completely unethical, if that had been the arbitrator’s thinking. Craggs writes:
we don’t know what was going through Das’s mind, and we probably never will
Ah, but Craig Calcaterra, in reviewing Craggs’ piece, says that might not be the case:
We’re going to get Das’ reasoning, by the way, within a few weeks, so we’ll be able to judge that for ourselves. Until then, I’m loathe to accuse this man of violating ethical considerations in reaching the decision he reached.
I’d agree with that. The Deadspin article appears to be going out on a very long limb. There may be many things about the Braun case that we do not yet know.