BOB: Ryan Braun wins appealby Brian Borawski
February 29, 2012
Ryan Braun first to win appeal for PED violationRyan Braun became the first player to successfully appeal a violation of MLB's Drug Treatment and Prevention Program. Facing a 50-game suspension, Braun won his appeal in a split decision that determined there was a chain of custody issue related to his drug sample. Unfortunately, it doesn't totally exonerate Braun, but this is an issue where we shouldn't have known anything to begin with because of how the story leaked out.
At this point, conjecture is a matter of opinion. I'm sure people would have liked a cleaner victory where it was found that the positive test was just wrong, but at this point, we're never going to know what really happened. MLB isn't happy, and they said as much, more because of the technical aspect of the appeal than anything. Then again, rules are rules, and Braun followed them in this appeal, and now he gets to play.
Expanded MLB playoff deadline nearsMLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) have to come to an agreement on adding an extra playoff team in each league by March 1 or the new, expanded playoff format won't go into affect until 2013. At issue is the schedule. With both a regular-season and playoff schedule in place, it seems to be hard to find a day where they can have the new wild card play-in game.
Under the new format, both the American League and National Leagues would add a wild card team. Then the two wild card teams would play each other in a one-game playoff to determine who would move on to their respective division series. It'll be interesting to see if the two sides can get this done in time.
And then there were sevenThe group of owners vying for the Los Angeles Dodgers have been whittled down to seven, and now those seven ownership groups will get a look-over by MLB. All seven will get a chance to interview with baseball's ownership committee.
If you click through the link, you can take a look at the list of groups still in the running, but some interesting names were dropped. Former Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley's group was not scheduled for an interview with no explanation, and then the group that included former manager Joe Torre dropped out of the race because the parking lots surrounding the ballpark weren't going to be included in the sale.
The goal is to have the auction completed by April 1. Then the sale needs to be closed by April 30 because that's when current owner Frank McCourt has to pay off his ex-wife, Jamie, as part of their divorce settlement.
Triple-A Baseball teams up with GildanTriple-A Baseball and sportswear company Gildan announced a three-year agreement that will make Gildan an official national sponsor of Triple-A baseball. Gildan will also be the namesake for the Triple-A Baseball National Championship Game, and in 2013 and 2014, Gildan will be a presenting sponsor for the Triple-A All Star Game. The company will get an in-park presence in every Triple-A stadium, and its name will also show up on everything from game programs to ticket stubs.
Mets' owners hearing next week will set stage for trialThe whole legal system can be a little fascinating. By this time next week, we should know what the rules will be related to Mets' owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz's legal battle in relation to the Bernie Madoff scandal. Federal District Court Judge Jed S. Rakoff decided not to rule on motions for summary judgement for both sides last week, and for now we'll have to wait for a hearing this week to determine what exactly is going to happen when the actual trial takes place on March 19.
Both sides are still sticking to their stories. Irving Picard, the trustee in the Madoff scandal, claims that Wilpon and Katz should be on the hook for much more then the $83 million in profits they made because they should have known what Madoff was up to. Wilpon and Katz contend they had no knowledge of what Madoff was doing and shouldn't be held accountable.
It looks like we won't have a resolution when the baseball season starts, so we'll have to see what happens as the court battle progresses.
Brian Borawski is a member of SABR's Business of Baseball Committee and writes about the Detroit Tigers at his own website, TigerBlog. He welcomes comments, questions and suggestions via e-mail.