Commissioner Bud Selig has done so much for Major League Baseball that he ultimately may end up in Cooperstown.
Still, I would be shocked if he is not conducting a major review of his office's operating procedures from top to bottom in the aftermath of the Ryan Braun debacle.
And a debacle it is.
The first outrage, of course, was that the results of Braun's first test for performance-enhancing drugs were leaked. The public should never have even known that he had tested positive in that first test. Period. If the leak came from MLB or one of its vendors, it was was an outright violation of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).
Braun denied ever taking the PEDs. The case lingered on for weeks.
Braun's appeal went to a three-person panel that included a representative from Major League Baseball, a representative from the Major League Baseball Players Association (the players' union) and Shyam Das, a presumably independent arbitrator.
Not surprisingly, the MLB and the union representatives disagreed about Braun's appeal, with MLB rep voting against Braun, and the union rep voting for Braun, leaving the arbitrator to decide the case.
The arbitrator sided with Braun, and the appeal of Braun's suspension was upheld.
Case over, right? Braun is exonerated, right?
You'd think so. But then MLB Executive Vice President for Labor Relations Rob Manfred issued the following statement: "Major League Baseball considers the obligations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program essential to the integrity of our game, our clubs and all of the players who take the field. It has always been Major League Baseball's position that no matter who tests positive, we will exhaust all avenues in pursuit of the appropriate discipline. We have been true to that position in every instance, because baseball fans deserve nothing less. As a part of our drug testing program, the Commissioner's Office and the Players Association agreed to a neutral third party r…Read more...