By Jim Owczarski Sports Editor Published Jul 13, 2013 at 11:57 AM Photography: David Bernacchi

UPDATE: On July 22, nine days after this blog was originally published, Ryan Braun was suspended by Major League Baseball for the remainder of the 2013 regular season for violating the league's Joint Drug Agreement.

There is a saying, "where there’s smoke, there’s fire."

This can apply to a whole bunch of things, but in sports it’s often used in trade talks and performance enhancing drug investigations.

Ryan Braun finds himself shrouded in smoke, thanks to reports about the Florida-based Biogenesis lab that date back to February.

On Friday, ESPN Sports Business Reporter Darren Rovell took to Twitter to push the clouds in a whole new direction:


It’s been about 24 hours since Rovell’s tweets, and there hasn’t been a single follow-up report anywhere reputable that I could find. Now, I’m sure someone, somewhere mentioned that a lifetime ban could happen, so doubt Rovell is making that up – ESPN has allowed the tweets to remain in his timeline, after all – but this is just ridiculous. So much has to happen yet for anyone to be suspended, let alone leaping to a lifetime banishment.

I, too, believe that when there’s smoke, there’s fire. But sometimes, the fire isn’t where you think it is and it’s just someone blowing that smoke in your face.


Jim Owczarski is an award-winning sports journalist and comes to Milwaukee by way of the Chicago Sun-Times Media Network.

A three-year Wisconsin resident who has considered Milwaukee a second home for the better part of seven years, he brings to the market experience covering nearly all major and college sports.

To this point in his career, he has been awarded six national Associated Press Sports Editors awards for investigative reporting, feature writing, breaking news and projects. He is also a four-time nominee for the prestigious Peter J. Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism, presented by the Chicago Headline Club, and is a two-time winner for Best Sports Story. He has also won numerous other Illinois Press Association, Illinois Associated Press and Northern Illinois Newspaper Association awards.

Jim's career started in earnest as a North Central College (Naperville, Ill.) senior in 2002 when he received a Richter Fellowship to cover the Chicago White Sox in spring training. He was hired by the Naperville Sun in 2003 and moved on to the Aurora Beacon News in 2007 before joining

In that time, he has covered the events, news and personalities that make up the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Hockey League, NCAA football, baseball and men's and women's basketball as well as boxing, mixed martial arts and various U.S. Olympic teams.

Golf aficionados who venture into Illinois have also read Jim in GOLF Chicago Magazine as well as the Chicago District Golfer and Illinois Golfer magazines.