Ryan Braun won the appeal of his drug suspension. I’ll let the reaction of Hardball Talk’s Craig Calcaterra stand in for mine.
In almost all cases, the people who say that someone “got off on a technicality” or took advantage of a “loophole” really mean “I think the SOB was guilty and because of that I don’t care if the proper safeguards and protocols were followed!” It’s a ridiculous stance.
Ridiculous because procedures such as chain of custody and the proper handling of samples — which were not followed in Braun’s case — exist for a reason. That reason is not, contrary to popular grunting, to make it harder for decent prosecutors or authorities to do their jobs. It’s to ensure the integrity of the system. And, in this case, the integrity of the sample. Every detail that is not adhered to presents another opportunity for a sample to be tainted, lost or otherwise compromised. When that happens the test itself is, by definition, unreliable and any reference to what it may or may not have shown is utterly beside the point. …
There’s more in Calcaterra’s post, one I urge you to read in its entirety. Between this chain-of-custody failure and the missing staple that was key to the McCourt divorce case, baseball appears to be ripping off Law and Order plot devices.
I’d like to think this will end the talk that there should be a re-vote of the National League Most Valuable Player award, but perhaps that’s still too optimistic.
* * *
Jerry Sands provided a lot of good copy for Dodger beat writers today, as these stories from Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A and Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com show.
The bulk of it consisted of fun anecdotes about Sands working as a substitute teacher over the winter, but my favorite part was this, from Stephen:
… Sands got married on November 19, then spent a month in the Dominican Republic, hitting .250/.325/.375 in 20 games with the Tigres de Licey in winter league ball, where he was teammates with 40-year old former Dodgers pitcher and water cooler destroyer Carlos Perez.
Sands said Perez was in something like his 20th year in the Dominican Winter League, and joked that management said of the pitcher, “We keep telling him not to come back, but every year he keeps showing up in the clubhouse.” …
* * *
The Dodgers had a few roster moves today.
They claimed 26-year-old outfielder Matt Angle off waivers from Baltimore. Angle had a .599 OPS in 95 plate appearances for the Orioles in 2011 and a .692 OPS in Triple-A, his skills mainly being incredible basestealing ability (38 for 42 at the two levels combined) and defense. Mike Petriello of Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness has more on Angle, who is on the 40-man roster but will begin the season in the minors.
Rubby De La Rosa was placed on the 60-day disabled list to make room for Angle.
Also, righty reliever Jose Ascanio failed his physical and won’t participate in Spring Training for the Dodgers. has left Dodger camp after failing his physical on Tuesday. From the Dodger Thoughts 2012 Spring Training Primer:
The 26-year-old allowed five runs on 12 baserunners in 6 1/3 innings for Pittsburgh last year and has a career 5.28 ERA in 46 MLB innings. However, he did strike out 50 in 44 innings for Triple-A Indianapolis in his first significant action since recovering from late-2009 shoulder surgery. So he sounds qualified for an Albuquerque stint.
* * *
- Arizona offered Hiroki Kuroda $13 million for 2012, $3 million more than the contract he signed with the Yankees, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
- Ernest Reyes of Blue Heaven posted a bevy of vintage Dodger photos available at Legendary Auctions.
- EAS Sports Nutrition has a contest that will provide the winner and a friend airfare to Phoenix, hotel, rental car and tickets for two Spring Training games over the March 16-18 weekend.