MLB 2012 - Spring Training

02/21/2012 2:35 pm
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The offseason was getting a little long. Pitchers and Catchers have reported. Let's move along.
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/21/2012 @ 03:06:57 PM
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The Brewers have their entire 5 man rotation returning this year. In theory, that should be a good thing, since their pitching was certainly a strong suit last year. Well, it was solid. That and with Axford and KRod in the back end of the bullpen, the Brewers have essentially turned every game into a 7 inning affair. I don't know the exact stat, but after the Brewers got KRod last year, I don't think they lost a game that they lead after 7 innings.
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Scott messed with this at 02/21/2012 3:13:09 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - Always thinking of, but never about, the children.
02/21/2012 @ 11:44:29 PM
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You have to think that if it's ever going to be the Cub's year, this is the year, right? Feilder and Pujols out of the division, and Braun most likely out 30% of the season, new GM, etc.

Though from a quick lookup, it doesn't seem they're going very "all in" on the year. Maybe the Astros will go out with a bang.
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scott.jpgScott - If you aren't enough without it, you'll never be enough with it.
02/22/2012 @ 07:45:24 AM
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I hear the Cubs new manager is a bum.
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matt.jpgMatt - 2953 Posts
02/22/2012 @ 07:22:24 PM
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I'd still put the Cardinals as the favorites, even without Pujols. The Cubs suck and seem to be in a bit of a rebuilding mode (though I don't pay much attention anymore, so I may be wrong). I kind of hope, though, that this will be the year the Pirates finally breakthrough.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/23/2012 @ 04:18:43 PM
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Braun win's his appeal!!!!!!emoticonemoticonemoticonemoticonemoticonemoticonemoticon
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
02/23/2012 @ 04:22:18 PM
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Figures. Can MLB appeal the appeal? Cause apparently they think the ruling is bunk.
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scott.jpgScott - Ma'am, can you make sure your computer is turned on?
02/23/2012 @ 04:29:13 PM
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There's nothing more entertaining than hearing commentators comment on "details" of the decision when there are actually no details regarding the decision.

Tweet by Brewers Beat Writer, Adam McCalvy: "Interesting part of Braun verdict: Had confidentiality not been breached, no one but Braun & MLB would have known about original test."
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/23/2012 @ 04:32:30 PM
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statement by Braun:
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Scott screwed with this at 02/23/2012 4:33:47 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/23/2012 @ 04:36:12 PM
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The Brewers are back on track now and I think they have to be considered the favorite in the central again. #vindicated
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
02/23/2012 @ 04:38:10 PM
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Vindicated on a technicality, as far as anyone can tell.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/23/2012 @ 04:42:07 PM
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as far as I know, he's a free man.

I find I’m so excited I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it’s the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. --Ryan Braun*


*I can't confirm that Ryan Braun actually uttered these words.
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Scott screwed with this at 02/23/2012 4:42:42 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/23/2012 @ 04:45:59 PM
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Now the real investigation can commence to put the leakers in prison. Because technicality or not, there would be NO knowledge of this without that criminal act. And because of that act, Braun's career is now forever linked to this.
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Scott edited this at 02/23/2012 4:47:16 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
02/23/2012 @ 05:07:30 PM
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"Appears Brauns team won because a courier didn't take positive test to fed ex building thought it was closed Saturday night"

Cheaters sometimes win. emoticonemoticon
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scott.jpgScott - If you aren't enough without it, you'll never be enough with it.
02/23/2012 @ 05:11:46 PM
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By cheater, you are referring to the courier, right? Because he clearly lost.

I saw that courier thing on ESPN. Even if that is true, if the players have to follow the rules then so do the testers. If the player can be punished for breaking the rules, the same standard should be applied to those determining their fate.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - I believe virtually everything I read.
02/23/2012 @ 05:15:39 PM
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Come on now. Just admit that even as far as "getting off on a lame technicality" goes that's getting off on a lame technicality, so we can move along. emoticon (Assuming of course that it's true, and all it was.)
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Jeremy perfected this 2 times, last at 02/23/2012 5:18:19 pm
scott.jpgScott - No, I did not change your screen saver settings
02/23/2012 @ 05:20:13 PM
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Concede nothing!

What if the sample is time sensitive? What if by having the sample sit in his car over night caused the contents of the sample to change their state? I'll wait for more details before I speculate on this stuff; I've done enough of that. We still have no clue if the whole STD thing is even true. That's what's so funny about this case. Me included, we've talked about this more than Nancy grace talks about Whitney Houston being murdered, and the amount of information we officially know about the case is equivalent the period at the end of this sentence.
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Scott messed with this at 02/23/2012 5:20:59 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - Broadcast in stunning 1080i
02/23/2012 @ 05:21:32 PM
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Well, if any of those things were true they'd be their own reason.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/23/2012 @ 05:23:40 PM
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here's how it could go
"the sample was mishandled"
"how was it mishandled?"
"well, the courier left it in his car overnight"
"so"
"well, we don't know how that could have affected the contents and the integrity of the sample"
"ok, so the reason we'll leak to the press is that the courier left it in his car overnight"
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scott.jpgScott - No, I did not change your screen saver settings
02/23/2012 @ 05:26:04 PM
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stop making me speculate! you know I have no self control!
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/23/2012 @ 05:31:25 PM
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Although hearing tweets from other legitimate writers now that the courier story might hold some water.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
02/23/2012 @ 05:35:53 PM
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Right, but if the only violation was that buried in the specs there's "Tests should be dropped off for delivery on the same day, unless the delivery facility is closed" and they argued that "thinking it's closed" isn't good enough and took what was only indented as a guideline and not a "rule" too far, that's lame.

If there's an actual valid reason, then so be it, but seeing as how "proper handling" was that the courier was supposed to drop the sample off at a freaking FedEx/Kinkos sat night, for them to sit until monday morning in there, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that neither a few hours here or there, or "how" they're treated, are really terribly vital to the process.
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Jeremy screwed with this 2 times, last at 02/23/2012 5:39:24 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - Always thinking of, but never about, the children.
02/23/2012 @ 05:38:08 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 04:22:18 PM
Figures. Can MLB appeal the appeal? Cause apparently they think the ruling is bunk.


Rumor has it they are indeed seeing what other recourse they have.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/23/2012 @ 05:44:10 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 05:38:08 PM
Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 04:22:18 PM
Figures. Can MLB appeal the appeal? Cause apparently they think the ruling is bunk.


Rumor has it they are indeed seeing what other recourse they have.


Of course, leaking confidential information didn't hurt the integrity of the testing policy enough, I'm sure changing the rules on the spot because MLB didn't like how their system worked once would be a much better course.
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hoochpage.JPGSarah - So's your face
02/23/2012 @ 06:06:54 PM
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That's some weak sauce.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/23/2012 @ 08:42:11 PM
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Brewers Player rep, Chris Narveson, weighs in on the courier report.

“If somebody mishandles a sample, that’s not just a technicality, that’s an error,” Narveson said. “I don’t know all of the details so I don’t want to comment too much. Put it this way: This isn’t the first time we’ve had issues with the people [in charge of testing] in Milwaukee. There have been other issues with timing.”

He added: “I would hope it forces stricter operating procedure. I said that even before the Braun situation in Milwaukee. It’s a matter of doing things the right way. It just takes one person who has an ulterior motive to mess things up.
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2887.gifAlex - I was too weak to give in Too strong to lose
02/23/2012 @ 09:34:50 PM
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Could I interest anyone in a jump to conclusions mat?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxuTyXQHqkI
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/24/2012 @ 08:32:51 AM
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Ultimately, the decision seems more like a court case where the only relevant piece of evidence is thrown out as inadmissable, and insodoing, the case gets thrown out and the charges are dropped. That should be how it's viewed by the public.

For all we know as well, maybe Braun is innocent, but the only legal recourse they had was to win on the chain of custody angle. What some people have said is that all sides can essentially go back to thinking what they've already thought from day 1. the haters can hate, the supporters can support, because nothing was necessarily decided. Unless we find out definitively that the samples were tampered with and/or mixed up, we'll never know. Side A can't say with certainty that he cheated, and side B can't say with certainty that he didn't. Both sides are right and wrong.
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Scott screwed with this at 02/24/2012 9:06:38 am
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
02/24/2012 @ 09:15:44 AM
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I agree, that IS how it should be viewed by the public. It, however, is not. Braun wasn't "vindicated" here. He wasn't proven to have NOT in fact failed the test. The test was dismissed on the technicality of all technicalities. The fact that he actually failed it, for whatever reason that was, is still almost certainly true.

If Braun were on trial for murdering some guy he was seen arguing with earlier outside a strip club this wouldn't be "we arrested some teenagers who enjoyed filming their killing spree, and the victim in question was on it, you're free to go." This would be "one of the cops on the scene told an anti-jewish joke at a Christmas party 4 years earlier.....so 'who knows' what he could have theoretically done, even though we have no specific reason to think he did anything we're determining the gun he found with your fingerprints on it is inadmissible, since that was the key piece of evidence you're free to go."

This verdict doesn't have to change what people THINK he did anymore than the OJ verdict, or the Casey Anthony verdict, because it's a difference between what likely happened and what could legally be shown to happen, with all the pitfalls and technicalities that come with that.
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Jeremy perfected this 2 times, last at 02/24/2012 9:19:43 am
scott.jpgScott - If you aren't enough without it, you'll never be enough with it.
02/24/2012 @ 09:20:28 AM
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The chain of custody is there to protect the process from tampering. Maybe this time nothing happened to the samples because the courier was too darn lazy to do his job on a saturday night. But like Chris Narveson said, it only takes one person with an ulterior motive to take it one step further the next time. The chain of command as written in the MLB drug policy document is extremely detailed on what the "collector" is to do.

Your analogy is really lame this time. Worse than usual.
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Scott screwed with this at 02/24/2012 9:22:15 am
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - I believe virtually everything I read.
02/24/2012 @ 09:24:13 AM
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You could say that EVERY time though. They could tamper with it EVERY time. EVERY time it "only takes one person". His point is ridiculous. Why have drug testing at all then?

And I disagree, the analogy is apt. The point is no one determined "you didn't do this". It might be the case he didn't either way, of course, but that doesn't make the ruling something it wasn't.
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Jeremy edited this at 02/24/2012 9:26:43 am
scott.jpgScott - No, I did not change your screen saver settings
02/24/2012 @ 09:26:02 AM
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It's more like "the cop took the gun home with him and put it in his refigerator because he wasn't sure if the evidence locker was open even though it was but he was just too lazy to call and check and then kept the gun at his house for the weekend where his kids may have had access to it"

Obviously you can't safeguard against EVERY SINGLE possibility of tampering, but that's why the instructions are so explicit. The rules were broken, the chain of custody was broken. The a reasonable safeguard that they do have in place was violated.
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Scott messed with this at 02/24/2012 9:26:39 am
scott.jpgScott - On your mark...get set...Terrible!
02/24/2012 @ 09:27:56 AM
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He could have returned the sample to the lab that he took it from, he could have actually called the fedex location. The point is that while you can't prevent tampering 100% of the time, the policy is in place to put reasonable safeguards in place where possible. Those policies were violated.
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scott.jpgScott - On your mark...get set...Terrible!
02/24/2012 @ 09:30:56 AM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 09:24:13 AM
The point is no one determined "you didn't do this". It might be the case he didn't either way, of course, but that doesn't make the ruling something it wasn't.


I'm not saying the ruling is something it isn't. The ruling was essentially "the evidence is inadmissible because the rules governing how it is handled have been violated".
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Scott edited this at 02/24/2012 9:33:19 am
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/24/2012 @ 09:37:57 AM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 09:30:56 AM
Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 09:24:13 AM
The point is no one determined "you didn't do this". It might be the case he didn't either way, of course, but that doesn't make the ruling something it wasn't.


I'm not saying the ruling is something it isn't. The ruling was essentially "the evidence is inadmissible because the rules* governing how it is handled have been violated".


*rules that protect the integrity of the system.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Robots don't say 'ye'
02/24/2012 @ 09:42:27 AM
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Right. I get that the chain of custody is spelled out, and this may have even been a justifiable example, even then it's probably the case, however, of Braun being extremely fortunate that his lawyers uncovered a probably insignificant, but technically correct violation that got a test he STILL failed dismissed.

There, of course, are valid reasons for tossing out evidence, and there of course should be. The point is even if this one is "right" it's a "gotcha" more than it is an obvious reason. If it wasn't labeled and there were 20 samples in the fridge and the guy just "remembered" "I put Braun's on the far right" that would be different.

EVEN IF this was a 100% technically correct violation of the chain of custody rules Braun still dodged the bullet on a technicality, just like everyone said he would have to. He got lucky someone else screwed up, even though that screw up probably didn't mean anything, especially since this was either phase 1 or 2 of the test, so he outright failed the other one, and that he almost certainly still actually failed the test in question.

Again, I say to you, just admit this, and we can move on. emoticonemoticon
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Jeremy perfected this at 02/24/2012 9:42:48 am
jeremy.jpgJeremy - I hate our freedoms
02/24/2012 @ 09:47:13 AM
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It should be noted that the courier taking samples home is normal, and happens frequently. The only "clear" violation here is that the document says that he's to take it to Fed Ex the same day, if possible, and it turns out it was technically possible.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Pie Racist
02/24/2012 @ 09:49:51 AM
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Sources told Quinn and Fainaru-Wada the seals were totally intact and testing never reflected any degradation of the sample. Based on the World Anti-Doping Agency code, this is exactly what would have been expected to happen, and the collector took the proper action, the source said.

The source also noted that synthetic testosterone doesn't show up just because a sample sits in one place or another.

Travis Tygart, chief executive officer of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, called the decision "a real gut-kick to clean athletes."

"To have this sort of technicality of all technicalities let a player off ... it's just a sad day for all the clean players and those that abide by the rules within professional baseball," he said.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
02/24/2012 @ 09:54:02 AM
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http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=AnuVWmERre.0UiADOuu8wIE5nYcB?slug=jp-passan_ryan_braun_appeal_drug_program_selig_022312
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/24/2012 @ 09:54:37 AM
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as a NutCan colleague of mine once said "Dem's the rules" emoticon
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Scott screwed with this at 02/24/2012 9:57:58 am
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/24/2012 @ 09:59:33 AM
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...baseball cannot recognize him as a PED user.


But like a mentioned before, maybe he got off on the technicality. But maybe the technicality was the only way to let an innocent man go free. Like in a murder case when the accused is innocent but the only way to actually get the guy acquitted is to prove something else that makes the case itself come into question. He's just a simple man trying to combat a terrible disease, right?
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Scott screwed with this at 02/24/2012 10:02:51 am
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
02/24/2012 @ 10:02:40 AM
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Well, right, "winning" the appeal means he can't be suspended. That wasn't really the take home message of the article.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/24/2012 @ 10:06:21 AM
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That's what I took home! Took it to the bank, took it to bed! I don't know if I've ever looked forward to a press conference much more than Braun's today at noon. The thing is now he doesn't "have to" answer the questions. But I really hope he does. There certainly is a lot of speculation that will linger forever if he chooses to play coy now that ruling has cleared* him.

*cleared, in this case, refers to major league baseball. It does not assume the court of public opinion has cleared him.
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Scott messed with this 2 times, last at 02/24/2012 10:11:46 am
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
02/24/2012 @ 10:16:22 AM
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And I agree that Braun could be innocent, or "mostly" innocent (as in it was inadvertent, only even then it's only fair to send him up the same flagpole anyone else would be.) and that perhaps the situation is "too" stacked against the player. I think people would counter that this is the case because the process is, barring something disastrous, pretty airtight.

It's a tough call on whether or not, in principle, Braun should be suspended if, say, if was just his herpes meds. (I should point out that everyone giving him the "benefit of the doubt" on actual PEDs really doesn't have much basis to either, and even if it's herpes meds, the point is that increasing testosterone IS itself performance enhancing, not just some traceable side effect, so even if accidental, he WAS doing it.)

On one hand coming down so hard on a mistake isn't in the spirit of the rule. On the other, it would happen to any other person, so it's only fair.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/24/2012 @ 10:16:41 AM
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and Braun's reaction and handling has not been consistent with some of the high profile steriod cases, indicating that maybe he really innocent:
"I got my drugs from tejada"-Palmeiro
"I'm not here to talk about the past"-McGwire
"I forgot how to speak english"-sosa
"I'm just being me"-manny
"i misremembered"-Clemens
"I was young and stupid"-ARod
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/24/2012 @ 11:14:44 AM
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I do feel that to a certain degree at some point Braun deserves SOME benefit of the doubt here. If the MLB systems is messed up, don't blame Braun for it. He has been dragged through the mud for the past 2 months and the whole time has handled it with grace and class. To some small degree, Braun deserves some respect for how he has handled this whole thing, when no other player has had to go through such public scrutiny for this length of time for this process. He was trashed from the very first day the report came out, and had to endure 2 months of it without being able to say hardly anything.
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Scott messed with this at 02/24/2012 11:15:06 am
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
02/24/2012 @ 11:54:12 AM
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It would be interesting to be able to know what the ruling would have been if there was no leak. If "he's been punished enough/got a bum rap here" was any sort of factor, better to be a "victim" for 2 months (it's not like it changes the failed test, after all) than actually suspended.

[ conspiracy hat ]

Hell, for all we know the leak was a calculated move from Braun's camp in an attempt to undermine the integrity of the testing process, considering undermining that process was their only play. All the leak did was advance what the public was almost certainly going to find out anyway a couple months, as well as garner him sympathy over what now looked like a screw job, and let him get out ahead of it a bit. It would actually probably be a pretty good move by the people that eventually brought us "Braun didn't cheat because FedEx is actually open until 6:30, and not 6"

[ /conspracy hat]
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Jeremy perfected this 2 times, last at 02/24/2012 11:58:26 am
scott.jpgScott - Resident Tech Support
02/24/2012 @ 11:57:57 AM
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Regarding your first statement, I would say right, except that had it not been leaked and he still proceeded to win the appeal, we would never know about the "technicality" since there would have been no anouncement from the league. They would only have announced it if Braun lost.

to which I say I understand that your point was "what would have happened if the leak never happened".
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Scott edited this at 02/24/2012 11:59:50 am
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
02/24/2012 @ 11:59:40 AM
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But losing is a fairly foregone conclusion. He is, after all, the first one ever to win. It's a calculated risk, obviously.
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Jeremy screwed with this at 02/24/2012 12:00:29 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/24/2012 @ 12:00:35 PM
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"that we know of..."emoticon

Oh, and I wasn't addressing your conspracy hat comment. I'll let that sit.
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Scott messed with this at 02/24/2012 12:01:14 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - No one's gay for Moleman
02/24/2012 @ 12:02:44 PM
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No one has ever won the arbitration before.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/24/2012 @ 12:04:01 PM
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no major league player has (according to sources with knowledge of the situation). There are some cases of minor league players that have won.
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Scott perfected this at 02/24/2012 12:04:48 pm
scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
02/24/2012 @ 12:06:17 PM
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braun said he never had an std.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - The pig says "My wife is a slut?"
02/24/2012 @ 12:06:46 PM
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The circumstances there were a bit different. As far as I can tell the split samples conflicted. (Which makes you wonder why he had to appeal at all.)

More importantly to this line of discussion, we know about it anyway.
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Jeremy screwed with this at 02/24/2012 12:07:17 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/24/2012 @ 12:09:04 PM
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Braun does make a compelling case. I'm listening to the presser right now. Makes you think that there actually was something wrong with the sample, that maybe the sample wasn't actually his.
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scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
02/24/2012 @ 12:12:02 PM
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there were 5 fedex locations near the stadium that were opened until 9pm, and braun gave the sample at 4:30 before the game that day.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/24/2012 @ 12:13:52 PM
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it sounds like the chain of custody was broken right from the very start. The chain of custody and the story braun is telling now sounds like it is extremely critical to this case, not just a technicality.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
02/24/2012 @ 12:16:51 PM
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As far as I know, they watch the container get sealed, they sign off on it, possibly even literally. The seals were intact when it got to the other end.

Again, I'm trying hard not to come off like I "want" Braun to be guilty, but what exactly would you expect someone who WAS guilty to say? "I beat the rap suckers!! Hart and I juiced up big time just before the game!"

"Maybe the sample wasn't mine" is actually a pretty lame ass speculation.

There could be 900 FedEx's open 24 hours, across from Miller Park. It's a lame technicality. Please, just stop it now.

If there was a critical error, than they wouldn't have needed to use the "it says "same day if possible", and it was technically possible" loophole.

Again, HE KNOWS this DOESN'T clear his name. He could be telling the truth, of course, but you're ignoring that "covering my ass" would sound exactly the same.
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Jeremy screwed with this at 02/24/2012 12:18:25 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/24/2012 @ 12:19:45 PM
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maybe it would, maybe it wouldn't. It's hard to believe I guy would go into so much detail about a scenario knowing that he was bs-ing the whole thing.

If it's true, it is a vitally important breach of protocol.
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Scott screwed with this 2 times, last at 02/24/2012 12:20:48 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/24/2012 @ 12:27:12 PM
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Braun made a good point. Until the sample gets to Fedex, there are two people on the planet that knows who's sample it is, Braun and that courier. That's why the process is so explicit. There was a 44 hour breach of protocol. So the guy didn't get it out saturday night when he should have? Why then did he wait until 1:00 the next day?

Braun apparently asked someone involved in the lab aspect of it how easy it would be for someone to tamper with a sample, the sources response "wit the right motivation, it would be very easy".
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/24/2012 @ 12:35:26 PM
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Well, after hearing Braun's presser, I feel like I can rightfully believe him with a clean conscience. He's clean in my book. (and trust me, I was in full denial mode until he spoke. I was only "not conceding" your technicality point because I didn't want to believe it. Braun's case seems much more complex now than simply, "some guy took just a little too long to do his job").
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Broadcast in stunning 1080i
02/24/2012 @ 12:43:32 PM
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As far as I can tell from the presser highlights the closest he came to actually addressing anything was when he said "We spoke to biochemists and scients, and asked them how difficult it would be for someone to taint the sample. They said, if they were motivated, it would be extremely easy."

So basically, since it would be theoretically possible for someone that had it in for him (or any player) to taint a sample (even though the original sample is immediately divided, and tamper proof sealed in front of the player, partially to avoid that possibility either purposefully or accidentally, unless of course it was a coordinated effort for both ends to taint the sample the same way to stick it to Braun (or any player)) that's reason enough to doubt these (or any) results (ever).

That's pretty weak. Both in Occam's razor explanatory power and in that is call into question quite a few people's integrity.

There was no 44 hour "breach" in anything. That's kind of the point in the outrage over it. Braun's sample was cared for the same way every other sample taken too late to be sent that day by a person who knows what to do with them. If you torture the language, you get a loophole, because it wasn't "too late" (but no harm implicitly came by not sending it) but the "amount" of time was no part of it. (Which again, at best only dismisses, not invalidates, the results of the test, so that's not much of a "set the story straight" statement anyway.)

An innocent person might indeed not have much by way of explanation if they're just in the wrong place at the wrong time. But nothing he said that I've read should be touted as any kind of explanation, it's just as much hearsay, excuses, and wild speculation on what "could" have happened, which could have been applied to every failed test ever, as on this website, which would sound exactly the same from a guilty person.
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Jeremy messed with this 2 times, last at 02/24/2012 12:45:53 pm
scott.jpgScott - Ma'am, can you make sure your computer is turned on?
02/24/2012 @ 12:47:10 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 12:43:32 PM
even though the original sample is immediately divided


Do we know this is the case? Or is it divided once it gets to the lab in Montreal?
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Scott screwed with this at 02/24/2012 12:47:35 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
02/24/2012 @ 12:47:56 PM
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And of course there isn't really anything Braun could do to "prove" he's innocent, which is why it's such a shame if he is.

I guess I just don't understand what you expected him to say about it, or would expect him to say if he knowingly took a PED.
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Jeremy screwed with this 2 times, last at 02/24/2012 12:49:19 pm
scott.jpgScott - Resident Tech Support
02/24/2012 @ 12:51:27 PM
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Well, if he was covering his ass, I wouldn't have expected such emotion, such certainty, such detail. If he really knew he was guilty, I would have expected him to be as vague as possible in order to avoid the "thou hast testified too much". He didn't make excuses, he didn't attack anyone. Guilty usually makes itself more obvious than that, in my opinion.

What I wanted to hear was the details of the case (finally), since everything we had heard until yesterday evening was mostly made up. The fact that he went so detailed told me A) the details I was looking for, and B)that there seems to be a reasonable possibility that the process wasn't handled correctly.
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Scott messed with this at 02/24/2012 12:53:07 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/24/2012 @ 12:57:45 PM
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Guys who are guilty also say "no comment" a lot more than Braun did.
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matt.jpgMatt - 2953 Posts
02/24/2012 @ 03:11:23 PM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 10:16:41 AM
and Braun's reaction and handling has not been consistent with some of the high profile steriod cases, indicating that maybe he really innocent:
"I got my drugs from tejada"-Palmeiro
"I'm not here to talk about the past"-McGwire
"I forgot how to speak english"-sosa
"I'm just being me"-manny
"i misremembered"-Clemens
"I was young and stupid"-ARod


"That wasn't my pee, and if it was it was contaminated" - Ryan Braun*

Seems somewhat consistent to me.

*I didn't see his press conference, but from what I can tell, this is basically his argument.
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scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
02/24/2012 @ 03:18:29 PM
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If anything, this decision makes the appeals process more legitimate now. I mean, how realistic is an appeals process if players have a 100% fail rate.

Re: Matt
The press conference was more "I didn't do it, and here's an extremely detailed (down to the minute) description of what transpired that legimately calls the test into question". Braun then jumped to a few conclusions that could be surmised from this information, which is obviously speculation on his part as well, but the conclusions weren't necessarily the point.
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Scott messed with this 2 times, last at 02/24/2012 3:19:10 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/24/2012 @ 03:24:08 PM
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Couple all of the facts I've presented with the fact that the test was 4 times higher P/E ratio than any test in baseball EVER, and suddenly Braun's story starts to seem more and more legitimate. There is certainly a reasonable doubt about the validity of the test: (courier held the sample for 2 days longer than he was supposed to, test revealed 4 times the level of the highest level ever recorded, defendent never failed test before, defendent passed subsequent drug test). This isn't an argument that he's innocent, it's an argument that there is a reasonable doubt for acquital.
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thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - 2953 Posts
02/24/2012 @ 04:18:10 PM
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From what I can gather, he still hasn't shown any proof or alternate reason why his results were what they were, other than it was contaminated somehow. Now it's certainly possible it was contaminated, but with the info at hand right now, it seems to me to be fairly implausible.

Yeah there are weird aspects of this case, but there are weird aspects of every case (that's how conspiracy theories thrive). I haven't seen any arguments or reasoning, however, that these things should invalidate the result (they may be out there and unknown to us, but I can only go by what I know now).

The only thing that is out there is that the courier didn't ship the sample the same day. This is allowed though when it isn't possible to ship the sample right away, so there is nothing inherently damaging about that as it relates to the integrity of the sample. Further experts have said that there was not evidence of this affecting the sample anyway.

Could it have been tampered with while waiting for shipment? Yeah, but there was no evidence of that and all the seals and safeguards were still in place. Plus, if the guy wanted to screw with the sample, he could have done that with or without the extra day or two.

The bottom line is that Braun got off on a letter of the law technicality that does nothing to refute the actual results of the test. So, unless I hear new facts to the contrary, this ruling does nothing to persuade me that he didn't violate the ban on performance enhancing substances (whether he did this intentionally or not is another question). In fact, if anything, this makes it seem more likely that the positive result was correct since the only argument they seemed to make was that the courier didn't ship the sample as fast as possible.
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Matt edited this 3 times, last at 02/24/2012 4:19:56 pm
scott.jpgScott - You're going to have to call your hardware guy. It's not a software issue.
02/24/2012 @ 05:27:18 PM
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So guilty until proven innocent then. Braun's real problem is that you can't prove you didn't do something. It's impossible. So even if the test is completely bogus, the fact that he can't produce evidence of himself not ingesting something leaves him with having to hunt for other methods of acquitting himself, since he is innocent and it is all just a big foul up.

I just haven't seen a player so adamantly deny it, and to such detail no less.

And since players are held to an insanely strict "letter of the law" standard, why wouldn't the other parties involved be responsible for that same standard?
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Scott perfected this at 02/24/2012 5:30:53 pm
scott.jpgScott - On your mark...get set...Terrible!
02/24/2012 @ 05:43:23 PM
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Ultimately, what I care most about is the fact that Braun is back in the lineup. I'm still going with my "tainted beef" theory, but that they couldn't prove it, and were fortunate that there were other extenuating circumstances to base the appeal on.

And officially, the leak didn't come from anyone in the players union, MLB, anyone associated with the drug testing, or Braun's camp. So no one leaked it.
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Scott edited this at 02/24/2012 5:45:25 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Pie Racist
02/24/2012 @ 05:55:57 PM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 03:24:08 PM
Couple all of the facts I've presented with the fact that the test was 4 times higher P/E ratio than any test in baseball EVER, and suddenly Braun's story starts to seem more and more legitimate. There is certainly a reasonable doubt about the validity of the test: (courier held the sample for 2 days longer than he was supposed to, test revealed 4 times the level of the highest level ever recorded, defendent never failed test before, defendent passed subsequent drug test). This isn't an argument that he's innocent, it's an argument that there is a reasonable doubt for acquital.


Was that "4 times higher" thing ever substantiated, or was it twitterverse speculation like the STD thing, which was more heavily "reported" turned and out to be false...maybe. Maybe it was just FUD to make people doubt the system.

No one in the history of man kind has failed a test prior to their first failure.

The courier didn't hold if for longer than he was supposed to...only if you take words out of context and make them hyper literal can you make that the case. Proper procedure was followed, there was nothing "unusual" about it, and there was no more reason to think his results were tampered with than ANY other test possible.

Yes, players have adamantly denied their usage before, even while under the cloud of perjury, which Braun was obviously not.

Braun had 2 months to come up with a defense, and personally I think the fact that, as Matt says, his best excuse is "They could have theoretically tampered with it" speaks volumes.
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Jeremy screwed with this 2 times, last at 02/24/2012 5:58:07 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/24/2012 @ 05:59:12 PM
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I saw some article somewhere that said his testosterone was 20:1 ratio. 4:1 is considered a positive test. if I find the article I'll post it. I didn't just see it on twitter.

the test was administered at 4:30. 7 fedex locaitons within a few miles of miller park were open until 9:00 that night. He didn't submit the sample until 1:00 two days later. So, it did take longer than it was supposed to. It was supposed to be shipped "as soon as possible". Apparently it was shipped "as soon as the courier felt like taking it in." The policy even says that if you submit it on a saturday that you are supposed to check the box that says "saturday delivery".

Baseball's independent arbiter who has worked for baseball for like 20 years disagrees with you. So there!

And the fact that they could only come up with the reason they used is exactly my point of proving a negative. It was their only option to set an innocent man free!
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Scott perfected this 4 times, last at 02/24/2012 6:04:00 pm
jon.jpgJon - many posts
02/24/2012 @ 08:19:00 PM
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I watched the press conference. Braun came across believable, but I've been "burned" before.

I'm sure detractors will say it's a fancy line of spin, but I agree with the sentiment that if the players are held to the strictest of standards in the testing process, then the rest of the people in the process need to be as well. If he cheated and got off on a technicality, so be it.

I think the real lesson learned is that if you call this a technicality, Aaron Rodgers thinks you're an idiot. https://twitter.com/#!/AaronRodgers12/status/172815648597098496
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matt.jpgMatt - 2953 Posts
02/24/2012 @ 10:48:45 PM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 05:27:18 PM
So guilty until proven innocent then. Braun's real problem is that you can't prove you didn't do something. It's impossible. So even if the test is completely bogus, the fact that he can't produce evidence of himself not ingesting something leaves him with having to hunt for other methods of acquitting himself, since he is innocent and it is all just a big foul up.


In the testing program, a positive test is proof enough of guilt. In the court of public opinion, people can make their own minds up without starting with a presumption of guilt or innocence.

As for having to prove you didn't do something, that's true of every player whether they've failed a test or not. We can't be sure any player is clean. With Braun, though, he did fail a test, which means that if he was innocent, then something with the test went wrong. It's up to Braun to prove that something did go wrong with the test to clear his name.

Now he did "prove" that the courier violated the letter of the law (though arguably, not the spirit). This may have been enough of a violation to prevent MLB from punishing him, but it really didn't do anything to prove (or even really suggest) that the results of the test were somehow flawed. So in the court of public opinion, I find it perfectly reasonable to believe that Braun did take something (intentionally or not) to cause the positive test result.
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hoochpage.JPGSarah - How do you use these things?
02/25/2012 @ 11:15:32 AM
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Zumaya's already hurt. #NonBraun
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/25/2012 @ 01:53:55 PM
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Sarah Wrote - Today @ 11:15:32 AM
Zumaya's already hurt. #NonBraun

My first reaction was jokingly to post "what does this have to do with Braun?". But then I saw your hashtag, and then decided to post what I was going to post anyway.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/27/2012 @ 10:16:11 AM
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New Reports in Braun Case Only Increase Uncertainty.
ESPN cites a source that claims the sample was not kept in a cooler or in a “safe” place whatsoever. Instead, the collector put the sample in a Tupperware container on his desk at home and left it there for two days.

In 1994, British track star Diane Modahl tested positive for a banned substance. That positive test was overturned, however, when an independent panel ruled in her favor due to mishandling of her sample in a Portuguese laboratory. It was argued that bacterial activity could have increased testosterone levels while the sample was not refrigerated.
Link to Diane Modahl story

And Braun's story starts to become a little more believable, and it seems that the "technicality" in question might indeed be a vitally crucial fact. For the record, Braun never actually accused the collector of anything. He suggested the possibility that tampering was possible, but he left it at essentially "I don't know what happened to it during that 44 hours".
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Scott screwed with this 4 times, last at 02/27/2012 10:32:05 am
thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - Washington Bureau Chief
02/27/2012 @ 12:17:02 PM
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The problem with this whole thing (and most other stories) is that we don't know which "sources" are credible and which are not. Which ones are repeating first-hand knowledge and which ones are not. We also don't know what terms mean in regards to the testing, and I don't mean scientific terms, I mean terms like "safe" and "cool".

Does safe mean someplace locked up where only the collector can get to it, or is at the residence of a qualified collector considered safe (I've seen quotes that seem to say this)? Also, does cool mean on ice? Refrigerated? 60 degrees? I mean, if you look at various medicines, many will say to keep it in a cool, dry place, but mostly that just means that you shouldn't keep it in the bathroom or in your car during the summer.

Another thing I want to know is how the samples are shipped. Even if the guy dropped it off at FedEx right away, wouldn't it have probably just sat in the FedEx office until Monday anyway? If just that delay could cause a false positive, then they should probably not test on weekends (or make the players actually go to a lab). Also, presumably, other Brewers were tested at the same time. What happened to their samples, and are there any differences in circumstances that would cause Braun's sample to react while others didn't. Similarly, I assume Braun's sample wasn't the first sample to ever sit for a day or two before being shipped/tested. Are there noticeable anomalies in the results of these cases?

As for the Diane Modahl situation, her sample was left on a table in a room heated to 35°C (95°F) for three days. i don't think Braun's was left that long or at such a high temperature. That might make a difference or it might not.

Finally, I've seen reports/"rumors" that the sample was found to have synthetic testosterone in it. Is this true, and if it is, would the storage affect this test as well?

There are just too many unknowns right now to know for sure one way or the other. The only thing we really know for sure was that his sample tested positive (which is a pretty big fact to overcome). All the doubt and uncertainty brought up in his defense may be enough to avoid the "beyond reasonable doubt" aspect. I'm still not sure, though, if it necessarily clears him in the public opinion "preponderance of the evidence"/"probably did or didn't" view.
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Matt messed with this at 02/27/2012 12:22:05 pm
scott.jpgScott - Ma'am, can you make sure your computer is turned on?
02/27/2012 @ 12:42:40 PM
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I'll have to check when I get home, since I can't access twitter at work (and my phone only shows last 3 days of tweets), but someone tweeted the actual MLB drug testing prolicy document, and I think it actually used the term "refrigerator". I won't confirm that as fact at this time, though.

Edit: found it: it just says "cool and secure location"
MLB Drug Policy Document. Circa page 38 is the area in which the Braun camped based their defense.
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Scott screwed with this 2 times, last at 02/27/2012 12:54:06 pm
newalex.jpgAlex - But let history remember, that as free men, we chose to make it so!
02/27/2012 @ 01:18:16 PM
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http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7620049/in-defense-ryan-braun
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scott.jpgScott - On your mark...get set...Terrible!
02/27/2012 @ 01:25:10 PM
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I got half way through that aritlce and stopped reading. Does it get any better than "players shouldn't be tested because the drug problem in baseball isn't really a problem at all" argument that I got out of it?

edit: ok, i finished it, and it didn't really get much better than that.
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Scott perfected this at 02/27/2012 1:29:15 pm
scott.jpgScott - No, I did not change your screen saver settings
02/27/2012 @ 01:27:43 PM
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Apparently, the union, MLB, and braun's camp all know who leaked the original story. But my source (tom hardricourt of JSOnline) didn't say who it was, or which camp it came from.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/27/2012 @ 02:06:53 PM
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Matt Wrote - Today @ 12:17:02 PM
There are just too many unknowns right now to know for sure one way or the other. The only thing we really know for sure was that his sample tested positive.

I certainly agree with the first sentence, and the 2nd is certainly a fact that as of right now has yet to be called into question. The only reason I say this is that according to the source mentioned in the ESPN* article that is linked to in the Disciples of Uecker article that I linked, someone requested a DNA test be done but the request was denied. One source says that Braun offered a DNA sample and was told it was unnecessary. Another source says the testing agency requested a DNA sample and the Braun camp denied/backed off.** I'm not necessarily suggesting that it wasn't his sample, but someone apparently had the gall to at least request confirm it (again, if these "sources" are indeed legit).

*Sources also told Munson that there was doubt over whose urine was actually being tested. Braun offered to take a DNA test to confirm whose urine was in the sample, but Major League Baseball declined. However, an MLB source told ESPN's Mike Golic that Braun's side backed off of the offer to take a DNA test.

**I got my summary wrong and then checked the report. So just read the italicized quote.
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Scott edited this 3 times, last at 02/27/2012 2:13:14 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
02/27/2012 @ 02:09:50 PM
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I don't want to quote Matt's whole thing, but:

Yes, it would have just sat in a FedEx until the roughly the same time. So, in other words, a professional doping agent caring for it for the remainder of the weekend as it was supposed to be is somehow worse than handing it over to some 17 year old Kinkos emp who could have done god knows what with it before drop kicking it into the "Zone 5" bin where it would have sat until the same time.

The testing people on the other end check the bacteria levels to make sure the sample isn't potentially tainted by mishandling, and it checked out. Furthermore they added that the synthetic testosterone couldn't just be "made up" by any amount of bacteria-gone-wild* mishap.

*This was Joe Francis' least popular line of videos.
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Jeremy perfected this at 02/27/2012 2:10:33 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/27/2012 @ 02:11:54 PM
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do you have sources for any of that, at least for the 3rd paragraph about the bacteria checking?

Furthermore, as long as you are stating things as fact anyway, how do we know that fedex doesn't ship after 4:30 or 5:00 or whenever? Is this known already? Does FedEx have any sort of "secure handling" capabilities? Should these types of tests not be conducted on weekends since it would essentially cause lots of elongated chain of custodies? Also, the FedEx employee wouldn't have known anything about the container since it would be put in an unmarked package of some sort.
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Scott perfected this at 02/27/2012 2:19:52 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
02/27/2012 @ 02:16:11 PM
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http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=jp-passan_ryan_braun_drug_test_appeal_manfred_022412

It was part of the testimony the testing agency gave, but that article mentions it.
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scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
02/27/2012 @ 02:23:20 PM
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What I hope we find out sometime is exactly what the synthetic substance actually was, and what a person would have had to do to end up with it in their system.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - No one's gay for Moleman
02/27/2012 @ 02:27:35 PM
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I think the answer is "take steroids" emoticonemoticon
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Jeremy perfected this at 02/27/2012 2:28:00 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/27/2012 @ 02:41:00 PM
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Here's the problem with the testing. The burden is 100% on the player to prove that he didn't do it. Which is essentially impossible. So lets say he somehow ate a tainted candy bar, or a different tainted supplement, or tainted beef, or whatever, how does he "prove" anything when he gets the results 3 weeks after he submitted the sample? For the sake of argument, let's say Braun is innocent, how the heck does he prove that he didn't do anything? So, if finding a loophole, or a technicality (as some are describing it) is the only way he can acquit himself for .something he knows he didn't do, then so be it. I still believe him.

For the record, I'd say that I probably have a tendency to believe people in general rather than doubt them. The exceptions are some of the lines we've heard in the past where you make yourself look like a fool in your denial. So it probably helps that Braun is well spoken and he came off well in his press conference (and of course I have a vested interest in thinking that he's innocent), but they way he's handled himself seems more like Amanda Knox than OJ Simpson.*

*I vowed to stick to the facts, I'm letting my opinions/commentary creep in too much.
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Scott perfected this 2 times, last at 02/27/2012 2:41:45 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/27/2012 @ 02:46:20 PM
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Before it gets slammed, I'm not necessarily saying that the testing procedure shouldn't put the burden on the player to prove his innocence, but the fact that it does makes any potentially innocent player search for desperate answers when there are none to be found.
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Scott screwed with this 5 times, last at 02/27/2012 2:49:54 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
02/27/2012 @ 02:59:22 PM
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Well, actually you can call it a "sham" of a process if you want, but I'm not so sure it does/should matter to baseball if you can "prove" you "didn't do it". a) They don't care how it got there, you're responsible for what you ingest. b) Braun WAS PEing even if not knowingly PEDing, so the point is somewhat moot.

I agree on some level that if the odds are stacked against you testing wise, so the only way to get off is a technicality, then so be it. The problem is they've offered no such story. Braun proved himself to be not-guilty in legal terms. Now, if he opts to, he needs to actually make a case for innocence to everyone else. The closest he's made to any such claim is a vague "someone told me that if someone had it out for me they could fake [one half of a process designed to thwart things like that]."

You have to remember the odds are "stacked" against someone for good reason. The system is designed to weed out flaws, and be sure when it is sure. And in this case the presence of synthetic testosterone is particularly damning. (Both because that means it had to be external, and because that test is particularly accurate.)

So the way I look at it I can take the word of a person who is pretty much forced to issue a denial anyway who has only offered up vague conspiracy type notions by way of actual explanations, or I can take the word of evidence, science, and Occam's razor and conclude that, until new information comes to light, that Braun failed the test because something in his system triggered a failure, and as long as he plays coy with what he thinks that substance was, while pretending the FedEx loophole exonerates him in any way from actually failing the test, or offering any explanation of where the synthetic testosterone came from, his knowingly taking a PED is on the table.
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Jeremy messed with this 3 times, last at 02/27/2012 3:03:30 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/27/2012 @ 03:05:35 PM
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Well, I think he mentioned in his press conference that there were some things that wasn't going to mention because of an on going investigation that his party was going to continue with.

Well, I think the "knowingly taking PED is on the table" statement is jumping to a pretty big conclusion. All we know is that the test that is allegedly his showed up positive. The test says nothing about how it got there, as you stated. You claim that you can either take his word or science, but science in no way lends you to this conclusion. One's opinion might, but my claiming his innocence is no more speculation than your (or anyone's) claiming that he did it knowingly. No science makes that claim, and all you have is his word. So if that's the case, your not believing him for the sake of not believing him. (you in this case means the general "not believing braun" public).
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Scott messed with this 2 times, last at 02/27/2012 3:07:03 pm
scott.jpgScott - If you aren't enough without it, you'll never be enough with it.
02/27/2012 @ 03:12:28 PM
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Basically, if someone believes that Braun actually did it knowingly simply because a test showed that it failed, they are essentially saying that don't believe a darn thing braun said throughout the entire press conference or last 3 months, or for that matter his entire character and body of work from the moment he got into the league, not to mention everybody within the brewers organization. That's fine, I suppose if someone believes that, but that seems like a rather synical view of the world. Either braun has played the biggest con in the history of the brewers organization, or some of what he has said has some truth to it.*

*emotional rant gone awry.
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Scott edited this at 02/27/2012 3:13:42 pm
scott.jpgScott - No, I did not change your screen saver settings
02/27/2012 @ 03:14:49 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 02:59:22 PM
or offering any explanation of where the synthetic testosterone came from


because he has no freaking clue where it came from. He can't offer any explanation if he's innocent.*

It seems like someone found a knife in someone's chest with Braun's blood on it, but braun wasn't even in town the night the murder took place. It would be like asking Braun to explain how his blood got there and then going nuts when his only explanation was "I have no idea, I was in cleveland, actually playing a baseball game, at the time of the murder".

In other words, if Braun is innocent, he would have no way to give an explanation for why or what the substance was.

*especially if it's not his sample emoticon
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Scott perfected this 4 times, last at 02/27/2012 3:21:05 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Robots don't say 'ye'
02/27/2012 @ 03:24:23 PM
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Not at all. First off, I didn't say it was the conclusion, I said it was on the table. Secondly, no, science doesn't "prove" that, but a reasonable conclusion might. If the most common way people wind up with the test results Braun did is a "full on" PED, then it's reasonable to conclude there's a fair chance, and certainly the possibility, that's how Braun ended up there too.

As it stands here are my options, as I see them:

A) A baseball player failed a PED test because someone either lied about the seals being intact, or faked the test after the fact, [and had whomever was in charge of verifying the test the separate sample fake the test in the same way], just to risk livelihood, if not jail time, to stick it that player.

B) A baseball player failed a PED test because there were PEDs in his system.

A is certainly possible. B is a much easier pill to swallow. (Even without the knowledge that baseball players are notorious PED users)

Braun being a "liar" isn't the only option. Braun being wrong/tricked/self-deluded is an option. (But of course history is full of lying baseball players, so I don't know why Braun is on a pedestal somewhere, other than because some people are a priori putting him there.)
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Jeremy screwed with this at 02/27/2012 3:25:28 pm
scott.jpgScott - Resident Tech Support
02/27/2012 @ 03:34:38 PM
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well, complicating matters is the 20:1 t/e ratio (by which I mean it seems so high as to seem suspicious). Sure it's all circumstantial evidence, but the circumstantial evidence seems to be in Braun's favor. Probably the one and only piece of evidence that technically matters says otherwise, which I suppose is where we come up with "well, there seems to be enough doubt to acquit him, but that still doesn't mean he's innocent". None of the circumstantial evidence aligns itself with what the one piece of physical evidence says.

I'm sure in time, maybe even within this season, more answers to some of these questions will come.
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Scott screwed with this 2 times, last at 02/27/2012 3:36:41 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
02/27/2012 @ 03:42:51 PM
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And no, as I've said 100 times, he might not have an explanation. He, however, should be as interested as anyone in finding out what it was. HE might not know the explanation. That doesn't change the fact that there likely IS an explanation, and probably a rather simple one.

His seeming disinterest in telling people he plans on figuring out what caused it, and instead putting all his explanation into "it wasn't there" plus speculation on sample switching (which, BTW, one would have to speculate that if it was the case that there were any samples to mix up, that there's a decent chance Braun is accusing another Brewer.) and conspiracies is intriguing.

There's an episode of House where a married couple with herpes comes in. Neither will admit to cheating (and passing it along). House makes up that in extremely rare cases herpes can spread via public toilets. The wife doesn't buy it, but the husband thinks it sounds like a good explanation. From which House concludes the guy cheated, because only a cheater would attempt to explain something that almost certainly has a mundane and well known explanation with something extravagant and unlikely. (To be fair, he makes this conclusion partly because the wife doesn't buy it, and is then obviously not looking for an "out," but I still thought of the scene. Though that could just be because of the herpes correlation.)

The 20:1 isn't anything that is that big of a deal either. Whether or not the "3 times higher" stat is true for MLB, the testing agency reported they regularly see tests that high, and have seen 80:1 samples. The people who actually DO the tests for a living didn't think his sample was so crazy it had to be a mistake.
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Jeremy perfected this 3 times, last at 02/27/2012 3:46:28 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/27/2012 @ 03:46:03 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 03:42:51 PM
which, BTW, one would have to speculate that if it was the case that there were any samples to mix up, that there's a decent chance Braun is accusing another Brewer.)


My bet is Casey McGehee
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/27/2012 @ 03:49:49 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 03:42:51 PM
The 20:1 isn't anything that is that big of a deal either. Whether or not the "3 times higher" stat is true for MLB, the testing agency reported they regularly see tests that high, and have seen 80:1 samples. The people who actually DO the tests for a living didn't think his sample was so crazy it had to be a mistake.


Just "3 times higher" than any baseball player ever, for a guy who's weight has never changed, running times have never changed, power numbers haven't changed, etc. If it was just the one time, then I suppose this wouldn't change any of the physical traits. But why do it on the day of your first playoff game when you know random tests or imminent? The reports that say that a big spike would seem normal for a guy who was in a steriods cycle make sense, except that Braun would have to be the luckiest guy in the world not to have gotten caught before.
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Scott messed with this at 02/27/2012 3:56:23 pm
scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
02/27/2012 @ 03:54:05 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 03:42:51 PM
And no, as I've said 100 times, he might not have an explanation. He, however, should be as interested as anyone in finding out what it was. HE might not know the explanation. That doesn't change the fact that there likely IS an explanation, and probably a rather simple one.

There's an episode of House where a married couple with herpes comes in. Neither will admit to cheating (and passing it along). House makes up that in extremely rare cases herpes can spread via public toilets. The wife doesn't buy it, but the husband thinks it sounds like a good explanation. From which House concludes the guy cheated, because only a cheater would attempt to explain something that almost certainly has a mundane and well known explanation with something extravagant and unlikely. (To be fair, he makes this conclusion partly because the wife doesn't buy it, and is then obviously not looking for an "out," but I still thought of the scene. Though that could just be because of the herpes correlation.)


So braun should make sure to have a good explanation, but if he does he's obviously guilty. His lack of explanation makes it all seem more legit because he isn't trying to make up a story. If he doesn't know (or if it didn't happen), how does he come up with something? If he says "tainted beef", that becomes the "i misremembered" line like never before.

And like I've said before, he did hint at during his press conference that he wouldn't talk about certain things because of an ongoing investigation his party is conducting.

Furthermore, part of his press conference he said "i'd bet my life that this substance never entered my body". This could certainly be a lie, but if he sincerely believes it, it likely nixes any chances of the explanation being simple. He didn't simply deny knowing. He seems to take it a step further than most have.

Part of the explantion too was "test me again!". He made a good point that if a doctor told you that you had cancer, but that you found out that the sample that concluded that was handled in an improper way, your first reaction would be to question the test and then request a new test. Obviously this is fishy too, because in the time it takes to get the results the "substance" could be flushed from your system. But he seems to have given as much as he can so far.
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Scott perfected this 6 times, last at 02/27/2012 4:03:05 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
02/27/2012 @ 04:09:31 PM
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It's not his lack of an explanation, it's that his "explanation" is an adamant insistence on an incredibly unlikely chain of events over the more plausible explanation that he inadvertently took something.

In your analogy before. It would be the difference in:

"I have no idea how my blood got on that knife, but I can assure you all I'm just as curious as anyone else, and that I'll do everything I can to find out."

AND

"It wasn't my blood. I talked to some people in the field and they say a DNA test would be pretty easy to fake. Plus maybe someone switched my DNA with the DNA in the blood."

He might not know, but insisting the blood isn't his, despite all the reasons we have to know it is, smacks of someone hiding something. (And maybe not the murder, but something.) It doesn't make it not true. Maybe some die hard Cubs fan in forensics fan IS trying to frame him for murder. But that's very unlikely when compared to the chances that it just is his blood, and that there's a simple explanation for it, such as his near by parents having a garage sale last year. Even if you disagree that "Stance 2" is somewhat suspicious, it certainly isn't anything that has any explanatory power.

To put it in your words, he IS trying to make up a story, and a far fetched one at that, and that's my problem with it. I'd much rather have an oratory shoulder shrug and an admission he has no idea but is trying to figure out what happened, than one that dismisses the fairly obvious answer out of hand, opting for conspiratorial straw grasping.

I also never made any sort of "obviously guilty" type claim. Just that given an unknown choice between the unlikely and the more likely I'm going with the more likely almost every time. Throw in that the more likely has some objective evidence behind it, and the unlikely just has some big blue eyes and some adamant sounding words behind it, and I think it's reasonable to, fairly, I'll add, conclude that his actual guilt or not is still up in the air.

If new things come out that might change. It's the people who have decided Braun is innocent that have leapt to a shaky conclusion, not those of us pointing out that we not only don't know, but that the actual evidence is still against Braun. I'm not selling anything, I'm just not buying what Braun's team is selling, until I have a better reason to do so than "he seemed genuine" about what is almost certainly a very unlikely chain of events. I don't think that's so much a cynical assumption he IS lying so much as it is a practical acknowledgement he could be (or could just be wrong).
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Jeremy messed with this 14 times, last at 02/27/2012 5:33:15 pm
sarah.jpgSarah - How do you use these things?
02/27/2012 @ 09:56:45 PM
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when would braun play in cleveland? that's an alibi i see right through. lock him up boys.
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jon.jpgJon - 2451 Posts
02/28/2012 @ 02:30:36 AM
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Matt Wrote - Yesterday @ 12:17:02 PM
Also, presumably, other Brewers were tested at the same time. What happened to their samples, and are there any differences in circumstances that would cause Braun's sample to react while others didn't.


I think that is a good point. Any subsequent good points in other posts in this thread were likely skimmed over. Though I did like Jeremy's Joe Francis joke. And Sarah's Cleveland joke for that matter.

Here's a story I read today that I thought was interesting. It touches on some things that seemed to be debated here. It's by the same guy who wrote the article Jeremy linked to earlier.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=jp-passan_ryan_braun_drug_test_appeal_testosterone_022712
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scott.jpgScott - You're going to have to call your hardware guy. It's not a software issue.
02/28/2012 @ 08:53:38 AM
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I some point I should probably entertain the idea that Braun got possibly have done it, either knowingly or unknowingly, if for no other reason than to make it easier for me to handle later on. But for now, I'm still in denial. If Braun is guilty, this could be the kind of thing that severly hampers the already financially on the edge Brewers. The Brewers are the ultimate blue collar team in all of sports. They play in one of the smallest markets in all of sports. They have for more than a decade been a laughing stock of the league, essentially serving as a farm team for the big market teams. They had a 26 year playoff drought. And then, the face of their franchise, the second coming of Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, Hank Aaron, or Eddie Matthews, is now in the same conversation as Palmeiro, Sosa, McGwire, ARod...and right in the middle of the prime of his career, right after he proclaims that he wants to be a Brewer for life and the team locks him up until 2020. That kind of thing doesn't happen in Milwaukee. That's too hard of a pill to swallow at this time. I'm going to believe Braun for now because I have to believe Braun. The integrity of the entire franchise seems to rest on his shoulders.
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Scott edited this 2 times, last at 02/28/2012 8:55:11 am
scott.jpgScott - If you aren't enough without it, you'll never be enough with it.
02/28/2012 @ 09:03:50 AM
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Jon Wrote - Today @ 02:30:36 AM

Here's a story I read today that I thought was interesting. It touches on some things that seemed to be debated here. It's by the same guy who wrote the article Jeremy linked to earlier.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=jp-passan_ryan_braun_drug_test_appeal_testosterone_022712


Specifically to the article you posted, people are portraying Braun's story as if he is continually spreading vicious stories about the collector in question. He never mentioned him by name and never accused him specifically of doing anything. He simply said that the collector didn't follow protocol, that tampering could have happened during that time, and that they learned a lot about the collector and the process. People are making it sound like Braun made up stories about how this guy must have taken the sample home to his evil lab to do evil experimentations on it. In fact, it's been the fault of the media for outing the guy, giving his name, and essentially creating these "stories" (or suggesting) that somehow Braun is directly accusing him of criminal activity. I don't see that in any of Braun's statements or his press conference.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - Robots don't say 'ye'
02/28/2012 @ 10:10:22 AM
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What else would Braun be saying? Someone broke into the guys home and between grabbing his bluray player and xbox 360, found some urine samples, and injected them with synthetic testosterone?

His accusation against the collector is about as plainly implied as it could be without saying, "I think Dino Laurenzi must have tainted my sample."
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Jeremy messed with this at 02/28/2012 10:25:10 am
2887.gifAlex - 3590 Posts
02/28/2012 @ 01:26:53 PM
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The biggest thing about what Braun has said that bugs me, is his swearing up and down that it's impossible that he unknowingly put the testosterone is his body. He can't know what he doesn't know.

Which I also think applies to Scott's point, that assuming he didn't knowingly juice, what else is supposed to do to in regards to explaining the test result? Unless I've missed some news today, it's unclear which side was willing to do what in terms of DNA testing. At this point, Braun is basically off the hook. So even if he thinks he's innocent, unless he has hard evidence of tampering there's not much incentive for him to dig into the case anymore. If for no other reason than there's the possibility that he did unknowingly take something and digging into the case will just lead to that conclusion, in which case he did get off on a technicality, even though I'm not a fan of the rules with regards to intent. If it was really 100% an accident, and not an outright lie or wink-wink plausible deniability situation, then I'm glad he did get off.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/28/2012 @ 01:52:33 PM
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I agree with you, Alex. I think the point is that while from a legal perspective he doesn't have to do anything more. It's the public opinion courtroom that will be much harder to sway with anything but some hard evidence or explanation that makes Braun look more innocent. Short of that, people are essentially free to make up their minds one way or another. Like someone said once about this story, those that think he's innocent are basically free to continue to think he's innocent. Those that think he's guilty are free to think he's guilty. Those that aren't sure are free to admit that he could be either, and form their conclusions accordingly.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - Broadcast in stunning 1080i
02/28/2012 @ 02:46:22 PM
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Alex Wrote - Today @ 01:26:53 PM
The biggest thing about what Braun has said that bugs me, is his swearing up and down that it's impossible that he unknowingly put the testosterone is his body. He can't know what he doesn't know.


Indeed, which is why I find it troubling that he's swearing it up and down. He couldn't know if he wanted to, and the most likely reason it was found was because it was there.

Maybe be doesn't want to get double Jeopardied by digging, which would be fair enough, but don't make up poppycock and drag some working class stiff's name through the mud to do so.

I know it almost sounds backwards, but I would feel much better if Braun just said something along the lines of:

"I don't know how it got there, but I know I'm not a cheater. I'm going to exhaust all possibilities, because obviously I want to avoid whatever it was that triggered the result. I don't consider this an admission of any kind. I feel the testing process is unfair because no matter how careful we are we can't carry around a chemistry department to independently test everything we take, eat, or drink. I don't feel that it is in the spirit of why baseball has testing to punish players in my position, and my only out was a procedural technicality. Though I don't doubt the integrity of the people involved in the care and transport of the sample, and accept that all safe measures were in tact, never the less the chain of custody used is not clearly enumerated in the rules."

In a way I almost don't want an explanation from him, because the yarn he's spinning is really far fetched, and built on the faulty premise that he could even know he didn't accidentally take something, which I find a tad suspicious, and is worse than no explanation.
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Jeremy perfected this at 02/28/2012 2:47:18 pm
scott.jpgScott - Resident Tech Support
02/28/2012 @ 03:19:09 PM
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Unless Braun's camp leaked it, he didn't mention the guy by name. I even think his words about "the collector" (as he refers to him) are being schewed a bit. And upon reading the transcript again, I see nothing that could in anyway be described as "dragging the collector through the mud", with the possibly (and even still very slight) exception of Braun talking about the collector being the only one who actually knows who the test belongs to. Again, he never accuses the guy of anything. He speculates about what could possibly happen and why it is important that all parties strictly abide by the rules in the policy. There is no dragging through the mud of anyone.

And to a certain degree, he did say what you said he should say. In fewer words, and in different order. He just expounded on the possibilities, and why the breaking of the chain of custody, in his opinion, was such a big deal, if not now than in the future.

As players, we’re held to a standard of 100 percent perfection regarding the program, and everybody else associated with that program should be held to the same standard. We’re a part of a process where you’re 100 percent guilty until proven innocent. It’s opposite of the American judicial system – it’s not an innocent until proven guilty situation. So if we’re held to that standard, it’s only fair that everybody else is held to that exact same standard. With what’s at stake – this is my livelihood, this is my integrity, this is my character, this is everything that I’ve worked for in my life being called into question – we need to make sure that we get it right. If you’re going to be in a position where you’re 100 percent guilty until proven innocent, you can’t mess up. And today’s about making sure that this never happens to anybody else who plays this game.

Of course, after this he starts get into the "circumstantial" stuff, including his hypothesis about what could have happened during the period between the test and the fedex dropoff.

Which I guess all of this is still more about why it was right that he was "acquitted". It's just hard to separate the "not guilty" from the "likely innocent", especially for someone in my position where I want him to be innocent.

http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/140333483.html
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Scott edited this 9 times, last at 02/28/2012 3:45:07 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - I hate our freedoms
02/28/2012 @ 04:01:53 PM
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Well, I didn't literally mean "his name". No matter how you spin it he threw the guy under the bus. (Braun also probably couldn't reasonably expect that they weren't embarking on a process that would effect, if not largely ruin, the guy's life. Or expect that he'd stay anonymous all that long.)

You can't play it both ways.

1) The stuff wasn't in my system.
2) The samples went rogue for "44 hours"
3) Anything could have happened to them in that time.
4) The samples were with the collector
5) Only the collector knew the samples were mine.
6) Expects told me that "if motivated" tainting samples would "be easy".

Braun is not simply saying "the rules don't specifically state anything about tests going home with a collector, so the chain of custody as described was broken, so that's that."

Braun is taking it farther than that. The logical conclusion of his statements is him accusing some people of some pretty serious things, which he need not do at all, because the technicality, to the extent that it was one, speaks for itself. Which means he's probably doing so because he sees this as his "explanation" of what happened to us, the public. To which I say, bunk. Bunk, I say.
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Jeremy edited this at 02/28/2012 4:48:59 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/28/2012 @ 05:10:50 PM
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The technicality might have needed a reason to be seen as a serious issue, and the possibility of impropriety needed to be explained. What judge is going to hear "your honor, he took too long to deliver the sample" and say "oh, well, in that case, you're free to go."
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - I hate our freedoms
02/28/2012 @ 05:35:44 PM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 05:10:50 PM
The technicality might have needed a reason to be seen as a serious issue, and the possibility of impropriety needed to be explained. What judge is going to hear "your honor, he took too long to deliver the sample" and say "oh, well, in that case, you're free to go."

Shyam Das. (Minus the "your honor" part emoticon)

Anything more than that is baseless speculation that would apply to every test ever taken anywhere. Why would the guy need a weekend to tamper with the sample? Why Braun? Why then? What made THIS example of the handling different enough from the hundreds of samples this guy gathered and did this with to consider the process suspicious?

I thought we had established that the technicality was, and only was, that what will happen when it won't ship that day wasn't spelled out. "Something" could happen everytime. Ryan Braun is free because of a legal ambiguity between what it means for FedEx to be "open" and what it means to "ship that day, if possible*" and that's all. (And it would actually be worse if the speculation played a part in it.)

*In case any future readers still aren't getting it. FedEx might be open, but they don't send a delivery guy off with every package. I don't know the hour, but at some point FedEx would have taken custody of the package, but not actually shipped it until midday Monday, so he was following correct procedure by NOT turning it over to FedEx, since they would not have properly cared for it over Braun's "missing" 44 hours.
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Jeremy edited this 11 times, last at 02/28/2012 6:09:20 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/29/2012 @ 08:31:03 AM
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http://www.fangraphs.com/not/index.php/adapting-northwestern-basketballs-make-shots-shirt-to-baseball/

A break from the Braun story. Uninspiring baseball slogans.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
02/29/2012 @ 10:37:07 AM
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The Twins haven't bunted since 2006.
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scott.jpgScott - Get Up! Get outta here! Gone!
02/29/2012 @ 11:03:25 AM
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Turns out you're right. At least that in terms of sacrifice bunts, the twins as a team have been of no remark compared to other teams. They did have 2 guys last year in the top 17 for most "bunts in play". Maybe the inspiration for that T-Shirt was the fact that the twins DON'T bunt, or maybe the guy saw one twins game where they bunted a lot.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Cube Phenomenoligist
02/29/2012 @ 11:50:59 AM
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No, it's just the lazy reporter mentality of "just decide on a story, lock it in for all time, and keep spreading it, even if it's not true." Everybody "knows" the Twins love "to play small ball" even though that hasn't been particularly true for like 2-3 seasons.

A lot of their speed lately has been terrible at bunting, considering it should be their forte (Gomez, Revere) or just inexplicably bad at stealing bases (Span).
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scott.jpgScott - If you aren't enough without it, you'll never be enough with it.
02/29/2012 @ 12:01:15 PM
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I wonder how a team is defined by having a "small ball" philosophy. If a team doesn't hit home runs but still finds ways to win, is that a "small ball" team? I would venture to guess that any team that institutes an overall small ball philosophy probably doesn't have a whole lot of success over the long term, and that would include an entire season. The percentages (as we learned from Moneyball) just don't favor teams giving up outs for runs on a consistent basis.
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scott.jpgScott - No, I did not change your screen saver settings
02/29/2012 @ 12:14:57 PM
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also, while we're on this subject, last season stolen base attempts or stolen bases in general were no indication of success, at least in the NL. The Brewers and Cardinals were 12th and 16th respectively in stolen bases, and Arizona was number 2 in stolen bases. And San Diego, the Mets, and the Dogers were 1, 3, and 4 in total stolen bases. All three of those teams were well behind in their divisions all year. Interesting.
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newalex.jpgAlex - You've got to trust your instinct, and let go of regret
02/29/2012 @ 01:08:41 PM
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Are those ranking based on total bases stolen, or success percentage?

Looking for WPA/LI type stats for stolen base attempts to see which teams benefited most from their steal attempts
This is related but for individuals http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=14721
This might be it http://www.baseballprospectus.com/sortable/index.php?cid=975444
Doesn't let me sort, but if the SBR column is what I think it is, then San Diego did get themselves some extra runs with their steals and got the most extra runs last year from their overall base running. But they were pretty sucky at getting on base in the first place.
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scott.jpgScott - On your mark...get set...Terrible!
02/29/2012 @ 01:33:03 PM
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It was all total stolen bases. San Diego was right near the top for SB percentage, and St. Louis was dead last in SB percentage. According to Bill James, anything over either 70 or 75% success would make stolen bases productive. Anything less than that means you are losing more runs that you are creating.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/29/2012 @ 01:49:54 PM
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aaaaaand....back to Braun. Another question I would have relating to what the substance was, is how long would it take not just for the t/e ratio to return to normal, but how long would that particular substance remain in a person's system? One of the many articles referenced in this discussion talked about a substance that remained in a guy's system for 2 years. Is it possible that whatever substance was found in Braun's sample could be flushed from the system in a matter of weeks? Someone leak the substance name, and answer me that question.
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matt.jpgMatt - 2953 Posts
02/29/2012 @ 02:44:10 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 11:50:59 AM
A lot of their speed lately has been terrible at bunting, considering it should be their forte (Gomez, Revere) or just inexplicably bad at stealing bases (Span).


To be fair, Span isn't that bad when he actually tries to steal a base, it's just that he's really bad at not getting picked off a base.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
02/29/2012 @ 03:10:48 PM
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Someone whip up for me some fan graphs about how pitchers perform as they age. The Brewers have 2 pitching prospects, Wily Peralta and Mike Fiers: Fiers seems to have the edge in a lot of categories that really matter, but I think because he's 26 vs Peralta's 22, Peralta is seen by pretty much everyone as the Brewers top prospect overall, while Fiers is barely even on anyone's radar. I know hitters that haven't figured it out by 26 probably aren't going to pan out for much, but I'm not sure that really applies to pitchers.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
02/29/2012 @ 03:55:59 PM
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Matt Wrote - Today @ 02:44:10 PM
Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 11:50:59 AM
A lot of their speed lately has been terrible at bunting, considering it should be their forte (Gomez, Revere) or just inexplicably bad at stealing bases (Span).


To be fair, Span isn't that bad when he actually tries to steal a base, it's just that he's really bad at not getting picked off a base.


Well, I'd say that factors in. Either way the Twins players that should be "killers" on the base paths have generally seemed pretty lost on them.
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2887.gifAlex - 3590 Posts
02/29/2012 @ 11:18:17 PM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 03:10:48 PM
Someone whip up for me some fan graphs about how pitchers perform as they age. The Brewers have 2 pitching prospects, Wily Peralta and Mike Fiers: Fiers seems to have the edge in a lot of categories that really matter, but I think because he's 26 vs Peralta's 22, Peralta is seen by pretty much everyone as the Brewers top prospect overall, while Fiers is barely even on anyone's radar. I know hitters that haven't figured it out by 26 probably aren't going to pan out for much, but I'm not sure that really applies to pitchers.


Well, strikeout rate is pretty much all downhill http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/youll-never-be-as-good-again/

And strikeout rate I believe has a quite a bit to do with velocity, and here's what this guy said about Fiers, "The right-hander has below-average fastball velocity ".
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/top-15-prospects-milwaukee-brewers/

Fiers made this list though
http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/index.php/top-100-fantasy-prospects-for-2012-80-61/

Seems like the edge that Peralta has is that he's projected as a starter and Fiers is probably just a reliever.
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Alex perfected this at 02/29/2012 11:20:19 pm
scott.jpgScott - You're going to have to call your hardware guy. It's not a software issue.
03/01/2012 @ 09:12:18 AM
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Hmm, considering that strikeouts for starters only drops 6% by age 35, that's not all that bad. If a pitcher throws 200 Ks when he's 25, he's only losing 12 Ks by the time he's 35. Although the problem with that is if Johnny Average Pitcher really does follow this line exactly, he's probably going to be pretty expensive by age 32 or so.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
03/01/2012 @ 09:44:42 AM
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While the Brewers don't exactly have a stirring history of hall of fame players, they have had a few pretty remarkable pitchers from time to time. It turns out that in some areas, John Axford has risen above all of them. In his 2 seasons with the Brewers, he has the highest K/9 ratio (11.05) in team history, and has the best FIP in team history. He's also given up the fewest homers/9, and ranks 5th all-time in career saves. Not too shabby. I know they are trying to work out a multi-year deal for him, which it would appear would be a good thing. The Brewers haven't had a consistent closer in a long time, and while closers and relief pitchers in general can flame out at any given moment, Axford seems to be the real deal.
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Scott messed with this at 03/01/2012 9:50:16 am
2887.gifAlex - Refactor Mercilessly
03/01/2012 @ 01:15:52 PM
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http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/brewers-axford-working-on-extension/

I agree with this part, "Any talk of a four-to-five year deal would be crazy, though. Axford’s a great closer now, but as with most relievers, it’s tough to know what he’ll be in four or five seasons."

Most teams in baseball, other than the Yankees, haven't had a consistent closer in a long time (depending on your definition of long time you could in San Diego from a few years back).
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
03/01/2012 @ 01:48:14 PM
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Joe Nathan was about as rock solid as you can get as a closer and over the last 2-3 years of his contact the Twins probably paid $200K per pitch.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
03/01/2012 @ 02:05:20 PM
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It's hard to tell if it's worth it or not. The Brewers tried to sign Francisco Cordero a few years ago, but the price was pretty high (and Cordero was getting old) They then got decent years out of Solomon Torres, and Trevor Hoffman before Axford. Although Cordero's production has still pretty good, the Brewers got pretty good value out of guys that they paid a lot less for. And whether it was true moneyball-esque move Melvin just losing the bidding war with the Reds, the Brewers are now getting world class closing from a guy who, unless he signs a big contract before friday, will be making about $480k this year.

Like one of the fangraph articles said, relievers are relievers generally because of some sort of deficiency, others they'd be starters (generally). Do you pay a guy $10 million dollars to make 70 one inning appearances a year?
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Scott edited this at 03/01/2012 2:09:46 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
03/01/2012 @ 02:06:12 PM
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Plus the way I look at it (and I wish the Twins would have cut bait on Capps) even a "bad" closer isn't going to blow most of his chances. Even if you were guaranteed Axford never blew a (3 out last ups) save again, ever, how much would that difference really be worth? I'd rather have a shaky closer + 7 mil invested in the team to get more save chances to blow in the first place (or 4+ run leads), than a "rock solid" guy getting 10% fewer save opportunities.*

I mean, ultimately is Axford really that good or did he pile up saves because the Brewers were actually good for the 2nd/3rd time in 25 years?

*Well, maybe "I'd rather" is a step too far, but the point remains that the actual number of saves/team wins might come out in the wash. And in a way it might actually be better because if your closer is just your best reliever rather than the "slam dunk" this-guy-is-the-closer-period guy the manager might be more apt to work him in when it actually matters, instead of blowing a potential save in the 7th while your best reliever watches.
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Jeremy edited this 4 times, last at 03/01/2012 2:16:17 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
03/01/2012 @ 02:22:41 PM
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I agree. With axford though, the Brewers are still in pretty good position because he isn't a free agent until 2016. So even if they do pursue a longterm deal, they would essentially be getting him at "below market value". I've never quite figured out why teams are so willing to give big longterm deals to guys that they have the rights to anyway. Axford is arbitration eligible soon, but not a free agent until 2016, so the Brewers can technicall afford to keep giving him one year deals worth under $500K (plus any arbitration raises) for the next 4 years. I suppose part of it is keeping a guy happy if you want to retain him once he hits free agency. But history generally shows that closers may not be worth the big bucks.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
03/01/2012 @ 02:23:27 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 02:06:12 PM
I mean, ultimately is Axford really that good or did he pile up saves because the Brewers were actually good for the 2nd/3rd time in 25 years?

Did you just feel like sticking that jab?

And if you read the stats I posted (11 K/9, lowest FID of any pitcher in brewers history (which I noted isn't saying much), including sabathia), he was something pretty special last year. But he his a relief pitcher, and you can't rule out any relief pitcher flaming out from one year to the next.
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Scott perfected this 2 times, last at 03/01/2012 2:28:30 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
03/01/2012 @ 02:32:32 PM
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Well, I didn't mean it to be all that "jabby", but it's hard to wonder that and have it not sound that way. I guess I mean if fans, or the team on some level, are looking at him and saying "he's ALREADY 5th in franchise saves, think of the potential!" without factoring in the fact that Axford's teams have actually been good teams, as opposed to what was probably the norm for any other guy they've had in there....

Obviously every win is precious, but take any other not totally incompetent reliever off the brewers 2011 staff (and not even counting KRod), put them at closer, and really how much worse off is the team? 2 wins? But now factor in 7 million to spend in other places. Even if Axford is a particularly "lights out" closer a 1-2-3 save and a 5 hits/2 runs when up 3 save are still saves/wins.
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Jeremy edited this at 03/01/2012 2:33:54 pm
scott.jpgScott - Resident Tech Support
03/01/2012 @ 02:39:13 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 02:32:32 PM
Well, I didn't mean it to be all that "jabby", but it's hard to wonder that and have it not sound that way. I guess I mean if fans, or the team on some level, are looking at him and saying "he's ALREADY 5th in franchise saves, think of the potential!" without factoring in the fact that Axford's teams have actually been good teams, as opposed to what was probably the norm for any other guy they've had in there....


Which is why I mentioned the save totals as the third item. the 2 other stats (so 67% of the stats I posted) are the sabrmetric type stats that really show you what a guy is all about. Raw quantities can be deceptive. strikeout ratio and efficiency controlled only by the pitcher rather than the fielders behind them are a hard thing for a weak pitcher to fake.*

But you are right, the fact that Axford had so many saves is that he had so many save opportunities. He converted like 47 in a row or something like that, which is pretty noteworthy, but the fact that the Brewers were a better team this year helped his save totals look so impressive compared to other former brewers. Way to find the one item (albeit of a very small selection (3)) and discount the whole argument. emoticonemoticon

*But you're right, Put Cameron Loe in at closer, and maybe he blows a few saves, but the Brewers won the division by 6 games last year, and maybe with the extra money the Brewers put it towards a 5th starter or a defensive upgrade or something. Ultimately, the closer role is a little over-rated. Just a few years ago, the Brewers literally threw Solomon Torres into the closer role and he did a pretty good job.
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Scott perfected this 3 times, last at 03/01/2012 2:43:05 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
03/01/2012 @ 02:44:45 PM
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I'm not sure how much money they would throw at Axford, but barring a blockbuster deal, he's set to make chump change next year.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Pie Racist
03/01/2012 @ 02:47:40 PM
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Well, I wasn't discounting/countering any "argument". Though the trouble with "ratio" stats is then you get into sample size, and Axford's arguably isn't big enough to draw a ton from, other than he had a good 2011.

I'm not really talking about Axford at all really, just the idea of "paying for saves" in general. I'm not knocking Axford, his other stats are good, but the relative drop off to whomever the Brewers could put there is, probably, less than what they would gain from spending that "elite-but-early" closer money on upgrading a position player, or even making 2 solid bullpen upgrades. (Because that's probably always true, not because of anything Axford is/isn't doing, or because it's the Brewers.)
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Jeremy perfected this 2 times, last at 03/01/2012 2:49:56 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
03/01/2012 @ 02:56:13 PM
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I wouldn't disagree with that. The nice thing about not being "forced" to pay Axford at this time is that they were able to spend a little extra money on KRod than they may have been willing to spend. So, since they are paying KRod $8mil or whatever it is, they are essentially balancing out what Axford "could" be making compared to other top notch closers. But the tradeoff is that they have 2 pitchers for that same amount of money instead of one.

It's a good point to consider, though. They are paying KRod closer money to be a setup man, but paying their closer othe league minimum. The two players could easily be interchangeable between each other, so it's hard to see which side of the argument this falls on. They save money by lucking out that Axford is good on the cheap so that they can afford to go get a free agent (essentially) and pay the free agent premium. This seems why, in my opinion, they hold off on giving axford a longterm deal (if they even do) until next year. Right now they have $9million tied up in their 8th and 9th innings. You give Axford $5million per year for 5 years (fairly reasonable in some if not most circumstances), and now you are tying up $14 million in your 8th and 9th inning guys. That's not exactly the trademark of a team trying to make the most out of their dollar.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
03/01/2012 @ 03:07:05 PM
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http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120301/SPORTS0104/203010313/Thursday-s-Tigers-postcard-Final-verdict-Prince-Fielder-611-feet?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7CSports%7Cs

Fielder hit a ball that was roughly estimated to travel over 600 feet. They measured where it "came to rest" and it was about 611 feet from home plate. I'm guessing upon closer reading that this doesn't mean where it landed, but the 611 feet was where the ball stopped rolling. So I guess I have no reference for what this means. Could it have rolled 100, making it a 500+ homer.

This was a meaningless post. My eyes lit up at the headline, then was disappointed by the content.
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Scott screwed with this at 03/01/2012 3:10:28 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - I hate our freedoms
03/01/2012 @ 03:45:32 PM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 02:22:41 PM
I agree. With axford though, the Brewers are still in pretty good position because he isn't a free agent until 2016. So even if they do pursue a longterm deal, they would essentially be getting him at "below market value". I've never quite figured out why teams are so willing to give big longterm deals to guys that they have the rights to anyway. Axford is arbitration eligible soon, but not a free agent until 2016, so the Brewers can technicall afford to keep giving him one year deals worth under $500K (plus any arbitration raises) for the next 4 years. I suppose part of it is keeping a guy happy if you want to retain him once he hits free agency. But history generally shows that closers may not be worth the big bucks.


BTW, I don't claim to be an arb system expert, and there might be "maximum" raises, but the point of arb, to some extent, is to establish a fair-market-ish price. Axford wouldn't go in making $400K and come out making $640. If he's the game's best closer going into it, he'll come out paid (sort of) like it. Pretty sure those guys love saves as well. Papelbon got 12 mil (granted in his last year of arb) . Joey Votto got a 900+% raise to 5.5 mil.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
03/01/2012 @ 04:22:37 PM
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I suppose that's the motivation to sign up someone for a few million for 3, 4 or 5 years and "buy up" some of their arbitration. Braun, for example, signed a big contract a year or two in the big leagues*, essentially buying up all of his arbitration years and going beyond free agency. The team is gambling that he is really going to be as good as they hope while paying him a relatively low amount compared to other equivalents, while the player likes having the security of getting paid right from the getgo. If Braun was a free agent today, he could probably garner a prince fielder** like contract (I'm sure lots of other factors go into that, like not having Scott Boras as an agent; but Braun is younger and more multidimensional than Fielder, unless you count Fielder's girth as an actual, physical dimension). So back to Axford, if the Brewers don't ink him to a multi-year, slightlylower than market value deal, his arbitration offer in his first eligible year might be $12 million, vs $5 million per year for 4 or 5 years shouldu the Brewers "buy up" his arbitration years. (i'm just throwing numbers out there).

*this is not referring to his huge extension that brings him to 2020.
**I should note that braun is two years behind Fielder experience wise. My point was simply that Braun is a better overall player than Fielder, but will never get paid like Fielder.
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Scott screwed with this 2 times, last at 03/01/2012 4:30:49 pm
2887.gifAlex - 3590 Posts
03/01/2012 @ 11:09:52 PM
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The current reliever market is down quite a bit, or the Brewers wouldn't have lucked out so much getting KRod for 8 mil. So either there were just extra free agents this year, or teams are figuring out that 4 year $30 million deals for relievers generally aren't a good idea. Given that market attitude, I'd lean towards just going year to year with Axford for now.

I'm too lazy to find the article at the moment, but there was an article in the last week or two on fangraphs that concluded that teams that buy out arbitration years generally get more bang for the buck. So in general it's not a bad idea, but I'm not sure how many relievers were included in that study though.
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scott.jpgScott - On your mark...get set...Terrible!
03/02/2012 @ 01:11:18 PM
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http://disciplesofuecker.com/closer-sushi/
More on Axford's situation.

The guy brings up some good points. However, it is all based on the assumption that Axford will replicate his 2011 numbers for the next 4+ years (or at least come pretty close). It still doesn't necessarily clear up the "is it a good idea" debate. The assumption could be wrong in that Axford could be another Derrick Turnbow who flames out big time after a year. And giving Axford a long term (ish) contract could save the Brewers money that he might make in arbitration. Even if the assumption is true, is $5 million per year for 4, 5, or 6 years worth it for a position that you've had decent success at finding guys to fill that roll in years past? There isn't really a long history of closers that have been top notch for an entire career, so that goes back to the assumption/gamble again that Axford is going to stay good.

In the end, having uncertainty in a closer does make for a rather frustrating fan experience. Losing a game in the ninth inning is the worst way to lose from a fan's perspective (in my opinion).
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
03/02/2012 @ 02:21:33 PM
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I think that's what drive a lot of the mentality around closers. We remember games that were blown in the 9th, and forget all the times the game was blown in the 6th, even though there really isn't a big difference there.

Or, better yet, we remember all the times the game was lost in the 9th because your team doesn't have "a closer" but we don't/can't know about all the times we only won the game because "no closer" means "actually having a shortshop", or whatever, and that upgrade was worth +2 more wins in aggregate.
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Jeremy messed with this at 03/02/2012 2:22:56 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - The pig says "My wife is a slut?"
03/02/2012 @ 02:39:58 PM
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Though I guess I should add that even if you make the case that putting so much emphasis on a 9th inning loss while ignoring everything else is somewhat irrational behavior, that doesn't make it not real.

A team that "knows" it "blew" 2 games in the 9th, but can't tell it won 2 games they otherwise wouldn't have, and are ignoring the 5 run lead they blew in the 5th one game, last week might have a moral/chemistry problem, which isn't nothing.
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scott.jpgScott - No, I did not change your screen saver settings
03/02/2012 @ 02:55:15 PM
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The thing with blowing a game in the 9th vs blowing a game in the 6th, is that in the ninth, especially if you are on the road, means that the game literally ends upon the act of the game being "blown". If you "blow" a game in the 6th, the game isn't over for 3 more innings. The sudden-ness of a 9th inning loss and the chance at redemption for blowing a lead earlier in the game makes the 9th inning slightly more important. Although at some point, you do indeed need a really really good bullpen pitcher. The argument of whether that guy should only be used in the 9th inning when the 7th inning poses a pretty big risk sometimes is probably really the question.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
03/02/2012 @ 03:21:08 PM
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The 10 team post season is official, and this season.

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7638357/mlb-expand-playoffs-two-teams-10
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
03/02/2012 @ 03:26:45 PM
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It'll be interesting. Trying to recreate the magic of the last day of last season will be hard to do. Espeically since the last day of last season would have been meaningless with this format, since the Braves would have played the Cardinals no matter how either of their games went, and the Rays would have played the Red Sox no matter how either of their games went. Ultimately I suppose I'm in favor of more teams having a shot, but nothing will ever compare to the histeria that was Regular Season Finale 2011.

Any maybe that wasn't their goal, but I just remember how epic that night was, and I want to relive that night again from the beginning.

I think the goal was actually to make the path of the Wild Card team(s) just a little more difficult, in order to place a little more of a premium on winning your division. That's probably all in all a good thing. It adds a little more exclusivity to the playoffs, which is something baseball has tried to pride itself on anyway. Having 10 instead of 8 teams and adding the one extra game by the 2 best non-division winners almost makes the playoffs MORE exclusive.
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Scott messed with this 2 times, last at 03/02/2012 3:33:05 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
03/02/2012 @ 03:30:34 PM
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But we could have that times 2 now (though even that diminishes it.)
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scott.jpgScott - You're going to have to call your hardware guy. It's not a software issue.
03/02/2012 @ 03:35:18 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 03:30:34 PM
But we could have that times 2 now (though even that diminishes it.)

Meaning a race to be the 2nd wildcard team, plus thet actual wildcard playoff round? I suppose. Or perhaps the race to avoid the wild card round altogether? Either way, I highly doubt there will ever be a finish quite like the end of the 2011 reg season, so I should stop looking.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
03/02/2012 @ 03:53:55 PM
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Well, that was tough to beat. I just meant that there were probably teams eliminated the day before the last game of the season, who wouldn't be now, so it ups the chances for that last game to matter. Instead of 4 games with playoff implications on the last day their might be 8 now. (But of course it somewhat cheapens making the playoffs a bit, and certainly the wildcard.)
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newalex.jpgAlex - But let history remember, that as free men, we chose to make it so!
03/03/2012 @ 10:53:44 AM
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I'm thinking I don't like the expansion. Unless after this year they are going to shorten the regular season and make it at least a best of 3 series.

Brewers chances of making the LDS went up .2%.

http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/spring2012/story/_/id/7633883/mlb-washington-nationals-miami-marlins-toronto-blue-jays-all-benefit-new-playoff-format
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Broadcast in stunning 1080i
03/03/2012 @ 12:10:43 PM
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Morneau! Mauer! Spring Training opener! Dazzle Dan! Provus! #itshappening
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hoochpage.JPGSarah - 3613 Posts
03/03/2012 @ 01:14:16 PM
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yay! Mauer hitting a diamond cutter made my day.
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2887.gifAlex - 3590 Posts
03/04/2012 @ 01:29:50 PM
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Here's what MLB should have done. Leave the playoffs alone, scratch All-Star weekend, shorten the season by maybe 10 games, and then institute an in-season cup competition. 5 days during the season would be set aside for a single elimination tournament. Not sure exactly how the seeding would work with 30 teams...find 2 more I guess. Minor league teams, college All-Star teams, old guys who were forcibly retired make up a team, something. Then do seeding based on current records maybe, but have 1 vs 2, 3 vs 4, etc. to ensure that bad teams have a better chance to advance (and be the home team).
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scott.jpgScott - You're going to have to call your hardware guy. It's not a software issue.
03/05/2012 @ 09:45:37 AM
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Corey Hart needs knee surgery. Out 3-4 weeks. Will miss opening day. Boo.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
03/05/2012 @ 10:22:35 PM
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Carlos Gomez is so fast. He got cleanly picked off first base (in that he got caught breaking too soon), the first baseman caught the pitcher's throw cleanly, fired a pretty good throw to 2nd base, and gomez still beat the throw.
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newalex.jpgAlex - 3590 Posts
03/06/2012 @ 03:57:46 PM
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Bleh, 30th out of 30 is kind of bad
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/positional-power-rankings-shortstop/

Ex-Brewers have the Royals at 23rd

Brewers were 19th at C and 17th at 1B I think
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
03/06/2012 @ 04:33:54 PM
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JJ Hardy has the Orioles at 5. emoticonemoticonemoticon
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Jeremy edited this at 03/06/2012 4:34:19 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
03/06/2012 @ 06:03:41 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 04:33:54 PM
JJ Hardy has the Orioles at 5. emoticonemoticonemoticon

ditto
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newalex.jpgAlex - 3590 Posts
03/06/2012 @ 09:08:03 PM
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At the least Brewers got Gomez, who is mildly useful, for JJ. What did the Twins get, half of a week old egg salad sandwich?
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scott.jpgScott - You're going to have to call your hardware guy. It's not a software issue.
03/06/2012 @ 09:33:07 PM
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For what it's worth, Hardy hasn't had a big career offensively. I would tend to think that 2011 was more of an aberration for Hardy rather than a trend of things to come. Even with the Brewers, it always seemed like he could have been pretty good at the plate, and he had some spurts here and there, but never consistently.
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2887.gifAlex - Who controls the past now controls the future
03/07/2012 @ 01:33:39 PM
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I'm sure the Brewers or Twins would take any one of JJ's 2012 projections in a heartbeat (for the right price I suppose, but still)

JJ
http://www.fangraphs.com/fanpdetails.aspx?playerid=3797&position=SS

Alex Gonzalez
http://www.fangraphs.com/fanpdetails.aspx?playerid=520&position=SS

Jamey Carroll
http://www.fangraphs.com/fanpdetails.aspx?playerid=1591&position=2B
His projections aren't too bad, but if they really are for 2B and not SS his Fielding value will take a hit.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
03/07/2012 @ 08:09:49 PM
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I wouldn't deny any of that. I'm just trying to justify it all. I mean, Hardy had such a bad year his last year in Milwaukee that he was sent back to the minors before the season was over.
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Scott edited this at 03/07/2012 8:10:10 pm
jon.jpgJon - many posts
03/08/2012 @ 09:58:40 PM
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Alex Wrote - 03/06/2012 @ 03:57:46 PM
Bleh, 30th out of 30 is kind of bad
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/positional-power-rankings-shortstop/

Ex-Brewers have the Royals at 23rd

Brewers were 19th at C and 17th at 1B I think


Fun to see Brian Dozier on the Twins list. He's a friend of the site. OK, not really, but Matt and I (and Andrew) had a chat with him at a minor league (A) game a couple years ago when he was on deck and there was a break in the action. So basically, he's family.
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Jon perfected this at 03/08/2012 9:59:08 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
03/08/2012 @ 10:18:29 PM
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Pretty sure the Brewers starting pitchers haven't given up a run yet in spring training games.*

*correction: Greinke gave up 1 run today. Only run given up by a brewers starting pitcher thus far.
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Scott screwed with this 2 times, last at 03/09/2012 8:35:39 am
scott.jpgScott - If you aren't enough without it, you'll never be enough with it.
03/09/2012 @ 08:33:28 AM
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http://milwaukee.brewers.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120308&content_id=27127750&vkey=news_mil&c_id=mil


"People are going to have different opinions," Braun said. "Most of them don't know the real story. It's tough sometimes to base your opinion or formulate a decision when you don't know what happened. Overall, everybody has been real supportive."

Will the public ever hear his version of "the real story?"

"I highly doubt it," Braun said. "They're probably not going to know too much more than they know now."


Dear Ryan Braun,
what the heck?

Signed, your supportive, believing, and now somewhat confused fans.
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Scott edited this 2 times, last at 03/09/2012 8:35:49 am
scott.jpgScott - On your mark...get set...Terrible!
03/09/2012 @ 08:37:19 AM
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Obviously it was Casey McGehee's sample that showed the testosterone, but he just didn't want to be a rat. So he did the nice thing and throw some other poor sap under the bus. Clearly that's the real story.
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hoochpage.JPGSarah - 3613 Posts
03/09/2012 @ 08:46:01 PM
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Poor delusional Brewers fan.
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scott.jpgScott - On your mark...get set...Terrible!
03/12/2012 @ 12:48:19 PM
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Any chance the fantasy draft can be moved? I'll be out of town March 30 - April 3.

On a related note. I've finished 6th 3 times in Nutcan Fantasy Baseball. Weird.
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Scott messed with this at 03/12/2012 12:55:35 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
03/12/2012 @ 01:49:22 PM
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http://www.chadmoriyama.com/2012/02/ryan-braun-what-you-dont-know-about-his-case-is-important/

More about Braun...

Basically, someone was able to reproduce the results that Braun claimed to have happened to his sample. Interesting.

edit: I realized after reading and posting the article that it was from February. Not that that matters, but it isn't exactly "breaking news". That and the fact that nobody seems to have cared about what Will Carroll found out.
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Scott messed with this at 03/12/2012 2:18:39 pm
matt.jpgMatt - 2953 Posts
03/12/2012 @ 02:51:20 PM
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I read that article back when it was posted. I thought it was mentioned or linked to in an article that was posted here, but maybe it wasn't.

It all comes down to how they "replicated" the result. Did they do a controlled experiment that exactly replicated the conditions it was under? Or did they just leave a sample in a heated room for a few days until they got the result?

The fact that this has been based on only one person's source, and that we haven't heard much about this in the past few weeks, leads me to believe there may not be as much to this as the author would have us believe.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
03/12/2012 @ 03:25:06 PM
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Everyday for 7 days google has an app/album/and book for 25 cents. (And a movie rental for a 25 cents ot a buck.)

Today the book is Moneyball

https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=l3l8zCu1CZoC

If you wait it out a bit, amazon has price matched each offer with their kindle version every day now.

http://www.amazon.com/Moneyball-Winning-Unfair-Game-ebook/dp/B000RH0C8G/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1331583246&sr=8-2

(The whole deal ends sometime within 24 hours. They seem to switch at noon, though yesterday's is still 25 cents, the whole 7 day promo ends this time. https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Lois_Lowry_The_Giver?id=knkqgp57wJ8C)
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Jeremy edited this 4 times, last at 03/12/2012 4:03:24 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - Super Chocolate Bear
03/12/2012 @ 03:34:08 PM
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Scott Wrote - Today @ 01:49:22 PM
http://www.chadmoriyama.com/2012/02/ryan-braun-what-you-dont-know-about-his-case-is-important/

More about Braun...

Basically, someone was able to reproduce the results that Braun claimed to have happened to his sample. Interesting.

edit: I realized after reading and posting the article that it was from February. Not that that matters, but it isn't exactly "breaking news". That and the fact that nobody seems to have cared about what Will Carroll found out.


Matt Wrote - Today @ 02:51:20 PM
I read that article back when it was posted. I thought it was mentioned or linked to in an article that was posted here, but maybe it wasn't.

It all comes down to how they "replicated" the result. Did they do a controlled experiment that exactly replicated the conditions it was under? Or did they just leave a sample in a heated room for a few days until they got the result?

The fact that this has been based on only one person's source, and that we haven't heard much about this in the past few weeks, leads me to believe there may not be as much to this as the author would have us believe.


They're also ignoring a few very important parts:

1) Yes, the chain of custody is important. I don't think anyone would argue otherwise. However, the technicality in question was largely inventing a chain of custody violation that wasn't there. There wasn't an actual violation.

2) Braun's sample would always have sat SOMEWHERE for "44 hours." (Ironically I think if the collector did exactly what Braun's lawyers said he should have done, they would have used the fact that it sat at Fed Ex, as opposed to being cared for like every other sample, as a breach, and maybe even had a case there....except for)

3) Samples aren't just assumed/hoped to not have broken down due to time/conditions. They're tested for that too, and his passed.

4) EVERYTHING ignores the fact that this, worst/best case can ONLY explain the "natural" testosterone. The synthetic stuff can't just appear.
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Jeremy screwed with this 2 times, last at 03/12/2012 3:57:20 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
03/12/2012 @ 04:35:56 PM
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We the general public also know very little about what the actual substance was. We have been told that it was a synthetic substance. So far, no mention about what the substance was. There's a lot that isn't known. The point the guy was trying to make is simply that there is doubt enough to not label the guy guilty. He makes it very clear that he isn't declaring the guy guilty.

1) Das determined that there was indeed a violation. He wouldn't have freaking ruled the way if he if he didn't think there was one. Unless you think he ruled the way he did because he put money on the Brewers to win the World Series this year. emoticon Point completely lost for you.

2) it might have sat at Fed Ex, but it may have been shipped first thing in the morning. The guy didn't drop it off until 1:30 in the afternoon on monday. Not that I care about this point. The point is that your first point is flat out wrong.
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Scott screwed with this 2 times, last at 03/12/2012 4:40:55 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
03/12/2012 @ 04:54:08 PM
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1) Obviously he was convinced that "shipped that day" vs "Fed ex was open but would not have shipped that day" was a big enough breach in the rules. I'm not convinced it is, and I'm not convinced even if you saw their point, that it was in the spirit of the program to be so literal. I disagree with him, and I don't NEED to know all the speculation and innuendo (in-YOUR-end-o) he was privy to, that I wasn't, because IF he based any part of his decision, at all, based on Braun's, "well, I mean, it's technically possible something happened to it [even though we have no reason to doubt the results, and would apply to every test ever done in any sport ever] because it was inexplicably [lie] missing [lie] for 44 hours" then he was an even bigger fail than just agreeing with the legal ambiguity. I'm not "forgetting" the arbiter found for Braun...what would we be talking about if that was lost on me? All of that is beside the point anyway, because there wasn't an ACTUAL violation, just a legal/wording violation, and barely even that*. The sample is almost certainly valid, which again, it's also tested for making all this speculation nonsense. At best we don't have any particular reason to doubt this one test vs any other. The guy didn't open the sample, spill it on the ground, mop up what he could, and wring it back into the container, then lose track of it for 2 weeks in the back of his wife's mini van before giving it to his Brother to run to Fedex.

2) Does it say the courier needs to be waiting at the door when it's unlocked on Monday morning? What about 10 minutes? 30? Again, he might have known when his shipment would have ACTUALLY left Fed Ex, and taken proper care for it as long as he could. How is not putting it into the hands of the guy behind the desk at Kinkos a few (probably pointless) hours earlier WORSE?

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Jeremy messed with this 10 times, last at 03/12/2012 5:15:44 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
03/12/2012 @ 05:29:13 PM
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Rule: The courier should hand the package to a Fed Ex employee, rather than using an after hours drop box.

Situation: Courier sets package on scale, Fed Ex employee weights the package, prices it, and takes it to be shipped.

Braun's Lawyer: The rule clearly states he's supposed to hand the package to them, and at no point did that take place. It was in the couriers hands, then no one's, then the Fed Ex employee's. It was never handed directly to a Fed Ex Employee.

MLB: The point of that rule is clearly just to say not to leave it in a drop box, they're being hyper literal on the unimportant part.

Das: Hmmm, going to have to go with Braun here.


In this play, Das agreed. A 'breach' was indeed found. But it wasn't an "actual" one. It was lawyers doing what they do best(?), finding just enough of a technical one. It says nothing about the test. Yes, I know Braun's excuse allows for a "missing" amount of time, but like I've said all he has there is "well, who knows?" and you could "well, who knows" any test. Why bother with the whole endeavor? It's always a possibility that something went afoul somewhere. It's WORSE if that played a part, because it's not only wild speculation that has no place in any legal proceeding, it ignores the fact that they can test the sample for degradation of the sample itself, and his was fine. (And that the artificial testosterone would still have no explanation. )

I think you're letting the speculation, which of course could be true, cloud the reality that Braun really did just get off on something like the above. A tortured lawyerese violation.
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Jeremy edited this 4 times, last at 03/12/2012 5:40:30 pm
scott.jpgScott - If you aren't enough without it, you'll never be enough with it.
03/12/2012 @ 06:04:51 PM
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I'm not speculating anything with relation to the reason he got off. The policy was determined to have been violated. That is a fact: that the policy was determined to have been violated. And it's likely because the policy was actually violated, even if it was because Braun's lawyer was simply just good at convincing Das that is was. I'm not making that up.
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Scott screwed with this 2 times, last at 03/12/2012 6:06:30 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
03/12/2012 @ 06:39:04 PM
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Well, as I've clarified. I meant it wasn't actually violated in any real-world, we have a reasonable doubt regarding this test, sense. (Like if the seals were found ruptured.) Or even in a "there's probably no reason, because it still passed the tests/safegaurds, but there was a pretty obvious breakdown in the chain of custody," sense. (Like if it was found out that the courier had his 14 year old son bike it over to Fed Ex on Monday.)

This is just in a "someone convinced an arbiter to get literal and find a tiny ambiguity in language" sense, more like as in my fake play above.

I accept that Das accepted policy was violated. My point is two fold. 1) I think he got a little too literal 2) At best I'm saying "The policy wasn't violated, just 'violated'."
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Jeremy edited this at 03/12/2012 6:40:19 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
03/13/2012 @ 10:23:13 AM
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Amazon really hid this one: http://www.amazon.com/Moneyball-ebook/dp/B005G5PPGS/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1331652133&sr=1-2
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scott.jpgScott - On your mark...get set...Terrible!
03/13/2012 @ 11:50:45 AM
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While I don't own a Kindle, the deal finding portion of my brain is saying "who cares, 25 cents is a hard deal to turn down."
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Scott screwed with this 2 times, last at 03/13/2012 12:16:49 pm
2887.gifAlex - 3590 Posts
03/13/2012 @ 01:13:38 PM
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You can pay me 20 cents to tell you to not waste your 25 cents. That's a 20% savings!
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Alex edited this at 03/13/2012 1:14:38 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
03/13/2012 @ 01:37:42 PM
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Hmm, pay you 20 cents for you tell me not to pay 25 cents for something that is of no use to me? You make an interesting offer.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - The pig says "My wife is a slut?"
03/13/2012 @ 02:37:25 PM
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Yeah, I finally broke down and bought the Google version last night cause amazon never updated. I rooted our kindle fire, so we can use the kindle, google, and nook apps, but I like the kindle app better.

I'm like half done, and I think the season is like 10 games old. Assuming the book is true, I'm already a little miffed at the movie version. While I don't think the "puppet" Art Howe is in the book is flattering, the situation was hardly that where everyone around him flat out refused to listen to Billy Beane. At least in the book, and presumably reality, Howe was a team player, even if a figurehead, rather than some stubborn fuddy dutty that was proven wrong by Billy.
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Jeremy screwed with this 2 times, last at 03/13/2012 2:38:55 pm
scott.jpgScott - You're going to have to call your hardware guy. It's not a software issue.
03/13/2012 @ 03:13:14 PM
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Right, the movie made Howe out to be belligerent (is it me, or does Philip Seymour Hoffman always seem to play guys portrayed as pricks*). The book made him out to be a guy going along with what the guy paying him tells him to do. Also, the book is probably 50% about the A's 2003 season, and 50% about the concept behind the case study of the 2003 season. And it might even be more heavily on the concept side than that. The movie was like 90% about the season.

What was funny about the movie, is before I saw it (and before I read the book), people would mention it to me, and I would say "that's about the Bills James concept right?", and people would have no idea what I was talking about. Then I watched the movie and found out wh: they mentioned Bill James by name probably a grand total of 4 times. The book is at least 50% about Bill James specifically. I guess it makes sense though. The Bill James side of it is all about math. Who's going to watch a movie about math.

*and by always, I mean he played one in Patch Adams also.
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Scott screwed with this 4 times, last at 03/13/2012 3:17:21 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - Always thinking of, but never about, the children.
03/13/2012 @ 03:56:21 PM
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Yeah, I mean I don't think most movies accurately reflect reality, or the story, but I just don't get why sometimes. The story was compelling enough to make a movie out of, or not. I mean, why not portray the A's as winning the World Series that season, if the story isn't "good enough"? That's just as much ignoring what really happened as all the other crap so far they've changed for the sake of making Billy Beane seem like more of a one man island, who invented the idea of a major league club actually paying attention to stats 15 seconds before the season in question. I accept that, even though a picture is worth 1000 words, and pictures and sound have to be worth even more, than the average movie can only cover like 30% of the territory a book covers, but that doesn't mean you have to rewrite history to do it. Why make up that Carlos Pena was an "all star", rather than a guy batting .218? Why pretend this was a "one year" revelation, to which critics can point to and say "they only won 3 more games....oh, and they had 3 of the best pitchers in the game" when in fact the methodology was in place for years, and had lead to steady improvement, despite the odds. Those 3 pitchers were Sabermetric finds, which conventional wisdom would have told teams to avoid. Why ignore that losing Isringhousen was, to an extent, part of the PLAN. Beane wanted to "invent" value by sticking nobodies in there, letting them pile up saves, and then sell high, or cash in on the compensatory picks. I get they wanted Beane to be a "victim" in the movie, but if gives the impression this was just a one year thing, that, arguably, didn't even work. In reality it worked long enough that you'd be hard pressed to claim it wasn't effective. It just isn't as effective now, because it's par for the course.

It's especially bad because often times by trying to make a story better they make it worse. The fact that Beane was complex makes him a better character. He doesn't cut guys because Howe isn't playing his guys, he does it because the team isn't winning, and they were part of the reason. The fact that some of those might have been too "knee jerk" makes it better.

I know there's at least one James reference in the movie, cause the head scout guy says something like "this isn't that Bill James shit, is it?"
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Jeremy messed with this 6 times, last at 03/13/2012 4:50:06 pm
thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - 2953 Posts
03/13/2012 @ 05:29:19 PM
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At one point Bill James was going to be an animated character.

http://www.firstshowing.net/2009/soderbergh-going-animated-with-moneyballs-bill-james/
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 1.21 Gigawatts!?!?
03/14/2012 @ 12:24:44 AM
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Scott Wrote - Yesterday @ 11:50:45 AM


While I don't own a Kindle, the deal finding portion of my brain is saying "who cares, 25 cents is a hard deal to turn down."


The google version at least has a pretty sizable "one year later" addendum. Not sure if the (presumably physical) edition you read had that or not.

It addresses a lot of the objections launched at it, most of them centered around themes like

1) No, Billy Beane didn't invent sabermetrics, but he deserves some credit for having the courage of his convictions to see where that got him.
2) The league has caught up, at least as far as OBP is concerned, which is why the A's are suffering in that stat, and to an extent, overall. It's no longer the "undervalued" commodity, and they've (presumably) moved on.
3) At no point did/does anyone at the A's think they discovered some secret code to find can't miss players. The idea is minimizing risk, and shifting the odds in your favor. Par for the course in the MLB is having ONE guy from a draft class actually making big league contributions someday. (And there's a lot of rounds.) So, of course, their "card counting" still fails most of the time, it just fails less, and does so more cheaply.*
4) Billy Beane didn't write Moneyball.

*And, though this might be my personal take, but to an extent, even that isn't the point. The over arching theme is the attempt at making objective, the subjective. Of the humbling realization that our eyes and brains lie to us, constantly. Of the weird aspect of human nature that refuses to let go of what we "know", no matter how many ways we can be shown we're wrong. Everyone knows that high schooler's are a bigger risk, but they also "know" that if you want the true "sky is the limit" talent, you have to shop there. Everyone "knows" you need to manufacture runs to win baseball games. In my opinion, even if Beane's particular experiments failed, they were a step in the right direction.
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Jeremy screwed with this 4 times, last at 03/14/2012 12:48:00 am
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
03/14/2012 @ 10:15:18 AM
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I gave my copy to my dad to read, so I can't confirm this, but I'm pretty sure the newly published physical version has the prelude you described. I think your statement about making the subjective move objective is probably the best way to describe the point of the book. The book says that Billy Beane didn't watch the A's games for the purpose of not allowing him to make decisions based on emotions, which he was generally inclined to want to do. The point wasn't to show that OBP is the silver bullet, but rather that they discovered through science and mathematics a new way to value a player's ability. In doing so, people have discovered that some of those stats have been undervalued greatly over time.

One very good part in the prelude was talking about the restiance from what Michael Lewis called the baseball fraternity. What Beane was doing was "different", therefore it was terrible. Joe Morgan as an example talked about how important it is to manufacture runs and that what Beane was doing simply can't work. Morgan mentioned that the reason the A's lost to the twins in the NLDS is because the Twins were better at manufacturing runs than the A's were. Lewis then pointed out that the scores of the games were 7-5, 9-1, 6-3, 11-2, and 5-4. He points out that three of the games were decided by 3 or more runs, but Morgan ignored the fact that the Oakland's pitching staff (which was lights out all season) really struggled uncharacteristically (tim hudson had an era of 6.23 in the postseason after posting a 3.37 era during the reg season; Barry Zito had a reg season era 2.75 of and a posteason era of 4.50). What Morgan argued was that Beane's experiement failed because he didn't win the series. What Lewis argued is that a 162 game regular season is a big enough sample size that the statistical probabilities work, and the things the stats say will work will more often be true over the course of the season. In the course of a 5 game series, you can throw all that out the window because the sample size is 1/32 the size and thus there is no way to establish a "pattern". A player can hit a home run in every game of a 5 game series, which obviously in no way makes one think that he could actually hit 162 home runs over the course of a season.

I agree pretty much completely with Jeremy's 4 point summary of the prelude.
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Scott edited this 2 times, last at 03/14/2012 10:24:45 am
scott.jpgScott - No, I did not change your screen saver settings
03/14/2012 @ 10:17:41 AM
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Not only did Billy Beane not write Moneyball, I'm not sure he was fully aware of what Michael Lewis's intentions were for wanting to follow him around. Lewis apparently wanted to follow other teams around too, but Beane was one of the only ones willing to let him in. I could be wrong about that, but I think I remember Lewis mentioning something along those lines.

To Jeremy's point number 2:
The reason this all seemed to work for the A's early on was because they were sort of the only team doing it. At least they were doing it better. The Red Sox hired Bill James in 2003 and suddenly a big market team is using the tricks that allowed a poor team to stay afloat, and now the advantage that the poor team had is not an advantage any more. That's why the A's are bad again, at least that's more of the reason than claiming that Billy Beane's experiment didn't work. The Red Sox's two World Series titles are impart proof that Billy Beane's ideas (although as Jeremy pointed out as well as the book, they weren't "Beane's ideas") worked remarkably. And now every team has an economics/math/science/sabermetics department to do what people called Beane crazy for doing.

Also, Jeremy, did my talking about the book have any weight in you deciding to read it? If so, I'm not sure I've ever influenced someone to read a book before, other than my dad who reads the same kinds of things as me anyway.
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Scott messed with this 2 times, last at 03/14/2012 10:26:10 am
scott.jpgScott - No, I did not change your screen saver settings
03/14/2012 @ 10:39:25 AM
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http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=7683158&categoryid=2378529

This apparently is the new baseball tonight meme. Tim Dillard impersonates Kurkjian. It's worth a laugh.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8467 Posts
03/14/2012 @ 03:26:10 PM
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No. I planned on reading it eventually. Amazon Prime members/Kindle owners get a book a month for free, and I assumed Sarah and I both wanted to read it. I guess Sarah isn't terribly interested, but you can borrow ebooks from the library too, so I probably would have gone that route eventually, if not for the 25 cent offer.

Not to pick too much on Morgan, because this happens a lot: (Though he did sort of set himself up as the white knight of all things anti moneyball, despite clearly never reading, and repeating over and over that Billy Beane wrote the book, no matter how many times he was told otherwise.) My fav part of talking about Morgan, and I forget if it was part of the book or the postlude, was when he got up on his horse vs the Twins and talked at long-winded-length about how you "can't wait for the 3 run homerun in the playoffs" and, as he was on his rant, the A's got a guy on, didn't steal, got a hit (maybe getting the guy to third), and then got a 3 run homerun.*

*Of course one coincidental event to the contrary doesn't make Morgan wrong, it's just funny. He's wrong or not if he's wrong or not.
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Jeremy perfected this 2 times, last at 03/14/2012 3:40:09 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - The pig says "My wife is a slut?"
03/14/2012 @ 03:33:51 PM
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I also find the "well they never won a world series, so it must not work" attitude annoying. I mean, it might not work, they might have gotten lucky, etc, but the point again isn't that they found some bullet proof system. The fact that they managed to hang out with the Yankees year in year out despite the Yankees paying more for their top 2-4 guys than the A's whole team is, itself, the point. They shouldn't be in that conversation. They have no business in that conversation. It would be unreasonable to say they "should" have done better "if it worked" because a) the playoffs are a total craps shoot. b) they "shouldn't" have been there, and we have no real gauge of where they'd have been without it.

Of course the $200 million payrolls are usually going to win, that's sort of missing the point.
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Jeremy edited this 2 times, last at 03/14/2012 3:42:46 pm
matt.jpgMatt - 2953 Posts
03/15/2012 @ 09:11:00 AM
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Scott Wrote - Yesterday @ 10:15:18 AM
What Lewis argued is that a 162 game regular season is a big enough sample size that the statistical probabilities work, and the things the stats say will work will more often be true over the course of the season. In the course of a 5 game series, you can throw all that out the window because the sample size is 1/32 the size and thus there is no way to establish a "pattern". A player can hit a home run in every game of a 5 game series, which obviously in no way makes one think that he could actually hit 162 home runs over the course of a season.


In other words: Billy Beane's shit doesn't work in the playoffs. emoticon
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scott.jpgScott - If you aren't enough without it, you'll never be enough with it.
03/15/2012 @ 09:29:05 AM
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Well, nothing "works" in the playoffs*. If Billy Beane's stuff has a probability of 65% success over the course of a season, and someone else's "manufacture runs" strategy has shown to work 30% of the time over baseball history, you can still catch lightening in a bottle when you take risks, and you can still go through a dry spell when you play the percentages.

Is we all know, probability isn't a guarantee of anything. The A's couldn't predict that their starting pitchers would crap out during the playoffs.

*in the true moneyball sense, I shouldn't say "nothing" without having facts to prove it. But the small sample size of a playoff series does lend itself to the inability to develop a pattern.
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Scott screwed with this 2 times, last at 03/15/2012 9:31:16 am
thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - 2953 Posts
03/15/2012 @ 09:34:23 AM
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http://digamma.net/btfwiki/Shit_doesn%27t_work
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
03/15/2012 @ 09:38:51 AM
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Ah, I see. Well, either way, I think what I said supports what the link is saying. Luck plays a pretty big role in the playoffs.
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images.jpgcraig - 130 Posts
03/15/2012 @ 04:06:55 PM
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Any chance we can get 3 DL spots in the NutCan Super Fun Club? I invariably end up with 5 players on the actual DL at some point in the season.
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scott.jpgScott - Resident Tech Support
03/21/2012 @ 01:39:56 PM
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http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/143684616.html
Uecker to get a statue at Miller Park. Unfortunately they turned down my request to have the statue in my back yard.

On why it took so long: "I didn't have enough for the downpayment."

On what it will look like: "It's kind of a Schwarzeneger-type thing. Beefcake, speedo, pretty buffed. It's really enhanced. "

On where it will be located: "It's actually up at Garfield Park, at 3rd and just off of North Avenue. It's not going to be at (Miller) Park. Robin and Henry wanted their statues moved if mine was put there."
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scott.jpgScott - Resident Tech Support
03/23/2012 @ 09:20:21 AM
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http://disciplesofuecker.com/2012-preview-milwaukee-brewers-part-ii/

This is what I love about baseball and baseball statistics. This article highlights differences and similarities between Zack Greinke and Randy Wolf. Last year, Zack Greinke had a worse FIP that Randy Wolf, and this lead even to the local guys saying things to the effect of "they both have the same defense behind them! That stat obviously is meaningless." Or if not meaningless, then simply that "it's just an excuse".

Then, there's this:
Greinke had a high ground ball rate, which was a big weakness for the Brewers defensively, they were below average defensively on batted balls in play that were ground balls. Randy Wolf had a lower ground ball rate and a higher fly ball rate; the Brewers were above average defensively on batted balls in play that were fly balls. In other words, in spite of "playing with the same defense behind them", Greinke's strength (which generally would be the makings of a pretty good pitcher) played directly into the Brewers weakness, while Wolf's strength played right into the Brewers defensive strengths.

It's always wonderful when baseball stats speak so directly, sometimes you just have to listen.
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Scott messed with this at 03/23/2012 9:33:09 am
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
03/23/2012 @ 02:56:39 PM
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http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7712916/tommy-john-surgery-keeps-pitchers-game-address-underlying-biomechanical-flaw-espn-magazine

Here's a concept that is in the spirit of Moneyball: using science to predict pitching injuries. And here's a quote epitimizes the feeling that people already "know" everything there is to know;

"I'm not going to let new-school ways get in the way of my old-school thinking. I don't need biomechanics. I have experience. I have my eyes. I just watch and look."
-- White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper

And here is a frame by frame breakdown of a near perfect delivery compared to a flawed delivery.
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scott.jpgScott - Resident Tech Support
03/28/2012 @ 07:38:55 AM
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It's going to be a little harder to hate the Cubs this year. I'm not saying I won't do it, but there is just an added challenge this time. Not only is their new manager a former Brewer, who happens to have authored one of the more famous home runs in Brewers history (he hit a walk off homerun on easter sunday in 1987 to extend the brewers' season opening winning streak to 12 games, AND he was the manager that ultimately got them back to the playoffs after 26 years), but their third base coach is Brewers first ever Rookie of the Year, Pat Listach (I have a pat LIstach signed Brewer hat somewhere; it was my first ever player autograph), and their pitching coach is former Brewer Chris Bosio. Back in the day before player specific bobbleheads, they had these things called Starting Lineups; I had a Chris Bosio figurine.

All three of these guys were among the first memories I had as a sports youngster. How do you root against these guys? It won't be easy, but with resolve and determination, I'll root for them to lose at least enough games to be beat out comfortably by the Brewers.
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Scott messed with this at 03/28/2012 7:41:23 am
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
03/28/2012 @ 09:27:06 AM
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Also, in case you missed it, the 2012 MLB season officially opened up yesterday with the Mariners playing the A's in Japan.
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2887.gifAlex - You've got to trust your instinct, and let go of regret
03/28/2012 @ 12:57:36 PM
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I did miss it, and didn't have McCarthy starting. Probably will be his best start of the year.

This goes along with the NFL trying to have games on every single day of the week and having a special opener. Get over yourselves sports leagues.
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Alex perfected this at 03/28/2012 12:58:38 pm
scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
03/28/2012 @ 01:13:18 PM
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At least the NFL opener is an event that people care/know about. It's a prime time event with concerts and hype and hoopla and celebration. They wouldn't have it on Thursday or even Wednesday night if they didn't think people would watch it. Baseball opens its season out of America at 3:00am pacific time (local time for the teams involved). Not only is it weird that baseball started the season before most of the teams are done with spring training (not the first year this has happened), MLB basically made it impossible for the local fans to even watch the game!
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Scott perfected this at 03/28/2012 1:14:19 pm
hoochpage.JPGSarah - So's your face
03/28/2012 @ 06:52:12 PM
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Yesterday or today?
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
03/29/2012 @ 08:44:22 AM
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Scott Wrote - Yesterday @ 01:13:18 PM
At least the NFL opener is an event that people care/know about. It's a prime time event with concerts and hype and hoopla and celebration. They wouldn't have it on Thursday or even Wednesday night if they didn't think people would watch it. Baseball opens its season out of America at 3:00am pacific time (local time for the teams involved). Not only is it weird that baseball started the season before most of the teams are done with spring training (not the first year this has happened), MLB basically made it impossible for the local fans to even watch the game!


For those of you who can't stay up till 3:00am, today's Mariners-A's game started at 2:00am pacific time. Another spectacular beginning to the Major League Baseball season. The NFL had "Back to Football" in Prime Time. Baseball apparently has "Let's see if anyone notices".
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Scott perfected this 3 times, last at 03/29/2012 8:47:45 am
jon.jpgJon - Nutcan.com's kitten expert
03/30/2012 @ 12:45:52 AM
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Scott Wrote - Yesterday @ 08:44:22 AM
For those of you who can't stay up till 3:00am, today's Mariners-A's game started at 2:00am pacific time. Another spectacular beginning to the Major League Baseball season. The NFL had "Back to Football" in Prime Time. Baseball apparently has "Let's see if anyone notices".


Well, it's kind of apples and oranges anyway. The two sports aren't really consumed in the same way and baseball doesn't need to pretend they are.

Plus, from a percentage of season missed standpoint, if the A's and Mariners were football teams, there's still over three minutes left in the first quarter of the first game. Football fans miss more than that taking a bathroom break at the stadium. And Brewers fans miss about 30% of the season due to tailgating, so it's really not much of a deal.
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scott.jpgScott - 6093 Posts
03/30/2012 @ 09:26:15 AM
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I'm not necessarily saying that baseball is dumb for doing it. It's just funny when you put it in certain terms. I would say, however, that I would be a little upset if the Brewers opened their season in such a manner to made it nearly impossible for me to watch. Although, I might consider getting up at 3 or 4 AM to watch if it came to that.

If there is something that can be referred to as somewhat stupid is that the A's and Mariners still play spring training games. So they have 2 regular season games, a handful of exhibition games again, and THEN they start playing regular season games for good. That just seems somewhat unusual.
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Scott edited this at 03/30/2012 9:29:01 am
jon.jpgJon - Nutcan.com's kitten expert
03/30/2012 @ 07:18:23 PM
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I serve up the first Brewers fans dig of the season and you just let it slide? You're a better man than I, Scott. Probably all for the best anyway. I was just being a pest.

Yeah, I don't know how I'd feel if the Twins played the opener in Japan. It'd probably be cool as a novelty if it was just once in a great while.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Robots don't say 'ye'
04/02/2012 @ 11:00:28 AM
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I'd be pissed. I'm a little annoyed they have a daytime opener as it is.
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2887.gifAlex - You've got to trust your instinct, and let go of regret
04/02/2012 @ 01:28:59 PM
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http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/2012-organizational-rankings-13-milwaukee/

I'll take it. 10 years ago they lost 106 games.
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question_mark.gifevilgenius (Guest)
04/03/2012 @ 10:45:25 PM
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HEY GUYS DO YOU THINK BASEBALL IS BORING? I THINK THAT IF
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