A story I wanted to drop but failed to because of the “Bountygate” story and the “Manning getting cut and signed by the by the Broncos” stories was the Ryan Braun story. If you didn’t hear, Ryan Braun – who by the way, is not polarizing, nobody roots against Ryan Braun, you don’t and I don’t, CBS doesn’t, Yahoo doesn’t, ESPN doesn’t …he’s not Barry Bonds or A-rod. He’s not polarizing, he’s not unlikeable but rather, Ryan Braun is soft and a dude has big teddy bear eyes, plays in Milwaukee – nobody hates Milwaukee, people hate LA because it’s too superficial, people hate Dallas, people hate New York, but nobody hates Milwaukee. You probably fly over it most of the time, they have nice people. So Ryan Braun had a 50 game suspension overturned by an arbitrator – everybody in Milwaukee including Aaron Rodgers was like “ahh, he’s innocent!” slow down people. His testosterone level was 5x the level of yours or mine, 20:1, it should be 4:1.
An independent arbitrator – who could go either way, decided that he liked Braun’s argument better! They didn’t argue about the testosterone, they just argued about the shipping. Where basically the courier did not immediately head to the nearest FedEx office…why? Because it was Saturday night none were open in Milwaukee. So the courier guy sat on it, he put it in his fridge in Wisconsin. Yet Braun’s lawyers argued “come on!! That doesn’t sound right…who knows what he did with it…” it’s a guy getting off a crime because a cop didn’t read him his Miranda rights. It’s a technicality win – which by the way, doesn’t mean that Ryan Braun is guilty, it doesn’t mean that Milwaukee fans are wrong. But never forget that jury’s never find defendants innocent – they can’t! It’s not their job. It’s not within their power. They can only find them… “Not guilty!” a verdict of “not guilty” can mean two different things: you believe the defendant or that a verdict is not proven or there is a “technicality” and there’s 2 ways to beat Major League Baseball when the steroids stuff comes up: lab error – which is pretty tough, or didn’t like the transportation of the urine to the lab., and they beat him on that.
Aaron Rodgers was one of the most vocal athlete’s to support him and was firing shots at the media for blaming him. Listen, sources previously had confirmed a synthetic testosterone in Braun’s system – that his T.E. ratio was 20:1, “not guilty” is not always innocent, and it’s simply not proven guilty. That’s not anti-Ryan Braun! Nobody dislikes Ryan Braun, but everybody in cases like this one jumps to both sides: “innocent” or “guilty” but can’t we just have a moderate perspective? Can’t we just let this thing play itself out? Nobody is anti-Ryan, I hope he’s innocent, but to somehow jump up and down and claim “this is outrageous!!” Major League Baseball is going to appeal this; they wouldn’t appeal it if Ryan Braun would have proven without a doubt that they butchered the test. It was the transfer of the urine, not the urine. A lot of trials are won and lost in a lab.
Now, I’ve always thought that you have to be very careful about believing somebody right after they strongly defend themselves – we’re all human beings. You pound that table “I’m innocent!!” and we might go “ahh he’s innocent” we’re human; we’re affected by words, that’s why TV commercials work. But in the end, I always try to have perspective and take a step back and look at the facts – take the emotion out of it, it’s sorta the montra of this blog. So Ryan Braun is out there very adamant and in denial. Let me ask you something though; why do you think attorneys spend so much time on closing arguments? Why do you think the great ones spend so much time on closing arguments? The answer is quite simple, because the last thing you hear can sway you! That last emotional plea, that last funny line, you forget everything from the last 8 months, and it’s why closing arguments mean so much in Law.
So Ryan Braun came out that same week he’d won by a technicality, takes the microphone and it’s an aggressive self defense, here’s the transcript on what he said “ …if I had done this intentionally or unintentionally, I’d be the first one to step up and say I did it. By no means am I perfect, but if I’ve ever made any mistakes in my life, I’ve taken responsibility of my actions. I truly believe in my heart and I would bet my life that this substance never entered my body at any point.” Wow, that’s strong stuff no? Especially the line “bet my life” that certainly will sway some people. “Andrew, did you read that? He’d bet his life” folks, he doesn’t have to actually bet his life, it’s not a courtroom, didn’t take an oath, he was just a dude at a ball park in front of a mic. “I would bet my life” that is certainly strong stuff and it’s hard to go against a guy who, I mean, would “bet his life” but would he?
So Braun steps down from the mic – and those of you with whom I had shared my initial reaction to this story with, were then texting me and saying “Shame on you Andrew, that’s egregious that you’d think like that. He’s been wrongly persecuted” Let me ask you something though, what are the 2 strongest denials in baseball history? I’d argue Roger Clemens and Pete Rose –how did those turn out? Roger Clemens pointed at you, pointed at Congress. Pete Rose took a strong stance for 15 years. Of all the attorneys in the U.S. who has the strongest denials, bordering on cartoonish? With bold, loud statements saying “I’ll bet my life?” Its criminal defense attorneys who often represent the most egregious and most guilty clients.
I’m not here to tell you that Ryan Braun is guilty nor am I here to tell you that Ryan Braun is innocent. But I heard Ryan Braun’s speech and you know what I got from it? Anybody and everybody is on trial! He just doesn’t think he should be. You know who was thrown under the bus? Braun is largely claiming tampering, the gentlemen who took the urine sample. You don’t know much about him, Mike Lupica wrote about him shortly after the story broke out. I’m going to introduce you to the guy who is now being framed as a tamporer. He probably opened up that bottle and threw in some synthetic testosterone or something. His name is Dino Laurenzi Jr, he’s 52 years of age, is a healthcare professional, has a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin, has a master’s in medicine from North Carolina and an MBA from Loyola-Chicago – that’s a world class university. He’s been doing this stuff for 3 years. So he’s got a B.A., a Masters and an MBA. For the record, if you believe there was tampering, why was the F.B.I. not called? That’s what I would do, yet never was.
So in this “step to the microphone/step to the podium” bold statements, bold defense…let’s take a deep breath. At one point, Braun was asked the question about “how do you explain the whole 20:1 testosterone level thing?” and he replied by saying “well the most honest answer I can give you is that I’m 100% certain it’s never entered my system. I can only speak for what happened up until the time the sample went missing, I have no idea what happened to it for that 44 hour period and beyond that, your guess is as good as mine, I don’t have any idea” so he’s 100% certain. It reminds me of that sentence you read a couple of minutes ago “bet my life” of course you can’t document 100% certainty; it’s not really a scientific number nowadays right? “Bet my life…100% certain!” with a mic in hand at a ballpark and the emails started to pour in.
All I am saying is that you guys are too smart, we’ve seen this before and I think I’m too smart to let words get in the way of facts. I am not saying Ryan Braun is guilty, but it felt like to me “bad urine tester…bad guy tampering” Those are major claims! That is a felony and Braun is claiming that a gentleman – who for the record lives in Wisconsin, I doubt he’s anti-Brewers haha and doubt he’s anti-Ryan Braun is being framed as a tamperor – that’s heavy stuff folks