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Thursday, February 23, 2012


Oswalt is nothing, if not an enigma. Between the limited NTC that was obsessed over, and the previous talk of retirement. Now, opting to be a mid-season pick up (which I find odd, as there will be plenty of spots open up at the end of Spring Training...).

I'd have to guess that he knows WHO he wants to play for (as evidenced by previous NTC blather), and he's just waiting on a spot to open up. Hard to imagine that he couldn't get more money on a full season with another team, but who knows?

The major difference with Pedro was that he was always a guy who "took off" early in the season any way (injury, whatever), so the 2nd half thing worked well for him in his advanced age. Oswalt is 3 months YOUNGER than Halladay.

This will give him time to plant the spring oats.

Oswalt is really picky about where he wants to play. I guess this will test how much he wants to play the game as well.

Also: For what rap music turned to in just a few years, "My Prerogative" is quite a tame song.

That's the first thing that came to my mind to JW.

I guess he's gonna drag his ---- a litle more in the dirt!! Haha

With all due respect to Drew, I do have to say that there's no contest that JW writes some of the best headers, with his own unique spin, in the game. No where else are you getting an Oswalt/Bobby Brown comparison.

I don't see Oswalt in a Philly uniform this year UNLESS there is a major meltdown in the rotation.

In fact, he may just decide to retire by mid-season.

Or, this could just be a move to position himself on a hot team to give him a better shot at a ring. Instead of going all-in on a team in spring training, wait for half the hand to be played and then make the bet with the team with the best hand.

I was never a big fan of these guys that forego spring training and the first few months of the season and come back in mid season like they are rock stars. Pedro and Juicer Clemens come to mind.

This is necessarily speculation, but I wonder if Shane's guess isn't the best. Not only can he ride the "hot hand," he gets to skip the less meaningful first half of the season. For a guy who is seems to be not super invested in everyday baseball for baseball's sake, and is looking for a championship, this approach makes sense. It's also possible there are some physical issues we don't know about, of course. topic..but Braun wins his appeal? First time ever that someone wins an appeal and he plays on the Commish's team? Hmmmm....let the conspiracy theories begin.

Om Braun: "Someone familiar with the decision said the appeal went Braun's way not so much on contesting the result of the test but the testing process itself, some kind of technicality. And it was arbitrator Shyam Das who decided to rule in favor on that technicality, making it a 2-1 decision by the three-man panel."

It's nice to know he's "technically" not a cheater.

Based on some statements he made last year and now this, I have to wonder if Oswalt's heart is in baseball anymore.

I thought I would be happy at the thought of Braun winning an appeal, but now I just have the feeling the announcement is going to stir up a lot of sheightt.

In Braun's case there was a delay in submission of the sample.

I have no problem with Oswalt doing this. His body might not be able to handle the rigors of 30+ starts anymore, and if he wants to pitch in the playoffs, and pitch effectively, it makes sense to come back midseason for a contender.

In fact, if I were a team that wanted to acquire his services, I'd rather deal for him in late July and get 2.5 months of good/great pitching out of him, than bring him on in April, and have a burned out or injured Oswalt by mid-August.

Fata, what you write makes a lot of sense. I think that the half-season rent-a-veteran pitcher construct is here to stay.

My first thought when I saw the headline was what JW expressed regarding the Phils. Also agree with Shane. And a half-year of Roy helps with the luxury tax.

My question is if he is healthy why didn't the Yankees who have the bucks and have the need not pick him up?

Anybody want to contact Shyam to complain? he's right here in Ardmore...

Phone: 610-642-7662
350 Ardmore Avenue Fax: 610-642-4011
Ardmore, PA 19003-1032 e-mail:

BOOOOOO! Just practicing for when the Brew-Crew comes to town. Lying cheater gets off on technicality says that proves his innocence. What do you think MLB thinks "Major League Baseball vehemently disagrees with the decision rendered today"

Word is, a courier didn't know fedex was open Saturday night, so the test wasn't shipped until monday. Braun got off because the chain of evidence wasn't followed NOT because he didn't test positive. HE DID TEST POSITIVE!


Put down the pitchfork!

As for vice-Roy. When Kentucky Joe goes, he'll be back. Book it Danno.

Slocs, one, according to a report I just read on either foxsports, espn or, what coused his elevated testosterone level was a medication he was taking, not PEDs. Two, he was apparently tested 3 times in the past year and the results were negative. Three, when a sample isn't sent in right away it is at risk for tampering.

I'm not saying he isn't a cheater, or that he wasn't taking PEDs. The only ones who would know that are him and his supplier.

What I am saying, however, is that the "tampering risk" argument was enough to create doubt for the arbitrator.

If MLB doesn't want these kinds of results they need to sharpen their process so this doesn't happen again.

This gives the Phils time to trade Blanton.

This Braun decision is absurd. Everyone who has ever been suspended for roids should be freaking out. Every latin player should be going double wild.

Chain of custody is chain of custody, and in cases like drug tresting it is important.

However, feel free to boo Braun for never challenging the result in arbitration, but rather attacking the process. That's lawyerly and shitty.

What would Steve Carlton have to say about this?

Its insane that Oswalt is going this route. Another few solid years and he'd at least get some Hall consideration. Going the half-season route is just ridiculous.

In defense of the courier, there was probably a playoff game to watch Saturday night.

No offense to those who consider FEMA Oswalt a nice family man who is decent and God fearing but when some people do it, they are selfish and Manny being Manny and unrealistic about their talent but when John Deere here does it, he is a good guy who still has it but wants the right thing for him and his family. This guy is unrealistic, his back is probably as sh8tty as my back and he is a quitter, he does what he wants when he wants and we should have assumed this when he held out before he accepted the trade a few years back and was reluctant to join a WFC competitor and leave his perennially cellar dweller bunch of juicer and loser teammates in Houston.
I am sick of this dude who won us nothing. Back to the back 40, my man.

Thought this was interesting:

Roy Oswalt's "Similar Pitchers Through Age 33"

1. Roy Halladay

Others in his Top 10 are Jim Bunning, Jimmy Key, Bret Saberhagen, Tim Hudson, John Smoltz, David Cone and Mike Mussina.

Yet he's basically becoming a part-time player.


He'll flush a rabbit and be playing after planting season.

I understand why Oswalt is particular about where he wants to play. There is also the about his back holding up too.

Oswalt would give the Phils a lift during the regular season if they do pick him up but I would rather see Halladay on short rest in a potential Game 4 than a fully-rested Oswalt in the NLDS especially if it is an elimination game. Maybe they get the Game 2 NCLS who was dominant but odds are at this point it is the middling version who goes about 6 IP and gives up 3-4 runs.

If Roy O goes through with the half season plan, I think we all owe an apology to those who were saying his heart did not appear to be in the game.

Seems that would just about prove it, since he was courting teams as if he were healthy enough to play right up until recently.

Now, won't it be interesting to see if anyone will man (or woman) up to admit they were wrong?

He should have taken that 1 year, $10 million deal from Detroit. Great deal from a contender where he could be the missing piece to the puzzle.

Seems like a loser move to go this route to be honest...unless he just hurt himself or there's something else going on beneath the surface (like family issues), I just dont get it.

As far as personality though, Oswalt seems like he has personality of a tree stump on and especially off the mound. Right or wrong, Pedro and Clemend are always entertaining especially Pedro. Always good for a quote or several. I had a hard really rooting hard one way or another for Oswalt during his short tenure here in large part because of his personality and what transpired last year.

I honestly don't understand how a broke-down hick like Oswalt's decision of where or whether to play baseball inspires such strong opinions. He's a free agent in the true sense. Doesn't owe any team (or fan) a damn thing.

I am taking the time off to promote Rick Santorum.

Well, he's the one who has been waffling all winter long and then called a press conference to tell everyone he wasn't going to play in the 1st half.

I mean, at this point I simply dont care either way.

I wrote earlier this year that Oswalt's not a "team" guy. Detroit sure could have used him all year, but he turned down $10mm -- after how much $$ vesting from a prior contract? Baseball Reference sez he's made ~$91mm in his career -- so far. QED.

"Chain of custody is chain of custody, and in cases like drug tresting it is important."

In criminal law, we say that chain of custody problems go to the "weight, not the admissibility" of the evidence. In other words, defense counsel can cross-examine about chain of custody problems and the jury can make whatever it wants of those results. But as someone who has been doing criminal law for 18 years, and criminal appeals for 15 years, I can tell you definitively: (a) that I have hardly ever seen a dope case where there weren't questions raised about the chain of custody; and (b) that no defendant in any court will EVER get his test results thrown out of court, or his conviction reversed on appeal, due to chain of custody problems.

It's basically a total crock of you-know-what. It's just a case of MLB stepping in and protecting a star player with an otherwise pristine image. The odds that some malicious person decided to tamper with Ryan Braun's urine are about equivalent to the odds of Michael Martinez winning the 2012 National League batting crown.

I seem to disagree with most of you. I liked Oswalt's personality - found his sense of humor funny. I think he's been a great pitcher, too. I don't know whether he has concerns about his back or is simply holding out for the best chance at a ring, but I don't begrudge him either. Although that may be largely because I like him. Still, the resentment and/or judgment some people exhibit toward players who don't do and say exactly what they want to see/hear is...well, maybe it shouldn't surprise me anymore, but it seems a bit much to say the least.

Such much unnecessary melodrama about Braun. He's cheated & escaped on a procedural technicality screw up. Lucky him.

As much as people making steroids/performance-enhancing drugs to be a big deal, in the history of the list they are a couple of notches a bunch of things racial strife & integration, cheating, players' rights, etc. Even the drug-fueled haze of the late 70s and into 80s with tons of players doing coke was arguably worse than steroids.

I imagine that Braun gets booed most places he goes early in the NL but nothing that over the top. Going to hear 'Roids' chants though likely for the rest of his career & rightfully so.

As for Oswalt . . . I called him a narcissist, in the mold of Roger Clemens and Brett Favre, when he started going on and on last season about how he was going to retire. I was taken to task for my comments, but taking a half-season off, and coming back in mid-season, is about as Favre-like as you can get.

That said, I kind of get the feeling that he really wants to return to the Phillies, and the Phillies really want to find a way to make it happen. I would be all in favor of such a move.

MG: Agreed. As BAP can probably attest to, establishing "innocence" has nothing to do with proving that you are actually innocent.

b_a_p -- if Braun goes .265/ 60 RBI/ 16 HR in '12, dem books was cooked. I can't wait to hear Selig spin lousy 2012 Braun numbers as a "...typical off year...". Geesh

BAP... I hope you didn't just curse the Phils into actually having to give MiniMart the opportunity to compete for the batting title..

I like the part where Roy Oswalt gets slammed both for being probably injured *AND* for skipping the first half of the season.

That selfish prick! I just don't understand him!!! He should sign for big money and and then go on the DL to collect it.

But, of course the fact that he leaves money on the table PROVES he's greedy.

Is he injured? If so, just say so and avoid the drama.

Did even a single poster say he's greedy?

no one even implied such a thing.

He may just need a break from baseball and Oswalt Enterprises. Maybe he's answering a higher calling and visiting the Dalai Lama with a plan to free Tibet.

Interesting read and interview with Victor Conte on Deadspin about how guys are supposedly using designer PED's that are out of your system in 24 hours or less. Would explain a lot here and why other guys don't get caught. Sounds to me as if Braun got tested on the wrong day.

I like Oswalt. He's not always running in front of a camera and telling everyone how great he is. Seems like a real person, among some ballplayers who seem less than real these days.

It's as if nobody here ever knew someone who was more on the quiet, just do your job side. It takes all kinds of people to make a team work. Having an Oswalt or two isn't a bad thing. As long as he still wants to play. We'll have to wait and see about that last part.

Btw, anyone see Shane Victorino on Hawaii Five-O this week? He gave 110 percent, without a doubt.

Shane seems to always give 110 percent. Or maybe that's just his hyperactivity. I saw him. Watched Hawaii Five-O for the first time because of Shane. (The show was just ok.) Shane did just fine, better than when he reads cue cards for local commercials or on that Veteran's Day Extreme Home Makeover special.

Oswalt does come across as aloof, but if you think about it, his aloofness is just a "celebrity" seeming like a regular guy. There's nothing wrong with talking retirement, and I'd rather see someone retire than hold on too long *cough*Moyer*cough*. Hell, the guy could be found eating at Applebee's in Voorhees quite often.

*I like Moyer, but for some reason I have a hard time supporting his latest effort to come back.

Is bap suggesting that MLB knew of the positive result and strove to tamper with the chain of custody? Or that they bought a judge? Sheeesh.

Unless Oswalt's waiting for more money (which, from his actions last season and his rejection of Detroit and Boston this year, doesn't seem likely), who cares if he plays the first half or not? Sure, greed is annoying if it's even that, but if I were him, I personally wouldn't want to play or live in Detroit or Boston either.

He didn't get a deal he liked so he's going to sit on it and hope someone he does want to play for offers him something good. And then, if he doesn't get what he wants, unless he really misses playing, he'll just not. I don't see any problems.

MLB put out a statement strongly disagreeing with the result. I find it hard to believe they have anything to gain by Braun getting off on a "technicality." If they were worried about a star player being in trouble and wanted to step in and tamper with a legally enforceable judicial process, they would've at least gotten him off on the merits.

Personally, like MG, I don't really get the outrage over steroid usage. On the whole, I suppose I'd rather have everyone be clean, so I support drug testing. But yeah, the process has to be perfect. You don't suspend someone and tamper with their reputation without proper procedure. The risk of a false positive, even if small, has serious costs. I know I'm a terrible person because I think players have rights, but yeah, if the process is messed up, he deserves to not be suspended.

As for Oswalt, who cares? As JW says, this definitely increases the chances he'll play for the Phils, so it's good news.

This has nothing to do with any of the conversations going on, but I just learned that the Utleys welcomed a baby boy sometime this off-season. I had no idea they were expecting.

Congrats to them!

GBrettfan - I hear he's lost all the baby weight and will be in the best shape of . . .

I dont care until Braun has a positive play vs the Phillies this year. Then, he's a cheating bastard.

Poor Dane Sardinha failed his physical with the Orioles and is back on the free agent "market".

Oswalt doesn't need to be injured or hiding anything to sit out the first half of the year. He's had the back issues for some time now, and if he decides that it's better for his health and future to sit out the first half of the season, and hope to get a shot to join a contender and take a run at a ring, who's to say that's a bad move?

Maybe he's inadvertently made a spectacle of it, but unlike what Favre did, he's not holding some team at bay. Favre had the Vikings preparing the entire off-season with Tarvaris, and then he shows up right before the last week of pre-season and upsets the entire order. In baseball, you really can't upset the order. You just slot people in, and tell them to do what they've always done.

I bet teams are going to be pretty damn happy when, at the deadline in July, Oswalt is fresh, healthy, and rearing to pitch some good baseball for two months. It's just unnecessary to vilify the guy. He's a great pitcher nearing the end of his career, trying to maximize whatever he has left in the tank.

Unikruk: Perhaps my sarcasm meter is off. I hope so. If you actually read my post as a claim that MLB tampered with the result, you are in dire need of a remedial reading course.

Oswalt doesn't have an offer he cottons to. Mid way through the hardball season he'll be able to make the same foldin' money he's bein' a-offered now for half the work. To me.....that's some clever stump diggin' figgerin'.

Jack: I am not particularly outraged over Ryan Braun's steroid use. I AM somewhat outraged over the arbitrary enforcement. Every athlete who tests positive for steroids makes the same defense: "I didn't do it; my urine must have been tampered with." The argument fails 99% of the time, but now it suddenly works for Ryan Braun?

I also don't agree that the process has to be perfect. Ideally, it should be. But, in the real world it never is. Even in criminal cases, the drug/urine/blood specimen invariably ends up unaccounted for at some point. Yet, the next time I see a criminal conviction reversed because of chain of custody problems, it will be the first time. And, if we don't demand perfection before locking someone up in prison, why should we demand perfection before taking away an ultra-rich person's livelihood for 50 days?

Anyone with a functioning brain knows that it is about 99% probable that Braun did, in fact, use steroids. If we're going to suspend athletes for such conduct, that is more than enough evidence to warrant the suspension.

why hamels couldnt play for hometown sd: "why would i want to go where fans only support you from the 3rd inn. thru the 6th?''!/JonHeymanCBS/status/172703774102667264

Hamels obviously confused his hometown of SD with LA because this is routine for the seats at Dodger Stadium 1st to 3rd base in the lower level.

It has increasingly become the case at Phils' games too especially if they are losing late. If they are down more than a run, a lot of people last year were leaving after the bottom of the 7th at CBP.

I hereby nominate Shane Victorino for an Emmy for best performance by a baseball player to appear in a cameo role in a third-rate TV remake of a second-rate original TV crime show series set in Hawaii.

Rumor (that I'm now starting) has it that two of the arbitrators in the Braun case were former L.A. jurors. If the chain of custody doesn't fit, you must aquit.

"the next time I see a criminal conviction reversed because of chain of custody problems, it will be the first time. And, if we don't demand perfection before locking someone up in prison, why should we demand perfection before taking away an ultra-rich person's livelihood for 50 days"

B_A_P, you seem to be conflating the trial with the appeal. I don't know the basis of Shyam Das' decision, beyond what's reported in the press. And, the next time a reporter accurately describes the basis of a legal decision may be a first for me. It would appear that Das made a factual finding that a necessary element of baseball's case wasn't proven by a preponderance of the evidence (I assume) and we don't know what other evidence that, in combination with the delayed delivery of hte sample, may have raised a question, in his mind, about the integrity of the sample that he could not resolve in favor of a positive finding. It being arbitration, there's no appeal. But, if there were, like your hypothetical evidence that won't get thrown out, neither would Das' verdict on the facts. I would reserve judgment on whether the verdict is just but, if it's not, the blame would appear to reside with teh arbitrator and not the party who lost the case.

Or, to economize words, evidence may be admissible but, unpersuasive.

I do hope Braun is taking medication for his obvious case of Proptosis. If the medication he was taking caused the eye-popping levels of testosterone in his sample, then he should have reported it the Brewer's officials.

I still blame his father, I have worked directly with right-off-the-boat Israeli men before and they are more macho than my Uncle Joey.
They need to adjust the testo meter for the future semitic superstars.

Yet, the next time I see a criminal conviction reversed because of chain of custody problems, it will be the first time.

You realize that the stakes are .00000001% of what a criminal case is, don't you? MLB drug testing is 75% window dressing anyway. If MLB is going to suspend somebody, they need to follow the letter of the law exactly.

BAP comparing this to a criminal trial is hilarious yet predictable.

The bottom line is that the MLB didn't live up to the standards it set for itself. The guy took the specimen home to sit in his fridge over the weekend! Call it a technicality, call it whatever you want, but they screwed up and have nobody to blame but themselves considering they created the rule that was broken.

Bowlcut, Oswalt was considering retirement a year or so ago, so I suspect he's made enough money in his career (unlike Allen Iverson) so that he feels he won't spend it all away.

I suspect he really, really doesn't need the money, and would rather spend time with his family.

This might work out perfect. I would love to see him come back with the Phils and go out a winner with Thome.

I think MLB was out to get Braun. I do. I think they purposely had the guy take the specimen home with him over the weekend. Then, he and his wife went to dinner that night, but without here knowledge he left the back door to the kitchen open, so someone could come into his house and tamper with the sample.

You see stuff like that in the movies all the time so it must be true.

BTW, does anyone know what Propecia does to someone's testosterone level?

Yeah, MLB was definitely gunning to destroy the reputation of their MVP/face of the new clean game.

They're crafty like that.

Another ethnic joke by BL resident dimwit Raul's grandpa.

NEPP: Well, someone employeed by MLB leaked this story to someone in first place.

He won his appeal, but Braun likely will lose the PR war here whether that's fair or not. He got his suspension overturned on a technicality and a technicality that -- in the mind's of many I bet -- doesn't seem to absolve him as the likely source of the juiced specimen. So he plays his 50 games, the 24 hour window defeats whatever burden of persuasion MLB had, but his case lacks credibility anywhere outside of these formal proceedings.

I'm not sure, if MLB did leak the FedEx story, that it was done to tarnish Braun as much as it was done to mitigate whatever damage has been done to the credibility of their drug testing policy. The FedEx thing is a silly error compared to the other ways in which Braun's sample may have been tainted.

"CHEEEE - tah...CHEEE - tah....CHEEEE - tah..."

The "airball" song is a minor third; if sung long enough in public, it evolves into a G and E. In Kodaly music training this is the first interval taught to young children (Sol - La) placed in the key of C.

It's amazing how that works.

Hugh: I guess I was under the illusion that this WAS The appeal. But even if it was a trial . . . show me a trial where a judge has ever kept evidence out because of chain of custody issues. It doesn't happen.

Edmundo: So if the stakes are low -- like suspending some really rich guy for 50 days -- then 99% certainty of guilt isn't good enough, and we demand nothing short of perfection in the process? If the stakes are really high -- like giving someone the death penalty -- then the standard of certainty is set at "beyond a reasonable doubt" and our tolerance for error is much higher? Got it.

One of these is Reasonable Doubt, where the chain of custody item is presumably one piece of evidence of several or many.

The ONLY evidence in MLB drug testing is the sample. Yes, it needs to be 100% as it's the only thing.

Sohpist: I meant the original positive result. Someone leaked that to start this whole mess.

In theory, Braun's positive result should have never been public until the final appeal process was conducted, and if it had the same result than no one other than Braun/MLB would have ever known it came to a bottle of piss sitting next to some courier's leftover meatloaf.

There is no trial. MLB determines you violated the drug policy and you get an appeal to the arb panel (which doesn't follow legal rules for evidence). The CBA doesn't set forth any legal standards on these things, and the Drug Policy only says that the player gets automatic arb hearing and that it's on MLB to establish the positive test and the validity of the method. Player can then show that the positive test was not due to his fault/negligence or objective evidence questioning the validity of the test.

I don't think any evidence was thrown out here. I don't know what standard they used in deciding this thing, but everyone was fully aware of the positive test it seems.

Edmundo has it right. The processing of the test is not separable from the test -- it's all of a piece. BAP hasn't produced a logical reason why MLB shouldn't uphold, or be held to, the highest possible standards.

lorecore - yeah that initial leak was a disaster. not the first time it's happened either.

Whatever. Anyone with an IQ over 5 knows the chances that Ryan Braun took steroids are about a million times higher than the chances that some guy took his urine home for the night & dissolved steroid pills in it. But if an arbitrator says that Braun, unlike all the other players who have tested positive, can keep on playing, I don't really care.

Ah well, in the end I'd rather have a roider get to play 50 games, than an innocent guy sit out 50 - so i'm not too upset about it. On a positive note, it'll give me a better array of things to yell from my seats when he's out in LF.

DeFratus has been shut down due to elbow soreness. Never a good sign.

I should note that my "support" of Braun, unlike how other people, moreso in the media than on here, isn't premised on his being a white, "likeable", superstar. I would have the same thought if this was Manny Ramirez's appeal and the process had been screwed up. I somehow doubt others would, though.

And of course Iorcore is right that these things should not be leaked. People realize that the BALCO list was leaked illegally in violation of federal law, right? And yet no one seems to care about that.

"Edmundo has it right. The processing of the test is not separable from the test -- it's all of a piece. BAP hasn't produced a logical reason why MLB shouldn't uphold, or be held to, the highest possible standards."

Because it's not a death penalty case is why...beyond a reasonable doubt, preponderance of evidence, more likely than not.

If it's not a "big deal" Jack than "more likely than not" should be the bar.

Either way his career is seriously undermind. He's been tried and convicted in the eyes of the public.

Additonally, didn't one of the arbs vote guilty? Even with the question about COC we see how heavily the positive test contributes.

Actually, the standard should be whatever the players union and the league determines in collective bargaining. This is a labor issue, and it is rightfully settled that way.

jack: "my support of Braun unlike other people isn't premised on him being white"

who you trying to prove something to, the mystery poster who didnt bring up or yourself?

B_a_p: Chain of custody is KEY here because it is explicitly covered in the CBA. It may be a chickensh!t excuse, but it is covered and this IS NOT a criminal proceeding. Chain of custody is a key consideration in drug testing in other professions as well (military, etc.). MLB's drug tester screwed up.

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