Braun’s Explanation on Biogenesis Is Entirely Plausible

Yahoo! Sports reporters Jeff Passan and Tim Brown reported late on Tuesday that they had obtained records of now defunct anti-aging clinic Biogenesis and that three of the documents contained the name of Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun. Last week, the New Times of Miami reported that Biogenesis and its founder Anthony Bosch had allegedly provided performance-enhancing drugs to other MLB players, including Alex Rodriguez, Nelson Cruz, and Gio Gonzalez. Rodriguez, Cruz, and Gonzalez have denied receiving PEDs from Biogenesis or Bosch.

According to Yahoo!, one of the documents includes Braun’s name among a list of other players, including Rodriguez, Gonzalez, Melky Cabrera, Francisco Cervelli, and Danny Valencia, but without any notation about drugs or other substances banned by MLB. Another document has multiple references to Chris Lyons, one of several attorneys who represented Braun in 2011 and 2012 in his appeal of a positive drug test. That appeal was ultimately successful when the MLB arbitrator, Shyam Das, found that the urine sample obtained from Braun had not been handled in accordance with the process set forth in MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program and was, therefore, invalid.

After Yahoo!’s report was published, Braun issued the following statement:

During the course of preparing for my successful appeal last year, my attorneys, who were previously familiar with Tony Bosch, used him as a consultant. More specifically, he answered questions about T/E ratio and possibilities of tampering with samples.

There was a dispute over compensation for Bosch’s work, which is why my lawyer and I are listed under ‘moneys owed’ and not on any other list.

I have nothing to hide and have never had any other relationship with Bosch.

I will fully cooperate with any inquiry into this matter.

Immediately, the Twitterverse burst into action, questioning why Braun’s attorneys would consult with Tony Bosch as part of Braun’s appeal. Bosch falsely held himself out as a doctor but had no medical degree! Bosch supplied Manny Ramirez with the PEDs that led his suspension in 2009! There must be hundreds of experts Braun and lawyers could have used! Why didn’t Braun get ahead of this story by coming forward last week about his connection to Bosch? Why wait and be reactive! It looks suspicious!

I don’t have any information about Braun’s connection to Bosch or Biogenesis other than what’s been reported. But I practiced law for 20 years and spent a great deal of time working with experts in high-stakes cases. Based on that experience, Braun’s explanation is plausible to me. Does the statement raise questions that need to be answered? Yes. Does it necessarily exonerate Braun? No. But his explanation is not absurd on its face, as many contend. Let me explain why.

When preparing a case for trial or, in the instance, an arbitration, a lawyer typically retains one or more experts. This is particularly true when a case involves factual disputes on topics beyond the knowledge of a layperson or judge. Some experts are used to educate lawyers and assist behind the scenes in preparing the case. Other experts are retained as “testifying experts” who will provide their expert opinions on the disputed factual issues via sworn testimony.

The law treats behind-the-scenes experts quite differently from testifying experts. The work of behind-the-scenes experts, or consultants, is considered confidential and within the ambit of the attorney-client privilege and attorney work-product privilege. Lawyers rely on consulting experts to test theories and potential approaches to the case  without fear that the consultant’s identity, advice, opinions, and conclusions will be disclosed to the parties and lawyers on the other side of the case.

Testifying experts are not cloaked in the same level of privilege and confidentiality. In order to qualify as a testifying expert, the witness must establish her expertise in the subject matter in dispute. After that, she must explain the facts and documents she relied on to form her opinions, any experiments she conducted, her conversations with the retaining attorney, and any other basis for her opinions.  Lawyers for the opposing parties are entitled to cross-examine the expert.

Braun’s appeal focused on the validity of the urine test that allegedly showed a high level of testosterone. His attorneys reportedly attacked the test in two ways. First, by showing that MLB’s drug testing protocol was not followed; and second, by showing that an improperly-handled urine sample could lead to a much higher-than-normal testosterone reading. Braun’s statement says that his attorneys used Tony Bosch “as a consultant” and that he answered questions “about T/E ratio and possibilities of tampering with samples.” Sounds to me like Bosch worked as a behind-the-scenes expert and advised Braun’s attorneys as they prepared to challenge the positive test.

Why Bosch? Why use someone who’d already been linked to banned substances? I don’t know for sure, but it makes sense to me to his lawyers would consult with someone who had experience with a player (Manny Ramirez) who had tested positive and had been given a 50-game suspension. If you’re a lawyer defending a client accused of participating in a drug cartel conspiracy, you want to consult with people who knows how drug cartels work. Sure, there are law enforcement experts that you’ll want to testify for the client, but you also would like to consult with former drug cartel members. It’s entirely possible that Bosch had information from Ramirez’s situation that was useful to Braun’s lawyers in preparing their appeal.

And what of $20,000 to $30,000 that Braun’s attorneys allegedly still owed Bosch? Isn’t that a lot of money to pay a consultant to answer some questions about T/E ratios and tampering with samples? No, it’s not. My guess is that Braun’s appeal cost upwards of a million dollars. Twenty or thirty thousand dollars for a consultant is a drop in the bucket.

Why didn’t Braun get out in front of the story? Why not disclose his connection to Bosch and Biogenesis after the New Times report last week? Two reasons. For one, Braun may not have known that the Biogenesis documents contained any reference to him. The New Times report didn’t identify Braun in any way. Why get out in front of a story without knowing the facts? Second, if Bosch was a behind-the-scenes consultant, then his identity and work on Braun’s appeal was privileged and confidential. If Braun had issued a broad statement disclosing everything he knows about Bosch, it could result — down the line — in a waiver of confidentiality. Braun’s statement today was narrowly crafted to address only the documents in Yahoo!’s report. If I were Braun’s attorney, I would have advised precisely the same approach.

What does all of this mean? Where does it leave us? With many more questions than answers. But those questions should be asked — and the answers listened to — with an open mind. Those who have already decided that Braun’s statement makes no sense and that’s he lying or covering up wrongdoing will only hear what they want to hear going forward. But that won’t necessarily get to the truth. And the truth is what we should all be seeking.

Update (9:45 a.m. PDT February 6, 2013):

This morning, one of Braun’s attorneys, David Cornwell, issued the following statement:

In the 15 years that I have represented players facing discipline under the various professional sports leagues’ substance abuse and steroid programs, I have relied primarily, if not exclusively, on Dr. David L. Black and his team of scientists at Aegis Sciences Corporation in Nashville, Tenn., as my experts with respect to scientific and other matters relevant to the testing of player specimens. I was not familiar with Tony Bosch prior to Ryan Braun’s case. Bosch was introduced to me at the earliest stage of Ryan’s case.

I found Bosch’s value to be negligible and I followed my prior practice of relying on Aegis in the preparation of Ryan’s winning defense.

Cornwell’s statement doesn’t undermine Braun’s. Remember that, according to the Yahoo! story, it was one of Braun’s other attorneys, Chris Lyons, whose name appears in the Biogenesis documents. Lyons likely was the attorney who was “previously familiar” with Biogenesis and Bosch, as Braun’s statement notes. Cornwell didn’t know Bosch and, apparently, when he heard what Bosch had to say, didn’t find him useful. Again, there is a way to read these facts in support of Braun’s position and a way to read the facts in a way that undermines Braun. That’s why further factual investigation is needed before we form conclusions.




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Wendy's baseball writing has also been published by Sports on Earth. ESPN.com, SB Nation, The Score, Bay Area Sports Guy, The Classical and San Francisco Magazine. Wendy practiced law for 18 years before beginning her writing career. You can find her work at wendythurm.pressfolios.com and follow her on Twitter @hangingsliders.


333 Responses to “Braun’s Explanation on Biogenesis Is Entirely Plausible”

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  1. Mike says:

    Say it is true and he didn’t buy any PEDs from Bosch. He still used a known crook as a witness/consultant in the case against his positive test. “Money Owed” dispute could be about how much Bosch needed for lying about tampering under oath.

    -166 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • abreutime says:

      Bosch didn’t testify under oath. Witness is not the same thing as consultant. Did you read the whole article, or just the topic sentences?

      +69 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Mike says:

        Ok, I took it a little too far. I just don’t believe anything braun says for some reason. It all seems so rehearsed.

        I’ve been reading articles all morning….I’m suddenly fascinated with the PED stuff…never really was before LOL.

        -77 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Oh, Beepy says:

          Look at this expert, all morning you say?

          Tell me more about how your judgement is superior to someone who has passed the bar and practiced for two decades in the field!
          :allears:

          Vote -1 Vote +1

      • DD says:

        Of course it is rehearsed. As Wendy said, he had to be careful to craft a safe response that didn’t impact confidentiality agreements. His lawpers are feeding him the responses, as they always do in these cases (Clemens, Sosa, etc.)

        +30 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • robby says:

      you’re the person in the last paragraph, only looking for ways to make him guilty and not see the situation in its entirety. you’re assuming his lawyers were willing to throw away their careers by paying someone to lie underoath, so you clearly aren’t looking at it objectively.

      +30 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • DD says:

      If he was a behind the scenes witness, there was no testimony provided under oath. Waht he could have told them behind closed doors could have been lies, but what does that matter? He obviously still believed he was owed $30K for the information he provided to help their case.

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    • frankfurter says:

      I hope all the rest of the owners in my league feel like you about Braun. Come to Papa.

      +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. abreutime says:

    Thanks for the valuable insight. It’s nice to hear the perspective of a lawyer, and the legal reasons behind Braun’s statement.

    +40 Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Ben says:

    Why Bosch indeed? He doesn’t even have an MD. He was a fraud posing as an expert. I’m not a lawyer, I just play one on the internet, but I would imagine an expert witness’s sway depends on their expertise and their credibility. He has neither.

    -62 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Cliff says:

      He wasn’t an expert witness, he was a consultant

      +31 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Zach says:

      Yet another person who didn’t actually read the entire piece.

      +39 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Ben says:

        I read the entire piece, and I apologize for typing expert witness instead of consultant. The point still stands. Tony Bosch has about as much credibility as Lennay Kekua.
        What could Bosch possibly tell Braun that would aid his defense that a reputable doctor couldn’t?

        -41 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • robby says:

        Ben,
        he doesn’t need credibility, he just needs a viewpoint from his line of work. reputable doctors that don’t work in illegal substances wouldn’t have the experience with them that Bosch did. being a ‘bad guy’ or not an MD doesn’t mean he couldn’t have information that others don’t. read the article, this was all discussed by the author…

        +25 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Ben says:

        I read the article. And I ask again, what information could Bosch have provided that a slew of WADA-affiliated experts couldn’t have? Or were the reputable experts simply not willing to go anywhere near Braun’s case and defense team?

        -28 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Simon says:

        @Ben because the reply thing doesn’t work well here.

        I’m going to guess that someone who may well be involved in supplying PEDs may know quite a lot about how the tests work, what could affect a test and how to avoid positive tests. These things could all be kind of relevant to Braun’s defence. Also, given that it was likely for briefing purposes, the credibility of Bosch in a court situation is pretty irrelevant, providing Braun’s lawyers had confidence in the information he provided.

        +23 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Nate says:

          Correct me if I’m wrong but I didn’t think this whole Bosch Miami clinic scandal came out until recently so at the time of Braun’s appeal last year wouldn’t it be unknown that Bosch had any dealings with illegal substances.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

      • jayrig5 says:

        Ben-As the article stated, he may have had info on other unsuccessful appeals, like Manny Ramirez’s, that could have helped aid Braun’s effort.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • skipperxc says:

        Considering Braun’s lawyers won the appeal, I’d trust their professional judgement more than your armchair lawyering.

        +50 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • DD says:

        Ben, if you want someone to help you understand how to break a rule, do you want a cop to show you or a criminal?

        +21 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Ben says:

        Yep, he won his appeal. You’ll have to forgive my skepticism about Bosch. It’s entirely likely that Braun was simply consulting with Bosch, but normally people who are consulted in high-profile, high-stakes cases are actual experts, not fly-by-night “anti-aging” experts with no real background or training in the field. I actually don’t really care if Braun cheated, and I’m not an anti-steroids zealot, but I don’t think Braun did anything other than muddy the waters. Maybe he’ll come out of this smelling as sweet as a freshly scrubbed baby–if so, good for him.

        -34 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Preston says:

        Reputable doctors don’t sell steroids to athletes. So wouldn’t know the effects. Also a guy like Bosch probably helps his clients circumvent tests. So he knows a lot about that process too. Most doctors don’t sit around thinking how to get testosterone in or out of urine.

        +24 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Ben says:

        Reputable doctors do prescribe steroids all the time. And their effects are well documented and studied. Again, why couldn’t Braun get a WADA-affiliated expert to consult with?

        -12 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • robby says:

        Ben,
        If you read the article and statements, it says they consulted other experts. I’m sure Braun or anyone looking to save themselves will consult any and every person who may 2cents to contribute to give yourself the best chance. It never says he was the primary or only consultant (quite the opposite in fact)

        +13 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Kellin says:

        The lab that performed the test was WADA. The group of people that you want him to have consulted with are the ones that tested him and declared him a cheater. Probably not the group you want on the inside of your appeal process.

        +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Pennant says:

        Braun still needs a an experienced PhD toxicologist to stand by him and say that there is a 1% chance the test was a false positive?

        Has he ever found one? Why not? Has he even asked, and if so what are the answers? Seriously this is easy money for a PhD if a false test is even possible at 1%. If MLB does 1000 tests each year, ten will be false pos. Of course, we know already the scenario doesnt exist because MLB and the PA have agreed to a very strict standard that essentially eliminates false +.

        +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Trotter76 says:

        Ben, you refer to Bosch as a “fly-by-night “anti-aging” experts with no real background or training in the field.”

        I don’t know much about him, but if A-Rod and all these other major leaguers are going to him for their PEDs I’d assume he’s actually pretty good at what he does, however you feel about the nature of his business. Back in the day, the most knowledgeable people about anabolic steroids were bodybuilders, not doctors.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • yaboynate says:

      I’m not a night elf rogue, I just play one on the internet.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • When the CIA hunted for Obama, do they consult with murderous terrorists or just the producers of Monster Quest?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • NotLawyer says:

      Additionally, one does not need to hold a degree to be deemed an expert. In one instance, a man who had smoked marijuana over 1,000 times was held to be an expert on the topic, and his opinion carried more weight than a botanist.

      +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. Evan says:

    Why is Braun’s name listed when the payment should come from his attorneys and not directly through him?

    It’s no proof or even strong evidence, but now a second time his name is associated with PEDs. No one can say Braun is guilty but the cloud of suspicion grows a little.

    +16 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • robby says:

      it’s connected with the original PED case of his, it’s not a second time he was rumored with PEDs, unless you count every article about the same thing as a ‘separate assocation’.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Rob says:

        It’s only necessarily connected if you believe Braun

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • robby says:

        Rob,
        if you believe that he’s lying about everything, then you’re not being a skeptic or objective, you’re just looking to prove your side only. Skepticism means you also have to accept an outcome you may not expect, not just disbelieving everything you don’t want to hear.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • EEOC says:

      Clients often sign and pay for engagements of consulting and testifying experts directly. Moreover, even if the lawyers did pay Bosch directly (and then passed the costs to Braun in thier invoices), Bosch is likely to have tracked the matter as being for Braun. Experts don’t track matters by the law firm involved, they track them by the ultimate client.

      +10 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • chief00 says:

      @Evan: It sort of makes me think about a talented 1B early last century named Hal Chase. He was suspected of ‘laying down’ (i.e. not putting forth an honest effort to win games; they also suspected he consorted with gamblers, bet on games, etc.) as early as 1908. The cloud of suspicion hung over him until the ‘Black Sox’ scandal broke, Kennesaw Mountain Landis was named Commisioner, and dozens of players were banned or became persona non grata. Chase was one of the latter: persona non grata because, for 12 long years, the cloud of suspicion never left.

      This is a very illuminating article, Wendy. Thanks.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • ChrisCEIT says:

      I can’t comment on this case, but I know that when I design a house, it’s often referred to as the “Johnson Residence”, both on the drawings, as well any supporting documentation, time cards, letters, emails, etc. I may have contracted with the architectural firm of Smith and Associates, but Johnson’s name would be all over everything.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Oh, Beepy says:

      Because Tony Bosch’s personal notebooks are the journals of a self-aggrandizing narcissist who likely chose his line of work for the exact same reason that he obsessively noted his dealings with anyone who would sound interesting in a story.

      Either he was desperate to make himself sound cool to others, or he had the intention of blackmailing anyone who refused to pay. (not that it seems this could be the case, since it seems he would have blackmailed melky.)

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. Simon says:

    Can you all read the article before you start the seethe, please?

    On why Braun’s lawyers may want to consult with someone like Bosch.

    “If you’re a lawyer defending a client accused of participating in a drug cartel conspiracy, you want to consult with people who knows how drug cartels work. Sure, there are law enforcement experts that you’ll want to testify for the client, but you also would like to consult with former drug cartel members. It’s entirely possible that Bosch had information from Ramirez’s situation that was useful to Braun’s lawyers in preparing their appeal.”

    +8 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Ben says:

      Yeah, former drug cartel members. Not active drug cartel members. There’s an important distinction there, which does not apply to Bosch.

      -24 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • robby says:

        ben,
        i’d bet Bosch told them he’s out of it since the Ramirez thing. also, what guy that’s hiding his work from the government would make it known to everyone? of course he’s going to hide that he’s still active.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Caveman Jones says:

        Bosch had formerly been connected to Manny Ramirez’s failed test, so without knowledge of his most recent activities he would like a former associate instead of an active one.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Simon says:

        You really can’t think of any information that someone like Bosch could have that would be useful to Braun’s defence at all – even in looking at possible lines of defence that may never have been used?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Bip says:

        I would think active cartel members would know just as much if not more about drug cartels than former members.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. SparkyATS says:

    This entire article was completely plausible until David Cornwell released his statement that did not support Braun’s statement. Cornwell, in the most professionally and legally responsible way, said his client is full of shit.

    -7 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Big Ern says:

      Did you read Cornwell’s statement? He said Bosch’s value was “negligible” and thereafter relied on Aegis. Never implied that they didn’t use Bosch, just that he didn’t have value as a consultant. Never implied that Braun was lying in recent statement.

      +20 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • MattG says:

        Braun said that he was introduced to Bosch by his attorneys, who had a previous relationship with him.

        Braun said that Bosch was retained as a consultant.

        Cornwell says that he did NOT know Bosch before this case, and that Bosch offered little to no assistance with the defense.

        Braun lied when he said his attorneys knew Bosch. Braun is now claiming that Bosch was a consultant precisely BECAUSE he wants the subject matter of those conversations to remain privileged.

        What Bosch had to offer Braun that was worth $30,000 was his silence.

        If Bosch was, in fact, retained as a consulting witness, that fact is not privileged, AND there will be a record of such an engagement with the law firm.

        -8 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Bip says:

        @MattG

        C’mon man. In the article, which no one in these comments seems to have read, it says that Lyons was the attorney that knew Bosch, and he is the one mentioned in the documents, and Cornwell was not mentioned, so the Bosch-as-consultant explanation is still consistent.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Wendy Thurm says:

      Cornwell’s statement is consistent with Braun’s and my explanation. Bosch was consulted by lawyers. His information was found to be not useful. The lawyers proceeded with other experts. Happens every day in legal cases.

      +18 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • SparkyATS says:

        I agree that it is consistent with your post. I understand the difference between being used as an expert witness and being used as a consultant and how the latter’s work is often simply discarded. While I am not an attorney, I have worked on cases, in a different capacity, as both. As I said, your article is sound in both its reasoning and plausibility.

        Cornwell’s statement, though, is not consistent with Braun’s, in a very important way, which is characterizing how Bosch became part of the process.

        Braun – Line One: “During the course of preparing for my successful appeal last year, my attorneys, who were previously familiar with Tony Bosch, used him as a consultant.”

        Cornwell – Line One: “I was not familiar with Tony Bosch prior to Ryan Braun’s case.”

        As an attorney, I’m sure you can appreciate the conflict with which Cornwell is faced. Protect the confidentiality of this case but also prevent his name and past actions being associated with a scenario (Braun saying Cornwell, not he, introduced Bosch to the case) that is untrue. That is why, considering the circumstances, Cornwell starting his own carefully crafted statement with such a strong first sentence is powerful.

        The final question is who is Cornwell throwing under the bus: Braun or Chris Lyons? Braun better hope it’s the latter. Lyons is the only guy who can keep Braun’s story going.

        -8 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • TKDC says:

        Why would Braun’s name be attached to this? Don’t lawyers deal with the consultants/experts directly and then bill their clients for the cost? Was Ryan Braun writing up LOAs for expert testimony?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • SparkyATS says:

        Well, TDKC, we already know that it was Braun’s camp, not MLB, that leaked news of the failed test in December 2011 while it was under appeal. Braun’s camp argues that the source of this story was a consultant they approached about the case, who then leaked it. So I’m sure your point will also fit their narrative. I gotta give Braun credit, he’s has a line for every retort. Doesn’t mean he’s not lying through his teeth.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • MattG says:

        Wendy, I’m sorry, but it’s not.

        Braun claimed that his ATTORNEYS knew Bosch prior to his testosterone appeal.

        His attorneys flat-out say that they did not.

        Braun claims that Bosch provided $30,000 in consulting services.

        His attorneys say that Bosch provided little to no assistance.

        Braun wants Bosch to be deemed a consulting expert, because Braun wants his attorney’s conversations with Bosch – an obvious witness – to be privileged.

        If Bosch WAS actually a consulting expert, there would be a record of that retention with the law firm, no?

        -13 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Ian R. says:

          Braun has multiple attorneys. One of them said he had no previous relationship with Bosch. There’s an entirely plausible explanation for this: one of Braun’s OTHER attorneys (i.e. Chris Lyons) did have an existing relationship with Bosch. Nowhere does this necessarily contradict Braun’s statement.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

      • LTG says:

        This last line is off-topic. Moreover, it veers dangerously close to conspiracy theory type reasoning. Sometimes it is most reasonable to withhold judgment.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • LTG says:

        My reply is addressed to Sparky. But, Matt, surely you can see the difference between a plural noun (attorneys) and a single person (Cornwell). See below.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • SparkyATS says:

        LTG. Please clarify. Which “last line” are you referring to?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • LTG says:

        “So I’m sure your point will also fit their narrative. I gotta give Braun credit, he’s has a line for every retort. Doesn’t mean he’s not lying through his teeth.”

        This is off-topic because the article takes no position on whether Braun is telling the truth. It veers towards conspiracy theory reasoning because it is the kind of expression that tends to implicate a stronger conclusion that it does not explicitly say.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • SparkyATS says:

        I was responding to TKDC’s questions, which required speculation as to what Braun’s team could reasonably reply. I was not responding to the article. Sometimes, internet comments lead to tangential discussions and other points, as TKDC brought up. You know, like a real conversation.

        As far as a conspiracy theory, the conspiracy part is a bit over the top on your part. Braun misled people in the past, saying MLB leaked the story when it was his camp. It’s not a conspiracy to say he’s a liar, at worst, or has a tendency to speak to things about which he is not wholly sure, at best.

        As far as the theory part, the entire conversation about the case (Yes, No, Don’t Know) is a discussion of what people’s theories are.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • LTG says:

        Well, then, I misinterpreted your intention. I apologize. However, for the life of me I can’t figure out how what you said is a rejoinder to TKDC rather than mere agreement. Who in this thread is denying that the evidence is sufficient to conclude that Braun is not lying through his teeth? Why was it relevant to point this out? Those questions sparked my response.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • q says:

        As a practicing attorney, I believe Cornwell’s statement corroborates Braun’s explanation (of course it would, Braun’s statement was most likely written by his lawyers). First, Cornwell’s statement corroborates a payment dispute between the attorneys and Bosch. Bosch felt he was owed money for consulting services, his attorneys did not.

        Second, the line item was associated with Lyons, not Cornwell, which corroborates with Cornwell’s statement that he was introduced to Bosch early in the case.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • chuckb says:

          It’s important to note that, even though Bosch’s contribution was “negligible “, that doesn’t mean that Braun’s camp doesn’t have to pay him. He’s not paid as a gratuity, contingent upon his contribution’s value. He’s paid for his time and then if his contribution is worthless, it’s caveat emptor. The fact that Bosch’s contribution was “negligible” tells us nothing whatsoever about Braun’s guilt or innocence.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • SparkyATS says:

          I would agree with most of what “q” says except the assumption that Lyons was the one who introduced Bosch to the team early in the case. That is an assumption you have made based upon both statements. Braun says that someone from the team introduced Bosch to the process yet no one from the team has taken responsibility for that introduction. Many assume it was Chris Lyons but Attorney Lyons continually issues “NO COMMENT” to this question, when he would be free to answer it. Who introduced Bosch to the process (Braun or an attorney) is the biggest unanswered question remaining.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

      • TKDC says:

        Neither Cornwell or Lyons actually say Bosch was a consultant. They don’t say he wasn’t, but it seems as though if he were there would be some advantage for Braun in having his lawyers provide more than a vague statement and a “no comment” respectively.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • SparkyATS says:

          A plausible reason for his laywers, particularly Attorney Lyons, issuing no comments on this issue would be if Braun introduced Bosch to the process early on. It would establish that at a minimum, Braun knew people (college teammates, etc) who had shady connections, or at worst, that Braun had a prior relationship.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

    • LTG says:

      I’d like Wendy’s input on this comment, but I don’t think you are interpreting the lawyer’s response properly. He confirmed that the legal team consulted with Bosch and denied that Bosch was helpful. Bosch still gets paid for consulting, even if the consultation was useless to the defense.

      There could also be reasons for the legal team to distance itself from Bosch now that Bosch’s credibility has been undermined. A lawyer would know better than me whether something like this is going on.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Steve says:

      Can you elaborate on this? I haven’t read anything to this effect.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • TKDC says:

      Yep, and of course it is a well crafted statement, but he must feel he has a responsibility to himself and his other clients to not let a false narrative continue surrounding his practice. He doesn’t come out and say that the association with Bosch came directly from his dealings with Braun, but he all but says that.

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    • Nullacct says:

      Not at all. Bosch was used as a consultant up until Cornwell joined the legal team. Cornwell decided Bosch was useless, and used Aegis instead. Just because he was eventually the lead defense attorney doesn’t mean that Braun’s lawyers (plural) hadn’t been using Bosch. From his statements:

      “I was not familiar with Tony Bosch prior to Ryan Braun’s case. Bosch was introduced to me at the earliest stage of Ryan’s case.

      “I found Bosch’s value to be negligible and I followed my prior practice of relying on Aegis in the preparation of Ryan’s winning defense.”

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      • LTG says:

        SparkyATS, retort?

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      • TKDC says:

        Do you actually know this? That Lyons was representing Braun before Cornwell? I couldn’t find this one way or another using Ask Jeeves.

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      • SparkyATS says:

        Nullacct, and what is your source on that explanation?

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      • LTG says:

        There is, of course, the possibility that Braun was just mistaken about his attorneys’ prior relationship to Bosch. Isn’t reasoning with a deficit of evidence fun?!

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      • SparkyATS says:

        Yes, it is! It’s called life! I’m certain of zero, which is why we discuss these things to find the most plausible truth to events.

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      • LTG says:

        Ummm, no. “Life” does not require forming a yes/no belief to every question. Certainty is not required for a belief to be justified. But a good evidence set is. You can be certain of nothing and know quite a lot. I am attempting to enforce a lower standard than certainty and a higher standard than speculation on sparse evidence.

        And wouldn’t exploration be better undertaken by formulating conditionals without affirming the antecedents without good evidence? Conversations in this manner are probably less heated but much more reasonable.

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    • Terry Ott says:

      Cornwell, according to his statement, did not find value in whatever interaction was had with Bosch. Another attorney in the Braun matter seemingly was behind the move to get insight from Bosch, and I think it’s safe to assume Cornwell was not on the same page about this aspect.

      It appears that the Braun defense team holds an unpaid invoice for whatever time Bosch spent on the matter, and I believe Braun himself said there was a dispute about the amount billed or value provided, and probably both.

      For the amount, $20-$30k, they probably won’t sue under contract law or commercial law over the issue of how much of the unpaid bill is due and payable. Instead, they will send demanding letters back and forth, badmouth each other at cocktail parties, and eventually it will be settled by the Braun legal team agreeing to pay (say, perhaps) half of the billed amount in exchange for a letter from Bosch specifying that the settlement amount will not be revealed publicly.

      I was a specialized management consultant and part-owner of a global advisory firm that billed for time spent on projects. Although I personally had no billing disputes or resistance to paying, I know how these things get sorted out in due time.

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  7. dirtbag says:

    Maybe I’d be a terrible lawyer, but if I want info on T/E levels, I’d actually rely on a licensed physician, someone who has a medical degree, or a scientist.

    None of those describe Bosch, yet I’m supposed to believe that Braun’s lawyers paid $20K+ for advice from a real life Dr. Nick Riviera?

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    • pness91 says:

      Who’s to say they didn’t consult someone else? It was supposed to be confidential. Therefore they may have confidentially consulted a a few legit MDs

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    • robby says:

      FYI,
      if you’re trying to make a sane argument about something, you shouldn’t start out with ‘maybe i’d be a terrible (fill in the blank)’

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    • Nick says:

      Yes, you would be an abysmal lawyer. Maybe you’ve heard the phrase “leave no stone unturned”? If you don’t talk to every person you can think of that might even know the slightest bit about your case, you’re not doing your job.

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    • Bip says:

      I may consider consulting a Dr. Nick if I was being accused of going to a Dr. Nick.

      The guy may not be a real doctor exactly, but presumably if he didn’t at least know how to administer performance enhancing drugs, so many people wouldn’t go to him for performance enhancing drugs. Professional athletes surely have ways of vetting these guys.

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    • Paul says:

      Will disagree slightly with the author’s suggestion that even testifying experts are typically a lot more credible than consultants. For example, “silicosis” and “asbestosis” did not exist as medical diagnoses until “experts” in those respective litigations invented them. And it’s not because those guys were considered to be way better doctors than the pulomonologists who saw affected patients for decades – it’s because they were paid to produce a diagnosis. Look up the cost of the asbestos litigation sometime.

      In other words, a lawyer’s job is to win. If this shakes your confidence in the justice system or the phrase “legal ethics” is floating through your brain, welcome to reality.

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    • Dogfish pride, bro says:

      Dr. Nick. Perfect.

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    • Terry Ott says:

      Who could possibly know what the Braun team was trying to find out by talking with Biogenetics?

      What if the Braun defense team wanted to know, for example, if Bosch had ever been involved in, or even knew about, a case where (for whatever reason, including a disaffected employee at the place the sampling equipment and collection paraphernalia had been put together, or including a bad actor from a competing team) the process had been sabotaged by putting some traces of something into the collection device ahead of time?

      Maybe Bosch had been approached by someone looking to buy some banned stuff to be used in an underhanded way. I would put nothing beyond Tony LaRussa (that’s a joke, by the way).

      This comment is far-fetched, but Biogenetics would be a likely source to find out if there were any history of anything shady relative to the testing protocol. If you get my drift.

      My point is: none of us were inside so none of us could even hazard an educated guess about what information was sought or given. In fact, it could have been as simple as getting someone at Bosch to state that their outfit never had any interaction at all with Braun, just so they could tell MLB that they’d checked that out.

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  8. Sparkles Peterson says:

    How many times in your twenty years of practice did you see an off-the-records consultant, completely under-qualified to be anything else, paid $20 to 30 thousand to advise on a case? It strikes me as particularly dubious when the defense they ultimately pursued was tangential to the “expert’s” field.

    Best case scenario, Braun was desperate enough to pay a lot of money to a PED dealer for advice on how to dispute his positive test. It doesn’t really change anything, since MLB can’t realistically do anything about this and any objective person with a working knowledge of the science has a high degree of certainty that he was guilty anyway, but from a PR standpoint this is bad for him.

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    • robby says:

      the amount of money may be big to you, but your view of money isn’t relevant, sorry. whether braun was guilty or not, if you have the cash to help yourself in any way possible, including a sleazy guy who wants a bunch of money for his knowledge, wouldn’t you do it?
      By the way, 30K from Braun’s 8M yearly, equates to a 50K/year person paying $200 for opinion/knowledge of something that could help prevent your professional work-life/career ruined.

      +11 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • TKDC says:

        It’s just not a normal amount of money to give even a real expert to do very little work, regardless of the field.

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        • Terry Ott says:

          Have you ever bought the services, for whatever reason, of a person or organization potentially having information that might be helpful and that doesn’t really need the money (a few thousand means nothing to them) and would prefer not to be bothered? But they will, if the $$ is significant enough.

          I have been on both sides of that equation. Most recently in a very nasty child custody battle involving a relative. Which we deserved to win, and did, but not without paying a price for the help we needed.

          If you haven’t, then you are not well qualified to render judgement on this payment. The difference in my case is that we had to scrape and scrimp and borrow to cover the charges (five figures) — but to Braun it would be kind of like a big tip.

          My only criticism of the Braun situation here is that they seem to be fighting over the bill. Pay it and be done; it will be a rounding error in the total big financial picture.

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        • TKDC says:

          Yes, I participate in large deals for consulting/research all the time. Nobody pays five figures to have a conversation with a drug peddler with no scientific expertise. I think the only saving grace for Braun in this case is that it wasn’t paid. You have no clue what you are talking about.

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      • robby says:

        this isn’t exactly a field that has people with their experience on corner, like a children’s doctor. If you’re one of the few PED experts/suppliers in the country, you’ll charge whatever you can get/think they’re willing to pay

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      • robby says:

        TKDC,
        another thing, the fact that you say it’s too much for little work, IS PROBABLY WHY THEY WERENT PAYING HIM AND IS STILL SHOWN AS HAVING MONEY OWED. you’re statement would cement Braun’s/Cornwell’s as logical – we realized the guy was moron and told him we weren’t paying, and he has his books that he still wants money for nothing.

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      • TKDC says:

        @robby

        Your second point is valid, but your first is not. If he was merely briefly consulted, there is no way he would get that much.

        It also doesn’t explain why the money is owed by Braun as opposed to his lawyer. Clients don’t pay for experts directly. They do pay for drugs directly.

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        • Terry Ott says:

          Nonsense. An organization like this one will charge whatever they think the client is (or could be, in their minds) willing to pay. And in the end they will probably settle for some lesser amount but not until they hold out for a good while and be obnoxious about it.

          It’s not like they are working from a menu of charges like a blue ribbon law firm would to do an estate plan or something — and they certainly don’t have much concern about their reputation!

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      • robby says:

        TKDC,
        the fact that he DIDN’T pay says that he thinks the same as you, 20K is out of line for useless advice, etc. so it still applies.
        how some amateur guy like Bosch keeps his records is up to him, my company sells equipment through distributors all the time, but all our documents refer to the end user getting the equipment, depends on how he liked to keep his records – that doesn’t infer guilt in any way.

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        • Terry Ott says:

          Exactly. As I understand it, we’re looking at some notes here, not an invoice prepared for approval by the Federal Government. And to Bosch & Company, this is a debt owed by Braun’s defense team (a.k.a, “Braun”); I’m sure they don’t give two poops who writes the check to them.

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      • TKDC says:

        Yeah, I was agreeing with you on that point. Anyway, any expert witness testimony contract would be between the lawyer and the expert. This guy is a doofus, and these are his records, but it still seems odd. If he thinks Braun is going to personally write him a check for his expert testimony, he’s wrong.

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        • Terry Ott says:

          There is nothing here about an “expert witness”. Did you read the commentary? Bosch is described as a behind the scenes source of information, only — about what? Who knows?

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    • EEOC says:

      He wasn’t “off-the-record.” Doesn’t seem like you’re familiar with how consulting experts are retained or used.

      Hard to see how Bosch is “under-qualified” – Braun’s circumstances seem to be right in his wheelhouse of expertise.

      $20-$30k is chump change in a big case. That’s about, what, 25 hours of Bosch’s time? He could have been given one assignment, done some research (including some done by an assistant), and participated in a couple of conference calls.

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      • Sparkles Peterson says:

        He was never listed as a consultant by Braun’s legal team. How is that not off-the-record?

        He was under-qualified because he does not have the formal education to serve as an expert witness, or to give the kind of technical advice on biochemistry to explain a false positive test. The only areas an under-educated PED dealer could reasonably be expected to advise you on are areas that Braun does not want to admit he was looking for advice in.

        $20-30k is not chump change. People seem to have this idiotic idea that if you’re making a few million dollars a year you don’t bat an eye at paying $3 thousand for a tank of gas. The guy supposedly rendered informal legal advice that Braun’s lead attorney deemed inconsequential, and Bosch simply doesn’t have the training necessary to have provided him with extensively-researched material.

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        • Terry Ott says:

          Weeks of research? Bosch is billing at an hourly rate now? Interesting.

          This is how I have it in MY head:

          Bosch guy to his colleague: Hey, this attorney for Braun wants to pick our brains to see if we have any worthwhile experience or inside knowledge about PED testing appeals, especially stuff like how samples may be tainted or tampered with, either in the real world or hypothetically.

          Colleague: What do you think they’d pay? Can we make a killing on this?

          Bosch guy: Well, this one attorney said it all depends on how helpful the discussion is — they seem to be kind of fishing without a lot of expertise. He also mentioned that another of the attorneys isn’t convinced it would be worthwhile, so it’s hard to say.

          Colleague: Did you discuss numbers at all?

          Bosch guy: I did throw out the notion of $20-$30k, because I know that Braun has lots of money and a whole lot at stake here. The lawyer said that wouldn’t be out of the question, depending. He was kind of hedging.

          Colleague: I’m thinking, what have we got to lose? I say we meet with them and shoot the breeze. Maybe it doesn’t go anywhere, but we can still send them a bill or tell them what we expect after we find out what they will do with anything we can tell them.

          Bosch. So, let’s do it. As long as they come here. No way I am flying to New York or Milwaukee or Chicago or wherever. Maybe LA, huh? For a long weekend.

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      • EEOC says:

        Of course he wasn’t “listed” as a consultant. That’s how consulting experts work. Where should they have listed him? He was treated just like any other consulting expert would have.

        He’s not a testifying expert, so the second pint is wrong, and irrelevant, even if I accepted that Bosch needed more qualifications to answer the questions Braun’s lawyers asked of him.

        As for the cost, you’re not familiar with this type of work. Cornwell said the value of the work was inconsequential, not that Bosch didn’t spend a number of hours doing the work.

        In any event, I digress. Explaining how experts are used in complex litigation in the Fangraphs comments section is not a good use of time. Which you’ve helped me realize. So thanks for that.

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      • Sparkles Peterson says:

        Funny how enlightenment always strikes people who realize they’re above an argument when their arguments are fatally flawed. But to respond to the arguments that you’re now above:

        The NY Daily News references someone who was involved with the Braun appeal who states that the list of consultants provided by Braun’s team did not include Bosch. So that list is where they should have listed him.

        Bosch needed more qualifications to answer any question Braun’s lawyers asked of him unless their only questions were, “Hey, did you sell my client testosterone?” or “How do you advise your clients to get around drug testing?” The idea that a nutritionist with a bachelor’s degree would have anything to offer in defense of a legitimate false positive is not credulous. Nor especially is the idea that one would be retained to do weeks of research and rack up a five-figure consulting fee. It’s amazing what some people will believe.

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      • Sparkles Peterson says:

        credible*

        Boy, wonder how a word like “credulous” popped into my mind in this thread.

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      • EEOC says:

        Ok, man.

        1. You’re clearly not a lawyer who hires and uses testifying or consulting experts in litigation/arbitration.

        2. You clearly don’t know the standards for qualification of consulting experts.

        3. You clearly don’t know the disclosure requirements for consultants under this arbitration’s rules.

        4. You clearly don’t have an idea of the costs to retain a consulting expert. $20K-$30K is probably 30-35 hours of time, not “weeks of research,” and much of that could have been undertaken by Bosch’s staff.

        If you know so little about the process being discussed, why pop off and so prominently display your ignorance for all to see? Better to first listen and learn.

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      • TKDC says:

        If it is chump change, why wasn’t it paid?

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      • EEOC says:

        @tkdc

        It’s chump change in the context of what a consulting expert might charge on a big case. It would only take 30 or so hours of time to charge that much.

        Of course, that doesn’t mean it should be paid automatically or that there wouldn’t be a billing dispute. Maybe Bosch padded his bill and billed 35 hours when he really only did 15 hours worth of work. Maybe his staff overbilled for what should have been a small project (often a problem with experts).

        Just because the amount is chump change in the context of a big case doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be a billing dispute or non-payment. You seem to be conflating two different things.

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      • TKDC says:

        It seems odd to say that this is a routine type of expense and not a big deal, but yet it wasn’t paid. A million dollar case and Braun’s team gets in a 5 figure dispute with a guy with ties to several former Miami ballplayers. I agree that the explanation is plausible, but how big of odds would you need to bet that it is actually true? 10-1? 50-1?

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      • TKDC says:

        Also, zero of Braun’s lawyers have corroborated his story. It would be easy for one of them to say, yes, we had a consulting relationship with Bosch and that is the source of the disputed 20-30K. None have said that.

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      • q says:

        “A million dollar case and Braun’s team gets in a 5 figure dispute with a guy with ties to several former Miami ballplayers.”

        Are you serious? I’m on a case where we bill a million dollars a month, but the client does not want to pay for junior attorneys attending depositions (probably about $3000). Money is money.

        Also, $20k-$30k for a consultant is about 50 hours, which is less than two weeks of work.

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      • q says:

        “yes, we had a consulting relationship with Bosch and that is the source of the disputed 20-30K. None have said that.”

        Uh, Cornwell said precisely that. He said he found Bosch’s value to be negligible. He’s not going to be able to determine that without first entering into an engagement with Bosch.

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      • TKDC says:

        Oh, I know that, but it seems there an arguments that this is an amount that is just thrown around all the time – it’s not. Guys don’t just hand over 20-30K to hear what a guy has to say about drugs. This would require a conversation and some sort of proposal and a LOA – and one of Braun’s lawyers would be involved. None have said that this happened.

        And Cromwell certainly did not say that. He painstakingly avoided saying anything about the 20-30K disputed amount. He only says that he became aware of Bosch early in the case and found him to be useless. That is a far cry from saying we agreed to pay him for consulting or that Bosch did consulting for him.

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      • Sparkles Peterson says:

        Bosch has an undergraduate degree from Belize. He hung a fake diploma in his office, pretended to be a doctor, and his entire practice was illegally dealing testosterone and snake oil.

        Again, present me with one reasonable explanation anyone would hire this man as a consultant to contest a false positive test for synthetic testosterone.

        There is none. The only counsel Bosch is qualified to present to anyone is about how guilty parties skirt testing.

        Again, it’s not the biggest deal. MLB can’t suspend Braun for hiring someone to teach him the cracks in their testing program, and the evidence that Braun used was already public, even if it wasn’t actionable because of MLB’s stupidity. All this does is give him a fresh round of negative publicity and maybe sway a handful of the people who buried their heads in the sand this time last year.

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      • q says:

        “This would require a conversation and some sort of proposal and a LOA – and one of Braun’s lawyers would be involved. None have said that this happened.”

        Yes, and given that Cornwell said he did not find Bosch’s services to be of value, that clearly implies there was an agreement between the two parties. You can’t conclude someone’s work is shoddy without first agreeing to allow the person to work for you.

        $20-$30k is high enough that you’ll want to dispute the charge if you feel like his work was shoddy. But it’s low enough to suggest the engagement was pretty short.

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      • TKDC says:

        @q

        Sometimes you can determine someone provides no value without getting the the LOA stage. There is always an informal or even formal proposal period where two sides decide whether there is room for an agreement. Considering Bosch’s background (he’s a quack illegal drug peddler) it would not surprise me if Cornwell came to the conclusion that he was a zero-value-add before engaging him to do any work. Perhaps Bosch still tried to charge Cornwell for his services and that was the dispute. Perhaps for some reason there was a LOA and the dispute is because Bosch’s work was shit. Or perhaps none of that happened and Cornwell has no idea why Bosch claims that Braun owes him money.

        Cornwell’s statement could have been clearer. It seems to me to be in that perfect gray area to sound as good for Braun as possible while still both being technically true and completely vague (I’m assuming the full truth does not help Braun).

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        • Bob says:

          “Cornwell’s statement could have been clearer. It seems to me to be in that perfect gray area to sound as good for Braun as possible while still both being technically true and completely vague (I’m assuming the full truth does not help Braun).”

          —-

          Who is surprised that a lawyer would make a true yet vague statement that avoids directly contradicting what his wealthy client said? I’m not.

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      • Phils_Goodman says:

        $0.99 for a Snickers bar is chump change, but if I opened it up and found a clump of wax I might still dispute the payment.

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    • Paul says:

      You would probably be shocked at how much money legal consultants and expert witnesses make then. In high stakes litigation this fee is not remotely outside the norm.

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  9. Jamie says:

    Here’s my beef: your damn right I’m ready to convict Braun. He’s already failed one test. And yes, he got off on a technicality. But for Wendy to wtite that readers ready to convict will only hear what we want to hearbis even more judgmental. Worse, it’s subjective, sloppy journalism and Fangraphs is better than that. I’ll listen for the truth. I’ll evaluate what is presented to the public. Don’t insult the readers by saying a suspicion of guilt won’t help get to the truth. Disappointing closing, Wendy.

    -22 Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. Caveman Jones says:

    I think this is a great take on the situation, thanks Wendy. Everyone chirping about how he shouldn’t have done everything in his power to clear his name is naive; they’d do exactly the same thing. This whole guilty by association thing has got to stop. People have taken the whole PED issue too far, acting like they’ve been personally offended. The baseball media landscape has become a circus and it’s ridiculous. I really hope more even-tempered articles like this one can change the tone of these discussions, because I am so sick of this misguided hysteria.

    +8 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Rob says:

      What whole guilty by association thing? Braun is guilty by association with a positive test.

      +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Nullacct says:

        Braun has never had a valid sample test positive.

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      • Caveman Jones says:

        If you can’t properly validate a procedure then you can’t properly validate a result. It’s one of the core concepts of any science.

        And the guilty by association thing is also a broader reference to writers who speculate about PED use by players based on BS inferences like who their teammates were, how big they got in their prime (please!), and whether their results seemed too out of nowhere. This in addition to Braun’s name having no connection to PEDs in the published report.

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    • Pennant says:

      Part of me does not care about PED use—I know no one personally trying to play baseball professionally. To the extent I am my brother’s keeper, i care because I understand them to be dangerous. If a grown man who can otherwise provide for himself does PEDs, that is bad but not so bad, but a youth or anyone else who has to make it in the world, yet is tempted to risk their health, I think it is quite cynical for us to sit back and say “No biggie”. Then too, PEDs pollute professional sports as the non-users will gradually lose out and thus instead of being rewarded will be pushed out. Say Dustin Pedroia does not use them, is it fair for him to continually compete against those who will? Or better yet, a david Eckstein type is pushed out by a Danny Valencia? If you care about fairness, you will want them out. If all you care about is your entertainment, who cares? There is actually a lot at stake.

      Another reason why i care about this issue is I see that many of the writers here at another website have a shocking “see no evil hear no evil” mindset. They can analyze everything but when it comes to connecting dots on PED use, all of a sudden they are deaf and dumb. I am calling them on it. This is the court of public opinion and those of us in fly over country need not curry favor with millionaire ballplayers and their friends. So like Ghost of Christmas Past, i write here to say “Truth lives” no matter how much some wish to quench it. Braun failed a scientifically drug test. That does not mean he is horrible person and has no chance for forgiveness but the science says he violated the rules and cheated against other players, not a small thing either, especially for such a good player.

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      • Nick says:

        The whole point is that they don’t know because Fangraphs is not an investigative journalism outlet. Maybe if more media sources didn’t just make shit up all the fucking time, public discourse might actually improve, because people would stop talking out of their ass.

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  11. TKDC says:

    And if I were OJ Simpson’s attorney, I would have done the same things they did, too. That doesn’t mean he won’t get hammered in the court of public opinion, nor does it mean he shouldn’t. At the end of the day, Braun got off on a technicality. Given the evidence as we know it, no one in their right mind should believe Braun didn’t use steroids. It also seems likely that if Braun were completely innocent, he could prove it. In fact, he said he would show that he was innocent. We’re still waiting; and only Brewers Fanboys are satisfied with your arbitration result as completely clearing your name. Everyone else is still waiting.

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    • Nick says:

      At this point, I care less about Braun, and more about people generally being hideously uninformed about the legal process. Of course, when you do try to inform them, you get stupid ass comments like the first one, but at least it’s a start.

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    • Dan Meadows says:

      I’m amazed how few people know anything about the legal system. Innocent or guilty, if you go off defending yourself in detail to the public, you’re a fool begging to be convicted. Braun had zero obligation to anyone; baseball, the public, the courts; to reveal the consultants used for his defense. It’s part of privilege, and he was completely correct, and well within his rights not to.

      And he didn’t get off on a technicality, the postive test was thrown out because the agency handling the test broke the rules for the handling and chain of custody for the samples. You can’t cry that Braun or others are cheaters and broke the rules then look the other way and make excuses when the people on the testing side break the rules.

      The problem is that PED’s in sports is that it has become a witch hunt, no actual evidence need apply, only suspicion, and the supposed enforcers can do no wrong. A good friend of mine worked in a lab handling pre employment drug screenings and she swore to me she would never submit to one without approval of the lab handling it and the conditions under which samples were handled in the process was immaculate. There is so much room for abuse in drug testing, yet we’re told of these tests like they’re set in stone. She told me I would be shocked how often double blind testing of samples would return different results. I would hope these agencies are using much more sophisticated testing mechanisms, but there’s a reason these results aren’t supposed to be released prior to the conclusion of the process, it is not 100% accurate. Allowing testers to play fast and loose with samples only serves to increase the possibility of unfairly destroying someone’s life and reputation. And ripping an accused person for doing everything in their power to defend themselves where it counts, to the people who can actually punish you, especially in a case where it was clearly shown the samples were improperly handled, is dangerously naive and gives entirely too much latitude to headline-seeking drug enforcers, of which there are many.

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      • TKDC says:

        First, I understand the legal system very well. I just don’t really give a shit about that angle to the story. Second, you obviously don’t know anything about the legal system or science as this was the very definition of a technicality. Using almost any standard for valid tests, Braun’s sample would have been considered valid. MLB’s testing policy has a specific rule that other entities don’t. He got off on a technicality – if I were him or his lawyer I’d do the same thing. And I think Braun should have gotten off. Rules should always be followed. You need accountability, even for rules that probably should not be written that way in the first place.

        None of this means I should not believe he used steroids. The facts are overwhelming. The only thing this post does is provide a plausible (though I’d still say unlikely) rationale to say that Braun did not buy steroids from this particular person. Who really cares about that?

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        • Bob says:

          If a testing policy says “you must do this” and then you fail to do what it says, there is no way to validate the test. Your opinion of what is or is not a valid standard is irrelevant. The professionals who crafted the testing standard felt it was important, both parties (MLB and MLBPA) agreed, and then MLB directed the testing and collection agency to follow the rules. They didn’t.

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        • tuna411 says:

          The testing procedure IS good enough for WADA but not for mlb?

          How can any intelligent man argue braun didn’t fail the test? And then braun threw the ups guy under the bus!! You ass kissers deserve each other.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

  12. Mike says:

    I’m probably answering my own question here, but was this facility not a legitimate medical facility therefore not subject to medical record confidentiality?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • robby says:

      read the article. anyone the lawyers contracted as a consultant gets confidential treatment. you could be a consultant on anything, not just medical records, and Braun’s medical records were never sent to the place since we wasn’t a patient. read AND understand the article.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Mike says:

        I was thinking not just in the case of Braun, but also the others who were patients. My question may not have been directly relevant to this specific discussion, but in the case of “So-and-So linked to Miami clinic in documents” it seems like there should be some level of confidentiality with regards to their treatments, etc.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • robby says:

        Mike,
        READ the article. Braun didn’t get treatments, which makes sense why he wasn’t shown in any ledger other than ‘money owed’.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  13. Harry says:

    Excellent analysis Wendy and totally agree that the Braun’s explanation is entirely plausible.

    Too bad ARod didn’t think of this angle first.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • ron says:

      Yes it is plausible, not that it is likely or probable but it has a better chance of being true than just saying “it is possible.” Some of these responses seem to be taking the word to mean more than that. Nothing presented so far makes his explanation not plausible. As mentioned before just because it is plausible doesn’t mean you stop asking questions, you still do but at this stage we just don’t know.

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  14. Big Jgke says:

    This was a terrific read, thanks Wendy.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  15. Jordan says:

    Was there a date listed with Braun’s, or his attorney’s, name? Can the date on which those names were written be established based on context? To me, that’s the more interesting question. If those names were entered after Braun’s positive test, I’d be inclined to believe him. If not…

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  16. Bob says:

    Wow a lot of this really reminds me of all the allegations vs Armstrong and the legal maneuvering that came with it. Personally I don’t care one way or another if he is guilty or not. However, the Armstrong case and others such as the Marion Jones case have shown us that where there is smoke there usually is fire. It might take some time to locate the source but it usually is found. Maybe that makes me a cynic but so be it. It certainly is a fine line to walk as a fan. On one hand you want to give the player or anyone accused like this the benefit of the doubt. On the other we’ve been let down and lied to so many times before it’s hard to take anything they say at face value. The worst thing about all of this for me is the collateral damage that guys like the collector take when they are torn to shreds in the media by these players and their lawyers. Just look at all the bodies laying in the wake of Armstrong’s legal steamroller.

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    • Greg says:

      And boy were there ever a lot of articles defending Armstrong over the last decade. In the end, the French papers unsurprisingly had it right all along.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Pig.Pen says:

      Yup, where there’s smoke there’s fire. Let’s go ahead and convict Jeff Bagwell and Mike Piazza too while we’re at it. I mean after all, Braun got off on a “technicality” because they technically didn’t follow the proper procedures. I guess that means that Melky Cabrera was convicted on a technicality too, because he technically failed the test. Anyone who believes in this line of thinking might want to read up on the boxer Reuben Carter to learn where this type of thinking will lead you.

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  17. Pennant says:

    I will concede that just on what has been revealed, there really is not a lot and to go on here. The possibility of someone putting Braun’s name in the book for attempted blackmail, for example, is certainly possible, though Braun denied that explanation. The entries I heard were in late 2011-12 but how is that verified?

    Wendy does a good job, kicking up dust and trying to raise all sorts of doubts, just like Johnny Cochrane et al. But for those who like to stick to facts: 1) Braun failed a drug test 2) there is no scientific reason to believe the test was invalid 3) the collection and transport procedure while acceptable from a scientific standpoint did not follow the letter of agreement and thus 4) an arbiter on the basis on a technicality threw out the results. The fact that he failed a drug test is obviously much more concerning than his name is in the Biogenesis clinic records.

    Interesting too that Braun shares the Miami connection with other PED users.
    Ultimately though it is strange that he went to a known fraud for advice; if I was innocent I would go to a PhD toxicologist. Does Bosch have any training at all along those lines? Did he just not finish his PhD? Maybe Braun also went to other PhDs that we do not know about. It would be far better a year ago if we had heard from a PhD who would get up side by side with Braun and put his reputation on the line that the fact the sample sat over the weekend in the courier’s fridge as opposed to a FedEx fridge ruined the sample.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • robby says:

      Pennant,
      if you understand the article, someone like Braun will get advice from anyone that may be helpful. It never says he was the primary expert they used for advice, he may well have been one of a dozen, and maybe the PHD experts were the ones they went with afterward.

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  18. Lindsay Lohan says:

    It’s just like when Clarice needed to catch a serial killer, she went to Hannibal for help. We believe you Ryan!

    +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Pennant says:

      so if RB is Clarice, and Bosch is Hannibal, that makes MLB the serial killer? Actually this idea makes a lot of sense for author of the article and other saber blogs; for those of us willing to use common sense, not so much.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  19. Greg says:

    No, plausible was last year’s tampering excuse when he got off on a technicality. That actually worked out for him. Telling people that you owed a known PED dealer (with connections to both your university and your strength/conditioning coach) 20-30K for “consulting” is a load of horse shit. Time to stop being naive.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • John says:

      You’re an idiot. People like you come into this story having a DESIRE to confirm Braun is a cheater, so you lose all credibility.

      -5 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Greg says:

        Idiots are those who can’t see what is right in front of them due to either stubbornness, naivety, or plain ignorance. I have no desire to see Braun branded as a cheater, but I’m under no illusions about him at this point. Nor should anybody else be.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Nullacct says:

      Braun did not ‘get off on a technicality.’ Please stop repeating this horse shit. Braun has never had a valid sample test positive, ever. If MLB bothered to follow its own guidelines on testing, the tainted who-knows-what with Braun’s name on the label never would have been tested because it was an invalid sample. There’s a reason why these procedures are in place, its because if you don’t follow them you have no way of knowing what you’re really testing.

      And considering the way some people are carrying the torches and pitchforks for Braun I would no longer be surprised if his sample was deliberately sabotaged. Look at what Passan/Yahoo are doing with this report – it’s a complete non-issue, but they are all but declaring him guilty in the press. Where’s the basic objectivity of reporting? There isn’t any, it’s just some jerk with a megaphone hell-bent on ruining someone’s image. They ran the “we accuse you” story, but will they run the “here’s the obvious reason” story with any emphasis on being balanced? of course not.

      -9 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Greg says:

        Yeah, it’s a conspiracy. They all just decided one day that they were going to sabotage Ryan Braun’s test and then stick him in a PED dealer’s ledger with connections to Ryan Braun’s past teammates, university, and coach.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Pennant says:

        He sure did test positive. The Lab, like any reputable Lab, would NEVER release results of a test that failed to meet integrity standards. Legally, Braun won his case, no doubt. But the scientific reality is he failed a drug test.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Sparkles Peterson says:

        MLB specified details which are completely irrelevant to the way their testing works, and then didn’t follow them. It was stupid and it’s completely on them that Braun got away with a positive test, but it was still a valid, positive test that was thrown out on a technicality.

        +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • SparkyATS says:

        I’m guessing Nullacct was part of the camp that wanted Braun to see ESPN for defamation, too, which made about as much as sense as this comment of his.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Salo says:

        I Agree, procedures are essential when trying to make justice. Players are asked to participate in a test that can destroy their career if failed. The only comfort they have is that the test will be handed professionally and according to the law or any previous agreement.
        It is not apples to apples. In México a French kidnaper was just released from prison because a technicality. Instead of arresting her according to the process, the federal police kidnaped her and her gang for more than a day and then arranged a fake scene of their capture so it can be televised live in the biggest news show.
        Everyone in Mexico is pissed because they freed a kidnapper. I’m worried that the government can do those things, they could have just kidnapped me and show me on tv as a criminal just to gain credibility.
        That’s why procedures are important. I´m not saying that the MLB has hidden proposes, but I agree that the players NEED to demand a strict procedure,
        I don´t know if Braun cheated, but I don´t understand why they didn’t handle the test correctly if they are professionals, it makes me wonder that is all.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Paul C. says:

        Nullact, (i) double seal was perfectly in tact and showed zero evidence of tampering, (ii) there is no way refrigeration of a sample can affect the test and (iii) Braun’s sample was handled in accordance with international drug testing protocol. The MLB policy was simply silent on and didn’t address the circumstances of the Braun case. If it had, it would have approved it, as it is approved in more rigorous international anti-doping policies. He was guilty. I get that you’re a fan and being contrarian can be seen as a mark of intelligence around here but try to be objective.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • tuna411 says:

        Good enough for WADA is good enough for me. Braun IS still cheating and got caught again.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • robby says:

      stop trying to use $ figures you can’t comprehend to support a case. you’re not being objective. also, why wouldn’t he have shown up in other records, like AROD, etc did? you have to come up with more excuses to make your story work. Occam’s Razor-this holds water until more is known. When more comes out, it can be rehashed.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • JMS says:

        I happen to agree with the substance of every point you make in this thread but you should consider making those points in a more civil way. Wendy calls Braun’s rationale “plausible” which is not a ringing endorsement. It is entirely possible to (1) find the explanation plausible and (2) think that Braun is full of it. If you subscribe to both positions then the proffered explanation will sound ridiculous. Now thinking that Braun is being deceitful absent a fullish accounting of the facts is arguably ethically suspect, but I don’t remember the court of public opinion adopting the Federal Rules of Evidence.

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    • Josh says:

      $20000-30000 seems a little much too don’t you think?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Jaack says:

      Also time to start reading articles.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  20. wobatus says:

    Wendy is right that Braun’s explanation seems plausible to me. Plausible not necessarily being a very high standard. $20k is not that much for an expert consultation (depending on the time spent and area of expertise). And partial disclosure can sometimes be found to waive the entire privilege for attorney work-product. I have also practiced for over 20 years. You may know me by my nom de travail, Lionel Hutz.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  21. snake says:

    I think that you either believe that the tester tampered with his sample or you believe Braun’s sample contained banned substances. While he talked a bunch of shit on the man who took the sample, he never sued him. Curious as to why you wouldn’t sue someone who messed with your livelihood and hundreds of millions of dollars like that. He also never adequately explained himself. So, he doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt here in my eyes and in the eyes of most. Braun is the unluckiest guy in baseball or he is taking banned substances.

    +10 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • TKDC says:

      Bingo. He may again find a way to avoid punishment by the rules and/or the law, but that doesn’t mean fans have to bury their heads in the sand.

      +7 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • robby says:

        the point is that this doesn’t strengthen the case against him. you can assume all you want, but it doesn’t make him more likely to be guilty in that case. it only shows that he was using every avenue possible to get cleared.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • TKDC says:

        When OJ Simpson said he was going to find the real killer, most people shrugged, we assumed that was bluster. Braun said facts were going to come out that showed he was innocent. That never happened. I’m a lawyer. I don’t fault Braun for using the rules in place to get the best possible outcome. He’s proven he’s not stupid or at least he knows how to hire lawyers who aren’t. The point is that it is rational to believe he was cheating. He doesn’t have to prove he wasn’t; but fans are still free to dislike him all they want. OJ Simpson was a free man after his acquittal, but he wasn’t going to be selling gloves or guest staring in campy movies afterwards.

        +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • chuckb says:

          First of all, it’s impossible to prove that he didn’t take PEDs. It’s therefore absurd to hold it against him that he hasn’t Provence his innocence.

          More importantly, however, it is reprehensible to compare Braun to O.J. Simpson. Even if he did PEDs, that’s a far cry from being a double murderer, though many baseball writers and fans think they’re one and the same.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

  22. Mike says:

    Does Braun have an equally plausible explanation for why Bosch would refer to the “Braun advantage” in congratulating a known PED user for his MVP award?

    +7 Vote -1 Vote +1

  23. KJOK says:

    I think many of the comments are missing the point here. Now it’s not really about whether Braun was guilty in 2011 – rightly or wrongly, he was found not guilty, and can’t be charged again. The bigger question is whether this was a NEW instance, where MLB can re-charge Braun. If his name is on the list due to the original charge, then the answer would be no.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  24. You can make lots of plausible inferences from these circumstantial pieces. Here’s one: Braun bought PEDs from Bosch and, when caught, had his lawyers lock-up Bosch as a consultant to prevent Bosch from assisting MLB. Pretty much every municipal corruption trial has bribes, payoffs, protection money, etc, passed through lawyers and their confidential privileges.

    (not saying its “true”” but its as plausible an inference from these facts as Wendy’s inference (which was, as always, well put).)

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • MattG says:

      We now know – from Braun’s attorney David Cornwell – that Braun lied yesterday about his attorneys having a preexisting relationship with Bosch.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  25. Hurtlockertwo says:

    30 years from now Braun will be sueing MLB because they “knew” that PED’s were bad for your health. After all, he has great lawyers.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Hurtlockertwo says:

      Plausible; having an appearance of truth or reason; seemingly worthy of approval or acceptance; credible; believable. Maybe. Entirely Plausible. I don’t think so.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • ron says:

        You cherry picked those definitions. The first one that comes up on Merriam-webster online is this “superficially fair, reasonable, or valuable but often specious.
        The mention of plausible also being specious is telling. Specious can mean something is deceptive. So there is an element of doubt to something plausible.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Hurtlockertwo says:

        Maybe Ron, but deceptive is at the core of the argument.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  26. PackBob says:

    Thanks for the professional perspective, Wendy. It seems to me due diligence on the part of Braun’s lawyers to pursue any source that could have been helpful to his appeal. An insider, such as Bosch, no matter his credentials, could potentially have provided valuable information. That it resulted in no useful information is irrelevant to the lawyers doing their job properly. Braun is not a lawyer, and it seems perfectly normal that his lawyer involved in the appeal might want to provide a more accurate statement regarding Bosch’s association with the case.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • MattG says:

      Braun’s lawyers flat-out deny the idea that Bosch was a retained expert.

      They also deny that they knew Bosch prior to the case.

      This looks bad for Braun.

      -5 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Jason B says:

        So much so that you’ve posted this point like five times…

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • john says:

        That’s not true. The attorney stated that the information received from Bosch wasn’t very beneficial. He acknowledged that they used Bosch as a consultant. One of Braun’s many attorneys stated that HE did not know Bosch previously.

        Get your facts straight

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  27. Bob says:

    Lance Armstrong had a positive for test for PEDs overturned. He used Michele Ferrari as an adviser. And he had multitudes of people vehemently claiming he was clean.

    I can’t wait for that next very special Oprah.

    +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

  28. Pat G says:

    Braun’s career arc certainly looks the part of an amateur PED user who breaks into majors and stops using and slowly tapers off from best in baseball to merely among the best.

    Desperate to become the best again he uses in 2011.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  29. MattG says:

    Braun’s attorneys do NOT agree with Braun’s alibi. From Braun’s lead attorney David Cornwell:

    “”In the 15 years that I have represented players facing discipline under the various professional sports leagues’ substance abuse and steroid programs, I have relied primarily, if not exclusively, on Dr. David L. Black and his team of scientists at Aegis Sciences Corporation in Nashville, TN as my experts with respect to scientific and other matters relevant to the testing of player specimens.

    “I was not familiar with Tony Bosch prior to Ryan Braun’s case. Bosch was introduced to me at the earliest stage of Ryan’s case.

    “I found Bosch’s value to be negligible and I followed my prior practice of relying on Aegis in the preparation of Ryan’s winning defense.”

    -5 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Nick says:

      Definitely not possible Braun has other attorneys that knew him, right?

      +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • dadrobac says:

      “Bosch was introduced to me at the earliest stage of Ryan’s case” I wonder who introduced Cornwall to him, maybe one of the other lawyers on Braun’s team? Maybe the attorney whose name is listed (Lyons) in Bosch’s documents? Then after that introduction Cornwall decides he doesn’t need Bosch, and talks to that lab in Nashville. His statement does not contradict Braun.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • david h says:

      @MattG: Cornwell’s statement confirms more than disagrees with Braun’s statement. He confirms that the legal team in fact consulted Bosch.

      This doesn’t exonerate Braun, of course. But Cornwell’s statement is no smoking gun.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  30. DrBGiantsfan says:

    Is Braun guilty by association? Probably not beyond reasonable doubt, but probably on preponderance of evidence.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  31. Paul says:

    Miami News Times would not even print the article…enuf said!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  32. ElToroStrikesAgain says:

    I guess everybody realllllllllly wants to believe Braun isn’t full of shit, huh? Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. The Braun love on here is incredible.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • LTG says:

      I think those that defend the position taken in the article, which has nothing to do with the question of Braun’s PED use really, simply deny that there is any new evidence against Braun. Certainly, there is old evidence. Few, if any, commenters here have “love” for Braun. Just reasonableness.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • TKDC says:

        It’s not that there isn’t new evidence, it is that there is a plausible explanation to the new evidence that doesn’t involve Braun buying steroids from Bosch.

        The fact is, the test he failed is much better evidence. For a person thinking critically, the facts of the positive test and the arbitration and everything surrounding it leave very little, I would say unreasonable, doubt that Braun used PED.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • LTG says:

        If the explanation for the state-of-affairs entails that it is not evidence of PED-use, which Braun’s explanation does, then it is not new evidence. And if we aren’t sure whether the explanation is true but allow that it is plausible, then it remains an open question whether the state-of-affairs is evidence, which entails that it is not yet new evidence (evidence being relative to an investigator’s perspective).

        It might turn out that Braun is lying about the reason he has a bill with Bosch. Then, the bill will be new evidence, as the most likely explanation will be that he owes Bosch money for PEDs.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • TKDC says:

        I don’t think you understand what evidence means. If an accused rapist claims that the sex was consensual, that does not mean the collected DNA evidence ceases to be evidence.*

        *I am not comparing Braun to rapists. Okay, maybe I am just a little bit.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • DodgersKingsoftheGalaxy says:

      No no no, it’s just that fangraphs is a place where people try to use their brains. If you want to Braun bash you have the entire internet for that.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  33. john joe says:

    Didn’t Passan say that his name came up in three separate documents? Not just the money owed, but other references to Braun as well including a letter referring to the “the Braun advantage” in correspondence with another player? Did I misread that?

    This explanation only deflects the reference to money owed, even if we agree his argument that his name was listed for his consultation during the last appeal.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  34. Darin says:

    As someone that’s been used by lawyers as a “consultant” before and someone with common sense there does seem to be a lot of questions and easy conclusions that point to Braun having used PEDs.

    1. A positive test. Even with having it overturned on a technicality, he tested positive, and didn’t even dispute the results were in fact, positive.

    2. U of Miami connection. U of Miami alum Ceasar Carrillo, Danny Valencia and Yasmani Grandal are also named along with Braun (in some fashion). Even A-Rod has connections to U of Miami as their baseball teams biggest donor.

    3. Jimmy Goins (another U of Miami connection), an Asst. Strength and Conditioning coach at the U during Braun’s tenure (1 year) is being investigated by the DEA for his connection with Bosch and PEDs.

    4. We now know that Bosch was used by Braun’s defense team, confirmed by one of his laywers, Cornwell. But why does Cornwell attempt to distance himself and/or his legal team from Bosch in an almost damning manner? Couldn’t he just confirm that Bosch was used as a consultant?

    5. If infact Bosch was a defense consultant (which it seems he was), who’s idea was it? Cornwell seems to imply it wasn’t his idea. Also couldn’t the legal team present an invoice from Bosch for services rendered? Sensitive information could be redacted but show that Braun’s legal team did receive an invoice for Bosch’s consultation.

    6. The fact that Braun (and Cervelli) validates at least some of Bosch’s record keeping is accurate (to an unknown extent) it seems that the original players indicated have the heat turned up some. Would be interesting if any strike a deal with MLB and divulge additional information.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • kid says:

      1. Braun’s defense team attacked the evidence/handling because it is 10000X simpler than taking on the “did he/didn’t he use PEDs?” question. I mean what’s the point of taking the more arduous path or argument? Sure, Braun could have stood in front of every camera and gone Raffy Palmiero, but to what gain? It might help a few people watching TV, but it doesn’t help his case. His team had a nice, neat case and they won.

      2/3. Extremely circumstantial. You can form your own opinion based on that, but I’m guessing that it has zero legal bearing.

      4/5. Explained at length in the last paragraph of the article. The legal reasoning presented is pretty clear.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Darin says:

        I grant you, 2/3 is as circumstantial as the last paragraph (4/5) of the article is guesswork.

        I get what the author is saying, but when you start to take all the pieces, it’s not that hard to put them together and it look like Braun’s involved with PEDs. It’s either Braun did infact take PEDs or this is just one crazy, sad string of coincidental events. What’s more likely?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • kid says:

        My responses are primarily focused around the legal aspect of Braun’s ties to the facility, not his actual PED use (which, I can’t deny, seems to be getting closer to “certainly” than “possibly”).

        Ultimately I don’t really care if he did or not. It has been such a colossal embarrassment to MLB over the past decade, and every time a new case is brought up, it’s just more black eyes for the League, its teams and players. At this point I’d just prefer never hear about any of it ever again.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  35. CJ says:

    After reading the article, all of the assumptions that the “consultants weren’t under oath” are just as premature and based on as much evidence as those saying that “he’s guilty”.

    As Wendy clearly stated, the behind the scenes consultants are open to cross examination which means that they would have had, if cross examined, given sworn depositions under oath.

    Of course I don’t know if he (Bosch) was cross examined to know if that it true, but you can be sure that he was certainly under oath if MLB did cross examine him.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  36. James Dogg says:

    If Braun’s lawyer allowed Braun’s name to be the contact for Bosch in using him as a witness/consultant AFTER the positive test came to light, that is a bad bit of lawyering. Bosch’s contact under that scenario would be the lawyer or the firm or possibly and investigator used by the lawyer–never the client and certainly would not allow client’s name into Bosch’s records given the circumstances Braun was under- Braun is lying about why his name is in Bosch’s records– but by commenting on it he has given the records credibility-

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  37. Didn’t read all of the article, however, when this information was leaked I did assume guilt. I’m grateful for your opinion and experience, because though I was quick to react you are right, it does sound possible. I’m also probably still bitter about Braun beating out Kemp for MVP.

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  38. Melkman says:

    That is $30,000 well spent by Braun & company. Braun failed a test with elevated testosterone and if Bosch and associates were the ones who counseled Braun, or led them in the direction of, challenging MLB’s failure to keep up with their own chain of command rules then: $30,000 very well spent. It’s a shame they couldn’t work their magic for Melky Cabrera – as the notes unearthed by the New Times show that they did try to. (P.S. MELKY – time to pay up, dude!)

    Braun used PEDs from Bosch & Co. in 2011 and won the MVP.
    Braun failed a test for elevated levels of testosterone and with the help of Bosch got the test thrown out on a technicality.

    Melky Cabrera used PEDs from Bosch & Co. in 2011 and won the All-Star Game MVP (“the Braun advantage” – per Bosch Co. notes)

    Bosch & Co. attempted to help Melky challenge his failed test, which didn’t work out for Cabrera…so he didn’t pay Bosch & Co.

    TIME TO PAY UP MELKY.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  39. Youppi! says:

    your contributions to Fangraphs are greatly appreciated – thoughtful, balanced, articulate and engaging. thank you.

    ps., braun cheated, everyone believes that. that’s all that matters – the belief.

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  40. The Braun Advantage says:

    Good try, Wendy.

    All the baseball fans over the mental age of six understand that what’s really going on is very, very simple. Braun bought illegal PED’s from Bosch — then, naturally, *also* used Bosch as a consultant later, after he was busted.

    The records showing that Braun purchased the drugs will be held back, then released a few days or a week from now, after all the players (incl. Braun)have issued their denials. Maximum impact that way.

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  41. Bob says:

    I feel bad for Braun, even though I guess I should envy him his youth, wealth, and fame. I mean, he has to be in some ways the unluckiest athlete on the planet.

    Think about it. First his drug test sample is mishandled in such a way that it makes Ryan appear to have used illegal PEDs when, of course, he didn’t.

    Then the records of a well-known illegal PED seller become public… and the guy just happens to located right next to Braun’s alma mater. That is such an unfortunate coincidence.

    Then, lastly, it turns out that Ryan’s name is actually in the bookkeeping records in at least three places — even though, of course, he never bought any illegal PEDs from the place. Man, that’s a bad, bad coincidence.

    Good luck, Ryan. You’ve got Wendy on your side. (Also, don’t forget: even if you *did* use illegal PEDs for years and years and years, no writers at Fangraphs or Baseball Prospectus will hold it against you anyway. Best of both worlds, huh?)

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  42. Nitram Odarp says:

    I don’t understand why some people feel such a need to come to the defense of a proven cheater. The fact that he got off on a technicality doesn’t change the fact that IRMS found synthetic testosterone in his system. There are no false positives with that (assuming they use a benchmark for Carbon 13 levels in their tests as today’s most advanced tests do). Unless of course you happen to believe that the collector somehow managed to get through 3 tamper proof seals without leaving any evidence and tainted both Braun’s samples with the urine of another person who used, but in that case why trust any positive test ever? If you don’t trust tamper proof seals, it doesn’t really matter if they had the sample for 30 minutes, 3 hours, or 3 days. It’s still enough time to spike the sample if you really want to.

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    • TKDC says:

      Well said, which is why this whole story is of limited value, unless there is something that connects Braun to steroids in 2012. The issue of whether or not Braun has ever cheated by using steroids is settled. He did.

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    • john says:

      If you are the collector, or in cahoots with the collector, and the collector breaks chain of custody, the sample could be easily tainted and placed in a new “tamper proof” container. That’s why there is a chain of custody- so that anyone with access to the specimen has another set of eyes on them. You can’t just take it home and put it in the fridge next to the ketchup.

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      • Nitram Odarp says:

        “the sample could be easily tainted and placed in a new “tamper proof” container.”

        No it can’t. The player being tested has to personally sign each of the seals attesting to the fact it was sealed in front of them. You can bet Braun and his lawyers would have argued this if there was any evidence that the collector forged his signatures.

        And there isn’t always another set of eyes on the specimen. Once the collector collects it, he is the only person watching it until it gets to FedEx. If you don’t trust the tamper proof seals, then you might as question any positive test ever because the collector could simply spike the sample in the FedEx parking lot.

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    • DodgersKingsoftheGalaxy says:

      I believe some scientist did say leaving the sample out for a few days can result in higher testosterone.

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    • KJOK says:

      If chain of custody didn’t matter, then it wouldn’t be part of the Union/Management agreement, and the arbitrator would have ruled against Braun and for MLB.

      Chain of custody IS in the agreement, and the arbitrator did rule in Braun’s favor.

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      • TKDC says:

        The laws of science are not dictated by the MLB collective bargaining agreement. Sorry.

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      • Nitram Odarp says:

        For one thing, it is not at all as simple as you’re trying to make it out to be as far at the language in the CBA. There was no specific protocol set out for this particular situation (i.e. FedEx being open but being done with pickups until after the weekend). The entire argument came down to vague language that could be interpreted different ways.

        Leaving that aside, you seem to have missed my point. Chain of custody does matter, which is why there are 3 tamper proof seals that must be opened to get to the sample. Since there is no evidence those were tampered with, it is pretty obvious that the sample itself was not tampered with. If you want to act like it would be reasonable to assume that tamper proof seals were opened without leaving any evidence, you’re basically saying you don’t trust any positive test since the collector could have conceivably done the same thing on the way to FedEx or in the FedEx parking lot.

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      • Paul C. says:

        TKDC and Nitram Odarp have it exactly right and state the arguments quite well here.

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  43. kid says:

    There are some pretty low mental hurdles in the article that some commenters (unfortunately) can’t get over; consultant vs. testifier, and why you’d rather have an illegal immigrant show you how to sneak across a border than a border patrol agent, etc. Obviously everybody is free to form their own opinion about Braun’s innocence, but you disservice yourselves by failing to show even a HS-level reading comprehension level of the basic talking points.

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  44. Tim says:

    I don’t know about costs, but it shows laughable judgment to hire Dr. Bombay to be an expert on drug testing/chain of custody issues. I hope that Braun’s representatives have a sense of humor.

    Bosch’s expert testimony would have little credibility. A respected drug testing company like Aegis Sciences, which make tens/hundreds of millions of dollars a year in revenue in drug testing, would have credibility.

    The author seems annoyed that the public is speaking intemperately on his area of expertise. I respect his experience, but I side with common sense.

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  45. Nitram Odarp says:

    “Braun’s appeal focused on the validity of the urine test that allegedly showed a high level of testosterone. His attorneys reportedly attacked the test in two ways. First, by showing that MLB’s drug testing protocol was not followed; and second, by showing that an improperly-handled urine sample could lead to a much higher-than-normal testosterone reading.”

    Wendy, it is a little hard to take you seriously when you completely miss the mark with your summary of what happened. The high level of testosterone alone does not lead to a failed test. It is merely used as a screening test to determine whether or not a sample should be sent on to IRMS testing. The IRMS testing is able to determine if the testosterone is from an endogenic or exogenic source.

    The only people Braun’s lawyers made the case that an improperly-handled urine sample could lead to a much higher-than-normal testosterone reading was to the public. It wasn’t relevant to the appeal because it didn’t address what actually was considered the positive test (IRMS). They did this because people who didn’t research the testing process closely (in this case you) would make the mistake of assuming that discrediting the T:E ratio test (note the actual amount of testosterone isn’t relevant, only the ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone even though you keep saying otherwise) somehow discredits the positive when it doesn’t at all. There is no evidence that leaving urine out could lead to carbon 13 spontaneously replacing carbon 12 in the sample. If there was, that would seriously affect the world of science. No such evidence exists, which is why they utilized misdirection, which you sadly fell for.

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    • kid says:

      Sounds good – you should write a letter to Antonin Scalia detailing how you more about law than him, too.

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    • LTG says:

      More to the point, if Wendy revises her description, then the point of her paragraph stands, no? How does misdescribing one aspect of a situation undermine an inference if the correct description still supports the inference?

      The lawyers have to consult experts on the testing procedures whether or not the testing procedures could have caused a faulty test. And the lawyers would make the weaker argument the stronger if they could get an expert to say it even if it is probably false. So, should she revise that paragraph as you suggest, her point would stand. She could even strike the whole paragraph and the point of the article would stand. I’m not sure why you think this objection is so substantial.

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      • Nitram Odarp says:

        Sure, if she revised it then her point would be correct (I mean her point on Bosch and Braun’s team is already correct IMO), but that doesn’t change the fact that it is tough to take her seriously when she an entire paragraph is factually incorrect in a way that makes Braun’s case look much better than it was in reality. It just makes her look like a mouthpiece for Braun’s side that is trying to make the case that the Bosch connection isn’t bad (I agree with her) while simultaneously continuing the campaign of misinformation to make him look better.

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    • ineedanap says:

      Look up the definition of “Reportedly”.

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      • Nitram Odarp says:

        I don’t know what that has to do with the gist of what I said. It is just an example of her falling for the Braun PR campaign.

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    • Pennant says:

      Nitram excellent summary here you have written. It is fascinating to see so many smart people know something (Braun’s test was mishandled so the results are invalid) that just is not true.

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  46. steex says:

    Fantastic piece, Wendy.

    Just a thought for people who are harping on the point that Braun got off on a technicality. If you drive down a road going 35 MPH in a 35 MPH zone, a policeman may clock you going 45 MPH with an improperly tuned speed gun and write you a ticket. If you take your case to court and it can be demonstrated that the gun was improperly tuned, you will be let off on a technicality.

    If that happens, does that mean we should all assume you really were speeding? I mean, you got off on a technicality – surely the policeman’s gun wouldn’t have caught you going 45 MPH if you weren’t really doing that, right? Does it not matter whether the sample was improperly collected or not?

    My point, of course, is that getting off on “technicality” can’t be assumed to imply guilt in the first place in a case like Braun’s. It’s not like he definitively failed the test without any contest of that fact, but because they accidentally misspelled his name “Rayn Braun” on the paperwork, they can’t punish him. No, here the technicality means there was a demonstrable flaw in the evidence such that it never should have been trusted.

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    • Nitram Odarp says:

      This is entirely incorrect and just shows the fundamental misunderstanding of the processes in place, which Wendy continued with this piece. There is absolutely no evidence that the sample was tampered with. There were 3 tamper proof seals with Ryan Braun’s signatures on them that attest to the fact that they weren’t tampered with.

      If you don’t think the samples were tampered with, then you have to believe that Braun used PEDs. That is how good the IRMS test is. They definitively showed that his sample contained testosterone from an exogenic source based on the ratios of carbon 12 and carbon 13 in the testosterone metabolites from the sample (presumably after controlling those ratios by looking at the ratio of C12 and C13 from another substance in the sample…cholesterol IIRC). The only way for those ratios to get like that is for the sample to have been tampered with (there is no evidence it was) or for Braun to have used PEDs.

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    • TKDC says:

      No, this would be like if the officer accidentally wrote the date on your ticket as 2012 instead of 2013 and that made it invalidly issued. “Technicality,” as it is commonly used, denotes that a procedural requirement that generally has no bearing on the actual facts of a case, was not followed. They are important to ensure credibility and for the rare case where they do protect the integrity of the evidence and the process.

      Other sports don’t have the requirement MLB does. If Braun were in the NFL, he would have been suspended 4 games.

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    • Patrick says:

      Steex, your story is not a good comparison.

      It is more like this:

      You are traveling 45 mph down a 35 mph road. The officer clocks you at 45mph and gives you a ticket.

      Your car is brand new and the speedometer was reading 35 mph (when traveling 45). You make an argument in court. Get off on a technicality.

      This actually happened to me by the way.

      Guess what, you were still doing 45.

      Braun was still doping.

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  47. Oliver says:

    For Wendy’s next piece of apologia, she’ll magically pull an explanation for the “Braun advantage” out of a hat!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRW7pITY5Cg

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  48. Patrick says:

    Why is everyone here on Braun’s side?

    There is nothing that shows he is innocent.

    There is circumstantial evidence suggesting he is guilty.

    I would assume there would be a 50/50 split and for Braun to even be associated w/ these people only adds to his potential guiltyness.

    Braun is guilty in my mind.

    Why aren’t other players linked with these guys?

    Griffey?

    Edgar?

    Mattingly?

    Braun is an asterisk. Period. I read Dave’s article on confirmation bias. It is a valid argument but it does not show Braun is innocent.

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    • DodgersKingsoftheGalaxy says:

      “There is nothing that shows he is innocent.”

      Because you are innocent until proven guilty here my friend! If not, move to Iran.

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      • TKDC says:

        No one has suggested Braun face criminal punishment. Well, one person suggested burning him at the stake, but I think that was a joke. Innocent until proven guilty is the standard for taking away a person’s freedom, not for passing judgment on Internet blogs.

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  49. Synovia says:

    Yeah, its possible Braun has been on the up and up and all these explanations are true.

    It’s just not likely.

    That being said, I couldn’t give a shit. The whole uproar about steroids is a tempest in a teapot.

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    • Bob says:

      More like arsenic in the teapot. People poisoning themselves, and removing genuine record-holders from the books in the process.

      I’m very glad former players like Kaline spoke out so simply and eloquently after the HOF vote was announced.

      Anyone who never, ever wants to be bothered with another HGH/steroid story should be advocating for a minimum 1-year ban (without pay) for first offenders, and a lifetime ban for a second offense.

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  50. Bip says:

    Everyone is so eager to condemn. Does it feel good to just make accusations and assumptions without full knowledge, rather than acknowledge that we don’t know what happened?

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    • TKDC says:

      You don’t really know that people posting anonymously on the Internet don’t know everything about the issue. I mean, you don’t know that for sure. So maybe you should acknowledge that you don’t know what anyone knows about what happened?

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  51. Taz says:

    Here’s what I’ve learned from the comments on this article: Anyone who felt Braun was guilty last year is even more sure of that now. Anyone who felt Braun was innocent is still sure of that now. Both think dissenters of their opinion are idiots.

    Here’s the thing, and it’s regarding this incident alone: his explanation makes sense. That doesn’t mean he didn’t dope, but it’s perfectly reasonable to assume he got his PEDs elsewhere, assuming he did use them.

    It’s completely reasonable to assume he went to Bosch for consultation. It has no bearing whatsoever on whether or not he used, but if he’s looking for a way out, it’s not unreasonable to say he sought some information from Bosch. Keep in mind his name was not associated with any actual product and the fee was different from all the other players (and as Wendy points out, that’s not a crazy number for consultation). Wendy notes that this idea is entirely plausible, and she’s 100% right, whether you believe Braun used PEDs or not.

    (As for the “Braun advantage,” it doesn’t take a genius to come up with an explanation for that. Half the commenters on here assume Braun used PEDs and have already indicted him in the court of public opinion. Bosch never said, “I gave him PEDs.” He mentioned it because he, like so many others, believes Braun doped. Come on, that’s not hard.)

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    • Nitram Odarp says:

      People assume Braun used PEDs because IRMS testing found testosterone from an exogenous source in his urine sample. That’s not exactly an unfair assumption.

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      • Taz says:

        Didn’t say it was an unfair assumption. It’s also not unfair to assume he’s innocent. He did win his appeal, and while many may scoff at the “technicality,” I don’t think it was that simple. The moderator took an extremely long time to decide, and if it was as simple as “this sample is ineligible,” then it would have been over quickly. I believe that there are elements of Braun’s defense that the general public is unaware of since it wasn’t leaked, and I do trust Shyam Das, who is an experienced professional. But I similarly cannot chastize anyone who believes Braun did use, since he did fail a test, no matter the outcome of the appeal.

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      • Nitram Odarp says:

        “I believe that there are elements of Braun’s defense that the general public is unaware of since it wasn’t leaked, and I do trust Shyam Das, who is an experienced professional.”

        Then you don’t understand how the process works. Nothing that Braun’s side says at this point is a “leak.” He is free, as he has always been, to say as much or as little as he wants about the process and his defense. If he had an actual reasonable defense, he would have taken it to the public. He doesn’t so he’s kept quiet.

        Shyam Das being an experienced professional is irrelevant to whether or not Braun used. Whether or not he actually used wasn’t really relevant to the case. The case came down to vague wording in the CBA that didn’t specifically legislate what the collector was supposed to do when FedEx was open, but done picking up deliveries until after the weekend.

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        • Terry Ott says:

          The whole reason we even KNOW about the fiasco that involves Ryan Braun is that there was a leak, for heaven’s sake. Insofar as I know, NO other player’s testing information was ever made public before the appeals process was completed. And if a player wins on appeal, that is not supposed to be revealed either.

          Now why is that? Because, of course, a whole bunch of people are going to make assumptions and judgements about something that should never have been made public in the first place, a positive test result that was ruled invalid by an impartial arbitrator. And in the process they put that player into the untenable situation of having to prove to the world that he is not a doper in order to salvage his reputation.

          The case against Braun failed because of the procedural mistake. And when you are in a court-like setting, you rely on the clearest path to reach the result you need, i.e., the one with the fewest potential land mines. Not the most “gallant” path, and definitely not a path that would confuse the adjudicator. You might bring up ALL of those available, but you put your chips down on the one most likely to win, the easiest for the “court” to rule on.

          For example, a close relative won child custody on a question of jurisdiction. In the ruling, the judge said there potentially were other grounds as well — the merits that were raised kind of peripherally in the jurisdictional arguments. But those “merits” didn’t have to be weighed because the jurisdictional factors were simply decisive. Wrong venue, so you have no standing. Over.

          From a “feel good” standpoint, I wish we HAD gotten into the merits because we would have absolutely demolished the opponent, but you take the course that is most certain and simplest (and least expensive, too).

          Here are some other arguments on Braun’s side to put alongside the test result:

          1) He was 27 years old, entering the prime years of his career with a long-term guaranteed contract (now $130 million), and even if he were inclined to use PED’s, he would not have had sufficient motivation to take such a risk.

          2) Braun had passed 24 prior drug tests, including multiple tests during the 2011 season.

          3) The fact that MLB said his testosterone levels were three times greater than any other test result since testing began made those results far less believable.

          I must say, this is a persuasive point. Of all the juicers MLB has tested in recent years, with hundreds of positive results… Ryan Braun’s testosterone levels were THREE TIMES higher than anyone they had ever tested? That is a bit hard to believe. Especially given the following point.

          4) He did not gain muscle mass, a single pound of weight or so much as a tenth of a second on his run time on the basepaths (which is routinely measured and documented by team officials) between his last negative test and the test in question.

          — these four points from Kent Covington Feb 2012, on BravesWire:
          http://braveswire.com/did-ryan-braun-prove-his-innocence/

          5) Braun wanted to be retested. Baseball wasn’t interested in that. Why? Who knows? Baseball should have quietly dismissed the case after the appeal WITHOUT the leak, of course, and then tested him once a day every day with his and the union’s consent, forever.

          6) Look at Braun’s performance for all the years he has played. No ups and downs. He plays the same way he always has, and no change in his swing, his speed, his numbers.

          I said “fiasco”, arising from the leak, premature leak at that. Read this if you care to: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=15654

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        • Nitram Odarp says:

          Did you even read my post before responding? If Braun had any sort of argument to discredit the IRMS testing he would make it publicly. He has never done so because there is no argument (outside of tampering) against a positive IRMS test. Nothing you just said discredits the fact that there was clearly exogenous testosterone in his sample.

          The argument about his T:E ratio is a red herring. A 20:1 ratio really isn’t that abnormal. Don Catlin said he saw ratios in excess of 100:1 in heavy steroid users. Sure, it is possible that Braun’s T:E ratio was artificially high because the collector did not send it in immediately and perhaps didn’t store it properly, but that has nothing to do with their being testosterone from an exogenous source in the sample. Carbon 12 doesn’t magically change to Carbon 13 just because you leave a sample out.

          The fact that Braun was willing to take another test is literally the most meaningless part of this case. It was over a month after the fact. With the newer testosterone patches, it is possible to get your T:E ratio below the 5:1 cutoff in ~12 hours.

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    • Ryan Braun's next lie says:

      Maybe some people really are idiots, though.

      People who think dinosaurs are made up, because they can’t read about them in the Bible.

      People who believe the Holocaust didn’t happen.

      People who believe Ryan Braun.

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  52. Slats says:

    Ryan Braun was never inncocent, he just beat the system.

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  53. Taz says:

    Also, isn’t it interesting that of all the players in this incident, Braun is the one who has admitted a relationship with the guy? Everyone else is issuing a flat denial. You’d have to be pretty stupid to admit knowing the guy, if you’ve already got MLB’s offices watching your every move, especially when everyone else is running as far away as they can from this guy. Whether or not he did use, I don’t think he got PEDs from Bosch. His story makes sense without any shoehorning at all, and it doesn’t make sense that he’d readily admit he knows Bosch if he did buy PEDs from him. Remember, Braun issued a flat denial last year when he tested positive, so it’s not like he isn’t used to that.

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    • pft says:

      It seems to me Braun had the opportunity to review all the records, perhaps even get them sanitized, so there was no evidence of PED purchases. All the other players who denied involvement are not believed.

      So Braun issued his story at the same time the news was released, knowing there was nothing to contradict his statement. I am sure his lawyers were involved.

      The best lie is a half lie having some mixture of truth.

      Obviously, we don’t know the whole truth here, but he did have a positive PED test and if he admits to owing 20K to Bosch, he either received a heck of a lot of consulting, for what we are not sure, or that bill includes other stuff besides consulting.

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  54. Old School says:

    Guilty until proven innocent.

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  55. ineedanap says:

    Thanks Wendy, you are quickly becoming my favorite writer on this site.

    Don’t forget to read (or even re-read) the article before posting in the comments section!

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  56. DodgersKingsoftheGalaxy says:

    It’s easy to see just how witch hunts can be carried out with even less….

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  57. Warriors says:

    This is like being charged with murder and consulting O.J Simpson.

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    • TKDC says:

      OJ is innocent. I’m sure all of the Braun supporters here would have no problem with him taking their mothers on a date.

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      • ron says:

        Why is it that if you say this story is plausible you are a Braun supporter? It just means that maybe Braun didn’t get PEDs from this guy.
        If I am Braun and didn’t use PEDs I start now just because people think I do anyway. His Hall of Fame chances are shot so why not see if he can’t destroy the record book and carry the Brewers to the World Series. On the other hand he is signed till he is 37 so no big monentary gains to be made from using.

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  58. Bob Zaffrann says:

    The vast majority of the commenters here completely miss the point of the article. The point of the article is expressly not whether Braun’s story is true or not. It’s that it’s plausible. If you’re hell bent on believing Braun’s a liar, take comfort: you can still believe it’s a plausible and well-constructed lie. If you’re hell bent on believing he’s innocent, you can believe it’s the truth.

    At this point, there’s not a whole lot by way of facts that strongly support either opinion. Since a great deal more facts will inevitably come out in the coming weeks and months that just may make one of the outcomes more or less likely, not sure I understand why the rush to form an intransigent opinion on a small fraction of the evidence that will soon be known.

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    • pft says:

      Plausible covers a wide spectrum from possible but improbable to probable.

      Occam’s razor suggests the simplest explanation that explains all the facts to be the best explanation.

      Which is the simplest explanation.

      1. Braun used PED’s, got caught, got off on a technicality while using his notorious drug dealing supplier as a consultant.

      2. Braun never used PED’s, but somehow tested positive in 2 separate tests. The collector either replaced his sample with a bad sample somehow without leaving evidence of tampering and for some unknown reason, or the sample mysteriously degraded and caused a positive CIR result which is not considered possible according to scientific studies. He then, despite having no contact with PED suppliers used one to consult on his case, one who was not even a Doctor, and who had links to Manny and Arod.

      Don’t know about others but #1 seems the simplest explanation to me.

      If this was Arod nobody would be defending him.

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  59. kid says:

    Why is there still such animosity towards those who are suspected of PED use in baseball? MLB is entertainment; ultimately not that different from the recording and film industries. At least, that is what professional sports are supposed to be. If you show no mercy or understanding towards a Braun or a Rodriguez or Bonds, why is that? Is it because you feel cheated out of your money? Or your time?

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    • Chickensoup says:

      I’ll never understand this either. I think people have a false understanding of the past and actually believe that athletes did not use things to enhance their performance in the past. Heck, Jolt soda is technically a Performance Enhancing Drug, coffee/soda is. Ginsing is believes to have stimulant effects, lets ban freaking tea.

      Greenies were used in all sports for decades, its very very likely (and note, we will never know outside of admission though with the current PED witch hunts its never going to happen) that many of the all time greats in baseball used Greenies, now a banned substance. It’s almost impossible for them not to have made it into the hands of some of the revered and “clean” white stallions of yore that people enjoy reminiscing about. Yet people don’t care, it’s all about the witch hunt now.

      Call me whatever you want, i personally don’t care if athletes take stuff to improve their performance. But then again I don’t hold much regard to statistics from 100 years ago when so many factors have changed. That people hold any respect for stats when the game was played almost exclusively by poor irish farmers kids while not letting a single black guy play the game is ridiculous to me. The ball has changed far too many times to count. The knowledge of sports training is probably about a trillion times better now. recruiting is now worldwide, instead of pulling poor immigrants from the fields. My personal thought, the Astros would destroy the 1927 Yankees, who quite possibly had never seen anyone pitch above 80 MPH.

      Back on topic (sorry for the rant). People spend too much time caring about this when it’s almost irrelevant to anyone who is not another professional baseball player vying for a piece of the salary pie that teams hand out. Take a break and a deep breath and just learn to not care

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  60. Jay says:

    It is amazing to me that a professional athlete would not use PED’s when the difference between a good or average player and a great player may be “a little” enhancement . Especially. In light of the fact that the difference in the contracts between the good or average athlete and the great one. It is definitely worth the risk both physically and legally because this is not really a serious breach of any trust. The fans want performance and nothing else. Anyone who wants to hold athletes to a high moral standard is a fool when the important people in our society (political leaders) have absolutely no ethical burden. Athletes are like the Hollywood elite who scold us about our lives, but are devoid of all decency themselves. Does it really matter what he took except to the players who don’ t excell and are paid less because they won’t “cheat”? I am beyond the point in my life where I wear a jersey with another man’s name on it or root for any team other than my keeper league team. I am an NCAA football coach and a former Division 1 athlete and let me tell you there are few “good ” guys in sports. It is about the. Same as the number of good guys in other walks of life.

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  61. pft says:

    So who introduced this apparently credible lawyer to Bosch?. Perhaps a player who was receiving his supply from Bosch?

    Also, the delay in Brauns name being released, and the apparent simultaneous release of the news and Brauns response suggests Braun may have had an opportunity to review the records beforehand. If he would pay 20-30 K for Bosch, what might he pay for the records to be sanitized?

    That’s my problem with not releasing everything at one time. Who knows what is going on behind the scenes with other players on the list. Could be a profitable situation for those holding the records.

    I was a bit suspicious about the validity of the records, but Braun is the first one to admit to doing business with Bosch, even if for some other reason. But if Arod owed 4K and Cabrera 9-15K for actual drugs if not personal visits. it seems like Braun got far more than consulting for 20-30K.

    Put me in the camp where this news helps confirm Braun is/was a PED user.

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    • Terry Ott says:

      Well, Braun’s attorneys have a dispute going on with Bosch over the bill for services. Wouldn’t it be a bit strange to not pay them if you were looking for their cooperation in somehow cooking their own books after the fact? Help me understand THAT dynamic, please.

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  62. billhiggs says:

    I guess we’ll ignore the University of Miami connection and the failed test. Braun wins his appeal by questioning the control procedures for the collected specimen. The specimen is collected after the last pickup time for the local FedEx office and since the test was conducted on a Saturday standard protocol dictates that the courier refrigerate the sample until the earliest possible ship date (Monday morning). Had the courier left the sample at the FedEx Office after the cut time the sample would not have been refrigerated. To assume that Braun’s sample was contaminated or altered would be assume that the courier was able to increase the testosterone level of the sample. not to mention that there was no evidence that the sample had been opened prior to its receipt in the testing lab. So, first we were asked to believe that a courier altered Braun’s urine without opening the sample and now we are asked to believe that Braun’s defense team paid 30k to Bosch to act as a consultant. How many times are we going to allow a famous athlete to wag their indignant finger in our collective faces and proclaim their innocence?

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    • Terry Ott says:

      How is it that Braun’s sample result was multiples of times higher than ANY other that has ever been tested by MLB, to the point where those on the inside were themselves scratching their heads over how THAT could have happened … with a guy on whom all 24 earlier tests had been absolutely normal.

      I have a hunch that the arbitrator was flummoxed by that “detail” although he did not have to go to that point in making his ruling. For all we know, a St. Louis Cardinals employee paid a bartender to dump an once of testosterone laden fluid into Braun’s Mai-Tai the night before after getting inside information that the test was going to be done the next morning.

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      • Nitram Odarp says:

        That’s not how testosterone works. If you ingest it like that, the acid in the stomach breaks it down, which means there wouldn’t be a positive test.

        Also, tests aren’t done in the morning FWIW, they are only done after games.

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  63. chuckb says:

    Outstanding work here, Wendy.

    It’s important that everyone understand that finding Braun’s argument plausible is not the same as believing him innocent. The world is not as black-and-white as some here believe. I don’t know if Braun’s relationship with Biscuit means that he is or was a PED user. Wendy presented an outstanding explanation for why the appearance of Braun’s name in Bosch’s books might not mean that Braun is guilty of using PEDs. It’s not an explanation of why he’s innocent. Many here need to be more open-minded.

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    • kid says:

      Agree – there are at least two different topics under discussion here. The first is whether Braun & his team had any shady dealings w/ Biogenesis. The second is whether Braun actually took PEDs. Wendy’s article addresses the first topic, but many here are understandably using that topic as a jumping point to number two.

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  64. Paul Konerko's goatee says:

    Braun is either cheating or the unluckiest guy in baseball once he steps off of the baseball field. I think I know the answer.

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  65. Doug Ross says:

    With all the money Braun makes why would he and his lawyers consult a no name in Florida? Where their’s smoke their’s fire, Braun was guilty last time and got off on a technicality. Everyone knows he should have been suspended the first time, but the MLB and Selig let him off the hook. He joins my conspiracy theory along with the Mitchell report. It’s all a selective witch hunt.

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    • Terry Ott says:

      A no-name? Really? Just the guy who is a kingpin in the banned substance trade. Maybe they wanted to know if/how someone could “slip a mickey” into Braun’s drink in order to have him show up 300% as positive as any other player, including the big time dopers, ever tested by MLB. Who knows? Not me, not you.

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  66. Paul C. says:

    Wendy – Plausible maybe, but I am an attorney and there is no risk to blowing the privilege just by saying you consulted with someone. What was said in the course of preparing a defense is protected, but Braun easily could have disclosed the connection earlier without any risk to the attorney-client privilege. Further, why would an expensive and presumably responsible set of lawyers not insist on an agreement or statement of work signed by Bosch and making clear the consulting engagement, if for no other reason than to create a paper trail to protect their client from the appearance of impropriety when dealing with someone who is known to be a shady character connected to the PED world? We’re being asked to assume a lot of unusual facts to make this story work.

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  67. PBR says:

    I’m blown away about how many Fangraphs readers have blinders on for Braun. The number of ‘thumbs downs’ to anyone who questions Braun in this article is astounding.

    It seems to be forgotten by many that Braun did not win his appeal to the point that it said he was not guilty of using PEDs. He won his appeal on a technicality. However, the technicality he won on still does not explain – and never will explain – the presence of synthetic testosterone in his blood. Braun’s samples could sit in my garage or basement for the next 150 years and at no point will synthetic testosterone magically show up.

    It seems people need a bit of a reminder of what Braun was guilty of. The use of PEDs was never absolved, only the penalty associated with it.

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    • Terry Ott says:

      Neither has anyone ever explained how a player with no past history and no change in performance (before or after the testing) came up to a reading twice or three times as high as ever before recorded. Ever.

      I did read of a minor league player whose test result was tossed, and who then passed on retesting, because the initial result was so far off the charts that the credibility was just not there.

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      • Nitram Odarp says:

        It’s 2 to 3 times higher than any other MLB players, allegedly. It is nowhere near as high as the highest levels ever recorded(Don Catlin has talked about weightlifters and body builders testing at over 100:1).

        It also does not address the fact that there was exogenous testosterone in his sample. The only explanation for that is tampering, and there was three tamper proof seals that attest to the fact that his sample was never tampered with.

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      • Sparkles Peterson says:

        Stop believing facts made up by Braun’s PR team. That T/E ratio was perfectly compatible with a user, was far less than has previously been documented, and was nothing more than a screening test that led to the gold standard carbon isotope test on which his suspension was based.

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    • Terry Ott says:

      May I suggest a little different wording? It was not found that Braun was “guilty of using PEDs” (or as you say “not found not guilty”). He was found to have a level of testosterone in one sample that was astronomically high compared to all testing ever done on others, after passing 24 earlier tests over the years.

      The MLB side has only to show an elevated single test result in order to impose punishment on the presumption of the subject being a “user”. It has no requirement to figure out how that one test result came in so high. Indeed, it doesn’t seem to care about that.

      If the player in question is spending the night in a relative’s house, wakes up with a hangover headache and mistakes the bottle of testosterone supplements in his relative’s medicine cabinet for the bottle of ibuprofen, and takes 4 or 5, he’s a “user” when it shows up in his pee-pee tube the next day.

      So my point: he is guilty of having an outrageous testosterone reading one time. That’s defined as being a PED “user” by MLB. Pretty tough on someone who could be unknowing, seems to me.

      I will add that it was reported Braun’s defense team went to great lengths to retrace his steps and recall everything he ate/drank/took for the days leading up to the abnormal test .. and came up with nothing suspicious or unusual. Wonder if it would have mattered. Probably not.

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      • Billhiggs says:

        Synthetic testosterone does not not build muscle mass like steroids do. It speeds recovery time for fatigued muscle and can reduce the healing time for damaged tissue. Braun is talented athlete that was found to have an elevated sample in OCTOBER. Why make excuses for him? Maybe HGH keeps him playing at a consistently high level after approximately 8 consecutive months of non-stop baseball.

        .

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        • john says:

          Wow! Synthetic testosterone IS a steroid and is the overwhelming favorite of people who want to bulk up. The phrase is “Test is Best”

          Also, where does HgH even come in to this conversation?

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  68. Nitram Odarp says:

    Wendy, I’m not sure why you felt the need to link to that USA Today article to try and support your claim that Braun’s attorney’s attacked the test in 2 ways. The article specifically talks about the appeal process and what Das heard, and the second way you talk about was not mentioned there. It was only mentioned by the two sources on Braun’s side to argue that the sample collection was flawed. There is no indication at all that Braun’s attorney’s ever attacked the test on that front.

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    • Sparkles Peterson says:

      Glad I wasn’t the only one who couldn’t find anything to back that line up in the link. Braun contested the T/E ratio (Again, simply a screening test that led to the definitive test) in the press, and as far as I’ve ever heard, not to the arbitration panel.

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  69. Infield Fly says:

    Does anyone actually think Braun isn’t guilty of using a banned substance ? He just got off on a (albiet legitimate) loophole.

    Did he get the banned substance from Bosh ? Most likely not….

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  70. SparkyATS says:

    It’s been about 24 hours since David Cornwell released his statement and we still do not have a definitive answer as to how Bosch was introduced to Braun’s legal team. Throughout this thread, people have insisted that conclusions not be drawn without concrete facts. Yet I read over and over in this thread the repeated assumption that an attorney (most likely, Chris Lyons) on the case prior to Cornwell’s arrival used Bosch’s services as a consultant. When comparing the language between Braun’s and Cornwell’s statements, it is equally plausible that BRAUN was the connection between Bosch and his legal team. Chris Lyons, who is listed in the BioGenesis ledegr, has declined comment multiple times over the last day. BRAUN bringing Bosch on board, which may indicate a previous relationship, is a big story and this question has still not been refuted by anyone other than Braun. As to workfile confidentiality privilege, Lyons discussing his previous relationship with Bosch, as Cornwell has already done, would not fall within this restriction. I’m still waiting to hear from Chris Lyons.

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    • Bob Zaffrann says:

      Remarkable. The less knowledge you have, the more you think you know.

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      • SparkyATS says:

        Bob, who said I had knowledge about this particular point? I am saying we do not have knowledge on this point, contrary to everyone who says that we do. I do not claim to know how Bosch was introduced to Braun’s legal team and it remains an unanswered question.

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    • john says:

      And….if it was Braun who introduced Bosch to the legal team, what does that imply? Nothing, really. Braun likely knows multiple people who have received steroids from Bosch and might have thought he would be a source of information regarding testing. That turned out not to be the case according to Cornwell.

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  71. Nate says:

    How exactly does “improper handling” of a urine sample lead to elevated testosterone levels in it? The only way that could happen is if someone tampered with the sample just to incriminate Braun which is a pretty ridiculous suggestion. So if I take a piss and leave it sitting in the toilet for a couple days it will magically accrue more and more testosterone?

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  72. BWOzar says:

    As a practicing litigator myself, I just want to say that this was a beautiful layman’s explanation of FRE 702 and expert qualification. Well done, Wendy.

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  73. Paul Homles says:

    >he answered questions “about T/E ratio and possibilities of tampering with samples.”

    Manny wasn’t suspended for his T/E ratio, but for another drug detected in his body, a masking agent. As for “possibilities of tampering with samples”, the argument should have been about the labeling and the proper seal on the urine sample. What was argued instead was the improper storage of the urine — which is illogical of a scientific conclusion. Urine does not naturally convert into more of a hormone if left outside. That’s science, plain and square.

    Upon further testing, a synthetic, non-human produced steroid was found in Braun’s sample. That’s impossible. That’s like a diabetic pissing out in a bottle, leaving it outside, then the natural sugars in his urine magically converts into a splenda sweetner.

    >but it makes sense to me to his lawyers would consult with someone who had experience with a player (Manny Ramirez) who had tested positive and had been given a 50-game suspension

    Why would it make sense to ask a doctor who’s had a client, Manny, busted? That is, why ask the losing team, for a strategy of success?

    >If you’re a lawyer defending a client accused of participating in a drug cartel conspiracy, you want to consult with people who knows how drug cartels work.

    Law agencies know the legal procedure better than any doctor. But Bosch wasn’t a doctor, he was a quack. In fact, any clincal lab that specializes in doping in sports should know the legal prodecure better than Bosch. Bosch has a history, in which he provided an inadequate defense of his client (Manny Ramirez).

    >you also would like to consult with former drug cartel members.
    There’s tons of supporters of Braun in the Milwaukee area, that are in the law agency. I am sure one of them would have offered legal advice on how to tackle the accusations. Bud Selig rules from Milwaukee to begin with.

    >And what of $20,000 to $30,000 that Braun’s attorneys allegedly still owed Bosch? Isn’t that a lot of money to pay a consultant to answer some questions about T/E ratios and tampering with samples? No, it’s not.

    Yes it is. Any organic chemistry or biochemistry graduate student could have provided the advice on the T/E ratio, and for the price of a dinner. Why? Because graduate students in organic and biochemistry operate the very same machines used in doping clincs. The literature is neither obscure, advanced, or limited to some strip mall in Miami.

    Look. This is a good attempt of saving Braun’s reputation, but it’s written entirely in the perspect of a law student, not a student based in hard sciences. There was a procedure that was not followed, yes, but that does not change the science. Braun doped. Plain and simple *. He doped, and then he went back to Miami, and got on the books of a quack peddling illegal drugs. He got caught again. Plain and simple.

    * No steroid cream used to treat herpes can give such an elevated T/E ratio unless Braun literally bathed in the substance or a syringe in the ass.

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  74. Mikey Kramer says:

    INNOCENT .. the innocence project page needs more hit that prove it!!
    http://www.blex.org/brauninnocent.html

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  75. JonnyBS says:

    Oh boy.

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  76. Oooops says:

    Well………..I guess he was guilty after all………where’s the empty kool aid container?

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