The news that Milwaukee slugger Ryan Braun weaseled out of his 50-game suspension for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs is bad news for the Cardinals on the field.
But it's much worse for Major League Baseball because this "victory" deals the drug testing program designed to restore the game's credibility with fans a sharp and damaging blow.
How embarrassing it is to learn that MLB entrusted a regular parcel delivery company with drug samples of its multi-million-dollar players instead of using its own couriers to ensure their security. I highly doubt that the FedEx man who handled Braun's sample topped it off with testosterone to frame him. But, because of evidence bungling of the sort that saved O.J. Simpson from conviction when he was accused of murdering two people, Braun now is free to get back on the field and collect his millions of dollars with no explanation of what really happened.
The story goes that the delivery guy couldn't get the sample to the lab before it closed. So he took it home for a couple of days until he had another shot to drop it off. Nice work. Assuming that all player drug tests are handled in the same way, it's likely we're going to see a bunch of guys appeal their suspensions and cause complete upheaval in the program. While they won't get back the games they lost, they could get back the cash they missed out on while they were suspended without pay.
And suddenly people who are tested in the future will be able to cast more doubt on their unfavorable results than Lance Armstrong and Floyd Landis combined.
I am very curious to see what Braun looks like when he hits the playing field. It would be sweet to see him lose his power stroke and quick bat because his missing a mystery little something. Then everyone wins. (Well, except for the Brewers.) Braun pays for his cheating ways in a way he can't use all the legal wrangling in Washing D.C. to overturn. And the Brewers get stuck paying the ridiculous contract extension they gave Braun last year that pays him through 2020 -- even though he was already under contract through 2015 on his previous deal that will pay him at least $132.5 million for the rest of his career.
Maybe THAT will get former Milwaukee owner and current MLB commissioner Bud Selig to do something about much needed MLB revenue sharing and some sort of a salary cap.