Ken Rosenthal called the reversal of Ryan Braun’s performance-enhancing drug suspension on Thursday “a triumph of due process.” Jeff Passan called it a “blow to Selig’s testing program.” It could be both, but what happened on December 12 made those two interpretations mutually exclusive.
Whether Braun was exonerated only because of an error by the test collector, or his lawyers simply found the technicality an easier case to argue, is irrelevant. Whether Major League Baseball agrees or—as its response by executive vice president for labor relations Rob Manfred stated—“vehemently disagrees” with the arbitrator’s decision does not matter, either.
Braun, by the letter of the law, is innocent. And yet many fans, colleagues, executives, and media members doubtless went to bed Thursday night feeling otherwise. That is the dichotomy Rosenthal and Passan described, and it is one we all will need to live with.
We need to live with it because two sources anonymously and prematurely l...