Originally written on Brewers Bar  |  Last updated 11/17/14
(Image: AP/Jeffrey Phelps) Ever since Ryan Braun’s drug test failure in 2011, it has become a common turn of phrase to say his original 50-game suspension was overturned on a “technicality.”  Just today, in a post about the origins of Braun’s relationship with Biogenesis, Brewers beat writer Tom Haudricourt includes the obligatory wording, “He had that drug test overturned on appeal on a chain-of-custody issue that MLB considered a technicality.” I don’t mean to be obvious, but “technicality” is almost always a ******** word in any context (especially in discussions of criminal justice issues).  Another way to say “technicality” in this case would be to say Braun’s suspension was overturned “based on the rules that everyone agreed to and thought were fair ahead of time.”  When a ground ball rolls to the right side of the first base bag, no one says it’s a foul ball on a technicality.  It’s just a foul ball.  Braun failed a PED test two years ago and the arbiter overturned it.  The process worked exactly how it was designed.  Ain’t no technicality about it. That Braun’s tainted urine sample was handled improperly in 2011 is beyond dispute.  You can make a compelling argument Braun should not have offered unsolicited comments that impugned test-sample collector Dino Laurenzi.  You can’t argue that Laurenzi followed the proper procedure.  In fact, last year MLB and the players union changed the rules about the chain of custody of specimens to be tested for PEDs.  That’s not a technicality.  It’s a new policy. If we’re going to use the term technicality for a decision that is capricious and maybe even unwarranted, Braun’s current 65-game suspension seems to meet the definition.  In an earlier post, Haudricourt reported there was no significance to the length of Braun’s suspension, other than that it was for the remainder of this season: “It just happened to be 65 games left. If [Braun] had gotten back to [MLB] a day later, it would have been 64 games.” As far as I’m aware (and Melky Cabrera and Bartolo Colon are aware), the penalty for failing a first PED test is 50 games.  The penalty for a second failure is 100 games, and a third failure results in a lifetime ban.  Braun’s 65-game suspension appears to have been made up recently, and not the result of negotiations between the league and the players union.  Yet I doubt baseball pundits or fans will say Braun was suspended for the second half of the 2013 season on a technicality.  Funny how language works.

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Wolves trade Corey Brewer to the Rockets

Yankees trade Prado to Marlins for Eovaldi in 5-player deal

Brandon Browner fined $8K for throwing Brandon Gibson to turf

Report: Sharper, NFLers called spiked drinks 'horny juice'

Rex Ryan: My wife could coach Tom Brady


Jim Harbaugh won in laser tag by 'hunting' 10-year-old kid

Eddie Lacy is ‘very blind,’ refuses to wear goggles

Michael Phelps pleads guilty to DUI, gets probation

NFL scouts not in love with Amari Cooper?

Report: No teams interested in trading for Lance Stephenson

It is not Chip Kelly's fault if Eagles miss playoffs

Video: LeBron takes pass to the face from Dion Waiters

New video of Ray Rice incident emerges

President Obama calls James Franco “James Flacco”

Game of the week: Indianapolis Colts at Dallas Cowboys

NBA games of the weekend: Rondo's Dallas debut, Bulls-Grizz

Tuscaloosa students will have two days off if Bama plays in National Championship

Brady scares the **** out of his teammates celebrating

Longhorn Network’s yule log? Five hours of BEVO

Will a Chiefs WR finally catch a TD in Week 16?

Jon Lester and the Cubs

The Toronto Raptors reveal their new logo

Things Johnny Manziel, Browns can do to avoid a bad repeat

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Jon Lester and the Cubs

Report: NFL players used 'horny juice'

Top 10 worst NBA related commercials of all-time

Game of the week: Colts vs. Cowboys

Phelps gets probation for DUI

NFL coaches on hot seat in Week 16

The Roy Williams-Terrell Owens horse collar turns 10

Most underpaid NFL players in 2014

Gronk jokes about Brady compliment

In Matt Kemp, did the Dodgers find a pigeon in Padres?

Why the Saints are legit playoff threat

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.