Braun saga a sorry one, and Raptors waiting on the Nuggets
If Ryan Braun comes up with “someone put a murky white substance in my water” as his excuse for an apparent positive drug test, I’m gonna go all The Champ and snap.
In case you missed it – and don’t imagine many did – there are various reports that Braun, merely the reigning National League MVP, tested positive for a high level of testosterone – a sign of PED use, as we all know – and faces not only a 50-game suspension but a blow to his reputation he may never shake.
For once, though, I’d like a guy to come clean, to man up and take the punishment for getting caught. Say something like, “yes, I did it; I was wrong, I got caught, I’ll take the sanctions I knew I’d get when I was trying to get away with it.”
We get, from a spokesman:
“There are highly unusual circumstances surrounding this case which will support Ryan's complete innocence and demonstrate there was absolutely no intentional violation of the program. While Ryan has impeccable character and no previous history, unfortunately, because of the process we have to maintain confidentiality and are not able to discuss it any further, but we are confident he will ultimately be exonerated."
Guess that could all be true (although “no intentional violation of the program” sends red flares flying into the sky) but if it isn’t, the blow to his character will be huge and unforgiveable.
But the story does bring to light the place we are with drug testing these days, which is an interesting situation.
There is no question that drug testing in all North American pro sports leagues is flawed but maybe it’s getting better.
I was going to touch on this when the NBA did its new CBA because they put some out-of-season testing into its program and at least that’s a start; the Braun story gives all testing a new prominence.
The best way – and one that no major league sports union is ever going to agree to, I don’t think – is to have random, out-of-season testing with no limits. Testers find you, you pee in a cup and if it’s in the middle of your off-season, tough noogies. You don’t take the test, you get suspended. That’s the only way to make it palatable and saleable to an increasingly skeptical general public and even then, it probably won’t be enough.
But it’d be a start and since the current message doesn’t seem to be getting through it has to be the next step.
To the Raptors for a second or two.
There are those who fear the Denver Nuggets may indeed match the offer sheet to Gary Forbes, which will leave the HOTH down a player.
Masai didn’t return a text over the weekend to see what he was thinking – can’t blame him, he’s been busy – but it wouldn’t surprise some people here if he didn’t keep Forbes.
And what would these guys do?
Probably not much; they may wait with an open roster spot, the could revisit Pietrus when he gets another month or so of rehab done on his knee or Bryan may find some other young one-year guy to come in and be a body.
Tomorrow’s the deadline so at least we may have something newsy to write about then.
Best sports event of the weekend?
I don’t care what you think of soccer, if you don’t watch El Clasico – Real Madrid vs. Barcelona – you’re cheating yourself.
Great game (although Real supporter Jose was singing a different tune Sunday – and as an “event” it’s unsurpassed for passion.
I know we don’t have anything even remotely resembling it here in Toronto, or in all of North America, and that’s just too bad. Again, it’s probably the proliferation of teams and the watered down nature of every season but we truly are missing out on something.
Even the most anticipated regular season games – Lakers-Heat, for instance, or Yankees-Red Sox – can’t hold a candle to it.
Too bad, we’re absolutely missing out.
Oh yeah, Dwane Casey says they’ve gone about 80-20 on defence through four practices with the Raptors and so far, none of the players I’ve talked to are bored.
Tells me it’s still very early in the process because that’s true grunt work and players want to get out and run rather than learn, history suggests.
This, saved from the weekend may get the masses chattering, I hope:
Q: Doug. Find myself agreeing with most of your musical choices. Thought there was no contest of " The Last waltz" as best music video - until I had watched Roy Orbison and his Black and White special.
When you have Bonnie Raitt, Jennifer Warnes, and K.D. Lang as three of the backup singers - a sign of how good it can be - take a look if you haven't; if you have, where does it fit in your judgement? It even has a sports connection - Kris Kristofferson is one of the celebs in the smoke filled nightclub audience.
(You knew he was a football/rugby player didn't you )
Bill W, Dresden
A: I knew of this but had forgotten and if you’re looking for one of the most impressive groups of artist on one stage, check this out.
(It’s still behind The Last Waltz, though)
Back to the Raptors?
Anthony Carter got into town late Sunday night, just at the end of the day’s second practice, I’m told, and his official signing should take place this morning.
He’ll be the third point guard – and that’ll thankfully quiet all the Jeremy Lin, Andy Rautins e-mails – and there is nothing at all wrong with the move.
This team needed to get older, to have some guys around who’ve been around, pros who can help a youngish team on its learning curve.
I have no clue how much Carter’s got left in the tank but that’s not the issue. He knows Casey from the time they were together in Minnesota, he can convey messages with a different voice, do the small things to help make kids better.
As backups go, he’s about a perfect fit. The very last thing this team needed in that spot is some young kid just starting out.