Thursday, 2011's National League MVP was informed that his appeal was successful, and that he will not be suspended for the season's first 50 games. Given that Ryan Braun is a beloved superstar with a previously untainted reputation, you'd think that this would be a happy day for Major League Baseball. It's not, so much, thanks to the grounds on which Braun's side apparently argued its case.
From Adam Morris, at Lone Star Ball:
From a p.r. standpoint, this is a worst case scenario for MLB. The N.L. MVP tested positive for PEDs, and was apparently going to be suspended for 50 games. That news came out. The whole PED issue gets drug back out and beaten to death again.
And then, the player ends up getting the suspension overturned on what is going to be perceived as a technicality. Braun was not "proven innocent" -- instead, his team argued that the evidence used to prove him guilty was inadmissible.
There was a post not long ago from Ken Rosenthal arguing that Braun getting suspended might actually be good for MLB, because it would prove that their PED policy has teeth. Now, Braun will not be suspended, but not because he proved he didn't use anything. Rather, because his legal team identified a breach of protocol.
We don't know enough of the details, but this doesn't look good for baseball. It would be very easy for fans to develop the perception that a dirty player is walking on a technicality.