Either PEDs don’t work, or the Braun Scandal makes no sense

Last offseason, baseball star Ryan Braun was reported to have tested positive for grossly elevated levels of testosterone. The results made no sense to me, because Braun’s performance numbers for 2011, though slightly elevated, were right in line with his career numbers.

This season Braun is putting up even better numbers.  He has produced for the Brewers 194 bases on only 174 outs made.  Those are Stan Musial numbers.  Those are GOAT numbers. Those are the numbers Braun is producing in a season where he must be the must scrutinized and drug tested player in baseball.

Bill James, the father of Sabermetrics, has long argued that the effect PEDs have on performance numbers is minimal at worst.  He may be right.  If he is not right, then the whole Braun Scandal makes no sense.

I suppose there is a third potential explanation.  Maybe PEDs do not enhance performance, but they do expedite injury recovery.  That would make sense in the Braun case, because Braun was battling nagging injuries all last season, and he may have taken testosterone to insure his health during the Brewers second postseason in over a quarter century.

But if that is the case, why should anyone be against PEDs?  If PEDs don’t “EP” but rather allow players to recover quicker from injury, shouldn’t they merely be considered one more technological advancement?  I mean, players of today are able to recover from ACLs that would have ended many careers yesterday.

Food for thought, I guess.  But one thing is clear — the Federal Government should get the hell out of the sports prosecution business.  What a glory-seeking bunch of morons those federal prosecutors are anyway.

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2 Responses to “Either PEDs don’t work, or the Braun Scandal makes no sense”

  1. MakinDay Says:

    First, a statement: No one will ever know if Ryan Braun took steroids.
    Second, a declaration of my bias: I am a Brewers homer.

    My opinion:
    I do not think he took steroids. My opinion is based on the information leaked by the media, which is beyond suspect, especially in this case. For example: “his positive test was from Valtrex taken for genital herpes”. False on a biochemical level and also refuted by Mr. Braun. Another example is the “breaking” of the story itself. The process is meant to be confidential, for obvious reasons. Is it an admission of guilt to hire a defense attorney? An excellent irony is another Brewer who rightfully no one has ever heard of (not because he is not a good guy, but because he is not an exceptional baseball player) (I just searched the brewcrewball archive to find out his name and I gave up, forgive me and believe me he exists!) also was accused of using PEDS and was exonerated.
    I work in medicine. One of the principles of testing is: “if the results do not make sense, repeat the test.” Ryan Braun’s urine testosterone level was exceptionally high. I have heard, from the unimpeachable media, that it was 4 times higher than ever seen before. Repeat testing was negative.
    Based on this alleged testing result, I conclude he did not juice. I do not know the half life of testosterone metabolites in urine. I do know that for intramuscular injection of testosterone, the serum levels are elevated for 2 or more weeks. I also believe in arbitration. In this case, the highly partisan panel members predictably voted for their represented cause, and the arbiter voted his opinion on the preponderance of evidence. We can all draw our own conclusions from this year’s statistics.
    In terms of truth… If you believe in the Dostoyevsky Crime and Punishment principle that a criminal will break under the weight of his own conscience, I recommended a comparison off the Mark McGuire Senate testimony and the Ryan Braun Spring training press conference.
    A message for Mr. Ty: I have read your blog since 2006. Give the Bucks another chance. I think next season will be fun to watch.

    • Ty Willihnganz Says:

      That was one of the best and nicest comments I’ve ever read!!

      After tonight, I am giving the Bucks another chance!

      I tend to agree with you about Braun, and I’ve heard those same rumors, but I couldn’t find any evidence that Valtrex spikes testosterone. Do you know different? I’d be interested to hear your opinion.

      Thanks again, sorry it took so long to reply!!

      And thanks for reading for so long… I’m humbled!!

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