MLB has just announced that Ryan Braun has been suspended for the rest of the season! According to Jon Heyman, Braun has agreed to the suspension.
The fact that MLB suspended Braun for 65 games and that Braun is not appealing it is very bad news for A-Rod. Clearly, MLB had some very strong evidence on Braun to be able to suspend him for more than the 50 game standard for first offenders and to do it with him agreeing. It has been widely reported that MLB was cutting deals with players to accept a lesser punishment in return for not appealing suspensions and this confirms that.
So, why is Braun the only suspension announced? Could it be that everyone else is fighting MLB or is it just the process? And if agreeing to the punishment of 65 games is the “reward” for cooperation, what will the penalty be for players who fight MLB?
UPDATE Here’s a link to MLB’s statement and Braun’s statement. Interesting that MLB “commends” Braun for taking responsibility for his actions. That is clearly a message to other players. Braun’s statement is the standard junk most players say in this situation. I wonder if he will apologize to the sample collector he absolutely trashed in the media last year?
UPDATE- 6:01PM Heyman reported earlier today that A-Rod was facing a major suspension. The Daily News speculated today that Alex was trying to get declared medically ineligible to return to baseball, thereby making himself still eligible to collect his contract even if he was suspended. That suddenly seems a lot more plausible.
UPDATE- 6:08PM As ESPN pointed out, this greatly boosts the credibility of Anthony Bosch. That is not good for A-Rod or any other player linked to Biogenisis.
UPDATE- 6:17PM Buster Olney just said on SportsCenter that by agreeing to the suspension, Braun has given MLB a huge boost. They can now use that as support for any suspension that gets argued in front of an arbitrator. Basically, it makes their arguments much more credible.
UPDATE- 6:20PM TJ Quinn of ESPN tweets that MLB is going after A-Rod for interfering with the investigation as well. He says “they will go after him harder”
UPDATE- 6:55PM More from Quinn. “Source also tells OTL evidence provided about A-Rod is “far beyond” what Bosch gave them re Braun.” Verducci also said a similar thing on MLB Network about the evidence against A-Rod in comparison to Braun.
UPDATE- 7:15PM Bob Costas had an interesting idea on MLB Network. In the next CBA, the players and owners should put a policy in place that getting caught using PED’s, besides being suspended, makes a player forever ineligible for the All-Star Game, Hall of Fame and any individual awards.
UPDATE- 7:20PM This is not a good day for baseball fans, so how about some humor? Logan Morrison just told reporters, “You know we’re clean. We haven’t scored a run in 37 innings.” That’s a good line.