What does Selig have in store for rest of Biogenesis Gang?

What does Selig have in store for rest of Biogenesis Gang?
July 22, 2013, 3:30 pm
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It's unclear whether Ryan Braun's 65 game suspension is punishment that fits the crime until we know what the other Biognenesis-connected players are facing. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

Ryan Braun will endure a few days as the butt of America’s jokes. His earlier urine sample will be condemned anew, and the handler of the samples will be vindicated -- even though his 65-game suspension and his earlier scrape with the chemistry police are two entirely different matters.

That’s how it works, see? You beat one rap, then caught in another, you take the same beating. Them’s the rules in frontier justice. You have one coming, you get paid, even if the one you have it coming for isn’t the one you’re getting it for.

Got it? Of course not.

Braun got rung up under Major League Baseball’s new drug policy, and because he was the first of the Biogenesis Gang to be punished and chose not to fight the man, he apparently got the customary 35 percent discount.

Seems fair enough. Wine clubs only give you 25 percent, and you’re on their lists forever.

Presumably there will be more suspensions coming, and some of them will be for more, and some less. How baseball comes up with its suspensions is pretty much the way the NHL comes up with its – it depends at least some part on whim.

Braun, for example, got the rest of the season off – 65 games, as we said. That is not your standard round number, but a matter of calendar happenstance. It was Monday, the afternoon was free, and magically, he was the only who got a backhand that lasts through September.

If that’s the same deal everyone else in the Biogenesis mess gets, then it means that Braun will be at least one game guiltier than everyone else. And if some of the alleged miscreants get the 100 games MLB wants to give them for committing the same crime twice, then Braun got time off for good behavior before beginning his sentence.

The good behavior, of course, being that he took his for the company without complaint.

This is why baseball stinks at this sort of thing – and the same reason the NCAA and hockey does, too. Having failed to deal with a problem frontally, it does it with a crablike pace, more sideways than forward. And why? Because baseball has its agendas too, and there is no reason to think they aren’t going to be applied based on the case.

That isn’t blind justice. That isn’t even peeking justice. That’s justice with a bull’s-eye.

Put simply, Braun and the other Biogenesis Cowboys should get exactly the same amount of time for the same kind of crime. They should have all gotten rung up today, if this was the first day Bud Selig could tear himself away from the San Jose Blue Ribbon Panel Picnic, Raffle and Salami Throw.

Instead, it looks like Braun will get a tailored punishment. He gets the shame of being first to do the perp walk, but he doesn’t get a full 100 for copping a plea. In other words, he did the company a solid, but is being punished for not doing the company an earlier solid.

This plainly makes no sense. And yet it makes all the sense in the world.

USC got extra punishments in the Reggie Bush case because it fought the NCAA. Penn State got the works because of things that happened that the NCAA wasn’t even a party to. Miami got worked because the NCAA had to pay one of the conspirators. Oregon got next to nothing. And North Carolina has an academic scandal that has so many open sores on it that there is essentially no skin left, and hasn’t been hit with anything at all.

The NHL suspends people based on Brendan Shanahan’s judgment, which is swell except that he is as fallible as anyone in determining how dirty a dirty play is.

And baseball picks and chooses because, well, because it does.

This is why baseball shouldn’t be commended for punishing Braun, but condemned because the punishment should be the same for every person involved in the deed. And let’s not forget that no owner has yet to return a dime of the money it made at the height of the Steroid Era, because while it may be wrong to enhance performance, it is always right to enhance bankability based on that performance.

So Ryan Braun gets his first. And unless everyone gets 65 games, baseball has done it wrong. And there will be none of that “Well, at least they’re doing something” nonsense. Simply “doing something” is not enough. Doing something right, and doing something consistently – that’s closer.

And closer still is remembering that the PED war is perpetual, the chemists always get the first move, and declaring victory at any point is just asking for it.