MLB way off base in wake of Braun ruling


MLB way off base in wake of Braun ruling

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- If there is anything about the Ryan Braun case more satisfying than the brass at Major League Baseball jumping up and down and savaging arbitrator Shyam Das, it will surely be the brass at Major League Baseball demanding more stringent testing and an appeals process run by a karaoke singer.Brauns appeal of his positive test was upheld by a 2-1 vote, meaning that his 50-game suspension will not happen, meaning that some people have declared him innocent and clean (even though nobody can know any of that on any athlete for sure), and meaning that baseballs testing procedure, lauded mostly by baseball people, has some holes in it.But so does its reaction. Rather than announce that Braun had won his appeal and had been found not guilty according to the procedures and protocols set up and approved BY MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL, it chose instead to swine-slap Das ruling, deciding that when they say guilty, they mean guilty.RELATED: Ryan Braun's 50-game suspension overturned
Now we dont know whether Braun hornswoggled the arbitrator, the system or nobody at all. We wont call him innocent or guilty. We will say, though, that he played by baseballs rules, he followed baseballs procedures, he went through baseballs process, and he was found not guilty.Thus, it is inconceivably bad form for baseball to scream about the result just because they wanted it to be something else. The process is supposed to be about finding the truth, not getting the desired result. The desired result IS the truth, and baseballs system says Braun didnt do what he was accused of doing.MLBs reaction, though, shows that for it, testing isnt about determining a players guilt or innocence, its about nailing guys."As a part of our drug testing program, the commissioner's office and the players' association agreed to a neutral third party review for instances that are under dispute, a statement from Rob Manfred, managements representative on the three-man appeals panel, read. While we have always respected that process, Major League Baseball vehemently disagrees with the decision rendered today by arbitrator Shyam Das."Vehemently disagrees? Its your system, Robbo, the one your negotiators demanded. Is it only a good system when you win?There was only one response baseball could have had here Braun and his people followed our procedures, and was found by an arbitrator to have not used any proscribed substances. This finding is binding, and he will report to Milwaukees camp as scheduled without repercussion.The end. Not an adversary procedure, but a fact-finding mission where facts were found.But no, MLB went bat-guano nuts that someone outside the structure had the power to thwart its will, which was for Braun to be punished, damn it. And if thats the name of the game, the players union may want to rethink the drug testing part of the next collective bargaining agreement.Now its certainly possible that Manfred was speaking in the heat of the moment if you forget that he was issuing a statement, which could be vetted and shaped to take any form. This was the form MLB wanted it to take Braun won, and were pissed about it.Then again, this is what happens when labor and management think everything is about the adversarial rather than the cooperative. This is what happens when its all about I have to win so you can lose.And this proves yet again that Major League Baseball is more about punishing players than cleaning up the game. Ryan Braun was found to be clean in the instance in which MLB claimed he was guilty. That should have been the end of it.Instead, we learned what we needed to learn about MLBs position on drugs. It is the same as its position on everything else. If we dont win, youre bad people. If it was capable of shame, this would be an excellent time to exhibit some.Ray Ratto is a columnist for

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' first home shutout of 2017


Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' first home shutout of 2017


SAN FRANCISCO — Ty Blach has been a bright spot in this losing season, giving the Giants a young, cost-controlled lefty who can potentially fill a huge role next season. Chris Stratton is trying to do the same thing from the right side. 

The 26-year-old continued his August surge, throwing six dominant innings against the Brewers in a 2-0 win that was the staff's first shutout at AT&T Park this season. 

It was the kind of night that's been so familiar over the years. The Giants had six home shutouts last season. Here are five things to know from this year's first ... 

—- The Brewers are first in the league in homers and the Nationals are third, so Stratton had his work cut out for him the last two times out. His results: 12 2/3 innings, 9 hits, 0 runs, 3 walks, 11 strikeouts. That’s quite the statement. Stratton’s scoreless streak is the longest by a Giants rookie starter since Chris Heston threw 16 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings in July of 2015. 

—- Matt Cain was used as a short reliever to protect a two-run lead in the seventh. He had a 1-2-3 inning that ended with a strikeout. 

—- Mark Melancon pitched back-to-back games for the first time since May 19-20. He struck out Neil Walker and Ryan Braun in a perfect inning. 

—- Jarrett Parker reached base his first three times up. He’s hitting .385 at home this season but he’s just 4-for-35 (.114) on the road. Weird splits for a Giant slugger. 

—- Brandon Crawford is finally finding some traction. His double in the fourth was the big hit in a two-run frame that gave Stratton a lead to work with. Crawford is 7-for-17 on the home stand with three extra-base hits and four RBI.

Pablo Sandoval exits game vs Brewers after getting hit on left forearm


Pablo Sandoval exits game vs Brewers after getting hit on left forearm

Pablo Sandoval left Monday's game against the Brewers in the bottom of the eighth inning after getting hit on the left forearm.

Sandoval was examined by the trainer and manager Bruce Bochy removed the third baseman from the game.

Orlando Calixte came in to pinch run for Sandoval.

Before the hit-by-pitch, Sandoval was 2-for-3 with a double.