Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Archive for June 2013

Milwaukee Brewers’ Woes Continue: Corey Hart Lost for the Year

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In 2013, the Milwaukee Brewers cannot seem to catch a break no matter how hard they try.  When the starting pitching is good, the offense is bad.  When the offense is good, the starting pitching is bad.  And sometimes, when both the offense and starting pitching are good, the defense is so horrid that it wipes out all of the team’s gains.

This is why I was looking forward to the return of Brewers first baseman/right fielder Corey Hart so much.  Hart plays good defense, hits well (and for power, too), is a two-time All-Star, and plays good, solid fundamental baseball.

Now, if you’ve read any of my previous blogs about the Milwaukee Brewers and their dreadful 2013 season, you know that one of the things that’s irked me about the 2013 Brewers is the lack of fundamental baseball instincts by most of the players on the club.  When someone needs to hit to the right side to advance a runner from second to third, he invariably hits to the left side and a double play somehow ensues.  When someone needs to hit a long, fly ball to drive in a run (a sacrifice fly), that’s when a little squib hit comes about that once again seems to always turn into a double play.

And, of course, this is the season where runners have been thrown out trying to take extra bases at least seven times, with the offenders being the best and healthiest players on the club to date: Carlos Gomez, Jean Segura, and Nori Aoki.  (Before anyone pinches a fit, yes, I know full well that Ryan Braun is by far the best player on this team, but he is on the disabled list right now.  Plus, I haven’t noticed him running into outs on the bases, though the year is young.)

At any rate, Hart hits well, plays a good and solid first base, knows his fundamentals cold, and is known as a “good team guy” for whatever that’s worth.  (Some years, you don’t necessarily need a good team guy.  But this year, I’d say the Brewers needs as many of them as they can find.  But I digress.)  So it was a big blow when, before the start of Thursday’s game, the Brewers announced that Corey Hart’s left knee — his non-surgically repaired knee — had also become injured and needed surgery, which means Hart will not play at all during 2013.  The best guess as to why Hart was injured was due to the rehabilitation process he’d been enduring to get his right knee up to snuff.

Now, I’m no doctor, but I have had to rehab injuries before — most recently, I had cortisone shots given to me in both the left wrist and the right wrist in order to alleviate my carpal tunnel syndrome during consecutive weeks, to perhaps play my instruments a little better (and with less pain, to boot).  While waiting for the left wrist to heal, I strained the right wrist . . . while waiting for the right wrist to heal, my left wrist had to take more weight and did more, so it hurt more, though I seem to have avoided an actual strain.

This is what probably happened to Corey Hart, too.  While trying to get his right knee up to speed so he could play baseball well enough to get onto the field, he somehow strained his left knee.  Because the right knee hurt so much — this is my best guess, mind — he didn’t really know that the left knee was hurting, or maybe he figured he’d strained it but there was nothing to be done.

Obviously, Hart didn’t know that he’d injured the left knee, too, during his rehab, until the team doctor recently told him.  Then Hart went to consult with the team doctor for the Los Angeles Angels, who agreed with the Brewers’ team doctor’s assessment.

This was the worst thing that could happen to Hart at this stage of his career, as he was due to become a free agent at the end of this season.  Now, he’ll have to prove that he’s healthy enough to play next year before anyone signs him, and he’ll most likely make a far lesser amount than he would’ve if the left knee hadn’t given out as well.

And it also hurts Brewers fans, because we have so little to cheer for in the first place that many of us, myself included, were avidly looking forward to Hart’s return.

At any rate, the important thing now for Hart is to realize that he needs to get healthy.  If he has to stay out of baseball for a year in order to do it — and I don’t mean just the rest of this year, but all of next year, too — he should do it.  Only when he’s fully healthy should he attempt a comeback . . . but whatever team he plays for, whether it’s the Brewers or not, I know one thing:

I’ll be rooting for him.

Written by Barb Caffrey

June 29, 2013 at 7:14 pm

U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down DOMA, California’s Prop. 8, in Historic Rulings

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Today, the United States Supreme Court struck down two laws, the federal Defense of Marriage Act (or DOMA) and California’s controversial Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in that state.   With two different 5-4 rulings, the Supreme Court has affirmed that discrimination on the basis of whom people love is illegal — at least, if you are in one of the twelve states where gay marriage is legal already, the District of Columbia (where it’s also legal), or in California, where it’s soon to be legal again.

Here’s a link to a story on Yahoo regarding the overall historical impact of these two different decisions, what the groups on both sides plan to do next, and so forth and so on.

As for what I think?  Well, I’m very pleased that the Supreme Court struck down DOMA and threw out California’s Prop. 8 (albeit on a technicality), because I believe everyone who’s above the age of consent and is in love with a supportive and loving partner should be allowed to marry that partner.  Whether it’s a man and a woman marrying, two women, two men, or two transgendered individuals, what matters is the love — not the form of that love.

The only thing that bothers me about these particular decisions is the limitations placed upon them by the Supreme Court.  In striking down DOMA, the Supremes basically said that if you legally married a same-sex partner in the various states where it either is legal now or has been legal in the past (and was legal at the time, such as in California until Proposition 8 was voted for by that state’s voters), the federal government must treat you as married.  And that way, you have all the rights and privileges of a married couple — which is exactly as it should be.

However, if you’re in a state like Wisconsin, where we have a state-specific version of DOMA on the books, if you are a same-sex couple you still cannot marry under the law.  You are still allowed to be legally discrimination against in taxation, adoption, and other issues, under the law.  And unless and until we get a Democratic Assembly and/or a Democratic Governor, things are unlikely to change due to the bunch of radical Republicans we have right now in Wisconsin, as in addition to these radical Rs running the state into the ground, they also oppose same-sex marriage on reactionary terms — not on realistic ones.

In other words, the Rs in Wisconsin see marriage as a religious ceremony first, with statehood recognition of that ceremony coming second.  (This does not really make much sense because many non-religious people or those who are religious but want to save on money go and get married before the judge in a courthouse in a non-religious ceremony.  But it’s how they seem to believe.)  The rights and privileges a married couple gets in Wisconsin cannot go to a same-sex couple — not even in Madison, which has had domestic partnership benefits for many years — because that’s what the radical Rs want.

I have news for these Rs.  Marriage is for everyone.  That’s basically what the Supreme Court said today, even though they stopped short of striking down other statehood bans like Wisconsin’s in their narrowly targeted rulings.  If you are in love, and you want to get married, and if you want to raise a family, you should be allowed to get married and raise that family.  Period.

This is one of the few cultural issues where the Rs have largely been out of step with the mainstream of Wisconsin and the rest of the country.   For example, there are now three Republican U.S. Senators who are for gay marriage — Rob Portman of Ohio, who has a gay son, Mark Kirk of Illinois, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.  There are a few others, like John McCain, who’ve said before that they have no problem with gay couples, per se, but they don’t think these couples should be allowed to marry.  Then the rest of the Rs basically want to take the country back to the 1950s, if not earlier, on cultural issues — which isn’t likely to happen, fortunately for the rest of us.

In Wisconsin, I don’t know of any single one Republican Senator or Assemblyman who believes that same-sex marriage should be legal in all 50 states.  (Or even just in Wisconsin.)  All eighteen Senators oppose same-sex marriage; all sixty Republicans in the Assembly oppose it.

And, of course, Wisconsin’s Republican Governor Scott Walker also adamantly opposes same-sex marriage, mostly on religious grounds.

Look.  For the most part, I’m for most religions, providing they help people and give meaning and value to their lives.  But when a religion insists that some people are better than others — in this case, a heterosexual married couple matters more than a same-sex married couple — that’s where I start to get upset.

And when a politician can’t even be bothered to say, “Look.  I haven’t really studied the issues yet, but my religion has always said that gay people are sinful.  That’s why I really cannot support marriage equality,” but stands behind the religious fig-leaf as if the religion is doing his or her thinking for him, that really bothers me.

My thought right now is that this issue, along with the new legislation that Scott Walker said he’ll sign that mandates that all women get trans-vaginal ultrasounds before having a medically necessary abortion (unless you’ve been raped or a victim of incest and have gone to report the same), is the most likely one to defeat the Wisconsin Rs.

So those of us who worked so hard to recall Scott Walker (myself included) may still have hope.  This is an obstinate man we’re talking about, someone who firmly believes everyone in the state is behind him despite the recall evidence to the contrary.  And he’s leading a radical party that’s done a lot of things that voters disagree with, to boot — so when he’s up for re-election in 2014, if we have a Democrat with statewide recognition to run against him (please, not Tom Barrett again — I like him, but he has proven he can’t win against Walker), we should be able to get him out.

As for me, I voted against Walker, signed the recall, voted to replace him, and will vote against Walker again in 2014.  (I’m on the record as saying I’d rather vote for an empty paper bag rather than Walker, as that empty paper bag will do far less harm.)  But I’m a realist.  I know Walker hasn’t done what he said he would do — not with regards to jobs, not with regards to honesty and transparency, not with regards to anything, except for one (he kept his promise to turn down the money for light rail, as he found it unnecessary; however, in so doing, he also eliminated at least three hundred prospective new jobs) — and I want him out of there before he manages to harm the state even further.

My advice for the Wisconsin Rs is this — get with the program regarding same-sex marriage.  This issue is not going to go away any time too soon, and most younger voters disagree with you and your stated beliefs on this issue.  And if you are unwilling to change with the times, and admit that all marriages should be equal under the law, you will be voted out.

Maybe not in 2014.  Maybe not even in 2016.

But you will be voted out.

And I, for one, will be very happy once you are, as you’ve done more than enough damage already.

Cubs Play Brewers, AKA ‘The Battle for Last Place Starts…Now’

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The Milwaukee Brewers started a three-game home series against National League Central rival the Chicago Cubs this evening, a series that will only determine one thing: which team ends up in the cellar.

You see, I’ve been calling this series “The battle for last place starts . . . now” for the past week or so, ever since the Brewers improved enough to possibly overtake the Cubs after the Brewers’ historically awful May.   And that particular phrase took on additional relevance due to the fact that both teams are currently tied for last in the NL Central with a 31-43 record.

Obviously, neither team has been particularly impressive to date.

So why am I still watching a game that seems all but pointless?  Simple.  I’m a very big Brewers fan, and I watch them no matter what.  Plus, the Brewers’ best pitcher, Kyle Lohse (2-6, 3.68), is matching up tonight against the Cubs’ Edwin Jackson (3-9, 5.49), so it really seemed like perhaps the Brewers could come up with a few runs to actually help Lohse win for a change.

However, that so far has not proven to be the case.  The Brewers’ offense looks anemic without power hitters Ryan Braun and Corey Hart, and while Aramis Ramirez continues to play on a bum knee, his power numbers have obviously suffered.  That Carlos Gomez is out due to a shoulder sprain incurred while making a great catch in center field on Sunday weakens the offense even further.

That’s why the Brewers have thus far only managed to score one run on a homer by relatively new Brewers first baseman Juan Francisco in the second inning.

And while the Cubs are also missing a number of their good players to injury, they’ve at least managed to score three runs due to a home run by Nate Schierholtz in the third.

And sure, there are a few innings left to go, as we’re now midway through the fifth inning with the Brewers about to come to bat.  But things really do not look promising.

Anyway, the important thing to remember is that it’s just baseball.  There usually are a few good things to watch — for example, Francisco just managed to score in the fifth after Rickie Weeks, of all people, doubled.  (The score is now 3-2, Cubs.) — and there are always people to root for.  (Personally, I’m rooting for Francisco “K-Rod” Rodriguez, who saved his 300th career game last Saturday, along with Jim Henderson and the other relievers.)

Baseball is more fun in the summer, even when your team is in last place.  Which is why I plan to continue to watch my team, even as I hope that they will, somehow, improve — or at least get healthier.

Written by Barb Caffrey

June 25, 2013 at 8:40 pm

Collaborating with the Dead

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Folks, it is no secret that I’m attempting to finish my late husband Michael’s work.  It isn’t an easy thing to do, partly because his writing style was quite different from my own and partly because I’m almost always pressed for time these days.

Because of my attempt to finish up my husband’s work (he left behind two novels and six or seven short stories along with one novella — novella two in the “Joey Maverick” series was drawn out of his novel, MAVERICK: LIEUTENANT), I’m interested in seeing how other authors have done in finishing up incomplete manuscripts.

Right now, the most celebrated writer to have done this is fantasist Brandon Sanderson.  Sanderson was chosen by Robert Jordan’s widow, editor Harriet McDougal, because of Sanderson’s deep admiration for Jordan and his works.  Yet Sanderson’s writing style isn’t that close to Jordan’s — something Sanderson admitted freely in quite a number of interviews around the time THE GATHERING STORM (Book 11 of Jordan’s Wheel of Time series) — which means Sanderson had to decide how he’d approach finishing up Jordan’s monumental series.

What Sanderson did in my professional estimation was to split the difference between his own style and Jordan’s — making a “happy medium” between the two styles.  This is still quite difficult, because it means the writer may not be working in the way that’s comfortable, but it was much easier than attempting to write “just like Jordan” — especially when Jordan himself varied his authorial style to fit his mood, which is clearly apparent in several of the Wheel of Time epics starting with book 5, THE FIRES OF HEAVEN.

As I said in my reviews of books 12 and 13 of the Wheel of Time over at Shiny Book Review, Sanderson writes quite credibly and I fully believed in his writing.  As I recently finished up A MEMORY OF LIGHT (which I may well review at SBR, should I be able to make the time), I can say with all honesty that Sanderson — working closely with McDougal and with access to any notes Jordan left behind — was able to bring the Wheel of Time series to a rousing conclusion.

Another author who left behind a partially completed, yet long-awaited, novel was Dorothy L. Sayers.  Sayers wrote tightly plotted mysteries with all the features of a comedy of manners, many starring Lord Peter Wimsey and/or detective writer Harriet Vane, who became Wimsey’s love interest.  And when she decided in the late 1930s to give up on her last Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane novel, THRONES, DOMINATIONS, many mystery aficionados howled.

Then, in 1997 — a full forty years after Miss Sayers passed away — British mystery writer Jill Paton Walsh completed THRONES, DOMINATIONS.  From the 1998 review by American novelist Joyce Carol Oates in the New York Times:

”Thrones, Dominations” is a literary sport, and for the most part successful, wonderfully written in its descriptive passages (a trek through the London sewers is vividly rendered) and provocative in its pointed discussion of detective fiction.

Mind you, Oates also pointed out that some of THRONES, DOMINATIONS really does not sound like Sayers to her — particularly the streak of feminism that may be a tad anachronistic to the time period (what I’d put as “we’re all girls together” moments between Harriet and Peter’s man Bunter’s fiancée) — but again, it’s a successful collaboration between a living author (Paton Walsh) and a dead one (Sayers).

Unlike Sanderson, Paton Walsh attempted to match Sayers as closely as is humanly possible, which I know in my own attempts to match my late husband’s style is incredibly difficult.  But like Sanderson’s last three books in Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, Paton Walsh’s efforts have largely been seen as worthy ones — albeit not the same ones Sayers would’ve written herself had she had the time and inclination.

I found THRONES, DOMINATIONS to be quite interesting, once I adapted to Paton Walsh’s style (which isn’t quite the same as Sayers for all Paton Walsh’s trying, even though it is  close).  It’s the study of a very interesting marriage between two highly intelligent people in a place and time (1930s England) where everyone with brains and sense knew that a Second World War was unlikely to be avoided.  There’s a great deal of witty byplay, the whole “comedy of manners” aspect is spot-on, and I had the sense — as in Sanderson’s continuation of Jordan’s work — that Paton Walsh treated Sayers’ characters with dignity, respect, and caring.

Anyway, these two authors are ones I’ve been studying for quite some time now — the past year, maybe two? — as there are very few models for me to emulate in my attempt to finish Michael’s work credibly.  But as I’ve seen with both Sanderson and Paton Walsh, these very well-known works have been able to be carried on with aplomb and fans have mostly enjoyed them.

My hope is that those who remember my late husband’s writing will be as happy with my attempts once I’m finally able to finish them up.

Written by Barb Caffrey

June 17, 2013 at 11:21 am

Milwaukee Casino Shooting Leaves One Injured, One Arrested

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Folks, it’s getting bad out there when you can’t even go to a casino anymore to try to get away from it all.

Early Sunday morning, a 27-year-old man shot his 23-year-old girlfriend after an altercation at Milwaukee’s Potawatomi Bingo Casino according to several television reports (Fox 6, CBS 58, WTMJ 4 among them).  The girlfriend was shot in the leg and taken to Froedtert Hospital, while the boyfriend was arrested.  Then the casino told everyone to leave.  (Here’s a link to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s report about the casino’s Sunday morning re-opening at 9 a.m.)

After all that, the casino itself put out a statement praising its security guards, but of course the patrons who actually were there at the time had different stories.  According to several televised reports, most of the security guards cowered under tables or on the floor, and did not help patrons get out safely, though a few apparently did their best.  And casino workers such as blackjack dealers and cocktail waitresses apparently had no idea what to do, though one security guard apparently told at least one card dealer to “safeguard his chips” according to the various reports.

Look.  I’ve been to Potawatomi Bingo Casino several times.  It’s the closest place to play bingo most nights, and I’ve always viewed it as a safe and even a relaxing place to go.

However, due to these various news reports all basically saying that most of the employees didn’t have any idea how to help the casino patrons in an emergency situation, I will now think twice about going down there.

As one man said in the Journal-Sentinel article linked above, maybe it’s time for Potawatomi to install metal detectors.  (Not so good for people with artificial hips, of course, but can’t that be worked around?)

And maybe — just maybe — Potawatomi should spend some of its profits on training its employees to handle any emergency situation thrown at them, so the reports of so many employees not having any idea what to do — much less most of them abrogating their responsibilities in helping the various patrons of the casino get out safely — will never happen again.

Written by Barb Caffrey

June 16, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Just Reviewed Karen Myers’ “To Carry the Horn” at SBR

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Folks, I’ve been sick for quite some time, as most of you know.  This is the main reason I got way behind on my reviewing.

At any rate, I read Karen Myers’ fantasy TO CARRY THE HORN, the first novel in her Hounds of Annwn series, several times during the past month or so.  It’s an intriguing mix of Welsh mythology, the Otherworld of the Fae, and fox hunting.  (Well, hunting with the Hounds of Hell doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be hunting foxes.  But the thought mostly still applies.)

Our hero, George Talbot Traherne, owns a small computer company and is the whipper-in of the Rowanton Hunt in present-day Virginia.  When one day he follows a white stag, he ends up in the Fae Otherworld, just in time to help out his previously unbeknownst Elven grandfather, Gwyn ap Nudd.  Gwyn’s Master of the Hunt has just been murdered, which is very, very bad as the Wild Hunt must come off in two weeks no matter what.

For those unfamiliar with fantasy, the Wild Hunt usually features demons along with captive souls hunting other souls in peril.  Wisely, Ms. Myers doesn’t take that course; instead, her hounds of Hell are mostly half-dog, half-demon (with a few purebred hellhounds mixed in, natch), while those tending and aiding the hounds are doing so because they want to, not because they have to.

In George’s case, he quickly comes to love the hounds and immerses himself in this new world.  And if hunting isn’t enough to draw you into Ms. Myers’ world, there’s also some good political infighting going on between the rather long-lived Elves, just a hint of magic, shapeshifting, and perhaps even a God taking an interest in His people — that being the Celtic God, Cernunnos.

Now, I couldn’t really discuss the magic at my review because I felt that would give far too much of the plot away.  But I did point out that Gwyn has enemies — the fact that Gwyn’s huntsman gets murdered not three pages into the plot should give the reader a clue — and that the Otherworld itself is a rather interesting, quasi-medieval place.  (I say “quasi” because female Elves have more choices than the nunnery or marriage, which is about all high-ranking women had to choose from during the medieval era.)

There’s some fine characterization here, a nice, solid plotline, and an excellent setup for future adventures, all good.  But there were some minor stylistic things that threw me — for example, quoted thoughts are usually italicized for ease of reading, yet Ms. Myers did not do this.  (The older conventions didn’t use italics in this way, granted.  But for at least the past fifty to sixty years, quoted thought is usually italicized.)  And Ms. Myers uses the word “alright” rather than making it two words, which can be really jarring as George is a well-educated urban professional.  (Seeing “alright” in inner monologue was what really threw me; in dialogue, it sounds the same way so it doesn’t tend to bug me as much.  In general, if you’re using “alright,” your character should be a kid or possibly someone who has very little education or polish about him — and even there, I’d try to use it only in dialogue.)

Anyway, I’m glad I was finally able to get up the review for Ms. Myers’ TO CARRY THE HORN.  Because if you like fantasy and have been looking for something that’s original, inventive, and will keep you reading until the very last page, this book is for you.

Written by Barb Caffrey

June 7, 2013 at 12:27 am

Like a Broken Record, MLB Goes After Ryan Braun — Again

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Folks, some things get more ridiculous the longer I study them.

Take the Ryan Braun situation, for example.  Braun is currently under suspicion, again, for illegal PED use due to his name being mentioned on a list from the Biogenesis Clinic.  This has been known for quite some time (please see my earlier blog on the subject from March of this year for further details, and a quick update at the end of this blog).

However, the powers that be at Major League Baseball have now managed to come up with a potential “star witness” — the guy who owned the Biogenesis Clinic, Tony Bosch, to be exact.  But as Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports pointed out earlier today (spelling mistake left in situ):

Baseball has been “seeking” suspensions of Rodriguez, Braun and others for months. Bosch certainly is a critical piece to the sport’s puzzle. But he is not a licensed physican, his anti-aging clinic is out of business and he previously told ESPN, “I don’t know anything about performance-enhancing drugs.”

His credibility is about on par with that of Roger Clemens’ former trainer, Brian McNamee, who became the government’s chief witness against the pitcher.

Which is to say, his credibility is in doubt.

And because Bosch’s credibility is so poor, Rosenthal believes major league baseball has a weak case.  So the reports of MLB asking for potential 100-game suspensions — supposedly 50 games for using, and 50 games for lying — don’t hold a whole lot of water with Rosenthal as any evidence Bosch may have looks quite weak.

As Rosenthal says toward the end of his column:

Slips of paper listing . . . names, a sworn affidavit from Bosch admitting that they were customers — heck, I’m not a lawyer, but I’d take my chances tearing baseball’s case apart.

Oh, I can hear those on the players’ side now.

“Bosch agreed to cooperate with baseball only to save his own rear. He’s broke. He’s talking in order to get baseball to drop its lawsuit against him. He needs the various forms of protection that baseball offered him, according to ESPN.

“What does baseball have? Nothing.”

Jeff Passan, columnist at Yahoo Sports, takes a different tack, saying tonight that baseball has come up with a “Pyrrhic victory” in their pursuit against supposed performance-enhancing drug (PED) users.  Passan states that while PED use can be “mitigated and controlled,” it’s also sure to enrage the Major League Baseball Players’ Association (MLBPA):

Think about the union’s perspective: For all this time, MLB has painted Tony Bosch as a low-life, a pissant faux doctor who was nothing more than a sleazeball. And now it wants to trust him, of all people, and mete out perhaps 1,000 games of punishment?

Worst of all from a fan’s perspective, MLB being willing to go heavily against the players’ association — which believes as many people that any player accused of using PEDs has and should have a presumption of innocence until proven guilty — means, as Passan puts it, that MLB seems to want to “wage all-out war against the union.”

At any rate, my overall beliefs remain unchanged.  Braun has been convicted of nothing, and I’m tired of MLB going after him.  Braun has passed at least six drug tests since the disputed one in 2011 (that never should’ve been made public).  He’s as clean as anyone in baseball, and it’s time that MLB admitted that and moved on already.

That being said, Passan has a point that MLB going after PED users will never work, because sports is all about getting and maintaining an edge.  Players make such big money that the temptation to use performance-enhancers must be quite high.

But as I’ve said before (from my initial blog about Braun in December of 2011):

. . . as baseball Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt (a third baseman, and a power hitter, for the Philadelphia Phillies) said in his book CLEARING THE BASES, baseball players have been trying to “gain an edge” since the beginning of time.  Trying to legislate that away will never work (not that I think Braun did anything wrong here, but if he was trying to gain an edge, so what?).  And if the players are harming themselves down the line to gain big bucks now, that should be their prerogative — all I ask is that if someone is taking something like that, they watch what happened to Oakland Raiders’ star Lyle Alzado (who died young, and horribly, from cancer that may have been prevented if Alzado hadn’t admittedly taken many, many steroids over time).

In this, particular case, my view is that Braun’s statistical performance was well within his own normals.  So it’s very hard for me to believe that Braun actually did take anything illegal of the PED variety; because of that, and because of my admittedly laissez-faire attitude toward baseball players and legal drugs, I believe Braun should be considered innocent until and unless he is proven guilty.

Pay attention to the words I’ve bolded, folks.  Because they’re the most important ones to remember.

And whether MLB likes it or not, the fact remains that Braun was exonerated under MLB’s own rules back in 2012.  As I said in this March 2013 blog post:

Since Braun has been proven to not have taken PEDs under binding arbitration, MLB should really let it go.  Because the longer they pursue this mindless vendetta, the more they look like Inspector Javert — and with far less reason than that fictional French bureaucrat of old.

My final take?  Well, Braun’s lawyers are incredibly competent, and should be able to tear MLB’s supposed “case” as built by the incomparable Tony Bosch to shreds.

Of course, it remains MLB’s prerogative to be as stupid, silly and spiteful as it wishes (just as I said in March of this year).  But it’s also my prerogative as a sports fan to think that MLB is wasting its time.  And I wonder, exactly, just when MLB decided that it wanted to model itself on the fictional Inspector Javert — because really, that look is incredibly unbecoming.


As promised, here’s a quick update via’s Adam McCalvy:

After the Brewers’ 10-inning, 4-3 victory, Braun was greeted by a crowd of cameras and microphones at his locker.

“A lot of people here,” he said. “I assume I know why everybody is here. I’ve already addressed everything related to the Miami situation. I addressed it in Spring Training. I will not make any further statements about it. The truth has not changed. I don’t know the specifics of the story that came out today, but I’ve already addressed it, I’ve already commented on it, and I’ll say nothing further about it.”

My take on this?  Well, it’s obvious Braun’s tired of this nonsense.  He’s a smart man, has a very good lawyer, and seems prepared to deal with whatever MLB throws at him.

I just wish MLB would knock this crap off, that’s all.  Because really and truly, it’s not necessary — especially as MLB hardly has a slam-dunk case.