Report: MLB players unhappy about successful Ryan Braun appeal

March 01, 2012 - 7:04 am

When Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun successfully appealed his 50-game suspension for a positive performance-enhancing drug test, he did not prove his innocence but rather got off because of a procedural error in the way the sample was handled after it was collected. In a way, Braun's appeal was a type of victory for players since it proved players can get away with a positive test in certain circumstances. He was the first major leaguer to successfully appeal a suspension for performance-enhancing drug use. According to ESPN's Buster Olney, many players are unhappy with the successful appeal. "They are furious that a player who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs won by challenging the administration of his test rather than contesting the presence of synthetic testosterone in the urine," Olney wrote. One quote from a national league pitcher called Braun's successful appeal "a joke." Another pitcher claimed, "this one really hurts." The dissatisfaction, Olney wrote, is a sign of a shift from players who will stick together as a union at all costs to players who care about protecting the integrity of the game. "But if this recent straw poll of players is a proper reflection of the union as a whole, there has been a dramatic shift of thought among the brethren," Olney wrote. "I'm guessing 80 to 90 percent of the players I spoke with expressed dissatisfaction with the outcome of last week's case, in varying degrees. Some agents and executives say they've drawn the same responses in their conversations with players." Braun won the NL MVP last season after hitting .332 with a league-leading .597 slugging percentage and .994 OPS. Braun hit 33 home runs and knocked in 111 runs, numbers that are slightly below his career-average 36 home runs and 118 RBIs.