By now you've probably seen the story: ESPN is reporting that Major League Baseball "will seek to" suspend Ryan Braun and 19 other players for their involvement in the ongoing Biogenesis scandal.
There's more details at the link, including a note saying that Anthony Bosch, the notorious founder of Biogenesis, is now cooperating with MLB's investigation. ESPN also says that MLB will seek to suspend Braun for 100 games, treating the accused usage of performance enhancing drugs and accused lying about it as two separate offenses.
Now that we've gotten past the news, let's count the conclusions ESPN is jumping to here:
- First, let's start with a reminder that the fact that MLB will "seek to" suspend Braun isn't really news at all. It's not really any different from what Bob Nightengale of USA Today said in March, when he said Braun was MLB's "public enemy #1." By all accounts, MLB has been "seeking to" suspend Braun since late in 2011.
- Second, it looks like the impetus for this new story is the revelation that Bosch has agreed to participate in an MLB investigation. But we have no idea what Bosch will tell MLB. For all we know, Bosch will corroborate Braun's assertion that his only involvement with Biogenesis was using Bosch as a consultant back in 2012 during his appeal.
- Finally, let's remember that MLB is putting an awful lot of stock into the credibility of someone who has roughly no credibility. If Bosch changes his stance on Braun now, then he was either lying previously or he's lying now. Absent a smoking gun, the burden of proof is on MLB here and the best they evidence appear prepared to present is dubious at best.
I've said previously, and on multiple occasions, that it's strongly possible we'll never actually know exactly what happened with Braun. I think all we can ask for as fans is for MLB to only suspend if they're absolutely sure they're right. I don't think they're any closer to that point now then they were the last time, but that's not keeping ESPN from jumping to conclusions on it.