It’s been a rather unpleasant offseason for Milwaukee Brewers left-fielder and 2011 NL MVP Ryan Braun, but if recent indications prove true, it may take a turn for the better.
Last month, news broke over Braun’s positive drug test for a banned substance that earned him a mandatory 50-game suspension to start his 2012 campaign. He has since appealed to the league in order to prove his innocence, but many were skeptical, if not doubtful, over whether or not his case had a legitimate shot of being overturned.
Brewers beat-writer Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel cited earlier today that former ESPN personality Dan Patrick, host of the Dan Patrick radio show, has unearthed from “somebody in the process” that Braun may in fact be an innocent man and that he may indeed be relieved of his suspension.
According to Haudricourt himself:
Patrick said he was told Sunday, again, by “somebody involved in the process” that the MLB test might be at fault and that Braun could be found innocent. The arbitration panel, with independent arbitrator Shyam Das expected to cast the decisive vote, has 25 days to render a verdict but it could come as soon as later this week.
Braun, who officially accepted his National League Most Valuable Player award on Saturday night in front of the Baseball Writers Association of America in New York City, has denied the allegations against him, told USA Today that the charges filed against him were “BS”.
Last season, Braun, along with first-baseman Prince Fielder, shouldered the offensive load for the Brewers to the tune of 33 home runs, 111 RBI and a league-best .994 OPS. He also fell just decimal points behind former Mets shortstop Jose Reyes for the NL batting title.
If found innocent, it will not only clear Braun’s name from the infamous list of players who have failed MLB’s drug-testing policy, but it will give the retooled Brewers an obvious offensive boost toward repeating as NL Central champions in 2012.
Braun’s official appeal took place last Thursday, according to the New York Daily News, but there is no definitive timetable for when an announcement regarding the matter will take place.