Former Brewers coach and current broadcaster Davey Nelson held a baseball skills clinic in conjunction with the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee and U.S. Cellular on Wednesday at Helfaer Field. Due to timing issues, none of TBB staff was able to attend this event, during which Nelson helped 30 lucky kids with their baseball skills and U.S. Cellular presented a donation check of $10,000 for equipment for the Boys & Girls Club.
Per the press release:
“At U.S. Cellular, we want to provide Better Moments for friends and families in our communities by creating fun and unique experiences that they can’t get anywhere else,” said Laurie Poellinger, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in Wisconsin. “We are excited to partner with Davey Nelson and the Boys and Girls Clubs on this event and we look forward to more memorable activities across Wisconsin this summer.”
The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee is an organization that helps out kids ages 5-18 with after-school programs and activities, particularly focusing on those dealing with poverty or other hardships. It operates 36 sites in the Milwaukee area at rates of only $5 annually per child, though no one is turned away.
It looks like these kids had a blast at the event. I, for one, would love to crush one out of Helfaer Field sometime. Kudos to all who organized, contributed and participated. U.S. Cellular will reportedly make appearances with its 'Band of Better' along with former Packer Mark Tauscher at the State Fair on August 2 where they'll be 'rewarding patrons with surprise perks', and it will appear at Brewers games on August 16 and 18.
(Photo Credits: Darren Hauck AP/Invision for U.S. Cellular)no comments
(Image: AP/Richard Drew)
Today, Ryan Braun indicated he will be more forthcoming about his 65-game suspension, releasing a statement through the Brewers PR department that said in part, "I know it was difficult for everybody, but I was not, and still am not, legally allowed to say anything yet." This may explain why his original statement after accepting his suspension made vague references to “mistakes,” but did not acknowledge PED use. Surely baseball fans everywhere, and Brewers fans in particular, will appreciate any insight Braun is willing to provide on this sordid affair.
One hopes that Bud Selig will also be forthcoming about MLB’s tactics in pursuit of PED-using players.
Reports have indicated MLB has filed a lawsuit against individuals connected to Biogenesis on specious grounds, and potentially compromised the civil liberties of clinic founder Tony Bosch to secure his cooperation. MLB also apparently used shady legal maneuvers to prevent one of Bosch’s co-defendants (who was also a college teammate of Braun’s) from gaining access to documentation about the league’s investigation.
If that wasn’t enough, a new report by ESPN on Biogenesis whistleblower Porter Fischer claims that MLB paid Fischer $5,500 for his cooperation, and offered him a cool $125,000 to provide evidence against players. Fischer (who it must be said has motives to exaggerate or otherwise be flexible with the truth) went on to say that after he turned down MLB’s $125K offer, his car was broken into and Biogenesis documents were stolen. It might be a stretch to imagine MLB would go to such lengths…if the league hadn’t already demonstrated it was not above using intimidation tactics.
At a time when fans and pundits expect Braun to be candid about his mistakes, we should also expect no less than complete transparency from Bud Selig about the way MLB has conducted its investigation.no comments
(Image: AP/Jeffrey Phelps)
Ever since Ryan Braun’s drug test failure in 2011, it has become a common turn of phrase to say his original 50-game suspension was overturned on a “technicality.” Just today, in a post about the origins of Braun’s relationship with Biogenesis, Brewers beat writer Tom Haudricourt includes the obligatory wording, “He had that drug test overturned on appeal on a chain-of-custody issue that MLB considered a technicality.”
I don’t mean to be obvious, but “technicality” is almost always a bullshit word in any context (especially in discussions of criminal justice issues). Another way to say “technicality” in this case would be to say Braun’s suspension was overturned “based on the rules that everyone agreed to and thought were fair ahead of time.” When a ground ball rolls to the right side of the first base bag, no one says it’s a foul ball on a technicality. It’s just a foul ball. Braun failed a PED test two years ago and the arbiter overturned it. The process worked exactly how it was designed. Ain’t no technicality about it.
That Braun’s tainted urine sample was handled improperly in 2011 is beyond dispute. You can make a compelling argument Braun should not have offered unsolicited comments that impugned test-sample collector Dino Laurenzi. You can’t argue that Laurenzi followed the proper procedure. In fact, last year MLB and the players union changed the rules about the chain of custody of specimens to be tested for PEDs. That’s not a technicality. It’s a new policy.
If we’re going to use the term technicality for a decision that is capricious and maybe even unwarranted, Braun’s current 65-game suspension seems to meet the definition. In an earlier post, Haudricourt reported there was no significance to the length of Braun’s suspension, other than that it was for the remainder of this season: “It just happened to be 65 games left. If [Braun] had gotten back to [MLB] a day later, it would have been 64 games.”
As far as I’m aware (and Melky Cabrera and Bartolo Colon are aware), the penalty for failing a first PED test is 50 games. The penalty for a second failure is 100 games, and a third failure results in a lifetime ban. Braun’s 65-game suspension appears to have been made up recently, and not the result of negotiations between the league and the players union.
Yet I doubt baseball pundits or fans will say Braun was suspended for the second half of the 2013 season on a technicality. Funny how language works.no comments
Future baseball card pack/box inserts for baseball card collectors, related to Ryan Braun's suspension, the MLB Biogenesis scandal and other things a bit more vaguely related to these related things...
**Harold Reynolds was not present for that episode of MLB Now, where they discussed Ryan Braun. So, that's why Tom Verducci is on that card, instead.
Illustrations / Card designs* by J. Lemont / also, J. Lemont's Sense of Humor.
*= Design for Gilles Frozen Custard is by the people who designed the Gilles Frozen Custard signs. I just drew the replica.
**UPDATE: I forgot to add that I made sure to set these files to have a transparent background in case anyone would like to download them! Just downloaded them (see screenshot) and transparent background format is intact. It's in 2 files (4 cards / 2 cards). While they aren't necessarily card-sized, or of uniform size, please feel free! (If you'd like to use them/adapt them for your own work, just credit me for original images, and we're cool!)