Friday, June 15, 2012


Buzzy 1: still at large...
The imbroglio that ate Chicago...
or was that Milwaukee?
Hazard pay is again due to our embattled (and monotonously-inflected) correspondent Buzzin' Fly, who selflessly cloned himself to invade the slick sanctums of all those involved in the carefully choreographed shoe-dropping that was the final play-out of the Ryan Braun imbroglio.

Carl Sawatski: no friend to the
fly--or to the logo on his cap... Talk
about a reverse platoon differential!
Buzzy (as he's known to those who've learned not to swing wildly whenever he comes within swatting range...) carried the tiniest of wires on his various forms of unregenerate regeneration as he gave his all (more than "all" of his "all," in fact) for you, dear reader, as we made one last-ditch attempt to penetrate the double-talk, the misdirection, the burn-while-reading pyro-conspiratorial shenanigans that took hold in baseball's so-called "highest places."

The New York Times reporting on the long, prolonged shoe-drop that accompanied Braun's successful appeal--the only paper in the country, by the way, who went beyond the "reportage" delivered by the AP stringer who repeated verbatim MLB's plate-spinning--gets us to the point where it's dimly possible to see that some carefully orchestrated "falling on one's sword" folderol was unleashed upon a public with an attention span so short that it can't be measured with existing technology.

Das: not so blue to be leaving
the employ of MLB??
Ken Belson was looking for someone, anyone, to comment upon the firing of long-time, respected arbitrator Shyam Das, but all he was able to acquire for publication was something that was more circular than cryptic:

"Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association decline to comment, but a person with knowledge of the decision said that the Braun decision was only one of several factors that led to Das's dismissal."

Ah, yes, the old "person with knowledge" gambit. Aside from the fact that such an individual is in fact an empty elevator shaft ride down from Ye Olde Reliable Source, what we have here is a transparent effort to sweep the entire matter under the rug--which was what we told you would be the case back in March, when our pal Buzzy got wind of the machinations being put into play in order to keep Bud Selig's old franchise (the Milwaukee Brewers) from both embarrassment and from a undue disadvantage in the attempt to defend their 2011 NL Central division championship.

Buzzy discovered that Das was both fatigued and frustrated by MLB's need to have their cake and eat it too regarding the Braun affair--where the expectation was that Braun would escape via a technicality and the high-ups in the Commissioner's office would feign outrage, and that it was a Das associate who suggested to MLB that they cover up their actions by having Das refrain from following through with what he'd done for close to two dozen drug hearing cases over the past decade--namely, issue a formal, written report.

Jorge Luis Borges
The somewhat sing-songy voice was unidentifiable, but a remarkable phrase of recursive legalism was captured by that tiny, tiny wire: "By delaying the usual mode of closure, you will create an opportunity to manufacture your own sense of closure via which no one else will even know that you've achieved closure."

IT sounded like literary theory straight from the surreal streets of Buenos Aires--a rambling, musical disquisition that the aging Jorge Luis Borges might have uttered to a coy amanuensis (Alfredo Bioy Casares?), but it was as much legal sleight-of-hand as a literary postponement: something furtive this way comes.

The absence of a legal text is like a plot ellipsis--it changes the landscape of discourse, it hides the truth in the name of something that can never be given an identity. Once the press discovered the identity of the MLB employee who administered Braun's test (quick, now--do you remember his name?), it was imperative for the entire matter to fall off the radar.

A week after we wrote our semi-fanciful insider's account, Buzzy 2 intercepted a call from Das's secretary indicating that he'd be giving up his office upon the expiration of the current lease. That date? June 15th.

Buzzy 2: R.I.P.
Unfortunately--tragically--that was Buzzy's last transmission. It seems that secretaries are more efficient at rooting out prying pests than Commissioners.

There will be "less ambiguous language" in the testing protocol section of MLB's drug testing procedures. But the actual events in the Braun case have been rendered permanently ambiguous, permanently blurred. And the actual value and accuracy of the drug testing program itself remains just as ambiguous and just as blurred.