Thursday, March 1, 2012


The easiest part of any Bud Selig disguise:
don a pair of glasses, cross the eyes and place the
right hand adjacent to the ear. Works every time...
...even Dino, good Wisconsin boy that
he is, was easily taken in.
Time for me to 'fess up.

Yes, 'twas I, motorvatin' my way through the vast American heartland early last October (in an RV formerly owned by John Madden...), who donned a Bud Selig disguise, momentarily distracted Dino Laurenzi, Jr., and smeared a sample of highly-concentrated Bull's Balls™ testosterone into the cup containing Ryan Braun's fateful urine sample.

(And y'all know this must be true, because we never, ever refer to ourselves in the singular around here. Even two out of three arbitrators would concur that such is conclusive proof that I--oops, we--am/are a stinker...and don't forget to put the Brooklyn spin on that, a la Bugs Bunny, to get the proper pronunciation--"stink-ah".)

Oh, and a wascal, too.

But, as always, we digress. What really happened in the Ryan Braun case is something that only our flighty pal the Buzzin' Fly knows, from his vantage point inside ol' Bud's office back in December when the matter of the MVP with a positive test for testosterone first came to light.

Unfortunately, the transcript that our infiltrating insect provided is filled with several gaps that, while not quite Nixonian in length, render our understanding of what happened behind closed doors frustratingly incomplete.

So, for better and/or worse, here's what we've got to share...a fly's account, sent to us via carrier pigeon.

BS: Hello?
VOICE: Bud, it's Rob. We've got a problem.
Neyer: not likely to tweet...
BS: Rob? Rob who? Rob Neyer? I thought I sent you some dress shirts...are you still dressing like a lumberjack??
VOICE: No, no, Bud. This is Rob Manfred.
BS: Oh, Rob Manfred! I know you!! Can you speak up, I'm having trouble hearing you...
BS: For goodness' sakes, Rob, quit shouting! What is it?
RM: We've got a player who tested positive.
Manfred: knows just when to wear the matching tie...

BS: So what? Isn't that why we have a testing program?
RM: No, Bud. You don't understand, It's a BIG player.
BS: How big?
BS: (swats at fly on his desk--reply unintelligible)
RM: This year's National League MVP.
BS: No, no, no, NO! Not...
RM: Yes. Ryan Braun. Though Allen Barra will, for some reason, think his name is Matt.
BS: Not a...BREWER!! (Swats at fly again, rest of reply unintelligible)
RM: I told you it was a big problem. The MVP of the league is going to get suspended for 50 games, and we're going to take a big hit.
BS: Is there anything that can be done about it?
RM: What do you have in mind?
BS: Any chance that maybe the results can be appealed?
RM: Sure, but-- (BS swats at fly again, rest of reply unintelligible)
BS: Well, there's a first time for everything. Where there's a will, there's a way. (Starts to sob.) Oh, why did this have to happen to a BREWER!
RM: There's a chance that we can muddy things around procedural issues...but we're going to have to start by leaking his name.
BS: What? Why?
RM: We've got to use the media-- (BS lunges at fly, crashing noise, rest of reply unintelligible)
--Hey, Bud, you OK?
BS: Yeah, yeah, it's nothing. Are you sure that such an approach will work?
RM: Well, it's the best shot we have. There are some grey areas that we can exploit. We just need to get everyone on the same page without making it possible to connect the dots.
BS: (Wails.) Why did it have to be a BREWER!!
Carefully-cropped photo of BS with post-nubile celebs (Sheryl Crow,
Sarah Jessica Parker) at 2011 All-Star Game...
RM: Bud, get a grip. There's every chance that it can be made to look as natural as mother's milk.
BS: Mother's milk, oh yes, that's the ticket. Safe as milk. Nothing like all that wonderful, all-American breast-feeding--
RM: --Bud, what the hell are you talking about?
BS: I'm sorry, Rob. I get so easily distracted by those young girls they make me go onto the field with during the post-season, at the All-Star Game...
RM: Well, OK. Just...just calm down and I think we can let this process play itself out. It can look as though it happened that way due to due process.
BS: What?? Doo-doo? Tell me we're not in deep doo-doo, Rob!
RM: (big sigh) No, no--due process, Bud. We can make the system work for us.
BS: OK, Rob. That sounds good. I'm just so upset that it had to be a BREWER!
RM: Don't worry, Bud, we'll get them to win a World Series even if we have to move them to Japan. I promise it will happen in your lifetime.
Bud's aim, like his moral sense,
is still a bit our
pal Buzzin' Fly is still on the job.
BS: You are so, so wonderful, Rob. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
RM: That's OK, Bud.
BS: But, listen, I've got to send you some better shirts. No respectable senior VP for major league baseball should be dressing like a lumberjack!
RM: (BS swings wildly at fly, falls on office floor with a crash...reply unintelligible)

So there you have it. A shadowy scenario where MLB's top brass delve deep into the murky language of their drug-testing policy to look for a loophole that will prevent a stain on the game, avoid a blot on The Team Formerly Owned By Bud, pre-empt a firestorm that will cause the steroids controversy to rear its pointed little head again.

But apparently Dino Laurenzi did not get the memo (in whatever form that communique was supposed to take). Not quite willing to be a fall guy, he talked to reporters, insisting that he followed the testing protocol.

That's a wrench in the works, to say the least, and it forces us to wonder just what type of detailed analysis of the case and its technical details can possibly be forthcoming from veteran arbitrator Shyam Das, who was the deciding vote on the three-man arbitration team.

But you know, it's always strangely reassuring when March comes in like a... like a... you know, it sure seems possible that somebody in this scenario is a lyin' sack o'sh*t.