Shut the fu#k up and let me finish !

Shut the fu#k up and let me finish !

It is something of a distressing time in the world of sports, as the legal ramifications of Aaron Hernandez’s legal menagerie along with his two accomplices, simply reaches all too low levels of what is now seen as a sordid and all too compulsive situation. The NFL has once again been punched in the eye and stomach , though the game is not yet down for the count . Unfortunately, the league hierarchy , team owners and union (NFLPA) simply have not learned a damn thing after this latest incident . So, it would be remiss not to say that there will be another event that will undoubtedly capture the fans and nation`s attention at some point in the future . It will be interesting to see what steps if any will be taken by Roger Goodell and the teams , as things begin to play out . The legal aspects of to this case , are not all that difficult to figure out as it relates to the defendants and how the attorneys for both sides will seek to portray the events leading up to the death of Odin Loyd .

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Certainly, the statements now being attributed to New England Patriots` owner Robert Kraft do seem rather petulant and infantile; when one considers that, the franchise drafted the now disgraced Hernandez in 2010 . The front office was simply drooling over the talented player, out of the University of Florida . Gators` head coach Urban Meyer, was said to be pleased with the player`s promotion to the NFL ranks . Yet, what it did, was to hide a deep underlying trait of deviant behavior, by several players on the Gators` roster from that season . It was also the willingness of Meyer`s staff and that of AD Jeremy Foley to completely turn a blind eye to the misdeeds of Aaron Hernandez and others over the course of Meyer`s reign , as the coach of the football program.

The fact that Robert Kraft is now seeking to suggest that e and the Patriots` organization were duped by Aaron Hernandez and the player`s agent , simply speaks to the inane stupidity of the NFL , the owners and the front office staffs around the league . At what point were the staff of Bill Belichick and GM Nick Caserio not aware of Aaron Hernandez`s prior entanglements with law enforcement and what sort of in-depth background checks were actually in place and used by this now once reputable franchise ?

As an avid New England Patriots` fan , now watching the inner most revelations , now coming to the fore and placing an even bigger blight on its image as well as that of the NFL. It was one thing to see the idiocy of the management in allowing the team`s most productive player over the past five seasons, when Wes Welker was allowed to leave. Yet, here was Robert Kraft, once again seeking to apportion blame elsewhere, because of the inane stupidity shown by Nick Caserio and the coaching staff.

Tom Brady , the franchise’s best player since 2001, took it upon himself to free up $9 million in cap space in order to allow the Patriots to retain the well-respected wide receiver. Alas, Welker sought to sign with the Denver Broncos and become an additional weapon for Peyton Manning . Now while a great deal was made of the Patriots acquiring Tim Tebow, which if anything, was more of a sign of desperation rather than an act of necessity . And this preposterous belief that Tebow , as a player given his resume` would be of benefit to a franchise such as the Jacksonville Jaguars , purely because of his popularity in the state of Florida, is simply asinine ! Tim Tebow, as a draw anywhere, is like to going to the circus simply out of curiosity . The novelty will soon wear off, as it will, concerning the under-achieving quarterback, even if he has Josh McDaniels as his offensive coordinator and quarterbacks` coach . In all honesty , Tebow could very well ending being one of the biggest busts in NFL history , and that is with due respect to the likes of Heath Shuler , Tim Couch , Vince Young , JaMarcus Russell , Akili Smith and Carson Palmer .

As to the upcoming season for the Patriots from their preseason schedule to their opening day regular season game , it will be interesting to see how this newly guise team will fare . At best , I cannot see the Patriots surpassing season`s 12-4 record/ and then the clarity of their play in the postseason , until what turned to be a disastrous showing against the Baltimore Ravens , where the opposing quarterback, Joe Flacco was simply at his very best . Flacco and his teammates , in that second-half display laid siege on a Patriots` defense that has been the franchise’s weakness over the past four seasons. If the team once again sows its fallibility, concerning its secondary is once again on display in spite of free agent acquisitions and their 2013 draft class could very well be a determining factor as to how things will play out for the New England Patriots.

If ever there was a moment for a college football coach to simply shut up and either tell the truth, rather than come across as a buffoon . Then clearly, Urban Meyer now seeking to distance himself from much of the trouble created during his tenure of the Florida Gators` football program . Meyer, suggested that a great many of the issues and incidents that took place, which saw numerous arrests , allegations of cheating , team rules` violations , and the criminal infractions , were all said to have taken place off campus, or as he denotes beyond the reach and scope of the campus authority . Perhaps, it is me , but Meyer is now taking liberties, in seeking to disparage his former employer . Having succeeded Jim Tressel at Ohio State , a program where Tressel was a conduit some of the most serious program and NCAA violations in recent collegiate athletics . The fact that Buckeyes AD Gene Smith and university President Dr. E Gordon Gee stood steadfastly by the then beleaguered and disgraced coach shows the type aloofness and malevolent corruption that is widespread and rampant across the landscape of college sports . Tressel repeatedly lied to the school’s trustees, as well as to Smith and Gee to the misdeeds of the players under his jurisdiction. .

E Gordon Gee, for his part, has been critical of anyone he deems beneath the Ohio State program . And it has been Gee`s ongoing itinerant and all too embarrassing tirades that could very well see him removed from his post as the school’s top administrator .

Does anyone now truly believe that the NCAA has the wherewithal to clean up almighty mess ? NCAA President Mark Emmert is seemingly powerless to actually do anything noteworthy as collegiate athletics top administrator, while seeking to strengthen the structure of his institution .

Well, the talk of the NBA world, has been the departure of Dwight Howard from the Los Angeles Lakers as an unrestricted free agent to sign with the Houston Rockets . Team owner, Leslie Alexander pulled out all of the stops along with head coach Kevin McHale , GM Daryl Morey and James Harden . The fact that the center made the decision to leave Los Angeles , is more than indication that Howard , did not fit on a team where he simply was not sure of his role under Mike DAntoni , head coach of the Los Angeles` franchise . To further emphasize , what even the most docile of Lakers` fans were simply unwilling to admit , has been the testy relationship between Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant . Anyone who failed to acknowledge that fact , clearly chose to ignore the dichotomy between the two players. Bryant has been often described, as an egotistical, selfish and narcissistic individual who simply cares about no one but himself . That may well be true, but how would you describe Dwight Howard and the perception that fans now view the player under ?

James Harden , will now be joined by Dwight Howard, on a team that this past season , was one of the most explosive offenses in the league . Harden, further emphasized his growth as a player, while it can only be suggested that the player was sorely missed on an Oklahoma City Thunder team that fell short of expectations during the postseason . Kevin Martin , considered a serviceable player, it was clear that his insertion unto the team showed how sorely missed James Harden was said to be. Martin was not able to emulate the scoring prowess shown by the player he replaced, and to my mind, Thunder GM Sam Presti , erred, . when the player was allowed to leave the franchise prior to the start of this past season .

The Houston Rockets are well placed this upcoming season to make a solid run and perhaps be seen as one top contenders within the Western Conference . As to the financial commitment made by the Rockets may to their newest acquisition , it could very well be seen as one of the more ostentatious deals made in the NBA during this off-season.

At this point of the season , baseball will soon be celebrating their mid-season showcase event. The 2013 MLB All Star Game will be held at Citi-Field in Flushing, New York, with a New York crowd looking to celebrate in a big way. The talk seems to be whether or not the Los Angeles Dodgers` …. Yasiel Puig should be on the NL roster . While having an outstanding season , it does seem somewhat ridiculous that fans are calling for Puig`s player`s inclusion after a mere thirty-three games. Impressive stats , being what they are , but when assessing a Dodgers` team that as of Monday night , at two games under .500 with a 43-45 mark , good enough for second place in the NL West . The real issue now facing the team is whether they can win the division and guarantee themselves a postseason berth . It is clear , that after last season`s disappointment , Don Mattingly and his managerial staff may well be on the clock , before a decision is made concerning his future. It will be now, or never , for Mattingly and this high-priced of stars , and how they seek to redeem themselves .

Two years ago, the Milwaukee Brewers` Ryan Braun celebrated winning baseball`s biggest regular season individual honor in winning the NL MVP . Braun , a multiple All Star, and the best player on a Brewers` roster , for a franchise, that views the player as a homegrown hero . Ryan Braun`s name was associated with the stain of steroids , and from what appears to be the utter stupidity shown by the testing facility , in not properly storing the player`s test samples. Braun was able to escape a suspension. An arbitration hearing upheld Ryan Braun`s appeal to have his fifty-game for a first time offense. All along, in pleading his innocence, Braun felt that his actions paved the way the hearing to go his way, and to show that baseball was simply on a witch-hunt, as well over-reaching with their powers . A mere two years later, Braun, Alex Rodriguez , Nelson Cruz and a slew of other players are the focus of another investigation of rampant steroid use within the game. Once again, Bud Selig and his office , comes across looking like bumbling buffoons .

The claims made by the MLB commissioner, that baseball , has the most stringent of testing policy, is proving to be a fallacy . And with the latest admission by Biogenesis proprietor and founder Antony Bosch , that has supplied as many as sixty players with steroids , as well several other performance enhancing substances , does beg the question , what is it that baseball itself , is not doing ? And why is it , that they have failed so miserably to stem the tide of steroid abuse not only at the Major League Level but also at the Minor League Level , where the use of PED`s is even more widespread ?

Braun in the accompaniment of his agent Nev Balelo and an attorney , met with the investigators from MLB to discuss whether or not he ad at any time been supplied steroids or any other prohibitive substances banned by the league hierarchy . The player was said to be uncooperative, refusing to answer the five questions he was initially subjected to . When a further question posed as to his known association with Tony Bosch , Braun was once again unresponsive , and subsequently left the MLB headquarters , again, with his name being under a cloud of suspicion . Of the thirteen players, said to have met with the league`s investigators , eleven , are said to have initially cooperated , in answering some of the questions posed . As to what this may well mean , once the ongoing investigation reaches a finality . One can only speculate as to the course of action that may well be considered and taken , should Bud Selig and the MLB hierarchy members believe it appropriate to suspend these players for any length of time . The suspensions being considered are in the region of between fifty games to one hundred games , but it is rumored that the league would like to send a clear and strong message with a one hundred-game suspension , that would be the starting point for any punishment rendered . Any such penalties, are likely to wreak havoc upon the teams where many of these players are now assisting in their ball-clubs` title hopes . From my own standpoint , Bud Selig has simply dragged his feet with this process , albeit, that the US Justice Department is also investigating Bosch and his now defunct company . That being said , with the already haphazard handling of previous cases by the Justice Department in this specific arena , and that of baseball . My own misgivings, are that we are likely to see new levels of incompetency , beyond anything yet shown by Bud Selig and his minions .

New York Yankees` third baseman Alex Rodriguez is likely to meet with the league`s investigators prior to mid-season break for the All Star Game . Rodriguez undergoing rehab, has yet to make an appearance this season for the still struggling Yankees . The consensus seems to be , if the player is met with a 100 game suspension , then in all likelihood , his career with the franchise is likely to come to an abrupt end , with the front office , quite possibly seeking to void the remainder of the approximately $104 million still owed to Alex Rodriguez.

Given Rodriguez`s proclivity for being less than truthful. I truly believe that he too, will be uncooperative in this investigation , while still trying to proclaim his innocence in terms of any wrongdoing . As if we needed a reminder as to his first go-around concerning the use of PED`s . This now seems to be a dance that the fans have become accustomed to seeing , while we are not too sure what the outcome may well be . Bud Selig is now seeking to regain a great deal of power lost to the union . Yet my response would be , what the fuck does the MLBPA (union) care to begin with ? I mean, it is not as if they have at any time, sought to be at the forefront of ridding the game of illicit substances , in spite of ambiguous collective bargaining agreement .
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What thoughts if any, do you have concerning the salient points within this piece? Simply, leave a comment as you see fit , and thanks as always for the continued support of this site .

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(1) Mike Davies, right, of Norfolk, Mass., wears his New England Patriots Aaron Hernandez football jersey one last time while waiting in an exchange line outside Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, July 6, 2013. Fans may trade an Aaron Hernandez jersey with his name on it they purchased for one of another player on the NFL team. The team released Hernandez after he was arrested for allegedly orchestrating the death of Odin Lloyd. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer …..

(2) Fans wait in a checkout line inside the New England Patriots store at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., after exchanging their Aaron Hernandez football jerseys, Saturday, July 6, 2013. Fans may trade an Aaron Hernandez jersey they purchased for one of another player on the NFL team. The team released Hernandez after he was arrested for allegedly orchestrating the death of Odin Lloyd. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer …

(3) New England Patriots` owner Robert Kraft , left , is seen here with Aaron Hernandez at the team`s training facility in Foxborough , Massachusetts . The player was cut by the franchise after he was arraigned and indicted in the murder of Odin Lloyd. The owner in his first public statement , stated that he felt duped by Aaron Hernandez and was saddened for Lloyd`s family and their loss. Yet when pressed on the issue as why the player was drafted by franchise in 2010 , even after it was noted that the Hernandez had been plagued by off-the field issues concerning alleged criminal behavior. Kraft was not responsive in answering the questions posed . AP Photo / Chris Cameron ….

(4) Ohio State Buckeyes` football coach Urban Meyer is seen here addressing the convened press . Meyer seeking to deflect any negative chatter directed towards his being concerning and is handling of off the field issues of the players while at the University of Florida . The two-time winning national championship coach went as far as to suggest, that the players` behavior were not his responsibility and a great many of the incidents that took place were beyond the scope of the faculty and the athletics department . Getty Images / Paul Ross …

(5) Dwight Howard , left , is seen here with his new teammate James Harden . The two players will provide a formidable front-court for the franchise . Howard signed a four-year $88 million deal with the Houston Rockets . MMI Inc.

(6) Alex Rodriguez . left , and Ryan Braun are two of the central figures in the latest saga of steroids now seemingly raising its head once again within the world baseball . Braun met with the league`s investigators and the player was uncooperative with the investigators and the questions posed. Rodriguez is due to meet with the league officials on Friday , and it is not known how the third baseman is likely to respond . @ copyrighted material …. MLB.com MLB Properties .

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Stupid Is As Stupid Does …. Fu#k , It’s Baseball I’m Talking About …… !

Stupid Is As Stupid Does …. Fu#k , It’s Baseball I’m Talking About …… !

By tophatal ………….

It’s at times like this all of the purists out there have to step back and plainly take a look at the landscape of baseball and now specifically the tenure of Bud Selig and his custodianship of Major League Baseball . As the game’s highest ranking executive he has presided over the game for almost two decades , first as its interim commissioner only then to ascend to the position full-time in 1994. That being said, with the introduction of the wildcard system and the realignment of the divisions within the game , it has created a mild stir within baseball. But at the end of the day the questions have arisen as to the financial landscape and integrity of the sport altogether .

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In what might have been the biggest scandal to hit the game since the Barry Bonds’ saga , his indictment for perjury and obstruction of justice , in lying to federal law enforcement officers concerning his use of prohibitive substances banned within the game . With his indictment and now awaiting sentence within the Federal Court system , you simply had to wonder what shoe would be the next to fall. Granted , last season we had the fallout from the retirement of Manny Ramirez five games into the season with the Tampa Bay Rays after it made public that he had failed a mandatory test thereby signalling an automatic 50 game suspension as required by MLB for a first offense. Rather than serve the suspension, the player announced his retirement and walked away from the game . Now come full circle , Ramirez has asked to be reinstated and somehow defying all logic Oakland Athletics’ GM Billy Beane has seen fit sign the player to a one year deal wherein he will be the DH for the team . So much for the inspirational “Moneyball” movie where the Michael Lewis’ book was adapted for the big screen and made to show the general manager as a savior of the game for the small market teams and the theory of “Sabermetrics”. Now someone please explain to me how the genius of Beane can be seen in a positive light after this move ?

Courtesy of The Washington Post in conjunction with the Associated Press

Ryan Braun’s 50-game suspension overturned by baseball arbitrator Shyam Das

NEW YORK — NL MVP Ryan Braun said all along that his 50-game suspension for a positive drug test would be overturned. He was right.

Arbitrator Shyam Das threw out Braun’s ban on Thursday, making the Milwaukee Brewers outfielder the first Major League Baseball player to successfully challenge a drug-related penalty in a grievance.

“It is the first step in restoring my good name and reputation,” Braun said. “We were able to get through this because I am innocent and the truth is on our side.”

Braun tested positive in October for elevated testosterone, which was revealed by ESPN in December. He reports Friday to spring training with the threat of suspension lifted.

“Since joining our organization in 2005, Ryan Braun has been a model citizen and a person of character and integrity. Knowing Ryan as I do, I always believed he would succeed in his appeal,” Brewers owner Mark Attanasio said. “It is unfortunate that the confidentiality of the program was compromised, and we thank our fans and everyone who supported Ryan and did not rush to judgment.”

Braun’s sample was collected on Oct. 1, a Saturday and the day the Brewers opened the NL playoffs. The collector did not send the sample to the laboratory until Monday , thinking it would be more secure at home than at a Federal Express office during the weekend .

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Bud Selig made the asinine assertion to two Congressional Committees , House Oversight & Government Reform Committee and US House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection that MLB had the most stringent drug testing policy in all of professional sports . That was laughable given the fact that Selig has been in complete denial as to the prolific use of PED’s by a number of players within through much of the past two decades ! Never mind the fact that those within the print media who covered the sport seemed to side with the commissioner. But as I’ve always maintained , journalistic integrity has never been high on any journalist within the world of sports . Simply look at the so-called celebrated writers who are said to be at the forefront in covering the game ? Have they really brought anything that you would deem to insightful ? And in terms of the on air tv personalities why no affront from them concerning the era that has essentially sullied the image of baseball ? Buster Olney , Peter Gammons , Tim Kurkjian and Joe Buck are and simply have been the voice squawk boxes for a lost generation that simply are too dumb to realize what is actually going on within their midst as it relates to the game ! When anyone amongst that quartet ever spoken as to their disgust concerning what has happened during this era ? They’d simply rather kiss the asses of their paymasters within the game of baseball and beyond that , who the hell knows as they’re probably waiting to suck on the left testicle of the commissioner !

The saga of Ryan Braun …. last season’s NL MVP is a tale of their sheer utter stupidity on the part of the player and his complete lack of intelligence and to my mind it is also a damning indictment on the game of baseball ! The league hierarchy knowing that the player had undergone testing was fully aware of the results and the fact that Braun had tested positive for a stimulant . The tests showed that the player had four times what it is considered the normal levels for testosterone in his body and it could only have been provided by a synthetic hormonal drug. When these details were then made public , it has to be said that the seismic waves sent across the game only heightened the fact that baseball and the game as we know it still remains sullied and lacking in complete integrity . My question for Ryan Braun is, if you choose to put something into your body would you not first seek the advice of a medical professional as to whether or not supplements in question are legal with regard to the mandated standards of the league ? Clearly the player may not have sought out the advice of a doctor but then again whatever gave us the impression that today’s modern-day athlete has the intelligence to begin with ?

In what was an unprecedented verdict the arbitrator sided with Ryan Braun in case for the dismissal of the league mandated suspension . The player lodged his appeal that was presided over by Shyam Das through the usual process of going through the players’ union ( MLBPA) headed by Executive Director Michael Weiner . In handing down his decision Shyam Das stated that the league’s case and the protocols used in the handling of the player’s specimens for testing had been compromised . mishandled and the proper protocols had not been followed by facility used by the league (MLB). A spokesman for the league hierarchy has stated that they were dissatisfied with the decision rendered by Das , though an appeal now seems completely out of the question . If ever baseball has even more egg on its face from an image standpoint , then this whole episode would be it ! And the asinine morons who continue to stand behind this game as if it had some semblance of decency and integrity must now be wondering where the leadership , if any , is now coming from ! Clearly Selig and the league are completely out of their depth and what might be even more asinine, is that whomever is said to be providing the legal counsel to the league hierarchy has been providing Bud Selig and his executive a very poor service indeed ! If MLB actually believed that with the evidentiary procedure followed that a verdict in their favor would be rendered , then clearly the executives who preside over the game are not as insightful on the procedures as it relates to binding arbitration . Moreover , the league hierarchy if anything, should take umbrage at the fact that the laboratory used in the testing clearly made serious mistakes that made their presentation to the tribunal and arbitrator a complete none-factor . Now what ?

In light of the decision rendered Ryan Braun believes that he has been vindicated and that his actions were above reproach. The player is either naive or a complete idiot to think that this completely exonerated him and closes the chapter on this episode . The court of public opinion is still out , and no matter what the player now says , it creates an image problem for Braun and the Milwaukee Brewers . For manager Ron Roenicke and owner Mark Attanasio this is hardly the way that the organization wants to go into Spring Training especially in light of the team losing their All Star first baseman Prince Fielder to free agency , with the player signing a 9 year $214.5 million deal with the Detroit Tigers .

The NL Central would appear to be up for grabs this season but it would appear though the division favored may well have favored the Brewers I believe that with the loss also of Albert Pujols from the St Louis Cardinals this could a very competitive season within the division. With Ryan Brauns’s productivity and that of Prince Fielder’s own stats it has to be said that last season it is easy to understand why the team was a success . Albeit that the team’s foray in the postseason was something of short-lived one . This year a lot will be riding on the shoulders of Ryan Braun and that of his teammates , in the hope that they can be seen as a serious contender within the NL .

Once the regular season begins the for the Milwaukee Brewers we know that Ryan Braun will face a barrage of abuse from the fans but undoubtedly once at home in the confines of Miller Park in Milwaukee , Wisconsin where I am sure that the player will have a legion of fans coming out in his support . From my own perspective , I am not so sure that Braun is solely to blame for his mess , as I firmly believe that baseball still has a long way to go to clear itself of its now tarnished image ! Clearly with the league hierarchy is simply unwilling to admit to the fact they have not only messed up in the presentation of this case but also their stance initially as it relates the issue of PED’s within the game was that it simply wasn’t high on their agenda . And also when one bears in mind that Selig’s stance is outmoded , shows him to be someone of little intelligence and credibility. Someone please explain to me how it is that the commissioner is compensated to the tune of $20-$25 million a year all at the behest of the team owners and in response his performance as the commissioner has done such a piss poor job in his position , that it now has me wondering how it is that the owners continue to feel that he’s said to be serving their best interests ! They’re making money ? You tell me ? Bob Nutting may well be making money but it has been by from anything achieved by the Pittsburgh Pirates over the last four or five years that’s for sure ! And the same can be said for Lew Wolff and the Oakland A’s . And the ever piss poor excuses of we’ve no stadium that is to our liking , or the fact that revenues are not in line with others around the league where we have parity . All of these are the statements I’ve come to hear from patrons of this site but not one has come up anything near a viable option . Instead the bitching and whining continues as Selig is compensated immeasurably , so much so that is his $25 million a year salary is comparable to the highest paid players in the game on an annual basis .

As to what now lies ahead for Ryan Braun and the Milwaukee Brewers remains to be seen but from my own perception as to this whole saga he remains a pariah and he will no doubt become the butt of the jokes for the vast majority of the fans ! Given the premise behind the Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens’ sagas I am no longer surprised anything that arises in terms players using prohibitive substances because I now feel it now comes with the territory ! And it’s not about to change anytime soon and that is a god-damn fact ! Doubt my word then simply look at the fact that a plague like Manny Ramirez will return to the game having signed a one year deal with the Oakland A’s . And you wonder why the A’s have achieved little of consequence in recent years . And to think Billy Beane was being lauded for his accomplishments with the A’s by way of the movie “Moneyball” . This is one move that could come back to bite that organization in the proverbial ass in more ways than one given their meager financial resources concerning players’ salaries .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Given the timeline and the events that are said to have taken place concerning Ryan Braun , in your honest opinion upon whom do you believe the blame ought to be placed upon ? Should it be MLB and specifically its hierarchy or the player himself in what appears to be his lax judgment ?

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) Ron Roenicke of the Milwaukee Brewers poses for a portrait during a photo day at Maryvale Baseball Park on February 26, 2012 in Maryvale, Arizona. Photo by Rich Pilling/Getty Images ….

(2) MARYVALE, AZ – FEBRUARY 26: Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers poses for a portrait during a photo day at Maryvale Baseball Park on February 26, 2012 in Maryvale, Arizona. Photo by Rich Pilling/Getty Images …….

(3) Ryan Braun , left , of the Milwaukee Brewers is seen here with senior managing partner & co-owner of the team , Mark Attanasio at the Brewers’ headquarters Miller Park , Milwaukee , Wisconsin . @ all rights reserved Brewers.com ……

(4) Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio, center, addresses members of the media concerning outfielder Ryan Braun prior to baseball spring training on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012, in Phoenix. AP Photo/Paul Connors ……

(5) National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern (L) greets Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig before testifying with the heads of the NFL and the NHL to the US House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection about the use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs in professional sports on Capitol Hill February 27, 2008 in Washington, DC. The subcommittee also heard testimony from officials from the US Olympic Committee, National Thoroughbred Racing and the US Anti-Doping Agency. Getty Images North America / Chip Smodovilla …..

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