The dominant theme about Ryan Braun and last night's news is that his story is a conundrum.
Technically (or is that "technicality"), his name has been cleared. But his winning defense wasn't "I didn't take the stuff" -- it was "The lab tech left my pee in his fridge and didn't FedEx it quickly enough."
And so few people are satisfied. Folks inclined to bury Braun will still think he cheated. Folks inclined to support Braun have awkward evidence. The MLB testing regimen has been turned into a punchline (which might be why the league took the extraordinary step of saying it "vehemently" disagreed with the arbitration panel's decision). And regular fans are left to get just a bit more cynical about all of this. (In fact, the only folks who would be decisively thrilled are those who think MLB's PED issue is either overblown or irrelevant -- the reigning NL MVP will get to play a full season.)
In the end, this will blow over, just like almost everything does. Partly, that's because of the murky ending to the story and partly that's because we like watching awesome baseball players on the field more than we care about watching them sit out 50 games, for whatever reason.
Perhaps the biggest implication of the decision? Braun goes right to the top of fantasy baseball draft lists.
Check out Quickish's coverage of the Braun news.
*Linsanity stifled by the Heat: There is no shame for Jeremy Lin in getting smothered by the Heat -- the best team in the league and, when they set their mind to it, the best defensive team in the league. And, oh, did they set their mind to humiliating Lin. That makes last night one of the more fascinating twists of the Lin Era. I tweeted this last night: No one ever claimed that Jeremy Lin's emergence made the Knicks elite; he just made them interesting. That is no less the case today than it was before last night's game. Check out Quickish's comprehensive Lin coverage.
*NFL Combine: Robert Griffin III measures taller than 6-foot-2. There were questions about his height -- which seems like a ridiculous thing to worry about, given the way that 6-foot-nuthin' Drew Brees has carved up the league. But between his size and his talent, he will be the No. 2 pick of the draft and a great NFL QB -- the only question is which team ponies up the bounty necessary to get the Rams to trade out for him. Cleveland's extra 1st-round pick -- acquired when they gave up their spot to Atlanta last year for Julio Jones -- should be the difference, unless Washington is ready to mortgage their future for a potentially franchise QB.
More coming this weekend. Please check out Quickish!