Mike Lupica seems to think the Braun arbitration was rigged
Mike Lupica has a pretty Mike Lupica column up about the Ryan Braun arbitration today. The upshot: who cares what some arbitrator says, we all know Braun is dirty and blah, blah, blah. Lots of people are actually writing that column today, of course. I’m sure it makes them feel good.
But more notable to me is that Lupica has two passages in his piece -- as well as the sub-headline to the story that someone else likely wrote -- which suggest that he thinks this is more than a lucky ballplayer gaming the system. Rather, it suggests that he thinks the system was rigged to begin with.
The sub-headline reads: “Commissioner’s connection to Brewers raises questions.” Which is interesting, because the only people I’ve seen raising that as a question are conspiracy theorists on message boards. MLB’s official statement, which comes from the Commissioner’s Office, is very clear in voicing the league’s and thus Bud Selig’s dissatisfaction with the ruling, and if you’re going to take that at less than face value you should probably offer some evidence up to substantiate what is a very serious charge.
But here’s Lupica:
So Selig is apparently in on the fix. As is, it seems, the arbitrator:
That suggests to me that Lupica thinks that Das was in the bag for Braun somehow and that no other arbitrator -- like the one Floyd Landis got -- would have ruled the same way. I’d love to see Lupica’s reasoning for this and whether it extends beyond “I didn’t like the outcome, so the arbitrator must have been out to save Braun’s bacon.”
Das, of course, is a well-respected arbitrator with decades of experience who was chosen by and serves at the pleasure of Major League Baseball and the MLBPA. Jointly. If MLB thought Das was somehow less-than-qualified and able to handle baseball arbitration cases fairly, he wouldn’t be handling baseball arbitration cases. Someone else would.
Lupica can dislike the ruling here. He’s probably in the majority in that regard. But his suggestion that Selig’s history with the Brewers or Das’ ruling meant that the deck was somehow stacked in Braun’s favor is preposterous and irresponsible.