Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Shyam Das Forgot Who He Really Works For

Shyam Das, MLB
Arbitrator 1999-2012

Change comes quickly in Major League Baseball if you anger the ownership and the people who run the league. It doesn't matter if you've done a good job; it doesn't matter if you've been faithfully arbitrating cases for over a decade. Anger the people in power, and you're gone.

Shyam Das had the audacity to enforce what some like to call a chain of custody rule with regards to urine samples collected from players:

So, in the case of Ryan Braun, there is a chain of custody lapse that is apparent in his case. A collected sample was not handled according to the rules. That sample was not processed in the manner proscribed by the agreement that covers baseball players and their random urine testing.

In any other situation, Braun would have gotten his ban or suspension reversed as well. Any adult who has had urinalysis testing knows that if something comes up hot on the sample, there are two choices. Admit what you took, or attack the finding by looking at the due process.

Braun's attorney, or whoever represented him in the case before Das, successfully attacked the chain of custody and the due process aspect of his collected specimen. Das had no choice but to rule the way he did because that is how the regulations were written and agreed upon. If he had ruled against Braun, and made the baseball hierarchy happy, he wouldn't be worth his salt as an arbitrator.

Das ruled correctly, however. And that's why they got rid of him. Major League Baseball doesn't care about the rules. It cares about making certain that everyone who is a part of it knuckles under in favor of the owners and the business interests.

Now, does that extend to fixing games, throwing out decent people, and creating an environment where you can't trust the product on the field? Absolutely. When there is no credible arbitrator, no due process, no rules, and no regulations, then there is simply no sanctity of the game.

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