According to Mark Fainaru-Wada and T.J. Quinn of ESPN.com, Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun has tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug.
Braun, who won the 2011 National League MVP Award, is disputing the result through arbitration. If it is upheld, he will face a 50-game suspension.
It should be noted that Major League Baseball has not once overturned the result of a PED test.
Here’s more from Fainaru-Wada and Quinn, who revealed the stunning news on Saturday evening as part of an “Outside the Lines” investigation:
The 28-year-old Braun had to provide a urine sample for testing during the playoffs, and he was notified of the positive test sometime in late October — about a month before he was named the National League’s most valuable player.
The positive result was triggered by elevated levels of testosterone in Braun’s system, the sources also told “Outside the Lines.” A subsequent, more comprehensive test revealed the testosterone was synthetic — not produced by Braun’s body.
Braun, 28, batted .332 with a .994 OPS, 33 home runs and 111 RBI in 150 games this year. He posted an .866 OPS and hit only 25 home runs in 2010, somewhat of a down season for the slugging left fielder.
The Brewers signed Braun to a five-year, $105 million contract extension in April, adding to a previous eight-year pact that he inked with Milwaukee in May of 2008. He’s under team control through 2021.
Royals’ right-hander Yordano Ventura was pulled in the fifth inning of Saturday’s matinee against the Tigers with an apparent injury. After throwing four pitches to start the fifth and serving up a Justin Upton double, Ventura was visited on the mound by head trainer Nick Kenney. Per Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star, he’s day-to-day with back spasms and lower back tightness.
It’s just another bump in the road for the defending champions, who currently sit 6.5 games back of a postseason spot with seven left to play. Through 176 innings in 2016, Ventura posted a 4.35 ERA and 1.2 fWAR, a considerable downgrade from the 4.08 ERA and 2.7 fWAR he contributed during last season’s championship year despite a moderate bounce-back in the second half.
Prior to his early exit from Saturday’s game, Ventura went four innings for the Royals, giving up three runs on 10 hits and two walks and striking out six of 24 batters faced.
If you’re looking to rep the red and royal blue this October, you best get your gear inside the ballpark. According to Lauren Zumbach of the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs have sought a court order that would allow them to seize unauthorized merchandise being hawked outside of Wrigley Field. That includes shirts with taglines like “Just One Before I Die” and apparel depicting a blue flag with a white “W.”
[The Cubs] received a trademark for “W” flags, but a trademark for use on apparel is pending. Deeming a letter of the alphabet worthy of a trademark might seem like a stretch, but around Wrigley, everyone knows what that particular W in that particular color combination means, [intellectual property attorney Douglas Masters] said.
While seven vendors have been named in the suit, the Cubs have a list of 30 more whom they suspect of trademark infringement, including retailers who primarily operate online.
Back in 2013, the Cubs ran into a similar issue when a fan dressed as alternative mascot Billy the Cub and made multiple appearances on game days outside the park. After six years in the role, Billy the Cub was ordered to cease and desist his ballpark activities by the team.
This time, however, Billy’s tip jar pales in comparison to the revenue unauthorized sellers stand to reap over the next two months. With the playoffs just around the corner and playoff merchandise sales in full swing, quashing the competition (both on the field and off) will be top priority in weeks to come.
The club’s full complaint can be found here.