Don’t hate the man. Hate the fact perfection…always pursued…isn’t always achieved.
NL MVP Ryan Braun will not be suspended for failing to adhere to the drug testing rules of Major League Baseball.
We don’t know if he was trying to beat the system or not. Frankly, considering the practice of medicine is called just that – practice – you can easily take the stance that you NEVER know if someone was using performance-enhancing material or not. That’s why I’ve always been quite lax in even attempting to enforce this kind of stuff. My position is we need to end these kinds of tests, not ramp them up. We could go back and forth on that all day long.
Staying on point with Braun’s situation, when I heard the news his appeal was approved my mind flashed to an entry I read in a book some years back…of all books…“God’s Little Daily Devotional.”
This religious passage stayed with me all this time because I preach from the podium of a “zero defect mentality” in the workplace. It is a way of thinking that allows for the indisputable fact human beings make errors. This mentality just reinforces and emphasizes the equally indisputable fact any error along the way can have significant repercussions.
Keep in mind these stats are from a decade or so ago…but you’ll get the concept soon enough. At a 99.9 percent success rate…
The IRS would lose two million documents a year.
Twelve babies would be given to the wrong parents each day.
Some 291 pacemaker operations would be performed incorrectly a year.
Approximately 20,000 prescriptions would be incorrectly filled.
The reason for bringing all this up is the stories are now creeping out that Ryan was not appealing evidence, tampering of evidence…or even the science of medicine (which I continue to maintain is a good enough reason to look the other way on a lot of this). His appeal was based on the collection and subsequent chain of custody with the sample.
People will hammer away this morning at baseball’s drug testing system…how terribly flawed it is. What I am presenting here is any “system” is flawed. There is no zero defect industry, especially when it comes to medicine.
Maybe the sample wasn’t walked through the process 100%. Ryan Braun had every right to appeal the decision to suspend him based on that singular fact. If it wasn’t followed correctly, he correctly should not be suspended. The person who allegedly broke the sample chain of custody should be. Human beings make mistakes…consequences follow to reinforce their impact.
Perhaps Ryan Braun made a mistake. Perhaps MLB’s drug testing system made a mistake.
Perhaps Ryan Braun was innocent from the beginning. Perhaps Ryan Braun was knowingly in violation of baseball’s drug policy.
We were going to be discussing Braun’s situation regardless of the outcome of his appeal. The fact he won it, apparently because of a failure of one or more human beings to do their job, isn’t necessarily what people should be focused on this morning.
What should be the focus this morning is how a drug testing system – if MLB and its players continue to feel strongly about maintaining it – can be improved to further reduce the rate of incidence another, similar failure might occur.
But mistakes do happen. They always will.
Nothing Ryan Braun did – or didn’t do – will ever change that fact of life. God knows.
The truth of the matter is the truth is only known between Ryan Braun and…well, you know…