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Ryan Howard's 'setback'? Is Ryan Braun innocent? Reunited Jeff Carter & Mike Richards to tear up Sunset Strip

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Joe Vallee's TWO MINUTE DRILL 

The good people at P2P have decided to give you our accurate and sometimes humorous (at least we think so) thoughts on some local sports topics in a brief 120 seconds. It really shouldn't take any longer than that to read. And if it does, "I really need to do a better job of putting my readers in a better position to read faster."

Ryan Howard's 'setback'?

Phillies’ injured slugger Ryan Howard is travelling back up north to have his achilles examined.  Howard recently developed a seroma on his injured leg, which is fluid buildup near the incision after surgery. Although Charlie Manuel claims this is a setback, GM Ruben Amaro downplayed the situation, stating the examination was not an uncommon routine and that it was planned for a while.

I wouldn’t look too much into this. Although the Phils said Howard was ahead of schedule, I was surprised that he has even been able to take ground balls after watching him go down the way he did last October in the NLDS. Furthermore, Howard was seen taking batting practice Saturday morning. The Phillies would obviously not allow their $125 million dollar man anywhere near the cages if they thought it was detrimental to his rehab.

Is Ryan Braun Innocent?Braun photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

For the life of me, I really can’t put my finger on the whole Ryan Braun scandal. An arbitrator ruled in Brain’s favor on Thursday night, overturning what would have been a 50-game suspension for the use of banned substances.

However, it’s hard to believe things are that cut and dry. Questions remain all-around. Is Major League Baseball’s system flawed? Is Braun a self-righteous, spoiled athlete who has never heard the word ‘no’ and is going through hula hoops just to make some FedEx people look really bad? Why does he have the highest recorded level of testosterone in the history of baseball drug testing?  Does former Brewers owner Bud Selig have any kind of hand in this?

Chances are you’ll never know the real story, but fact of the matter is, the urine sample Braun taken on October 1st was not delivered by FedEx until October 3rd. That is a violation of baseball’s drug agreement. I’m no doctor, so I don’t know the difference between a urine sample over the span of several days, but a technicality is a technicality, and Braun (or his legal team) called MLB on it.

By all accounts, Braun is a likeable, stand-up guy and you want to believe him. Not for his reputation, but for the game itself. The National League MVP getting suspended 50 games to start the season sounds like something out of a bad HBO series and is a black eye either way you spin it.  

I’m sure some players want to believe Braun, but you’re not going to be able to convince everybody. Furthermore, this will almost surely open the floodgates for players who fail drug tests in the future. Either way, Braun will have to prove himself more than ever in 2012 and beyond, or all the doubters will say ‘I told you so.’

Somewhere, J.C. Romero is fuming.

'Richie and Cartsie do L.A.'

And finally, I must admit I had to do a triple take when I saw former Flyer Jeff Carter’s name on Google Trends a few days ago. As luck would have it, Carter was traded to the Kings , where he is reunited with none other than Mike Richards, his former teammate (and fellow wingman).

Carter, who wasn’t remotely close to anything you would call a beach out in Columbus, must feel like he’s died and gone to heaven, as he will most likely move into Richards’ place in Manhattan Beach.

Now I’m all for Philly nightlife, but there’s something about Carter and Richards on the Sunset Strip that has ‘Reality Show’ written ALL over it.  Picture this: ‘Richie and Cartsie do L.A.’  Wow. Could go SO many places with that.

All I know is, if the Kings win the cup before the Flyers, it’s going to suck beyond our wildest tortured sports nightmare. And we don’t need vivid imaginations in Philly when it comes to heartache with our teams.

 

Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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