Today in sports: Ryan Braun became the first player ever to successfully appeal a positive drug test, President Obama's NBA-heavy fundraiser generated $2.1 million, and Jeremy Lin is now stimulating the American economy, one eBay auction at a time.
Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun will go down in baseball history as the first player to successfully appeal the results of a positive drug test. He also won't be suspended for the first 50 games of the upcoming season, which is good news for Brewers fans, since Braun is the reigning National League MVP. For Braun, last night's decision is a mixed bag at best. He avoids the suspension, but questions will follow him throughout his career. For MLB, the ruling is close to a disaster, explains ESPN The Magazine senior writer Buster Olney: "Since the March 17, 2005, hearing in front of Congress...MLB has diligently worked to strengthen and foster a stringent testing program," Olney writes. "Now, in the first instance in which an award-winning player tested positive, the player has won his appeal for the first time, raising a whole lot of questions." The sensible response would be changing the makeup of the 3-person appeals panel -- which currently consists of MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred, Players Association head Michael Weiner, and independent arbitrator Shyam Das -- and going with three impartial arbitrators, so the decision doesn't always come to down to how Das votes. But that will have to come later: a source tells ESPN that as of Friday afternoon MLB is "weighing the possibility" of filing a lawsuit in federal court to try and get the decision reversed. [ESPN.com]
President Obama pulled in $2.1 million at a fundraiser in Orlando last night hosted by Dallas Mavericks guard Vince Carter. Other NBA luminaries to attend the $30,000-a-head fundraiser included Magic Johnson, Alonzo Mourning, NBA commissioner David Stern, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul, former Miami Heat guard Steve Smith. [USA Today]
Two weeks ago, a Manhattan man named Yair Rozmaryn bought a Jeremy Lin rookie card on eBay for $1,000. On Thursday afternoon, he sold it for $21,580. For some reason, this has yet to result in Lincovery becoming a trending topic on Twitter. But there's still time. [Off the Dribble]
An NCAA rules oversight panel has voted to move kickoffs up five yards to the 35-yard-line for the upcoming season. The NFL did the same thing last year -- moving kickoffs from the 20 up to the 25 -- and the number of touchbacks spiked, but the number of concussions sustained by players covering kick returns declined. The other major rule change involves players losing helmets during the course of play, which for some reason was up 100 percent during the 2011, compared to the 2010 data. To combat this, the loss of a helmet will be treated just like an injury, with the player being forced to sit out the next play. [AP]