Busted.

23 Jul

ryan_braun_busted

In a baseball context, Ryan Braun’s “day of reckoning has come” and rightly so. Still trying to absorb and process the information learned over the last 24 hours, one thing is for certain- Ryan Braun will no longer play baseball in 2013 and will forfeit approximately $3.25M in salary. Unless you’ve been living in a sporting world abyss, you’ll probably be familiar with the topic of this post. Yesterday, July 22 2013, Major League Baseball suspended Milwaukee Brewer left fielder Ryan Braun for the remainder of the 2013 season for his connection and involvement with the Biogenesis Clinic of Miami, FL. By not appealing and instead releasing a public statement, Braun effectively admitted guilt to his tie with performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). Major League Baseball nor Braun have explained a definitive reason for suspension, however, it is believed to be the result of “non-analytic positives”-violations without a failed drug test.

Reaction to the news within the media has been about as harsh as one would expect. Zero sympathy. Public image and legacy ruined forever. Probably be treated as if he were a convicted felon by baseball fans the rest of his career. On a personal level, I’m still trying to process my own feelings. Back in February 2012 I wrote on this blog how relieved I was to see him exonerated from a failed drug test accusation. Now, as I sit here today I realize he did indeed get over by technicality. Has he been a chronic PED user? Yes. Are his statistics the result of PEDs? I don’t know. I’m currently under the belief that PED usage helped Braun mainly in the way of fatigue and injury recovery. I don’t have any basis for this theory except that his career statistics have been a virtual straight line while having very few injuries. Again, it’s merely my opinion and I’m sure over the months ahead many many others will generate their own.

Does Ryan Braun owe me an apology? No. Despite a great acting performance during that press conference in February 2012, I don’t know him from any other professional athletes let alone on a personal level. But as sports fan and a fan of the Milwaukee Brewers baseball club, I am allowed to be disappointed. I’m allowed to feel sad. I feel that way because a man resigned to cheating in order to obtain a greater reward from his occupation. I have no idea whether that reward was monetary compensation, team success, or personal glory. This incident simply reinforces the idea that some athletes will. This incident reminds us that we do not know these athletes except for the sporting “characters” they play. We cheer for them because they play for the teams we love. When they have success we want to know them on such intimate levels because of the way we feel. And when they make poor decisions we question why we cheered for them in the first place. We ask ourselves ‘Would I do the same thing?’ In the meantime, my #8 Milwaukee Brewers alternate road jersey will simply continue to hang in my closet, unsure if it will ever be worn again.

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