Tag Archives: Ryan Braun

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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Hiatus over. Exoneration?

24 Feb

Wow, what a day to pick up writing a blog again.  I take a couple months off and this is the day I return?  A big day in the world of sports, more specifically, Major League Baseball.  Why is today so interesting you ask?  The 2011 Major League Baseball National League Most Valuable Player and Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun held a news conference to discuss his winning his appeal of a positive drug test from October 1, 2011.

I’ll say it again, wow.  My first reaction to the news that came down late yesterday afternoon was relief.  I thought to myself- One of my favorite baseball players is not a cheater, thank you God.  As more information came out, the public’s rationale was that he received ruling in his favor due to a technicality in the delivery of the drug testing sample.  Apparently the courier used by Major League Baseball didn’t ship the sample via FedEx on the day the sample was taken, instead retaining it for 44 hours in their possession.  After absorbing all the information and hundreds of comments from random anonymous baseball fans, doubt crept into my head.  Did he really take drugs and just got lucky that a courier screwed up?  If I wear my #8 jersey will people think I support athletes who use drugs?  I spent an uneasy night, partially due to the amount of emotion I spent on the sport of baseball last year and more specifically, the Milwaukee Brewers.  I even felt sad for awhile.  How could this person do this to his fans?

Today Ryan Braun made a 12 minute statement to the media and held a Q&A session afterwards.  Composed anger is a way I’d describe his demeanor after listening to the opening statement.  At one point I thought he’d lose his fortitude when he described how this had personally affected his well being.  Either he’s Major League Baseball’s greatest thespian or this was someone who indeed had the truth on his side and wasn’t afraid to let it out during a speech.  Needless to say, as a fan, I felt reassurance.  I don’t know Ryan Braun anymore than any other professional athlete, so all we have for character judgement is their actions within their sport and the manner in which they speak for themselves.  Today Ryan Braun conducted himself with outstanding poise in the midst of a situation I cannot even fathom.  Today I think a professional sports’ appeals process got it right.  Today I believe Ryan Braun.  I hope one day we’ll all know the truth.

Congrats to the 2011 MLB National League MVP!

22 Nov

Milwaukee Brewers LF Ryan Braun has been named the 2011 MLB National League Most Valuable Player, as voted by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA).  Braun is the 3rd player in Milwaukee Brewers history to the win the award, joining Rollie Fingers (1981) and Robin Yount (1982 at SS, 1989 at CF).

Fantastic end to a fantastic season by #8, couldn’t be any happier for him.

29 years in the making

26 Sep

Congrats to the 2011 Milwaukee Brewers baseball club for winning the NL Central Division after a 29 year gap since their last title.  In the age of big spending baseball, it’s very tough to cheer for the smallest market in professional baseball, but that’s what I get for growing up playing baseball in the small(er) city of Milwaukee, WI.  It just goes to show when the right owner comes along with the right general manager, success can happen to even the “Davids” of the world.

Once again, Ryan Braun provided the key hit in the most dramatic of situations.  He hit a 3-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning against the Marlins, which was eerily similar to the same situation just 3 years earlier when he hit a bottom eight 2-run knock against the Cubs, helping the Brewers to the 2008 NL Wild Card.

Unbelievable!