I normally don’t like to write about negative stories, but this is different. As most of you have heard 2011 NL MVP and the face of the Milwaukee Brewer franchise, Ryan Braun, tested positive for PED’s. Braun, a man who was entering the prime of his career, had a season for the ages. He batted .332 with 33 HR’s and 111 RBI, 33 SB’s and a OBP of .397. Braun also won NL Rookie of the Year in 2007 and has been a Silver Slugger Award winner the past four years.
It was reported yesterday by ESPN’s “Outside the Lines”, that Braun had tested positive for PED’s and had known that he tested positive a month before he won the NL MVP. Braun is not Manny Ramirez. He doesn’t have an established legacy. Personally, I don’t care that Ramirez took steroids because he was one of the greatest hitters of the 1990s.
Braun is a solid hitter and does have some power. He has tremendous bat speed and can hit to all parts of the field. But now he will be put in the same category as Rafael Palmeiro, and we all know how that has turned out for Palmeiro. Personally, Braun is not a favorite player of mine but I think he is a good baseball player. This test just angers me. You win a MVP, that you should not have won, and a month later you test positive for PED’s, then you want to appeal that test? Matt Kemp clearly had the better season but his team was nowhere near as good as Braun’s.
Let’s not forget that Braun had a great postseason. He batted .405 with 2 HR’s and 10 RBI and 7 doubles in 11 games. So what do we make of his playoff performance? Moot. Why Braun? In an age where, we thought that, we were done with the positive PED tests, a MVP tests positive. I would say that Braun is a pretty big figure in baseball. As far as players that can do it all, he is right behind Matt Kemp, Troy Tulowitzki, Hanley Ramirez, Robinson Cano, and Jacoby Ellsbury. I don’t know why he would stoop to a level so low, a level that has taken away accomplishments, Hall of Fame status, and integrity of the game of baseball.
I have lost respect for someone who had a magnificent season and helped his team get to the NL Championship Series. But all that hard work has gone to waste. All that time spent in the batting cage, weight room, and training room has been for nothing. If you take PED’s, you will get caught. Perhaps he should have spent his offseason studying baseball history.
Braun now joins Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Alex Rodriguez, and [Manny] Ramirez in select baseball company. Not in the Hall of Fame, but in the Hall of PED’s.