What is mind boggling is the fact that Braun even needed to consider taking the PEDs (I repeat, I’m going with the widespread assumption that he did). Braun had recently extended his contract and is now contracted to the Brewers till 2020. Braun was a superstar, was loved by the Milwaukee fans, he was looked upon and admired, was the 2007 National Rookie of the Year and the 2011 National League MVP. Why did Braun of all people find the need to take the PEDs?
Braun’s record before 2011 was impressive with 25 home runs, 91 runs and 97 RBI in each of his first four seasons for the Brewers. Adding to the fact that Braun was the 5th overall draft pick in the MLB amateur draft and a batting average of .312 for his career. I just don’t get it. Braun had everything to lose; he had a career in the ascendency which makes it all the more unbelievable. I guess we would have to wait for the trail to take place before we know any answers; in his autobiography maybe.
This brings me to my second question that I have found an answer to. Do the performance enhancing drugs actually enhance performance? There is a very well written informative piece on specifically this issue, steroids-and-baseball.com. I request all of you to do give this piece a read. The writer has given a detailed insight into the major misconceptions surrounding the usage of PEDs. It was an enlightening piece that is structured around baseball specifically.
What happens with Ryan Braun happens but what are the implications of his actions on the sport at large? This issue no doubt brings baseball into the limelight for all the wrong reasons and has put a black spot on what was going be a great year for baseball when compared to that of its two nearest competitors; NFL and the NBA, both of which have been through lockouts and not without their fair share of controversies regarding the issues of headshots in the NFL and the Chris Paul incident in the NBA.
Does this take the MLB back into the steroid era? Not really but it will have severe implications nonetheless. The credibility of the sport is at stake here. Imagine next season a player hits a couple of home runs on the trot and immediately there will be whispers within the crowd labeling the player as being on steroids. Rivalries will heat up and every hard working player who improves him game will be discredited and labeled as a cheat. Of course this is all senseless but can you stop people from speaking? And before you know it there will be rumblings about cheating and every losing fan will have his take on every opposing player. Things will get ugly no doubt.
I have a humble request to all my fellow fans, let’s just give Braun the benefit of the doubt until the appeal process is over and then we can form opinions depending on the outcome. But one thing is for sure, MLB has taken a step forward and two backwards after this Braun incident.