Ryan Braun's Suspension and Why You're Overreacting.
For now, it means many people are being self-righteous a**holes. Buster Olney called for Ryan Braun to apologize to the 2011 Arizona Diamondbacks for playing well against them in the NLDS. Bob Brainerd, a Wisconsin sports personality, wouldn't let his son buy a Braun jersey and used this as justification. Mark Mulder was just an all out idiot. These are just a few of the many examples out there on Twitter.
Here's reality. Performance enhancing drug (PED) use happens. It happens a lot. Many of baseballs greats in the past 30 years are tied to it, as are many of the "who the heck is that guy" players are. Offensive lineman in football are running sub 5.0 40 second dashes. Everyone in track and cycling is on PEDs. It happens and we need to just deal with it, and here's how - it doesn't matter.
Cheating, as Lance Armstrong noted in his interview with Oprah, is gaining an advantage on your competition. If (almost) every one is doing it, its not cheating. We know PED use is widespread. Its time for us to not recognize this as cheating. Instead, our concern should be with player health, which health studies will likely never be able to keep up with.
For Ryan Braun this suspension really isn't all too bad. He's losing the least amount of money over 65 games he would lose over any part of his contract. Financially, this is okay for him. He also has a bad thumb and the Brewers are a lost cause this year. He'll take on a bunch of self-righteous zealots, but new hatable figures will come out and the media and fans will move on. Unlike Bonds and Clemens and others, Braun has years to gain fans back. He'll likely end in a decent standing with fans and media and this will be remembered as a bump in the road.
For the Brewers this suspension isn't all too bad either. The Brewers kind of suck. Pat and Eric ranked them 27th of 30 team this week. Its fair. Ultimately, this gives the Brewers a chance at better prospects than they'd get normally in a lost year. A pretty good deal really, unless you're employed by Brewers Public Relations.
In the end, today means Ryan Braun will deal with over the top hatred which he won't have to deal with until 2014 away games. It also means the team he's on could be better in the remaining years of his contract. All in all, its hard to say Braun or anyone really loses except that MLB thinks their witch hunts are justified. And that is the real problem MLB and Bud Selig has, themselves.