At 28, Ryan Braun was supposed to be a leader of baseball’s young stars, free from the cloud of suspicion that haunted the great hitters of the steroid era. That makes Braun’s failed drug test, triggered by enormous amounts of artificial testosterone in his system, both shocking and disappointing. Cynics, of course, will point out that Alex Rodriguez held a similar title before he was busted for steroids, but Braun’s failed test raises a number of uniquely polarizing questions.
For failing the random test during the playoffs, Braun is set to receive a 50 game suspension at the start of next season. Braun’s camp is appealing the suspension, but it is unlikely to be overturned. Many fans and baseball insiders are calling for Braun to make even larger concessions, should the appeal fall flat. Specifically, many hope that he will be forced to return the award
Sure, there is no historical precedent for a player being forced to return an MVP award, but there is also no precedent for a player being busted before they have even received the physical trophy. People calling for Braun to give up the award are adamant that he won because he cheated, and feel that MLB has an opportunity to make a strong statement about its drug program. On the other hand, if Braun loses the MVP, shouldn’t Barry Bonds lose any of the awards he won from 2001-2004? Also, Braun failed a postseason drug test, and we are actively reminded every year that the MVP is a regular-season award.
What do you feel baseball’s response to Braun should be? How do you think we should feel as fans? How should MLB respond?