Monday, July 22, 2013

RYAN BRAUN SUSPENSION A BIG DEAL? THINK AGAIN


Liar. Cheater. Fraud. In the court of public opinion, Ryan Braun is riding around the
block on a bike with Lance Armstrong. The former MVP of the Milwaukee Brewers, after
years  of denials and blaming a FedEx man for a failed drug test,  got nabbed by MLB
for his PED use.

After he learned of his suspension which will last for the rest of the season, Braun admitted,
in a carefully crafted statement,  he made mistakes, which was a far cry from his press
conference two years ago when he smeared the reputation of a FedEx man and defiantly
stated that he would  never put anything in his system Yeah, like we haven't heard that one
from any athletes in the past.


Braun's reputation has been tainted forever and his stats, like many juiced up players
before him, mean absolutely nothing. Nothing. But don't think for a second that Braun and
his career are doomed and can't be resurrected

First of all, he's made almost $22 million and is owed a mind-boggling $143 million. That's
more than the Yankees owe Alex Rodriguez, who will most likely follow Braun to cheaterville
(again) on Tuesday for his role in the Biogenesis scandal. Braun loses some nice coin for the
rest of the season, but MLB, nor the Brewers can touch what Braun is owed from next year on
out. His contract, like those of all MLB players, is fully guaranteed.


Once his contract runs out in 2021, Braun will have more money than he'll know what to do
with. So, the risk was more than worth it, don't you think? Yes, there is shame, but the sports
world has provided plenty of it, and a failed drug test is no big deal, especially in baseball.
Sad, but true.

Bartolo Colon failed a drug test last season and was suspended for 50-games. Yet, there were
the Oakland A's with a $3 million contract for a pitcher who could eat up a lot of innings.
At 40-years-old, Colon has done more than that. He's 13-3 with a stunning 2.55 ERA. Colon
made the all-star team and has helped Oakland to the AL West division lead. That failed
drug test? Just a faded memory.


Melky Cabrera and Marlon Byrd got busted for PED use and suspended for 50-games. Ah,
but the Toronto Blue Jays gave Cabrera a contract worth $16 million and the New York Mets
took a flier on Byrd, who has belted 16 home runs. Failed drug test? What failed drug test?

Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was outed as a drug cheat several years ago, his name allegedly
appearing on that list of 103 who tested positive for PED's. Do fans in Boston care? Hardly.
As long as they get some power from Big Papi and he continues to smile and say all the
right things, it's all good, right?

Manny Ramirez failed more drug tests than Aaron Hernandez did in college, but even at
the age of 41, the Texas Rangers got amnesia and signed him to a minor-league contract.
Steroids? What steroids? We must have 'misremembered.'

 
 
Nobody has made a big deal about Colon, Cabrera, Byrd, and their cheating ways. They
are still employed, well-paid, and cheered by the fans. They get to go the park every day,
play a kids game, and cash checks that most of us can only dream about it. Was it worth
the risk and the embarrassment of getting caught? Yep, that's food for thought.

As long as MLB has their ridiculous policy of 50-games for first offenders, 100-games
for a second, and banishment for a third, players will continue to gamble with PED's.
Just about everybody in the game plays for that one big contract, the one that sets them
up for life. Braun will have earned almost $190 million when it's all said and done. That's
insane.

Google the number of minor-league players who have been suspended for PED use. There
isn't enough space on this page to list all the drug cheats But they'll keep trying to push the
envelope if it means making the big leagues and getting that set-for-life contract. BALCO
and the Biogenesis clinic may have been shut down, but that won't stop another scientist
from trying to make a name for himself and hit it big with a PED that is undetectable. The
chemists are always ahead of the testers. Always have been, always will be.

Players also know that if a career ends with the stain of PED use, there still might be a place
for them in the game.. Mark McGwire, who along with Sammy Sosa, duped all of us in
1998 with their home run chase, admitted to PED use.


Big Mac said he was sorry, shed a few tears for the MLB Network, and got back into the
game as the hitting coach with St. Louis before hooking on with the Los Angeles.

Like Colon, Cabrera, and Byrd, McGwire should star in a commercial where he blurts out,
"I LOVE THIS GAME".

Will fans, particularly the ones in Milwaukee, love Braun when he takes the field for the
season opener in 2014? Probably. Baseball fans are both stupid and forgiving. During the
Pittsburgh drug trial in 1985, Keith Hernandez testified that he bought and used cocaine
heavily for a three year period. When he was introduced later that night for the New York
Mets, the fans gave him a standing ovation. Ridiculous.


A lot of people have been cheering for Colon during his hard-to-believe season and Met
fans love Marlon Byrd. I'm sure after Braun belts his first home run next season all will be
forgiven. That's just the way it seems to work. Some people are so intoxicated by celebrity,
they get stupid.

It's been well-documented that while many players use PED's, only the dumb ones got
caught. Braun's ego and arrogance affected his thinking. Now he has to pay the price.  MLB
is trying hard to clean up the game, but PED's still very much exist in it, and probably will
until they bounce one of the cheats out of the game for good.

Somewhere, Jose Canseco must be laughing hard.

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