As most of you have probably heard by now, Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers has been suspended for the remainder of the 2013 season (including the playoffs that they’re not going to be in). At this point in the season that means that his suspension will total 65 games. Monetarily speaking Braun will lose just north of $3.4 million. That’s change in the couch for a guy like Braun, since he signed a contract extension in 2011 worth a whopping $105 million. Side note: Isn’t there something wrong with figures like that? One-Hundred and Five Million Dollars? Man, you could feed a small country for a year with that. But, their salaries are obviously our fault, and we all know this already, so I’ll stop traveling off topic and I’ll get back to the task at hand. If you aren’t aware of why this suspension is so fulfilling and unbelievably hysterical, let me fill you in. Ryan Braun won the MVP in 2011. Immediately following the announcement of this award, Braun provided Major League Baseball with a positive test for performance enhancing drugs. Even with a positive test out there, Braun continuously proclaimed his innocence and denied any and all use of said banned substances. He, being the sweetheart that he is, took it as far as personally attacking the man who collected the sample. The long and short of the story is that Braun did not get punished for said positive test because the man who collected the sample didn’t get it shipped out of his house in the allotted amount of time. So, Braun got off on what many have called a technicality. And rather than say thank you for getting the process right, and I didn’t do this and I’m glad our system prevailed, he went on and on and on and on in a speech for the ages. For those of you who haven’t seen this gem, click below:
Ryan Braun is a phenomenal liar if I do say so myself. I personally think he would make a fantastic double agent for the FBI or CIA. That speech right there is unbelievable. I don’t know about you, but I think he took it too far when he said he’d bet his life that these substances never entered his body. Or was it when he mentioned all the honor, integrity, and class he has? (HA!). While it is great to see such a dishonest and deceitful player get caught, it is simply not enough to change the culture of a seriously tainted sport. Now as a lifelong baseball fan, I applaud baseball for what they are trying to do. Major League Baseball (along with every major sport everywhere) has a serious drug problem, and it needs a cure. The fight against performing enhancing drugs is long overdue. The only problem is the problem is so deeply rooted, and the players have such a union set up that it will never allow such a profitable problem to be solved in its entirety. These guys make their fancy livings with the help of this stuff. And as long as the guy next to you is doing it than I guess you’ll be doing it too.
Join me as we travel back to reality. With the system we have in place in Major League Baseball and the knowledge that the union will never allow stiffer consequences for these actions, this problem will continue to persist. And that is exactly why this suspension means absolutely nothing. As of today, Ryan Braun is getting an 8 month vacation. Yes, it is unpaid but as I stated earlier that means nothing to him. He’ll go home and enjoy time with his family, and enjoy time away from a horrible baseball team. Sure his name will always be slightly tainted, but after watching that video from 2 years ago, I think he’ll be just fine. As far as the 65 game suspension goes, some of you might be wondering how they came to such a number? Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement states that if caught with banned substances you will incur penalties of first a 50-game suspension, second a 100-game suspension, and finally if caught a third time a lifetime ban from baseball. So what clearly happened with Braun was MLB came to Braun and his lawyers and said this is the evidence we have on you. The evidence must have been overwhelmingly in favor of MLB, because Braun folded like a cheap suit and basically asked for the handcuffs and said I’ll put them on myself. MLB obviously wanted the 100-game suspension if not more, but were not planning to accept the minimal 50-games. So with Braun standing there with his pants down, he must have plea bargained his way down to the rest of the season. That is how they landed on the unorthodox number of 65.
Then came the icing on the cake (Ryan Braun’s public statement from yesterday in response to the suspension) that you probably left in the back of your cabinet for 3 years and then thought it was okay to use. Please read now, and enjoy, the worst public statement in the history of mankind:
“As I have acknowledged in the past, I am not perfect. I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions. This situation has taken a toll on me and my entire family, and it is has been a distraction to my teammates and the Brewers organization. I am very grateful for the support I have received from players, ownership and the fans in Milwaukee and around the country. Finally, I wish to apologize to anyone I may have disappointed – all of the baseball fans especially those in Milwaukee, the great Brewers organization, and my teammates. I am glad to have this matter behind me once and for all, and I cannot wait to get back to the game I love.”
Did anyone else have a reversal of fortune after reading that horror story? Let’s take a quick look into that statement. ‘As I have acknowledged in the past, I am not perfect.’ Really? When was that acknowledgement again? I don’t remember ever hearing about that. ‘This situation has taken a toll on me and my entire family.’ No, not on you, just on everyone else involved except for you because you are the only reason this ordeal is taking place. I would continue translating and analyzing this thing of beauty, but I don’t want to be sick to my stomach all day. The bottom line is that this suspension is the first of many, and it is certainly a step in the right direction. The only problem is it is the equivalent of taking about 5 steps up Mount Everest.
Finally, you all must be wondering what this means for Alex Rodriguez. It means nothing good for A-Rod that’s what it means. Sources are already saying that A-Rod is in discussions with MLB to work out a deal. Hmmm, that doesn’t sound like good news now does it? He was supposed to be back in the Yankees lineup Monday night, but that was postponed due to a “slight quad strain”. Yeah, okay, and my grandma is a professional basketball player. The Yankees, or MLB, or someone obviously didn’t want Rodriguez to step on to the field this season. So they had a little talk with Alex and extended his stay on the disabled list. My prediction is that MLB drops the hammer on A-Rod before the weekend is done.
What do you think of Braun’s suspension? Do you think it is meaningful or insignificant? What do you think will become of Alex Rodriguez? Please let me know by leaving your comments and responses in the comment section below. Thank you!
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