Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Vilification of Ryan Braun or a Lack Thereof

By now most of us Baseball fans have been bombarded with the news of NL MVP Ryan Braun facing a 50-game suspension for the failure of a drug test. The lead story was presented by ESPN reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and T.J. Quinn. In their article Ryan Braun tests positive for PED, they report that according to sources that Braun was found to have an elevated testosterone level. Braun has maintained his innocence and is appealing the findings.

Ok, so where are the cries of outrage from the mountaintop. Sure, there are some that are calling for him to be stripped of the MVP award (which based on comments from some Baseball writers who have an MVP vote he won't be stripped) but many of those are coming from those who thought Matt Kemp should have won the award. What I find interesting is that there are many out there who are taking a stance of cautious comments rather than yelling that Braun is a cheater and guilty. Why is that.

I'm not saying that Braun should be vilified, but why isn't he being vilified as Rafael Palmiero, Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez were and still are. With the exception of McGwire (who was, and still is in certain areas, one of the most beloved figures in Baseball history), the other five were arrogant, vain, conceited and therefore vilified and treated as if they were guilty from the beginning of the allegations of their steroid/PED use. It is irrelevant for this discussion whether they were guilty or not (which we now know they were for Palmiero, Bonds, Rodriguez and Ramirez) but have we as Baseball fans moved on from the finger pointing, prognosticating and perceived judgments? Or is it as simple as Ryan Braun being a nice guy and a humble well respected figure unlike such arrogant individuals like the aforementioned Bonds, Rodriguez, Clemens and Palmiero. Maybe perception is everything.

The question is, what will the perception of Ryan Braun be after this situation. Will he be vindicated? Will he continue to be respected if it is found to be true that he indeed took a synthetic testosterone willingly? If not taken willingly, will people disregard it as a mistake and give him a free pass though many of the same people refuse to do so in terms of Bonds who claims he took what he took due to a trainer's advice and Palmiero who said it came from a B-12 shot? I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens with the appeal.


For Further Reading:
- Click here to access Will Carroll's article What we know and what we don't know about Braun's positive test for an informative explanation on what is going and what we might expect to come in the future regarding Braun's failed test from dated November 11, 2011

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1 comment:

  1. cross posted-