Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Brauny?

Hi everybody.

So over the last few years--since I moved back to Wisconsin, really--I've become more of a sports fan. I discovered that the Milwaukee Brewers weren't terrible anymore (in fact, they reached the playoffs for the first time since I was 7 years old). A few years later, I met my now-girlfriend, and she got me more interested in baseball again. That was 2011, and the Brewers went on to win their first Division title since I was a kid, and came within a couple games of going to the World Series. A major factor of the Brewers' success was the offensive production of their extremely potent 3-4 punch in Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder. It was very exciting.

Then Fielder left for free agency. And then it came out that Braun was facing a suspension for testing positive for exogenic testosterone (or something like that). Braun fiercely maintained his innocence, and I was one of the many Brewers fans who bought into his stories. I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, that there was something going on that explained the positive result.

But MLB kept going after him. There was the Biogenesis thing, which had made a couple of cryptic references to Braun, and then MLB cut a deal with the former owner of the clinic. Then rumors came out that a suspension was imminent, anywhere from 50 games to a lifetime ban. And now, it's official: 65 game ban, effective immediately.

Braun issued a generic apology, which basically amounts to "mistakes were made." As a fan who has been lied to repeatedly for the last year and a half, I'm not satisfied. I believe pretty strongly in second chances and in redemption. Lord knows how much shit I've got on my soul over the past 38 years of imperfect existence. But I also believe pretty strongly that you gotta own up to that shit.

Braun, the Brewers, and MLB seem to be content to leave it at "mistakes were made," and that that should provide enough closure for us to "put this whole thing behind us." But I don't think it works that way. What exactly did Braun do? What did he take? How much and for how long? Why didn't he come clean sooner? Why did he lie to the press, to his fans? Why did he throw the MLB tester guy under the bus? The more of these questions he can answer, the more willing I will be to forgive him and move on.

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