BRAUN NO BRAIN

     As badly as the 2011 season ended in Boston, in my mind it hardly compares to the anguish the fans of the Milwaukee Brewers are facing right now.  The MVP of the National League, Ryan Braun has allegedly tested positive for performance enhanching drugs and faces a possible 50 game suwpension.  Braun, the first Milwaukee MVP since Robin Yount in 1989 is appealing the findings.  There has never been a successful appeal in Major League Baseball.

     Imagine the face of the Red Sox, Dustin Pedroia.  How devastated would you be if he were the one?  Both are former Rookies of the Year and of course Pedey was the 2008 American League MVP.  Thank goodness it isn’t someone in a Boston  uniform.  We should know by now that you can’t tell what’s in a mans’ heart.  You can know someone and still have no idea what they are up to.  

     Bud Selig made a remark a couple of years back saying that drug testing in baseball was better than in any other sport.  He added that everyone from Ryan Howard to Ryan Braun was “clean”.  Rather ironic.  A friend asked me the other day if I would take the PED’s if I knew it would get me to the Major Leagues and bring me the millions of dollars that are part of the package.  It’s easy for me to say “no”, knowing that I will never be faced with that conundrum.  If I sit and think about it, though, I wonder.  Could I resist the temptation?  Toiling in the anonymity of the minor leagues is not easy.  I know.  I’ve been there for 11 years.  I’ve seen guys come and go with varying degrees of success.  I may be naive, but I like to think that they have all worked honestly and diligently, without the help of PEDs.  Tbat is not realistic.  Some guys have gotten the push they need from steroids or human growth hormones.  Some have been caught and others have gotten away with it.  Braun had never been implicated before.  Now he will forever have that cloud hanging over his head.  It is a bell that can’t be “unrung.”

     Baseball can’t afford to have one of its’ young stars involved in this.  We all hoped that the era was over with the likes of Clemens, Palmeiro, Bonds and McGwire.  I guess it isn’t.  Either lift the ban and let these guys take whatever they want and face the health consequences, or make it so painful and costly if they’re caught, that they feel it for years to come.  That may be the only way to clean up the game.

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