By Andy Burdick
Ryan Braun shouted his innocence from the mountaintops until yesterday.
On an evening when the Pirates may have lost their All-Star closer for an undetermined amount of time, Ryan Braun’s PED suspension for the remainder of the season wasn’t, or shouldn’t have been, on the forefront of Pirates fans’ minds.
Before I discuss how I feel about Braun’s suspension and most recent statements, let’s look at his statements which he so boldly made after his 50 game suspension was overturned in 2012 for elevated levels of testosterone.
“This is all B.S. I am completely innocent.”
“If I’d done this intentionally or unintentionally, I’d be the first one to step up and say, ‘I did it.'”
“I truly believe in my heart and I would bet my life that this substance never entered my body at any point.”
“We were able to get through this because I am innocent and the truth is on our side.”
“I have been an open book, willing to share details from every aspect of my life as part of this investigation, because I have nothing to hide.”
Those are all Braun quotes pre-successful suspension. One thing is for certain, the man is looking out for himself. Not for his teammates, ball club, or Major League Baseball. Ryan Braun, in the face of overwhelming evidence against him, looked at everyone and lied to protect himself.
And just in case you missed it, here’s video of him doing it:
Ryan Braun, who so vehemently denied PED use, thanked his teammates, family, friends, athletes in other sports, and his fans for supporting him, was the first one to flip for a deal. Ryan Braun, who would tell anyone who would listen that he never used performance enhancing drugs and publicly crushed a urine sample collector as the cheater while betting his life that HGH never entered his body just gave a medicinal peddler’s notebook and testimony credit in cornering much less popular names from his list.
He was already unpopular among his peers, who knew he skated on a technicality. Now that small circle of players who were in the same boat as Braun and couldn’t pass judgement are probably not very happy that the face of Major League Baseball’s PED hunt sang like a canary in a lost season for the Brewers. He basically left those other players on the list hung out to dry. Alex Rodriguez has a lot bigger problems now that Braun has thrown in the towel. After being cornered by Major League Baseball, of course.
Ryan Braun apologized to anyone he disappointed, not for looking right at them and lying. I’d ask, quite frankly, how much would an apology from a guy who would look you in the eye and tell you a bold-faced lie be worth?
But he’ll earn every jeer from fans that he receives for the rest of his career. I won’t criticize fans one bit when they boo him, which they will for a long time. And every time that someone asks whether Chris Davis or Miguel Cabrera are juicing, they know why. And they should know why, no matter how many times they deny it, people will still have a difficult time believing them.