Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011

Ryan Braun tests positive for something bad - story unfolding

By Nicole
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Sorry this is just now being posted. I was in Madison for the night last night and couldn't access the blog mobile-y. Here's the thing - this story is so damn jumbled I'm not sure I can write you a coherent post about it. The entire thing is based on leaked information - this is stuff that the public should never have known about. So automatically we have to question every bit. The person that leaked it got paid big money to do so. Secondly, the details keep changing. First we were told Braun tested positive for Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs). Now the story is that it was not PEDs, but a banned substance. However, steroids fall under the banned substance heading. So we don't know what that detail means or changes for the story. For his own part, Braun is vehemently denying everything - to the extent that he can. He's basically under a gag order, which is likely for his own good. But he's talked to some press off the record - J-S Brewers beat writer says Braun texted him last night and told him off the record that its not true and will be exonerated. Of course, Haudricourt quoted Braun and repeated everything he says Braun told him - so I'm not sure what part of that was off the record. Haudricourt also reported that Braun vehemently denied the reports - via text message. How you can get that sort of tone off a text or two is beyond me. For my own part - I'm in wait and see mode. I very much want it not to be true, obviously. I can't get made yet. Maybe it's naive or homerish of me, but I just can't believe this of Ryan Braun. And I don't mean that because I have Braun on some sort of pedestal - its based on my opinion of the type of person he's presented himself to be. What I mean is, he's incredibly aware of his status and his career. He's incredibly careful with what he says and how he presents himself. He seems very savvy. I'd be shocked if he were to do something so blatantly stupid and idiotic. Nothing in the way he's carried and presented himself up to this point would indicate that he'd take the kind of chance that taking PEDs/banned substances would present. I understand that I could be totally wrong. But it doesn't seem to add up. The whole story actually feels a little wonky to me. Why would ESPN break the story 5 or so minutes prior to the Heisman presentation - an event they air and sponsor? And then there was "new information" that broke pretty much exactly as the Heisman presentation was over. The "new information" was that Braun requested a second test after the failed first one and he passed that test. That's incredibly interesting and pertinent information that ESPN held on to for at least 35 minutes after breaking the initial story. I was a little shocked how quickly the public turned nasty toward Braun. I suppose a lot of that was knee-jerk and it has calmed somewhat as these new details have murkied the water a bit, but folks that I consider hard-core fans that are well-informed were talking about not renewing season tickets, never watching again and hating Braun forever. The Twitter-verse was awash with folks - including former players and some media types, saying that Braun should be stripped of the NL MVP. That award is actually owned by the Baseball Writers of American Association, not the MLB and they say no, it will not be stripped. There is not any precedent for stripping awards. Barry Bonds still has his. The Baseball Writers Association of America, who votes on the award, will not strip Braun of his MVP if he gets suspended. "I got the same question after Ken Caminiti came clean about his steroids usage, and whether we should give the 1996 MVP award instead to (second-place finisher) Mike Piazza," BBWAA secretary-treasurer Jack O'Connell told The Los Angeles Times. "The answer is no."
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