Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Ryan Braun's 65 Game Suspension is a Slap on the Wrist

"Wait, the papers were photoshopped. I didn't do it!"

Yes, a slap on the wrist. A 65 games suspension is nothing to a guy who will still make millions of dollars in his career and who got out of a failed test by humiliating the tester and lying to the public, his teammates, and the Milwaukee Brewers front office. He stood before the public after he was let off the hook and reiterated how clean he was- his version of Rafael Palmeiro’s wagging finger speech before Congress.

Ryan Braun is no good guy. He's just the opposite of that. His arrogant denials and his haughty attitude just make him a clone of Lance Armstrong. The seemingly random number of games chosen is solely based on the evidence MLB and authorities collected from the Biogenesis Clinic that Braun had an association with. You know that Bud Selig would have liked to have slapped Braun with a much longer penalty, but his hands were tied.

I’m disappointed/angry that the statement Braun read (see next paragraph) to the public on Monday contained no specific words of his wrongdoing. It was just the usual, “I made mistakes” BS that athletes and politicians like to throw around.  And of course instead of just saying I’m sorry, Braun threw in a variation of the nonsensical “If I offended/disappointed anyone” (I also don’t like the fact either that the public isn’t privy to exactly what was found in the seized Biogenesis materials.)

"As I have acknowledged in the past, I am not perfect," Braun said in a statement. "I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions. This situation has taken a toll on me and my entire family, and it has been a distraction to my teammates and the Brewers organization. I am very grateful for the support I have received from players, ownership and the fans in Milwaukee and around the country.

"Finally, I wish to apologize to anyone I may have disappointed -- all of the baseball fans especially those in Milwaukee, the great Brewers organization, and my teammates. I am glad to have this matter behind me once and for all, and I cannot wait to get back to the game I love."

Unfortunately, MLB’s statement was equally ridiculous.  Rob Manfred released the following statement in response to the announcement of the suspension:

“We commend Ryan Braun for taking responsibility for his past actions. We all agree that it is in the best interests of the game to resolve this matter. When Ryan returns, we look forward to him making positive contributions to Major League Baseball, both on and off the field."

There was no "taking responsibility". This was a plea deal just like any court case. Braun knew the Brewers were going nowhere this year so he decided he would take the suspension now and quickly put this all behind by the time next year's regular season starts. Braun knew that things might get a whole lot worse for him if he appealed the suspension.

Reports are that MLB has a lot more information on Alex Rodriguez's connection with Biogenesis and therefore a longer suspension will be handed down. Rumors are that it will be 100 or more games next year. Then it's up to A-Rod to decide whether to appeal or not. Most likely he is already working a plea deal as well with MLB. There is also the possibility that A-Rod’s suspension could begin this year and run into next season.   

Will this stop future cheaters? Time will tell.

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