Sunday, December 11, 2011
Thoughts on Ryan Braun
In fact, that might be the most mind-blowing fact to me about the entire Ryan Braun saga; that it took over a month for the story to be leaked. In October, Ryan Braun apparently failed a performance-enhancing drugs test. However, that, along with the fact that Braun is appealing the impending 50-game suspension, seems to be the only set-in-stone facts that the public knows.
To me, that is concerning. As a law student, I firmly idealize, as I believe most Americans do, our concept of justice that presumes innocence until guilt is proven. The same here should apply for Braun. Unfortunately, at this point, there is no way it can. Media influence has gotten so massive, that even if Braun successfully wins his appeal, he will be unable to reverse the verdict that has already been found in the court of public opinion. This will tarnish Braun's legacy, which could very well end up being the greatest crime committed here. That's a shame, because he's one heck of a baseball player, even if it makes me sick to admit that as Braun plays for a NL Central rival of my Pirates.
The reactions have been wild to say the least. Calls for Matt Kemp to win the MVP have become boisterous. Cries of conspiracy before Braun has even won an appeal because if Braun is cleared, baseball is covering up yet another scandal in attempt to maintain an image that was improving in the wake of its decimation during the Steroid Era.
I for one, will hold off judgment, as I would hope others would if I were in the same situation. If Braun is cleared in the appropriate manner, his legacy will not change in my eyes. I will still dislike him every time he hits a home run off of my Pirates, but it will be with begrudging respect of his immense talent. On the other hand, if Braun is found guilty after vehemently maintaining that he is innocent vehemently, manifest in his acceptance of an MVP award that would not rightfully be his, then shame on Ryan Braun. Shame on him for making me sad about humanity and sad about baseball once again.