And with a swift and not so subtle stroke of the broom, all of Ryan Braun’s issues were swept under the rug, presumably to die and be forgotten. With one final verdict from an appeals committee, the immediate future of the slugging left fielder became infinitely clearer.
Over the winter, it was discovered that the National League MVP had tested positive for performance enhancing drugs, registering the largest amount of testosterone seen under Major League Baseball’s new drug testing program.
And even with the positive test coming into public light, now we’re all suppose to forget it happened. Forget the last three months of scrutiny, forget the positive test. The guy triggered the test using herpes medication, nothing to see here.
Sorry to disappoint you Mr. Selig, but it doesn’t quite work like that. Your superstar has been cast in a negative light, and no appeals board will change that. And it’s hard to not look past the hypocrisy of this turnout compared to another famous failed drug tests since the new testing program was implemented in 2004.
Manny Ramirez tested positive for steroids, for the first time, in 2009 while with the Dodgers due to a drug prescribed to him and didn’t receive such favorable help from baseball’s big wigs. Even though he did not fight the suspension, it didn’t appear as though he got the guidance Braun got. Ramirez, although beloved by most baseball fans everywhere, was a somewhat polarizing figure in the game, causing mild issues amongst baseball’s front office elite with his silly antics and flippant attitude. Braun is more of a baseball golden boy, seemingly never causing issues except to opposing pitchers. He plays in Commissioner Selig’s hometown of Milwaukee, and is seen as one of the good guys in the game. For a sport trying to turn the page on the steroid era of the early 2000’s, it sure seems like Major League Baseball is trying anything to keep faith in its superstars amongst the masses, something that was shattered by the likes of Mark Mcgwire, Sammy Sosa, and Roger Clemens.
The bottom line is this: athletes, especially in today’s society that is extremely paranoid about cheaters in sports, are ultimately responsible for what goes into their bodies. Manny Ramirez took a prescribed drug and got busted, why is Ryan Braun any different?
Fortunately for the slugger, he’s on baseball's good side, and his season will start April 6th against the Cardinals instead of May 31st against, ironically, the Los Angeles Dodgers.