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Is race and personality affecting coverage of the Ryan Braun story?

Dec 13, 2011, 3:36 PM EDT

braun wide getty Getty Images

Ray Ratto of CSNBayArea.com wants to know why people are inclined to give Ryan Braun the benefit of the doubt at the moment when they weren’t so willing to do so with Barry Bonds:

So why, then, is there such an eagerness to find Braun’s seemingly implausible story so believable, or at least defensible by so many people who dove face-first into Bonds?  The options are two: Race, or personality. Neither is appealing.

I don’t know Ray personally, but I’ve chatted with him enough on Twitter to suspect that he very much enjoyed throwing that grenade into the bunker. It’s kind of why I like him so much.

Not that he’s throwing it for no reason. For my part I’m giving Braun the benefit of the doubt for now simply because we are getting a rare mid-testing-and-appeals-process look here and that makes this weird, but Ratto is right that there has always been some weird character test on top of the drug tests.

I don’t know that race is as up front as the personality part, however.  Witness David Ortiz who never ever seems to get much PED stuff thrown at him even though he tested just as positive as anyone. Why? I don’t know. Because he’s cuddly. And Ryan Braun is handsome and isn’t muscle bound I guess. Whatever the criteria, however, to suggest that there isn’t some psychological overlay to PED stories is to deny reality. Personality always enters into it. If Derek Jeter or Michael Young tested positive tomorrow we’d be introduced to a whole new, player-sympathetic PED lexicon, I’m sure.

Ratto goes on to make an even better point, however: media covering these kinds of stores — and the labor disputes and any other off-the-field thing — very often take on the role of defenders of the institutions they cover rather than unaffiliated reporters or commentators.  It’s not a very flattering stance for anyone and ultimately does both the media and the institution a disservice.

118 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. plmathfoto - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    He must’ve missed the hat size deal with Bonds I guess, has that happened with Braun too?

    • SOBEIT - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:01 PM

      Yeah, I missed how Andy Pettites hat size doubled. Good observation.

    • 78mu - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:03 PM

      Yeah, after all the rumors over the years about Braun being a juicer and the increased muscles and the fact Braun was doing better than anyone else at his advanced age. Whereas Bonds has never been suspected of being on PEDs in his shorter career and ….

      Never mind. I must be as confused as Ratto.

    • skids003 - Dec 14, 2011 at 7:26 AM

      Ratto is just trying to make a name for himself. It’s not race, it’s personality, obviously. Bonds was the alltime jerk, plus he lied to Congress. Braun hasn’t done any of this, yet.

      So what does this make Ratto?

      • mella21 - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:07 PM

        If you admit he was the alltime jerk, then doesn’t that lend credence to the “personality” theory?

        And as much as this country HATES to acknowledge race has anything to do with how we react to others, the truth of the matter is that race is a big part of how athletes are covered. It impacts how all of us perceive them, and how the sports writers (largely White) perceive them.

        “If Derek Jeter or Michael Young tested positive tomorrow we’d be introduced to a whole new, player-sympathetic PED lexicon, I’m sure.”

        I call BLATANT & PROFUSE Hogwash. If Jeter tested positive, 99% of the sports analysts (including this website) would be frothing at the mouth. That would be the biggest ‘get’ in baseball.

  2. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:41 PM

    I think the unwillingness to believe Bonds had more to do with him claiming he doubled in size and his head quadrupled on its own. However, personality might have something to do with these cases. Braun sure is exponentially more likeable than Bonds

    • dlevalley - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:08 PM

      Everyone (most journalists, almost all commenters here, etc.) still thinks acts as if visible cues are some sort of ‘tell’ when it comes to PEDs.

      In the 80s and 90s, and probably into the early part of the last decade, taking PEDs meant taking some sort of muscle growth stimulant, and athletes got really big. But even then, skinny guys took PEDs and became slightly less skinny. Just because a guy didn’t have a ballooned head doesn’t mean he wasn’t taking some sort of performance enhancer.

      But now, if a professional athlete takes PEDs and gets significantly larger (like the guys in the 80s did), they’re doing it wrong. Modern PEDs are light-years ahead of the horse testosterone and steroids that caused monumental physical growth (and had side effects like ballooning noggins).

      Comparing the physical size of guys in the 90s and early 2000s to guys today, and using that as a measure of the pervasiveness of PEDs in baseball is anachronistic and wrong.

      • stlouis1baseball - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:14 PM

        Valley: I don’t know about all that. But I do know it is outdated and not right. LOL!

    • byjiminy - Dec 13, 2011 at 9:56 PM

      You’d think finding Bonds’s entire doping regimen and schedule on paper in an FBI raid might be important evidence, but okay, sure, race.

  3. stlouis1baseball - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    Two things come to mind.
    1) Barry Bonds was as big as a house. Ryan Braun is not.
    2) Barry Bonds was a polarizing person. Ryan Braun is not.

    • evanwins - Dec 13, 2011 at 5:34 PM

      Exactly. And also add to it the fact that Bonds was doing these seemingly super-human baseball feats, breaking records at every turn and really just altering the way the game was played. Braun is good but he certainly isn’t ’01 Bonds

      In other words, it was pretty obvious in the Bonds case; Braun not so much.

      And finally, Bonds was in the wild west of steroid and PED use; in Brauns case the dust has settled and rules and such are far more defined.

    • kellyb9 - Dec 14, 2011 at 11:56 AM

      I think the overarching issue that everyone seems to be ignoring is that people, who know nothing about baseball, know about Barry Bonds and PED’s because of the national media attention he recieved as a result of the congressional hearings. Ryan Braun is a big sports story right now, and that’s about it. Baseball, and more generally, sports fans know a thing or two about it, but the average non-fan has no clue who he is or what he did. Also, Barry Bonds broke one of baseball’s most revered single season and career records, and most people assume he cheated his way there… so there’s always that too. Compare that to a guy that had one great season, and it’s apples and oranges.

  4. dlindstedt2 - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    Race has nothing to do with it.

    The fact with Bonds is the same with McGuire and Sosa. They ballooned up. It was obvious what was going on. Braun doesn’t have that.

    If you were to try to pin it to something, you have a better shot at saying his size/body.

    If Prince Fielder was tested positive, your mind would say, I can see that, look at this size.

    Stop trying to pin this on race/personality. That is just piss poor journalism.

    • b7p19 - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:00 PM

      Thats naive. Of course race has something to do with it. Race is not likely the main reason or maybe even a big reason, but it has to be considered part of the reason.

      • dlindstedt2 - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:07 PM

        It not naive.

        Pinning anything on Race is just dumb. That is why there is still racism in the world.
        Stop looking at the color of the skin, and look at the person.

        Braun doesn’t fit the bill, not because he is white, because of his size.

        Sorry that Barry is black, but his current body looks like it ate Barry 2 centuries ago.
        And hell, look at Mark McGuire. White as white can be, and everyone knew.

        The color of your skin has nothing to do with it. For PED/Steriods its all about your size.

      • CJ - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:09 PM

        that’s pessimistic. If McGwire had taken the same tactic as Bonds and proclaimed innocence from the rooftops while all the evidence suggested otherwise, he’d have been just as villified.

        He was villified as it was, but he kept his mouth shut and his head down for a while.

        And where are all these white, racist Braun-backers anyway? I sure haven’t met many of them here. Unless all the Brewer fans in here are white and racist, but I’m going to assume not. They’re the only ones I’ve seen really back the guy.

        Everyone else is trashing him or non-biasedly waiting for the facts to come out. Nothing racist about that.

      • b7p19 - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:13 PM

        You guys are right, race is no longer in issue in this country. I’m sorry i’ve wasted your time…

      • cur68 - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:23 PM

        Its probably not “either/or” lads. For some race has to do with it & for others the fact that Bonds was such an arrogant snot and Braun isn’t is more compelling. Then there’s mixtures of those factors. For myself, being black, I’d go with the “massive douche” factor having to do with Bonds being vilified and Braun getting more benefit of the doubt. If it was always a race issue, then David Ortiz would be also be vilified in my opinion. While no one elected me to speak for everyone, I think that’s the case based on simple logic.

      • b7p19 - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:38 PM

        @dlindstedt2 – Ideally, yes. That would be great. Everyone would see through skin color and focus on other factors. But to say that “race has nothing to do with it” is naive, like I said. And if you think there aren’t people out there that hate Bonds because he’s black and would favor Braun because he’s white then I will call you naive. I seem to be in the minority here and thats OK. I just wanted my point to be clear.

      • bronxbomber213 - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:50 PM

        yea it has nothin to do with the guys production sky rocketing over the years…70+ homers in one season is pretty common after all so theres no reason to suspect anything……

      • stlouis1baseball - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:54 PM

        Cur: Waite…HOLD. THE. PHONE. Are you telling me they have black people in Canada?

      • rooney24 - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:54 PM

        b7p19 – Dec 13, 2011 at 4:13 PM
        You guys are right, race is no longer in issue in this country. I’m sorry i’ve wasted your time…

        ———–

        Did anyone say race was not an issue in this country? They said race wasn’t the issue in this case. Your response was much like a politicians. Restate someone else’s point, but twist it around so that it doesn’t mean what they said, but say it as if it is fact.

        I think most people are just waiting for the retest/appeal to play out. I haven’t seen anyone defending him, other than “his people”, such as his agent.

      • paperlions - Dec 13, 2011 at 5:12 PM

        No no no, there aren’t black people in Canada….don’t you watch hockey? Just white guys.

      • cur68 - Dec 13, 2011 at 6:00 PM

        My people are planning on taking the place over. We’ve already begun our assault on the NHL, too. Jarome Iginla, PK Subban, Dustin Byfuglien? Tip of the ice berg….

      • b7p19 - Dec 13, 2011 at 6:05 PM

        @Rooney24 –

        Yeah, that was a sarcastic comment made out of the frustration that they dismissed the possibility that race could be one of the reasons for this. This comment from dlindstedt2 is what triggered my frustration: “Pinning anything on Race is just dumb.” I happen to disagree. I’m pretty sure race has and is the reason for some peoples actions and acknowledging that is not in fact, “dumb.” But it sure is a great argument isn’t it?

  5. Kyle - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    I’m sure personality plays some factor. But I’ll echo what other have said, mostly it just seems to be a physical issue. People want what they see to be validated without having to do much work otherwise.

  6. maverick8948 - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    Greg Anderson doesn’t help Bonds either. And the fact that this story was reported about a month premature is another factor. This is the first time a report was made before arbitration was completed.

  7. 18thstreet - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    I always think race is a factor, but I think the best explanation for the Bonds hatred is that he was too damn good on steroids. There were 100s of players on steroids; only one of them was good enough to hit 73 homers.

    • stlouis1baseball - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:50 PM

      You “always” think race is a factor? “Always?”

      • kinggw - Dec 14, 2011 at 12:07 AM

        I do think race is always a factor. It doesnt mean your racist it means you are human. Most people harbor stereotypes about other races. Not all stereotypes bad but they are stereotypes nevertheless. These stereotypes play into our daily interaction with other races. Race will always be a major issue in this country, but it doesnt have to be a divisive one. People need to start being honest with themselves on how they view race.

  8. illcomm - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    If he come out innocent, then that will be a first, but if he can’t prove his innocense, then he needs the 50 game suspension and his MVP stripped. Whether he is quilty or not, he should be fined for speaking out about the drug test, baseball has rules against it that in either case need to be applied.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:02 PM

      then he needs … his MVP stripped</blockquote

      Um why is that exactly?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:03 PM

      damnit

      then he needs … his MVP stripped

      Um, why is that exactly?

    • isdtyrant - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:07 PM

      I take issue with your comment for a handful of reasons, listed below.

      1. “If he can’t prove his innocence” — It’s hard, if possible, to prove a negative. Hence why burden of proof is sided as it is.

      2. “He needs his MVP stripped” What church said…. why?

      3. “He should be fined for speaking out about the drug test”. Okay. As soon as the person who leaked the information to the press in the first place is fine, fired, and Scarlet-letterized for the remainder of their career. If the rules are there for one side, they’re there for both.

  9. canowack - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    It’s people like Ray that are part of the reason for this country going to waste. People come up with BS theories…that shouldn’t influence the way people see a story but it DOES! Those people are the OTHER reason this country is going to waste. What happened to good ole America where it was at least slightly peaceful…what is in the air that makes people bitch and complain about nonsense. Slavery was forever ago and racism is never going away, but to think for it to affect the whole country’s opinion on something like this is insane. Everybody is all for causing drama that has no reason even being brought up in the first place…The USA is gonna be The Real World: USA before you know it…

    • b7p19 - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:07 PM

      To think it won’t affect the opinion of some of the country is also nonsense. Since only some of the country has a voice to be heard on this matter it’s not only possible, but likely that race has some influence over the reaction.

      • canowack - Dec 13, 2011 at 5:38 PM

        To affect enough people to make this nonissue an issue? People are ridiculous…ESPN and all of these sports networks have plenty of different races and cultures working for them and to think that people are overlooking it because he is white? If we made a NWCP the world would likely blow up with fuming african americans because of this so called race issue…no, we could use some help for college too or all of these other race specific benefits that are NOT directed towards whites… To think this has something to do with race is ridiculous and I don’t think white people are the ones bringing up these issues and overlooking it…its all of the other races making this a problem. Give em a cookie and they take the whole jar..

      • dprat - Dec 13, 2011 at 8:39 PM

        “we could use some help for college too or all of these other race specific benefits that are NOT directed towards whites”

        White Man’s Myth #4,567,387: White people can’t get financial aid for college; it’s all given to minorities.

        Fact: A study out this year that looked at all college grant (i.e., free) aid given nationwide found that it is distributed in ratios very close to the proportions of students by race. For example, white students, who comprised 61.8% of all college students, received 59.3% of all grant money. Don’t get too excited about that 2.5% difference either. It more than disappears when relative financial need is taken into account.

        The truth will set you free.

  10. Detroit Michael - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    If Derek Jeter or Michael Young tested positive for PEDs, the next story we read would be that PEDs cause players to be reluctant to change fielding positions so that those guys would both be certifiably perfect with the PEDs hadn’t messed them up.

    • addictedzone - Dec 13, 2011 at 6:00 PM

      It’s highly improbably that Jeter could ever test positive for elevated testosterone. He has no balls. He came them away in gift baskets.

      • klingonj - Dec 15, 2011 at 6:54 AM

        I’m a long time Yankees fan but that is funny

  11. normcash - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    I live in the Bay Area and have read Ratto for years and like him. Here, however, he is way off base.
    Bonds had a nasty personality. Moreover, his astounding and perfectly obvious physical growth
    made his denials laughable. If race were the issue, how does one explain the way Rafael Palmeiro and Mark McGwire were raked over the coals? There’s a lot we don’t know about the Braun case.
    He certainly hasn’t exhibited the physical changes often assoicated with steroid use. That,
    coupled with the rumor that the tests showed an off-the-charts amount of a banned substance
    (we don’t even know for sure what it is) naturally raises questions and creates skepticism about the testing process. Since Braun is plainly an intlligent guy, it is also natural to ask why he would use a banned substance in the teeth of a mandatory and strictly applied testing regime. So, race has nothing to do with the reaction to the news.

    • b7p19 - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:11 PM

      Interesting. You called him “way off base” in the second sentence and then completely validated what he was saying in the third sentence.

      • normcash - Dec 13, 2011 at 6:28 PM

        How so? I said Ratto was off base to say race was an issue. My third sentence stated that
        Bonds had a terrible personality. What’s that got to do with race?

    • chipman650 - Dec 17, 2011 at 1:58 PM

      Rafael Palmeiro racked over the coals? You mean the same Rafael Palmeiro who stood before Congress and stated he never took PEDs? The same Rafael Palmeiro who knew he tested positive months before that Congressional meeting?

      How did old Rafe’s perjury trial end? You mean he was never charged?

  12. joshfrancis50 - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    Can anyone take these allegations seriously until the orchidometer is introduced and gives us some concrete factual analysis?

  13. bobdira - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:57 PM

    Bonds was hated even in his own locker room. Braun is pretty universally liked.
    Bonds history was he never hit over 40 home runs till late in his career. Braun has no real history.
    Bonds size difference was immense. Braun hasn’t shown that yet and may never.
    Bonds broke the most revered record in sports WHILE JUICED. Braun can’t see the record from where he is.

    After ALL THAT…….oh ya, Bonds is black and Braun isn’t

    Gimme a break.

    And I still think Braun is dirty and will get the full punishment.

    • b7p19 - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:16 PM

      You guys are all making this about race even more than Ratto is. He offers two options: One that you seem to agree with, and one that you don’t. Either or. And you’ve chosen to slam him for offering race instead of just agreeing with him for offering personality.

      • stlouis1baseball - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:31 PM

        B7P19: Because it’s “race…race…race…race…race” all the damn time.
        “Race…race…race…race…race.” It just can’t be a case where you think the guy is a lying, shriveling, dirt bag of a person. It has to be…your a racist.

      • b7p19 - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:53 PM

        “It just can’t be a case where you think the guy is a lying, shriveling, dirt bag of a person.”

        Sure that can be the case, and Ratto offers that as a possibility. I happen to be of the opinion that some people ARE racist and hate Barry because of it and some people are not racist and hate Barry because of other reasons (and maybe a few that actually like him). I think his article is perfectly reasonable.

    • crpls - Dec 13, 2011 at 5:05 PM

      “Bonds history was he never hit over 40 home runs till late in his career. ”

      …wait, what? He hit 40 HR three times before anyone thought he was on steroids. In Candlestick park. And hit 37 in another season. Another 37 if you don’t think he started until injury problems occurred in ’99. He was scrawny as hell in ’93 when he hit 46 for the Giants.

  14. yahmule - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:01 PM

    Yeah, the media really screwed Bonds, especially by handing him four straight MVP awards when only the most ignorant among them weren’t 100% certain he was dirty.

  15. blueintown - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:01 PM

    Boy, that Albert Pujols cat sure does have a big head..

    • stlouis1baseball - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:11 PM

      Yeah…Blue. And Leon Durham does/did as well. Hahaha!

  16. Matt - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:03 PM

    To me the difference is obvious. One has a failed drug test to his name and the other doesn’t. Needless to say, the media and fans aren’t going to get all up in arms over rumor and innuendo suggesting that there may have been PEDs used without any actual proof, they’ll save all of that vitriol for the players who are actually failing drug tests.

    Wait…what?

    • paperlions - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:12 PM

      Yeah, there is no evidence at all that Bonds juiced, except for enough documentation to fill a small library.

      • Matt - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:22 PM

        What documentation? Failed tests? Documented BS prescriptions? Eye witness accounts? Actual drugs in his possession? Admissions by Barry himself? Or, as I mentioned, innuendo and rumor….yes, his head/body got bigger, and he hit more HRs but that still requires that we speculate (however reliable we may feel that speculation to be) why those phenomena existed.

      • paperlions - Dec 13, 2011 at 5:21 PM

        Barry admitted he was taking steroids, he just claimed he didn’t know they were steroids.

        There is this new thing called investigative journalism, where people gather facts and then write about it. You should check it out: http://www.amazon.com/Game-Shadows-Steroids-Scandal-Professional/dp/1592401996

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 13, 2011 at 6:21 PM

        Failed tests

        Correct me if i’m wrong, but after the FEDs got a hold of the syringe from Trevor Graham, and knew how to test for the Cream and the Clear, didn’t they retest Bond’s sample from ’03 and show it had both in the system? So technically he would have failed a test?

  17. mkd - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    I think the biggest factor in the media’s to-vilify-or-not-to-vilify equation is determining how much the player distorted historical records. McGwire, Sosa, Bonds, Clemens, Palmeiro (the whole 3000/500 thing) are all guys who seriously screwed with the upper-end of the record books. Therefor they are irredeemable. In contrast guys like Ortiz, Manny and Alex Rodriguez (plus all the lesser names on the Mitchell Report) never really broke any long cherished records. If Manny had hit .400 one year or Rodriguez had hit 75 HRs in a season- then I think you see them lumped in with the Irredeemables, but since they didn’t, they were accepted back into the legitimate fold. That’s the side Braun is on right now. His numbers were great last year, but compared to historical standards, they were not insanely beyond the pale.

    Race has nothing to do with it.

    • Francisco (FC) - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:20 PM

      Alex may get there. Heck we got a small taste when he reached 600…

  18. a125125125 - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    Why does the San Francisco media continue to defend Bonds? Stockholm syndrome?

    Also…Braun is getting his due criticism in this case….I’ve seen very few cases of his use being glossed over. Additionally, it’s only natural that as more and more guys are caught, the reaction is less severe every time.

    Grow up Bay Area media, you’re embarrassing yourself to defend someone that wouldn’t spit on you to put out a fire.

  19. El Bravo - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:10 PM

    TWO WORDS: ROGER F@CKING CLEMENS! (race is not the issue here; personality is)

    • klingonj - Dec 15, 2011 at 6:56 AM

      damn right (Palmero is another one)

  20. jehzsa - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:10 PM

    I don’t know about you folks but Ryan Braun looks Mexican to me.

    What with the moustache and beard. A regular Emiliano Zapata.

    • bozosforall - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:36 PM

      He’s actually Jewish. Not that it should matter one way or another here.

      • crpls - Dec 13, 2011 at 5:06 PM

        Actually, he’s not. He’s half-Jewish ethnically, but it comes from his Dad, not his Mom, IIRC.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Dec 14, 2011 at 10:00 AM

        We’ll still take him. Along with Ian Kinsler.

        And there are many Jewish Mexicans. A lot of Jews were on the ships with Columbus escaping the Inquisition and settled in the New World.

        I once heard the “…es” and “…ez” ending of the surname is as Jewish as a “…berg” and “…stein”.

      • bozosforall - Dec 14, 2011 at 10:07 AM

        If he identifies as Jewish (he does), that’s good enough for me, crpls.

        Interesting bit of trivia there, koufazmitzvah.

  21. Tick - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:12 PM

    I seemed to have missed where jovial white guy Jeff Bagwell has been defended by the media and given the benefit of the doubt.

    • stlouis1baseball - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:29 PM

      Tick: Me too. I have seen a lot of people reference Bagwell. But that is it. I have absolutely no idea what they mean by “see Bagwell, Jeff” but I have literally lost count at the number of times I have seen his name referenced. Someone clue me in. What be the story on Bagwell Yo?

      • stex52 - Dec 13, 2011 at 5:12 PM

        Jeff Bagwell got substantially bigger and stronger over his career with the Astros. But it is also documented that he did massive weight training. In fact, the relatively early end to his productive career can be traced to arthritis from shoulder damage due to training after the trainers told him to stop.

        No one has ever proven or associated Bagwell with anything. Unless you count the incredible argument that he must have juiced because he was friends with Ken Caminiti.

        But you will see these jerks in the HOF vote say they won’t vote for him because they have “reasonable doubt.” Another reason to take the vote away from sportswriters.

    • randomdigits - Dec 13, 2011 at 5:44 PM

      Brady Anderson as well.

  22. stex52 - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:18 PM

    I don’t see Braun getting cut much slack on the blogs here, and there is no official report saying he failed. So far it is a leak.

    I will wait until MLB reports his results and his punishment (if there is one) and Braun’s appeal before I jump on some bandwagon.

  23. neelymessier - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:19 PM

    Race? Must be why Clemens is skating. Bonds defenders are simply ridiculous. 1st of all the dude averaged 32 hr /yr or 1 in 16 ab for 14 seasons. Then he builds 30-40 pounds of lean muscle mass at 35, and strings up five years hitting 1 hr per 7.8 ab or 52 per season. All this from 35-39 years old. One or two career years in the late thirties maybe, but five in a row??? No one becomes 2x the hr hitter in one off season unless they juice up out of jealousy for all the attention paid to McGwire and Sosa.

    I don’t know how Braun escapes his suspension. But if Bonds ever had a year like Braun had last year, it would be Bonds in his 20s.

    Injecting race into it is just lay lame assed provoking people. CLEMENS. case closed.

    • bozosforall - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:38 PM

      The difference is that Clemens never tested positive. He is only being chased after because some scumbag named MacNamee tried to blackmail him.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 13, 2011 at 6:25 PM

      1st of all the dude averaged 1 HR in 18.8 ab for 12 seasons…then he has one season where that changed to 1 HR/9.7 ab

      Changed some numbers around, but that’s what Maris did. Assuming Maris wasn’t on anything, merely quoting HR/AB #’s isn’t proof of anything.

      • umrguy42 - Dec 14, 2011 at 10:02 AM

        church, that’s true – but he didn’t just quote HR/AB #s – he pointed out adding on 30-40lbs of lean muscle mass (and giant head growth), plus sustaining high rates for 5 years, while conceding that a career year or two late in one’s career could be understandable.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 14, 2011 at 1:17 PM

        he pointed out adding on 30-40lbs of lean muscle mass (and giant head growth)

        While I can’t speak for the head growth, do people still not realize how easy it is for baseball players to add muscle mass? You don’t run often, so you don’t need endurance, which won’t burn muscle like soccer players for example. He played first base, one of the least athletic positions out there.

        Also, as other’s mentioned he became a workout freak. If I was paid 1/10th of what these guys did I’d hire my own personal chef and have a weight room set up for every advantage.

        Lastly, these are his HR/AB rates beginning with that last full year of his career:

        36 – 21.2
        35 – 15.5
        34 – 18.4
        33 – 15.4
        32 – 12.6
        31 – 13.4
        30 – 15.9

        Where neely got 1HR per 7.8 AB is beyond me. It’s more than double that.

  24. chip56 - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:26 PM

    Have people actually rushed to defend Braun? If so, I’ve missed it. I’ve heard people report what Braun’s people are saying, which is that it’s a mistake, but I haven’t seen anyone actually say (one way or another) whether they think Braun did some form of steroid or not.

    The reporting that I’ve seen has been shockingly lacking in bias – just flat out saying that Braun tested insanely high for some drug and that Braun says it’s a mistake. The opining judgement will come when Braun tosses his full story out there and the court of public opinion is left to judge his veracity.

  25. metalhead65 - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:27 PM

    gee I wonder if the fact he covers the giants has anything to do with his race theory. once again the only reason bonds was hated and blamed for his roid use was he made it so obvious. at least mcguire had hit 50 homers more than once before he broke the record so it was not such a stretch to see him break it. but bonds shows up the next year looking like the hulk and hits 73 and we are suppose to believe it was all due to working out? thanks to conseco we now know why mcguire had been hitting that many since his rookie year. again he did not just do it overnight like bonds. and who is giving braun a free pass? almost every comment and article I read has him guilty and wanting to the mvp award back. and for those of you who keep asking how why, if the results hold up that means he cheated! and please stop saying steroids don’t make you a ballplayer, we know that but we also know it can make you a better one and bonds is proof of that. he was already a great player and by taking roids it made him stronger resulting in more homers.go ahead and give me another reason he he can go from 48 to 73 without them.

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