Skip to content

Ryan Braun will accept his MVP Award in person, thank you very much

Jan 18, 2012, 9:20 AM EDT

braun tall getty Getty Images

Ryan Braun won the MVP. This not long after he broke the testosterone-o-meter in a random drug test. This led to a whole lot of writers loudly proclaiming his award illegitimate and/or demanding that it be stripped from him and given to Matt Kemp (or something; they haven’t thought ahead that far).  He now faces suspension.

This Saturday is the BBWAA awards dinner where the MVP will be handed out. As the New York Times reports, Braun is not going to avoid the controversy. He’s going to be there and accept his award in person and will give an acceptance speech.

So the question is: will any of the writers who argued from Braun to have his award stripped from him do anything or say anything at the banquet?  Will there be a boycott or a protest or something?  Will Jon Paul Morosi or Kevin Kernan or any of the others who demanded a re-vote all get up and leave as Braun takes the stage?

  1. Gobias Industries - Jan 18, 2012 at 9:29 AM

    I think the real question is, what type of concealer will he be using to cover up the cold sores around his lips? Maybelline? Revlon?

    • phillyphreak - Jan 18, 2012 at 9:39 AM

      Maybe you could recommend your favorite to him….

      • Gobias Industries - Jan 18, 2012 at 10:50 AM

        Well, probably Maybelline since Revlon tends to dry out my… Oh, wait, I see what you’re doing here. Forget I said anything.

      • Old Gator - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:00 PM

        There’s a meeting of the Macondo Herpetological Society this week too. Dermatologists, gynecologists, pharmaceuticalists (or whatever they call themselves) and virologists who like to get together and show off their trouser snakes.

    • steelersfan1983 - Jan 18, 2012 at 10:09 AM

      Are you still buying that herpes hoax?

      • trevorb06 - Jan 18, 2012 at 10:35 AM

        I think they were talking about a different herpes.

      • Old Gator - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:01 PM

        Herpes simplex, no doubt. These are baseball writers.

  2. stex52 - Jan 18, 2012 at 9:38 AM

    Good for him. He has to know it won’t all be fun. Why not face up to it? It may help putting things back together in the long run. That, and not taking the wrong drugs again.

    • paperlions - Jan 18, 2012 at 1:38 PM

      It’s gotta be hard to know which drugs are wrong though, doesn’t it? I assume a random drug test is testing for random drugs, it’d be a lot easier to pass those tests if they knew which drugs were going to be on it ahead of time….it’d suck to fail because naproxen showed up on the exam.

      • Old Gator - Jan 18, 2012 at 7:43 PM

        What difference does it make? Nothing works for herpes except Lysine anyway.

  3. nightrain42 - Jan 18, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    Man…..clean cut, all American boy gets a pass, Bonds, Ramirez, Bagwell…..not do much. Perception is everything I guess.

    • kopy - Jan 18, 2012 at 9:54 AM

      He’s not getting a pass. He’s showing up to accept an award that he won before these test results were released.

      • Old Gator - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:08 PM

        He should pull a Thomas Pynchon move and send Professor Irwin Corey to accept the award for him, as Pynchon did at the National Book Awards ( The stunt cost Gravity’s Rainbow the Pulitzer Prize that year (the New York literary brahmins have poles up their asses nearly as long as the New York sportswriters) but you know Pynchon still occasionally cracks up over it when he’s stuck in Manhattan traffic with nothing better to think about.

        Yes, I know that Corey is dead, but then so is Braun’s reputation.

    • thefalcon123 - Jan 18, 2012 at 10:01 AM

      Yep, clean cut American boy Mark McGwire got a pass, didn’t he?

      Plus, Braun is Jewish, who have historically been more persecuted than than white, 1990s goateed Americans (Bagwell).

      • kinggw - Jan 18, 2012 at 3:37 PM

        Are you serious? Jewish people are white.

      • thefalcon123 - Jan 18, 2012 at 4:06 PM

        Errr…sure, fine…whatever.

        You are aware that as a group, Jewish people were segregated and the subject of a whole slew of injustice throughout history…right?

      • Old Gator - Jan 19, 2012 at 8:22 AM

        Sure they’re all white. Just ask any Falash or Yemenite Jew.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jan 18, 2012 at 11:10 AM

      Bonds and Bagwell both got MVPs of their own. But I do agree with you. People are falling all over themselves to give Braun the benefit of the doubt, while less likeable guys are vilified without ever needing to fail tests.

      • thefalcon123 - Jan 18, 2012 at 11:41 AM

        “People are falling all over themselves to give Braun the benefit of the doubt”

        Like who? I can drudge up plenty of guys who gave Bonds/Sosa/Clemens the benefit of the doubt. I don’t think Braun’s getting it any better or worse than anyone else. If it is lighter, it’s probably due more to steroid fatigue than anything having to do with him personally.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 18, 2012 at 1:14 PM

        Tell that to the witch hunters who threw viles of hate toward the guy the past month.

    • stex52 - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:19 PM

      Do not put Bagwell in that group. He failed no tests and has no testimony or evidence against him. As we have beaten to death on this site, the fact that a gym rat muscled up is no evidence at all.

  4. trevorb06 - Jan 18, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    You all know what this means, right? We cannot elect ANYBODY to the hall of fame for the next three generations of baseball players. I mean, seriously ANYBODY could be taking PEDs! Nobody thought Braun was! This has implications for his children and his children’s children as we cannot have the PED genes even thinking about getting into the HOF. Of course though, this is all null and void for Ken Griffey Jr. and any of his kin.

  5. nghtrder169 - Jan 18, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    Typical athlete “I’m above everything” attitude – He doesn’t care… He will take his award and smile

  6. ufullpj - Jan 18, 2012 at 10:37 AM

    Let’s be clear – nobody, at this stage, knows whether or not he was taking ‘roids or any other substance that would have enhanced his performance. And, quite frankly, this never should have been public until after the appeal, so whether he’s guilty or not, he’s screwed either way. Nothing in the guy’s numbers or physical appearance suggests steroids – his numbers actually dipped a bit this year – but who knows? IF it’s true – and remember, MLB classifies a very wide array of meds under the heading “PED” – and he was taking substances to cheat, it will be incredibly disappointing for Brewer fans and MLB as a whole. On the other hand, if it was a glitch, or otherwise explainable and he got pinched in the court of public opinion, then it’s BS for him and MLB.

  7. muskyhunter2542 - Jan 18, 2012 at 10:56 AM

    Most of you people are so freaking stupid!!!

    Braun has already been cleared of using a PED. He used a banned substance. Not a PED. Yet most of you morons continue on making comments as if he used a PED.

    Sometimes i tell ya (slowly shaking head)…

    • cur68 - Jan 18, 2012 at 11:11 AM

      Please link the MLB release of news that shows Ryan Braun has been cleared of anything.

    • trevorb06 - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:50 PM

      a. PEDs are a banned substance.
      b. You’re very smart!

      One of the above statements are true.

  8. Bryz - Jan 18, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    There is tempered applause when Ryan Braun’s name is announced. He rises from his table, trying to avoid the desire to lower his gaze as he walks up to the podium. Many of these writers feel that he doesn’t deserve the MVP award; not after he was caught using a banned substance, at least.

    When he gets past the third row of tables, he doesn’t notice Jon Paul Morosi struggle to get out of his seat as well. Braun reaches the podium, grasps the MVP trophy in his hands, and takes in a deep breath. But before he can exhale, Morosi has also made it to the stage. He appears to be a little intoxicated, as he’s slurring his speech and is having difficulty standing still. Morosi nudges Braun over and grabs the microphone and speaks.

    “Ryan, I’m really happy for you and I’m-a let you finish (snickers and then hiccups), but Matt Kemp was the most valuable player of all time! (hiccups) Of all time!”

    • jwbiii - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:08 PM

      Happy day after Muhammed Ali’s birthday, Bryz!

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 18, 2012 at 1:17 PM

      You’re forgetting something. Most journalists flaunting ignorant views (as in, ones based on information that is still incomplete) and armchair politics are absolute cowards.

  9. evanhartford - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    Craig, its interesting how you have an opinion about everything steroid-related and yet the only thing you have said regarding this issue is that Braun shouldn’t have his MVP taken away because that would open the door to other past MVPs having their award taken away. I disagree, simply because if I won sales person of the year at my company and was subsequently caught cheating, they’d strip the award, fire me, claw back the compensation I may have earned as a result and possibly prosecute me. In professional sports, they let you keep the award, suspend you and only take compensation that you would have earned during the suspension and then basically take you back with open arms. Explain to me why a professional athlete should be treated differently.

    However, this thread is very muted. You’re basically calling out the guys that criticized Braun wondering if they have the “brawn” to say something or make a scene. Well what’s YOUR opinion about this? You basically have a guy that won an award, got caught cheating during the time that he “earned” the award, and now he’s going to an award presentation to accept the award and give a speech. I can’t think of an instance, EVER, in US sports history where someone will be “celebrated” for blatanty cheating. The only thing that comes close are some of the East German or Chinese Gymnastics teams that blatantly broke all sorts of rules and still received a “heroes” welcome by their respective governments.

    • cur68 - Jan 18, 2012 at 1:05 PM

      Please link the official MLB release of news that shows Ryan Braun has been declared a cheater and is suspended for use of…of anything. Perhaps some people don’t rush to condemn til they are in position of all the facts and don’t count innuendo and rumor from “unnamed sources” as “fact”.

      • evanhartford - Jan 18, 2012 at 1:20 PM


        Two can play at that game. Please provide a link or quotation from my thread where I stated ANYTHING about MLB. Further, I’m not writing an op-ed piece, this is a discussion forum, not a mathematics summit., verb, “to cheat”, Definition 5: to violate rules or regulations.

        Assuming Braun got caught violating the rules, he is, by definition, a cheater. Its irrelevant what MLB says about it.

        I am assuming that Braun is guilty, but I also take precedence very seriously. Please provide me a link of an official MLB release where a player that tested positive for a banned substance or PEDs was later found to NOT be in violation. Now that you’ve found nothing, am I really rushing to judgement?

      • cur68 - Jan 18, 2012 at 2:11 PM

        You misunderstand me. My understanding of your point was that the author of the post refused to take a stand on Braun as a cheater or not; Braun as deserving of the MVP or not based on being an assumed cheater. My point was that there hasn’t been an official release, with official reference to actual test results. Since this site = Sports News, and the author of the post has a legitimate job as a reporter of said news, his opinion is not the same as yours and mine. A legitimate organ of truth doesn’t offer opinion on Braun as a confirmed cheater till they are in possession of facts. So far no actual test data has been made available nor has MLB suspended Braun. Beyond reporting that there is an investigation, what’s Mr. Calcaterra to do in the absence of hard facts? You are assuming which, as a random, anonymous person on a free blog, is your right. Craig doesn’t appear to be assuming anything. But then its not his job to assume stuff.

        He has said that the MVP shouldn’t be handed back and provided his reasoning. Seems to me, while I disagree to some extent, that there’s his opinion of cheaters having an MVP: plenty of subsequently revealed cheaters got MVPs and never gave them back. Why should Braun be treated more harshly? What more do you want of the man? In 500 words or less he should metaphorically string up Braun and brand him a cheater on your assumptions? Or maybe, as person who influences public opinion to a large extent, he should reserve judgement, look at the precedent in the event of Braun’s “conviction” and offer an opinion on the MVP from that? He’s done the latter. I’d be frankly appalled if he did the former.

      • evanhartford - Jan 18, 2012 at 3:30 PM

        First, your understanding of what I wrote is wrong. I basically asked Craig his opinion on the situation; not on Braun’s guilt or innocence or whether Braun should have the award stripped. I asked him to comment on the actual story instead of dragging some of Braun’s more vocal naysayers into the mix. My reasoning is simple. As much as Craig has defended PED/Banned Supplement players, using mostly legal-based logic that has no place outside a court of law, I’m wondering how he plans to spin this to suit his ongoing argument. At best, Braun looks foolhardy. At worst, he looks arrogant and ridiculous. Seeing as Craig cleverly avoided the subject and injected a little humor by wondering aloud what Braun’s naysayers will do, I’m guessing he knows there is no defending Braun.

        To me, the “right” thing to do would be for Braun to not accept the award, admit he screwed up and move on. I think myself (and most of the baseball world) is sick and tired of the denial. If you screw up, own it. Don’t treat us all like we’re stupid. You might even earn our respect (being one of the few players that have admitted to this stuff) and you might eventually repair your reputation. Hell, if you have a great (with no failed PED tests) career from here on out you might just earn a spot in the HOF.

        As for Craig’s job. It has absolutely nothing to do with ANYTHING you said. His job is to get web hits and ratings so that Hardballtalk (and msnbc sports) can sell advertisements. That’s it. Everything else is completely irrelevant. His bosses (for the most part) probably don’t care how he does it so long as he doesn’t poison their brand. Everything he writes is designed to influence opinion one way or the other. Hell, most of what he writes are short argumentative essays.

        To your point, Craig gave his opinion in a previous post about whether or not Braun should keep the award. However, this post is different. Its about Braun going to a ceremony and giving an acceptance speech for an award while he is being investigated for having cheated in order to receive the award. This isn’t about whether or not Braun should be allowed to keep his award. Its about whether or not he should be allowed to give a speech and whether or not he should allow himself to give a speech.

      • cur68 - Jan 18, 2012 at 3:48 PM

        We seem to have different understandings of what the media does or even if, as a blogger on a pretty prominent blog, Craig’s a legitimate member of the media (leaving aside the argument that no matter what, its not any reasonable person’s job to dabble in speculation unless they define this site as “HardBallRumor” or “HarballRushToJudgement”). He gave his opinion. Its pretty clear he intends to hold his condemnation of Braun till he has the actual facts. I fail to see where you can find fault with this, but you still do.

        But then you seem to me you have a pretty concrete view of the situation. No room for error on the part of MLB or for Braun to perhaps feel that he legitimately won the award, PEDS free. In fact, from what you’ve printed here, you’ve already condemned Braun and are damning the blogger for not doing the same. You’ll pardon me if I feel free to join the camp of not damning anyone based on innuendo and rumor. I suspect nothing I’ve written here could change the mind of anyone so entrenched, so I’ll stop wasting my time.

    • evanhartford - Jan 18, 2012 at 5:58 PM


      Getting back to something I asked you earlier. How many baseball players that have, reportedly, tested positive for PEDs and/or a banned substance have been found innocent?

      Call me a cynic, but do you really blame me for assuming guilt? Lets skip the legal, textbook, boyscout lingo and get straight to the point. Do you think he’s innocent? Does anyone thinks he’s innocent? Is there one sportswriter, talking head, MLB executive, baseball player and/or Brewers fan that’s willing to stick their neck out for Ryan Braun and say, “Guys, he’s innocent!” No. Do you know why? Because I have a better chance of making an MLB roster than Ryan Braun has at being found innocent.

      That aside, ASSUMING HE’S GUILTY, I think if he goes to this awards ceremony and does anything except use it as an opportunity to NOT accept the award and to apologize to everyone, he’s worse than any of previous PED/Banned substance kingpins, save for maybe Palmeiro. I guess it depends on what he says.

      The only thing I can think of is that maybe this is marketing genius. Maybe he realized that you can be either a hero or villian in professional sports and make a lot of money. Either is better than being a no-name. Maybe his publicist/agent planted this idea in his head. It might sound crazy, but there’s actually a better chance that this logic is at play than Braun being found innocent!

      • cur68 - Jan 18, 2012 at 7:16 PM

        Or something in his life lead to a positive result that had nothing to do with using PEDS. In this case, he still fails the test, gets the suspension but never cheated. Merely failing the test is grounds for suspension all by itself, regardless of actual PEDs use. Lets just look at some of these rumors then, since we’ll live and die by that sword. You can make a case, quite well in fact, based on rumor, for Braun’s exoneration.

        Let me explain: I presume you’re familiar with all the rumor and innuendo being kicked around. Some research into those rumors indicate that (references on request) its logically possible to test + for both elevated testosterone (T) as compared to epitestosterone (ET) (this is test 1), then fail the 2nd test which looks for plant based carbon (which is from synthetic testosterone) WITHOUT taking PEDS.

        If the rumors are true, that he was using acyclovir cream for an outbreak of herpes, then he was slathering his nethers in a soy based cream. Soy can lower the natural production of epitestosterone, giving you a badly out of whack ratio of T:ET. Then, if you get some soy in your urine sample (not unlikely given that he’s got it smeared all over his wedding tackle) you’ve now introduced soy carbon into the urine. You’ll fail the 2nd test.

        The fly in the ointment (HA!) for Braun here is the rumor that he had a blood test. That showed wildly elevated testosterone levels, which is the opposite of what you’d expect from too much soy (a natural androgen which has the effect of lowering testosterone by decreasing epitestoserone production. Epitestoserone is the precursor form of testosterone). There are far too many rumors, too many possibilities and too many irresponsible leaks from MLB officials, to come to any conclusions now. You could make the credible claim that this amounts to little more than some sort of smear campaign (like an ointment, yes?).

        I submit to you, in ALL cases, a responsible person waits for some more facts and numbers before condemning or exonerating. Based on rumor, Braun who might have a legitimate, non-PEDS, reason for failing the 2 tests. This based on the exact same quality of rumor that’s seeing him so roundly condemned.

  10. henryd3rd - Jan 18, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    Why can’t this award ceremony have been postponed until Braun’s appeal process is completed? Just a question! I believe in due process; but there seems to not only be a rush to judgement; but a rush to put this entire sordid affair behind us.

    Hey wait until the Rodger Clemons trial starts up again! Fun Fun Fun! Bud are you getting all this?

  11. motorcitydiddy - Jan 18, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    Interesting dynamic here, Braun appears unfit to recieve the award while sportswriters have proven unfit to give it.

    • bbk1000 - Jan 18, 2012 at 5:46 PM

      Perfect…aside from the spelling…

  12. jason9696 - Jan 18, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Fvcking cheater!!! Give the award where it should have gone in the first place to Matt Kemp.

  13. jimsjam33 - Jan 18, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    The MVP belongs to Matt Kemp .

    • cur68 - Jan 18, 2012 at 3:49 PM

      PEDs or not, that’s what I think, too.

  14. buckybadger - Jan 18, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    I have never criticized other players for testing positive for PEDs because I knew the day would come when one of the guys I liked would be caught. That day has [again] and will come again. The fact of the matter is that most guys are doing something that would be considered cheating by most people in just about every sport.

  15. barroomhero80 - Jan 18, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    he’s a joke like him accepting this award….shoot it up boy

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. G. Stanton (2821)
  2. Y. Puig (2649)
  3. C. Correa (2639)
  4. B. Crawford (2625)
  5. G. Springer (2617)
  1. H. Ramirez (2555)
  2. H. Pence (2440)
  3. M. Teixeira (2369)
  4. J. Hamilton (2313)
  5. J. Baez (2293)