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Ryan Braun is baseball’s biggest fraud

Jul 22, 2013, 6:17 PM EDT

Ryan Braun AP

Ryan Braun played the victim when he initially tested positive for steroids after the 2011 season. In one regard, he was: that news never should have leaked out before the appeals process played out. In every other regard, he was obviously guilty as charged.

Just look at some of Braun’s quotes after he was “vindicated”  last February or, as is now even more painfully obvious, let off on a technicality because of chain of command issues with his urine sample:

  • “If I had done this intentionally or unintentionally I’d have been the first one to admit it. I truly believe this substance never entered my body.”
  • It hasn’t been easy. Lots of times I wanted to come out and tell the entire story, attack everybody like I’ve been attacked. My name was dragged through the mud. But at the end of the day I recognized what was best for the game of baseball.”
  • “Today is for anyone who has been wrongly accused and everyone who stood up for what’s right. It’s about future players and the game of baseball.”
  • “I will continue to take the high road. We won because the truth was on my side. I was a victim of a process that completely broke down and failed as it was applied to me in this case. Today’s about making sure this never happens to anyone else who plays this game.”
  • “We spoke to biochemists and scientists, and asked them how difficult it would be for someone to taint the sample. They said, if they were motivated, it would be extremely easy.”
  • “Ultimately, as I sit here today, the system worked because I was innocent and I was able to prove my innocence.”

That next to last one is especially disgusting, since Braun was all but accusing that man who collected his sample of intentionally tampering with it. At the end of his press conference, Braun said he was considering his legal options. You will notice, however, that no lawsuit followed.

Now we know for sure that Braun was guilty all along, though that seemed like a given after the Biogenesis news came out. The 2011 NL MVP accepted a rest-of-season suspension Monday that amounts to 65 games off. The Brewers will have to bring him back next year and hope for the best; they owe him a whopping $127 million through 2020. If it turns out that he’s not the player he was before he was caught cheating, it’d be a huge blow to the small-market franchise.

Guys like Jason Giambi and Andy Pettitte have largely been let off the hook for their PED usage, but the guess here is that Braun’s transgressions will stay with him for the rest of his career, partly because of those quotes right there. The apologies will come, but their sincerity should be questioned.

  1. myopinionisrighterthanyours - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    I’m still waiting for Craig’s article. Come on, you can’t bury your head in the sand on this one. Or are the rest of you still cooking that crow?

    • Marty - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:31 PM

      Craig is busy crafting more long winded bullshit that polishes his notion of being right by way of having a JD.

    • itsthemasterplan - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:37 PM

      My thoughts exactly. Where’s Calcaterra telling us we shouldn’t consider Braun guilty until we see a 1080p video of Braun injecting himself in the Brewers locker room? And hey, Bartolo Colon won again last night and is having the greatest season for a 40-year-old since Roger Clemens struck out 300 fueled by a combination of HGH and Suzyn Waldman’s tears…but Calcaterra would like us to know that Serious Journalists won’t entertain the notion that Colon is using PEDs again because there’s no evidence. I mean, it’s not like gathering that evidence is something a Serious Journalist would do, is it?

      Let’s not forget that sportswriters were content to let Barry Bonds bully them into accepting his denials, and it took a pair of news reporters — actual journalists who do actual investigative reporting — to dig up the real dirt on Bonds. The sports media is comprised of fanboys who simply don’t want to know their heroes are swimming in PEDs.

      • Old Gator - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:07 AM

        Craig is a blogger, not an investigative journalist. I know that drawing fine distinctions like that must give sanctimonious clowns like you two headaches, but really, there is a difference even if discernment eludes you. Craig has only and ever argued for due process, but it takes the dimwitted windbags who swarm this site, unfortunately, to misrepresent him into an “apologist” for PEDs which he never has been. Jerks like you are just a gutless digital lynch mob.

      • mrznyc - Jul 23, 2013 at 8:47 AM

        Come on, Gator – He’s an apologist.

  2. myopinionisrighterthanyours - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    P.S., somebody should inform Braun he NEVER proved his innocence, just that the sample was mishandled.

  3. proudlycanadian - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    How about “Liar, liar, your pants are on fire.”

    • historiophiliac - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:28 PM

      PC, this is beyond Canadian niceties now. Let the Americans handle this one.

      • proudlycanadian - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:29 PM

        OK! Have fun!

      • historiophiliac - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:35 PM

        You might need to put down a tarp and cover yourself. It’ll probably get all PFT in here.

        /pulls on hot red galoshes

      • proudlycanadian - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:46 PM

        So far, I have not seen douchebag. Fortunately, that term is so 2012.

    • sabatimus - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:37 PM

      As long as Al Pacino is saying it.

  4. jayscarpa - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    Amen

  5. unclemosesgreen - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    Braun is a co-bag but I’m still voting for K-Rod.

  6. pjmitch - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    How about the poor guy who got fired and his family that “mishandled” the sample last year???

    • kyzslew77 - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:35 PM

      He didn’t quote unquote “mishandle” it, he actually mishandled it. If he got fired (did that actually happen?), he didn’t get fired because Braun got off on a technicality, he got fired because he didn’t do his job right. If anything, the people clamoring for justice against steroid users should be happy that situation played out like it did. Now I’m sure all people involved in the testing process are way more careful than they used to be. No other player is ever going to be able to avoid a suspension like that again.

      • pjmitch - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:46 PM

        And what about the arbitrator that got fired…….

      • kyzslew77 - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:58 PM

        Haha, that’s MLB playing politics. That’s them sending a message: “If there’s a player who obviously used, but the evidence in the case before you requires you to find for the player, we will fire you. We don’t want arbitrators that follow the rules laid out in the CBA; we want arbitrators who agree with us 100% of the time.”

        Come on people, you can thumbs down all you want. I hate Braun. He’s liar and a scumbag. It was annoying that he escaped in 2011. But you know what? It was the right decision based on the facts. I’m glad Braun eventually got caught, and I’m also glad MLB wasn’t able in 2011 to get away with saying WELL EVEN THOUGH WE DIDN’T FOLLOW THE RULES YOU’RE GUILTY SO GRRRRR YOU’RE SUSPENDED. That’s not how this is supposed to work.

      • pharmerbrown - Jul 22, 2013 at 7:06 PM

        Close, but not quite. He handled it in a manner consistent with WADA procedures. There was no guidance in the MLB JDA regarding closed shipping/ processing centers.

        The science that R-Fraud cited was incorrect at best, and blasphemous to anyone with an elementary understanding of biochemistry.

      • kyzslew77 - Jul 22, 2013 at 7:13 PM

        “[A]bsent unusual circumstances, the specimens should be sent by FedEx to the laboratory on the same day they are collected.”

        Sounds like guidance to me. And the tester’s “unusual circumstance” was that he didn’t look hard enough for a FedEx location. I can see why the arbitrator found the way he did.

      • jwbiii - Jul 22, 2013 at 8:22 PM

        Arbitrator Shyam Das was fired immediately after making a similar ruling in the case of Eliezer Alfonzo. A month later the JDA collection procedures were changed. Obviously, negotiations were already in progress. Selig just wanted a scalp. As we all know, he’s really good at being a sorry excuse for a coprophage.

  7. lolnfl - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    I bet Craig is crying in his basement just about now

    • Old Gator - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:10 AM

      No, he’s laughing his ass off that uncomprehending clowns like you are working yourselves up into a froth over things he never asserted.

  8. blackandbluedivision - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    “dipwad” really? Did you learn that in school?

    I swear professionalism nowadays is starting to take a turn for the worse.

    • historiophiliac - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:29 PM

      New here?

      • blackandbluedivision - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:40 PM

        Not really. But, it still doesn’t make it right.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:42 PM

        Oh, Cards fan then?

    • unclemosesgreen - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:34 PM

      Have you ever dipped? The wad is a foul-smelling slimy bit o’ nastiness when you finished. Seems an apt enough description of Braun’s public proclamations to this point.

      • blackandbluedivision - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:38 PM

        I know what a dipwad is. It’s still name-calling. That stuff should be left at the school yard. It’s very unprofessional.

      • unclemosesgreen - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:40 PM

        This ain’t the New York Times – it’s a blog, poophead.

      • blackandbluedivision - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:39 PM

        scratch that. I didn’t know what a dipwad was but it’s still name-calling.

      • Old Gator - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:12 AM

        So is calling people unprofessional.

  9. largebill - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    I’m not from Milwaukee, so I don’t know whether there was a huge debate between keeping Fielder or Braun. However, have to think there is some second guessing going on over that decision now.

  10. burgundyandgold - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    So when does MLB go ahead and put A-Rod out of his (our) misery and put him on an ice floe so we can all move on?

    • jcmeyer10 - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:34 PM

      Selig only wishes he could put him out like Inuits do to their old folks when it’s their time.

      Selig: “A-Rod, I’ll be a nice guy and let you pick which piece of ice you float into the Arctic Ocean on”.

  11. thebadguyswon - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    The cheat has finally had his comeuppance.

  12. Mark - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    As long as Josh Lueke is playing professional baseball at any level, Braun will only be #2 in the dipwad/scumbag category.

    • unclemosesgreen - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:35 PM

      Couldn’t agree more.

    • Ben - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:39 PM

      Unfortunately this is true.

  13. tfbuckfutter - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    http://cdn.bleacherreport.net/images_root/slides/photos/001/405/123/RafaelPalmeiro_display_image.jpg?1318379598

    This is definitely my favorite picture from Braun’s 2011 press conference.

  14. The Dangerous Mabry - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    This is the Lance Armstrong situation all over again. If you get away with it, good for you. But don’t be a dick about it. Armstrong was most certainly a dick about it, and it looks like Braun was as well. The public will forgive a lot of things, but there’s just no reason for that behavior, and the public isn’t quick to forgive it.

  15. ningenito78 - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    Matt can you explain to Craig how ‘getting off on a technicality’ works? He seemed to not understand the concept back in ’11.

  16. sfm073 - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    Where’s Craig at?

  17. countduku - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    When will the Brewers be holding an ‘exchange your Ryan Braun jersey” day?? Pr can we just go ahead and pisss on it??

    • countduku - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:32 PM

      “or”

  18. fyreandnice - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    “Dirtbag” would’ve worked better than “dipwad.”

  19. lew24 - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    Its a close race between him and Arod!

  20. rbj1 - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    “The Brewers will have to bring him back next year and hope for the best; they owe him a whopping $127 million through 2020. If it turns out that he’s not the player he was before he was caught cheating, it’d be a huge blow to the small-market franchise.”

    It’d be interesting to see if they could void the contract on grounds of fraud if he’s nowhere near the guy who signed that contract.

  21. insidefastball - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    Wonder if the Brewers wish they had offered Prince Fielder a career contract, instead of placing the hopes of the franchise on this jerk’s shoulders for a decade to come?

  22. rnattharvey - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    I have played a lot of baseball with kid’s that played ball at “The U” told me in 2005 about A-Rod and Braun. He said it is a joke how easily accessible PED’s are at The U.

  23. sincitybonobo - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:35 PM

    Braun gets the suspension behind him during a year when The Crew isn’t going anywhere and he has battled injuries. Since he agreed not to contest the suspension, it appears a deal has been cut. Not a bad deal, overall, from his perspective.

    Those road games, particularly in the Central and Arizona, are going to be brutal for him. He should chip off another quarter million to the drug testing collector that he slandered.

    If he didn’t appeal the original verdict, where synthetic testosterone was present in his sample, couldn’t he have saved himself 15 games pay? He was never “vindicated”, even before Biogenesis.

  24. poprox13 - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    2ND biggest, With The Biggest Soon To Follow

  25. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jul 22, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    “Ha, ha. Glad I’m not THAT dipwad.”

    -ARod

    • Anoesis - Jul 22, 2013 at 8:11 PM

      A Fraud and the Dipwad. Sounds like a 60s psychedelic band.

      • jimeejohnson - Jul 22, 2013 at 9:40 PM

        Sounds like disco.

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