Gag. I've let this simmer all week.“I realize now that I have made some mistakes,” Braun said in a statement. “I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions.”Braun also apologized, the way they all do. But few cheats in baseball have played the con as aggressively as Braun, before and after his failed test in the 2011 playoffs. Like the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez, Braun worked hard on his image. He wanted us to think he was pure and always did everything right.
The prospect of Braun being suspended has been the talk for several weeks. During our family breakfast Sunday morning, Braun's alleged wrongdoing were a topic of conversation, too. None of us were sure to make of the situation, considering Braun's denials.
Then, just as we arrived back in The 'Ville Monday evening and were settling in back home, the news broke.
Braun suspended for the rest of the season.
What a letdown.
I can't think of another pro baseball player I've admired so highly since... Cal Ripken, Jr. Until Braun broke into the majors in 2007, I had gone years without turning on a ball game just to watch a single player, the way I did in the days of Yount, Brett, Ryan, Hershiser, Sandberg and Ripken. Braun became my guy for this era. He played the game the right way, or so it seemed, without a lot of show-boating. He never whined -- he just played and produced. He did so much to raise the Brewers.
Even when the allegations of Braun's use of performance enhancing drugs surfaced in 2011 -- and he vehemently denied them, threw the sample collector under the bus (a standup guy from one of our stomping grounds, by the way), and won his appeal -- I trusted and defended him. Like so many others. ... After he won his appeal, I posted a celebratory tweet, and then got blasted for it by the University president -- an avid Detroit Tigers fan -- who believed Braun to be the cheat he really is.
Now, Ryan Braun's legacy is forever tainted.
The Brewers' glorious postseason run in 2011. Tainted.
All the times I've stood up and cheered for Braun. Tainted.
Phoebe's Braun T-shirt. Tainted.
What a letdown.
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