Dear Ryan Braun,
It has been over a week since Major League Baseball suspended you for the rest of the 2013 season. Though you have not yet spoken about said suspension, I have some words I want to share with you.
From the moment the report came out that you tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, fans and players of the Milwaukee Brewers came to your defense as soon as you denied using. When you came out victorious in the appeal process, we rejoiced – not just because you were deemed innocent, but because you told us the truth. Or so we thought. Your press conference was so convincing that any doubt we had about you quickly vanished. I thought that was the end to MLB’s war against you but, as it turns out, it was only the first battle.
Following your drama-filled offseason, you put up even better numbers in 2012 than you did during your MVP season, despite hearing a constant thunder of boos from opposing fans, despite being doubted by the majority of people in baseball, and despite having your reputation tarnished. You silenced everyone with your production at the plate. But all that changed on February 5, when your name was linked to a Biogenesis clinic that was rumored to be providing PED’s.
But once again, you had a cover-up story. Once again, you called the report ‘BS’. Once again, we fans believed you. And once again, we were wrong.
You are now sitting at home, most likely pondering the ‘mistakes’ you’ve made. But what mistakes are you talking about, Ryan? Do you regret taking performance-enhancing drugs or do you only regret being caught? Are you sorry for the repeated lies you told and the attack you launched against Dino Laurenzi Jr? I find it hard to believe you are. From Day 1 of this saga, it seems like the only person you cared about was yourself. Didn’t your parents teach you better?
I don’t think I’m alone when I say this but I respected you, Ryan. I looked up to you. I tried to emulate your batting stance and swing. I dreamed about your heroic home runs that propelled the Brewers into the postseason. What am I supposed to think now? I’m more upset with the lies and the stories than the cheating. Every time you lied, your grave got deeper.
You have a rare gift. You are one of the most talented baseball players to ever live. But you didn’t think that was good enough, did you? No. You had to try and best your best. You needed to get even farther ahead of the rest of the pack. So you cheated, and in the process forever lost your chance of being in the Hall of Fame. Hell, your number will never be retired by the Milwaukee Brewers, now. You threw all of that away. And for what?
You don’t owe me an apology but you do owe one to the city of Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Brewers organization and its players. Mark Attanasio, Doug Melvin, Ron Roenicke and every single one of your teammates went to bat for you and defended your honor. Now, they look like fools. You let them back you when you knew all along you were lying. I can’t comprehend what you did.
Although I will never boo you – or any Brewers player for that matter – I will not clap when the Public Service Address Announcer calls your name. However, if you do something to help the team, I will cheer. Not because you accomplished something, but because you aided the team as a whole.
I look forward to hearing you speak about your suspension so you can finally clear up why you cheated and why you lied. It’s going to be a long and tough road back, but with time and an overwhelming explanation of your sins, I’m sure I, along with most Brewers fans, can find a place in our hearts to forgive you.
A Disappointed Fan