Back in August, I wrote an open letter to Ryan Braun which detailed my frustration and disappointment in him. A few months later, we’ve been able to take the issue in, rather than have our original knee-jerk reactions to the situation, much like what I did.
Now that the dust has settled, can we finally move on from this?
Clearly Braun tarnished everything about himself that was possible and in nearly every way. He lied about using a Major League Baseball banned substance, he ruthlessly pursued Dino Laurenzi Jr. which got the man fired and just held a cover over all of our eyes. Of course it’s natural to dislike the guy and think he’s the scum of the earth, but you know what, he’s human just like you and me. While what he did deems unforgivable in some peoples’ eyes, Braun made a mistake and if you’re the first person on this earth never to make a mistake, well then let me know.
I’m not saying I’m defending Braun because that would be foolish. Braun did a terrible thing and helped demonize the integrity of baseball, but we’re moving on from it. He admitted to the mistake, apologized formally and is moving on with his life as are his teammates. If you’re still stuck in the “oh we need to get rid of Braun” and “he’s a scumbag, I hate him” stage, then you’re only deluding yourself into a hatred of Braun and a vengeance for the game that honestly isn’t justified anymore. Braun already knows he’ll never get into the Brewers’ Hall of Fame or in Cooperstown either, so that is already helping to make amends for his actions.
Yeah, I’m not thrilled about what he did and as an individual, it will be hard to cheer for him. If he hits a home run, sure I’ll cheer, but only because it helps the team I vehemently support. I get that people severely dislike they guy, I get it, but you have to learn to forgive.
I think my stance on players using PEDs or other banned substances has changed. I’m no longer the cynical, baseball purist I was about the issue because that is entirely the wrong way to go. Obviously I’m disappointed in players that give into drugs like that, but I’m willing to forgive them because what good does holding a grudge do?
Braun held a press conference earlier today as he helped with a charity event at Miller Park for Thanksgiving. In that press conference, the media wasted no time in grilling Braun with questions like “Why did you lie” and the whatnot. A lot of what Braun said was either “I’m not getting into specifics” or more than likely lawyer talk, but I feel if Braun really didn’t care, why would he waste his time at a charity event? To make it all about him?
Maybe he did, but at least he stepped forward in this conference and laid his apology out on the table, lawyer written or not. Personally, I believe Braun is sincere about the actions he took in the past and is willing to accept the hatred he’s receiving. He’s ready to move on with his life and it would be silly for you to not do the same.
As for forgiving Braun, I guess you could say I’m there. Clearly it’s an issue that isn’t a simple “I’ll sleep on it and let you know my answer” type of question, but it takes time and I think I’m ready to step up and say I forgive him. I don’t think it’s right what Braun did and lying to us for as long as he did only deepened the wound, but now it’s time to let it heal. It’s time to move on and I think we all can now focus on next season instead of wallowing in remorse and hatred from this year.