It was revealed today that Brewers Left Fielder, and NL MVP, Ryan Braun tested positive for Performance Enhancing Drugs.
I started with that line, because that is the only fact that any of us know. It is believed to be linked to Braun’s testosterone levels, but even that has not been confirmed by Major League Baseball. Now many of my colleagues have been incredibly quick to condemn Braun and that is not fair. There are almost no facts about this case, other than the line I opened with. Truth is, we have no idea what is going on and we probably won’t for a few weeks and maybe months.
Here are some things we know right now:
– Braun is appealing the test and his 50 game suspension
– ESPN’s Outside the Lines is reporting that Braun, when notified of positive test, demanded a re-test which came back negative.
– A spokesman for Braun confirmed the positive test Saturday and issued a statement:
"“There are highly unusual circumstances surrounding this case which will support Ryan’s complete innocence and demonstrate there was absolutely no intentional violation of the program. While Ryan has impeccable character and no previous history, unfortunately, because of the process we have to maintain confidentiality and are not able to discuss it any further, but we are confident he will ultimately be exonerated.”"
– Ryan Braun has NEVER tested positive in his previous 9 seasons in the MLB (Pro’s and Farm System).
So, let’s all take a deep breath and not panic Brewers fans.
Non-Brewers fans who will find your way here, try to keep your anti-Braun campaigns to a minimum. This country was founded under the concept of “innocent until proven guilty”. It really depresses me how many people in the sports community have already condemned Braun as a villain and are demanding he give the MVP trophy to Matt Kemp. Don’t fall into the Buster Olney trap of thinking this is “bad for baseball” just yet. Until we know more facts, all we can do is wait.
Now, I am not saying we should not be disappointed in this news. What I am saying is, there is no need to tar and feather Braun in the square like it is 1865. From the moment the news broke he has denied these reports and we have yet to hear anything from Major League Baseball or Bud Selig.
Truth be told, in this day and age, I find it hard to believe that if Braun was putting something in his body, he “did not know” what it was or what was in it. However, without more information every word that I am writing is nothing more than speculation.
This is a sad day for Brewers fans, but at this time I am confident that everything will work out in the end. No need to go out into the streets and burn your
Braun jerseys (although you can certainly burn your Pujols jersey if you want too). As more facts come out, I will be sure to keep you all up to date. Do not let this news ruin a perfectly good Saturday night. We will talk again tomorrow.