#Exonerated

Aug 16, 2013 by

“Where a man’s word means everything.”

Jason Michael Carroll – “Where I’m From

When Ryan Braun won the appeal for his 50 game suspension, fellow Wisconsin star and  Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers, expressed his excitement in what he thought was the truth ending a tweet with the now famous word #exonerated.  Somebody tampered with Ryan Braun’s test….innocent at last!  Does anyone think Aaron Rodgers is stupid now? Maybe, but they should not.  When a close friend looks you in the eye and tells you he is innocent it makes complete sense to trust him.   Maybe where Ryan Braun comes from a man’s word does not mean anything…

Ryan Braun was taking something illegal and failed a PED (Performance Enhancing Drug) test.  Apparently, he was pissed off when he had to take the test after Game 1 of the NLDS vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2011.  Braun goes on to state he was innocent even after he failed the test.  He addressed the media at Spring Training in 2012 vehemently denying any illegal use.  Think about it – he knew he was 100% guilty, yet he goes out and lies to everyone.  Let’s say that again – you know you are in the wrong, but you feel you are bigger than the law and can get away with it….so you lie to your teammates, manager, Brewer nation and every person who watched or read about the press conference.  Honestly, I cannot imagine living life knowing you are guilty but putting on a front that you are completely innocent.  Who does that?  The only saving grace would be if he seriously did not think he was on anything illegal at the time…tough to believe.

Time to man up Mr. Braun – I, along with many others, want to know exactly what you were on and for how long.  Were you seriously on this “magic potion” since your Miami days?

He may state he did not “knowingly” take something…or maybe go the whole recovering from an injury route…I do not know but at the end of the day, I just want to hear the exact truth.  The reason Wisconsinites thought he was innocent is because he never swelled up like Barry Bonds.  Braun has virtually been the same size since he came into the League – I do remember reading a headline that he added 15 lbs of leg muscle one offseason.  I also heard from a great source Braun is an absolute workout freak so maybe he was innocent, right?  My stance, even knowing this stuff, was always if someone had a gun to my head, and I had to answer if he was guilty or not guilty, I’d have to say guilty.  That is kind of pathetic, to think the drive for money and stardom leads too many people to make dumb decisions…and keep making them (denial).  Ryan Braun NEEDS to come out with 100% truth now, hopefully saving him from looking like A-Rod in the future.

I understand the legal aspect of why Braun needs to remain silent for now, especially since A-Rod is appealing his 40,000 game suspension.  But, when the smoke clears and it is time to speak, Braun needs to host a press conference, explain what he did and why he will change.  All in an honest and sincere tone.  We Wisconsin folk are a little different.  Whether you want to call it Midwest values or hard work ethics, the Milwaukee Brewers play in a small market where distractions are less than the fast paced New York life style or San Francisco living.  There is so much pride for our Brewers and we expect honest hard working baseball players.  Even though the Brewers are 16 games under .500, an average of 31,542 fans per game have come to the amazing ballpark known as Miller Park.  Remember – small market and your team is 16 under .500 – still commitment from the Brewer faithful!

We don’t expect, or accept, weak excuses and a complete lack of personal responsibility.  Braun’s first statement after accepting his 65 game suspension? “As I have acknowledged in the past, I am not perfect,” yadah yadah yadah.  You said you were innocent but now you admit the guilt because you cannot get away from the truth – like I said, time to man up.

Braun needs to get out into the community and genuinely change his image.  The Brewer Nation has given Braun such an immense amount of support in multiple ways.  We only deserve Braun’s complete best the rest of his contract in every aspect of the word – by his baseball play, by staying clean and by making a big difference in the community.  The median household income from 2007 – 2011 for Milwaukee county residents was $43,397 and for the entire state of Wisconsin was $52,374.  Next year Braun is scheduled to make $10 million dollars or roughly 200x the average Brewer fan.  And when his contract gets up to $19 million a season it will be almost 400x the average Brewer fan.  The community, people who come to the games and pay for tickets which ultimately pay Braun’s salary, deserve his honest best now.  Think about all the kids who look up to him and play baseball in the back yard pretending to be “Ryan Braun.”  He needs to take this seriously. Mark McGwire has some quality quotes on the negative aspect illegal use of steroids played on his career and how much it hurts to this day.  Does Braun want to end up like that?

The Brewers owe Mr. Braun $113 million through the 2020 season with a mutual 2021 contract for another $20 million with a $4 million buyout option.  That, my friends, is a lot of dough, especially for the Brewers’ payroll.  Players must love these guaranteed contracts…probably why some of them are willing to cheat.  The MLB needs to implement a new strategy.  Any player that fails a PED test should automatically forfeit the rest of his contract because he may have received the original contract under false pretense.  A players first suspension should be for 162 games, an entire MLB season.  A player’s second offense should be a lifetime ban.  If you want to get truly serious about cleaning up the game, then get serious.  Plain and simple – 50 games is too soft for the first offense.

Some people will say, “Oh, they all do it, just let it slide.”  Please do not be one of those idiots.  Whatever these guys take is unhealthy, wrong and flat out pathetic.  I heard on the radio the other day that there are now testosterone lozenges out there…I thought those were Luden’s Lozenges, you know the red candy you got from grandma to soothe that aching throat or in reality treat your candy addiction…Anything to get ahead these days…  Other people will say, “Oh, they don’t really help that much.”  Oh really – do you remember Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez’s stats…I know the first two may not have been on steroids, but close enough.  A-Rod may have been on the same stuff as Braun given Anthony Bosch, the ringleader of the Biogenesis disaster, was their “consultant,” or whatever exactly that dude was to these pros.  At the end of the day, cheating is cheating folks.  It sucks for the clean guys in baseball who may lose out on a massive contract because they were up against a juiced player.  I compare a baseball player taking illegal performance enhancers to insider trading in the stock market.  The person knowing the inside information is ahead of the game and can make extra money before everyone else knows the big sales a company may have or a possible merger that may occur.  In the same way a player on juice has a leg up on the competition, and has a better opportunity to make more money.  It is sick how PEDs have intruded in on sports.

For instance, Mr. Goddell and the NFL should be taking serious notes of the negativity this PED circus has caused the MLB.  Players in the NFL are getting so big and fast.  What is it going to take before they start testing and punishing players on a serious level? A death on the field?  Remember that Jadeveon Clowney is coming to the NFL next year!  A four game suspension for the first failed test does not do it for me.  I would go the same route and suspend an NFL player for an entire season if he fails a test and a lifetime ban if he fails a second test. It seems like the NFL is all about player safety now on the field, with secondary hits routinely flagged, but they also need to step it up off the field as well.  I am afraid the true number of players in the NFL using PEDs/ HGH (insert new potion name here) would be alarming to say the least, let alone the massive amounts of arrests the NFL has had to deal with this offseason.

Look, I am chief of sinners myself and need forgiveness.  At the end of the day Ryan Braun deserves forgiveness just as much, but only if he is truly sorry.  The drug collector who was the one “tampering” with the original failed test would be a great place for Braun to start the apology tour.  Apologies, becoming a great role model in the community and staying clean is the formula for Ryan Braun to resurrect his career.  I believe, along with many others out there, Ryan Braun has enough natural God-given talent to still be an incredible baseball player without taking any performance enhancing drug.  This is an incredible opportunity for Braun to turn this extremely negative situation into something positive.  He could become the true advocate against PED use because he is young enough to clean it up and restore his image off the field and continue his historical performance on the field.  It would be awesome if he can reverse his image, stay clean and continue his Hall of Fame type stats…..otherwise the Brewers may be holding two seven off suit with the $113 million owed!  Come on Brauny, do the right things and come back NATURALLY stronger than ever!

The Milwaukee Brewers may be having a rough season but us Brewer fans will still come out and support them.  We will not quit and we cannot quit on Braun now.  Life is about second chances and Braun is definitely on his…

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