Ryan Braun will not be missing 50 games due to a suspension after winning his appeal against the MLB. This is the best news Brewers fans have received in months. The good guys won. This is awesome, awesome news. This is a reason to celebrate as Evan Rytlewski was kind enough to point out:
Personally, this is the happiest non-game day excited I have been for the Brewers since the Zack Greinke trade. I smiled, I called or texted all of my friends and I did a little dance around the apartment. It was a good day for me. There isn't going to be a need for any "oh wait til we get Ryan Braun back" conversations or blog posts that I wasn't looking forward to having/doing. Now that Ryan Braun has been exonerated on all charges we can finally put this whole ordeal behind us and move on with what really matters:
drinking baseball. Right?
Well, of course not.
Maybe if the MLB had decided to do a press release that said something besides "vehemently disagree." (Oh, btw, why are you commenting on what was supposed to be a confidential process?) Maybe if Braun had won for a reason besides "the urine sample was on some dude's desk for two days" (seriously, who leaves a urine sample on their desk? It's urine!) Maybe if media outlets weren't pushing to sell the story that Braun won because of a "technicality". (He didn't. He won because of shady ass urine collectors.) Maybe if people would just shut the hell up and take what Braun said in his press conference at face value and stop trying to play armchair juror.
I would love for this whole thing to go away and to never hear about it again, but it's here and it's probably here to stay. I know it. You know it. Ryan Braun knows this. It sucks. Haters are gonna hate.
But that doesn't change the fact that:
- The test was 3x higher than any test in the history of testing despite no noticeable improvement in baseball stats or physicality.
- Braun has tested 20+ times and never tested positive before.
- NOBODY has more to lose by doing PEDs than Ryan Braun.
- The urine collection process was shady and somebody probably got paid to leak this story. ARE THEY CONNECTED? #justsayin
- Braun offered to do a DNA test to prove that the urine wasn't his.
- Ryan Braun doesn't have any STD. (!)
- Ryan Braun won his appeal.
Of course none of that will matter to some because there are facts in this case that can make someone question Ryan Braun. The circumstances aren't perfect and don't 100% point to innocent. If you are a person who wants to believe Ryan Braun is a cheater then you will probably continue to believe that. You're probably a Cubs or Cardinals fan.
And if you are one of those people who don't believe Ryan Braun then I feel sorry for you. Watching Ryan Braun's press conference I saw a confident man that was shaken. A normally jovial guy who had his feelings hurt by people dragging his name through the mud for months. He was rattled, often times looking like he was about to cry and he was definitely off his game. The swagger was gone and in it's place was pure anger. Ryan Braun was pissed off. You don't get that pissed off when you are a guilty person. You might get defensive, but you don't get pissed off like that. Ryan Braun looked like Dusty Rhodes coming for the Four Horsemen out there. He was like Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino only instead of Asians he was pissed off at urine sample collectors. He was a man possessed, a man consumed with one idea: his own innocence. I believe Ryan Braun. I've always believed in him because this whole thing just didn't make any sense, but I believe in him more now than ever before because it's clear to me now more than ever just how much Ryan Braun believes in his own innocence.
We've always stood behind Ryan Braun at Miller Park Drunk, but at times we liked to make a joke about it. I mean, it's what we do. We're a stupid little comedy baseball site, what do you expect? We know Ryan Braun will never read this and if he does he will probably just hate us for spending an entire week making fun of his clothes. That's alright with us because as long as he keeps playing baseball like an All-Star we're happy. We love the Brewers and we love Ryan Braun for helping them be so damn good. With that being said on a personal note if Ryan Braun ever did read this I'd like him to know I am sorry for all the herpes jokes. Even if I did add (allegedly) before every time it was still probably wrong. Funny, but wrong. I see now how difficult this situation was and I hate that in my support for you (#FreeRyanBraun) that I would have somehow contributed to it's difficulty. Sorry bro.
It shouldn't have been like this. Ryan Braun didn't deserve any of this. He played a great season in 2011 and won the MVP as he led the Brewers to the postseason. This offseason should have been a non-stop party for Ryan Braun, but instead it was filled with stress and uncertainty. MLB screwed this process up, ESPN and other media outlets exacerbated it and Ryan Braun shouldered all of the blame for it. It's not right. The MVP deserved better.
If you want to support Ryan Braun or you want to support the Brewers then we should all give him what he deserves and never talk about this again. It's stupid and it's over. Forget about it and play f***in' ball.
*thanks to @SamZastrow for the image