Ryan Braun, perhaps the National League’s most consistent and dominant hitter over the past 5 seasons has accepted a 65 game suspension from Major League Baseball. The 65 games constitutes the rest of the season, and represents something of a compromise for both Major League Baseball, and the “first” time offender.
Braun was suspended for his affiliation with Biogenesis, the Miami clinic that has been tied to performance enhancing substances. He was not suspended for a positive test this time around.
Braun famously won his appeal after his he first tested positive test with Major League Baseball, following his MVP season in 2011. He addressed the accusations head on in a press conference, confidently denouncing the results of the test and maintaining his clean record. Ultimately, he won the appeal on a technicality when the sample taker did not stick to protocol.
Matt Kemp, who runner-up and deserved winner of the 2011 NL MVP, still does not want that tainted award.
This time around, Ryan Braun rather meekly accepted the suspension, but he still didn’t so much as admit he used performance enhancing drugs. Was he suspended for PED use, or retroactively for being a liar and bad face for baseball?
Bud Selig laid down the plan that all first time offenders who tested positive would be suspended 50 games. It’s a blanket punishment. The same goes for the second time offenders’ 100 game suspension.
Ryan Raun is still in another realm outside the constraints of standard punishment. He escaped his first offense. So technically this is his first, and should have a 50 game suspension. He didn’t receive 50 games. And this isn’t even a positve test. He is being suspended, almost retroactively for the previous test during this second time being linked with PED usage.
This may not be fair. He should either not be punished, or suspended 50 or 100 games. But I am not upset since Braun was the recipient of the MVP award that Matt Kemp deserved in 2011. Braun will be back in 2014, he will put up his usual 100+ runs, RBIs, 30+ HRs, and 20+ Stolen Bases barring another positive test, and if anyone still cares about steroids, he will be booed mercilessly.