When it was reported back in December of last year that Ryan Braun had tested positive for Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED’s) the baseball world was stunned. Now that Braun has successfully appealed the accusation that he had taken PED’s (the first player in MLB history to do so) the baseball world is stunned yet again.
First of all, before I get into my thoughts and opinions, I want to take a moment to say that this should never of been leaked in the first place. Whether Braun had taken PED’s or not, the person who leaked the results had no business doing so. It’s likely that it will never be found out who spilled the beans, but if it is ever found out that person should be fired for all of the problems they caused. But I digress.
Braun has been adamant since the initial report was made that he has never taken any PED’s. He continued with the confidence during today’s press conference in which he made it clear that he won his appeal because the truth was on his side.
In all realitly, it was never determined whether or not he took PED’s. All that was determined was that proper protocol wasn’t followed in testing the sample from Braun. According to Braun, the sample was taken on October 1st, however wasn’t delivered to FedEx until October 3rd. Proper protocol states that test samples are to be delivered to FedEx the day that they are taken. Braun won his appeal due to the uncertainty of what could’ve been done to the test sample from the time it was taken to the time it was dropped off at FedEx. In Braun’s own words the testing process is “fatally flawed”, and I couldn’t agree more.
Braun having his 50-game suspension lifted is one of the reasons I haven’t posted my blog entry in which I’m going to announce my predictions on how I think each team will do in the upcoming MLB season. Had Braun of been suspended, the Brewers would have had no chance whatsoever to win the NL Central. Now, with Braun back in the line up for the full season, I think they’re going to be real contenders in their division.
At first glance you’d find yourself thinking that the loss of Fielder would hinder the Brewers enough to keep them from defending their title of NL Central winners from 2011. You’d also find yourself thinking that the 2011 World Champion Cardinals would overtake that spot, but with the loss of Albert Pujols, I’d say both teams are about even.
Pujols and Fielder are similar in the fact that they both make major impacts each and every night. They’re both power sluggers and are the best in the business at driving in runs. Combine the loss of Fielder with the loss of Braun for 50 games, and I could easily see the Brew Crew finishing 3rd or worst in the NL Central division. With Braun however, I think they have a good chance of winning the division for the second straight season. That’s how important Braun is to his team.
In conclusion, whether you agree or disagree with the outcome, what’s done is done. You’ll just have to put up with watching Ryan Braun do his thing for an extra 50 games than everyone thought he’d being appearing in at this time on Thursday.