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What Ryan Braun Should Say on Saturday

What Ryan Braun Should Say on Saturday

Ryan Braun

What Ryan Braun Should Say on Saturday

Milwaukee Brewer outfielder Ryan Braun is facing a 50-game suspension for steroid use found in a test administered during the playoffs.  The story leaked on Dec. 10, just 18 days after it was announced that Braun was voted the NL MVP.  Braun’s candidacy as an MVP was evaluated based on the assumption that he was steroid-free (as that’s the only logical assumption for anyone not named Barry Bonds in this sport).  Given the tight race between Braun and Los Angeles Dodger outfielder Matt Kemp many voters would have changed their votes at even an inkling of news connecting Braun and steroids.  And it was and still is my opinion that Kemp should have won the award. Regardless, Braun won the award and is set to receive it on Saturday where he is scheduled to make a speech.  The speech-giving is a bit out of the ordinary, but nothing entirely unprecedented and surely more noteworthy because of Braun’s steroid issues. Repeatedly Braun and his advisors have maintained his innocence and the “highly unusual circumstances surrounding this case which will support Ryan’s complete innocence and demonstrate there was absolutely no intentional violation” of baseball’s drug-testing program (according to one of Braun’s spokesmen). Here’s what Braun should say on Saturday:

 

The Truth.

Tell his story in front of the national sportswriters.

Appeal to their personal side and be a man in control and on top of these issues without coming off as too confident.  National Sportswriters are the ones who formulate public opinion.  They’re the ones who don’t want to look bad for voting for Braun and will write stories sympathetic toward Braun and his story.

If Braun took steroids knowingly, say so.  Andy Pettitte and Alex Rodriguez and Jason Giambi all followed that path and have all but erased their aura of steroids.  If Braun took a weight gainer that accidentally spiked his testosterone, say so. The public is forgiving of accidents if they think it’s genuine. The problem is Braun has to come off as genuine, but he will still be held responsible.  If Braun had herpes or another legitimate medical reason to take a substance that would spike his testosterone, say so. Sure, Ryan Braun would then become the butt of entirely too many STD jokes, but his Hall of Fame candidacy and baseball legacy would remain untarnished.

I don’t care what Braun says as long as he addresses the issue.  Thus far, he and his people have refused to comment on the situation citing that the “investigation is ongoing.” However, a speech in front of the entire BBWAA is the perfect platform for Braun to proclaim his innocence and begin the public trial on his reputation.

My greatest fear with the Braun situation is that he will refuse to comment on the situation and go through the private appeal process and come out innocent.  The public would think he pulled some strings behind closed doors and for the reputation of the game, the powers that be forgave their poster boy.  Whatever the result, Braun will most likely serve his 50 game suspension (that’s just the manner of the way the laws are written in baseball), but his more important battle will play out in the public court. Will his 50 game suspension be just that? Or is this a cloud that will follow him throughout his career? Step 1 in steering his steroid problem to the backburner comes on Saturday.


Be sure to visit Off The Bench for more great baseball articles.

By Off The Bench
Friday, 20 Jan 2012

 

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Milwaukee Brewers, Steroids

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