By Aaron Kirchoff Rushville Republican
---- — By now most sports fans and all baseball fans are aware of the Ryan Braun fiasco. I guess I should call it a suspension, but I don’t think that covers the story.
Braun has been suspended for the remainder of the season. Sixty-five games without pay, somewhere in the neighborhood of $3.2 million in salary. He agreed to this suspension for unspecified violations of baseball’s drug rules and labor contract.
Why “unspecified” violations? What did he do or take? Braun, the 2011 National League Most Valuable Player, has denied taking banned substances numerous times. He fought a 50-game suspension and won on a technicality as an arbitrator ruled Braun’s urine sample was handled improperly.
The following spring, he even told the media, “I truly believe in my heart and I would bet my life that this substance never entered my body at any point.” (According to ESPN website).
Braun’s friend Aaron Rodgers even said he would bet his next year’s salary that Braun was clean. Wish I would have taken that bet. I don’t know what Rodgers’ official salary is for the season, but I’m guessing it’s more than mine.
The case or evidence MLB has against Braun this time must be much stronger. Braun is not fighting at all. He just gave in to a season-ending suspension. But if punishment was coming, this deal looks like it was devised by those close to Braun.
I believe that Braun knew he was caught and I believe he, and maybe even some Brewers fans, felt this was a perfect time to take the suspension. The Brewers are 20 games out of first place and 15 out of the wild card. They are not going to the playoffs this year.
Now Braun and the Brewers can start fresh next season. Yea, it is going to cost Braun $3 million, but he has $100 million left on his contract when he returns. Financially, he’ll be fine. His reputation and his place in baseball history have been shattered.
Contact: Aaron Kirchoff at 765-932-2222 ext. 114