Thursday, July 25, 2013

Shame on Braun. Shame on baseball. Shame on sports. Shame on us.

"I'm a dbag."
The shame on Braun is obvious. So it's been a few days since it was announced that Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers would be suspended for the remainder of the 2013 season, totaling up to 65 games, without pay. Unless you've been hiding in a cave out in the wilderness you know it's because he did in fact use performance-enhancing drugs and Major League Baseball apparently had a ton of evidence against him resulting from all of this Biogenesis mess. He finally admitted to it and basically cut a deal with MLB, resulting in his suspension.

Hooray! Victory, right? Not so much. Braun is a stain on baseball, sports, and mankind in general and he's not the only one; he's just the latest one. You may remember a few years ago when he tested positive, was suspended 50 games, and then won an appeal on a "handling technicality" which overturned his suspension. He then proceeded to verbally attack the collector and tried to make us all feel bad for making him a victim. Liar, liar, pants on fire.

Shame on baseball for letting him off so easily. Sure he can't play for 65 games (not that the Brewers will miss him because they're awful this year) and he's going to lose about $3.4 million (if only he had a $105 million extension), but is that really punishment enough? Braun not only used PEDs, but he vehemently denied doing them to everyone's faces and was as arrogant as could be.

I'm sure baseball wanted to make an example of him and wanted to make sure that they definitely got him so they went ahead and agreed to this 65-game suspension, but it really doesn't feel all that satisfying as a baseball fan. It feels like the bad guy got off with a slap on the wrist. They should have used everything they had against him and really made him pay. I don't really know what that should entail, but it should be more than a vacation from the rest of a horrible season with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Should they take away his stats and his 2011 MVP award? I don't know about all that, but a lot of people think they should, including Matt Kemp who finished second in voting that year. Pete Rose was banned for life for betting on baseball and then lying about it. At least he played the game within the rules. I'm not against lifetime banishment being part of the penalty for PED users somewhere along the line after a couple offenses. What's really to stop baseball players from using PEDs in order to secure multimillion dollar contracts? I bet the risk of being shunned by MLB for life going into their prime would. Another thing is I think contracts should probably have the risk of being voided in certain situations. That gets into a whole lot of union stuff, so I won't go any further on that. The Brewers probably want to keep Braun anyways. He's probably still going to be good even without PEDs. I bet the don't want to pay him that much though.

Braun's reputation will never recover short of him turning his life around and walking down a path towards sainthood, but anyone who would be so adamant in lying and now is financially set for life probably doesn't really care.

Lastly, shame on sports and shame on us. It seems like in this "Steroid Era" some people are focused on informing kids about steroids and the dangers of using them and that's a good thing. If the pros do it then why shouldn't kids who want to one day be those pros? There's one other thing in my opinion about which we should all be more worried: lying. In reality, not all children are going to have access to PEDs whether they want to use them or not. Everyone can lie though and everyone can say they're sorry. Not everyone makes the front page of ESPN and every other news site in the world though.

There is a vicious cycle of athletes breaking rules and laws, then lying about them so they don't get caught, then merely apologizing when they do. Don't get me wrong. Children (and adults for that matter) should understand when they need to be sorry and when they need to apologize, but they shouldn't be taught that it is acceptable to just say, "I'm sorry" when they've done something wrong and then everything will be okay. It's not just athletes. Yes I'm a hypocrite. Most of us have done something, hoping not to get caught, but a lot of the times we are found out and we have to apologize. Like I said though, we don't all make the world headlines. When an athlete does get in trouble though, what's the first thing you hear? Some lawyer making a statement that his client didn't do it or something to that effect, only to find out in the future that of course he did it, but he's very sorry and it won't happen again. This isn't true to everyone, but I'd say it certainly is to the vast majority.

It should be emphasized to all how to differentiate between what is right and what is wrong and to try not to do something wrong in the first place. It is hard though when everyone sees athletes and celebrities on TV and on the internet acting the way they do. A lot of people say that they should not be considered role models, but unfortunately that will never be the case. Overexposure to the stars cannot be undone. Besides, there are numerous athletes and celebrities who do the right thing. Maybe we should celebrate them more.

I didn't mean to turn this into a poorly written essay on one of the downfalls of society, but I wanted to share my opinion. I didn't have a lot of time to write this because I'm getting ready to take my almost-seven-month old son to the doctor to get some more shots. I'm thinking maybe some HGH, or something to boost his testosterone so he can start to crawl faster and poop harder. You'll never know though because I'll just lie about it and if you do find out, then consider this my deepest apology. I didn't have time to read over this so if there's any errors, I'm sorry for that too.

(I'm obviously not giving my son HGH or any other kind of PEDs, just in case I had to make that known to stupid people.)

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