Thought’s on Ryan Braun’s Positive Test Results

Other Takes: Deadspin | Grantland – Jonah Keri | Sporting News | Sports Illustrated | New York Daily News

A 4 to 1 ratio amount of testosterone positive test result. That’s all it took for one of the brightest stars in today’s game to be reduced to just another prince who turned into a pumpkin for us right at midnight.

Braun says it’s “B.S.”, literally.

I don’t know what to think anymore. I’m truly shocked.

Here we have a guy who we should be praising for being a shining example of what a ballplayer should be. He is coming off his first MVP season in which his team made the NLCS, and he’s began his career with five of the finest seasons that a player has ever compiled offensively. With Prince Fielder taking a stage left exit, the Brewers become Braun’s team. I believe that we were on the cusp of this becoming Ryan Braun’s league. Those are the things we should be talking about when we talk about Ryan Braun.

But for the rest of time now–no matter what happens–we’re going to be talking about something different.

I got a text after the world heard the news Saturday night. It read: “Braun is innocent until proven guilty.”

I used to be less jaded, but I think it’s the other way around nowadays. I think a player, any player; is guilty until proven innocent. And unfortunately in this case we’re talking about a player who you would not suspect anything of the sort from.

Braun doesn’t look like what we were taught the poster child of steroids looks like. He isn’t muscle bound, and he’s not a lot bigger than he was when he entered the game of baseball, if at all. Braun looks like a well conditioned ballplayer. In the past when players have used PED’s, they look like Bonds, or McGwire, or Sosa. We see no overgrowth of muscles or veins.

The same thing keeps running through my mind. Too often when there has been smoke, there’s surely fire to follow. I don’t believe this is going to be different–though we’re told that this is a case unlike any that we’ve seen before in baseball from sources close to the situation.

From the Deadspin post:

A very good source on the Ryan Braun side of the drug testing controversy assures me that Braun did not test positive for a performance-enhancing drug, as reported by ESPN’s “Outside the Lines.”

[...]

But my source—and again, this is from Braun’s end and not MLB—familiar with the test’s findings says the “prohibited substance” was not a performance-enhancing drug or steroid of any kind. And the source says there has “never” been a result like this in the history of the MLB testing program.

 

I simply don’t buy it. Not anymore. And I suppose when I really think hard about it–when I really sat there and read the alert text over and over again Saturday night on my phone–the shock wore off a lot quicker than it used to.

If Ryan Braun can be guilty of this, I think anyone in baseball can. Anyone. This is obviously a player with such rare natural ability who never needed the usage of anything to refine his game. I believe Braun is as talented as anyone in the game today and if he’s dirty, I don’t think we could be accused at pointing our finger in vein at anyone anymore.

I don’t understand all the specifics of what is involved in a situation like this, but it appears to me that what got Braun caught was not the actual agent itself but something that was covering the agent that would have gotten him caught.

This is a real shame, and I think that living in the age we do that all the truth will eventually come to light. We’ll know close to the whole story, and it’s going to further darken the view of the fan who is like me. I try to enjoy and appreciate the various special talents from around the league and game of baseball because I really love the game. When something like this happens, it makes me believe that the things we see are somewhat artificial; and it makes me realize that I can never again live in an age like my father and grandfather did where the great ones derived their power from chopping wood and eating oats. And that’s not fair, because I think we deserve an era like that too.

I’m in Braun’s corner, I’m rooting for him. I just don’t have high hopes for the situation.

Topics: Milwaukee Brewers, PEDs, Ryan Braun, Testosterone

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  • zackflagel11

    I agree- it’s unfortunate. And you’re right- in this situation, he’s really guilty until proven innocent. And proven innocence in a situation like this is one REALLY hard thing to do, which is why it’s a longshot for this to be overturned.

    My gut does tell me, however, that he is, in fact, innocent. This positive test doesn’t make much sense to me. Here’s why:

    1) There was no obvious motive– Not money (he’s under contract for 150+ million bucks till 2020) or stats (hes been pretty awesome his entire career). The only thing that would be a possible motive in this situation (unless he’s been juicing for a longer time) would be winning the playoffs- butte’s smarter than that.

    2) Like you said, his muscles aren’t buff like other juicers. He looks more like a regular ballplayer just with immense natural talent. His body sure doesn’t look like he takes PEDS.

    3) Reports have said the test was twice the testosterone level the MLB have ever seen, which means it is at least an 8:1 ratio, and probably higher. What’s significant is that he reportedly took another test a couple weeks later (we don’t know when specifically), and he tested normal. I know very little about steroids, but I find it hard to believe that two tests taken a month or so apart would have those polar results.

    Anyways, this incident still shocks and saddens me. I just hope the truth comes out and the right thing happens.

  • zackflagel11

    I agree- it’s unfortunate. And you’re right- in this situation, he’s really guilty until proven innocent. And proven innocence in a situation like this is one REALLY hard thing to do, which is why it’s a longshot for this to be overturned.

    My gut does tell me, however, that he is, in fact, innocent. This positive test doesn’t make much sense to me. Here’s why:

    1) There was no obvious motive– Not money (he’s under contract for 150+ million bucks till 2020) or stats (hes been pretty awesome his entire career). The only thing that would be a possible motive in this situation (unless he’s been juicing for a longer time) would be winning the playoffs- butte’s smarter than that.

    2) Like you said, his muscles aren’t buff like other juicers. He looks more like a regular ballplayer just with immense natural talent. His body sure doesn’t look like he takes PEDS.

    3) Reports have said the test was twice the testosterone level the MLB have ever seen, which means it is at least an 8:1 ratio, and probably higher. What’s significant is that he reportedly took another test a couple weeks later (we don’t know when specifically), and he tested normal. I know very little about steroids, but I find it hard to believe that two tests taken a month or so apart would have those polar results.

    Anyways, this incident still shocks and saddens me. I just hope the truth comes out and the right thing happens.