Thursday, August 22, 2013

Braun's Horrible Two-Step & "Coming Clean" Statement on Use of PED's

I wanted to post something over the weekend but work has been kicking my butt lately so that forced me to postpone my post on suspended Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun's two-step from over the weekend.  In the mean time, Braun released his "come clean" statement on his used of PED's.  I will cover my thoughts on Braun's statement but let's recap the other reports first before dissecting the statement.

First, CBS's "60 Minutes" reported that someone associated with Alex Rodriguez leaked documents that connected Braun to Biogenesis, the clinic at the center of one of MLB's largest PED scandals. Second, ESPN reported that Braun is being sued for defamation by "longtime" friend Ralph Sasson.  Early indications are that part of the lawsuit will show that Braun used PED's in college, committed academic fraud, and took money.

There is a ton to unpack.  Whether A-Rod leaked documents about Braun's PED use will grab the most headlines but is the least interesting story of the three to me because A-Rod has overtaken Barry Bonds to become the center of the PED universe in baseball (don't worry Lance, you are still center of the PED universe in sports). Braun could sue A-Rod for tortious interference with contractual relationship, which is the same way this whole saga started with MLB using that theory against Tony Bosch, the owner of Biogenesis.

The second story is interesting to me because it means Braun's friend either needs money or wants to clear his conscious.  I don't get why high profile people hire friends to "dig up dirt" since that creates an on-going cost of doing business.  I guess high-profile people can trust very few people so they figure long-time childhood friends will stay loyal but even those confidants have their breaking point.

Immediately after Braun's suspension was announced, I was worried about how that was going to impact Green bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers since Rodgers vehemently defended Braun.  That doesn't even account for the fact that Braun and Rodgers own a restaurant together that is comically named 8-Twelve MVP Bar and Grill.

I am part of the strong majority that was less than impressed with Braun's statement.  When Braun temporarily got his positive PED test overturned via the Reverse Al Capone, he delivered his statement in-person at spring training in a very strong manner.  Even if Braun wasn't going to take questions, he should have read his statement to reporters instead issuing it via a press release.

Here would have been my simple five-point plan for Braun:
1. Sincerely apologize to the fans, Dino Laurenzi, and ownership
2. Give back your 2011 NL MVP
3. Explain in grave detail your exact PED use
4. Stay out of the public eye till spring training next season
5. Offer to take a weekly test for the rest of his career

I know #2 and #5 are long-shots but that would go a long way towards leaving misdeeds in the past while trying to forge a trusting relationship going forward.  It is too early to tell on #4 but so far Braun has only half satisfied #1 and #3.  I am less than impressed with how Braun has handled this so far, which give me very little confidence that Braun will thrive on and off the field for the next decade in Milwaukee.

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