Might Milwaukee PEDdle Ryan Braun?
Could such a deal happen? Would you want it to?
Surely, New York is large enough to fit two big fat liars. If the Yankees can have Alex Rodriguez lying, denying, and apologizing about PEDs use every two years, then why can’t the Mets?
Yes, Ryan Braun has been an amazing offensive force over the course of his career. I admit to stopping everything I was doing whenever he came to the plate. I took the bait hook, line, and sinker in believing that Ryan Braun was a fantastic hitter — in the same way I marveled at Manny Ramirez.
Then came the failed test during the 2011 playoffs. I didn’t believe him when he denied using PEDs. I didn’t believe he was innocent based on a technical failure to prove him guilty. And I continued to see him as a lying S-O-B right up until he “came clean” as a result of an MLB investigation of Tony Bosch. I don’t believe him when he said he used “a cream and a lozenge” for “a short period of time to expedite” his rehabilitation. His public apology and phone calls to Brewers season-ticket holders bored me. Denial, denial, denial, and then an apology after being caught? Yeah, doesn’t really do much to instill any kind of confidence in your character or integrity. It’s exactly what A-Roid has done, and many others.
Once a person lies, it’s difficult to believe anything he/she says ever again. Looking past lies is not like forgiving. I can forgive a person for making a mistake. I can’t start believing a person who has lied — it doesn’t matter whether it’s a baseball player, a co-worker, an acquaintance, a politician, or some other person. But that’s me.
But let’s just pretend that Ryan Braun’s pack of lies are not part of the issue. Let’s just consider the fantasy that the Mets would be able to acquire Braun from the Brewers. Would you want him?
If the only player the Mets had to part with was Ike Davis, then, sure, it’s worth considering. Though, there is the matter of Braun’s contract (i.e., motivation for apologies and phone calls to season-ticket holders), which is guaranteed through 2020 and has about $117M left due to him. If there was no history whatsoever of PEDs, that contract would likely be very difficult for the Mets to take on, considering their financial issues and Sandy Alderson’s philosophy of avoiding expensive, long-term contracts.
But added to that is the fact that there IS a history of PEDs use. We have no idea to what extent Braun used PEDs, nor how much the PEDs helped his performance. There’s at least one person suggesting that Braun has been juicing since his college days. Credible or not, it has to be considered — all things must be considered and researched before handing over $100M to a ballplayer. And if indeed Braun has been taking PEDs all along, one has to wonder — if he stops, will he continue to be the remarkable hitter he’s been thus far? It’s not unfair to ask that question, considering what we’ve seen from other ballplayers who have been caught (such as A-Roid). Further, we have to wonder how Braun will perform as a thirtysomething without the aid of PEDs.
And then there’s the issue of a convicted PEDs user playing under the hot light of the New York stage, which is a whole ‘nuther can of worms. Is he up to the task? Can he handle the constant catcalls and postgame questions?
Maybe Braun really did only use PEDs for a “short period of time” in 2011. But if not, and the Mets acquired him, and had to pay the bulk of his contract through 2020, is it worth the gamble?
Anxious to hear your thoughts.