Tuesday, July 23, 2013

An Attempt at Sorting Through the Ryan Braun News

If you’re one of those Brewers fans who truly “doesn’t care one way or another” about this whole Braun situation, then I envy you – I’m still trying to sort through all of my thoughts and feelings on the situation. This whole time, I have been one of the Braun supporters who would have stuck with him to the end had he continued to insist that he had never taken PEDs. I don’t know if it was blind optimism, or if I truly believed that he didn’t do it (probably the former), but I could never bring myself to accept or even think about the possibility that he had intentionally taken a banned substance. Now I am no longer able to reside in this place of denial, and I have to move on and accept the fact that my all-time favorite Brewer is now suspended for the rest of the season and will have to deal with this for the rest of his career. I usually try not to let myself become emotionally invested with any aspect of sports, but the Brewers (and certain players) always have had and always will have a special place in my heart, so this one stings. I do wish he would have told the truth to begin with, but he didn’t, so there’s no use in dwelling on the past and wishing things are different.

65 games is the suspension for Braun. Technically, the ‘rest of the season’ was the official suspension, but 65 games is what that equates to. Given that this season is a lost cause (and has pretty much been so ever since spring training began), this could end up helping the Brewers in the long run. Braun can rest and allow his thumb to heal. The Brewers can allow younger players (such as Schafer, Gindl, and Davis) to have some playing time in the outfield and assess their future potential as major leaguers. The Brewers certainly lose a lot on offense without Braun in the lineup, and less runs scored usually means more losses. More losses means a higher draft pick. Still, none of these things don’t make me feel any better about the suspension. At least not right now.

It also doesn’t help that all of the national baseball writers seem to take pleasure in taking direct shots at Brewers fans. Questioning how we could possibly cheer for Braun to succeed in the future while playing for the Brewers is just ridiculous. Of course I’m going to cheer for him; I want my team to do well. What do you expect me to do, hope he fails in every single situation so I can watch yet another disappointing season? No thanks. On second though, I guess I will root for him to fail because he did take PEDs and is now the evilest person ever in the history of baseball. I’m also going to find a list of all of the current major league players that have been suspended in the past for failing drugs tests and make sure to root against them on a daily basis. I also vow to track down every DUI ever issued to an MLB player and start cheering for them to fail, too. Man, this is going to take a lot of work. But, why stop there? I think I’ll also find the names of all of the players who have ever had a domestic assault charged to their name. I’m also going to hold a personal vendetta against anyone in the majors who was ever arrested for possession of any other illegal drug. I mean, that’s a possible jail-worthy offense! Oh boy, I’m probably going to need to take a full week off of work in order to find all of these names, but I’m dedicated to doing it, because it’s the “right thing to do.” Or something like that.

So, what happens from here? Well, a lot of people are calling for a public apology by Braun to all of Brewers fans. I think this is something that would make some people feel better, but I could care less if he apologizes to us. Who knows at this point if it would just be empty words, or if he truly means whatever he says. At this point, all I want from him is to come back in 2014 and play like a ballplayer trying to get his team back to the playoffs. While I may no longer view him in the same light that I did before all of this happened, he is still a huge part of my baseball team, and I love my baseball team. There have been past Brewers players who I didn’t particularly admire off the field, but I cheered for them during games because they were an important part of my favorite ball club. Regardless of how I feel about Braun as a person, I will continue to cheer for him and hope he puts up career numbers because that is what is in the best interest of my ball club. I will continue to buy tickets to see the Brewers play this year and every year from here on out. I will support my team no matter what and there’s nothing anybody can say to me that will ever change that.

Until next time, Beer, Brats, and Championships.

- Kristin Zenz (@10iskristin)

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