The Man likes Ryan Braun, as do I, but for guys who find themselves in the news in dubious ways - I can't think of two other athletes in Major League Baseball who have been handled with such kid gloves like Braun and
the one-time crackhead in Texas who had some sort of alcohol relapse Josh Hamilton.
What I really want to say is it pisses me off the media and fans are so fickle - they build up a Braun and a Hamilton, so even when they mess up, fans aren't as eager to turn on them, like they do with certain types of professional athletes.
Along the lines of how I see things, this author at this Texas Rangers SB Nation fan Web site talks about how Braun's case played out in the court of public opinion - the perception totally would be different if it was one of the 'black eyes' in the sport having successfully appealed his failed PED test on the grounds the sample wasn't handled correctly after it was secured.
Actually, that's not quite true. Braun is someone who is well-liked and well-regarded around the game, someone the mainstream media seemed more than willing to believe when he professed his innocence.
Could you imagine how different the reaction would be if this were, say, Manny Ramirez, who had gotten out of a suspension by challenging the test on chain-of-custody grounds? Or Alex Rodriguez? Or Hanley Ramirez? Or (when he was playing) Barry Bonds? Or some other player who is seen as a phony, or doesn't treat the press right, or is a jerk in the clubhouse, or doesn't play the right way, or otherwise doesn't fit the mold of what the mainstream baseball media believes a good and proper baseball player should be?
So yeah, it could be worse.For better or for worse, Braun will probably get a standing ovation in his first at-bat in Miller Park this season - I guess I can't really hold anything against him except I think he did cheat, he was caught, got off on a technicality and now doesn't have to explain anything to anybody.