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By Steve Silverman
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Ryan Braun made a deal with baseball and he will sit out the rest of the season before he is allowed to come back to the Milwaukee Brewers and resume his career.
That’s pretty sweet for Braun, who will miss 65 games and then he gets to put back on his uniform as if nothing had happened. Braun was implicated by a Miami anti-aging clinic as a client who obtained performance-enhancing drugs. Those PEDs helped him win a National League MVP in 2011.
Braun did not even have to admit what he had done. All he did was say that he had made some mistakes along the way, and that he wasn’t perfect.
This “non-admission” admission came on the heels of his snit-fit in 2012 in which he successfully protested that his urine sample had been improperly handled — and perhaps tainted. He blamed a courier who did not follow procedure because he did not get to a FedEx office before it closed late on a Saturday afternoon in 2011.
That’s why Braun is among the most hated players in baseball now. It’s not so much that he used steroids, it’s the lengths that he went to protest the findings and the lies that he told after it was revealed that his first test indicated extremely high levels of testosterone.
Players, fans and the media are coming down hard on Braun and they should. They know a phony and a liar when they see one, and that’s just what Braun is.
But while he is MLB public enemy No. 1 right now, he’s only going to have that crown temporarily. As soon as MLB comes out with an announcement of a suspension for Alex Rodriguez, the hue and cry will grow deeper and louder.
As well it should. A-Rod has been a manipulator and a fraud since his days in Texas. He always wanted to be the biggest star and he was willing to do anything that he could so he could outstrip Derek Jeter and Nomar Garciaparra back in the late 1990s.
He would do anything he could to come off as the nicest guy, but none of his words or actions ever seemed truthful. Especially about his decision to take PEDs in the first place, when he claimed to be pressured into using them because baseball had a different culture in 2001 through 2003 than it does now.
“Back then, (baseball) was a different culture,” Rodriguez told Peter Gammons in 2009. “It was very loose. I was young. I was stupid. I was naive. And I wanted to prove to everyone that I was worth being one of the greatest players of all time.
“I did take a banned substance. And for that, I am very sorry and deeply regretful.”
Few believed him then, and only the Kool-Aid drinkers believe him now.
MLB is going to hand down a harsh penalty to A-Rod. It could be any minute, any hour or any day.
When it does, it’s going to be a lot more severe than the 65 games Braun got.
A-Rod deserves exactly what is coming to him. Braun will soon see how lucky he is compared to the other alleged cheater who is just about to get nailed.
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