Tonight, Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun will be presented with the 2011 NL MVP Award at the Baseball Writers’ Association of America dinner in New York City and everyone is wondering what he will do.
That is because back in October, Braun failed a routine performance-enhancing drug test. The levels of testosterone found were said to be “insanely high,” and Braun has been adamantly refuting the test results to be true.
Back on November 22, 2011 the BBWAA announced Braun as the 2011 NL MVP Award recipient.
That same day, Braun went on the MLB Network to talk about how hard he works on being the best baseball player he can be; and he also thanked the Brewers, his teammates and the fans. He talked about his fondest personal memory, which was when he hit the home-run vs. the Florida Marlins that clinched the NL Central Division for Milwaukee. That was on September 24th and he failed the test only a week later.
According to the New York Daily News, Braun started the appeal process this past Thursday just two days before he is to be presented with the NL MVP Trophy.
Whether the appeals committee find Braun’s “highly unusual circumstances” relevant enough to overturn his pending 50-game suspension has said not to be decided prior to the Awards gala tonight.
The likelihood that the test results won’t be upheld and the suspension will be lifted is low because no player has yet to have an appeal overturned.
Regardless, for now Braun is left with a life-altering decision to make, to accept or decline the NL MVP honor.
The BBWAA has already stated that the NL MVP voting results stand no matter what happens.
So, this made me think what I would do if I were Braun?
Without question, I would not accept the award simply because it is the right thing to do.
Whether medication, herpes or a faulty test are to blame or not doesn’t really matter. Ultimately, as an adult, if I failed a test for PEDs than I should have to live with the consequences.
This is not only about Braun; it is about setting an example by not making a mockery out of baseball again.
If Braun can consciously accept an award with a 50-game suspension in the wings it speaks volumes about his character and about the respect he has for the game itself.
The BBWAA is at fault here too; as they should automatically strip any player who fails a drug test in the same season he wins the MVP as a steadfast rule. And either followed by a mandatory revote, or give the award to the player who finished second, which in this case would be Dodgers Matt Kemp.
The plain reality is that putting baseball’s credibility at stake is dishonorable. It is unfair to all the other players who didn’t fail a PED test, and it is unfair to the fans that deserve better than this.
My hope is that Ryan Braun doesn’t see himself as bigger than the game, but instead gets humbled by it.
- Ryan Braun’s MVP Acceptance: The Most Awkward Dinner in Baseball (newsfeed.time.com)
- NL MVP To Ryan Braun Screw You Matt Kemp (ladylovespinstripes.com)
- Milwaukee Brewers Ryan Braun Will Break Silence (tracking.si.com)
- New York Yankees: A Note To Brewers Fans (ladylovespinstripes.com)
- People in Sports | Ryan Braun (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Report: BBWAA Has No Plans To Strip Ryan Braun of MVP (tracking.si.com)
- Mattingly: If Braun is suspended, NL MVP award should go to Kemp (aol.sportingnews.com)
- MLB: Steroids Are Still Baseball’s Dirty Mistress (ladylovespinstripes.com)