Remember when Cardinals players detested the Brewers for not honoring the game? You know, for such egregious crimes as un-tucking their jerseys, or over celebrating a double? Well, I guess you can add one more to that list.

Ryan Braun, one of the leaders of the brash, young, “disrespectful” Brewers, has avoided his 50 game suspension for elevated testosterone levels. Does Braun deserve to be criticized by Cardinals fans, and by the national baseball media as a whole, for winning his challenge because of compromised test results? Probably as much as the Brewers warranted criticism for un-tucking their jerseys.

Despite the technicality, as so many have been quick to dismiss it as, there was a fairly major technicality in December when the test results were leaked to ESPN before due process could run its course. The national media have said that Braun is the first player to defeat the drug test system. True, he is the first to defeat the system with the court of public opinion already having sentenced him. However, we’ll never know how many of these confidential appeals have been sustained in the 7 years since MLB implemented the strictest drug testing program in North American sports.

There are so many questions still in play; why was the testosterone level so outrageously high; why was the urine even tested when it sat beyond the 24 hour statute of limitations; why/who leaked this story back in December; and what will Braun’s narrative reveal? For Braun’s sake, let’s hope he doesn’t pull a Mark McGwire who didn’t want to “discuss the past.”

This isn’t the judicial system, but everyone is innocent until proven guilty, and though the circumstantial evidence might suggest otherwise, Ryan Braun should’ve at least earned the benefit of the doubt from the baseball community after the sustained challenge.

And if any ignorant, obnoxious, drunk Cubs fan tells you otherwise, just remind them that at least we didn’t sign Soriano for 8 years, $136 million.


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