So.

It looks like Ryan Braun’s about to get suspended for lying about being on ‘the juice’ or at the very least he will have a huge attorney bill fighting off another attempt by MLB to ‘get’ their recent MVP.

I’m a huge Brewers fan, of course, but I’m relatively new to being back into MLB. I used to have strong opinions about PED use, mostly because I followed the Giants at one point and Barry Bonds grew to be twice his size on the stuff (while retaining his unique ability to be a total ass that he had while steroid free).

I’ll not defend Braun here. When his story broke last year, I looked at the outcome on this basis – he effectively defended himself. Right, wrong, guilty, or indifferent, he won his case. I will say that Braun is about as scrawny now as he has ever been, so I’m sure that skews my opinion of him being on PEDs as much as does my Brewers fandom. Plus, the Brewers pretty much suck anyway, so as I think our new writer Kristin says, this is a good year for him to get busted if it’s going to happen.

PEDs aren’t the top of the list to me on what’s wrong with baseball anymore. The St. Louis Cardinals highly outrank them on that front. (Sort of kidding, but not really.) I think that this is going to end up in a huge fight about nothing, and as someone wise said to me, ESPN will end up with egg on their face. There’s a shocker.

What was really suprising to me were the comments I’ve seen criticizing Aaron Rodgers’ propensity for defending his friend Braun (if in fact, he decides to in a public forum on this front. To my limited knowledge AR hasn’t come out swinging on this one).

Let me get this straight. Aaron Rodgers is supposed to judge Ryan Braun? Based on what? Bill Johnson made a great point. The same thing could be going on in the NFL, but they’ve chosen not to turn on their ‘product’ quite so nastily. Maybe QB1 is on PEDs. Certainly, I hope not, it’s against the rules, but who’s to say? Human nature is competitive, and flawed.

Braun and Rodgers are ‘famously’ friends. They co-own a restaurant. They have been known to hang out together. Rodgers did speak out strongly in defense of Braun last year when the PED issue was raised. Friends do that for each other. You believe in your friends. Sometimes more than you should, of course.

Maybe Braun’s on steroids. No, PEDs, my bad. As my friend @miltownbucky says, baseball seems to be primarily about keeping people healthy with these issues, not bulking up, these days anyway. Maybe Rodgers knows exactly what Braun has or hasn’t done. Maybe he doesn’t. Are any of us not guilty of withholding information when you think a good friend might disapprove of your choices?

Maybe Ryan Braun is a really good human being who made a mistake and Rodgers knows that. Maybe, just maybe, Braun is a total dick and so is Rodgers. We don’t know. We’re fans of a team, or teams, in my case. I happen to appreciate the talents of both gentlemen, and I’m glad they haven’t taken them elsewhere.

How would any of you act in a similar environment to the one Braun and Rodgers work in? In any environment? Would you make mistakes? Would you judge your friends for doing so, even if the person in question was a loyal friend and had the best intentions? Would you excuse yourself for any of your actions that might fall short of people’s expectations, while expecting your friend to live up to them?

I think it’s time to stop making assumptions. About Braun, about Rodgers’ friendship with him. About everything. There’s lots of gray in this world, kids. Maybe it’s time to become more realistic about that.

Grow up.

What about your friends? What about you?

 

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  • Mike

    I understand your point about Rodgers but at the same time, he was calling out the media for rushing to conclusions. After the fedex mixup exonerated Braun due to some technicality, Rodgers publicly celebrated and basically said, “Ya see, he was innocent!” even though Braun was guilty but some technicality got him off.

    I think the media should shred Rodgers and make him eat crow…

  • Mike

    Rodgers tweet following the fedex mixup let Braun off the hook:

    @AaronRodgers12: MLB tried to sully the reputation of an innocent man. Truth will set u free #exonerated