With reports swirling that multiple players will be suspended soon for their connection to Biogenesis, I thought it would be interested to see how fans and bloggers reacted to the news that’s already come down: Ryan Braun’s 65-game suspension.
To recap, Braun failed a steroid test a few years ago, but was able to beat it on a technicality of improper handling of his urine sample. He went on a big campaign against the person who took the test, repeatedly saying he was clean and that he did not take steroids. Fast forward to two weeks ago, and Braun admitted to steroid usage and took a deal from MLB to miss the remainder of the 2013 season as punishment.
When news first broke, Tom Haudricourt of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel had it first on his Brewers Blog. Haudricourt, a “traditional journalist,” had his sources checked and was right on with the whole story before it was announced. He was the breaking source of the info – not in a news article, but on his blog.
Now, it could be argued that is was just a normal news article living on what they’ve come to call a blog, but the style of such can be argued for days on end. This piece did not live within the normal part of the site. It did not get fancy photo galleries or anything a “real” news article might get. It was Tom’s tough writing, posted quickly. And it spread like wildfire. Eventually, photos and context came to live around the article, but that’s not how it was originally displayed.
Here’s what some fans wrote about it on their baseball blogs…
I don’t know. It’s kind of like when news broke way back in 2011 that Braun first tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. It leaves a weird feeling in the pit of one’s gut. It sets up a lot of disappointment for the Brewers. It’s sad that this is going to cause a decade of hate around the country for the Milwaukee baseball club.
I would suggest there’s nothing noble about dumping on someone who got caught doing something he shouldn’t have. We’re not all in the position to break the rules of a sport, but we’re all in the position to be caught lying at some point in our lives. When we are, we’re probably not going to feel we’re beneath the likes of Gregg Doyel, or anyone else who wants to pile on us for making a choice we ended up regretting.
I will forever cheer for the Brewers to win, but I refuse to make Braun a part of that. Assuming he’s still on the team in 2014, I will not be clapping or yelling for him to get a hit or score a run. I may actually boo him when he walks up and cheer wildly when he K’s – and I’ll make no apologies for it.
I don’t think I’m alone when I say this but I respected you, Ryan. I looked up to you. I tried to emulate your batting stance and swing. I dreamed about your heroic home runs that propelled the Brewers into the postseason. What am I supposed to think now? I’m more upset with the lies and the stories than the cheating. Every time you lied, your grave got deeper.
These are all tough takes on a tough position for a fan to be in.
As many of them point out, they were huge Braun fans. Many of them believed him, and stuck up for him when the first suspension came down, and were thrilled when he was cleared of the charges. But now, the second time, the old wounds are re-open, and new ones added on top of that.
They’re hurt, they’re angry, and their blogs are their place to vent. I suggest checking out some of the links and especially the comments for some more flavors of Brewers tears shed for Braun.