The man that finished a close second in the National League batting race in 2011 (Jose Reyes of the New York Mets beat him out—by collecting a hit and benching himself on the last day of the season), Ryan Braun has seen his name cleared of illegal-substance ingestion because an open FedEx office was not found. The now well-known story takes on a further Surreal touch with Braun’s filmed “press conference” in front of no reporters—at least within my (Evander) sight. His suspension suspended, and absent an injury, Braun will start the season for Milwaukee.
Is this any way to run a sport?
The issue of questionable and/or illegal-substances ingestion is complex. Chewing tobacco. Alcohol. Pot. Uppers. LSD. Crack. HGH and Steroids. Platelets’ injections. Why the fuss? Players have turned on, fueled by all of the above and more. Batters have set records. Pitchers have thrown perfect games and no-hitters, so it has been claimed, with hangovers and even while tripping.
There are issues of the right to privacy and the right to one’s body; there are issues on maintaining competitive balance and excellence.
Ryan Braun was clear to proclaim that only in Major League Baseball is an American guilty until proved innocent.
By finding a loophole to drive a truck thro, Braun and his handlers have succeeded in making a mockery of major-league drug-testing.
Sadly, the message sent (not by FedEx) to young people, regarding steroid ingestion, is twofold. Part of the message, though most are too young to understand it, is that a Dream Team of attorneys can turn commonsense upside down. The second part of the message: “Steroids (and similar substances) are really OK if your hero resorts to them and doesn’t have to pay the piper.”
Steroids taken for performance enhancement are insidious: dangerous substances that alter the metabolism in ways that are not completely understood, particularly over time.