When Lance Armstrong came forward with his admission, it came off as mostly disingenuous and was received with little sympathy.
For years, Armstrong lied, denied and attacked anyone who stood in his way. He ruined people’s lives, filed lawsuits and did anything necessary in order to preserve himself with no regard for the damage left behind in order to so.
Ryan Braun is no better. When the then-reigning NL MVP tested positive for performance enhancing drugs, instead of taking his 50-game suspension like a man, Braun lawyered up.
Rather than serve his time, Braun and his crack staff put together a case at the expense of the sample handler in Dino Laurenzi Jr., accusing the collector of tampering with his urine, which was taken anonymously.
Braun came out having beat the system on a technicality, but left a tidal wave of residual damage in the process. Laurenzi’s reputation was severely tarnished. Longtime arbitrator Shyam Das was fired as a result of the case. Major League Baseball’s testing program was made to look foolish and led to a complete overhaul of the testing process.
Braun had the audacity to emerge from it all and proclaim that “at the end of the day, the truth prevailed”. As Danny Knobler of CBS Sports pointed out last night, Braun was right when he said that, he just had the wrong day.
After conflicting statements were initially released by both Braun and his attorney following the outbreak Biogenesis scandal, threats of lawsuits on the Miami News Times and others, and the continued belligerent proclamation of his innocence saying “the truth has not changed”, Braun’s judgment day finally came yesterday in the form of a suspension for the remainder of the 2013 season.
Having negotiated the suspension with MLB, Braun accepted his ban, and rather than face the media and truly show remorse for his actions, the disgraced Milwaukee outfielder issued a statement, then slipped away from Miller Park before the announcement of his punishment.
“I am deeply gratified to see Ryan take this bold step.” said MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner, yet there is nothing bold about it.
In Braun’s weak-at-best statement, he admits he “made some mistakes”, yet fails to mention the hardship to so many people he has caused. He duped the Milwaukee fanbase into believing he was set up in 2011, he became an icon of the sport when in actuality was yet another common fraud.
Ryan Braun will come back in 2014 hoping to “continue his great work both on and off the field”, however his name will forever be mud in the eyes of the baseball world.
Like Lance Armstrong, Braun still fails to see the true error of his ways and the lives he altered in order to get ahead. He is not sorry for his actions, they have made him a multi-millionaire, but rather he is only sorry he got caught.
I believe Danny Knobler said it best:
“At the end of the day, the truth prevailed,” he said all those months ago in Arizona.
At the end of that day, it didn’t. At the end of this day, it has.