Ryan Braun: PEDS, MVP’s, and Setting a Precedent

November 22, 2011: Milwaukee Brewers all-star left fielder Ryan Braun won the National League MVP award.

December 12, 2011: News broke that Ryan Braun tested positive for using performance enhancing drugs.

Braun is currently appealing the results of the drug test. IF the results are upheld he will face a 50-game suspension to open the 2012 season. IF the results are upheld, that is when I think MLB should take the opportunity to set a precedent and vacate the National League MVP.

Let me start off by saying I’m a fan of Ryan Braun. A guy who hits 30 jacks and steal 30 bases is my kind of player. I love that fact he signed an extension with the smaller market Brewers. With free agency now a days, great players staying with the organization where they came to prominence is rare, and I support when stars decide to stay. I will still root for Ryan Braun to succeed even if the link to PEDS is upheld, but I truly believe MLB needs to send a strict message to players that use of performance enhancing drugs will not be tolerated by revoking his NL MVP.

To me the MVP is a guy who had an awesome year and played within the rules of the game.

The Hall of Fame voters have been on the right track in my opinion. Dealing with players who have strong links to steroids like McGwire, Sosa, and Palmeiro by not letting them into the Hall of Fame. It remains to be seen how they will treat Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens when they are up for the Hall of Fame. I’m hoping the treatment Bonds/Clemens get is more of the same treatment everyone else is getting – stopped at the Cooperstown doorstep.

I’ve heard many people state that they can’t take the Hall of Fame seriously. How can they when the all time hits leader Pete Rose isn’t in the Hall of Fame? Also if Bonds is denied, how can they respect the Hall if the all time home runs leader is not inducted? I’m not of that mindset. I agree that Pete Rose is Hall worthy, but I understand he is not in the Hall of Fame because he bet on baseball games he managed in. Same with Bonds. Yes, Bonds was a great player, should he be in the Hall of Fame? No. Why? He used PEDS.

Not holding players accountable and making exceptions to get players into the Hall of Fame is how the Hall would be discredited. I know the system will never be perfect, and there will always be differing opinions on how these great players are recognized. Bottom line is that the Hall of Fame should not be a free for all.

If players are willing to risk using performance enhancing drugs, they are asking for whatever consequences come their way. Whether that is having awards taken away, or not being inducted into the Hall of Fame. They chose to cheat, they need to deal with the fallout.

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