Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun accepted his National League MVP Award from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America Saturday night in Manhattan. But with a possible 50-game suspension withstanding due to a failed drug test for performance enhancing drugs, Braun accepted the prestigious honor amid slight controversy.
Coming off a recent ‘steroid era’ history that includes Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and A-Rod, It’s obvious that MLB has had MVP’s that have been on PED’s. But never has any player been caught between the time of being voted MVP and actually receiving the award. While Braun is under an appeals process due to what he calls “highly unusual circumstances, “ many think that the award should have been sent to a re-vote, or simply have been given to runner-up, Matt Kemp of the Dodgers.
No matter how the cookie crumbles within the next few weeks, it looks like Braun will still be your 2011 NL MVP. To his credit, Braun wasn’t completely avoiding the situation Saturday night in his acceptance speech.
"Sometimes in life, we all deal with challenges we never expected to endure," Braun stated. "We have an opportunity to look at those challenges and view them either as obstacles or as opportunities. I've chosen to view every challenge I've ever faced as an opportunity, and this will be no different. I've always believed that a person's character is revealed through the way they deal with those moments of adversity.”
"I've always loved and had so much respect for the game of baseball. Everything I've done in my career has been done with that respect and appreciation in mind. And that is why I'm so grateful and humbled to accept this award tonight."
Some media seem to be making this story simply about the fact that ‘Braun accepted his award.’ Well, of course he did. Wouldn’t you? Not accepting it would imply his guilt while also shaming the Writers’ Association, which if you want to be a Hall Of Famer, you simply do not do.
I think the real story lies within what could have been done differently. It’s most likely that Braun will be found guilty for using PED’s in the next couple of weeks as no player has ever successfully reversed a suspension order through the appeals process.
Every player is entitled to the right of an appeal. And who knows, maybe there are extenuating circumstances. However, if found guilty, should Braun still be your NL MVP?
Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS