Ryan Braun proved that it's tough to trust anyone these days. Either he's lying about his use of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) or the test is lying. When you look into Braun's doe eyes, you see hope, you see a leader, you see strength (possibly PED strength?). This could all be tarnished. The Golden Boy of baseball has become the the Anti-Golden Man of baseball. Even if it turns out that the tests are false, or there's another reason why he tested positive, he's going to have to deal with always being questioned. He'll forever be under the microscope, much like stem cells. I can already see the signs in rival cities..."The Brauny Man"..."MVP: Muscle Via Pills"..."A Braun Caught in Headlights"
It saddens me that Ryan Braun possibly used PEDs. Even as a Pirates and Rockies fan, it makes me sad to know that the reason he could have won the ROY over Tulo is because he was juiced. Or the reason why the Pirates have won only 10 games in 3 years in Miller Park could be because the Brewers' left fielder was the every-man's version of Barry Bonds. When you compete with another person, you hope that person is not only a worthy competitor, but a trustworthy competitor. In this case, I hope I can trust Ryan Braun. He's that guy that I love to hate. I want to see the Pirates win their division this year without there being excuses like, "Oh, well we didn't have Braun for 50 games." It's already bad enough that the Brewers are going to lose Prince Fielder this off-season and that the Pirates traded for Casey McGehee. The Pirates will be pretty much playing themselves from five seasons ago. If you look at what's happened so far in the NL Central, the Cardinals have lost Pujols and the Brewers are going to lose Fielder. When two of the best players in baseball leave your division and they weren't from your team, then you're feeling pretty good about your chances. Especially when the Astros are also in your division.
I hope for Baseball's sake that Ryan Braun isn't found guilty. Even though I don't like the Brewers or what Ryan Braun does to the Pirates, I'm still a fan of baseball. I'm a fan of fans, even Ryan Braun fans.
What do you think? Is Ryan Braun's reputation tarnished forever no matter the outcome? Will Milwaukee be able to succeed without Braun and Fielder? What are some of your Braun signs?