Photo courtesy Morry Gash/STF

Photo courtesy Morry Gash/STF

The last time I dedicated an article — an open letter, really — to Ryan Braun, I tried my best to tread lightly. I certainly had my feelings about the man and the technicality that brought his career back from tarnishing, but in the battle over whether or not Braun had used PED’s his side had carried the day. And there was no reason for me to keep crying foul.

But today? Today is different. Today Ryan Braun is scum.

Why scum? It’s just the word that comes to mind when I think of the man. How do you better describe a human being that paraded his overturned ban as a declaration of innocence when he knows that’s the one word that should never describe him?

I’m talking about 2012. 2011, really, but his comments that came during Spring Training a year later. Ryan Braun faced heavy punishment for elevated testosterone levels. Levels that would imply he was either cheating or had thirty two testicles (my math is only an approximation on that). And what came to his rescue? A technicality. A chink in the chain of custody.

Photo courtesy Twitter

Photo courtesy Twitter

But if you ask Braun — and people did — he said what came to his aid was the truth. “The truth is that I’m innocent,” said Braun with many of his teammates and coaches watching, “The truth is always relevant and the truth prevailed.”

I guess it must’ve been ‘Opposite Day’ because every aspect of that statement was wrong. Ryan Braun was not innocent, the truth was not always relevant (for, otherwise he wouldn’t have won his appeal), and the truth definitely did ¬†not prevail.

Those lines were just the pinnacle of a self-glorifying speech Braun gave once he had been reinstated. Instead of being humbled by the experience, he said things like, “today is for everybody who has ever been wrongfully accused.”

Looking back now, the sheer arrogance is dumbfounding.

I bring this all up now because it makes his admission — here, now, only when he’s been caught dead to rights — so hollow. Where were his apologies the first time he tested positive? Why was he not sorry he let people down back then? Why was he not sorry for the FedEx employee whose career was forever marred instead of his?

Ryan Braun now joins a special group of people. It’s a group Lance Armstrong also joined earlier this year. These aren’t people¬† who simply made mistakes, they threw anyone under the bus that they could find just to remain in the spotlight.

This group of people is a rare breed: a clique of individuals that are addicted to the opium of success. They’ve attained a certain unnatural high and they’ll cause untold damage in order to maintain it.

So, if Braun wants to apologize now, that’s fine, but it’s too late for me. I’ve seen this song and dance a dozen times and I’m over it. There’s no redemption story to be had here and don’t let a suddenly sorrowful Braun convince you otherwise. This is how the story is supposed to go. The bad guy loses and life goes on.

Maybe “bad guy” is inappropriate since I don’t know him personally. So what do you call the dirty growth on an otherwise pure talent pool that should be professional baseball?

Well, the term scum comes to mind.

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NOTE: This story was originally published on SportsHead. To read this article and others click here.
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