Dear Ryan Braun,
I would like to start off by congratulating you on your appeal. No one has ever had such a large ban overturned before and I can see where it merited doing so in your case. I hope you have an incident-free repeat MVP campaign this year.
But I must say, I am not wholly prepared to buy your innocence. Don’t get me wrong, I have no reason to think you aren’t a good guy. But good process or bad process, something caused a test to show you had elevated levels of testosterone; seriously elevated levels at that.
Your recent legal victory has built a platform for you to proclaim your innocence. I can’t say I wouldn’t do the exact same thing you did at Spring Training yesterday, but I also can’t say that it was the right move.
Let’s not mix facts: your ban was overturned on a technicality. An irresponsible employee mishandled your test sample and thus corrupted the process. Maybe something did get tampered with during all that, but maybe it didn’t.
Rather than standing on a soap box and turning Major League Baseball into the accused (of a flawed process), I would rather you kindly thank the arbitrator and go on about your business. What you have here is a second chance. Don’t say you won, don’t say you lost, say nothing and let your performance speak for yourself. If you put up the same MVP-like numbers you did last year without testing positive, and you come back clean year after year, that is the time for you to say MLB got it wrong.
The beauty of performance enhancing drugs is that athletes need them. We’re not talking about cocaine or alcohol here. If you weren’t using any kind of PED’s you should be just fine this season. So if you want to convince me your positive test result back in October was a fluke, let the remainder of your career do it and not your mouth.
A Baseball Fan