CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

Futures Guide 2014 is Now Available in Paperback and Three E-book Formats.

Premium and Super Premium Subscribers Get a 20% Discount at MLB.tv!

<< Previous Article
The BP Broadside: The ... (12/09)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article The BP First Take: Thu... (12/08)
Next Column >>
The BP First Take: Giv... (12/13)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (12/12)

December 12, 2011

The BP First Take

Monday, December 12

by Daniel Rathman

When ESPN's T.J. Quinn and Mark Fainaru-Wada first reported that Ryan Braun had tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, the reaction around the baseball world was shock and anger.

His NL MVP award should be taken away. His contract with the Brewers should be voided. The playoffs must be replayed. Even Senator John McCain joined in on Sunday.

Whether you agree or disagree with those opinions, they all constitute an unnecessary rush to judgment. If there's one thing that is clear about Braun's case, it's that the details are still emerging. ESPN's headline still insists that Braun's test was positive for performance-enhancing drugs. Yet, Ken Rosenthal has since learned that the substance Braun was caught using is not a PED. The reality is that we simply don't know yet.

It's easy to judge Braun because no player has yet been publicly cleared of performance-enhancing-drug allegations. It's easy to judge him because he's the sort of player whom, stereotypically, fans would not expect to use steroids. It's easy to judge him because he's the face of a franchise—one that will be increasingly reliant upon him if Prince Fielder leaves in free agency. Most of all, it's easy to judge him because he is the reigning NL MVP. Unfortunately, for all of those same reasons, it's crucial that all the details are revealed before the baseball world reaches its verdict.

If Braun's positive test results are confirmed, then he will be forced to serve his 50-game suspension, to explain himself to Brewers fans, and to hear the boos rain down every time he steps on the field. But that day has not yet come, and plenty of holes have been poked through what Quinn and Fainaru-Wada initially reported as an airtight case.

A week of hot stove talk at the Winter Meetings and of amazement at Albert Pujols' new contract ended with a disappointing story that virtually no one saw coming. The Winter Meetings are supposed to be the most media- and fan-friendly week of the long, arduous offseason. They were and it was—until Saturday evening came along.

No one wants to spend the next two months before spring training decrying a once rising star's free-fall, instead of looking ahead to the new year. So, why do it until we know we have to?

Daniel Rathman is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Daniel's other articles. You can contact Daniel by clicking here

7 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
The BP Broadside: The ... (12/09)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article The BP First Take: Thu... (12/08)
Next Column >>
The BP First Take: Giv... (12/13)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (12/12)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of Wednesday, Jul...
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Sustained Success and the...
Eyewitness Accounts: July 24, 2014
Premium Article Painting the Black: The Selling-the-Closer M...
Premium Article Going Yard: J.D. Martinez Gets A Degree In H...
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Tigers Bullpen Gets Le...
The Lineup Card: Seven Unsigned Top Draft Pi...

MORE FROM DECEMBER 12, 2011
Prospectus Hit and Run: Braun Banned for PED...
A Visit with Verducci
Premium Article Pebble Hunting: These Pitches Three
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Win Now, Win Later
Premium Article Resident Fantasy Genius: The Cespedes Scoop

MORE BY DANIEL RATHMAN
2011-12-15 - The BP First Take: Thursday, December 15
2011-12-14 - The BP First Take: Wednesday, December 14
2011-12-13 - The BP First Take: Give Maholm a Home?
2011-12-12 - The BP First Take: Monday, December 12
2011-12-08 - Premium Article The BP First Take: Thursday, December 8
2011-12-06 - The BP First Take: Tuesday, December 6
2011-12-05 - The BP First Take: Monday, December 5
More...

MORE BP FIRST TAKE
2011-12-15 - The BP First Take: Thursday, December 15
2011-12-14 - The BP First Take: Wednesday, December 14
2011-12-13 - The BP First Take: Give Maholm a Home?
2011-12-12 - The BP First Take: Monday, December 12
2011-12-08 - Premium Article The BP First Take: Thursday, December 8
2011-12-06 - The BP First Take: Tuesday, December 6
2011-12-05 - The BP First Take: Monday, December 5
More...