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August 23, 2013

What You Need to Know

Braun Comes Clean(er)

by Will Woods


Thursday Takeaway
In what must have felt like a rehab assignment to a man of his powers, Clayton Kershaw traveled to Florida and eviscerated a bunch of—you know what? Kershaw is good. You know this. Let’s do something else…

Braun Comes Clean
Last night, disgraced Brewers slugger Ryan Braun released a statement admitting he’d taken performance-enhancing drugs and apologizing for having done so. It wasn’t the apology we’re used to—a vague, cryptic, “I’m sorry for things in my past,” like someone talking to his grandchildren from his deathbed—and it includes the uncomfortably identifiable psychological process wherein he convinces himself he’d done nothing wrong.

I deeply regret many of the things I said at the press conference after the arbitrator’s decision in February 2012. At that time, I still didn’t want to believe that I had used a banned substance. I think a combination of feeling self righteous and having a lot of unjustified anger led me to react the way I did. I felt wronged and attacked, but looking back now, I was the one who was wrong. I am beyond embarrassed that I said what I thought I needed to say to defend my clouded vision of reality. I am just starting the process of trying to understand why I responded the way I did, which I continue to regret. There is no excuse for any of this.

For too long during this process, I convinced myself that I had not done anything wrong. After my interview with MLB in late June of this year, I came to the realization that it was time to come to grips with the truth.

I’m not here to cast judgment, but I think we’ve all taken this journey on a smaller scale at one point or another. To me this does a lot of good for Braun, not because it recoups any of his reputation in the short term, but because it ends the story (or should). Deep down, I don’t think many people truly care about this—they don’t feel betrayed, or look at him differently for lying, or think Ryan Braun has a greater effect on their child’s moral compass than they do as parents. So he has nothing to gain in the near term; down the road, though, he can remember yesterday as the day we started to forget that he’s a cheater.

I look forward to sometime in mid-2015 when Ryan Braun comes to the plate and no one thinks about this. Because unless we’re going to bring it up every time Cesar Puello comes to bat, it will be forgotten.

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Related Content:  New York Mets,  Ryan Braun,  Matt Holliday

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