As of right now, this is all we know for sure:
– Ryan Braun tested positive for a PED (Performance Enhancing Drug) due to elevated levels of testosterone. Through two tests, it was determined that the heightened levels were not natural, that either some form of PED (HGH, steroids, etc) is responsible.
– Braun's camp was informed in late October
– Braun's camp says there are some highly unusual circumstances behind the test, and will appeal.
And as of now, that is all we know.
What I'm not excited about is after a crazy, crazy Winter Meetings where there is so much baseball to discuss (the New Marlins, Angels, Fielder, Darvish) we will now have to focus our attention on the issue of PED's, HGH and steroids again. We all know this is not an issue that the media will not ignore, and it is one that it will definitively overkill with news coverage. Here's why:
– Braun is one of the league's best players and role models
– Braun has been used as an example of a clean player for years
– Braun just won a very contested MVP contest against Matt Kemp
And honestly, it is that last bullet point that I'm not ready for. I'm not ready for the news coverage, the opinions that Kemp should be the MVP. All of the requested and granted interviews with Matt Kemp, trying to squeeze a response out of him. I was so excited to get baseball coverage again, and now its going to be steroids coverage again. Maybe some shots of Rafael Palmeiro waving his finger.
In terms of actual baseball, this could be very bad for the Brewers. The Brewers chances this off-season are hinging on a healthy Braun. If the suspension goes through, then the Brewers will need to resign Fielder in order to stay competitive. If the Cubs can resign Fielder, and now with Pujols out of the division, this could the Cubs' opportunity to make a serious run at the division.
We'll see how the story unfolds. Innocent until proven guilty, right?