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Thu, August 20, 2015

Reaction to Braun's franchise-best homerun is telling

Two years ago it would have been hard to imagine Ryan Braun's overtaking of Robin Young on the franchise's all-time home run leaders list as being anything other than special. That was then and this is now. After a tumultuous two-year period which saw Braun suspended for 65 games, as well as an up-and-down 2014 season in which the health of his thumb was questioned on the daily, Braun no longer finds himself the envy of every Wisconsin baseball fan. Instead, the dishonesty displayed throughout the PED scandal has led many fans to shun Braun and his accomplishments. That attitude has been on display since Braun blasted the 252nd homerun of his career on Wednesday and the collective attitude of the fan base was a metaphorical shrug of the shoulders. Of course Braun could play himself back into the good graces of the fans to some extent, it seems far-fetched to believe he'll ever be a revered figure in Milwaukee or any other baseball city again. There are plenty of lessons to learn from this. If Braun had simply confessed guilt after his first positive test rather than throw the handler of the sample completely under the bus, we likely would have forgiven him and moved on. Sure, we would have been disappointed and a faction of fans would always question him, but to nowhere near the extent we're seeing today. Unfortunately, Brewer fans are stuck with their much-maligned right fielder due to his hefty contract. For that reason alone, it sure would be nice if he could find a way to perform in a manner similar to the beginning of career. But no amount of batting titles will ever completely undue the damage Braun did to his image and people will rightfully look with a skeptical eye upon any future accomplishments.

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