Ryan Braun is a liar and a cheat. I am a fool and a sucker.
Like a fool, I believed Braun when he vociferously denied using performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) after testing positive for them at the end of the 2011 season. Like a sucker, I rejoiced when Braun got off on a technicality because the test taker hadn't followed the letter of procedure in handling Braun's urine sample.
Now it turns out that Braun was lying all along. That in itself is bad enough, but there are a couple of things that make it all even worse.
First, Braun threw an innocent, much less powerful man, under the bus. The test taker was blasted for incompetence -- even by me at the time. There's no reason to believe that Dino Laurenzi, Jr. ever read my blog, but I want to apologize to him anyway. What Braun did was of the same sleazy nature as the charge by Lance Armstrong that a team masseuse -- who he forced to carry banned PEDs all over the world and who later cooperated with officials -- was actually a prostitute. Really disgusting.
The second thing that further diminishes Braun's character is his weaselly statement admitting guilt. Anyone who uses the phrase "mistakes were made" should be banned from baseball, public office, journalism, used car sales and investment banking. Moreover, they should be forced to take English composition and self-help courses in which they learn to say things that are both original and truthful. It's one thing to be an asshole; it's another to be a cliché-ridden asshole.
Braun should have been banned from baseball for life, not just for cheating and lying about it, but for falsely accusing an innocent man who was just doing his job and for not coming clean even when he was apparently forced into a corner by the facts.
I love baseball and, God help me, the Milwaukee Brewers. But when Braun returns to the club next season, it'll be a stomach-turning moment. The Brewers should save us from that by sending Braun to a team that will take all the talent (juiced or not) that money can buy. I say trade him to the Yankees.