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I Hate Ryan Braun

June 24, 2014

In all the years I’ve been a baseball fan I’ve never hated a player as much as I hate Ryan Braun.

There have been a lot of players I’ve hated in my years. A partial list would include Derek Jeter because he’s so good. Ricky Henderson because he talked funny. Pedro Martinez for throwing Don Zimmer to the ground during a fight. Hal McRae because he pointed at me and called me a “fat ass” during a Twins/Royals game at Met Stadium (this may be partially my fault). Kenny Rogers for beating up an on-field cameraman before a game. John Rocker for having a mouth that worked. David Wells for pitching a perfect game against the Twins and then later saying that he pitched the game when he was drunk. Rod Carew for leaving the Twins. Manny Ramirez for just being Manny.

And then there are the PED users. I don’t hate all the PED users because I sort of understand them, but it’s the ones who got caught and who lied about their use who I have no time for, like Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Rafael Palmeiro and Roger Clemens.

Yes, I’ve hated a lot of players over the years and for a lot of different reasons but for the most part, until the steroids era, it was focused on personality. Sort of like how they have good guys and bad guys in pro-wrestling? I had Harmon Killebrew and Bert Blyleven and Tony Oliva and Mickey Hatcher and Mike Marshall and Joe Niekro and Kirby Puckett and the rest of the players in the league – they were all the bad guys. So I hated them just because they weren’t my Twins.

It wasn’t until Ryan Braun came along that I hated a baseball player because I hated the person. And it’s not because he doesn’t play for the Twins or because he used PEDs and lied about it, I couldn’t care less about that, it’s because he based his lie on a fault in the chain of custody involving the handling of his urine by focusing his lie specifically on the urine collector, Dino Laurenzi, Jr., in one of the cheapest and vilest ways imaginable. It wasn’t so bad that he accused Laurenzi of being a Chicago Cubs fan, and as a fan of a division rival he would be a loyal guy who would do anything to get a player like Braun out of the game to make the Cubs odds of success better. However cruel an accusation like that might be – because who wants to be accused of being a Cubs fan? – it’s not really so bad. Yes, it’s a stupid thing to say, but it’s such a pathetic excuse that it’s almost funny. What got me hating Ryan Braun went beyond accusing Laurenzi of being a Cubs fan, it was when he accused him of being an anti-Semite. So in an attempt to save his reputation and his career, Ryan Braun lied about some innocent guy, slandered him, tried to destroy his reputation with his employer, his family and his friends, threw him into the national spotlight and cost him his job. Maybe Laurenzi didn’t lose his job, it’s possible he may have been temporarily suspended, I don’t know. We live in a world where ethnic, racial and religious sensitivity is so lacking, and Ryan Braun, fine upstanding young man that he was, rather than being the role model his public relations person, and MLB, wanted us to believe he was, showed us all who he really was when he became part of a very serious problem by making a very serious accusation.

So I’m watching the Nationals/Brewers game on ESPN 2 last night and I don’t know who was doing the commentary, maybe Aaron Boone or Dave O’Brien, but whoever it was, he couldn’t say enough good things about Ryan Braun as he came to the plate in the bottom of the first inning. Ryan Braun is a good player who takes a lot of heat on the road but he’s still loved in Milwaukee; Ryan Braun is a good person who does a lot of good for the city of Milwaukee, blah, blah, blah. Then the commentator finishes up by saying: “He does a lot of good things.”, and that’s when I turned the game off. Well, that’s not totally true. I watched Ryan Braun strike out, let out a satisfied chuckle and then turned the game off.

The past is the past and we all now know that Ryan Braun is a self-serving liar. I believe he’s apologized to Laurenzi so even though it’s pretty much exactly what I’m doing right now, I’m not saying that we should continue to vilify Ryan Braun. But I just don’t see a reason to praise him as some kind of wonderful person, either. Talk about Ryan Braun the player and talk about his stats and talk about what he’s doing for his team, but I don’t want to hear about what a wonderful humanitarian he is.

Checking box scores this morning and thankfully the Brewers went on to lose the game.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. June 24, 2014 11:55 am

    Some celebrities, be they sport or other, just scream, “Hate me!” I hate Justin Beiber, Miley Cyrus, and a host of political figures. I’m so glad the Cochran/McDaniel election is today because if I hear one more of their mudslinger ads . . .

    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com/2014/06/ww-world-cup-google-art.html

    Like

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