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Jul 23, 201310:45 AMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Trade Ryan Braun away

(page 1 of 2)

I want to grab Ryan Braun by the head, kiss him full on the mouth, and tell him, “You broke my heart. You broke my heart.”

His pathetic acknowledgement of guilt is Nixonian in its passive tone. Hand caught in the cookie jar, he only “now” realizes he has “made some mistakes.” He apologizes to anyone he “may have disappointed.”

It wasn’t enough he beat the rap on the pee sample through a technicality; he had to sup at the performance-enhancing drug bar.

Now, obviously, Ryan Braun is not some bulked-up leviathan like Barry Bonds or Mark McGuire. It is an open question whether Braun’s PEDs added one extra base hit to his statistics. But that makes it all the more stupid. Did he really need to dope?

Sports mean nothing unless you play by the rules. Why does a dropped third strike allow the hitter to run to first? But it does.

The real gravamen of the case against Ryan Braun is the lying, the dishonesty. Ryan Braun is a liar.

Now I’m looking at a full-page advertisement on Page A-5 of today’s Wall Street Journal. It’s dominated by a photograph of Phil Mickelson holding the claret jug, given to the champion golfer in the (British) Open. “Phil’s brilliant performance highlights the game’s values of excellence, integrity and stewardship — the same values we are committed to at Barclays,” the advertisement reads. (This 30-second clip illustrates the point.)

I wrote in my last blog that Phil is my hero because he is an excellent golfer, a risk taker, the master of disaster — and someone who clearly enjoys the game, who appreciates his fans, who balances his professional life with his family life.

Integrity. That’s a word I haven’t heard in awhile. It is the player who penalizes himself a stroke by reporting an otherwise unseen rules violation. The kid who turns in an envelope full of money found on a sidewalk. A legislator who is as good as his word. Anyone who stops at a stop sign at a deserted intersection. Integrity: doing the right thing when no one is looking.

Ryan Braun is not a man of integrity.

MLB writer Mike Bauman writes that baseball fans “are guilty of being naive.” In The Wall Street Journal, Jason Gay mocks: “If you are shocked by what has happened, I don’t know what I can do for you. Perhaps I can make you a nice bowl of soup ... take you to see some llamas.”

Well, Mr. Gay, start boiling the soup. Send in the llamas. I prefer to think, Mr. Bauman, that it’s the liar who is guilty, not the believer. Ryan Braun betrayed our trust.

Maybe that is the way of the world of professional sports. The Oakland Raiders seem to put out the welcome mat for sociopaths. But there remain a few Phil Mickelsons among the Lance Armstrongs.

Can Wisconsin show the way? Are there a few things more important than base hits?

Sell Ryan Braun to the highest bidder. Unload him. The Brewers own the rights to the lying doper for several more years, so they should be able to get some value. Yeah, the disgraced left fielder could veto the trade, but he won’t.

Mr. Braun, Mr. Attanasio will see you now. (The Brewers owner remains looking out the window of his Miller Park office.)

“Braun, you’re through in Milwaukee. I can’t stand the sight of you, now get out!”


Old to new | New to old
Jul 23, 2013 11:21 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

I've had a lot of fun recently challenging you and your assertions. It seems only fair to let you know when you're right. Here, you're entirely right. Kudos.

Jul 23, 2013 01:38 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Drug use, cheating and lying go hand in hand.
How can they not?
Athletes and Politicians throughout this land
Will lie until they get caught.

Jul 23, 2013 06:39 pm
 Posted by  Leo

Ryan Braun has disgraced baseball, a game.

Barack Obama has disgraced and damaged our country. I'd be willing to trade one if we can trade the other as well.

Baseball is a sport, but freedom and liberty and economic health is far more important to most Americans and the damage done by Obama is a lot more severe, deeper and longer lasting.

However, I might be willing to sign on if we can boot both as a package deal, just to get the game AND the country back on track.

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About This Blog

Raised on a farm near Sun Prairie, David Blaska is a recovering liberal who spent 18 years in daily newspapers, including 12 at The Capital Times in Madison as a reporter and editor. He served Gov. Tommy Thompson as acting press secretary in 1998 and is a veteran and survivor of 19 years in state government. He served 12 years on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. From December 2007 to November 2011 he wrote the consistently popular "Blaska's Blog" for Isthmus online's "The Daily Page" until, he says, the intolerant liberals ran him off. He blogs from Madison.

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