Major League Baseball has suspended Brewers outfielder and excellent Jewish baseball player Ryan Braun for the remainder of the season as well as the playoffs (ed: LOL). Here is Braun's statement:
"As I have acknowledged in the past, I am not perfect. I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions. This situation has taken a toll on me and my entire family, and it is has been a distraction to my teammates and the Brewers organization. I am very grateful for the support I have received from players, ownership and the fans in Milwaukee and around the country. Finally, I wish to apologize to anyone I may have disappointed - all of the baseball fans especially those in Milwaukee, the great Brewers organization, and my teammates. I am glad to have this matter behind me once and for all, and I cannot wait to get back to the game I love."
I don't care a jot about what adults put into their bodies. Professional athletes in particular make their livings in a volatile and capricious business where the slightest edge can mean the difference between earning a living and finding a new vocation. They're not heroes and they're not role models; it's an egregious error in judgment to think otherwise.
I don't care that Ryan Braun took steroids, but they are against the rules and he deserves to be punished accordingly. He cheated, he got caught, and he'll serve his sentence. That he got caught using steroids after narrowly escaping punitive consequences for a positive test less than two years ago is just mind-blowingly cretinous. He can think about that while he watches his comrades play baseball for money the rest of the way.
What I detest far more than Braun's anything-to-get-an-edge approach to baseball is the unavoidable and exhaustive moralizing, sanctimony, demonizing, hand-wringing, dumping-on, finger-wagging, and self-righteous head-shaking that will rain down from the smug self-appointed soap-box overlords of baseball. You'll hear it tonight from Gary Cohen and Howie Rose, and you'll be reading about it for the unforeseeable future. To me, watching otherwise bright and sensible baseball folks so quickly and mindlessly reaching for their pitchforks and torches is the most disappointing and disheartening part of all.