Monday, December 12, 2011

Say It Ain't So, Ryan!

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It seems like the steroids debacle in major league baseball is like a bad hangover that refuses to go away. The latest headliner in this never-ending saga is 2011 NL MVP Ryan Braun, who has allegedly failed a drug test. Braun and his camp have vehemently denied the charges and will appeal them until their faces turn blue.

To be fair to Braun, the case is still being reviewed and we don't yet know if these allegations are true. But the fact that a steroids-related story is back in the headlines is troublesome and boring for that matter. When will the Steroid Era FINALLY rest in peace?

Today in his article, USA Today sports writer Tom Weir brought up an interesting point-- should Braun be stripped of his MVP Award if the allegations are true? Weir makes the argument that, yes, he should be because major league baseball has to toughen it's stand and cheaters should face tougher consequences. I agree.

Weir goes on to compare MLB's awards situation with that of the Olympics where cheaters (i.e. Ben Johnson and Marion Jones) were stripped of their gold medals when all their skeletons fell out of their closets. Good comparison.

Weir further goes on to say that chances are Braun, if (I repeat, IF) found guilty won't be stripped of his award because there is no precedent for it. This is according to Jack O'Connell, a head-honcho at the BBWAA, who hand out the awards. The thinking is that prior members of the Steroid Hall of Fame who won the award were not stripped. He mentions Alex Rodriguez (2003 AL MVP) and Ken Caminiti (1996 NL MVP). He should have also thrown in Sammy Sosa (1998 NL MVP ); Jason Giambi (2000 AL MVP) and Barry Bonds (let's say 4 of his 7 awards were under the juice).

My response to Mr. O'Connell's theory is-- everything has a beginning. Precedents have to start somewhere, don't they Mr. O'Connell?

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