The Norman Transcript

Opinion

July 25, 2013

After Braun’s suspension, fans left to wonder why

NORMAN — So Milwaukee slugger Ryan Braun is done for the season, suspended for violating baseball’s anti-drug policies. No surprise there. He dodged a suspension last year when a urine sample showed elevated levels of testosterone. It was his good fortune when it was proven his specimen had been mishandled, and his appeal succeeded.

Braun’s defense was that “I am not perfect” — a lame claim anyone could make. Now he will have the remainder of the season — 65 games — to think about his imperfection. But this isn’t Little League, and a “my bad” response doesn’t get it.

Someday Braun may choose to offer more insight into his actions and explain how so many at the top of their profession — in his case, baseball — can’t play by the rules.

It is expected that more major leaguers will soon find themselves in the spotlight of shame as the summer drags on. Braun is believed to be just one MLB player associated with Biogenesis, a now-closed Miami clinic. It’s likely a couple dozen more players, including Yankee superstar Alex Rodriguez, could be named before the end of the season.

The “why” question remains unanswered, even though it would be hard to image that it’s not linked to fame and fortune. Braun had both, but the suspension will cost him almost $3.8 million of a $9.6 million salary.

The loss of pay is substantial. But Braun’s loss of credibility, while considerable, is not as easy to calculate.

A few summers ago I talked with a guy about his son who played several seasons in the major leagues. I was intrigued by what he had to say. Fans can observe the highs — a game-winning home run — and the lows — getting traded to a slumping team — and empathize. What most of us cannot comprehend is the challenge of going to the ballpark day after day and performing against the best players in the world.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Call up National Guard

    We’re not sure it will help, but you have to hand it to Texas Gov. Rick Perry. He deployed up to 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to help secure his state’s border with Mexico this week....

    July 23, 2014

  • It’s only getting worse

    Conditions for children in Oklahoma were starting to look up for a few years, according to the annual Kids Count reports. Now we know it wasn’t getting better. The recession was impacting the rest of the country, dropping their scores....

    July 23, 2014

  • Noting a life well lived

    James Garner never intended to be a movie and television star. He just kind of lucked into it, he would tell those who asked. If you have the itch to act, get a good-paying job and spend your free time at your local community theater, he ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Recount that really matters

    Americans have been hearing a lot about Congressional elections, but there’s another one halfway around the globe that will matter far more....

    July 22, 2014

  • Runoffs get no respect

    The Aug. 26 Republican runoff election for the Cleveland County District 3 commissioner post is one of only 18 races on ballots around the state. Only two races are statewide — the Democrat contests for U.S. Senator nominee and state ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Change some lines

    Editor, The Transcript: Looking at how our elected Republican friends are reacting to the refugee children crossing the border and now being housed in Lawton, I have a suggestion. Let’s edit the Christian Bible in several places to reflect ...

    July 21, 2014

  • New health care system demonized

    To the Editor: In October 2013, soon after we were asked to take over management responsibilities at our family business, we were visited by the company’s health insurance agent. She explained that a decision needed to be made regarding ...

    July 21, 2014

  • Norman Forward builds momentum

    The quiet campaign to build momentum for a citywide public works project is beginning to attract some attention....

    July 20, 2014

  • The longer the wait, the higher the cost

    Editor, The Transcript: Thanks for the great article of July 3 on the Norman chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby group that recently went to D.C. as citizen lobbyists, working to get a revenue-neutral carbon pollution fee, refunded in ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Tax those trees out of here

    I read your editorial “Pesky red cedars” in the Norman Transcript of Tuesday, July 15, 2014. I have attended two meetings where the problem of the eastern red cedar trees was discussed. Because of the drought conditions in Oklahoma, we ...

    July 20, 2014