That single word sums of the majority of my feelings as this week comes to a close. Perhaps, it is wrong for me to find pleasure in the misfortune of others, but sometimes, I think the satisfaction is justified.
Two years ago, Ryan Braun looked Milwaukee, Major League Baseball, and fans in the face and made a mockery of the system being used to clean the game–a game that he had condemned others for damaging. How arrogant are you when you believe your own lies strongly enough to stand up and defend them on national television and speak with enough conviction to sway Aaron Rogers to bet his salary on your innocence?
From where you, the fan, sits now, can you hear him heeding A-Rod to just tell the truth? Can you hear him saying he was the victim of a failed system? Can you hear him proclaiming that he was found innocent when all he did was prove that something was not mailed properly?
In the middle of this chemically altered whirlwind, we saw a man’s life destroyed. No, not Braun’s, but Dino Laurenzi Jr., the man who collected Braun’s positive sample the first time. How about the judge Major League Baseball fired after he awarded Braun his appeal? Both fired, both left in the dust by a man who could not care any less about what happened to them.
Today, I am glad to see Braun’s reputation tarnished. I am glad to see baseball players speak out against him. I am glad to see that the Player’s Association recognizes they play a role in cleaning up this game too. Mostly, I am glad to see how strongly people reacted to this case. While I think steroids have tarnished a lot in this era of the game, I think this event will remind writers of why they cannot let the likes of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens into the Hall of Fame.
How do you put Barry Bonds on a plaque next to Barry Larkin when you have players in the game NOW who are willing to speak out against the man on the field with them. I respect Skip Schumaker for expressing his discontent. I applaud Matt Kemp for answering honestly that he thinks Braun’s MVP title should be taken away.
Now, I plead that the writers listen to the players and the fans and recognize that we do not want asterisks in the Hall. We do not want these statistics lying and tarnishing the hallowed halls of Cooperstown. We need the game to move forward and I think the players and fans can see that.
So today I am happy that a man who was willing to lie to save his own skin regardless of the damage it caused to the people, the city, the writers, and the sport that trusted him, is left standing by himself, ducking from reporters, and waiting for his lawyers to approve the next words out of his mouth.
I hope Aaron Rogers had a steroid clause written into the contract of their restaurant…