Milwaukee Brewers leftfielder Ryan Braun was the classic case of the person that men wanted to be like and women wanted to be with. Children all over the state of Wisconsin had posters on the walls of this man because he was the definition of the classic role model. He was clean-cut, handsome, intelligent, great with the media and seemed like the perfect All-American man straight from California, until December 10, 2011. On that date, the people at ESPN's Outside the Lines reported that Braun tested positive for an elevated level of testosterone, a level said by a source to the Daily News to be "insanely high, the highest ever for anyone who has ever taken the test and twice the level of the highest test ever taken". That moment in time was the "Say it ain't so, Joe" moment of my baseball life because Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder were my first taste of watching real superstars play in Milwaukee at Miller Park. Before then I had to deal with the bargain-basement stars such as Richie Sexson, Jeromy Burnitz and Ben Sheets, when he was healthy. Braun was also one of the key players in that "post-steroid generation", so who would've thought he would get caught with what his generation was trying to get away from? Braun of course vehemently denied the allegations and reports of use of PEDs (performance-enhancing drugs) but there were still a good portion of baseball nation basically calling for his head and for his new shiny MVP award simply because people are still trying to erase the words "performance-enhancing drugs" from their minds. Nearly every single baseball player outside of Wisconsin had Braun out for slaughter while Brewers fans everywhere were holding out hope that the decision would be appealed. An appeal seemed impossible to most but Wisconsin sports fans everywhere were used to believing in the impossible. The impossible did happen at the start of the year in January as he won the appeal thanks to what the New York Times considered a "technicality". The sample was apparently not shipped for testing as soon as is required by the drug policy but was actually held in the refrigerator of sample collector Dino Laurenzi. The folks at Major League Baseball were of course livid with the decision because they believed that arbitrator Shyam Das made some sort of mistake to let Braun off and even threatened to sue. Fortunately, that never materialized so Ryan could start out the 2012 season like every single other MLB player.
Braun stood tall during turbulant 2012
The Brewers Bar | Jan 3