Jul 21, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun reacts after striking out in the 11th inning against the Miami Marlins at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Braun: Just Another Pathetic Cheater

I hate cheaters. I hate them with a passion.

Whether it is a pompous businessman cutting in front of a long line of people at a coffee shop, a zealous shoplifter attempting to steal a piece of jewelry, a student copying off of a friend’s paper during a test, or a group of ex-convicts robbing a bank, I have always found it unnecessary and shameful to cheat.

It’s basically saying, “I’m not as fortunate or talented as my peers are, so I’m just going to participate in an illegal activity in order to reach their level.”

Or they’re saying, “I want something really badly, but I have zero confidence in myself so I’m just going to cheat and overcome the challenge without even trying.”

Unfortunately, that’s the mindset that some people have, and that thought process can be applied to the prominent players involved in Major League Baseball’s Biogenesis scandal.

Look at Alex Rodriguez, who was hampered by injuries and pressure from the fans and media, and wanted to return to his days of superstardom. Look at Melky Cabrera, who was in the final year of his contract and wanted to do everything possible to make big money in the offseason. Look at Bartolo Colon, who was washed up, overweight, and just wanted a few more glory years before retirement.

Those three guys had a reason to cheat. It was an intolerable act, but at least they had some kind of mountain to climb.

Ryan Braun, on the other hand, had no reason to cheat. Absolutely no reason.

This is guy who has spent just six full seasons in the big leagues and has blossomed into a franchise player, perennial All-Star, and MVP award winner. He hits for average and power, and has never suffered a major injury. He has batted below .300 and launched less than 30 home runs in a season just twice.

At age 29, Braun is at the prime of his career, destined for a long and historic tenure in the show. He should have zero inclination to even think about touching a needle, or a cream, or a pill.

So it is somewhat inconceivable to believe that Ryan Braun will be suspended for the remainder of the 2013 MLB season for doing exactly that: cheating.

While he hit .332 and was the National League MVP in 2011, he was probably cheating. While he helped his Brewers defeat the Diamondbacks in the postseason that very same year, he was probably cheating. While he smashed 41 big flies and finished second in the MVP voting last season, he was probably cheating.

And what’s worse? He lied about it as well. In front of the everyone. He looked straight into the camera and lied. Numerous times.

December 2011:

This is all B.S. I am completely innocent.

February 2012:

I truly believe in my heart and I would bet my life that this substance never entered my body at any point.

When you know you’re innocent of something, it’s extremely difficult to have to prove it when you’re in a process where you’re 100 percent guilty until proven innocent.

February 2013:

I have nothing to hide.

July 2013:

The truth still hasn’t changed.

He is right, in a sense.

The truth has not changed. The truth that Ryan Braun is a cheater, a fraud, and a pathetic liar has remained the truth since day one. It’s just that the truth that he wanted everyone to believe was a ridiculous attempt to save face and avoid the humiliation of admitting the real truth.

Now that the real truth has come out, Braun’s statements are a lot less bold and arrogant, and it makes me wonder why he couldn’t have just said this back in December of 2011.

July 22, 2013:

I am not perfect. I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions.

Damn right he will.

Ryan Braun didn’t have to do this. He didn’t have to cheat, he didn’t have to lie, and he didn’t have to ruin his reputation.

But he did. And because of it, he is just another cheater that I hate with a passion.

Tags: Biogenesis Milwaukee Brewers MLB Ryan Braun

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