Why have I wasted so much time researching the Braun case and posting about it?
The reason is because I care. If players are using PEDs, its not MLB they are cheating... its me. I am a fan. It may not be my career, but it is a part of me.
Baseball is not Hollywood... it is not a scripted reality... it is real and unpredictable. It is truth.
I do not care about Braun... as I said in another post, it is very possible from the test results that this may be his very first use and he was unlucky enough to get caught.
But what I want is truth... not punishment or vengeance... just truth.
I want the innocence that my grandfather and I had when I watched baseball on his knee.
I want to know that when Joey Votto hits a line drive home run it is because of the skill, effort or luck that are part of the game. I want to be able to compare Votto to Gehrig and feel like there is a basis of comparison... the constant connection to history is what makes baseball special. Yes, I know that science and health care are always improving... but before PEDs it seemed to make sense to compare Mickey Mantle to Tris Speaker even though they played half a century apart.
Sure, cheating is part of the game... and that's why there are umpires on the field to catch it. You wanna try to load up some snot on the ball? Do so at your own risk, cause the Ump can catch you and boot you. You wanna try and leave 3rd a half second before the ball is caught on a sac fly? Go ahead and try, but if the ump catches you, you are out. Same goes with stealing signals... as long as its a player or coach on the field stealing them. If you are caught, you affect the result of that game. That is part of the truth in baseball.
PEDs are different. This is the type of cheating that the opposing team doesnt try to help catch. It won't help them win. Have you ever asked yourself why a player that tells the ump to check the opposing pitcher's glove is smart, but a player that would provide evidence that an opposing player is using PEDs is a rat?
This is a type of cheating that happens in a bathroom stall with no one watching... that destroys the truth of the diamond... that destroys its links to history. PEDs made it totally acceptable for players to publicly lie... even before Congress or in Court.
It was the Black Sox decision that helped make baseball so special. If you did something that destroyed the truth of the game, even if you were one of the best to ever play the game, you have lost your right to participate in it.
Because of PEDs, I will never again marvel at the baseball ability of a player without that nagging doubt.
For me, PEDs have destroyed the truth of baseball.
I am a grown man... but inside, PEDs make me cry.