Ryan Braun's Casual Relationship with the Truth

It's surprising, but there are quite a few BCB posters who are happy that Ryan Braun's suspension was overturned, and who have spent the last 12 hours defending Shyam Das' decision.

I expect this kind of spinning from the BCB 90 miles up the Edens. That's fine - we'd probably have done the same, by and large. That's being a fan, right or wrong.

As an aside, I was shocked to see how badly Fangraphs screwed this story up last night - writer Eno Sarris chastised MLB for disagreeing with the decision and calling it a "technicality", writing:

Science determined that his test did not stand up to scrutiny. Why would you come out and make a statement against science?

Could a writer for a major baseball site be more metaphysically wrong about such a big story? Sarris continues to backpedal - he's edited his story at least twice now. The current article reads "Why would you come out and make a statement against the processes you agreed to put into place?", which, frankly, makes no sense. No one is doing that.

The Brewers owner released a statement playing up Braun's unimpeachable character and integrity, as if a FedEx office being open or closed on a particular Saturday has anything whatsoever to do with the undisputed fact that he had synthetic testosterone in his system:

"Since joining our organization in 2005, Ryan Braun has been a model citizen and a person of character and integrity. Knowing Ryan as I do, I always believed he would succeed in his appeal."

Why the appeals to Ryan Braun's personal character and integrity? Last night's decision had literally nothing to do with Ryan Braun's personal character, or his PED use - it turned entirely on whether his admittedly dirty urine sample was FedExed in accordance with CBA guidelines.

Ryan Braun, for his part, is taking quite the victory lap for a player who admitted in an MLB arbitration that his urine contained synthetic testosterone, and who just got off under the shadiest of circumstances:

"It is the first step in restoring my good name and reputation. We were able to get through this because I am innocent and the truth is on our side."

I understand how Braun could make this kind of statement. We've seen it before from Braun. And frankly, he has a vested interest in lying here. (So did Rafael Palmeiro, and Roger Clemens, and Barry Bonds.)

I'm just surprised at the language Braun used, because he goes SO far, and because it's so obviously incongruent with the facts that have been reported. It demonstrates a rather casual relationship with the truth.

Braun is not "innocent", and he, of all people, has intimate knowledge of that fact. He is also, presumably, well aware that he got off because of a technicality. Why not release a statement saying "the process worked, and I'm looking forward to playing baseball"?

I have two suggestions: First and foremost, Braun thinks he can (and must) control this narrative, and fool enough of the people enough of the time to avoid being tarred as a PED user by the public. By getting an "I am innocent" statement out today, the casual fan who only reads headlines might think that Braun was actually cleared of wrongdoing.

Secondly, on at least 2 occasions, we've seen that Braun has the ability to shape the truth to fit his own preferred version of "reality".

Ryan, was the truth on your side in 2009 when you claimed to have been hit in the head by a pitch from Ryan Dempster - even in the face of obvious video evidence to the contrary - and when you and the Brewers demanded that the league suspend Dempster?

Who can forget Braun squaring away to bunt, having the ball bounce off his bat - and then walking to first, jawing at Dempster, and telling Micah Hoffpauir "he hit me in the f***ing HEAD!" with the cameras rolling? And then homering, staring Dempster down for circling the bases while continuing to jaw at Dempster .

Then after the game, saying "if somebody throws at your face, that’s your livelihood", while your manager demands a suspension of a player who is sleeping at the hospital as their newborn daughter clings to life. For what it's worth, it took MLB about 20 minutes to clear Dempster. Because the ball didn't hit Braun, no matter what he said.

I don't know how a player can convince themselves that they were hit in the head with a pitch that actually hit their bat.

But I'll bet that it's similar to how a player can convince themselves that "my urine sample wasn't shipped on the day it was collected" equals innocence, and evidence of their own personal character and integrity.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of SB Nation or Al Yellon, managing editor (unless it's a FanPost posted by Al). FanPost opinions are valued expressions of opinion by passionate and knowledgeable baseball fans.

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