The Swede-like reputation of Ryan Braun–the star Milwaukee Brewers outfielder, former Most Valuable Player, near-winner of the coveted Triple Crown, and hero to Jewish little leaguers everywhere–has been dealt another serious setback. ESPN is reporting that the Jewish (or Jew-ish, depending on your take) slugger may be suspended as an investigation centered around a Miami-area clinic, which allegedly supplied 20 players (Braun and Alex Rodriguez among them) with performance-enhancing drugs, builds. This is the second time Braun has been accused.
Tony Bosch, founder of the now-shuttered Biogenesis of America, reached an agreement this week to cooperate with MLB’s investigation, two sources told “Outside the Lines,” giving MLB the ammunition officials believe they need to suspend the players.
One source familiar with the case said the commissioner’s office might seek 100-game suspensions for Rodriguez, Braun and other players, the penalty for a second doping offense. The argument, the source said, is the players’ connection to Bosch constitutes one offense, and previous statements to MLB officials denying any such connection or the use of PEDs constitute another.
Braun, in addition to being the first Jewish MVP since Sandy Koufax won the award weeks before JFK went to Dallas, also became the first player to skate from a drug suspension after his positive drug test was dismissed on a technical count last year. Throughout last year’s scandal, Braun maintained his innocence and, given his image, eloquence, and normal physical build, seemingly drew support even from many of the reflexively disillusioned fans of baseball’s steroid era.
Naturally, Braun’s exoneration last February was extra welcome news, which makes this latest development doubly distressing. Speaking to press yesterday, Braun said the new allegations are the same old hot air.
I’ve already addressed everything related to the Miami situation. I addressed it in spring training. I will not make any further statements about it. The truth has not changed.
I don’t know the specifics of the story that came out today. I’ve already addressed it, I’ve already commented on it and I’ll say nothing further about it. I hope that you guys can respect that.
Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.