Sources tell OTL Braun's relationship w Bosch began summer '11, months before testing positive. RB was on PED regimen for high-end clients.
— T.J. Quinn (@TJQuinnESPN) July 24, 2013
Here's a Biogenesis document sources say written by Bosch that lists PEDs for clients like Braun & A-Rod. pic.twitter.com/XqsmTVsfEq
— T.J. Quinn (@TJQuinnESPN) July 24, 2013
If these tweets are correct, and Braun didn't have a relationship with Bosch until the summer of 2011, then he clearly didn't need to take any PED's to be a superstar, he was already at that level. This can be further backed up by Braun being stringently tested for 5 years prior, all clean (unless testing process changed). Why then, would one of the game's brightest stars, turn to cheating? The answer, if you look back, is perhaps the "Andy Pettite excuse". In mid-2011, Ryan Braun was suffering from a lingering calf strain. The Brewers were in the hunt and Braun likely felt pressure to get on the field and perform like a healthy Ryan Braun can. He couldn't get on the field, he couldn't perform to his own standards, and he likely was frustrated. In creeps the dark side, and a desperate decision, PED's. Braun is able to get back on the field, help the Brewers win their first NL Central Crown. All is well, until it turns out he failed a drug test.
Likely, Braun's team of lawyers found a very big loophole in the testing process, and the decision was made to fight. We know this part of the story. He wins arbitration. However, the story was leaked, and Braun's name had been sullied. Damage control needs to be done.
It's very possible, Ryan Braun, knowing he had dodged a bullet, vowed to never again cheat the game. He knew it was wrong, he knew he was lucky, but it was behind him (so he thought), and he could go on an all out offensive to help regain some of his image, which had been tarnished. He could lie, lie, lie....as only himself and Tony Bosch likely knew the whole truth, and he probably trusted Tony more than he should have. Ryan went on the attack, ignorantly thinking that since the issue was now behind him, and that he'll never again take a PED, that it will never come back to haunt him. We humans are a silly creature.
Of course, this is where we know what happens again.
Once again, this is all speculation, and maybe I make him look like too good of a person but:
- Braun upset at himself and feeling pressure to perform while injured, took an illegal substance.
- Braun escaped "sentencing" on a technicality.
- Braun, being a very arrogant individual, goes on the offensive thinking the past is behind him.
- The past catches up, he has to continue the lie in order to save face, but it bites him in the ass.
Braun has more apologies to make, and deserves a punishment. He deserves a lot of the ire he has drawn, but I think I'll have a hard time holding a long grudge against him. I don't blame the rest of the fans across the league to hate him, I'd do the same. But, being a Brewer fan, and a long supporter of Braun, I can see the human nature in what he did. He fucked up; we all have. He escaped punishment from his mistake; we all have. He lied about it to save face; we all have. His lies caught up to him; happened to us all.
Clearly, me lying about my car being dead to escape a parking ticket, is on a scale far less than Braun's. While I like to think I have hoards of fans looking up to me, I don't. So, yes, he needed to have far better judgement than he used, but he's also a lot more arrogant than I am, and likely felt much more invincible. The point is this, if you think you got away with something, you tend to not suddenly fess up for no reason.
So, what now?
In 2014, Braun needs to be humble, he needs to be the clubhouse leader he's never been, and he needs to perform at the same caliber that we expect of Ryan Braun. While Cooperstown is an unlikely stop for him, if he acts correctly, I think he can still be accepted in the Milwaukee community. He has a lot of work to do though.
(Once again, this is only my opinion)
Update: Let me make it clear. Even in this scenario, what Ryan Braun did was 100% wrong. I was just trying to guess what his thought process may have been. He should have never gotten so aggressive in his Feb 12 presser, if he knew in fact he was lying. He should have just said "I was found Not Guilty, I applaud the testing system put in place for working, and now I want to focus on baseball....thank you". I'm suggesting his arrogance, and the pressure he puts on himself to back up said arrogance, caused him to make a very seriously wrong decision, and he himself is to blame.