The Ryan Braun situation is a mess. Mostly because of the player himself. He accepts a suspension from Major League Baseball, yet doesn't admit to using performance-enhancing drugs.
He has yet to answer any questions about his suspension. He issued a statement and ran for the hills, I guess.
Here is why the Braun suspension will not be a deterrent for most players moving forward. Starting in 2014, Braun is due to make $113 million over the next seven seasons. While he will lose out on about $3.4 million in salary this year, you think he'll miss any of that money?
Braun won't have to give back his 2011 MVP Award and he is going to miss 65 mostly meaningless games for a team that is 20 games out of first. Next year, the Brewers will get him back and he'll be making his salary come opening day.
It made me mad to watch some replays of that press conference when Braun spent several minutes insinuating that the collector of a urine sample somehow doctored the sample.
What we saw that day was a desperate man who had a great script writer. We saw a man look into the camera and lie to everyone.
In his statement this week he said he now realizes he made mistakes and he may have let some people down. Here is a guy that couldn't look worse at this point.
When he holds his press conference, and he will, the words that some PR person prepares him to say will fall on deaf ears. I don't care to hear his apology and I can't imagine he could say anything moving forward to make me change my current opinion of him - that he is a cheater, a liar and a joke.
But, hey, he's got $113 million coming, so he can try to sell me many times over. What does he care?
I realize it is hard for other players to throw this guy under the bus - although did anyone ever deserve it more? - but I wish more players would come out and let this guy have it.
It is because of the Ryan Brauns of the world that Chris Davis has to spend time answering questions about taking PEDs. That could not be less fair.
The Brauns of the world, though, can't ruin this game or slow it down even a little. The pennant races could be great again this year, the attendance and TV ratings around the game are solid. The sport is very healthy.
While a 65-game suspension is significant and baseball has finally in recent years done a lot to attempt to stop the cheaters, they are still out there. What worries me is that if not for the Biogenesis story Braun would probably be playing on and none of this would have happened.
None of us can know how much PEDs helped Braun but he clearly felt they would. His future earnings are based on his past results. Results to me that are now tainted, but the dollars are still going to be there.
On the one hand the penalty is significant for Braun, but will it really deter the next guy who thinks he can take a few shortcuts on his way to the next $100 million dollar contract?
Update: Steve Johnson, who pitched for short-season Single-A Aberdeen last night on his rehab assignment, will make his next start also for the IronBirds. Johnson gave up two runs over 2 1/3 innings, throwing 48 pitches. He is scheduled to pitch for Aberdeen on Monday at Staten Island and throw 60 to 65 pitches. Johnson is coming back from a strained left oblique.
Meanwhile Steve Pearce is near the beginning of a rehab assignment. On the disabled list since June 21 with left wrist tendinitis, Pearce is expected to begin that rehab assignment soon in the Gulf Coast League.