With Ryan Braun agreeing to the suspensions laid out from M.L.B. I have had a fair amount of thoughts of steroids, trust and being a fan of the game. I will note that I am a Phillies fan at heart and the perspective I have comes from a person outside the Brewers general fan-hood.
The fan in me developed as a kid and as a kid this was a nerdish pleasure of mine. A lot of kids through my generation spent their nights reading goosebumps, playing with trolls, and the early stages of video games, but I spent mine reading the back of baseball cards and learning to appreciate a player through his statistics. I grew up a kid of the late 80's to early 90's before there was a "need" for a department in M.L.B. that tested for P.E.D.'s. I believed everything I read. That each player earned the stats that were on the card for the freak of an athlete they were.
While my young mind just began to understand what cheating was, I never believed that it would have been present in the game I have come to know and love as Americas past time. As I grew older, I became more aware of my surroundings in M.L.B. and the fact that cheating does exist to an extent, but I never could have possibly imagined how far cheating weaved its web around the game I love. As I realized cheating was predominant among some of the best of players that were around at the time. Bonds, McGwire, Ken Caminiti,Mo Vaughn, Clemens, Juan Gonzelez, Piazza, Bagwell, Canseco, Sheffield, and many more, spurned my attitude towards baseball and the people that governed it at the time. Fay Vincent, Peter Ueberroth, but mainly Bud Selig was behind the wheel from the age I was "aware" of a glaring problem , my attitude towards the game changed.
Players were cheating, a lot of them were. If this is how the superstars play, imagine how everyone else did? That was my perspective at the time, even given the home run record drama that surrounded it. Now-a-days, we are in the modern age of baseball and once again we are front and center to controversy surrounding P.E.D.'s. I take pride not only in my team, but my league as well. The National League aka the "Senior Circuit" will always reign supreme in my book. Yet, once again we have an old demon thrusting it's place back into the spotlight.
Us baseball fans appreciate a pure, truthful, and intelligent baseball player. It is something we all yearn for when we think of the game and our team. If that person so happens to belong to your favorite team then by all the power (and jealousy) of M.L.B., god bless you. This, however, is not one of those times.
Being a fan of a big market team that more recently began to spend big market money, people must remember that there is a blue collar connection to those mid to low market teams whom depend on home grown talent. Talent that talent that can carry a team, a fan base and an entire organization. When that talent betrays a fans trust there are lifelong bonds of trust and faith that have been broken. A kid looks to Ryan Braun as his hero and yet this is what he gets to look up to? Shame, massive amount of shame is what should fall upon a player. Yet, despite that shame, us fans, come back time and time again.
You owe it to us Ryan Braun. To those who looked up to you, to those of us who hoped that your performance in an all-star game could give us home field advantage in a world series, to those of us whom routed for you from college to minors to the majors. To those of us who looked at you as a hero and most importantly to the homegrown fans out there who want you to help support this team and therefore the surrounding area this team represents.
You no longer deserve our undivided attention. You no longer deserve us as fans. You don't deserve the salary you are earning. The performance you bring forth from hereon deserves no accolades and no rewards. This is just for the team and their fans. The way it was always meant to be. The way it should have always been.