There are going to be those who call for former Miami Hurricanes infielder and current Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun to return his NL MVP following news that he tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in the postseason. High levels of testosterone was reportedly behind the positive test, and a later test indicated the testosterone was synthetic.
Braun received 20 of the 32 first place votes for the award, finishing 56 total points ahead of the second-leading vote-getter, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp.
But Yahoo! Sports columnist Jeff Passan isn’t convinced that Braun should return the award, calling “retroactive justice nothing more than a lame, knee-jerk, CYA effort. Baseball need not slum alongside the NCAA or the Heisman Trophy Trust in vacating wins or awards, acting like reality was some myth.”
He also points out that it’s the Baseball Writers Association of America, and not Major League Baseball, that hands out the award, which Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Jason Giambi, and others were allowed to keep following positive tests. Should Braun’s award be taken away simply because the positive test comes so shortly after he was handed the award?
And don’t forget that Braun is appealing. He calls the positive test ‘B.S.’, and it’s being reported that Braun, upon hearing of the positive test, requested to take another test and passed. His representatives concede, according to the ESPN report, that the non-positive test does not necessarily nullify the positive test, but could point to “problems with the first.”
As Passan points out, there’s never been a false positive in the 10 seasons since the MLB began testing. But that doesn’t mean Braun can’t be the first. He’s taken the same stance of denial that just about every ballplayer who’s tested positive has taken, which the public and media have generally come to disregard; but he deserves his day in court, so to speak. With 50 games on the line, not to mention his previously sterling reputation in jeopardy, Braun deserves the opportunity to present information and evidence collected by his representatives.