For anyone expecting Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun to make big news at the baseball writers banquet Saturday night, well, he didn't.
Unless you count the awesome velvet tuxedo he wore to accept his 2011 NL MVP Award.
In a brief speech spent mostly thanking his supporters, Braun only alluded to the positive drug test that will lead to a 50-game suspension if his appeal is denied. He didn't dramatically decline the MVP award, as some fantasized he might, and he didn't emotionally defend his reputation from revelations that could taint it forever in the eyes of many.
Here's what he said, as quoted by MLB.com:
"Sometimes in life, we all deal with challenges we never expected to endure," Braun told an audience at the Hilton New York in midtown Manhattan. "We have an opportunity to look at those challenges and view them either as obstacles or as opportunities. I've chosen to view every challenge I've ever faced as an opportunity, and this will be no different. I've always believed that a person's character is revealed through the way they deal with those moments of adversity."
Other than his tux, this is the part that appealed to me:
"I've always loved and had so much respect for the game of baseball. Everything I've done in my career has been done with that respect and appreciation in mind. And that is why I'm so grateful and humbled to accept this award tonight."
No matter how this turns out, I believe him. Braun seems genuinely hurt that anyone might think he would try to cheat the game. Now, regardless if the positive test is because of a mistake on his part, an error by the manufacturers of the product he used, or a flaw in the test, he's still probably going to have to serve that suspension. And it's only fair, because that's what the players signed up for to help mollify the anti-steroid crusaders.
But as far as intentions go, Ryan Braun and his velvet tux are OK in my book.
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