The suspension of Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun has left a severely sour taste in baseball fans' mouths. And though most are glad Major League Baseball suspended the steroid user for 65 games, many Atlanta Braves players think he should have gotten a bigger suspension, ajc.com reports.
“I agree with what guys like (former pitcher) Curt Schilling are saying, what does it really do to him?” Laird said. “He’s not giving up very much of his contract, because he’s making more money next year and the following years. So he’s kind of making the least amount (in salary) on his deal this year; his team is not going to the postseason, so there’s nothing to lose there.
“I mean, what are you really teaching the guy? And he knowingly came out and said he didn’t do anything. I don’t think he should be banned from baseball, but make it hurt. Make him sit out next year for 50 games or 100 games.”
Laird has a point. Braun is owed $127 million until 2020 anyway.
Reed Johnson was quick to point out that while he's been playing with mostly one-year contracts, Braun's cheating led to him making over $100 million.
“If you look at it from a financial standpoint,” Johnson said, “you lose 3 or 4 million dollars in salary, but because you did it, you’ve got $150 million on a contract.”
Chris Johnson was perhaps the most disappointed in the suspension, as he's admired Braun for some time.
“I mean, he’s a guy that I’ve watched, as a right-handed hitter, watching his swing,” Johnson said. “It stinks. But hopefully he comes back, serves his suspension and continues to be a good player. We’ll see in the long run if it changes who he was. We’ll see. Hopefully, for his sake, it won’t. Because if it does, then it looks like everything he did is tarnished.”
And Laird kept going, noting the anger around baseball.
“This guy knowingly (used PEDs) for years,” Laird said. “Then to come out and say he didn’t do it, and ruin some people’s lives with it, and now we’re saying, ‘Your team’s out of it, it’s not going to really hurt your guys, so go do your 65 games and we’ll see you next year.’ No.
“His reputation is tarnished, and you never wish that on anybody. But the way he’s gone about it, it’s just not right. He was willing to throw other people under the bus to save his own butt, and now you’re just supposed to just kind of push it under the rug and come back next year with a fresh slate? No….
“Guys are pissed off. Guys that come in here and work for ESPN, who are ex-players and supported him, he lied to their faces. Now you see how they’re reacting, and they have a right to. This guy basically lied to all his peers and all the ex-players.”
It's particularly poignant when Braun weaseled his way out of a suspension after his 2011 National League MVP year, when he lied to everyone about his PED usage and even attacked the people who handled the testing.
With all the people around baseball who are legitimately angry toward Braun and will never trust him again, consider this a case of reaping what one sows.
Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Baseball, Chris Johnson, ESPN, Gerald Laird, Milwaukee Brewers, MLB, Reed Johnson, Ryan Braun