Ryan Braun: MVP Slugger Must Do Everything He Can to Clear His Name

Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIIJanuary 8, 2012

MILWAUKEE, WI - OCTOBER 07:  Ryan Braun #8 of the Milwaukee Brewers reacts after hitting a double in the sixth inning off pitcher Ian Kennedy #31 of the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game Five of the National League Division Series at Miller Park on October 7, 2011 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Milwaukee Brewers' MVP slugger Ryan Braun will learn whether or not he is deemed guilty or innocent in time for spring training, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.

If he is indeed innocent and did not take performance-enhancing drugs, he needs to do everything he can to clear his name. This is something that's said just about every time somebody is alleged in doing something, but the premise of the argument holds true every time.

This is an MVP player that we're talking about, yet his name and epic season is essentially being dragged through the mud because of the allegations that he took performance-enhancing drugs. If this isn't a true statement, Braun should be shouting his innocence from the rooftops and defending his honor. He should be defending the season he just had.

PHOENIX, AZ - OCTOBER 04:  Ryan Braun #8 of the Milwaukee Brewers looks on while on-deck before batting in the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game Three of the National League Division Series at Chase Field on October 4, 2011 in Phoenix,
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

If his incredible .332 average, 33 home runs, 111 RBI and .397 OBP did not come because of cheating, I'm not sure why he wouldn't be doing everything to defend that. If I were Braun, I'd be on every talk show circuit, every late-night program and I would slap a declaration of my innocence on every billboard from San Francisco to New York.

In fact, the Milwaukee Brewers should be doing the same thing. Their star player is under attack, as is the image of their organization.

The good news is that Braun is going to have the opportunity to defend himself within the month, according to the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel:

An arbitration hearing will take place this month to give Braun an opportunity to overturn a reported positive drug test in October for a banned substance that could result in a 50-game suspension. Delaying the verdict beyond a reasonable period would not be fair to either Braun or the Brewers, under the circumstances.

If there's a time for Braun to come up big off the baseball diamond, this is going to be it. This arbitration hearing is going to be the moment of truth for both him and the Brewers organization, and they cannot afford to lose him for 50-games next season.

Not only that, but the bigger picture is that neither Braun nor the Brewers can afford to have an MVP season negated because of yet another performance-enhancing drug scandal. I dare say the MLB can't afford that either.

If he's innocent, Braun needs to do everything he can to clear his name.

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