Ryan Braun accepted his 2011 MVP award at a Baseball Writers of America banquet on Saturday night. The Milwaukee Brewers' left fielder won the award for a season in which he hit .332 with 33 home runs and 111 RBI.
This award has been tainted lately though, as Braun will have to serve a 50-game suspension to start the 2012 season after testing positive for a banned substance.
Despite all the controversy and drama, Braun showed up to the banquet and humbly accepted his award.
In his classy velvet tuxedo, he spoke of his respect for the game and gave shout-outs to some other MVP candidates. All in all, I think he handled the situation very well. He could have used the platform to speak out against his positive test, but he didn't.
Instead, he only vaguely referred to the drug test, calling it an unexpected challenge. By not grandstanding and not blaming others for his positive test, he showed that he is a classy guy.
Who knows whether the test was a mistake or if he actually cheated. That will all be sorted out later.
Last night was about a guy being acknowledged for his strong 2011 season and leading the Brewers to the National League Central crown.
Even if it was a false positive test, it looks like he'll still have to sit out for the first 50 games of 2012. For a team that will also lose Prince Fielder this offseason, it's going to be a devastating blow offensively.
The Brewers need their MVP to have a great 112 games when he comes back if they are going to have any shot of repeating as NL Central champs.