Ryan Braun may look like a cheater, a liar and whatever other noun you want to throw out there, but with regards to his suspension for the remainder of the 2013 season, he’s the winner and MLB is the loser.
Why is Braun the winner? For starters, a 65-game suspension is nothing more than a vacation for Braun. The Milwaukee Brewers aren’t a contender this season whether he plays or not, and after playing in just 61 games this year, Braun doesn’t have much invested in the 2013 season and won’t mind sitting out the remainder of the schedule.
Financially, the amount of money Braun will lose as a result of his suspension will be little more than three percent of his total contract, which is guaranteed and won’t expire until after the 2020 season. Braun is likely to be booed, taunted and hated wherever he goes throughout the rest of that contract, but eventually the boos will turn into white noise that he will be able to easily shake off while he continues to collect his checks.
In the long run, these 65 games and the little bit of money he’ll lose will mean nothing to Braun; all it does is give him some time to relax, while giving fans time to forget his indiscretions while other players get suspended.
As for MLB, they are the losers in this suspension because they failed to make a statement. Braun will be so unaffected by this suspension that it doesn’t send a message to deter other players from using PEDs. They had little incentive to make a deal with a player like the Brewers star, much less a deal that was so lenient on him, but they went ahead with it anyway.
A 65-game suspension to a player on a non-contending team is barely a slap on the wrist, and if this suspension sets the tone for the rest of the Biogenesis-related suspensions, it does not bode well for MLB being able to stop PED use.