Commentary | When it comes to Ryan Braun, keep America safe and throw the bum out

adell@bradenton.comJuly 24, 2013 

Ryan Braun got off easy.

Baseball let him off the hook, handing out a meaningless 65-game suspension during a season when Braun's Milwaukee Brewers team is going nowhere.

He got caught red-handed using performance-enhancing drugs, and Major League Baseball should've done more.

It could've helped baseball and all those Little League kids across the country who watched this unfold.

The rally cry is clear: Throw the bum out.

Braun signed a $105 million contract extension in 2011. It was built on fraud. It should be voided. The NFL has a policy to do that when drugs are involved.

Braun issued a statement that his case has taken a toll on him and his family.

Suggestion: Talk to the parents of high school athletes who have died because of steroid use. Baseball should make Braun visit schools and youth leagues, where he could talk about PEDs and learn about the devastation they can cause.

Instead, he gets to continue his lie and lost a mere 3 percent of his huge contract.

He doesn't admit to anything but making a bad decision.

He should've been forced to fess up and admit he is a cheater.

Braun belongs in the expanding throw-the-bum-out club. Now he moves to the front of the class.

He should have been banned for the entire 2014 season at minimum.

He remains an unrepentant liar, and sadly MLB releases a statement that lauded his courage for taking responsibility for past actions.

He got nabbed and took his best option.

If he hadn't gotten caught, Braun would've kept cheating.

Throw the bum out.

This is no hero.

Braun is the guy who denigrated MLB and the drug policy process in 2011-12 when he beat a drug test violation on a technicality.

"We won ... because the truth is on my side. At the end of the day the truth prevailed," Braun shouted from the perch of his castle built on arrogance that was fortified by lawyers paid to do his bidding.

Braun lied to his teammates and asked for their support.

So it's no surprise that word out of the Brewers clubhouse is that they have no sympathy this time around, and most are glad this cheat has been exposed.

But his monetary loss is not a deterrent. It's so miniscule.

Braun is a hoax, a baseball player spawned by the pharmaceutical labs of America,

This is no small matter.

Various reports say 10 to 15 percent of high school athletes use some kind of performance-enhancing drug. Victor Conte of the scandalized Balco lab said parents who don't want their kids around steroids should steer them away from serious athletic competition.

A truly repentant Braun would return his Rookie of the Year Award and give his 2011 MVP trophy to the Dodgers' Matt Kemp.

He is adding to the epidemic that has put our aspiring young athletes at risk without coming clean.

MLB needs to adopt the NFL policy that players caught cheating can have their contract voided. It would be a huge step.

Remember Melky Cabrera?

He was suspended 50 games last year and then signed a $16 million contract with Toronto.

That's an incentive, not a deterrent.

Throw the bum out.

Alan Dell, Herald sports writer, can be reached at 941-745-7080, ext. 2112. Follow him on Twitter at @ADellSports.

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