In the end,
So he's tainted now, as a baseball player who used performance-enhancing substances? He's been tainted for two years. Nothing new there.
His thumb is injured. He's getting married in the fall. His team is done for the year.
Now, so is he. On Monday, Braun accepted a 65-game suspension for multiple violations of baseball's drug policy. He can enjoy his honeymoon without worrying about an appeal hearing. He can start fresh next spring, and so can his
He even got
It was the Braun people, not the Selig people, who engineered this deal. MLB had revealed its evidence to Braun but had yet to propose the length of a suspension. Braun's people had to hurry, because the concept of accepting a suspension for the balance of the season would become less attractive to MLB with each passing day.
The standard punishment for first-time offenders is 50 games. Selig believed the evidence warranted more. He was determined to exact more.
If the Braun people waited for a notice of charges from MLB, the season might not have had 50 games left, or not many more than 50. At that point, broaching the notion of banning Braun for the balance of the season — with no punishment extending into next season — would have been a nonstarter for Selig.
But here is what MLB really got out of this deal: a warning shot fired at the other players — more than a dozen, probably — implicated in the
Selig and his people had Braun nailed on failing to disclose his interactions with
That should tell
Selig probably would not be satisfied with 65 games for Rodriguez. But Rodriguez ought to consider taking a suspension split between the end of this season and the start of next one, so he could more fully rehabilitate his injuries and return to the
Braun told so many lies along the way, not just declaring his innocence but assassinating the character of a urine collector and proclaiming the MLB drug protocol "fatally flawed," that the instant analysis Wednesday trended along the lines of how he will be forever shamed and scarred.
It would be nice if Braun apologized, in person and not in a statement crafted for him, in words not as embarrassingly passive as the "apologize to anyone I may have offended" phrase included in Monday's announcement.
But it was Braun who said five months ago he had "nothing to hide," and now it is Braun who can take the rest of the season and do nothing but hide.