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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Ryan Braun: Return the MVP

Maimonides, the great scholar of medieval Jewish thought and practice, writes about sin and repentance that “one who verbally confesses to his sins and does not affix it to his heart to abandon them is like one who immerses in a mikveh (ritual bath) while clutching on to a reptile.  For such an immersion is to no avail until the reptile is gotten rid of, as it is written, “One who confesses and forsakes his sin will be shown mercy.”  (Proverbs 28:13)

..

Ryan Braun needs to return his MVP Award from the 2011 season.  Having admitted that he used steroids during that ignominious year of personal achievement, the award itself remains in his possession “like one clutching to a reptile.”

Quite simply, the apology is not whole, the repentance is not complete, until the 2011 MVP Award is returned to Major League Baseball.

 

Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 11:50 AM | 50 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: biogenesis, judaism, peds, ryan braun, steroids

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 05:30 PM (#4647604)
Yes, I am happy to see the return of the MVP, Ryan Braun, back to baseball!
   2. tfbg9 Posted: January 28, 2014 at 05:33 PM (#4647609)
Drop the lizard, Braun. Drop the lizard.
   3. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 05:37 PM (#4647613)
It's weird, but I feel like Maimonides is following me everywhere I go these days. He's been mentioned in like three podcasts and two or three blog posts I've read lately.
   4. Guapo Posted: January 28, 2014 at 05:40 PM (#4647615)
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 05:41 PM (#4647616)
Worst analogy EVERRRRRRRR!
   6. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 28, 2014 at 05:48 PM (#4647621)
“like one clutching to a reptile”

And what's so bad about that?
   7. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: January 28, 2014 at 06:18 PM (#4647646)
Wait 2011?

Who led the league in Runs, Home Runs, RBI's, OPS+ and total bases?

All the while stealing 40 bases, tallying 195 hits an 8.1 WAR and a .400 OBP?

Braun's MVP was a joke before he got busted.

   8. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: January 28, 2014 at 06:29 PM (#4647658)
Ryan Braun needs to return his MVP Award from the 2011 season.
Return it to whom? The BBWAA? What the hell are they gonna do with it?
   9. Booey Posted: January 28, 2014 at 06:54 PM (#4647675)
There's been lots of MVP's won by guys on roids - Canseco, Caminiti, several by Bonds, probably Juan Gone, Sosa, Tejada, etc. Retroactively rescinding or even willfully returning awards is pointless. What happened happened. Let it go.
   10. God Posted: January 28, 2014 at 07:32 PM (#4647704)
Braun's MVP was a joke before he got busted.


This. Like Reggie Bush's Heisman, the cheating controversy only overshadows the fact that voters picked the wrong guy to begin with.
   11. cardsfanboy Posted: January 28, 2014 at 08:38 PM (#4647728)
This. Like Reggie Bush's Heisman, the cheating controversy only overshadows the fact that voters picked the wrong guy to begin with.


You people can't be serious? By war you are talking about 7.8 to 8.1. Unless things have changed, only an idiot would think that war is accurate enough to anything less than 1 win.

It's close enough that it legitimately could have gone either way, this isn't like Andre Dawson winning an MVP or anything. War thinks that Braun was the better rate player, only reason that Kemp has any advantage is the greater playing time. (you know the nearly double ground into dps that Kemp had, the 84% sb rate for Braun over Kemps 78%, the +3 fielding vs the -5 fielding from Kemp--yes better position which is reflected in the positional adjustment,
   12. cardsfanboy Posted: January 28, 2014 at 08:50 PM (#4647733)
I guess if you wanted to argue it should have gone to Halladay or Cliff Lee, then I could see your point, but the difference between Braun and Kemp was miniscule that the voters had to look deeper into the results of the season. (and as far as positional adjustments is concerned. Kemp is a corner outfielder being asked to play center, and the results show it, while Braun is a plus corner outfielder. War does a fair job of rating them as pretty much equal defensive value)
   13. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 28, 2014 at 09:22 PM (#4647747)
Would returning the MVP count as getting into specifics or not?
   14. Ray K Posted: January 28, 2014 at 11:24 PM (#4647778)
There's been lots of MVP's won by guys on roids - Canseco, Caminiti, several by Bonds, probably Juan Gone, Sosa, Tejada, etc. Retroactively rescinding or even willfully returning awards is pointless. What happened happened. Let it go.


It doesn't take much imagination to see a point in it.
   15. Booey Posted: January 28, 2014 at 11:44 PM (#4647787)
It doesn't take much imagination to see a point in it.


It's too complicated. Fine, take it away from Braun and give it to Kemp. And then if evidence comes out sometime down the road that Kemp was using too, do you then take it away from him and give it to the third place guy? And why single out Braun? Should we take them away from all the other MVP roiders mentioned above?

Seems a lot more practical to just let it go. Especially now that MLB has a testing policy and built in punishments for those that violate the JDA. Why should Braun or other offenders face additional punishments beyond what MLB and the MLBPA agreed to?
   16. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: January 28, 2014 at 11:57 PM (#4647791)
You people can't be serious?

Thanks for the laugh.
   17. SoSH U at work Posted: January 29, 2014 at 12:01 AM (#4647795)
And why single out Braun? Should we take them away from all the other MVP roiders mentioned above?


Well, it's all the rest of those guys won MVPs when MLB didn't have a specific policy against usage, nor a testing mechanism to discover it. So there is a pretty meaningful distinction between Braun's usage and the rest of the JMVPs. Now, I don't support any such decision in really any endeavor. But if that sort of thing tickled your fancy, it wouldn't be unreasonable to single Braun out for such a punishment.

One other thing: it's kind of interesting that the BBWAA has never taken any steps to revote Braun's MVP, while the AP did do just that with Brian Cushing's Rookie of the Year in the NFL.

   18. God Posted: January 29, 2014 at 12:05 AM (#4647799)
You people can't be serious? By war you are talking about 7.8 to 8.1.


At the time, Kemp had over 10 WAR. When Sean later changed up the dWAR formula, Kemp's 2011 was one of the most affected seasons, as the new version of WAR suddenly saw him as a negative defender (in a year he won a Gold Glove).

The oWAR numbers were Kemp 8.6, Braun 7.4. Keep in mind that one of these guys was a center fielder and the other a left fielder. The only way one can consider Braun's season even remotely equal to Kemp's is if you unquestioningly swallow the dWAR Kool-Aid (and even then Braun doesn't quite catch up). If you want to believe that a guy who was such a horrific third baseman that he had to be moved off the position suddenly became such a dominant defensive player that he could make up all that ground as a left fielder, well then feel free to believe that, I guess. The rest of us will be hanging out back here in the real world, where Kemp was vastly better than Braun in 2011.
   19. silhouetted by the sea Posted: January 29, 2014 at 12:24 AM (#4647807)
One other thing: it's kind of interesting that the BBWAA has never taken any steps to revote Braun's MVP, while the AP did do just that with Brian Cushing's Rookie of the Year in the NFL.


And the writers revoted and he won the award again. Nice to know how football writers feel about steroids.
   20. Sweatpants Posted: January 29, 2014 at 01:06 AM (#4647815)
If you want to believe that a guy who was such a horrific third baseman that he had to be moved off the position suddenly became such a dominant defensive player that he could make up all that ground as a left fielder, well then feel free to believe that, I guess.
Braun's fielding runs stayed the same through the switch. Both systems rated him as about average (+3 runs). Kemp lost 14 fielding runs with the switch, so it's not that Braun is making up ground with his defense as much as it is Kemp giving it back.
   21. OCF Posted: January 29, 2014 at 01:10 AM (#4647816)
Retroactively rescinding or even willfully returning awards is pointless. What happened happened. Let it go.

There's not a precedent, one way or the other, from 90+ years ago because there was no writer-voted MVP equivalent award in the AL in 1919. Sure, the sabermetric indicators point toward Babe Ruth, but see it through the typical writer biases and love of narrative, and there's a real chance that had there been such an award, Joe Jackson would have won it. In that alternate universe, I have no idea what the writers would have said or done a year later.
   22. God Posted: January 29, 2014 at 02:07 AM (#4647827)
The home run in 1919 was still considered of dubious value by most old-school baseball types. Joe Jackson absolutely would have been the MVP if it had been voted on then. Heck, Ruth almost certainly wouldn't have finished second or third either; Eddie Cicotte and Eddie Collins would have. Ty Cobb and George Sisler would also have had good shots at finishing ahead of Ruth. If you've ever gone through microfilm of old newspapers from back then, it's pretty shocking how skeptical and dismissive of Ruth all the players and sportswriters were. I think he'd have finished 6th at best if actual MVP voting had been done.
   23. Walt Davis Posted: January 29, 2014 at 02:21 AM (#4647829)
The oWAR numbers were Kemp 8.6, Braun 7.4. Keep in mind that one of these guys was a center fielder and the other a left fielder. The only way one can consider Braun's season even remotely equal to Kemp's is if you unquestioningly swallow the dWAR Kool-Aid (and even then Braun doesn't quite catch up). If you want to believe that a guy who was such a horrific third baseman that he had to be moved off the position suddenly became such a dominant defensive player that he could make up all that ground as a left fielder, well then feel free to believe that, I guess. The rest of us will be hanging out back here in the real world, where Kemp was vastly better than Braun in 2011.

But oWAR already includes the positional adjustment. So Kemp is only ahead on oWAR due to the positional adjustment. All one then has to believe to make them equal is that Braun was an above-average LF while Kemp was a below-average CF because the LF-CF difference is already in oWAR. If we ignore Rpos and Rfield, it is 79 RAR for Kemp vs. 78 for Braun. Kemp then gains 9 runs from the positional adjustment then gives back 8 runs in Rfield. There's nothing the least bit odd-looking about that -- they hit equally well, one guys was an above-average LF, the other a below-average CF.

I'm not sure why we shouldn't believe that a lousy, but fast, 3B became an above-average LF. Braun's Rfield numbers have been consistently positive since his first year in LF. Kemp's Rfield numbers have never been particularly good although I understand that is at least partly due to the adjustment in WAR. However, Kemp's defense and his ability to handle and stay in CF was questioned from day 1.

In a close contest, the writers took the unprecedented step of giving the MVP to the guy whose team won their division instead of the guy whose team finished 500. Shocking, shocking misbehavior on the writers' part. Still the NL voters weren't as insane as their AL counterparts who gave the MVP to a pitcher! Seriously, can you believe it? Don't they know they've got the Cy Young Award?
   24. OCF Posted: January 29, 2014 at 02:36 AM (#4647831)
I think he'd have finished 6th at best if actual MVP voting had been done.

1919, sure. But Ruth might have won the (hypothetical) 1918 award, because he was a good story and the Red Sox won the pennant. As a pitcher, he wasn't Johnson, and as a half-time outfielder he wasn't Cobb, but Cobb couldn't pitch and Johnson couldn't hit like that.

As for Jackson: by the time the Hall of Fame was invented a decade and a half later, the press corps had such a deep revulsion of Jackson (and Cicotte and the rest) that there was not the slightest chance of electing Jackson to the HoF. Did that reaction set into place immediately upon the revelations of 1920, or did it take a little longer? Because the alternate-history speculation was about what the writers would have done in 1920.
   25. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: January 29, 2014 at 02:36 AM (#4647832)
That was weak, Walt. Just say you'd rather have had Braun than Kemp on your team in 2011.
   26. God Posted: January 29, 2014 at 02:47 AM (#4647834)
The thing about 1920 is that the Black Sox scandal broke on September 27 and the season ended on October 3. Writers would have had exactly 6 days after the news broke to decide whether it was true and whether the players were guilty. I have absolutely no idea how the voting might have gone in that instance.

Even if the writers weren't holding the gambling against Jackson, his value was certainly diminished by the fact that he didn't play the last week of the season while his team was struggling for the pennant.
   27. Mickey Henry Mays Posted: January 29, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4647878)
If you want to believe that a guy who was such a horrific third baseman that he had to be moved off the position suddenly became such a dominant defensive player that he could make up all that ground as a left fielder, well then feel free to believe that, I guess. The rest of us will be hanging out back here in the real world, where Kemp was vastly better than Braun in 2011.


Why is that so hard to believe? Didn't Mickey Mantle come up as a SS? A lot of the best hitters came up as SS all through high school and college only to be switched to the OF and many became great fielders. Try the reverse, lets put Carlos Gomez at 3b and see how that works. When he crash and burns should we take his GG from the OF away from him?
   28. cardsfanboy Posted: January 29, 2014 at 11:06 AM (#4647914)

At the time, Kemp had over 10 WAR. When Sean later changed up the dWAR formula, Kemp's 2011 was one of the most affected seasons, as the new version of WAR suddenly saw him as a negative defender (in a year he won a Gold Glove).

The oWAR numbers were Kemp 8.6, Braun 7.4. Keep in mind that one of these guys was a center fielder and the other a left fielder. The only way one can consider Braun's season even remotely equal to Kemp's is if you unquestioningly swallow the dWAR Kool-Aid (and even then Braun doesn't quite catch up). If you want to believe that a guy who was such a horrific third baseman that he had to be moved off the position suddenly became such a dominant defensive player that he could make up all that ground as a left fielder, well then feel free to believe that, I guess. The rest of us will be hanging out back here in the real world, where Kemp was vastly better than Braun in 2011.


Don't need to drink the kool-aid, even at the time, most statistical analysis on fielding considered Kemp to be below average... I'm not sure what him winning a gold glove means. Jeter has six, and Adam Jones won last year. Kemp was a poor fielder and is a corner fielder faking it as a centerfielder. Braun would be just as poor of a fielder in center, but not noticeably worse. Braun's defense is a plus as a corner outfielder, most systems see it that way.

But basically you are arguing the same argument that writers who use batting average to determine value do.... "this is what I knew at the time and I have no intention of learning or accepting new arguments."

Braun and Kemp put up roughly the same offensive numbers, Braun had fewer plate appearances(11 fewer games played) was the better base runner avoided the dp, was a plus defender at an easier position.

As far as the oWar numbers and the reminder to remember the position they played, that is a repetitive comment. oWar includes rPos(positional adjustment) in it's math. Reminding me to remember the position difference is redundant. Braun was 53 rBat vs Kemp 55 rBat....basically equal players offensively. Braun is a slightly above average defender at the corner, Kemp is a poor defender in center.

If the real world says that Kemp was VASTLY better, then the real world is certifiably insane. There is absolutely no way any reasonable person can look at the two seasons that the two players had and claim one was vastly better.

Edit: Just read Walt's post...and pretty much have to agree with what he said (and pretty much repeated it in this comment)
   29. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 29, 2014 at 11:24 AM (#4647926)
I hope Braun gets his MVP award mounted on a chain and wears it around his neck like one of Flava Flav's clocks, just to piss the writers off.
   30. Booey Posted: January 29, 2014 at 12:48 PM (#4647976)
Well, it's all the rest of those guys won MVPs when MLB didn't have a specific policy against usage, nor a testing mechanism to discover it. So there is a pretty meaningful distinction between Braun's usage and the rest of the JMVPs. Now, I don't support any such decision in really any endeavor. But if that sort of thing tickled your fancy, it wouldn't be unreasonable to single Braun out for such a punishment.


True, but the flip side of that is that Braun already has been punished for his crime, so I DO think it's unreasonable to keep stacking additional punishments at random that go beyond what the JDA deemed fair. I'd actually be fine with it if there was a rule saying that any award could be revoked at a later time if the recipient was found to be cheating...but there isn't. The league shouldn't be able to retroactively make up punishments as they go along.

Once MLB decided to crack down on steroids and instituted testing, complete with a built in set of consequences, that should have been the end of the argument - violaters should face whatever penalties the pre-existing rules say they should. Nothing more, nothing less. Unfortunately no punishment will ever be strong enough for some people, so every year we're going to get a bunch of pointless articles whining about how someone like Bartolo Colon shouldn't be allowed to ever make an All Star team again, or how Nelson Cruz and Jhonny Peralta shouldn't have been allowed to come back and help their team fight for the postseason, etc, etc. What's so crazy about just letting MLB police itself and abiding by the punishments the league and the players union decided were adequate and fair?
   31. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 29, 2014 at 01:14 PM (#4647995)
What's so crazy about just letting MLB police itself and abiding by the punishments the league and the players union decided were adequate and fair?


If that happened, all the writers would need to find actual news to write about, instead of just firing up the outrage wurlitzer and phoning one in.
   32. SoSH U at work Posted: January 29, 2014 at 01:16 PM (#4647997)
True, but the flip side of that is that Braun already has been punished for his crime, so I DO think it's unreasonable to keep stacking additional punishments at random that go beyond what the JDA deemed fair. I'd actually be fine with it if there was a rule saying that any award could be revoked at a later time if the recipient was found to be cheating...but there isn't. The league shouldn't be able to retroactively make up punishments as they go along.


I don't disagree with any of this. I hate the idea of rewriting history in any fashion (I could get behind a rule that made ineligible a guy who got dinged before the vote, but I wouldn't support a rule that allowed for a revote).

However, it should be pointed out that with the MVP, the league has no say (unlike the Cy or RoY). The MVP belongs to the BBWAA, so the JDA would have nothing to do with it. And, as I noted, the BBWAA has taken no steps to revote, either pre-successful appeal or after his suspension finally took, and O'Connell was very definitive that no such vote would take place, so it's kind of a moot point.

I just think that it's strange that after so much time spent by so many arguing, correctly, that PED usage was not against the rules in MLB prior to 2003, the subsequent change in the rules hasn't changed much in the way PED usage is viewed, as evidenced by your initial post which ignored that rather meaningful distinction. Braun's usage is different than Canseco's. Manny's is different than Bonds's. Continuing to lump them all together, whether you're a believer that roids are the devil's candy like Andy or support a Juice Bar in every Clubhouse like Ray, doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
   33. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: January 29, 2014 at 01:18 PM (#4648000)


I just think that it's strange that after so much time spent by so many arguing, correctly, that PED usage was not against the rules in MLB prior to 2003, the subsequent change in the rules hasn't changed much in the way PED usage is viewed, as evidenced by your initial post which ignored that rather meaningful distinction. Braun's usage is different than Canseco's.


PED usage has been against the rules in baseball since 1991. There's a very legit bone to pick on negligence/recklessness grounds by MLB and the PA wrt testing and the playing environment in the period between 1991 and 2003, but PED usage was very clearly illicit. Can we please just keep that straight?


Otherwise, I totally agree with what you said. There's a big gap between the Wild West usage of Canseco in 88 or even McGwire in 98 (functionally, the same playing environment albeit with different societal pressures) and the world of 2005 when Raffy was popped or 2011 when Braun was caught.
   34. Len Lansford, Carney Barker Posted: January 29, 2014 at 01:36 PM (#4648014)
Return it to whom? The BBWAA? What the hell are they gonna do with it?


Put it in their trophy case next to the Ecko ball?
   35. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: January 29, 2014 at 01:36 PM (#4648015)
[17] Unless Matt Kemp converted when I wasn't looking, I really don't think there's any doubt Braun was the Jewish MVP. Who would his competition even be?
   36. SoSH U at work Posted: January 29, 2014 at 01:44 PM (#4648020)
[17] Unless Matt Kemp converted when I wasn't looking, I really don't think there's any doubt Braun was the Jewish MVP. Who would his competition even be?


JMVP - Juiced, not Jewsed.

   37. PreservedFish Posted: January 29, 2014 at 02:06 PM (#4648031)
If you want to believe that a guy who was such a horrific third baseman that he had to be moved off the position suddenly became such a dominant defensive player that he could make up all that ground as a left fielder, well then feel free to believe that, I guess.


Actually, Alex Gordon is the best example here. He looks fantastic in left, and his numbers are fantastic.
   38. Booey Posted: January 29, 2014 at 02:12 PM (#4648036)
I just think that it's strange that after so much time spent by so many arguing, correctly, that PED usage was not against the rules in MLB prior to 2003, the subsequent change in the rules hasn't changed much in the way PED usage is viewed, as evidenced by your initial post which ignored that rather meaningful distinction. Braun's usage is different than Canseco's. Manny's is different than Bonds's. Continuing to lump them all together, whether you're a believer that roids are the devil's candy like Andy or support a Juice Bar in every Clubhouse like Ray, doesn't make a lot of sense to me.


I probably phrased my initial post badly. Comparing Braun to Canseco, Caminiti, etc, was just as example and not the larger point. I DO think there's a difference between juicing in the 90's and juicing today. Juicing in the 90's should have no penalty whatsoever. Juicing today should carry whatever penalty the league and the players union agreed to IN ADVANCE. I'm fine with Braun's 65 game suspension. I'm not fine with anything beyond that.

The thing is, once MLB cracked down on roids and they were clearly made against the rules, it actually became EASIER to deal with steroid users, cuz the punishments were pre-written and laid out for all to see. We didn't have to debate anymore about what should happen to cheaters - it's plainly written in the rules. But many people want to make up their own punishments anyway.
   39. pthomas Posted: January 29, 2014 at 02:13 PM (#4648037)
They give me my money back for tickets, cable tv fees, etc...and void out all the records and games that were played in the "steroid era", and I'll give a ____about stuff like this.
   40. Mickey Henry Mays Posted: January 29, 2014 at 02:17 PM (#4648041)
Unless Matt Kemp converted when I wasn't looking, I really don't think there's any doubt Braun was the Jewish MVP. Who would his competition even be?


Prince Fielderman had a pretty good year.
   41. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 29, 2014 at 02:21 PM (#4648042)
it is also true that braun has worked very hard on improving his defense. he started out as below average/poor in left field and is now above average and one could claim 'good'.

as for the kemp/braun discussion while I freely acknowledge that overall kemp was by some degree the better performer in 2011 if one is going to be indignant about mvp voting it is better served to direct that energy at years where juan gonzalez won an mvp or andre dawson won in 1987. those are horrible results that do a disservice to the goal of the award

as to the peds topic, if folks wants to engage in retroactive revenge that is their choice. personally I deem it a waste of energy and frankly a form of censorship. you are scrubbing the historical record. it's taking the meeting notes and redacting the section where the vp called the cfo an '8sshole'. leave all the warts visible so that it is a reminder of what transpired
   42. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 29, 2014 at 02:21 PM (#4648043)
I don't get the outcry re Braun over Kemp either. There are many, many other MVP votes that were far more ridiculous. Braun had an MVP caliber season, even if he wasn't quite as good as Kemp. This is more like Cabrera beating Trout than Gonzalez over ARod.
   43. SoSH U at work Posted: January 29, 2014 at 02:34 PM (#4648058)
Cabrera beating Trout


Presumably the original, not the less defensible sequel.
   44. Booey Posted: January 29, 2014 at 02:39 PM (#4648061)
I just think that it's strange that after so much time spent by so many arguing, correctly, that PED usage was not against the rules in MLB prior to 2003, the subsequent change in the rules hasn't changed much in the way PED usage is viewed,


To sorta sum up post 38, the reason the rule change hasn't changed the attitude towards PED's much is because the rule change already includes built in punishments, so there's no need for us or anyone else to add additional ones. If the league thinks those penalties are sufficient, then so be it. It doesn't say anywhere that awards can be revoked or that players who test positive will be ineligible for future all star appearances or the Hall of Fame. Those are things the anti-PED zealots have basically just made up as they've gone along.

And I actually haven't heard many of the steroid defenders say that PED users nowadays shouldn't be suspended or punished at all. Most of us just think that what's outlined in the JDA is sufficient, and that the extra punishments the anti-PED crusaders are suggesting are excessive and disproportionate to the crime.

And sorry my "summary" ended up being just as long as my original post. :-)
   45. nick swisher hygiene Posted: January 29, 2014 at 02:43 PM (#4648064)
36--Braun: "I distinctly heard it, Max; we were walking off the field, and Canseco says, very distinctly, 'Jew use roids?' Not 'Did you use', 'JEW use'......"
   46. Booey Posted: January 29, 2014 at 02:45 PM (#4648068)
There's a big gap between the Wild West usage of Canseco in 88 or even McGwire in 98 (functionally, the same playing environment albeit with different societal pressures) and the world of 2005 when Raffy was popped or 2011 when Braun was caught.


Yep. The difference is juicers now deserve a 50 game suspension and the ones from 15 years ago don't deserve any penalty at all.

But neither of them should have to give back their MVP awards, since neither the rules from back then nor the rules in place today say that they should. So yeah, I guess in this case the situations are pretty similar WRT being allowed to keep "tainted" MVP awards.
   47. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 29, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4648079)

If you believe that Kemp is a Gold Glove-caliber centerfielder (as people apparently did) then there's no real excuse for giving the award to Braun that year, except for the fact that he had better teammates. If you believe that Kemp was a poor centerfielder and that Braun was a good left fielder, then it's a much closer contest.
   48. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 29, 2014 at 03:11 PM (#4648090)
Just take away Ryan Braun's Chalmers Model 30 roadster. That'll learn him.
   49. EddieA Posted: January 29, 2014 at 03:41 PM (#4648114)
There's still an opportunity to take away his MVP symbolically if he is out and out the best player the next couple of years and they shun him in the MVP vote. I kinda hope he is "better than ever."
   50. Ron J2 Posted: January 29, 2014 at 04:43 PM (#4648177)
PED usage has been against the rules in baseball since 1991.


Only to the extent that using (say) cocaine was. The guy who wrote that memo was very clear that he didn't have the authority to unilaterally impose any rule change. At most it was a talking point.

It was also by his own admission a throw-away line. Their focus at the time was on recreational drugs. See Maury Brown's interview with Fay Vincent here

Some of the important quotes about the memo in question:
"I don’t remember much about the circumstances and I don’t remember who really pushed for it."

"We were so wrapped up in cocaine problems, so I just don’t remember that much about it"

"I’m sure that what the General Managers are saying is correct that nobody paid too much attention to it because it was aimed at people who probably weren’t big steroid users anyway. I mean the clubhouse man, and the coaches would hardly be taking steroids. But that’s all we could do. We couldn’t do anything with the union because the union wouldn’t even give us a hearing on strengthening the cocaine drug problem laws." (Vincent notes that his memo actually only outlaws PED usage by clubhouse attendants and coaches. Anything involving a PA member would have to be collectively bargained.)

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