Micah Stein published this piece on Braun, Jews, and PEDs on the Jewish Ideas Daily blog.
Naturally, being the contrarian I am, I had a few problems with some of his statements.
* Stein say, “That Ryan Braun is Jewish is probably irrelevant—but it certainly makes the story a whole lot more interesting.”
I say, it is irrelevant, just as it would be to say that Barry Bonds or Sammy Sosa, ethnicity/religion/identity would be relevant. And if it is irrelevant, don’t bring it into the conversation.
* Stein says, “With this positive test, Braun has crushed the hopes of Jewish mothers and sons everywhere.”
I say, a) What about the dad? They don’t care or count? b) Everywhere? and c) Why? Do Jews hold themselves up to a higher moral standard? Doesn’t that smack of some of the stereotypes some non-Jews have, that Jews think they’re superior?
* Stein says, [E]ven if the case is overturned, this incident will remain a blemish on Braun’s sterling reputation.”
I say, huh? If the case is overturned, that means that Braun would be exonerated, thereby expunging the “blemish.” No one, as far as I know, is saying he didn’t take something. It’s the reason he took it that’s important. Now for some the reason is unimportant. According to the letter of the “law,” if he took it, he’s out. I have no trouble with that; it’s just like Olympic swimmers whose records are thrown out because their necessary asthma medicine contains banned substances. It’s too bad, but rules is rules, as they say.
* Stein says, “[I[t is important to remember that Braun is not the first of his kind to use questionable supplements to gain a competitive advantage.”
I say that’s neither here nor there. That’s the argument your kid makes when he does something wrong. “All my friends have done it…” Secondly, the whole argument here is that Braun did not take whatever to gain a competitive edge.
* Stein says, “Finally, studying talmudic medicine may also solve another part of the problem: Why would Ryan Braun take steroids in the first place? In seven years of major and minor league baseball he had never before been implicated in a drug test, and with baseball’s increasingly strict testing policy, it was likely he would be caught. Why risk it?”
I say, exactly. Look at his record and you’ll see nothing pops out. His stats are basically the same since he came into the Majors. So why would he? Doesn’t make a lot of sense.
* Finally, Stein says, “What about sin? Well, on October 7, days before Braun tested positive, he went 2 for 3 and scored a run in the clinching game of the National League Division Series, a 3-2 Brewers’ victory.
It was Yom Kippur.”
I say, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” (and you’ll excuse the New Testament reference). Out of all the Jews who have played in the Majors, aside from Koufax, Greenberg, Green, and a handful of others, I’m guessing (since I’m too lazy to do the actual research) that the majority have played on Yom Kippur when it fell within the season.
* * *
More on Braun:
- Braun will learn his fate before Spring Training (Duh). According to the piece in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, he will have his hearing before the end of January and a ruling will be rendered shortly thereafter. Here’s an ironic line: “Because the drug testing program is confidential and news of Braun’s positive test never should have leaked out [my emphasis], MLB will not announce when the arbitration hearing will be held.” Why not? I would think Braun — who has been so demonstrative in his statements — would want the public to know.
- Former AL MVP Don Mattingly thinks Braun’s award should be revoked. Or does he? It’s a little hard to tell.
- Brewer teammate Jonathan Lucroy stands by his man in this MLB.com story.
Tags: Ryan Braun