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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Braun Again Off Again...


Not sure if you've heard. But apparently Ryan Braun is a cheater, after all. I know, I know. I'm in complete shock, too. But we're all just going to have to get over this earth shattering news, and try to move on with whatever pieces of our hearts, minds and souls that we've mercifully been able to salvage...

Oh, and in other breaking, earth shattering news. Serenanus Williams apparently has a large posterior...

Now that's some breaking news, right there. Makin' my man Billy McAvoy proud!...
You say Seranus, I say Seronus...?

And yes, that means I'm still watching Newsroom. But, no. Olivia Munn has yet to get naked in an attempt for more air time...

I've got more on that (nah, that was it), some Red Sox notes and I'm sure another musing or two that've yet to find their way into the front of my conscience. So, feel free to make the jump. OR to peruse the various Google Image results for Seranus Williams. It's your dime...

Yeah, I'm thinking that expression needs to be updated. Not "Seranus", but since when has anything ever been just a dime? Unless they're talking about dime bags. In which case there's a decent chance I'd still support the use of the expression. Either way. Carry on, Teds. Or don't. It's your Seranus. Wait...

Ryan Braun really is the worst type of person. It's one thing to cheat. Cheaters are usually forgiven. But it's another thing altogether to cheat, get caught, deny your cheating, and then blame others for your "alleged" failings. That's something that we as a society aren't nearly as quick to forgive. See: Lance Armstrong and his complete fall from grace/disappearance from the public eye...

And while this story is all about Braun's deception and whether or not baseball is doing enough by only giving him a 65 game suspension, it's really all about how fans react when Braun returns. Because if fans continue to welcome back cheaters with open arms, it won't discourage players from using and it certainly won't discourage MLB from conducting their never ending witch hunt. A witch hunt through a culture that they themselves helped nurture, but that's a different story for a different time...

Don't wag your finger at me,
you juiced up sociopath. 
It's like this. I just finished watching The Cheshire Murders on HBO. A documentary on the home invasion turned brutal murder of a mother and her two daughters in Cheshire, Connecticut in 2007. And one of the major questions raised at the end of the film was that whether or not the state was wise to pursue the death penalty when both defendants were willing to plead to life without the possibility of parole? More to the point, wouldn't dragging the event out via a  decade+ long capital murder trial only serve to desensitize the public at large by exposing them to such brutality for longer that was really necessary? I tend to think it would. And I tend to think that's why most of us can hear stories like that without really being shocked. Because, unfortunately, we've been dragged through murder trials in the press before. And after a while, even the most brutal of crime scene photos seem to lose their edge...

That's where baseball is, right now. So many fans are desensitized and apathetic that they really just want all of this to go away. Even if that means tossing out testing altogether and letting the league go the way of the WWE. Sounds extreme, but it's the vibe I get. Which is why my suggestion for punishment attempts to balance out the risk vs reward. You cheat? OK. If you admit it, you can keep your job and/or serve your suspension. AKA you can follow the guidelines already in place. That's if you admit it and publicly apologize. But, if you deny it even once in a public forum, and then get proven to be a cheater anyway? LIFETIME BAN. NO APPEAL. VOIDED CONTRACT. To paraphrase the surly strip club owner in Kill BIll 2, "Fuckin' with your money is the only thing you kids seem to understand!". And unless a clear message is sent to these players that we're going to start "fuckin' with their money", the risk of being able to land a $100 million dollar contract like Braun or ARod will still be viewed as a reasonable one...  

It's completely unreasonable, I know. Especially considering the power of the MLB Player's Union. But it's how you send the necessary message (even if ARod gets the ban it doesn't really set the precedent I'm talking about. Especially if Braun still only gets the 65 games). And that message should be that baseball won't be periodically held hostage whenever some arrogant sociopath decides that they're the best liar the world has ever seen. With a pleasant side effect being that these types of stories would stop dominating the news...

Granted, it's not the best solution in the world. Matter of fact, calling a "solution" at all would probably be a stretch. But it should go a long way towards restoring some much needed integrity. Something that baseball has lacked for going on 2 decades now...

So don't welcome back Ryan Braun, no matter how contrite he might seem. He's sorry? I bet he is. But he's already proven he's a sociopath by lying through his teeth, so you can rest assured that he's really only "sorry" because he was caught. It's as simple as that. Which is why his punishment, and that for those who follow in his ill fated footsteps, should be equally as simple. Lifetime ban. Let's weed out these Teds once and for all...

...or at least give the illusion that we're trying. That works, too...


Not all is lost in the world of baseball, though. As evidenced by the well deserved contract extension Dustin Pedroia just signed with the Boston Red Sox. Love the Red Sox or not, there's no denying that Dustin epitomizes what it should mean to be a successful professional athlete. Works hard, has fun, and shows his appreciation to the city and fans that he's seemingly proud to represent. You know, basically the antithesis to sociopaths like Braun and Rodriguez....

Oh, and if yout hink I've been just flippantly tossing around the word "sociopath", it's because I really think these people are crazy. Like, "would have ended up as serial killers had they not been blessed with physical tools" crazy. So, yeah. Sociopaths...

But, yeah. Props to Dustin Pedroia. Needless to say, it's rare in this day and age that a superstar receives a contract that the public agrees he actually "deserves". Even if he's only "doing his job". That's another piece of sad commentary on where baseball is, right now. Players are getting paid for merely "doing their job" at a level that most of us bring to our 9-5's. Doesn't take anything away from Dustin, but it's just further proof that even the good news these days in baseball doesn't come without it's obvious caveats...

As for my bi-weekly Jone Lester update, I think it's safe to say that last night's performance against the Rays was his best start in months. Unfortunately, it was coming off an abnormally long rest and was probably aided by the fact that it was a home game against a division rival (not to mention this great start that many are drooling over wasn't even 7 innings long). He was sharp and efficient, there's no doubt. But he's supposed to be smart, efficient and overpowering. And until I start seeing that on a consistent basis I still won't be convinced that he's returned to form. It's a high bar, I know. But he's supposed to be an ace. And he'll need to be that ace if the Red Sox plan on doing anything come the playoffs...


Wrapping up this week, just a few one line-ish type thoughts:

*ESPN announced this week that they'd hired Nate Silver to team up with Keith Olbermann. Not sure whether to laugh or cry, so instead I've decided just not to watch and simply continue to follow Silver on Twitter...

Also worth noting that ESPN.com treated the hiring of both Olbermann and Silver as "news stories" as opposed to merely additions to their lineup. Something they've been doing a lot of, lately. Treating their own actions as sports news when it suits them. For instance: When NASCAR picks NBC over ESPN you get lines like...
"According to the Sports Business Journal, which first reported the story on Tuesday morning, NBC will pay as much as 50 percent more than ESPN was paying."
Hahaha, right. But yet when ESPN lets hundreds of employees go in the face of increasing profits, the story read like this...
":: crickets ::"
Yeah, exactly. They're the world wide leader in somethin', alright. But it's nothing close to resembling "sports", "entertainment" or journalism, anymore. And that makes me sad...

*Speaking of the World Wide Leader, their simultaneous love for Phil Mickelson and new found disgust for Tiger Woods were on full display during last week's British Open. It was pretty blatant, and rather unprofessional. Hell, it actually tarnished Phil's miracle round quite a bit for me as a viewer. But that's part of what makes the boys in Bristol the World Wide Leader in Pink Hats. Tiger sucks? Phil's good? Well, that was easy. Never mind the fact that they wouldn't have been able to sell ad #1 for a golf event if it weren't for Woods. Those are just details. No need to let those get in the way when you're trying to sound/be popular. Fact is, they'd much rather play Phil's "family man" angle than have to praise a guy that's a known cheat (even if a good chunk of the ESPN staff has been publicly caught cheating themselves. Again, details...)...

Then again, I could have also just been bitter because that Phat bastard was sticking it to my fantasy golf team with every incredibly clutch stroke. Meh, whatever. I'll just console myself with the fact that, at best, he'll "only" get to keep about 40% of the money he won...

...which is still 40% more than I'll ever have. That Phat idealistic girdle wearing bastard...


That's it for me. The Patriots are in camp, and I'll get to them next week. But if you really need your fix, feel free to check out ESPN First Take: Boston. Yeah, I know. I didn't know they'd set up a franchise, either. Just hope none of them get fired for not wearing their "Hi My Name Is Skip", name tags...

Catch ya next week, friends. Be good...

#BAGSMUNMAN

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