Ryan Braun should return the 2011 NL MVP trophy

Finally. Suspended Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun finally said something.

Braun admitted to a number of things, including being in denial, using a “cream and lozenge” and he also apologized to sample collector Dino Laurenzi Jr.

It was a carefully crafted statement that, in conjunction with his statement to the Brewers’ faithful, Braun probably thought would help start the public relations healing process.

You can read the whole prepared statement here, via the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, but here is the statement that stands out most to me:

“Here is what happened. During the latter part of the 2011 season, I was dealing with a nagging injury and I turned to products for a short period of time that I shouldn’t have used. The products were a cream and a lozenge which I was told could help expedite my rehabilitation. It was a huge mistake for which I am deeply ashamed and I compounded the situation by not admitting my mistakes immediately.”

Ryan BraunI am certain that Ryan Braun had some level of input in the statements released on Thursday, but it’s also clear that a team of lawyers and publicists had significant influence on what exactly was contained in the verbiage of them.

And the fans aren’t that dumb. At least I hope not.

Picking and choosing exactly the message you want to send is a first step, but if it’s the only step, it’s still a coward’s way out.

He admitted he lied. Good. Great. Wonderful. But it’s just a start. Braun needs transparency at this point if he ever wants to fully re-enter the good graces of Wisconsin.

Sit down with Bob Costas during the playoffs. Hold a press conference and answer the tough questions from the media. Do something more. Give us details. What you used, when you used it, for how long. Vague, prepared statements aren’t enough.

He was ready to proclaim his innocence in front of the TV cameras during spring training on February of 2012, but he won’t apologize in front of them now? Something seems wrong about that.

Braun can say all he wants, but there’s one action he can take that will speak volumes so much louder than any statement he could issue: He can hand over the 2011 National League MVP trophy.

It’s a gesture that would resonate not only across the Brewers’ fan base, but across all of baseball.

He came out and said that he used products during the 2011 season that he shouldn’t have. He admitted to cheating, and he doesn’t deserve the highest individual award that an MLB player can receive for one season. If he didn’t play within the rules, why should he be rewarded and forever recognized as the league’s most valuable player?

I can’t envision a situation where the MLB will force Braun to hand over his trophy. It’s something that Braun should do on his own volition.

Milwaukee went on to win a franchise-record 96 games in 2011. Had Braun not rubbed himself down with magical cream and sucked on these mysterious lozenges, are the Brewers the same team? No one can say for sure.

I’m not a fan of asterisks and changing numbers and altering the record books. That makes things too messy and it would be impossible to make them perfect.

But if you have someone confessing to cheating for a specific season in which he was named MVP? To me it’s a no-brainer. Ryan Braun should return the MVP trophy to help close the door on a regrettable chapter in his career.

About Chris Callaway

Chris lives and works in La Crosse, Wisconsin, working primarily on-air while doing some writing as well. He is a part-owner of the Green Bay Packers, a Milwaukee Brewers die-hard, learning hockey while supporting the Minnesota Wild, and is also a fan of the Wisconsin Badgers and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Follow him on twitter @ccallaway33.


  1. Mark Elwood says:

    Didn’t use the words PED or steroids; didn’t account for 2012 or 2013, which the Biogenesis papers would indicate use. Another poor excuse for an “apology.” By all means, rescind the award.

    • lol @ “rescind the award.”

      Absolutely can’t and won’t happen. Even the writer of this post, as self-righteous and pious as he is, didn’t even suggest such an absurd idea. He suggest Braun return the MVP, which is just as laughable idea.

      Braun should return it as soon as Barry Bonds returns the 4 in a row that he won in the early 2000s. And by that, I mean he should never return it. Revisionist history is for losers.

  2. While I agree that Bonds should return his too, he never admitted to using during an MVP campaign like Braun did. No, they won’t rescind the award, but if Braun is truly sorry for his actions he should definitely return it. Especially if he wants to be forgiven.

    • Joe Lawrence says:

      Asinine idea Ryan. We all get you don’t like Braun. Most people don’t after what he pulled, but to go back and ask him to return awards is ridiculous. Like Patrick pointed out, revisionist history is for losers. How far back would you go? Would you nullify all stats for anyone caught cheating? How about the teams they played for and helped win? Where would it end??? When ALL the other cheaters return their awards then you can ask Braun to return his.

  3. That was a different time since when Bonds won there was no rules against using PEDs in baseball. You simply cant apply rules to players if those rules weren’t in place when they played. But Braun on the other hand finally admitted you using banned steriods. And for this he should be forced to give back the Trophy. If you look back you will see that when Bonds was supppost to have taken them remember he was found to be not guilty when he said he never took them and never tested positive in a test. It is assumed still that he took them. And no matter if he did or not he played in a different time and you cant use rules in place now against him since they weren’t in plave when he played. For instance you don’t take away wins for pitchers before the 1970 because the mound was higher. And for the same reason you dont take aways stats that were earned in a different time.

  4. Joe Lawrence says:

    Should the Giants return their W.S. trophy because Cabrera used PEDs during the season? How about all the Yankee triumphs during the ARod times? Go back and ask Doc Gooden to return his Cy Young award because he admitted to using cocaine during that time and I’m sure cocaine was on the no-no list for MLB at that time. Stupid idea.

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