First thoughts on Ryan Braun’s drug test

People react differently to things.

Some people, upon hearing that Ryan Braun failed a drug test, get angry. Some feel betrayed. Fans of other teams might even be enjoying some schadenfreude.

Me? I stared at this blinking cursor for about 20 minutes before writing anything. I’m probably going to end up doing it again once or twice before I actually finish this. It’s not that I’m upset about the news — emotionally, I don’t really care if he actually used or not. I just don’t know how to organize my thoughts.

Right now, we don’t know a whole lot. We know that somehow, news of Braun’s failed test leaked before the appeal was heard. This is something that’s not supposed to happen, in order to protect players who have false positives from being labeled at users. We know that Braun’s urine sample from the playoffs showed elevated levels of testosterone, but a second test at Braun’s request came back negative. We don’t know what Braun took. We don’t know what effect — if any — it had on his play.

It’s important — and don’t get me wrong, very, very hard — to withhold judgment until everything is resolved. Major League Baseball hasn’t even acknowledged the positive test yet, and he hasn’t been suspended. All we have right now is an ESPN report of a failed test.

Still, Braun’s image will be damaged either way. If the test is upheld and he’s suspended, many will view him in a negative light. If the appeal is successful, there will still be those who see him as a cheater. Leaking the information puts Braun in a no-win situation from the start. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Brewers fan or a Cubs fan — I think most people realize that it’s an impossible situation to be in. No wonder Braun is itching for the chance to speak.

Unfortunately, Braun is like the rest of us. We can’t definitively say anything until the appeal is over. Neither can he.