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SBD/December 13, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship
Braun's Abiltiy To Gain New Sponsorship Deals On Hold After Positive Drug Test
Published December 13, 2011
RAINING ON THEIR PARADE: In Toronto, Richard Griffin notes every time MLB "seems set to stage a revival among its most skeptical fans, the ones that swore off the game after the strike of ’94, the muscular shadow of steroids comes along to rain on its parade." The fact that Braun, one of the "biggest stars in baseball, an MVP, a fan icon and one of the commissioner’s personal favourites, is now teetering on the brink of disgrace and infamy, suggests the process does not play favourites which fans were suspicious of" (TORONTO STAR, 12/13). In L.A., Bill Plaschke wrote if Braun is proven to have taken steroids, it "shows that the new era is still succumbing to the temptation of the old one." It is a "huge blow to baseball's best efforts." It is an "even bigger blow to the public's trust in those efforts" (LATIMES.com, 12/12). SportsNet N.Y.'s Marc Malusis said, “It's a black eye for the sport. ... They thought this would come to an end as far as cutting down, now you have one of your primetime players going out there trying to gain an advantage and doing so” (“The WheelHouse,” SportsNet N.Y., 12/12). WEEI-AM's Mike Mutnansky said, "Baseball is trying to get free from the steroid era. ... Stringent testing at the minor league and Major League level were supposed to clean up the game. This is a major setback for that clean image” (“NESN Daily,” NESN, 12/12). Author John Feinstein said, “Ryan Braun testing positive is a terrible thing for baseball because he was such a great story -- becomes the MVP, in a terrific baseball town" ("Washington Post Live," Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, 12/12). ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan said, “It’s just the worst scenario you can think of for Major League Baseball." She added MLB Commissioner Bud Selig likely is "just sick to his stomach” ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 12/12).
DOES HE DESERVE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT? Braun has steadfastly claimed he did not take anything illegal, and MLB.com’s Richard Justice said he is giving Braun the benefit of the doubt. Justice said, “He has to be smart enough to know that what he would risk by a positive test does not come close to what he would lose in terms of reputation. He’s seen a bunch of other players lose their good name, and there’s nothing more valuable that someone has in the world” (“Hot Stove,” MLB Network, 12/12). ESPN's Dan Le Batard said, "I want to believe Ryan Braun. I like Ryan Braun. I want to give him every benefit of the doubt. I just don’t know that in this climate in baseball, in that sport, you can extend anyone the benefit of the doubt” (“Dan Le Batard Is Highly Questionable,” ESPN2, 12/12).