The Evil That Men Do Lives After Them

It’s the  day after Opening Day, and one would think the logical theme for today’s post would be the 1-0 victory yesterday of the Cardinals over the Reds.  Well, there are 161 more potential regular season victories to write about and I am sure I will get to some of them but this post is not about the game.  It is about the Cardinals, or moreover, it has the potential to be about the Cardinals.

Yesterday did bring to the front another issue that will likely put the Cardinals and their fans in the spotlight in the near future.  The Milwaukee Brewers, an NL Central rival, won their Opening Day contest against the Atlanta Braves 2-0.  Contributing to that victory was the Brewers top slugger, and the guy everyone loves to hate (except Brewers fans), Ryan Braun.  You know that guy, the one who tested positive for PEDS a couple of years ago, railed about his innocence on the national stage, and won his appeal (the first for MLB) by blaming a specimen collector for his predicament.  The one who we later discovered through the Biogenesis scandal and investigation really was guilty as charged, and who lied with the flaming furor of a thousand suns about it to everyone, and blamed an innocent working man in the process.  Yeah, that guy.

Well, Braun played in the game yesterday, and by all reports was greeted by his adoring fans with a standing ovation.  That standing ovation has been met with anger and disgust by many non-Brewer fans, including some Cardinals fans.  That brings me to the point of this post.

The Cardinals have their own Biogenesis taint, in the person of Jhonny Peralta.  Now, Peralta was not playing for the Cardinals when all that stuff went down.  But he plays for the Cardinals now, and though his situation is not identical to Braun’s because he did not lie about it, and he served his punishment without appeal or fuss, and no innocent people were besmirched, he still has the taint.  His signing to a 52 million dollar contract by the Cardinals raised some eyebrows, and some ire, not just by fans and the media, but by other major league players as well.  It contributed to a push by MLB and the MLBPA to increase the penalties for PED use, and such push did result in recent amendments to the Joint Drug Agreement to do just that.

Soon the Brewers will be coming to St. Louis to play the Cardinals, and with them will come Ryan Braun, to put himself before Cardinals’ fans.  The question has already been asked—How will Cardinals’ fans respond?  Will they boo him, as many expect they will?  If they do, what will surely follow will be articles written by such notable publications as Deadspin and Hardball Talk, and no doubt other newspapers and internet sites as well, accusing Cardinals’ fans of being hypocrites.  The “Cardinal Way” such as it is, will again be the subject of mockery, as it was for portions of the postseason last year, but perhaps with even more venom than before.

I say none of this as a preliminary indictment against Cardinals’ fans, my being one of that class makes me hesitant to be so bold.  There are still several weeks before the Brewers come to Busch Stadium, and the reception Braun will receive is yet unknown.  It is a warning, however, to be prepared for the onslaught if the expected booing does occur.  While Cardinals’ fans may see a big difference between how Peralta handled his suspension and how Braun handled his, the outside is not likely to make such a distinction.  Even if they did, the opportunity for entertainment in the form of derision and mockery is too good to pass up, so that distinction will be glossed over or denied.  The perennial success of the Cardinals and the acclaim Cardinals’ fans have been given over the years as “The Best Fans in Baseball”, have set Cardinal Nation up for this potential siege.

I am not going to tell Cardinals’ fans how to behave.  It does no good to preach, no matter how tempting it may be.  I can only control my own behavior.  I am not going to be at Busch Stadium when the Brewers come to town, but if I were, I would be mute when Ryan Braun appeared.  I think it is often better to let wrongdoers steep in their own muck than to give them the notoriety of attention, in whatever form.

I don’t like Ryan Braun, I will freely say that, but I didn’t like him before the Cardinals signed Jhonny Peralta.  I put him right up there in the category of Alex Rodriguez, men with no character, who use their fame in absolutely the wrong way, and who have an arrogance that belies any form of fellowship with them as individuals.  My dislike does not have to turn into a weapon to be used against him, I don’t feel the need to do that.  Ryan Braun has to live with himself and what he did, and what I or any other person thinks or says has no bearing on how he does.  We may think he doesn’t deserve the money or the standing ovations, or anything else of value he receives, but we don’t decide that.  I prefer to think about better things, about the Cardinals and the season coming up and the enjoyment I will get from that, and not waste my thoughts or my actions on the likes of the Ryan Brauns of the world. They have their own muck to steep in.


Thank you for reading.

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  1. Bill W

     /  April 3, 2014

    Interesting.I do see a little difference between the 2 cases.JP was caught and did the time without lying,whining or throwing a innocent person under the bus.What JP did was wrong according to the rules and he did his sentence accordingly.
    Braun fought tooth and nail,kicking and insisting he was innocent as a newborn baby.In my opinion Braun got a free season without consequences and he got a MVP out of it.That puts him in the same category as the scumbag of all scumbags Barry Bonds.I gess if Brewers fans ever do decide to rip Braun he can always go to Boston with Big Juicer Papi and be a hero.


  2. blingboy

     /  April 3, 2014

    I like our juicers better than the other guy’s.



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