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MLB commentary: Thought Braun was clean? You were living in a fantasy

Halle-freaking-lujah. Ryan Braun got what he deserves. Or at least a generous fraction of what his sins warranted.

That’s right, it’s gonna be another one of those non-fantasy columns. Well, actually, before I give you my take on Braun, here’s some lightning-quick advice for managers who, like me in my NL-only league, are coping with the reality of a season lost.

With K-Rod’s departure for Baltimore, that makes six of my players who have been traded to the AL. Poof. They gone. No compensation. Not even a Dear John letter. Three of my top five picks have spent more time on the DL than off it this season.

Cest la vie. What now?

I’m working the trade market like it’s nobody’s business. It’s hard to concede. Thank God my mixed league team is incinerating every team it crosses. Yeah, that one’s a head-to-head league. Who plays head-to-head baseball? Anyway, that’s why I’m looking forward to going out on top in that league and leaving it, replacing it with the SVM Dynasty League. More on that in The Hot Corner below.

So, yes, it’s hard to admit defeat. But, at least in my case, I need to start working on 2014 now. I waited forever for Adam Eaton (not one of the aforementioned players, by the way) to come off the DL. Now it pains me to use him as an “add-on” for deals.

For instance, I’ve included him in a package with Aroldis Chapman for Yasiel Puig in which I’d also improve two draft picks. It just might work, because my potential trading partner needs saves, runs and steals.

That’s the key. Put yourself in the other guy’s shoes. Look at their needs. I always say, nobody has to get fleeced, and it’ll be easier to get what you want if you take into account what the other guy needs.

OK, that was hardly lightning quick. But the news arrived like thunder without a flash warning Monday, when the Brewers’ well-paid slugger Braun was suspended for the last 65 games of the regular season AND the playoffs. Playoffs, huh? Good to see we’ve all kept our sense of humor through this.

First, let me give you my pragmatic reaction. I’m ecstatic that I’ll have my cheater back in the lineup next season when the Brewers’ season isn’t (yet) a wash. Because he’s my cheater. I don’t get all sanctimonious when your cheater succeeds.

Which leads us to droves of holier-than-thou Brewers fans who are suddenly incensed with Braun. Seriously? What do we know now that we didn’t know during Tupperwaregate? For anyone who bought his lies, I’ve got news for you. There also is no Santa Claus. Ask around the SVM sports corral. I knew Braun was guilty as sin, and you don’t need to work in sports for years to figure that sort of thing out.

There is one thing I learned from Braun’s statement, although it’s hardly breaking news. Look, the wife and I coined the nickname Braunswagger years ago, not because of our soft spot for liverwurst, but because Ryan Braun screams of the sort of guy who would steal ice cream from a child right in front of the toddler’s mother, then say he didn’t do it. And even if he did, he’s Ryan freaking Braun. Deal with it.

So, what did I learn? Simply put, he’s a worse guy than I imagined. His statement was cookie cutter, and there’s still a guy who “mishandled” his specimen last year whose reputation is thrashed. That guy got fired. I haven’t kept up with his story, but I’m guessing his career track took a severe detour, if it didn’t end altogether.

No apology for that guy, eh, Braun? And why cryptically say, “I’ve done things wrong. I’m not perfect.”? Repeat after me: I cheated. I took illegal performance-enhancing drugs.

And don’t give me this “I’m not perfect” hooey. We already knew that. Quit trying to make yourself sleep better tonight. Even without the 3 million and change your losing, there’s still a massive pile of cash for you to nestle into.

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