Ryan Braun tested positive for something. Maybe it was a performance-enhancing drug. Maybe it wasn’t a performance-enhancing drug just one that causes a positive test. Maybe he just drank sixteen bottles of Red Bull and made out with a stripper who had a cold sore. I don’t know. No one knows, but Ryan Braun. Some will say whatever he did is unforgivable. Others will say they couldn’t forgive him after he came out with a line of t-shirts for Affliction. He’s guilty until proven innocent nowadays and, frankly, I’m fine with that and don’t call me Frank Lee. Players should know what they can ingest. Pay me $10 million a year to play a game and I’ll make sure I’m aware of the banned substances. Did Prince Fielder get a batch of tainted tempeh and Ryan Braun ate it before Fielder could? Well, that seems impossible; no one eats Prince’s tempeh but Prince. Whatever comes out, what really concerns us is what are we supposed to make of Ryan Braun for 2012 fantasy baseball? (Is that what really concerns us? Probably not, but we’re a fantasy baseball site.)
Scenario 1: Ryan Braun is suspended for 50 games. The MVPED is found guilty. (Actually, he was found guilty already, but is appealing.) So if he’s found really guilty, baseball makes him sit shiva for the first 50 days of the 2012 season. This kills his fantasy value. Can he return for 112 games and put up 34 homers and 15 steals? No way, right? Actually, that’s exactly what he did his rookie season. Those are still first round numbers. But you have to have a serious screw loose in your head if you draft a 50-game suspended Braun in the first round. Or the second round. Or third. If suspended, he wouldn’t just be getting called up on game 51. He’d be returning with a Scarlett PED. That’ll play in his head for the next four months. That beat, beat, beating of the cheating man’s heart. If he has to sit out 50 games, I wouldn’t touch him until the 10th round of 2012 fantasy drafts. I’d expect a line of 55/20/70/.280/12. It’s not terrible, but I also could see not drafting him at all. You won’t be able to DL him so you’ll be wasting a bench spot on a guy that is more or less a 3rd outfielder.
Scenario 2: Ryan Braun beats them charges like Rocky. As much as you might want to believe, this seems implausible. MLB isn’t sitting in a bathroom with a discarded EPT box on the floor waiting for a test to turn blue. Never the hoo! If he’s cleared of the clear, then he’s a top 3 fantasy draft pick in 2012 and nothing changes except his determination to prove all you naysayers (yeah, you) wrong. Again, this sadly doesn’t seem like much of a possibility. I’m pouring out some Manischewitz for the brother we lost. Or maybe that’s Manisteroidswitz.