Milwaukee Brewers: Ryan Braun leaves behind tainted legacy

It was easy to forget that Ryan Braun was still technically considered to be an active player. He had stated that he only wanted to play for the Milwaukee Brewers, and would not entertain any other offers in free agency. Regardless of whether or not other teams had interest, the Brewers did not have a place for him on the roster, leaving him on the outside during the season.

On Tuesday, Braun officially stopped holding out hope for a reunion on the diamond. He has announced his retirement, leaving behind a tainted legacy.

Former Milwaukee Brewers star leaves tainted legacy

Based on his statistics and accomplishments, Braun was one of the best players in Brewers’ history. A six time All Star, he was the 2007 NL Rookie of the Year and took home the 2011 NL MVP award. Over the course of his 14 years with the Brewers, he posted an excellent 134 OPS+ with 352 homers and 408 doubles while stealing 216 bases. He was a true five tool talent, posting solid defensive numbers in the outfield as well.

However, it is impossible to separate Braun’s production from the controversy that surrounded the latter part of his career. He had tested positive for PEDs after his MVP season, an award that was already controversial given that Matt Kemp had produced at a similar level.

Braun immediately went on the attack after his positive test was announced, going out of his way to blame the person who took the sample. He actually won his appeal, making his stringent cries of innocence seem somewhat believable. Then he was embroiled in the BioGenesis scandal in 2013, ruining his credibility and making his previous protestations laughable.

In the end, Braun served a 65 game suspension for his involvement with that company. He also apologized to the person who took that sample back in 2011, doing so both publically and privately. While he did perform well after his suspension, he was unable to return to the Hall of Fame track that he had been on previously.

That is how Braun will be remembered. His accomplishments on the diamond will be secondary, and will always be tainted with suspicion. Instead, his failed PED test, campaign to ruin the life of the person who took the sample, and his involvement with BioGenesis will be his legacy.

Ryan Braun has decided to hang up the cleats. The Milwaukee Brewers outfielder may have been a star, but his legacy was tainted by his actions.