Ryan Braun cost Diamondbacks (BLOG)

Did anybody happen to keep the receipt from the Diamondbacks' 2011 National League Playoff series?  Arizona deserves a refund. (I'm in line at the service desk)

Remember the playoff series that pitted the Diamondbacks against the Brewers? Sure. Milwaukee won the series by winning the final game in extra innings. The 2011 National League MVP was the most dominating player in the series (hitting .500, including a half-dozen hits in the first two games alone, both won by the Brewers.)     

That player – Ryan Braun – was just suspended without pay for the rest of the season for his ties to a Florida clinic accused of providing performance-enhancing drugs. Hit rewind again and you'll recall that Braun avoided suspension last year when an arbitrator threw out his positive test for elevated testosterone because the urine sample had been improperly handled. 

"I am not perfect. I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions," Braun said in a statement released Monday. 

Attention Mr. Braun – the rest of baseball has to accept the consequences as well.  See, the real crime is that it's not victimless. It cuts to the core of the game itself by compromising the integrity of the game. 

The actions of premeditated cheaters like Braun.  . 

We already knew that premeditated cheaters (McGwire, Sosa, Clemens, Bonds, etc.) forever corrupted the record books.  Now we come to the sobering realization that entire playoff series have been directly compromised and forever tainted. How selfish. How myopic. How unnerving and demoralizing

For some reason, we endlessly debate the minutiae of whether the All-Star game should decide home field advantage in the World Series. When, all the while, cheaters are still deciding the very outcome of the Fall Classic itself.  

No wonder the D-backs decided to debut a mascot wearing a Lucha Libre mask.

Once again, baseball has more in common with professional wrestling than it cares to admit.

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