Keeping Score

Ryan Braun’s MVP Acceptance: The Most Awkward Dinner in Baseball

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Jim Young / Reuters

Milwaukee Brewers' Ryan Braun hits a two-run home run against the St. Louis Cardinals

Guess who’s coming to dinner?

Ryan Braun, the 2011 National League MVP award winner, plans to accept the honor and give a speech at the Baseball Writers’ Association annual dinner Saturday night in New York. (The writers vote for baseball’s MVP.) Braun, however, is facing a 50-day suspension for a positive test that shows elevated levels of testosterone in his system. Braun is appealing the test, and his spokesperson has said “there are highly unusual circumstance surrounding this case” and that there was “no intentional violation.” Braun has previously told USA Today that the test was “B.S.”

(MORE: Ryan Braun, National League MVP, Busted For Banned Substance)

This event creates a dilemma for all involved. The thinking goes along these lines: Here, Ryan, accept this award that you might have won through cheating. But since we did not know that you might have been cheating when we voted – news of Braun’s positive test broke in December – we’re not going to strip this possibly tainted MVP from you. But we’ll give it to you begrudgingly. Applause all around!

We don’t know whether or not Braun’s denials ring true: let’s hope this was a mix-up, baseball doesn’t need another steroid-cheat. But here’s a safe bet: the writers who voted for Braun probably wish they gave they gave the nod to Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who finished second. He’d be a less awkward dinner guest.

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