- Jim Bowden, ESPN Insider
In the face of apparently overwhelming evidence, Ryan Braun has relented.
Major League Baseball suspended the Milwaukee Brewers left fielder on Monday for the remainder of the 2013 seasons, which amounts to 65 games. He avoided suspension in 2012 when it was revealed his urine sample that had tested positive was mishandled.
That sliver of doubt was enough for Braun to win his appeal, but Braun's quick compliance with Bud Selig's decision Monday and the seemingly contrite language in his official statement say a lot about the amount of evidence confronting Braun and more than 20 other players possibly involved with the Biogenesis scandal.
Also telling is the length of Braun's suspension. Had he appealed and dragged out the process, we have no idea how severe the suspension could have been. The leverage possessed by MLB must have convinced Braun to settle quickly, and it could compel the other players whose names have surfaced in connection with the Biogenesis scandal, such as Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz and Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta, to do the same.
But what of Cruz and Peralta's teams? Unlike Braun's Brewers, both Peralta's Tigers and Cruz's Rangers are legitimate World Series contenders. Should Cruz and Peralta follow Braun's lead, their absences will leave massive holes.
For general managers Jon Daniels (Rangers) and Dave Dombrowski (Tigers), what they do in the eight days remaining before MLB's July 31 trade deadline could make or break their teams' seasons.