Xtra Points: What will you do with your Braun gear?

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Eric Schmoldt
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

With spring training in full swing, I knew this internal debate was coming.

I just didn't know how soon.

I was attending my cousin’s housewarming party this weekend, and the full tour included a trip to the basement. Much of it was adorned with Milwaukee Brewers souvenirs and gear, which got me excited for the season.

But as I scanned the wall, there it was:

A very nicely framed Ryan Braun jersey.

My cousin’s husband studied my face for some reaction. Chris knew that I was one of the first people to post a doctored Braun jersey on Twitter last year. You know, the one where the name on the jersey can easily be changed from BRAUN TO FRAUD.

It only took me about 15 minutes after it was announced that Braun was part of the Biogenesis scandal, and we later learned that he’d be suspended the rest of the season.

I originally purchased that jersey the very day that Braun was called up to the majors in 2007. It was the first time I’d truly had a favorite baseball player since Kirby Puckett’s hayday with the Minnesota Twins during my formative years.

Now, seven months after Braun’s debacle, the Brewers are a little more than a month away from returning to the field with him on the diamond. I’m excited and trying to figure out if I’ll go to Opening Day again.

I’m also conflicted, and it must have shown to Chris, because he asked how I felt about it.

Chris said he’d had a chance to meet Braun, and that he seemed remorseful and humble. He'd even signed a bunch of autographs.

I wondered aloud about the fact that he NEEDS to have that persona now, given the predicament he’s in.

That’s the problem. It’s hard to trust Ryan Braun now. Everything is in question.

The big one for me at this point: What do I do with my Braun jersey?

Do I go back to wearing it as it was intended when it was made? Wear it with the FRAUD label? Burn it? Pitch it in the corner of a closet and forget about it?

I’ve got one month left to decide, and so do you. How are you going to handle it when the season gets rolling?


Does this sound familiar?: You may have heard it on WCLO AM 1230 as part of The Sports Page. Tune in, as my commentary runs at around 7:45 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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