Milwaukee Brewers: Has Ryan Braun repaired his reputation?

Mar 22, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun (8) during a spring training game against the San Francisco Giants at Maryvale Baseball Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun has faded from the limelight he was in for so long early in his career. Now in 2017, has the 33-year-old repaired his once damaged legacy?

Here is a question for all baseball fans out there. Who finished 23rd in the National League Most Valuable Player vote last season?

The answer is Ryan Braun. While 23 is pretty far from the top five, it’s noteworthy.

Ever since the Milwaukee Brewers outfielder tested positive for PED use in 2011, he’s faded fast from the front of the discussion of who baseball’s top players are.

However, in 2016, Braun played like an All-Star, even though he wasn’t awarded a trip to San Diego for the Midsummer Classic.

The 33-year-old posted a line of .305/.365/.538 with 30 home runs and 91 RBI. Depending on how you look at him, it’s a shame he wasn’t an All-Star.

Perhaps the reason why he wasn’t lies in his past. Braun vehemently denied any allegations of steroid use. In 2011, he was the NL MVP.

He hit .332 with 34 home runs, 111 RBI and a 1.004 OPS. At the time, he was one of the game’s true superstars.

After the PED scandal, though, Braun quickly became one of the villains of the sport. It was a rapid fall from grace for the lifetime Brewer.

He had brought shame to a franchise that had lacked a bona fide face since the days of Robin Yount and Paul Molitor.

Jump forward to 2017 again. Braun has done what many steroid users haven’t. He’s turned his name around. While the steroid use will always put a blemish on his career and MVP season, it’s clear to see the changes he has made since.

The only time we hear of Braun in the news is in potential trade rumors or injury notes. We don’t hear anything about how he has damaged the game, or how he has spoken out against the franchise.

He’s done exactly what he has had to do: respect the game and play. He’s done this and more, as he is still putting up excellent numbers.

He’s not the star he used to be in terms of popularity or coverage. What he is, though, is a star player for a team that usually finds itself at the bottom of the league.

It’s up to debate whether or not his reputation will ever be the same as before the steroids. But he’s done a pretty good job of earning respectability once again.

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