News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

July 26, 2013

Braun has no excuses

TERRE HAUTE — So Milwaukee slugger Ryan Braun is done for the season, suspended for violating baseball’s anti-drug policies. No surprise there. He dodged a suspension last year when a urine sample showed elevated levels of testosterone. It was his good fortune when it was proven his specimen had been mishandled, and his appeal succeeded.

Braun’s defense was that “I am not perfect” — a lame claim anyone could make. Now he will have the remainder of the season — 65 games — to think about his imperfection. But this isn’t Little League, and a “my bad” response doesn’t get it.

Someday Braun may choose to offer more insight into his actions and explain how so many at the top of their profession — in his case, baseball — can’t play by the rules.

It is expected that more major leaguers will soon find themselves in the spotlight of shame as the summer drags on. Braun is believed to be just one MLB player associated with Biogenesis, a now-closed Miami clinic. It’s likely a couple dozen more players, including Yankee superstar Alex Rodriguez, could be named before the end of the season.

The “why” question remains unanswered, even though it would be hard to image that it’s not linked to fame and fortune. Braun had both, but the suspension will cost him almost $3.8 million of a $9.6-million salary.

The loss of pay is substantial. But Braun’s loss of credibility, while considerable, is not as easy to calculate.

A few summers ago I talked with a guy about his son who played several seasons in the major leagues. I was intrigued by what he had to say. Fans can observe the highs — a game-winning home run — and the lows — getting traded to a slumping team — and empathize. What most of us cannot comprehend is the challenge of going to the ballpark day after day and performing against the best players in the world.

Spectators  have no idea how difficult that is, partly because they can’t imagine how truly good professional players are and the mental toughness it takes to succeed under never-ceasing scrutiny.

For many, this father told me, the life of a big leaguer is a blessing and a curse. Pro athletes are treated like royalty. They fly on chartered planes. Everything is available for their asking, including gourmet meals and the finest hotel accommodations. But what is given can also be taken away — quicker than fielding a ground ball at shortstop and firing it across the diamond.

Seeing your name penciled in on the lineup card is a statement about your ability. Hitting the field six or more days a week takes its toll. The pressure and responsibility mount as the wear of a six-month schedule of games builds. Hitting a 98-mph fastball in April is one thing, doing it on a sweltering night in August is another.

Don’t perform and 10 people are ready to take your place. Suffer an injury and someone replaces you. Slump and you’re benched. This isn’t an occupation built on job security nor loyalty. Knowing your dreams — your livelihood — can be taken away is frightening.

That doesn’t seem to match Braun’s situation, of course. He was the National League’s MVP in 2011. He was an established star, not a utility man or an infielder with a .230 batting average. He was hitting .298 this year and still carries a .312 lifetime average.

Maybe Braun and others like him are looking for an edge, anything to keep them atop the occupation they’ve spent a life chasing, even if that means using a magic potion available from a Miami clinic.

It would be so much easier to fashion a remedy or understand the problem if it was identified. Until then, players and fans can only speculate about where a career tragically took a wrong turn and fame was replaced by failure.

Tom Lindley is a national columnist for CNHI News Service. Reach him at tlindley@cnhi.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • NCAA settles head injury lawsuit

    CHICAGO (AP) — The NCAA has agreed to settle a class-action head injury lawsuit. 

    July 29, 2014

  • Degano2.jpg Bullpen mates: Three relievers coming on strong down stretch for Rex

    The Terre Haute Rex pitching staff ranks fifth among the 12 teams in the Prospect League in earned-run average this season and first in the league with only four home runs allowed all summer. But the Rex pitchers might be the best in the league the past two weeks as the team has had two shutouts and two games with one run allowed in the past week.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Tom Reck: Experience came out on top Sunday

    Sunday was a very good day  fFor Jeff Gordon, who won the Brickyard 400 for the fifth time at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He won the first one and really doesn’t look much older today.

    July 29, 2014

  • Colts Camp Football_Tayl.jpg Colts waive running back Rainey

     What a difference a couple of days make.  After Saturday's morning training camp practice, Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano was effusive in his praise of running back Chris Rainey. But on Monday, the Colts surprisingly announced that Rainey had been waived after violating an unspecified team policy.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Reed gets promotion, hits homer

    Look out Midwest League. A.J. Reed is coming and he’s bringing the long ball with him.

    July 29, 2014

  • Colts Camp Football_Tayl(1.jpg Colts camp: Defense shines in workout

    There was a change in the Indianapolis Colts training camp schedule Monday as the team had just one practice instead of the usual two.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Post 346 motivated to win state … even if it doesn’t have to

    As it has in so many past seasons, Terre Haute’s Wayne Newton Post 346 baseball team is headed to the American Legion state baseball tournament.
    Unlike the other seven teams that will begin play at Plymouth tomorrow, Post 346 knows it will live to play another day regardless of the results up north.

    July 29, 2014

  • Metro: Rex maintain pace in West race

    The Terre Haute Rex maintained pace in the tight Prospect League West Division race with a 2-1 victory over the Springfield Sliders at Robin Roberts Stadium.

    July 29, 2014

  • SPT 072714 JONES WHOA.jpg It’s not unusual ... that Tom Jones wins his ninth city title on the green, green grass of home

    Tom Jones is the 2014 Show-Me’s/THGA men’s city champ.

    July 28, 2014 6 Photos

  • Gordon proclaims mastery of Brickyard for 5th win

    Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard had proclaimed it Jeff Gordon Day in Indianapolis on Friday. It turned out to be prophetic as Gordon made history winning a fifth Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday.

    July 28, 2014

Local Interest
SPT 072614 TOM JONES LEADER.jpg

Tribune-Star/Bob PoynterLeader: Tom Jones is leading going into Sunday's final round of the Men's City Championship at Hulman Links on Sunday.

High School
College
Degano2.jpg

  • Bullpen mates: Three relievers coming on strong down stretch for Rex

    The Terre Haute Rex pitching staff ranks fifth among the 12 teams in the Prospect League in earned-run average this season and first in the league with only four home runs allowed all summer. But the Rex pitchers might be the best in the league the past two weeks as the team has had two shutouts and two games with one run allowed in the past week.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Prettyman wants ISU to be prepared for potential NCAA changes

    Against a rising tide of media, public and institutional sentiment that would suggest otherwise, Indiana State Director of Athletics Ron Prettyman believes that the current model of college athletics still works.

    July 26, 2014

  • ISU basketball trio earn national academic honors

    A trio of Indiana State basketball student-athletes have been named to the 2013-14 National Association of Basketball Coaches Honors Court as announced by the national organization. Honored from Indiana State were Lucas Eitel, Justin Gant and Jake Kitchell.

    July 23, 2014

  • Metro roundup: Post 346 rallies past Rockville

    Wayne Newton Post 346 scored a run in the sixth and two in the seventh to get past Rockville 6-3 in an American Legion baseball regional at Terre Haute North on Wednesday.

    July 23, 2014

  • Truebytower.jpg Memorable experience in Morocco for ISU soccer team could help team's growth

    Coming off the best season in its history, the Indiana State women’s soccer team figures to have the experience to do even better in the upcoming fall season.
    Or maybe that’s #TheExperience.

    July 23, 2014 11 Photos

Sports Columns
Pro Sports
Colts Camp Football_Tayl.jpg

Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, right, laughs with running back Chris Rainey during an NFL football training camp in Anderson, Ind., Saturday, July 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Terre Haute Rex
Degano2.jpg

Colts
Colts Camp Football_Tayl.jpg

Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, right, laughs with running back Chris Rainey during an NFL football training camp in Anderson, Ind., Saturday, July 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Auto Racing
AP Auto Racing News
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Judge OKs Record-setting $2B Sale of Clipper House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Mother of 2 Makes NFL Cheerleading Squad at 40 Raw: Earthquake Rocks Mexico's Gulf Coast Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Raw: Airstrike Shatters Fragile Calm in Gaza Today in History for July 29th Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
NDN Video
Weird 'Wakudoki' Dance Launches Promotional Competition Two women barely avoid being hit by train Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity
Real Estate News