Local Baseball Fans React To Braun Steroids Report

On the heels of the Ryan Braun performance-enhancing drug situation unfolding over the weekend, local baseball fans weighing in on what it means to test positive for performance enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball.

Sources close to the Milwaukee Brewers slugger said the National League’s Most Valuable Player is appealing the positive test. If that test is upheld, Braun faces a 50-game suspension starting next season. Braun steadfastly maintains his innocence.

Major League Baseball is refusing to comment until Braun’s arbitration process is complete, which is why so much information is still up in the air.

Fans young and old said that news of Braun linked to performance-enhancing drugs puts an even thicker cloud over baseball’s recent past.

Hunter Straucka, an 11-year-old Brewers fan who was practicing at batting cages Monday, said he’s a fan of Braun.

“He can just really whack the ball,” said Straucka. “And he hits it like every time, super far.”

But this weekend, Straucka and countless fans heard reports of Braun’s positive test for androgens, commonly known as testosterone.

“Well, it makes you super strong and fast,” said Straucka. “And it just makes you a lot better in everything.”

“We found out a long time ago and athletes found out a long time ago that androgenic steroids work,” said Dr. Greg Landry, with University of Wisconsin Sports Medicine. “They build muscle. They promote healing. They make people stronger.”

Landry said part of the problem is Major League Baseball was relatively late on drug testing for androgens.

“I think we’re going to see other positives probably just because the guys aren’t used to being tested,” said Landry.

Longtime baseball fan Robert Dunn said he remembers a simpler American pastime.

“Babe Ruth was a child idol for many kids,” said Dunn. “And I don’t think this is ever going to happen for Ryan Braun. No way, it isn’t going to happen.”

As for young athletes like Straucka, following players like Braun just got a little more confusing.

“I don’t know, he’s just … I don’t even know how good he was, or he is,” said Straucka.