Eva Longoria's personal death blogger Mike said a lot of good stuff about Ryan Braun yesterday, so go read him again. But I have some more thoughts, again, in reverse order of relevance...
1) Fuck that, he's still a fucking cheater. C'mon, isn't mascara a PED?
2) As #1 shows, the PED issue has become nothing more than a rhetorical cudgel for opposing fans. For 80% of baseball, the issue is no longer about someone having an "unfair" edge, because the numbers were so massive and the oversight so lax, there was nothing "unfair" about it. Now, it's just confirmation bias. I don't like Ryan Braun, so I'm going to mention this little incident every time he comes up in conversation (and he comes up more than you think, since I work at an Axe Body Spray factory). I DO like David Ortiz, so I somehow seem to forget that he's been accused of PEDs, too. It's just a witchhunt now.
3) And as #1 and #2 are the case, I'm awfully glad that MLB's testing process seems to have some useful form of due process. As I indicated in the Manny Ramirez post, baseball is these guys' sine qua non in a way that even we fans don't understand. I don't like taking away someone's livelihood in a process that is wired for the accuser from the start. I'm not sure if MLB's PED testing program is as reliable as I want, but at least it punishes the MLB when it fails to follow its own procedures.
4) Braun's people are complaining that the results were leaked, and that that's going to tarnish his image even though he successfully appealed the decision. This is undeniably true (see: #1, above), and the fact that Braun's decision was overturned because MLB didn't follow proper procedures, rather than some proof that Braun didn't really take PEDs, won't help. But I'm not sure this is really the hill to fight and die on. The same impulse that makes me uncomfortable with a process that is wired for the accuser also makes me uncomfortable with a process that is completely secret until the final conclusion. Sunlight, disinfectant, whatever. Put it this way: if MLB had just come out and announced that Braun was suspended with no explanation, I would not be very sure that it was the right call, even though I hate Braun.
Anyway, this is all distracting from the real issue, which is that Bernie Brewer once killed a man. Take all the beer baths you want, Bernie; the blood will never wash off those hands.