Originally posted on The Sports Post  |  Last updated 8/26/13
It's not over. For some, it never will be. On Thursday, Aug. 22, our impatient wait came to what many have deemed an unsatisfying end to a new beginning. After months of speculation and discussion among fans and media alike, we were finally given what so many had been yearning for.  Responses ranged from anger, to sadness, to indifference. Quite simply, many were left wanting more.  At the very least, though, the wait was over. On Thursday, it was made official: Ben Affleck had been cast to play the next Batman. But we're not here to talk about that. Disgraced Brewers' slugger Ryan Braun released a statement through the organization regarding his PED use at the end of the 2011 season, too. And so it went; not so well with many, mind you. After all, it was everything we've come to expect from an athlete who has been caught cheating his sport: prepared, stiff, and not in public. Cincinnati Reds' starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo believes Braun should have spoken publicly, saying, “I think the right way to handle it -- you always talk about how nobody wants to be broken up with over a text message, right? At the end of the day, I feel like if you want to be authentic and you want people to feel it, it's very difficult for that to happen when people read things. That's why we say things in the paper that sometimes gets misconstrued. People don't understand the intent of the words that you said.” Arroyo makes a very fair and logical point here. However, what does it matter by now? Braun cheated, lied, and continued to defend his lies until he had nowhere else to turn. Is he sorry? Only Ryan Braun knows that. Apologies always seem so selfish, yet we tend to crave them. We feel we are deserved such words of regret.  Columnist Chris Stephens of Bleacher Report writes: “Braun has a long way to go before he's forgiven. He's ruined many people's lives, reputations and cost players money in the process.”  He cheated and lied about it; anything more than that comes off as sensational and over the top. People take Braun's actions personally, and for what? What do we gain from Braun's words? Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports writes: “The weirdest thing about the reactions from the 'Braun’s apology wasn’t good enough' camp is that, generally speaking, they come from people who are usually totally comfortable making stark character judgments.”  He goes on to say: “But if you are the sort of person to make those sorts of judgments, why, exactly, do you want an apology or expect anything from one? Why do you expect the subject in question — here Braun — to suddenly cast off the traits you are so certain he has and come clean and repent in convincing fashion?” Craig's logic here is sound. What do fans or other sports writers get out of his forced apology? Is it so we can take to Twitter and confirm our previous beliefs? Surely we don't need an athlete to apologize for the keyboard warriors to hammer away anyway, but it never seems to hurt. A few gems following Braun's statement: I think I deserve a kitten, Jon. Oh, and maybe a few extra dollars, as I can somehow rationalize that I pay Braun's salary. Can Braun do that for me, Jon? Are you surprised? Most athletes who play under non-voidable contracts do. It's not right, but one more player getting caught isn't going to change that. Then so should everyone else who has ever cheated the sport, by that logic.  It is fair to think that this wasn't Braun's first time, but rather the first time he got caught. Applying that logic, we might as well assume that of every major league player who has been caught, and assign such punishment. Then maybe we can get a 'The Replacements' spoof going and Keanu Reeves can be the Brewers new left fielder. You're kidding, Craig! I, for one, cannot believe... Oh nevermind, it would take hours. Something tells me you have bigger issues in life than worrying about Ryan Braun, if that's the case. Now take a minute to let all of that digest. How do you feel? How do you want to feel? Essentially, that feeling you have is almost as irrelevant as Braun's apology. Why? Well in short, because it's enough for his teammates and the organization he belongs to. At the very least, it's a first step to them. Who are any of us who don't actually personally know him to say otherwise? At the end of the day, we cannot be faulted for disliking Ryan Braun. The level of which that sometimes climbs to, however, is something we should worry about. There are far bigger things in this world than a man hitting a baseball with a wooden stick, but passing judgment is easier than having a level-headed outlook on things, apparently. Look into Braun's words all you'd like. You're not going to be able to change them. Guess what? I'm not either. Braun will be judged by baseball fans and media alike from now until the day he dies. That's just the way this culture works, and Braun has nobody to blame in that regard but himself. But when we wake up tomorrow, and the next day, will Braun's apology truly matter? Not as much as many will ever want it to. By: Shaun Ranft Twitter: @ShaunRanft

This article first appeared on The Sports Post and was syndicated with permission.

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