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MC Weekly

August 7, 2013

RAY MOSCOWITZ: Ryan Braun should lose 2011 MVP award

Anything less would insult the memory of Kenesaw Mountain Landis.

For the sake of Kenesaw Mountain Landis, Ryan Braun ought to be stripped of baseball’s highest individual honor — the Most Valuable Player award — which he won in 2011.

Major League Baseball suspended the Milwaukee Brewers’ outfielder on July 22 for the rest of the 2013 season without pay.

In announcing the suspension, MLB cited “violations of the Basic Agreement and its Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.”

Braun issued a statement in which he said, "As I have acknowledged in the past, I am not perfect. I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions.”

Braun had previously denied allegations he was using performance-enhancing drugs.

If the MVP award, which is given to a player in each league, is not taken from Braun, it will be an insult to Landis, who was a federal judge when he became the first commissioner of baseball in 1920. In 1944, the MVP award officially became known as the Kenesaw Mountain Landis Memorial Baseball Award.

Baseball may not have reached the popularity it enjoys today if not for Landis. He cleaned up the game after the Black Sox betting scandal involving eight members of the Chicago White Sox in the 1919 World Series.

Landis, who served until he died in 1944, used his power to restore confidence in baseball. Now baseball needs another dose of confidence.

In an article on Landis, Wikipedia cites "Blackball, the Black Sox, and the Babe: Baseball’s Crucial 1920 Season," written by Professor Robert C. Cottrell of California State University, Chico. Cottrell reports that in a speech at an Illinois church, Landis said:

“Now that I am in baseball, just watch the game I play. If I catch any crook in baseball, the rest of his life is going to be a pretty hot one. I'll go to any means and do anything possible to see that he gets a real penalty for his offense.”

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