Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers signing autographs.

Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers just became the first Major League Baseball player to win an appeal against the league after being suspended. Congratulations to you, sir. Many of you are still not convinced that he is innocent and why shouldn't you be? When we see buff players like Frank Thomas, Ryan Howard and Jim Thome, we automatically assume that they have taken performance enhancing drugs to get to their size and hit all of those home runs. Not always the case.

Let me say that the whole FedEx ordeal with Ryan's test results is extremely suspect. Everyone knows that FedEx office is open on Saturdays and that the delivery boy could have tampered with Braun's results when they were being sent. Why on earth would a player take banned substances during the season while the Milwaukee Brewers were in first place in the division? And also when Braun knows the league tests for PEDs at random. As an avid weight lifter, let me also tell you that steroids do not help you hit home runs. Even before Barry Bonds took steroids, he was already one of the greatest home run hitters of all time with a body frame very similar to Braun's. What steroids do is increase protein synthesis which allows for athletes to create more lean mass. Additionally, steroids also help the muscles recover at a rapid rate. And with a 162 game schedule, being able to go harder-longer is the overall appeal of taking anabolic steroids.

 

Does Ryan Braun have the physique of a steroid user? You tell me. The guy is listed at 6'1, 190 lbs. in the game programs I have and from what I've read online. Just for kicks, let's take a look at the physiques of some of the baseball players we know took steroids.

 

Barry Bonds warming up.

Photo Source: Drug Free Homes

Once a slender 6'2, 185 lbs. in his early playing days with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Bonds had ballooned to a muscular 236 lbs. by the end of his career. Bonds to this day, denies that he had ever taken steroids. It is not natural for a player's hat size to increase two sizes in their mid-thirties nor is it natural to put on 25 lbs. of mass in one off-season. Bonds finished his career in 2007 with the San Francisco Giants who he joined in 1993. 

 

Jose Canseco flexing.

Photo Source: Starz Life

This guy was a beast at 6'4, 240 lbs. during his playing career. As a teammate of Mark McGwire, the duo combined to make what was known as "The Smash Brothers" when they both played for the Oakland Athletics. Jose Canseco has exposed other Major League Baseball players that he knew took performance enhancing drugs as he claims. He even wrote a tell-all book a few years back. He has also confessed that he wants to fight A-Rod and beat him to a pulp due to an alleged affair with Canseco's ex wife. Judging from this photo, A-Rod would have his hands full.

 

Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs.

Photo Source: Weblogs

Once a frail 6'0, 165 lbs., "Slammin' Sammy" was a hulk-like 225 lbs. in his final season with the Texas Rangers. Sammy Sosa will forever be known as arguably the greatest player to ever suit up for the Chicago Cubs. While the 1998 season was exciting to watch in Sosa's dual with Mark Mcgwire - Roger Maris and Babe Ruth didn't need steroids to hit 60 home runs in a season. 

 

Jason Giambi of the Oakland Athletics.

Photo Source: The ExtraPolater

At a massive 6'3, 240 lbs., Jason Giambi has been pretty open about has steroid abuse since appearing before a grand jury in 2003. As a result of steroid use, Jason has had a number of health problems including a parasite as well as tendonitis. Since his grand jury appearance, his numbers haven't quiet been what they were when he was playing for the Oakland Athletics. However, Giambi has produced just enough to earn on a spot on a Major League roster for the 2012 season. The Colorado Rockies recently exercised an option for Giambi.

 

Mark Mcgwire of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Photo Source: Seattle Northwest

At 6'5 and 250 lbs, Mark McGwire may be the first name that comes to mind when baseball fans think of steroid use in Major League Baseball. Although McGwire openly admits to using steroids on and off over his entire career, he suggests that he only used them to recover from injuries. His 70 home runs in a single season broke Roger Maris' single season record until Barry Bonds hit 73 home runs during the 2001 MLB season. McGwire is currently the hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals.

 

It really is a shame that Ryan Braun couldn't spend this off-season relaxing and celebrating his National League MVP award. Hopefully, he will be able to continue last season's performance on into the 2012 campaign.

 

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