Ryan Braun is no dummy. He's actually quite smart. Is he a cheater? Yes. A liar too. And once he realized that he was finally busted, I'm guessing Braun & his team looked at the big picture and reacted intelligently& tactfully.
Here's my best estimation on what Braun & Co did:
-During/Near Braun's "bereavement" leave, he met with MLB officials
-MLB's evidence was going to lead to a 100 game suspension for Braun.
-Braun pleaded down to a 65 game suspension without appeal. Appeals suck. They cost a lot of money & time. This way MLB can say they "got" the guy who "got" them.
This all makes sense to me for several reasons:
1- Get it out of the way, especially if you know you're guilty.
2- Be the 1st guy and other busted MLB'ers will take your place in the papers.
3- Losing $3.5 million isn't going to break Braun's bank. A bigger suspension next year when his salary elevates will cost him more money.
4- This Brewers season isn't exactly going well, so why not miss the remainder?
5- Arod's next. (and then about 20 others). He's the big fish in the big pond. That will push Braun's name to the back pages.
6- Packers season begins Friday (training camp). That means most of the sports media & fans in Wisconsin will focus on Green Bay.
7- NFL, NCAA Football, NBA, College Basketball seasons are all coming up. National media outlets will pay less & less attention to Braun, especially if he's not appealing the MLB's penalty.
After all of this & by the time the Brewers open up Spring Training in Maryvale, Braun won't be forgotten, but a lot of the hate & steam will be gone. He & the Brewers can begin the 2014 MLB season with less distraction. There will be questions, scrutiny, etc BUT getting it out of the way will lessen the blow.
Ryan Braun may be a lot of things, but stupid isn't one of them. He may ACTUALLY be taking the best route on this one. We'll see...