Nation Demands Hot Ryan Braun Takes; Sports Pundits Provide Them

When news broke yesterday that Ryan Braun was suspended for something or other under some or other authority, millions of baseball fans wondered two things. One was, How will this affect my fantasy team? The other was, Will the takes be hot? We can't answer the first question, but we can tell you that the takes were scorching.

Whether you go in for fist-shaking outrage or inexplicable demands that Braun apologize to random people, fundamental misunderstandings of the purpose of labor unions or rhetorical questions, one-sentence paragraphs or imperatives, America's baseball columnists served up what you wanted. We've ranked the hottest takes below, by heat; consider this a bit of service journalism for the time-strapped among you.

1) "Braun selfish every step of the way"—Jon Paul Morosi, FOX Sports

How hot is the take?

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The very hottest. Like molten lava, or something else that's really hot.

What is the take?

Ryan Braun was all about Ryan Braun... Braun is one of the most cravenly selfish figures in American professional sports... After lying for so long, Braun must go before the media and detail what he did and when he started doing it... Every man for himself. For Ryan Braun, it’s a way of life.

2) "Ryan Braun doped, lied and cared only for himself"—Jeff Passan, Yahoo! Sports

How hot is the take?

It has the raw stuff of the hottest take of them all, but the heat is undermined by Passan's having done some reporting.

What is the take?

Of the many things Ryan Braun is – a liar nonpareil, a serial doper, a raging narcissist... sordid, tortuous path... He is a cockroach... "asshole tax"... the walking, talking epitome of hubris... He is a cockroach. And on Monday, he went splat.

3) "Ryan Braun's apology as hollow as his character"—Scott Miller, CBSSports.com

How hot is the take?

I had an LP next to my laptop while I was reading this, and by the time I was done, it had melted.

What is the take?

Braun demonizes the poor guy who collected his polluted piss... greasy Braun slithers off under the rock... This guy Braun. What a piece of work.... Braun is a phony and a liar. And he is the worst kind of liar... How about the Arizona Diamondbacks? They're in line for an apology.... The Cardinals? Sure.... they wound up winning the World Series that year. No thanks to a clean Braun.... this PED-laced donkey...

4) "Ryan Braun, after playing the victim for over a year, finally gets what’s coming to him with MLB’s suspension"—Mike Lupica, New York Daily News

How hot is the take?

As with everything Mike Lupica writes, you can only measure it in Scoville heat units.

What is the take?

acting like a football player in the end zone doing a touchdown dance before he spiked the ball... hideously and shamefully... He ought to hope Laurenzi doesn’t sue him now.... Braun was kidding himself in the late innings of this... because of an arbitrator who was the equivalent of a .220 hitter... Ryan Braun finally does his time. About time....

5) "Ryan Braun is the Lance Armstrong of MLB"—Buster Olney, ESPN

How hot is the take?

Stunningly hot, especially for Buster Olney. You could definitely sear meat on it.

What is the take?

His first call must go to... He needs to offer apologies... He needs to apologize... He owes an apology to... He needs to apologize to... A lot of those apologies need to take place in private, but a lot needs to take place in public... The only person who should be talking now is Braun, who should be apologizing to all those he hurt...

6) "Ryan Braun, fraud and liar"—Bernie Miklasz, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

How hot is the take?

They should give a printed copy to Survivor contestants instead of a flint. Extra heat comes from a paragraph consisting, in its entirety, of the word "Finally."

What is the take?

Braun is done as a Hall of Fame candidate... Braun smeared the good name of a Milwaukee-area man, Dino Laurenzi Jr., who worked as a sample collector... Braun struck a haughty pose... a disgusting display of arrogance... shameful... Braun's hubris was stunning.... Braun's game of deception is over....

7) "Baseball threw the bum out"—Christine Brennan, USA Today

How hot is the take?

It's hot. I'd slap my daughter's hand if she got near a printed copy of it. If you had a copy and you were stuck in the wilderness for a night, it might keep you alive.

What is the take?

They threw the bum out... one of the worst cheaters in the history of his game... lifetime achievement award for Braun... He is forever tainted. He is damaged goods.... he then decided to verbally attack the test collector... drug police...

8) "Brewers' Braun suspended for rest of the season"—Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune

How hot is the take?

If you crushed it and had some garlic and black pepper to hand, you'd be most of the way to a decent hot sauce.

What is the take?

Braun is a cheating creep... The one thing that's hard to see is how Braun is going to show his face again in public... shameless display... disgracing his sport and crushing the innocence of kids who looked up to him.... Curt Schilling... understandably feels betrayed.... That would be Dino Laurenzi Jr.... Braun attacked him... He shouldn't have acted like Snow White when he was up to his knees in mud....

9) "Ryan Braun owes fans public apology"—Michael Hunt, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

How hot is the take?

I just lit a cigarette with it.

What is the take?

tarnished golden boy... a cheater, a liar and a self-righteous one at that... might hurt the restaurant business he shares with Aaron Rodgers... nightmarish... "Say it ain't so, Ryan"...

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