A-Rod fits with the older crowd looking for a shortcut to a magic career-extender. Think Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, or guys such as Rafael Palmerio or McGwire.
The other PED demographic, statistically, is players from Latin America. Opening Day rosters this season showed 24.2 percent of all players were from Latin American countries and that 27.1 percent overall were of what MLB calls Hispanic background. But more than 50 percent of all major-leaguers suspended for PEDs since 2005 have been from the Dominican Republic alone, and roughly 70 percent overall are Latin.
Blame for that disparity is seen as cultural or sociological, with many young Latinos so desperate from poverty back home they are willing to take an illegal bridge to reach their American dream: big-league baseball and its life-altering riches.
Braun has neither of those excuses.
At 29, he is in his prime, not facing and fighting the encroachment of time or decline. He was raised in an upscale suburb of Los Angeles, not in foreign poverty. As a college star and high first-round draft pick he was always fast-tracked for stardom.
Braun could have been one of the fresh faces representing how baseball had moved on past its steroids taint. He could have been an example of how you can put up big numbers and do things right and be clean, all at once.
Instead, he is propped up as a reason why maybe everybody should be suspect. He is why you look at what Chris Davis is doing in Baltimore and have to at least think, Hmm. That is so unfair to all the clean guys, but that is baseballs reality until it can be trusted as all clean.
Braun had first failed a drug test just after the 2011 season but had the test-positive overturned on appeal by a 2-1 vote of an arbitration panel. He never contested the test result, only the handling of his sample. He won on a technicality, based on how the sample had been stored over a weekend.
He used the arbitration victory to maintain his innocence sometimes rather indignantly despite the original test result.
That stance became tougher to maintain when Brauns name appeared in the Biogenesis records exposed in February by the Miami New Times investigation.
That stance became tougher still to hold with an even eye when MLB interviewed Braun two weeks ago and, according to ESPNs Outside The Lines, he refused to answer all questions.
Thats the thing about silence.
Sometimes it screams.